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The World Views Our System
Americans are generally insensitive to the way the outside world views our system. Criticism comes not just from the wild men, but from reasonable observers. They have a point.
Yesterday the world was bewildered by the fact that Monica Lewinsky would attract a million viewers on U.S. TV, and that she will become a millionaire.
Today comes the news that nearly 2,000 workers at the Stanford and University of California San Francisco hospitals may lose their jobs as a result of financial problems. The two systems were consolidated to save money, with all that the hardship on workers that this involved. There were protests. Now, instead of the expected profit, the combined system announces a $10.7 million loss.
Hospital workers perform an essential, difficult, and exhausting job. With very few exceptions, they merit society's gratitude. The obvious conclusion is that Monica and her likes win outrageous rewards, while people performing essential services receive outrageous treatment.
It is little wonder that the world has mixed feelings about the U.S. economic boom. Do we have an answer?
Ronald Hilton - 03/05/99