My next class was great, though, to do with the comparative analysis of Welfare States.
I’ve been interested in their fate particularly since the debate about aggregate S&D and austerity became prevalent in the past few years. Indeed, the argument between Keynesian and Austrian economics is still raging and people are watching Europe and America keenly to see how they turn out. The big debates in both America and Europe are basically in what best gets their economies back on track? Aggregate spending or austerity?
In America, the healthcare debate is all about this. In Europe, austerity is all about this, with fears for their demographic future. And there’s no clear way out.
So that’s why I wanted to take this class, in order to understand it better, and it looks like it’ll do just that.
It seems fairly clear where the professor stands. She made a point to note that spending has little to do with quality: the USA outspends everyone per capita, and yet their healthcare system still has the highest infant mortality rate of the OECD countries, and also has the greatest inequality rating of those same countries. Politics affect social policy a lot more than anything else, so it’s worth looking into.
She made a point of saying that Obama tried to change this, and yet people were fighting very hard against it. She tried to be fair with her words, but it was clear that, especially as a European, she just didn’t see the sense of why people would fight so hard against something in their interest.
Neither do I, really.