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2 hours ago, Premi5 said:

which areas in particular ?

As I said, I live and work in and around the area, I have a good friend who is white but he says he was getting attacked by blacks in lewisham when growing up

I think real racism is different to xenophobia. 

Where is more deprived now than before?

East of Lewisham. Think of the borough next to it.

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I think that these cultural issues are a big distraction designed to obscure the much more serious economic issues. In most Western countries, the gap between the rich and poor has been steadily growi

Your one-note appraisal of the situation is disappointing. Unsurprising yet disappointing. I give the Puritan settlers their dues without diminishing their inhumane treatment of the natives. I can hol

Difficult to say. clearly majority have gone away from God rather than attending Church but are many are living more ethically e.g veganism is popular, people better aware of environmental issues

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11 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

Christ, the cognitive dissonance is off the charts. Acknowledging one true statement is the automatic denial of another simultaneously true statement? Go back and tell me where I failed to acknowledge and refused to pass judgement on the Native American genocide. Go on.

What you wanted to hear from me was, "Grrr, whitey bad, grrr, whitey burn in hell. Red Indians honourable, red Indians good" and when that wasn't forthcoming, you resorted to your emotional Marxist relativism. 

You're throwing a lot of buzzwords around here, what cognitive dissonance (on my part) are you talking about here? I studied psychology at postgraduate level, so please make sure you do your own homework before trying to answer that. 

I'm not suggesting some simplified binary division between 'noble' Red Indians and the other, but acknowledging deep rooted issues of supremacism and genocide that extend beyond this and (historically) cover millions of Africans, and in the current time, many of their decedents. You can probably throw in latinos/latinas in that mix too. 

Simple fact is that you your self, and others like you, fail to properly acknowledge this living active deeply embedded evil, blinded by the perceived achievements done over there on the back of this. This is called having some sort of moral compass and conception of ethics towards other oppressed people. Nothing at all to do with the usual cries of marxism and leftwing etc. etc. because I'm, neither. 

And it's not anything like the blanket condemnation of whites like you are lazily suggesting, because not all whites support or are in denial about the truth of systemic racism and genocide. That's patently obvious now too. 

 

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There's a saying that whomever wants to stop you from thinking is not a friend; in fact that person is an enemy. Why can't I acknowledge the great achievement of the Puritan settlers in establishing themselves in a foreign land while still being disgusted at their treatment of the natives? Why do you wish to funnel and limit my thoughts?

Plus, it's quite telling how you seem to disassociate yourself from the struggles of your co-religionists by terming them as "a people" indicating they exclusively belong to someone of my background. For someone who's chiefly identified as being ardently "caste blind", you sure as hell seem to relish the misfortunes of a certain group that isn't "yours". I guess if they were Kenyan carpenters you'd have been on the first plane out there to stand in solidarity with your brothers and sisters.

The rest of your nonsense is lifted from points I myself have made in previous days about the selective application of karmic rules by a few people on this forum, so why are you presenting this reasoning as if it's alien to me? 

You use to be able to (barely) conceal your glee at the misfortunes of "jutts" (in your mind I guess you see them being representative of Sikhs in general). Now you seem to openly revel in their struggles and humiliation. Again, I guess not having any skin in the game renders them "not yours."  At least try to pretend you aren't entirely delighted at their impending destruction. You're getting sloppy.

 

 

No one is telling anyone to stop thinking here, if anything the opposite and to have the wits to recognise insidious deeply embedded cultural factors which play a big part in long standing systemic oppression. People have been aware of and conscious of this long before all the current palava has emerged. If anything, it's a success to even get people to face it let alone try and confront it. But from the sounds of you, you'd rather play along with it. So in essence you're not doing anything different to all the Hindus that deny and play down your own people's grievances. It's like you're cut from the same cloth.

I guess, with kirpa, some of us are blessed to be born in culture that has long standing, valuable, transferrable skills that enable them to swiftly dodge all the machinations that continually seem to plague the agricultural community in Panjab. 

If you think that anyone with even a partially sound mind can sit around gleefully when there own ancestral land is being ravaged and oppressed, then it might be more of you projecting your own dark nature on the situation. We've been watching the gradual but slow disempowerment of Panjab (by BOTH internal and external forces) for decades (if not centuries) now. It's sickening to watch. But that doesn't take away from the fact that within our own community, certain people have been acting as oppressors to their own themselves. Yes, I support the farmers desires for independence and a decent living, but that doesn't mean that I'm not acutely aware of the fact that disgusting oppression inbetween our own community routinely takes place, and that these other people are also deserving of our empathy  and their oppressors equally deserving of censor. 

And YES, I do believe that as a community (as well as individually), our own actions come back to us karmically. If a significant amount of people believed this too, we wouldn't have the embarrassing situations we routinely see at ground level in Panjab with rampant discrimination and oppression amongst our own, that rarely gets admitted. So don't for one minute think that current events would detract from that. 

 A lot of our own communities failings with implementing and practicing some form of ethical, humane norms between ourselves are going to come and haunt us now. Some people have been warning about this for a while now, but it seems to have fallen on selfish, deaf ears. Now we all have to witness the consequences - and they don't seem like they will be pleasant. To put it mildly. 

 

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16 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

I'm not suggesting some simplified binary division between 'noble' Red Indians and the other, but acknowledging deep rooted issues of supremacism and genocide that extend beyond this and (historically) cover millions of Africans, and in the current time, many of their decedents. You can probably throw in latinos/latinas in that mix too. 

Simple fact is that you your self, and others like you, fail to properly acknowledge this living active deeply embedded evil, blinded by the perceived achievements done over there on the back of this. This is called having some sort of moral compass and conception of ethics towards other oppressed people. Nothing at all to do with the usual cries of marxism and leftwing etc. etc. because I'm, neither. 

And it's not anything like the blanket condemnation of whites like you are lazily suggesting, because not all whites support or are in denial about the truth of systemic racism and genocide. That's patently obvious now too.

I think the friction has arisen on this subject partly from us looking at this issue from very different perspectives.

My recent (as in turn-of-the-year) mode of thinking is coloured by the way in which I'm trying to analyse Sikh history in its entirety as a grounded historical and social narrative within the Punjab, and how it relates to the greater milieu of Indian history. I'm trying to get a grasp of how our past has lead to our present, and what the present might implicate for our future.

As such I'm comparing and contrasting our emergence, struggles, and establishing a presence (of sorts) with other groups and cultures in different parts of the world; one of those subjects I've started to read-up on is the founding of the United States. It's difficult not to feel a sense of admiration for people who left their homes and the countries of their birth in order to start a new life in a place that was largely untamed wilderness. Whatever they built, they built from absoutely nothing. And what they did manage to eventually build was a new civilisation. While their impact on the existing cultures of the Natives is undoubtedly horrific, to say the least, my mind was still firmly focused on the resolve, determination and achievements of the newcomers to create something siginificant on this strange, new soil. How did they do it without even one spiritual master to lead them? Yet they managed to oust the British from their land and secure their independence through sheer strength and force of will despite the British using brutality against what were essentially their own people. What divine blessings did these Americans possess that we were never granted in our own struggle?

As for karmic tolls and the rest of it, I'm not bringing that into this discussion. It's irrelevant. It also opens up some rather uncomfortable and difficult to answer questions that just can't be quantified solely from the perspective of the cold gaze of history. Leave that to the metaphysics.

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11 hours ago, Ranjeet01 said:

The majority of the UK are quite aware they are no longer a world power. 

The UK is in decline in world power terms, however they will probably have some level of influence in the world. They may not be a hard power but they will retain soft power. 

What is quite astounding is that people are still continuing to arrive on to the shores of the UK even when there is this decline. 

What you may find that UK will become a small independent country that is relatively prosperous. As long as the majority of the UK can have a good standard of living, most Brits could not give a monkeys whether they are a world power or not.

The elites on the other hand are a different matter. 

On your last comment about how dilapidated the areas outside of Central London. We have a homeless problem but not like those tent cities that you have in LA and we don't have syringes lying around and people defecating on the streets like San Francisco.

 

 

Why are you getting so defensive?

 

I like the UK and think it's perhaps a better place for Sikhs to live than the US. But having traveled the country extensively, it was sad and surprising.

 

I am not one of those Americans who thinks America is a great, unparalleled country. Most of American culture and the American way of life disgusts me. I have hoped to find a better place to live. But traveling to other countries, I've seen that there are lots of problems elsewhere too.

 

America is worse than the UK in terms of inequality (the US has a greater homeless problem, as you pointed out). But the US is also a richer country than the UK, and the median family is still better off materially. You mentioned LA and San Francisco. Have you been to the US and traveled extensively? Or are you basing your views on what you read online? What you see in a few large cities is not what you see in the average American suburb.

One thing that Brits (and Europeans) generally do not understand is how vast and varied the US is. Did you know that the state of California alone is three times the size of England? (I met a British girl on shaadi.com who thought California was a city. I met another who thought I must live near San Francisco since I am from California. She was shocked when I told her that the distance from where I live to San Francisco was greater than the distance from London to Edinburgh.) Did you know that the US has five times as many people as the UK? You can't form your opinion on what life is like in such a vast country based upon some viral images of San Francisco.

 

Are you sure that the majority of the UK is aware that it is no longer a major world power? Many Brexit voters seem to think otherwise. Being a world power matters (rightly or wrongly) in terms of a country's ability to maintain prosperity. Whether that prosperity is divided fairly is another matter (in the US it is not). But the (lower level of) prosperity in the UK is divided almost as unequally as it is in the US. This is in contrast to what is seen in many parts of Western Europe. So I have a more negative view of the UK standard of living than you do.

In terms of quality of life, most of continental Western Europe has a lower ceiling and higher floor than the US. The UK has a a lower ceiling than the US and a floor that is perhaps as low as the US floor (or maybe very slightly higher). MAYBE a poor person in the UK is slightly better off than in the US, but I don't think that the average person is. Compare salaries for professional jobs in the UK and US sometime. It may shock you.

 

Of course people continue to arrive on the shores of the UK. There is a massive third world out there that is very far behind the western world. I'm not sure that that's something to take comfort in. It would be like people in Punjab dismissing its declining quality of life by pointing to the number of bhaiyas who keep arriving.

 

Finally, what is the UK "soft power" that you speak of? I am curious.

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Sophistry will ultimately prove to be the undoing of the particular section of whites who lack a warrior spirit and think that philosophising and rationalism will render any opponents into logical defeat. Any minority group who follows this particular group of whites will meet the same sticky end. 

 

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2 hours ago, Ranjeet01 said:

Depends on what metric you are looking at. If you are looking with American eyes in terms of size of cars and house then yes.

I've always found this difference in attitude between European and North American Sikhs to be very interesting. I've seen it myself when NA Sikhs visit the UK, and they say they find it difficult to "breathe" due to the confined layout of homes and streets, etc., even if the location and building itself is relatively spacious according to local standards. Everything, to a certain degree, is oversized in the States, and when apne who still have vivid recollections of Punjabi life come across something that's less than ostentatious, they baulk at it as if it's inferior, failing to understand the reasons for it being so. I guess the latent materialistic Punjabi attitude is suited to the obnoxiously materialistic ethic of North America. A perfect match.

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9 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

I've always found this difference in attitude between European and North American Sikhs to be very interesting. I've seen it myself when NA Sikhs visit the UK, and they say they find it difficult to "breathe" due to the confined layout of homes and streets, etc., even if the location and building itself is relatively spacious according to local standards. Everything, to a certain degree, is oversized in the States, and when apne who still have vivid recollections of Punjabi life come across something that's less than ostentatious, they baulk at it as if it's inferior, failing to understand the reasons for it being so. I guess the latent materialistic Punjabi attitude is suited to the obnoxiously materialistic ethic of North America. A perfect match.

Our houses are small because our country is small and land is at a premium. Yet most UK Sikh houses are extended to have  at least 4 bedrooms and at least 2 bath rooms .

They might be only 1500 sq foot in size but that is more than ample for the most of us.

The benefit for living in a smaller country where everything is compact is that you can walk a lot more than having to take a car everywhere. I can walk to my gurdwara, matha tek and walk back home. 

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On 2/17/2021 at 11:49 AM, Ranjeet01 said:

Our houses are small because our country is small and land is at a premium. Yet most UK Sikh houses are extended to have  at least 4 bedrooms and at least 2 bath rooms .

They might be only 1500 sq foot in size but that is more than ample for the most of us.

The benefit for living in a smaller country where everything is compact is that you can walk a lot more than having to take a car everywhere. I can walk to my gurdwara, matha tek and walk back home. 

I think the 'closed' landscape/environment is not favourable, and leads to a 'closed' mindset

Those living in bigger spaces probably have a more open and 'positive' mentality 

Just my thoughts, and I will reckon there is something similar if comparing urban vs rural living

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15 minutes ago, Premi5 said:

I think the 'closed' landscape/environment is not favourable, and leads to a 'closed' mindset

Those living in bigger spaces probably have a more open and 'positive' mentality 

Just my thoughts, and I will reckon there is something similar if comparing urban vs rural living

There's probably some merit in that. 

Definitely more reserved I would say. I guess if you live in more confined areas, you feel that  you need some boundaries. 

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On 2/17/2021 at 12:42 AM, Ranjeet01 said:

Depends on what metric you are looking at. If you are looking with American eyes in terms of size of cars and house then yes.

Not just size of cars and houses. Being in America allows for more material consumption in general. Whether that is a good or bad thing is another issue, but as long as we are talking about "quality of life" in standard material terms, it is a factor. I also think that in America, class is less of a factor, and it is easier for people from modest backgrounds to break into elite circles.

 

On 2/17/2021 at 12:42 AM, Ranjeet01 said:

Then you are not that different to other people who like to see whether the grass is greener

Huh? What does this have to do with anything? What is the point of this comment?

On 2/17/2021 at 12:42 AM, Ranjeet01 said:

Yes of course, if you had read my previous post then I had already answered that. What metrics of standard of living, other than size of house or size of car, there is nothing US really has an advantage over any other western country. If I sold my house and moved to the US, I could easily afford a million dollar house. In fact a lot of people in the UK, if they moved to US and sold their homes, they could easily get a house that is 4000-5000 square foot, multiple bedrooms, multiple baths. (This is what you Americans value)

What avenues do people in the UK have to acquire wealth outside of the property that their family may or may not already have? Can a qualified professional in the UK who is not already a homeowner and makes 30k-40k pounds per year hope to acquire the kind of house that you speak of? (Please correct me if I am wrong and they somehow can.) At least in the US there is still the opportunity to start off with nothing, get a job with good compensation, and buy a decent house and whatever else one may want. That opportunity is available for fewer and fewer people every day (as I said, the US has lots of problems), but at least it is still there.

 

On 2/17/2021 at 12:42 AM, Ranjeet01 said:

If you are looking at salaries, then you need to look at cost of living and what you are left with after your expenses. We don't have to worry about spending quarter of a million dollars for our kid's college fees and then having to do an MBA after that just to secure a good job. And what about your medical expenses, most Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

If you are working 90 hours a week, and earning $150,000 a year , with only like 10 days of vacation (which can you can fired if you take your vacation or even go sick) but you live with your leased car and an overpriced McMansion and compare that with someone earning £30,000 a year with a 4 bedroom house almost paid for and a couple of houses on rent, 25 days of annual leave, a NHS with only having to pay £10 on your medical prescriptions, I think people can figure out where they would be better off.

Higher education and healthcare are too expensive in the US. But the situation is not at all like you are portraying it. State universities in the US are good and don't require anything even close to a quarter of a million dollars to attend. People who come from families without lots of resources frequently get lots of aid. Most of the horror stories surrounding student debt have to do with people making horrible decisions, like attending very expensive private schools or paying for useless graduate degrees (like MBAs and law degrees from low-ranked schools).

I think the NHS is overall better than what the US offers in terms of healthcare. But people in the US who have decent jobs have decent employer-provided health insurance. And there is also support for people who are poor and old and otherwise don't have access to such employer-provided insurance. I think it should be better, but it is something. The bottom line is that it is not a nightmare scenario where people are paying out of their pockets for everything.

Now you are again bringing up an example of someone in the UK who already has a bunch of property. How does one acquire property if they start off with nothing?

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On 2/17/2021 at 12:42 AM, Ranjeet01 said:

Soft power as in 'cultural influence' it seems to have. The UK seems to attract a lot of the EU countries where standards of living are as high as the UK. We also get a lot of professionals for many parts of the world, may be not 

The US is already 3rd world in some parts.

If you live a great life in the US then fine, but don't think for a minute that the US is the be all and end all, much of the world has caught up. They also have other metrics that far surpass the US as well.

 

 

You make good points here. I agree that the UK does have considerable soft power. But I think much of that soft-power is due to:

1. English being the dominant international language

2. The City of London

 

I think that Brexit is going to deal a severe blow to UK soft power. Young Europeans will not be able to move to the UK for study or work as easily. Will the City of London retain the same level of dominance that it has had in financial services? Maybe, but maybe not.

 

The US, for better or for worse, has more soft power than any other country, and it's not even close. Again, I'm not saying this as someone who thinks America is a great country and the be all and end all. I'm just saying it as it is, based upon my travels.

People all over the world watch American movies and tv shows. People all over the world are heavily influenced by American pop culture. Stuff that is happening in America somehow seems to spread elsewhere, even when it is inexplicable why. (For instance, why on earth did "black lives matter" become an issue in the UK and Europe? It shouldn't have, because black people in the UK and Europe have not had remotely the same history and experience that they have had in the US. But because BLM was going on in the US, it spread elsewhere.)

Here is another thing I have noticed: even though America has lots of problems, it is still able to attract a large proportion of the world's best and brightest. Not just from third world countries, but from the UK and Europe. For example, many of the very best British-born and trained scientists are employed at American universities or at American tech companies. On the other hand, very few top-level American scientists work in Britain. (The massive difference in salary is perhaps the main explanation. But there are other factors too.)

 

To summarize: I am not happy with the way things are going in the US, and I think that it is a country with a lot of very big problems, and some huge divisions, and I would like to find a better place to live. (In fact, even after all that I have said, I would probably try to live in the UK if I was going to get married and raise a family.) But in spite of all that is wrong with the US, I still think it offers unrivaled opportunity. That is especially true for people from immigrant backgrounds. Of course, opportunity alone isn't everything, and I think the stability, security and quality of life that people enjoy in many western European countries may be better.

Anyway, perhaps the problems here will reach a boiling point and the rate of American decline will accelerate to the point where I don't think it offers unrivaled opportunity. I guess we will find out.

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On 2/17/2021 at 3:49 AM, Ranjeet01 said:

The benefit for living in a smaller country where everything is compact is that you can walk a lot more than having to take a car everywhere. I can walk to my gurdwara, matha tek and walk back home. 

 

Here is something that I agree strongly with.

I like that there are neighborhoods in the UK where you can walk around and pass by several different gurdware.

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2 hours ago, californiasardar1 said:

Not just size of cars and houses. Being in America allows for more material consumption in general. Whether that is a good or bad thing is another issue, but as long as we are talking about "quality of life" in standard material terms, it is a factor. I also think that in America, class is less of a factor, and it is easier for people from modest backgrounds to break into elite circles.

You do have an elite in the US like the Rockerfellers and the Vanderbilts, but it less noticeable because the US is a younger country.

Also in the US, the fortunes seem to be turbulent in general, the people who were the richest 10 years ago no longer are richest today and it is replaced by a new crop of people who will be replaced by another crop of people ten years later.

US is some ways feels like a pioneer country and there seems to be a greater entrepreurial spirit but it does not have some of the safety nets like other countries have.

The US also seems to afford people to fail and start over again and again, I think your bankruptcy  laws are different from other countries.

 

2 hours ago, californiasardar1 said:

Huh? What does this have to do with anything? What is the point of this comment?

What is meant by this, people in general can be quite unsatisfied in their lives and think that another country's lifestyle or someone's elses life is better than theirs.

 

2 hours ago, californiasardar1 said:

What avenues do people in the UK have to acquire wealth outside of the property that their family may or may not already have? Can a qualified professional in the UK who is not already a homeowner and makes 30k-40k pounds per year hope to acquire the kind of house that you speak of? (Please correct me if I am wrong and they somehow can.) At least in the US there is still the opportunity to start off with nothing, get a job with good compensation, and buy a decent house and whatever else one may want. That opportunity is available for fewer and fewer people every day (as I said, the US has lots of problems), but at least it is still there.

We are still have the same kind of opportunities, people can still get good jobs, people still start businesses. A lot of the Sikh/Punjabis started with nothing.

 

2 hours ago, californiasardar1 said:

I think the NHS is overall better than what the US offers in terms of healthcare. But people in the US who have decent jobs have decent employer-provided health insurance. And there is also support for people who are poor and old and otherwise don't have access to such employer-provided insurance. I think it should be better, but it is something. The bottom line is that it is not a nightmare scenario where people are paying out of their pockets for everything.

I think if the US had a comprehensive healthcare that was affordable for everyone rather than health insurance and the co-pay/getting reductions etc, the quality of life would improve leaps and bounds in the US. But if there is one thing I have noticed about the US, it is not a nation in the conventional sense, it is more like a continent. It may be something that should be done on a state by state level. But I don't understand it enough.

 

2 hours ago, californiasardar1 said:

Now you are again bringing up an example of someone in the UK who already has a bunch of property. How does one acquire property if they start off with nothing?

Like everyone else does, putting down a deposit and getting a mortgage.

There are 2 things I think that could make things better in the US:

- Better Healthcare system

- Better vacation time

In the UK and Europe, we "work to live", in the US it said people "live to work"

 

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11 hours ago, Ranjeet01 said:

You do have an elite in the US like the Rockerfellers and the Vanderbilts, but it less noticeable because the US is a younger country.

Also in the US, the fortunes seem to be turbulent in general, the people who were the richest 10 years ago no longer are richest today and it is replaced by a new crop of people who will be replaced by another crop of people ten years later.

US is some ways feels like a pioneer country and there seems to be a greater entrepreurial spirit but it does not have some of the safety nets like other countries have.

The US also seems to afford people to fail and start over again and again, I think your bankruptcy  laws are different from other countries.

 

What is meant by this, people in general can be quite unsatisfied in their lives and think that another country's lifestyle or someone's elses life is better than theirs.

 

We are still have the same kind of opportunities, people can still get good jobs, people still start businesses. A lot of the Sikh/Punjabis started with nothing.

 

I think if the US had a comprehensive healthcare that was affordable for everyone rather than health insurance and the co-pay/getting reductions etc, the quality of life would improve leaps and bounds in the US. But if there is one thing I have noticed about the US, it is not a nation in the conventional sense, it is more like a continent. It may be something that should be done on a state by state level. But I don't understand it enough.

 

Like everyone else does, putting down a deposit and getting a mortgage.

There are 2 things I think that could make things better in the US:

- Better Healthcare system

- Better vacation time

In the UK and Europe, we "work to live", in the US it said people "live to work"

 

 

Well, if I could afford a house worth a million pounds in the UK on a 30k pound salary, I should move over there!

 

 

I completely agree with you about the healthcare system and vacation time.

 

I think the reason the US doesn't have a universal healthcare system like the UK is simple. Here is something that I have noticed about social safety net programs:

1. It is EXTREMELY difficult to establish social safety net programs (it takes a lot of political power and will, and there is resistance from the wealthy and powerful, who launch media campaigns to scare people away from such programs and stigmatize them).

2. Once a social safety net program is established, people realize how much they like it, and it is EXTREMELY difficult for politicians to take it away. Even right-wing politicians will largely concede that they need to protect these programs.

 

Because of point 1, social safety net programs typically can only be established during extraordinary times when people are desperate or receptive to big changes for various reasons. The NHS was established in the post-war period, for example. The US made various strides in adding to the social safety net during the 1930s, 1964-66, and 2009-2010. But the politicians in power fell short of establishing an NHS-style system during these very brief windows of opportunity. Outside of these once-in-a-generation opportunities, it is virtually impossible to get anything done.

Long story short: the UK left made better use of its once-in-a-generation opportunities than the American left.

 

Other than that, I see similar political problems in both countries. People keep voting for right-wing politicians who will screw them over economically instead of voting for people who are proposing new programs that could help them. Why? Right-wing politicians know how to scare people away from changes that could help them, and they know how to distract people by getting them to focus on culture war issues.

 

Americans keep having to choose between corporatist politicians. One corporatist party (Republicans) caters to racist whites who hate black people and immigrants. Another corporatist party (Democrats) pretends to be progressive, but focuses mostly on identity issues instead of economic issues (because their corporate masters don't mind them focusing on identity politics, but they do mind economic reforms that would make them pay more). In the UK, people generally have to make similar choice, but you had opportunities in 2017 and 2019 to vote for a Labour party that was actually proposing real, sweeping changes that would benefit the average person. Americans have not had that opportunity in my lifetime.

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