A snarky American Liberal was completely humiliated after posting a question on Quora and the verbal beat-down is incredible to read.
Tauris Shingler asked:
If U.S. conservatives moved and lived in Germany, Sweden or Norway for 3-5 years and then came back to the U.S, would they be liberals?
After they got a taste of the higher standard of living, and the universal healthcare etc…could they ever go back to how we have things set up here in the United States?
Would most of them turn into Benie Sanders level or greater liberals after seeing how the other side lives?
Surely he expected to be bombarded by answers from Danes and Swedes praising the wonders of Socialism and how easy life is for them in these Utopian societies. He, however, was left with proverbial egg on his smug face when a Danish woman responded and dropped a 100 megaton truth-bomb about what’s it’s REALLY like living under Socialism.
Kay Xander Mellish Responded:
Perhaps I can be of help, since I’m a registered Republican (although I don’t always vote for Republican candidates) who moved to Denmark. I’ve now lived in Denmark for 17 years, after growing up in the US, and maintain both citizenships.
I would call myself a fiscal conservative and a social libertarian – I don’t think the government should decide who is allowed to marry whom, for example, but I also don’t think the Feds should be dictating the gender structure of bathrooms in every American school. And I can’t stand us-vs-them identity politics.
I enjoy Denmark and I’m happy to live here.
But what many American liberals – and probably the writer of this question – don’t “get” is that the social welfare state has a substantial component of personal responsibility.
Everyone who can work must work in order to pay the taxes that finance the welfare state.
There are very few stay-at-home parents, for example. Disability payments are extremely difficult to get: the government sends even chronically sick people to “flex jobs” to see if they can eke out a couple of hours of work per week. You get a generous unemployment benefit for two years but are monitored (and basically harassed) to make sure you are constantly looking for work.
There’s also the understanding that the state’s resources are limited.
For example, “universal” health care comes with limits. If you get prostate cancer after age 78, no treatment is available, since the disease has a prognosis of 5 years and the average Danish man’s lifespan is 83.
There’s none of this nonsense of keeping aged people alive indefinitely with expensive medicines and machines. And since the tort system is limited, there’s no “defensive medicine” with unnecessary tests, because lawsuits are rare. Unless a doctor makes a shocking mistake, if you don’t get the care you want that’s just too bad.
“Free” college is also limited in that there is a limited number of places for each subject, and if you don’t get one of those places….you’d better choose another subject. (You can study elsewhere in Europe, of course, but that limits your networking possibilities if you plan a career in Denmark.)
And , of course, there are the taxes. I don’t know where you got the concept that Europeans have a “higher standard of living”. I make what would be considered a good standard of living in the US – between $80,000 and $120,000 a year in my own business – but I live in a one-bedroom apartment with my daughter in a so-so neighborhood and we have no car. My income taxes are between 46%-51% a year, plus 25% sales tax on everything I buy. I am always struggling to pay my taxes.
I think your metaphorical “conservative who moves to Europe” should be replaced by a “liberal who moves to Europe” and figures out that a social welfare state isn’t an endless candy jar.
It requires non-stop input from everyone – not just the rich, not just other people, but you.
Sorry, poor Liberals, the truth hurts.
This needs to be SHARED for EVERY Liberal in America to see.