Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Steven Hill, "The missing element of Obama's economic plan," openDemocracy, January 27, 2009.

[I read these first two paragraphs and couldn't resist reading on. I think he imagines that we Canadians have it better than we do. We could easily fall into the trap of gloating about how much better we have it than the poor citizens of the "city on the hill." However, on Budget day, Hill's point about social infrastructure is a good reminder that stimulus or "spending our way out of recession" or "throwing money at the problem" will only be as effective as our discipline to spend the money as wisely as we can muster. -jlt]

Imagine a place where doctors still do house calls. Or where childcare is affordable, professional and widely available. Or where all new parents are paid to stay home and care for their newborns, and receive a monthly stipend to pay for diapers, food and other daily needs.

Or imagine a place where a young person doesn't have to mortgage her or his future by going in debt to pay for a college education. Or where everyone has quality, affordable health care, and all workers receive two months worth of paid vacation and holidays every year, and paid sick leave too, as well as a generous retirement.

To most Americans, such a place sounds like Never-Never land. But to most Europeans, Canadians and the Japanese, this sounds like standard operating procedure. It is important for Americans to keep this in mind as we listen to President Barack Obama announce the goals of his new administration.

Read the rest with links to primary documents here =>
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