To answer your original question (as a non-American) -- is America the greatest nation on earth?
On some fields yes, on some no. Perhaps it's a manner of debate if you're the greatest nation on more fields than any other nation.
Now a bit more specific:
Yes and no. You also have hilarious amounts of debt. And your economy is not as stable as many others. Take away the leading role of the dollar, and it doesn't look so rosy anymore. Also, your producing sector is much worse than in case of other countries (such as Germany ).
Also, while there may be more money in America than anywhere else (not counting tiny countries such as Luxemburg, which basically are just big banks with a border around them, that provide citizenship for its employees), it is not as well distributed as in other countries which have a little bit less. While America is perhaps the one large Western country with the biggest GDP, it's perhaps also the one Western country with the largest number of poor people, and the one Western country with the worst poverty problems.
On the GINI Index, that measures the distribution of wealth (and 0 means total equality, while 1 means total inequality), America ranks at ca. 0.4, IIRC. Canada, New Zealand, Australia and much of Europe is somewhere between 0.2 and 0.35.
But here too, it goes what was said about the distribution of wealth. America is the one Western country with the very best schools and elite universities. But it is also the one Western country with the largest number of very bad and below average schools and universities.
In many European countries, such as Germany, most universities are solid average. IIRC, there are only two or three German universities that appear on top 20 lists. But on the other side, you don't find many genuinely bad universities in Germany either. And Scandinavia is worldwide leading when it comes to quality education in schools, only challenged by some schools in East Asia (see PISA studies).
Yes. But that's past. Today, America does not produce remotely as much anymore as it consumes.
100 points on that field!
Again, 100 points! No need for French bashing, though. Rather bash today's Germans.
(...)Woah, level headed commentary with fair criticism?Agreed on that field. Though you have increasingly strong competition in East Asia.
One can argue that the manned moon landing was mostly a not really economically useful publicity stunt during the Cold War. For the sake of scientific research for reasonable costs, unmanned space exploration is more feasible. And on that field, the Russians, Europe are not bad too and China is catching up.
But let's not be a nitpicker here. 100 points for the moon landing!
Strong disagreement. In fact, most Europeans make fun of this American notion, as America is the one Western country where it's most difficult these days to escape poverty, and nowhere else in the West, prospects are so bad for poor people. Once poor, always poor -- that's more likely happening in America than in Western Europe, Canada or Australia.
100 points on this field!
100 points again! Related to America's exceptional military power and capacities, as well as the dominance of the US dollar as international currency.
I'd say 80 points on that field. You certainly dominate pop culture in the West. But especially in non-Western countries, local cultures are still very strong and can easily compete with the American influence.
There's a rarity!