The US could become like (Gasp!) Europe!

One of the utterly bizarre elements to the common modern conservative view of the world is its completely thoughtless and ignorant notions of countries outside the border.  One wonders, is it possible that these people have never been to Europe or even to Canada?  Is it possible that, if they have travelled there, they were so obtuse and mentally insulated that their exceptionalist ideas weren’t jarred? 

Canada’s PM, Harper, a fiscal and social conservative, was recently interviewed on an American cable network (by Fareed Zakariah) and Harper explained that Canada has not experienced the sort of banking crisis we see here because Canada had much stricter regulations in place.  You won’t see mention of this in the rightwing media here but you will find stuff on Harper’s notions on, say, abortion.  Cognitive dissonance hurts.  And it hurts a particular sort of mind much more than other sorts.

On the topic of health care and its expenses, entirely relevant to certain fiscal problems for American business and to Obama’s strategy to turn things around for American business, the right could look to Canada.  But they will not because the conclusions one would possibly arrive at are problematic to their ideology.

The same is true to some extent for the relationship of health care reform to the success of the economic reform package. As Governor Jennifer Granholm noted on MSNBC’s “Hardball” on Sunday, Ontario produced more cars than Michigan last year — for the first time ever. Conservatives can’t blame it on their traditional boogeymen, taxes and regulation, since Canada has more of both. As Granholm explained about the auto companies, “They were going there because of health care.” Ontario’s edge for auto companies is due to Canada’s more efficient health care system, which makes cars produced there less expensive than in the U.S., where health insurance adds $1200-1500 to the price of every car, according to Granholm. Regardless of the specific policies at issue, clearly health care reform should be pitched more assetively as a critical component of both economic and national security.  New Health Reform Strategy Takes Shape

More broadly, the modern right forwards the narrative that if the US moved to universal healthcare, citizens would find themselves in a less happy situation and would regret having moved in that direction.  But it’s a claim which has no coherence at all given the evidence of every other western nation, all of whom have some form of such a system, and NONE of them have moved to return to a system like the US presently has.  They haven’t because their electorates will not allow it.


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