Fewer than half think themselves Muslims first and Americans second, compared to 81 per cent in Britain.
Yet America is, by any measurable standards, far more “Islamophobic” than Britain, with far more public criticism and mockery of that religion.
In place of the American Dream, Britain has the European Nightmare, a welfare system that disincentives assimilation and breeds resentment.
Welfare states were designed for fairy ancient, largely homogenous European countries in the retirement stage of civilisation; but combined with open borders, as Milton Friedman predicted, welfare is unsustainable, socially divisive and potentially dangerous.
The Americans have every right to despair at the strange, self-destructive behaviour of their ally.
But don’t get too smug, Americans — Dennis Prager pens a classic:
The welfare state enables — and thereby produces — people whose preoccupations become more and more self-centered as time goes on:
How many benefits will I receive from the state?
How much will the state pay for my education?
How much will the state pay for my health care and retirement?
What is the youngest age at which I can retire?
How much vacation time can I get each year?
How many days can I call in sick and get paid?
How many months can I claim paternity- or maternity-care money?
The list gets longer with each election of a left-wing party. And each entitlement becomes a “right,” as the Left transforms entitlements into the language of “rights” as quickly as possible.
Note that even people who have never been on welfare tend to adopt by (I’m misusing this word, I know) osmosis, the “welfare” mentality of the culture around them.
In Canada, as a friend of mine remarked the other day, you can actually get fired for being too competent, because it makes your boss and fellow (lazy) employees look bad. Another friend was recently informed that he was “too articulate” to get a job as… a Communications Director.
The general Canadian attitude towards work is: “Look, I show up at 9 AM (more or less) and work until 5 (usually). Jezuz, what more do you want?!”
The white trash Canadian dream isn’t to start your own business, but to win the lottery.
I link to Adam Carolla stuff a lot at this blog, for various reasons. One of those is, he was raised by a hippie New Age welfare mom and barely graduated from his “Billy Jack” alternative high school. He worked crappy jobs until his 30th birthday loomed and he figured he’d better get his act together. Now he’s a “literal millionaire,” as he likes to phrase it (a lot.)
Among other things (like a recent New York Times bestseller, a forthcoming show on the Speed Channel and a national stand up comedy tour) Carolla now has the #1 podcast on iTunes. But he only started podcasting after he was fired from his highly rated L.A. radio job due to a format change. He got 10 months severance, and his non-compete clause forbade him from working in broadcasting during that time.
For money. Nobody said anything about doing a free podcast at his own (considerable) expense, from his garage.
All that to say that those who look on in wonder at Carolla’s perfectionism and daunting work ethic might be surprised to hear him tell a recent interviewer (language warning is a given with Carolla) that that 10 month severance package represented a less painful iteration of “a dream I’d had since I was a kid. That I would fall off a ladder on a job site and get to collect disability.”
Even someone who is as solid a libertarian capitalist as Carolla (albeit an unschooled one), who has as many projects on the go, wasn’t immune from the siren call of the “check at the end of the month” and the wasted, easy life it promises.
You don’t have to be steeped in welfare culture to have this mindset. (For instance, you can just happen to be Irish.) But the welfare culture drags down far more people than the numbers reflected on the rolls alone.