Many people casually ask The Frau: So are you going back to Switzerland?
They ask it in a tone you would use to ask someone what they are having for dinner.
But the answer is not as simple as dinner.
The Frau wants to say yes. Rationally, it makes sense to live in a functional democracy, rather than the broken American version, which is headed towards plutocracy.
But the truth is, The Frau doesn’t know yet.
There are still family issues to deal with as well as emotions and futures to consider.
And there are days when The Frau’s parents come over and they go to lunch together. Those days are nice. You don’t get those days overseas.
But, look, Yodelers. Let’s be honest: America is a disaster right now. Most people with an option to go back and live in a functional industrialized country should probably do it, right? There are even articles out there telling us where to move should Trump become president. (Switzerland is number one on the list.)
Here are some of the issues The Frau is struggling with:
The very American healthcare system that saves lives robs people with its greed. In fact, among Americans with health insurance, twenty percent still go bankrupt due to medical bills.
The Frau finds these statistics horrifying. She thinks the richest country in the world should be ashamed of itself.
Instead, some lawmakers push to repeal any progress that’s been made. Instead, the American government refuses to control the prices of healthcare. And prices aren’t reasonable. They’re stratospheric. They’re ridiculous. Even Americans making good salaries worry about financial ruin from health insurance plans that include ever-higher deductibles. Most plans pay 80% but leave you with 20% payments from hospitals whose bills can run in the hundred thousand to million-dollar range. To think The Frau once spent five days in a Swiss hospital and the cost was only $3,000. And Swiss insurance paid it in full. It does make one consider moving back.
Even Vice President Joe Biden worried about paying bills from his son’s bout with cancer. President Obama offered to loan him money. Yes. If our country’s leaders are struggling, what about the average American?
Healthcare is just one issue. There are many others.
The U.S. leads the world in mass shootings.
American politics is broken—even President Obama admitted this Tuesday night.
Only five corporations own the media, distorting information and therefore democracy.
The list goes on.
Look. While the Frau isn’t personally struggling, she knows that in America, it doesn’t take much to create a disaster when you’re part of a system that offers few safety nets and considers healthcare a commodity given to the highest bidder instead of a human right.
But then she looks at her daughter. And her parents. And how they play together every week. And then she cries when she thinks about moving far away again.
So. Back to that question: Are you going back to Switzerland?
Sorry, mitenand, but it’s not black and white.
It’s not rational. It’s emotional.
And it’s not a yes or no answer.
At least, not until a certain looming deadline forces it to be.