Essay Standards Living

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It was the polar opposite of Afghanistan: a peaceful, prosperous land where nearly everybody seemed to enjoy a good life, on the job and in the family.It felt quite a lot like stepping back into that other violent, impoverished world, where anxiety runs high and people are quarrelsome.I had, in fact, come back to the flip side of Afghanistan and Iraq: to what America’s wars have done to America.Ducking the Subject One night I tuned in to the Democrats’ presidential debate to see if they had any plans to restore the America I used to know.To my amazement, I heard the name of my peaceful mountain hideaway: Norway.It’s true that they didn’t work much, not by American standards anyway.In the US, full-time salaried workers supposedly laboring 40 hours a week actually average 49, with almost 20 percent clocking more than 60.The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s annual report on international well-being, for example, measures 11 factors, ranging from material conditions like affordable housing and employment to quality of life matters like education, health, life expectancy, voter participation and overall citizen satisfaction.Year after year, all the Nordic countries cluster at the top, while the United States lags far behind.That’s two concepts combined in a single goal because, as far as they are concerned, you can’t have one without the other.Right there they part company with capitalist America, now the most unequal of all the developed nations, and consequently a democracy no more.


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