I am staying at the very fashionable Clift Hotel in San Francisco. But as I come out of this hotel I find hundreds of homeless people, many of them begging and I have a hard time enjoying my walks. I lived in NYC for many years and there were as many beggars in NYC as they are here or more but now that I have spent 12 years in Madrid where I am hardly every approached by a beggar I cannot but wonder why begging is so common in the large cities of America. Think of it. This is a country who spent half a trillion dollars invading Iraq, some say with the best of intentions, others are not so sure. But even if the intentions were good I find it very hard to understand how the people who run this country do not see more fit spending half a trillion dollars providing health care and in general treating the bottom 20% of the population better.  To me the richest countries in the world are not the countries in which the rich live better but the countries in which the bottom 20% lives better as if the botton 20% is not doing that badly then everyone else is doing very well.  Many people in America and some in Europe criticize taxation in Europe but taxation in Spain is similar to that of USA and because we don´t spend so much money in the military we have so much more to spend in more reasonable endeavors.

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DomPierre on June 24, 2007  · 

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