Friday’s show is again at the spectacular Austin City Limits Studio. This is a question which Americans are definitely talking about. A range of news stories from elsewhere suggests you are too. Let us your perspective.
From conversations Ros has had with homeless veterans, to others we’ve had with Obama-supporting professionals, the insistence on individual responsibility of people and companies runs deep here.
Is the American dream creating a problem?
Some argue that this commitment to the American dream – that anyone can achieve anything, that we all get what we deserve in return for our efforts – may actually be undermining America’s society and economy, that problems are created because of the lack of willingness to help needy people and companies.
Fair comment? Or left-wing nonsense? Does government support create a culture of dependency or is it the government’s duty in any country to help out in a time of need, whether it be individuals in need of unemployment benefit or big companies wanting a bail out?
Increas on US unemployment benefit
The big story here is that President Bush has just agreed to extend unemployment benefits after weekly jobless claims hit a 16-year high and a possible bail out for the car industry has sparked heated debate.
But this is not just an American concern -
In Jordan Queen Rania says that unemployment is a ticking bomb and that it was up to the business community to create more jobs for young people.
In France President Sarkozy has launched a 20 billion Euro fund to help save French industries from collapse.
In Australia the government has announced a policy of ‘tough love’ towards long-term welfare claimers and one of Australia’s richest men says giving money to charity to pass on to some poor is ‘letting no-hopers survive for no reason’.
On her blog this nurse says that in a welfare state like the UK “Life seems to be about what can be done for you, what your rights are, who you can blame for things.”
This article argues that in Nigeria many people believe that it’s the government alone who should be responsible for alleviating poverty.
But this report from South Africa says there’s no evidence of dependence on government help there and even the welfare recipients in south Africa have a very positive attitude towards work.
If you’re outside the States, are you comfortable with the support the state offers those in need – the unemployed, disabled, unhealthy and unfortunate – or does the extent to which your government will step in create a culture of dependency and irresponsibility?