America, land of contrast

Lakeland, CT July 2013
Someone in our riders group told me today: ” Philippe, I am going to destroy brick by brick your love for America. You see the American dream, I will show you the American nightmare”… Well , well, bring it on, I answered.
Actually it´s a no brainer.Everybody knows that Detroit filed bankrupcy, that Obamacare will take years to be implemented, that political dialogue is at a stalemate, that Zimmerman’s acquittal raises again the racial issue, that the economic recovery is shaky, that two third of the population are overweight, that drug consumption hits a record high, that guns sales are not controled, that the school system is largely inefficient…what else? there is a laundry list of dramatic issues in this country. It is not Switzerland, it is not Swede, Norway, Danemark, these peaceful societies that no one ever mentions in the press, because there is hardly ever anything to mention.
America is a land of contrast where the worst and the best coexist.The dream and the nightmare.
The dream of the ones who made it, the nightmare of the ones who cannot make it. This is true everywhere, but the difference with Europe is that here in America sociaĺ and economic safety nets are much smaller. Therefore when you cannot make it, State aids woń´t help you, or in proportions that cannot compare with the European model. It is a harsh society. But how long will Europe be able to afford it´s generosity? We riders love effort: ” no pain, no gain ” is our motto. But solidarity is also one of our core values: no one left behind. It would be so great to have a society ruled by bikers, where solidarity and generosity would be at the heart of common good, but where only those who push their pedals like we do , would be handed out a generous help. Unfortunately at the level of a nation it is impossible to sort out the moochers and the ones in real need. So there are two models: the French one which generously pays for everybody, and the American one that pays as little as possible. As always truth must be somewhere in the middle, and that would be the scandinavian model?

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