Friday, March 17, 2006

Soviet Era Health Care

"America is not really freer! You're not really free when one bad accident or illness can wipe you out! Socialism makes sure people have the health care they need!"

Oh Really? You really think so?
I recently came face to face with a level of Western ignorance that I hadn't encountered since the 1980s, when Russian immigrants were still a novelty to Americans. A British-American asked my father a question that could only come from someone who has known freedom his whole life: "Why did you leave Russia?

Your family was there, you had a job, you had free health care. Why did you leave?" The questioner, a former editor with the New York Times, then proceeded to assert that today's Britain and U.S. are no longer free.
The exchange reminded me just how out of touch many who live in the free world are with the reality of life under tyranny--and why, therefore, so many Americans and Brits think nothing is scarier than war. On the subject even of that oft-cited "perk" of Soviet life, universal health care, a picture of the system in practice on its happiest occasion would shock Americans and Western Europeans alike.
My favorite quote:
In America, women often remember abortion as traumatic. My mother barely
remembers her two abortions (Russian birth control), but she can't forget a
single traumatic detail of her children's births.
When people aren't motivated by money, they don't give a whit unless they are motivated by threat and punishment. Which motivation is really better for you?

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