New England?

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a business trip to New England. I really miss the long beaches, the catboats and the wonderful houses in the Mystic Seaport and Cape Cod, not to mention the High Line in New York and Beacon Hill in Boston.

However, there's one thing I can't understand and that's why it's called New England. As I see it, when it comes to water taps (faucets), New England is not that much better than plain England. Even in fairly new buildings, the standard tap seems to be a mixer tap with one spout and one tap for warm and cold water on each side respectively. But it's not uncommon to come across the completely useless model where each tap has a separate spout. In Sweden, nobody in his or her right mind would install such a model, not even the most resolute Anglophile. Instead, the single handle style mixer tap is very common in Sweden, since it is easy to use and also more energy efficient.

While I was doing these reflections during my travel, I also watched the National Democratic convention and the comments to each speech. It then struck me that the politics in the US is very much like it's faucets. It's not easy to get a get a good mix and often you end up with either too hot or too cold. Actually, the best political statement I saw during my stay was from the new Aaron Sorkin series The Newsroom, where the main character does a wonderful monolog on why the US is not the greatest country in the world.

In Sweden, we are considered to have a left wing government no matter which party is dominant. There may actually be some truth in that. Our current government just released its budget bill called Investing in the Future. The media concluded that they had picked up quite a number of the suggestions proposed by the social democrat opposition. Not that any opposition would ever admit or focus on that in their comments, of course.

It might be the case that most politicians in Sweden has read John Rawls and likes his Theory of Justice and his emphasis on maximizing the minimum gain. Although that would be to assume too much, I suppose.

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