True, JW, a scandal that was.
What point that is supposed to make about the advantage or disadvantage of the welfare state, I'm not sure.
The French heat wave, the New Orleans hurricane: both revealed the existence of large strata of vulnerable people whom the country failed to save in an emergency.
In the case of New Orleans, those included the most impoverished of the country.
In the case of France, they included the elderly. Whether those were poor or not, or what their living standards were in non-emergency situations, however, the story doesn't really say one way or another.
The heatwave story is fodder for criticism of an apparently failing health care system. Even more so for criticism of lacking family responsibility: where were their children?
In fact, the French policies I quoted in this thread can be said to actually be a response to the catastrophe you describe. Something to praise rather than deride, in its context?
I dont see, on the other hand, how the massive death of thousands of elderly in a heatwave shows that there is too much investment in the social policies of a welfare state.
In fact, I cant really discern what argument you are making (or the newspaper article, going on your excerpt), beyond a nya-nyah, you-too kind of thing.
"They should look at themselves" remains one of the weakest retorts in the face of criticism.
I wasn't trying to make an argument other than to wonder how Diane can praise the French welfare system ("at least they can provide decent living conditions"). I'm sure you're aware that there are plenty of unbearably hot climates in the U.S. (New Orleans mid-Summer is certainly one of them), but as far as I know, we haven't allowed 15,000+ citizens to die from it. All of the hurricanes of past decades combined wouldn't account for that number of deaths here in the U.S.
Perhaps the point wasn't so much advantage/disadvantage of the welfare state as you infer. In my opinion, Europe in general (and France in particular), serves as a good example of a bad example. Liberalism runs unchecked in Europe for the most part and what the liberals want to do here has already been done in Europe. There's no need to guess about the results of liberal policies concerning welfare, etc. All we have to do is take a good long look at Europe. When we do, we'll be extremely careful what we wish for.