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I write this from outside America; a Londoner, and a European. One thing that has struck me in recent debates about Trump, Brexit, and the wider questions of economics, society, and healthcare is a statement I've heard from several Americans:

"America is a Capitalist country. We are not Socialist."

So the government does not pay for people's healthcare, infrastructure (or whatever we were discussing). This very binary idea of what being capitalist means threatens a slow collapse into social unrest and, historically, revolutions. Once poverty affects life expectancy, you are down to the basics of raw humanity. People get angry and desperate, and being rich becomes uncomfortable.

In the UK, where we all have free healthcare, many people find it bizarre to see such U.S. opposition to basic healthcare for everyone. It seems barbaric, not "Capitalist."

Bottom line: If economic factors keep wages from rising, then the rich who are getting richer need to recognize their responsibility to those who are getting poorer. But none of this will happen while economically ultra-conservative billionaires run America. Instead we will see an increase in poverty, and the death not only of dreams and aspirations, but also of people.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

2 hours ago - Technology

Tech companies worry about becoming targets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tech employees are on high alert about their own personal safety as their employers roll out policies to ban or limit the reach of far-right extremists angry over former President Donald Trump's defeat.

Why it matters: As tech companies impose aggressive policies after the Capitol riot, employees will be the target of vitriol from aggrieved people who think tech and the media are conspiring to silence Trump and conservatives more broadly.

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