It wouldn't be cool or professional to count the eradication of smallpox as part of the modern condition..." From Saturday by Ian McEwan
This is the most extreme example that I can recall of socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor. Bernie Sanders (US Senator from Vermont) regarding the bailout of the U.S. financial system - 2008
|St Kilda, Melbourne, OZ|
I spent just under three weeks there, and seasoned New Yorker that I am, I succumbed. Succumed to the appreciation - as I always do - of a caring state.
And even when I haven't just come back from OZ, it always puzzles me that the terms "ObamaCare" and "Nanny State" are meant to be derogatory. For my Australian readers, "ObamaCare" is a pejorative term refering to the healthcare legislation proposed by President Barack Obama.
What's so bad about a society that cares for the unfortunate, the disadvantaged? What is so bad about progress? The reasons people are unhappy with change has been analyzed and explained far better than I could ever write. But the difference in "care" between the two societies, Australian and American never fails to astound me.
|Vietnamese Restaurant Menu, Victoria Street, Melbourne|
Too true, but now it is Australia that I have left.
Upon returning, people, New Yorkers, asked me the usual questions. This time, one of the most bizarre was, "What's the food like there?" Are you kidding? I thought - but was too polite to answer. Melbourne must have some of the best restaurants in the world. And though you can get nearly every possible cuisine in New York, there's nothing like Victoria Street Richmond in Melbourne, where Vietnamese restaurants occupy almost every inch of real-estate. So what if the spelling on the menus isn't the best; the food it to die for.
In my last post on leaving New York I wrote,
"The place, usually a city, appears to magically take on its best features, its quintessential being. And I wonder, "why am I leaving?" This is especially so when the city is New York."
And so when two weeks ago when I left Australia, I wondered, "What am I doing, leaving the place of my birth, my education, my friends, my family?"
Usually the period of adjustment, moving from OZ to the US takes a day or two. This time, it's taken longer. I wonder why?
Is it because I'm older? Because of changes in my family? Because of the threat of having Newt Gingrich as president of the US? I survived Bush; why not Gingrich? Well I know the answer to that ... but you know what I mean.
I'm here now, and Australia is too fast becoming a memory.
A memory in need of refreshing.