I'm beginning to get a good idea of how time, taxes and productivity work together. Socialism and inefficiency don't mix. I mean that in the sense that without much higher productivity than we now have, it's impossible to fund massive social programs. That doesn't mean that those programs are a bad idea, they're just ahead of their time.
I'm no expert but it seems like people focus on median income much more than per capita GDP. I'm pretty sure that as GDP goes up (I'd argue exponentially Technological Singularity
) we'll be better able to afford to pay for nationalized health care. Especially if there IS a wealth divide because of progressive taxation. Wow, someone else must have considered this idea before. A wealth divide, combined with sufficient productivity and progressive taxation can lead to a stable, healthy society. That's my wacky theory anyway.
Another note, I read something about the reasons for Europe's high unemployment. It boils down to vacation time more than the social welfare system.
What if... efficiency grew so high due to robots and smart software systems that the cost of goods was reduced to the point that everybody could have free healthcare and people would only have to work if they chose to. That'd be great. Everybody with a job would love their job or they would just quit.
I think the problem is relativism A theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.
The "impovershed" in America are really a lot more wealthy than most of the population of the rest of the world. We have crime and riots and rampant materialism (I'm guilty of it) not because people don't have material posessions but because those posessions aren't as good as their neighbor's.