Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Capitalism, Nationalism, Socialism, Oh My!

My favorite friendly Singaporean Blogger recently brought to my attention that we Americans don't know what half of this stuff is or we define it differently in order to make us feel better. I tend to agree.

There is this big deal about Socialism going on right now. If we nationalize our banks we'll be one step closer to Socialism. If we nationalize health care we'll be one step closer to socialism. For some reason, socialism is a bad word. At what point do we quit "getting closer" and just admit that we are abandoning capitalism for socialism. Perhaps there is no line. It is just the way you look at it.

I've spent lots of time in Germany. I've spent 1 or 2 weeks in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is, I think, admittedly socialistic. Germany is leaning that way a lot more than the good old USA.

The main thing I missed about capitalism while over there was the ability to go to Wal-Mart at 3 AM. When you wake up with a stuffy nose and your medicine cabinets in the house are empty, you can cruise to the local 24-hour pharmacy and buy what you need. It's a bit harder to do that when socialism is involved. You also have a lot more choices in the USA. I had a very difficult time locating Maple Syrup in Germany. And Diet Dr Pepper? Forget about it.

The main thing I miss about socialism when I'm back home? Those bastards gets 6 weeks or more of vacation per year. I think the Dutch all take the month of August off work. It may be July. They work no more than 8 hours per day and 4 days per week. I don't do drugs, but the Netherlands was nice because I knew if I ever decided I wanted to, I could. Of course, it might be that on Sunday, the coffee shops would be closed. I'm sure they only work 8 hours per day and 4 days per week as well.

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