Bret Stephens | Biden’s Plan Promises Permanent Decline – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“Years ago, Alexis Tsipras, the party leader of Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left, surprised me with a question. “Here in the United States,” the soon-to-be prime minister asked me over breakfast in New York, “why do you not have this phenomenon of passing money under the table?”

The subject was health care. Greece has a public health care system that, in theory, guarantees its citizens access to necessary medical care.

Practice, however, is another matter. Patients in Greek public hospitals, Tsipras explained, would first have to slip a doctor “an envelope with a certain amount of money” before they could expect to get treatment. The government, he added, underpaid its doctors and then looked the other way as they topped up their income with bribes.

Take a close look at any country or locality in which the government offers allegedly free or highly subsidized goods and you’ll usually discover that there’s a catch.

France’s subsidized day care is, by all accounts, fantastic for working parents who get their children into it. Except there’s a perpetual shortage of slots. In Sweden, a raft of laws protects tenants from excessively high rent. Except wait times for apartments can be as long as 20 years. In Britain, the National Health Service is a source of pride. Except that, even before the pandemic, one in six patients faced wait times of more than 18 weeks for routine treatment.  . . . “

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT comment:

I feel a bit sorry for Bret Stephens and Ross Douthat, and other modern, young, conservatives. They deserve pitty for their bubbleheadedness. Or hardheadedness? Stephen’s attacks on France, especially for its high unemployment, contrasts with Paul Kruman last week, who reported that France has more woman working than the US does. One reason, is that they have state supported childcare. Their suicide rate is lower, and their life expectancy is higher. et cetera. I humbly suspect that the elephant in the room is that the real conservatives are more like myself, ardent climate hawks, deeply concernced about the environment. We recognize that income inequality has hurt the poor and gutted out the middle class. These young men are so bright and articulate, you suspect that they might accidentally wake up, and realize that the woke conservatives are now the right wing of the Democratic party. The Republicans turning to Trumpism, and no nothingism, white supremacy and anti-science and anti-democracy positions, left us little choice.

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