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Opinion, Sami Haidar

Introducing Sami

Hello all,

My name is Sami and I am a freshman at Stern. Aside from U.S. politics, I will be writing and posting about foreign relations and European affairs. As you may have seen from my bio, I was born in the UK and I’ve also spent a lot of time traveling across Europe. Last summer I worked as an intern for a British MP who was a member of the Labour Party. I did all sorts of tasks in his office, from writing letters to or on behalf of constituents, to actually helping design a campaign that was tailored to the people of his district. All the time I spent working in his office, along with the months I’ve spent in England, have made me what some people would say very leftist. In England, the National Health Service and socialized medicine is an accepted part of government and society. Subsidized benefits and free higher education are concepts that may be alien to us here in the United States but are established practices in Europe. I actually remember a constituent complaining to me once about how she would have to start paying £2,000 a year for her son’s college tuition since the government had scaled back student benefits and it was no longer completely free. I almost burst out laughing when I tried comparing that to the tuition at NYU! In England, these benefits are always taken for granted and I wonder all the time, why can’t we have institutions like that here? Why is there still such a strong phobia about everything that the government gets involved in?

Ironically enough, with all my talk of government intervention and welfare and high taxes, I am still a student at a business school. I’m as curious as you are in figuring out how I’ll balance my political beliefs with my practical ones.

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