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Old 07-07-2003, 02:58 PM   #16
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Originally posted by verte76
I don't think the guy answers the criticism that the U.S. is a very materialistic society. I'll be damned if it's the only country on the planet with a materialism problem.
Oh, I agree. As I said in another thread, my uncle from Namibia is visiting and he keeps saying just how materialistic and plastic a society we live in. Not just the States or Canada either, but it's astounding how we need 14 brands of peach flavoured yogurt of how we just throw things away or air condition our houses until they're in a state of permafrost. I don't think most of us even notice something like that until a person living a very different reality points it out.
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Old 07-07-2003, 03:06 PM   #17
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11. FREE HEALTHCARE!! WHOOP!
Wait a minute...thats Canada...
*runs off enjoying her free healthcare* :P

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Old 07-07-2003, 03:15 PM   #18
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*hugs her free healthcare*
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Old 07-07-2003, 03:19 PM   #19
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*screams at the lack of ANY healthcare*
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Old 07-07-2003, 03:30 PM   #20
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*screams at the lack of ANY healthcare*
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Old 07-07-2003, 03:57 PM   #21
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Re: Re: 10 Things for the USA to be Proud Of

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Originally posted by anitram

6) In America the destiny of the young is not given to them but created by them.

Yes and no, but the family you are born into can put you at a great advantage OR disadvantage right at the start.
[/B]
That may be true, however, we still live in a society where children can do better than their ancestors. The opportunity is there. I have worked hard to put myself through college. I joined the service to help pay my way. I worked the 12-AM-8AM shift 40 Hours a week to pay for college. I paid for my own apartment, my own bills, my own health care and my own schooling. I had ZERO support from my family.

I do not knock that background has something to do with it, however, I could very easily continued to pump gas and party all the time like I was when I felt sorry for myself, and the direction my life had taken.

The disadvantages that this society has are nothing compared to the disadvantages of other people from other countries. And that is what the author is saying. In case you did not notice, the author came from India, where in the introduction, he points out that his life would have been dramatically different had he not come to the US and became a citizen.

[Q]n most countries in the world, your fate and your identity are handed to you; in America, you determine them for yourself. America is a country where you get to write the script of your own life. Your life is like a blank sheet of paper, and you are the artist. This notion of being the architect of your own destiny is the incredibly powerful idea that is behind the worldwide appeal of America. Young people especially find irresistible the prospect of authoring the narrative of their own lives.[/Q]
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:28 PM   #22
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"The poorest Americans have TV sets, microwave ovens, and cars."

Wrong. When I was in America last time, I saw people living on the streets, sleeping under bridges. They neither have the power plug for a microwave oven, let alone a T.V.

"Admittedly tycoons are not typical, but no country has created a better ladder than America for people to ascend from modest circumstances to success."

Right, I guess. Other countries have pretty nice possibilities as well, but it has to be noted the United States offer a lot of possibilities for entrepreneurs.

"Work and trade are respectable in America, which is not true elsewhere"

Wrong. In India, work and trade are respectable. In most of the world most forms of work and trade are highly respected.

"But the American founders altered this moral hierarchy. They established a society in which the life of the businessman, and of the people who worked for him, would be a noble calling."

Wrong. Italy, France and England had that kind of society before. Countries like China maybe even before of Europe.

"In the American view, there is nothing vile or degraded about serving your customers either as a CEO or as a waiter"

Also in Europe, we donīt have a problem with serving customers.

"The ordinary life of production and supporting a family is more highly valued in the United States than in any other country"

Wrong. Does the U.S. state pay a monthly sum to all mothers to support their children? Maybe yes, donīt ask me, but in Europe we invented to do so. We call it child care.

"America has achieved greater social equality than any other society: True, there are large inequalities of income and wealth in America. In purely economic terms, Europe is more egalitarian. But Americans are socially more equal than any other people, and this is unaffected by economic disparities. Tocqueville noticed this egalitarianism a century and a half ago, but it is if anything more prevalent today. For all his riches, Bill Gates could not approach the typical American and say, "Here's a $100 bill. I'll give it to you if you kiss my feet." Most likely the person would tell Gates to go to hell! The American view is that the rich guy may have more money, but he isn't in any fundamental sense better than anyone else"

Heh? I do not get it. Tocqueville and Bill Gates may be entertaining examples (even though I still donīt get it), but in my opinion, "purely economical terms" count. Oh, and by the way, social equality was achieved to a certain degree in the former U.S.S.R. - with all its mistakes, and even if people were also hungering there. But social equality after all, thats a part of what communism theoretically was about - (not practically), wasnīt it?

"Although protesters rail against the American version of technological capitalism at trade meetings around the world, in reality the American system has given citizens many more years of life"

Wrong and misleading. The American version of "technological capitalism" has nothing to do with life expectancy. Be thankful to the doctors and pharma research, the clean water, the inventor of penicillin, when you cherish longer life. All of that is far from being exclusively American.

Without Freud, youīd neither have psychatrists. Get a clue.

"America is a country where you get to write the script of your own life. This notion of being the architect of your own destiny is the incredibly powerful idea that is behind the worldwide appeal of America."

Thatīs true. More chances of being the architect of your own destiny in America - thatīs what I hear. This is the part about the American way of life that I love.

"even to the extent of enacting policies that give legal preference in university admissions, jobs, and government contracts to members of minority groups"

In Europe, we have those policies as well, especially regarding gender issues.

"And surely African Americans like Jesse Jackson are vastly better off living in America than they would be if they were to live in, say, Ethiopia or Somalia."

What a cruel cynicism! I really think this sentence is written by a racist - why doesnīt he add: "say, Ethiopia or Somalia, you know, those weird countries where they got civil wars and die of hunger and AIDS"

"Visitors to places like New York are amazed to see the way in which Serbs and Croatians, Sikhs and Hindus, Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants, Jews and Palestinians, all seem to work and live together in harmony"

True. I guess New Yorkers are pretty openminded. San Francisco is, too, as far as I remember. I donīt know what about the Hindus and Palestinians in the suburbs of Nashville, since the author fails to address that.

"Twice in the 20th century, the United States saved the world: first from the Nazi threat, then from Soviet totalitarianism (...)After destroying Germany (...)"

Wrong. There were 4 allies and the U.S.S.R. lost 20 millions of soldiers. The Soviet Union was politically and economically collapsing, without anyone being saved.


So lets see... that makes about 6 wrong, about 4 neither right nor wrong but discussable, and 3 points right.

Oh I guess the main thing is he sells a whole lot of that shit. Getting rich by writing stupid, badly researched, misleading pamphlets. America, my land of dreams the land of believers I might really make a fortune there...
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:37 PM   #23
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Re: 10 Things for the USA to be Proud Of

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
[Q]
1) America provides an amazingly good life for the ordinary guy.
2) America offers more opportunity and social mobility than any other country, including the countries of Europe.
3) Work and trade are respectable in America, which is not true elsewhere.
4) America has achieved greater social equality than any other society.
5) People live longer, fuller lives in America.
6) In America the destiny of the young is not given to them but created by them.
7) America has gone further than any other society in establishing equality of rights.
8) America has found a solution to the problem of religious and ethnic conflict that continues to divide and terrorize much of the world.
9) America has the kindest, gentlest foreign policy of any great power in world history.
10) America, the freest nation on earth, is also the most virtuous nation on earth.
[/Q]

Before I get lynched, someone emailed me a link to this article. I thought it would spark some good discussion in here. I would read the article to understand where the author is coming from.


http://www.nationalreview.com/commen...ouza070203.asp
I think this is copy paste from a karl marx website.
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:38 PM   #24
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Re: Re: 10 Things for the USA to be Proud Of

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Originally posted by Rono
I think this is copy paste from a karl marx website.
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:43 PM   #25
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Re: Re: Re: 10 Things for the USA to be Proud Of

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Just chance America in the USSR, 30 years ago,...
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:44 PM   #26
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Karl Marx on crack, maybe.
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:54 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
[BOh I guess the main thing is he sells a whole lot of that shit. Getting rich by writing stupid, badly researched, misleading pamphlets. America, my land of dreams the land of believers I might really make a fortune there... [/B]
I do not completely agree with you HipHop, surprise, surprise

However, that said, one thing I completely agree with you on is the fact that here in the States we need to better explain the role the Soviet Union played in the defeat of Hitler. That is one area we could improve on and I take issue with the author on this take as well.
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Old 07-07-2003, 05:01 PM   #28
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Is it only my last paragraph, your actual quote, that you didnīt agree with, I can live with that
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Old 07-07-2003, 05:10 PM   #29
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Re: Re: Re: 10 Things for the USA to be Proud Of

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Originally posted by Dreadsox
The disadvantages that this society has are nothing compared to the disadvantages of other people from other countries. And that is what the author is saying. [/Q]
I understand what he is saying, I just don't believe it's a credible argument in light of the fact of what we are comparing the USA to.

Obviously the standard of living and the disadvantages in the USA are nothing like those in Burkina Faso. But nobody is going to sit there and tell me that living in say Canada or the UK or the Netherlands of Norway, we are somehow less advantaged than those in America. It's simply untrue. So the real comparison must be how well the western world stacks up, not how well we stack up against countries with practically no economies or infrastructure. And despite the hype, I've never found America to be any more impressive than a dozen other countries in the world that I've visited. JMO, of course.
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Old 07-07-2003, 05:15 PM   #30
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Re: Re: Re: Re: 10 Things for the USA to be Proud Of

Quote:
Originally posted by anitram

And despite the hype, I've never found America to be any more impressive than a dozen other countries in the world that I've visited. JMO, of course.
I still think that the author is saying looking at the ten things listed, all together, top to bottom. There are many good things about the US, and I think declaring the US number one in many of the areas is silly, but the list as a whole has the US doing very well at least according to the author, an immigrant to this country.
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