The Appearance of Free Stuff
Could it all be as simple as getting folks to think through their arguments? That’s an encouraging thought, but probably overly optimistic. Consider (emphasis added):
In Amsterdam, where I spend part of the year, every time I go the pharmacy and take out cash to pay for a prescription, the pharmacist and all the well-insured customers who never seem to pay for anything watch me like I’ve pulled a frog out my pocket. Then the pharmacist looks at me and my money with pity and says, “Oh, you’re American.” She doesn’t elaborate.
Appearances can be deceiving. Frida Ghitis’s observation of Europeans’ government-induced delusion is of a piece with Senator Whitehouse’s remark that government healthcare takes a cost burden from the shoulders of European businesses. I’d suggest that, whatever they may believe along the leading edge of Western Culture’s decline, Americans should be proud that they are resistant to scammers and schemers proclaiming how easy it all could be if we’d just accept their offers to give us something for nothing.