Socialism explained with a pickle and crisps

Some of our politicians want to drive us toward a European style society with high taxes (on everyone) in exchange for government providing for major aspects of our lives.

Millions of Americans seem to embrace the idea apparently seduced by half the equation … only the grand promises.

If you have ever been to Europe, you will get this. If not, think about what it takes to satisfy your wants and desires as an American; cars, houses, clothes, travel and recreation, food, AC, etc.

Typical European sandwich
Typical American sandwich

Is one right and the other wrong? Certainly not. But they are different and they reflect different lifestyles, different expectations and different levels of satisfaction. One could even make the argument Europeans have it right, at least when it comes to lifestyles i.e. eating, walking, biking, etc.

However, to imply we can pick and choose what we want to emulate of the European lifestyle, including all the free stuff, without financial and other consequences is naive.

To believe it is simply foolish.


  1. I ive in a county with about 250,000 population. There are six MRI facilities. Thirty years ago there was one. At that time I read that the Republic of Ireland also had only one, although it’s population was at that time about fifteen times as populous.

    Our health care facilities are probably considered by Europeans to be excessive and inefficient. But Americans are not given to an excess of patience. Waiting weeks and months for standard imaging services is not considered acceptable here.


  2. First, European personal health must be better since obesity might not be as big of a problem. Second, you”ll pay a much higher VAT tax in most places for prepare food in Europe vs a small sale tax in some places in the US. Third, the poor are promised the US sandwich by US politicians and claim they don’t even get the European version. What if the government only promised the European version, what would the American poor do?

    I found on my trips to Europe that everything was smaller. This included food, apartments, cars, etc…


  3. Excellent post again, Mr. Quinn.

    I’ve spent a non-trivial amount of time in Europe myself. First, USAF duty from about mid-1977 to mid-1979. I was there when the British voters “dumped” the Labour government (and a large measure of socialism with it), and elected Margaret Thatcher. Quite a piece of history, that. And I had the good fortune to go back to the UK as well as working with several other European NATO members as a civilian during the 80’s and early 90’s. I went back again just 2 years ago, basically as a tourist, but also to visit some old friends and contacts in various places.

    What I observed beginning back in the late 1970’s, through the 80’s and into the 90’s, and re-confirmed this recent trip, is that quite a bit of Europe has been and is slowly “shedding their socialism”, and trying their level-best to more completely emulate the U.S. systems. Thatcher’s election back in 1979 was a big step in that direction, of course. The current “Brexit” phenomena is another one. And of course the “Great Big” step happened in December 1991 – when the old Soviet Union voted itself out of existence, and re-constituted itself as the “Commonwealth of Independent States” (CIS), and I quote, “In order to define an ECONOMIC space …” [emphasis on “Economic”, mine – as contrasted to the previously “Political/Ideological space” that was the preceding Soviet system.] If you haven’t read the founding document for the CIS, I’d strongly recommend doing so. It’ truly is a remarkable piece of history all by itself.

    To the point of your post here, it’s quite an irony that at the same time some of our most prominent politicians hare are encouraging US to more emulate Europe, most of Europe is trying to more emulate US! Sometimes slowly and haltingly (we’re still an unproven “experiment” in self-governance, after all). But also sometimes in BIG steps, such as the Thatcher election, Brexit, and the end of the Soviet Union. It’s pretty remarkable.

    While I was there (for about a month – mid 2017), recently, the ONE thing that puzzles Europeans most, and frankly “gives pause” to their trend to less socialism, is the US Health Care system. It frankly amazes and puzzles them how the United States, who they desperately would like to emulate more, could have such a screwed up health care system. And frankly, I couldn’t explain it either – and I was asked (as an American) specifically about that everywhere I went. Honest, Europeans are completely “flummoxed” at how the United States could get pretty much everything else so right, and get the U.S. health care system so very glaringly wrong. Frankly, I had to just respond to their questions with, “Yeah, Trust me, we’re all pretty much ‘flummoxed’ about that too.” Kind of embarrassing to admit that to them, if you want to know the truth.

    But there’s hope … both for US and the Europeans …

    There is, what I would describe as a “uniquely American” set of “solutions”, emerging regarding our health care system. Suffice to say, “European/Socialist” style health care “need not apply”.

    Check out this podcast. It just came out yesterday (was recorded mid-September), I just listened to it this morning, and it’s very, very interesting. I’d also recommend reading the comments to the podcast. You’ll find one of my comments there, but the others’ are quite interesting as well.

    Here it is – and I highly recommend it to everyone:


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