I follow the Twitterings of Archduchess Walburga of Austria, Countess Douglas, who describes herself "as a European moderate in the Swedish Parliament. So why is the daughter of Archduke Otto waxing lyrical about the GOP convention, and stating that she feels at home when she listened to Virginia's Governor Bob McDonnell.
There is no thing as a moderate in the GOP these days. I would suspect that many of the delegates at the GOP convention would not be able to find Sweden on the map.
Archduchess Walburga makes her home in Sweden, where she is guaranteed health care, day care for her child, she won't have to worry about losing her home in order to pay for her health care as a senior citizen. Even in these days of austerity in Europe, Sweden is a success story.
Swedes have a high standard of living They pay more in taxes than the average American. But they do not have to worry about health care or education. The disabled and the elderly have no worries. Pregnant women do not have to save vacation and sick days in order to take a few weeks off after having a baby as millions of American women must do because the Family Leave act allows for 12 weeks off without pay, but this usually kicks in after the vacation and sick days have been used. Most American women cannot afford to take from their jobs for 12 weeks without pay.
I am absolutely appalled by Walburga's enthusiasm for Governor McDonnell. As an employee of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I would like Walburga to know that I have not had a raise in five years. The Commonwealth of Virginia used to contribute 5% of my income into the Virginia Retirement System. A nice perk because it is rare to get a raise, but Governor McDonnell decided that it would better for the already financially strapped state employees to contribute the five percent. It comes out of my paycheck. In other words, my employer contributes nothing to my retirement.
I sincerely doubt that Walburga would support such an action in Sweden. Earlier this year, Governor McDonnell vetoed legislation that would have ensured that every child in Virginia would have access to a screening test for critical congenital heart disease.
More recently, the governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed "Virginia children living in kinship care arrangements with the educational stability they need to endure a family crisis."
There are far less dollars for health care for children in Virginia.
For a time, Virginia had a reputation for being a well-run state. Our universities are among the best in the USA, if not the world. Tim Kaine ran this state well.
Would the Archduchess be willing to give up her 25 plus days of paid vacation, plus a paid Christmas break in order to live here in the only western country that does not have legislated vacation time. Would she be willing to have on the average of 12 days per year plus a few federal holidays -- unlike other countries the US does not have any national holidays. We have federal holidays, created for federal workers, but many employers, public and private, offer some or most of the federal holidays to their employees. The amount of vacation is at the discretion of the employer, but there are no laws that require an employer to provide a paid vacation. The GOP is not going to jump on the wagon for legislated vacation.
Sweden may have many "socialized benefits," but it is a very capitalistic country. More than 25% of Swedes have a second home in the country. They get to see more of the world than Americans, who spend more time at work, even when we do take a vacation, it is usually a long weekend.
Many of us live in Right to Work states. Sounds good, but it Right to Work means an employer can fire you without just cause. It also means we can move from one job to another. Americans tend to do this. We move from one state to another for a job, and then change jobs again. A new job means new benefits, but not always better. I had four weeks vacation at my last job. I have been at this job for more than four years, and I get 12 vacation days, every year, for the first five years. After my fifth anniversary, I will start accruing time toward three weeks of vacation per year.
I wonder what the Archduchess would say about trans vaginal probes. How can she, an educated woman who lives in a progressive country, where no one has to worry about decent housing, health care and education, support a party that wants to ban all abortions and gay marriage, and make further cuts that will lead to more poverty.
Would she also approve of Sweden increasing its defense budget, and sending its men and women into harm's way?
I thank God every day that McDonnell cannot run for a second term.
After the convention is over, Archduchess Walburga can go back to Sweden and tell everyone how wonderful Governor McDonnell is as the governor of Virginia ... she can say this knowing full well that she does not have to worry about her health care or her retirement. We in Virginia do have to worry thanks to this incompentent man.