Sunday, September 04, 2005

Regarding "Amid tears and protests, French evict squatters", IHT, September 3-4, 2005: French authorities have shown us what capitalism with a human face looks like: if you have poor immigrants living in subhuman conditions, and four fires ( at the time of writing this letter ) kill more than 60 of them, you simply force them to live on the street instead. In Holland, a social housing system that is far from perfect but can nevertheless teach most European countries a lesson or two about what social housing should look like, is attacked by EU commissioner Smit-Kroes ( a Dutchwoman herself ) for not being competitive - i.e. capitalist - enough. There are a lot of bad things to say about socio-economic policies in the US, but at least Americans do not try to sell 'their' capitalism as more humane and compassionate than Europe's. Europeans love to criticize every aspect of American society, and much of their criticism is aimed at the right issues. Still, I think Europeans should try to find the beam in their own eye before they start thinking of pointing at the many motes in the eyes of the Americans. That German political parties exploit Katrina for their own political interests becomes even more ironic in this context.

No comments: