Letter to the Editor: The world's happiest countries
April 21, 2014 10:19 AM

Since 2010, the tea party has had one strategy — to destroy government. We know the tactics of the Heritage Foundation, Koch brothers and Fox Network: to lie, distort, confuse and malign any policy, report, projection or proposal put forth by our president or our government. Thanks to them, it is fashionable for “conservatives” to see government as the enemy, and any change effected through government as diminishing “freedoms.”

CNN, citing the U.N. World Happiness Report, says, “The happiest of countries — many of which are in Scandinavia — have a robust combination of higher life expectancy, gross domestic product per capita, social support, generosity and freedom to make life choices.” Sen. Bernie Sanders noted that with their mix of capitalism and socialism, these countries “have done better at realizing the American dream” than we have.

Note that these countries pay higher income taxes but lower corporate taxes, have high employment (OECD), a strong network of social services including universal health care and access to higher education for pursuit of their own entrepreneurial or academic goals.

For them, government is a facilitator of the general well-being, not an enemy.

Twice in the past century America’s combined wealth and might (government) has saved the European continent from devastation. “Cowboy independence” may have won the West, but it is way past time to let our combined wealth and power win for Americans the happiness and longevity that the happiest European countries have long enjoyed.

That the tea party controllers of the GOP don’t want to use government “for the people” is made perfectly clear by their love of the Ryan budget.

Congressman Paul Ryan, called the smart one, wants to replace Medicare with vouchers that seniors would use to buy their own insurance — from an insurance industry that has been ripping people off for years!

Religious voters are expected to accept the gospel contradiction that, with Ryan’s budget, they will take from the poor and the unemployed and give to the rich.

They intend to deny women control over their own reproductive years, and, again, they have voted to deny women equal pay.

How do they expect to win the White House when nothing they intend appeals to the majority of voters? The best they can ever hope for is by hook or by crook to destroy democracy through gerrymandering and disenfranchising voters and to continue their pattern of obstruction.

Everett Dembosky

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