Comments on: Americans live in Russia, but think they live in Sweden Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:34:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: Richard.USA Sun, 03 Apr 2011 12:02:53 +0000 No, I think all of you miss the point, the U.S. Is like nether Russia nor Sweden and by the reference to the current state of governance in Russia in the negative She longs for the “good old days” of the worker’s paradise. Those days never were, most European Russians feel that the current system is for all it’s short comings better than Communism or the Tsar. Nor is Sweden a “workers paradise” today.

The “wealth inequity” crowd never mind when it’s the government that holds the wealth, and never address why in the Northern European Social Democracies, and France the Male Suicide rates are so high. Happy fulfilled workers don’t kill themselves, people that feel trapped in a bad system do. The proof is in the numbers and the U.S. Numbers are much lower even after you allow for the American love of guns.

By: thinkintoit Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:18:05 +0000 Lee, thank you. It is rare to see a comment describe an article with greater clarity and eloquence.

By: LeeDittmann Wed, 30 Mar 2011 04:34:44 +0000 Richard.USA did indeed miss the point. Chrystia made no reference whatsoever to the old Soviet Union (USSR), but in stating that our society is more like Russia than Sweden, she is referring to the huge disparity in wealth common to both the modern Russian oligarchy and our own modern would-be feudal lords. She stated no opinion on the quality of life under the Communists there, which Richard goes on about.

Chrystia’s observation about the lottery mentality here in the USA is spot-on among too many people. Even while the “American Dream” in which anyone who worked hard could eventually own their own home, raise a family, and provide a decent life for their kids is slipping away from more and more of us, an “American Delusion” has taken hold. This delusion states that if you work hard and smart, anyone can be wealthy in America.

The reality is that the system simply won’t allow more than a small percentage of people to achieve that, no matter how hard the rest of us work. And increasingly, those that achieve this do so by muscling past the rest of us, with the complicity and encouragement of wannabe-rich poor and middle class people (a.k.a. “dupes”) who will never be allowed to join that club, no matter how hard they strive.

By: CardinalBiggles Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:41:20 +0000 I think Richard missed the point about using Russia and Sweden as examples. It is exactly the huge disparity between the haves and have-nots that he experienced in Russia that Ms. Freeland was highlighting. By analogy our own income inequality rivals Russia, tho we do not have empty shelves.

I think she makes an excellent case, as I ponder how it is that there is so little outrage amongst my middle class peers over the “rape and pillage” by America’s newest corporate robber barons.

By: Richard.USA Fri, 25 Mar 2011 17:53:19 +0000 Dear Comrade Chyrista,

You don’t look to be old enough to have been in the CCCP in the ’70s. I was, most of Moscow, the part where ordinary people lived was run down and depressing. There were long lines to buy everything and most non-food items were sold on a pay now and you will get it some day basis. Restaurants required that you order your entire meal when you made your reservation and only served a single party per table per night. The Russian equivalent of a food court here in the U.S. required that you leave your identy card (everyone had one it told where you were allowed to live) if you wanted a steel knife with your meal.

That was how the average Russian lived, the poor Russians. The favored of the Party and us foreigners with hard currency were allowed to shop at the hard currency stores(березка) where there were no lines and the shelves were full. That was where the real party members shopped too. As for restaurants I knew some people in one of those agencies with initials, when we often went out for dinner and drinks (not in that order) we were always seated first, given menus, and the person from the agency always paid for the dinner ( 10-15 people)(yes, they did have expense accounts and the 7 vodka dinner in the workers paradise).

So if you think that was wonderful for the average Russian then or that is America today go ahead and do so. While you are at it ask yourself why the European part of the CCCP had a large negative population growth rate and why the suicide rates today in your Socialist parts of Nothren Europe, especially male suicide rates are so much higher than here in the bad old Capitalist U.S., yes Canada is higher too, check the W.H.O. Stats.