Can you please discuss the history of Social Democracy in the other Industrialized countries?

The history of social policies, e.g, minimum wage, social security, weekends, vacations, et al, are quite easy to research as an English speaker for the US and UK. FDR, Churchill and labor/labour unions and the roles they played are quite evident. One can find, e.g., the German vacation law, Bundesurlaubsgesetz, online, but there is little history to its evolution. The higher functioning Social Democracies have commonalities in regards to minimum wage, paid vacation, social welfare, paid sick leave, paid maternity leave et al, that the US does not. In many countries, there are very few people that work more than 35-40 hours a week as well. I was wondering how and when these and other high living standard laws became implemented.

I really feel that, aside from some kind of post economic society, the unpeeling of the disinfo propaganda of Social Democracy needs to play a crucial role in saving our planet or is at least a step toward a post economic society. I would encourage you to associate the first world living standard with Social Democracy. The word didn't exist, nor did a middle class society sans a plague or other disaster, prior to New Deal politics. It's so frustratingly ironic that there is so much anti-Social Democracy propaganda, yet the time when people think America was at its greatest was its time of strong Social Democratic policies and as they have been dismantled, we are slowly but surely returning to pre-New Deal disparity and a third world living standard again, like America was prior to the New Deal.

I wrote to Sanders at the beginning of his primary urging him not to reference Denmark or Scandinavia to illustrate his policies. Most America can't find Scandinavia on a map, let alone know what life is like there. Even Hillary doesn't seem to know what the rest of the world is like.

I encouraged him, rather, to be the make America Great candidate, before Trump started saying it. After all, America used to have non-profit health care (like Germany), free or affordable university and four weeks paid vacation per year like most the rest of the world. Why not appeal to and inform people that America used to be great not because of minorities, but because of social policy?

Please go into detail about countries in Europe, Canada, Australia, NZ, Japan, et al and how and when they all seemed to adopt these policies. What movements occurred, what organizing factors played a role, which parties enabled these laws, and how these policies became popular and thus demanded. Aside from examples like healthcare under Bismark and 19 century minimum wage in NZ, it seems the really strong social laws in Europe didn't really start taking off until the 60s. It's as if as they started to adopt America and England's social policies, America and the UK started dismantling theirs. How did Denmark end up with 90% + union membership and thus a world high 80% middle class society? In America, thanks largely to you, it is easy to see the history of organizing, the Haymarket affair, CLU and Knights of Labor parade in NY, and the pressure of the CIO, Socialist and Communist parties. Ironically, the rest of the world seemed to surpass America in social legislation, yet there is little information to be found on how they organized and succeeded in passing said policy.  Is there anything that can be learned from their victories in these and other areas?

Best Regards

P.S. Since the rest of the world seems to be such an abstract to Americans, I'm starting a Youtube channel. I live in Germany as a US expat. I'm attempting to de-spin the deep seated propaganda of Americans and help warn others not to go the same path. As soon as I get a descent camera, I will start interviewing and showing everyday life here. It seems, for the most part, all you get is tourism videos from abroad, but not a look at the ordinary living experience of the people.

I will be going on a journey of discovery to find out questions like I have just asked and find out how these policies began and why they are not eroded like they were in America. I am also starting documentary type educational videos to show what live was like before and after the New Deal, and it's unfortunate demise, in order to correct the mass amnesia America seems to be suffering. I am not going for a "singing to the choir" approach as most youtubers and alternative media do, rather a, reach the uninitiated, more emotional approach. As Chris Hedges has explained, people aren't politically motivated by intellect, rather emotion. We've been informing for decades, it's time to reach people, not just the wonks, emotionally. We need to redirect the dissatisfaction to it's real cause and that is the fact that America no longer invests in it's society and thus has lost its middle class.

There is also little knowledge of the schism of the left in America. MLK focused equally on social and labor issues, but the hippy left seemed to throw out the baby of organized labor of their parents with the bathwater of conformity, materialism and lack of social justice. I'll be addressing tactics that haven't been working yet are still tried over and over and offering alternative ways of organizing and reaching not just other wonks, but the politically uninitiated. 

The one video that I completed used a clip from one of your speeches. Please let me know if you would rather I not use it.

Showing 1 reaction

How would you tag this suggestion?
Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Abroad Perspective
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-09-11 17:36:48 -0400