Says Paul Krugman regarding Germany’s moral outrage at the imbalances between the industrious Germans and frivolous Greeks…
“The difference mainly, is that we [in the "United" states] think of ourselves as a nation, and blithely accept fiscal measures that routinely transfer large sums to the poorer states without even thinking of it as a regional issue…”
The economic and cultural differences between, say Alabama and Mississippi and New England and the Middle Atlantic states are huge and yet the routine redistribution of the proceeds of American enterprise as whole is largely taken for granted by U.S. citizens. It is the taken-for-grantedness of this redistribution of wealth that constitutes the moral center of gravity that makes the American system of governance so remarkable. Despite our many deeply felt differences, it is this selflessness that makes the idea of “We the People” a “WE” in a real and practical sense.
The benefits of morally grounded governance cannot be calculated using a double entry accounting system that tallies debits and credits. There is no calculus of “fairness” in it. It is in the final analysis, a model of “one for all and all for one” — a union of human beings who share a morally grounded commitment to one another’s practical welfare — the material and spiritual well-being of all.
Europe has a long way to go toward making this moral premise a taken for granted reality, but wealthy right wing ideologues and their dazed and confused followers are very close to undoing all that has been achieved right here in the home of “We the people.”