View Poll Results: Is America the greatest country on earth?

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Thread: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

  1. #81
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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    My thoughts: Yes, this is the greatest nation on earth. Below are some of the reasons....


    - We're not sissies - looking at you, France
    Are you sure? I mean, our kids can't are so stressed by seeing a red mark on their tests that they can't function and schools banned red markers. Not that I don't like what you are doing here...but sometimes I wonder if we haven't fallen to far.
    You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    My thoughts: Yes, this is the greatest nation on earth. Below are some of the reasons....

    - We're the richest. We have more money than any other nation on earth and it ain't close.
    - We're the smartest. We have something like over half of the world's Nobel Prize winners. Our universities are the top ranked in the world.
    - We're the most industrial. Modern industry as you know it was invented and perfected in the US of A.
    - We kick ass. Most powerful military in the history of human civilization relative to our contemporaries
    - We're not sissies - looking at you, France
    - We innovate. We invented pretty much everything in existence in the modern world, and that trend is continuing.
    - We sent a man to the moon for christ's sake. That was 50 years ago. No other nation has yet to be able to do it, even today.
    - We don't have stupid royalty or aristocracies. America is the only country on earth where going rags to riches is truly seen as possible.
    - We dominate the global political scene. If America wants something done, such as a treaty, it gets done.
    - Other nations need us more than we need them.
    - We utterly dominate popular culture and the arts - Hollywood baby. ALL the movies that seen by a broad audience are American. We invented rock and roll, the blues, rap, hip hop, and all the modern media. We invented television, and pretty much everything that goes on it.


    I could go on, but that's a start.
    (snicker)
    "I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid people. I meant that stupid people are generally Conservatives."
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  3. #83
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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeside View Post
    I voted "yes". America has always bounced back when put to the test. Now we have to bounce back again from being "fundamentally changed" by Obama. There still is a chance for Hope and Change from his "Hope and Change" failed policies.
    Nah, your fundamental challenge is coming from OPEC flooding the market with cheap oil to make fracking your reserves uneconomical.
    "I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid people. I meant that stupid people are generally Conservatives."
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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capster78 View Post
    I think that history will look back on America as one of the greatest countries on the planet. America has spread its ideals more then any other country on the planet has ever done so. It has lead the world in technology, art, and freedom. And in the past, it has tried its best to export that freedom of expression to other people. However, America has not been the same since after WW2. After WW2 there has been a deliberate try from the liberals to destroy this country. This disease that has infected this country comes directly from Russian influence. They have infiltrated our country and have worked to destroy it thru the feminist/Marxist movement to the anti-war/anti-America movement. Americans are completely ignorant to this, but as someone that can see this from the outside, it is quite obvious what is going on. The feminist/anti-war movement is a product of Russian influence to destabilize our country..
    Thanks, I had a giggle when I read your post, especially this last.
    "I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid people. I meant that stupid people are generally Conservatives."
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  5. #85
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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    America has this historical distinction- it's the first society ever to become decadent before becoming civilized.
    "I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid people. I meant that stupid people are generally Conservatives."
    -John Stuart Mill-

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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    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!
    But even in unmanned missions, NASA is far ahead of any other space agency.

    As for the moon landing, you're right, it was one of the only things the United States has ever done purely for showmanship, and not for practical reasons. Still, it's damn cool. When you think of the Egyptians and why they were great, one of the things is that they built the pyramids. When you think of the Romans, one of the things is they built the Colosseum.

    History will remember that America put a man on the moon.


    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    ...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.
    I don't agree with this. If you're looking at statistics, then, OK, a poor American has a statistical probability of remaining poor. But if you're looking in terms of opportunity, I would argue that there is nowhere else you have a better shot of making it than in America.

    Let's take an example. Say you're an inner city kid living in the ghetto, but you're smart and hardworking. You get all A's in school, so you are accepted in to a top university. This is a given, because all top universities give preference to kids from poor backgrounds who manage to get good grades. Say you work hard and are smart, and you get all A's in university. Then you have your pick of top jobs, and you make a lot of money.

    Or, let's say you don't do so well in school, but you decide to start a business. It costs only $300 to start a business in Texas, I'm sure it's similar in other states. That's it. The rest is up to you. It's not jumping through regulations and hurdles like in Europe. Just file your $300 and you're going. Then you can get rich that way.

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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Mal View Post
    (snicker)
    That's the sound little brothers typically make.

  8. #88
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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    German Guy, how have you been man? Haven't seen you post in a while.
    Hey Peter! Nice to see you!

    I've been pretty busy (baby daughter to take care for) and on top of that in the last few weeks, didn't have such a good time. But I won't forget this place!

    Yes, but what really is "national debt?" In the United States it's defined as the value of outstanding Treasury Securities. But treasury securities pay almost no interest. In other words, if I buy a T-bill worth a dollar, the government gets a dollar, and I get a promise of future payment of a dollar (most are relatively short-term loans).

    The only people who buy t-bills are individuals with a pissload of money, corporations, and foreign nations. In other words, I want to protect my money instead of having it sit in a bank, so I buy a t-bill. Since no interest is paid, all it amounts to then is a voluntary tax. Or, better put, all it amounts to is liquidity for the government to function normally at no cost to itself.

    So long as people continue to do it, there is no problem. Only when people stop buying treasuries will the government need to think about either austerity or managed inflation as an answer.

    Europe follows the same model. At the end of the day, GDP is the best measure of the wealth of a nation.



    Perhaps, but that's a hypothetical. How realistic is it that the leading role of the dollar gets taken away anytime soon? All we can do is to assess things as they stand today.



    This is true. If parity is how you define "economic greatness," which is a reasonable position to hold although I do not share it, then you have no argument from me that the United States does not lead in that realm.

    The United States invented modern capitalism as we know it today. Capitalism, at its core, is a political-economic system designed to encourage competition, the idea being that you get the most out of people when they are competing with one another. We believe in rewarding winners and punishing losers, within reasonable limits, and we feel this is what makes those of us who do win succeed not only domestically, but globally.



    This goes back to the American capitalist mentality. We believe in encouraging competition and rewarding winners. If you measure success by how the middle of the pack performs, America is probably never going to come out on top. If you measure success by the opportunity to become a nobel prize winning researcher, then America wins hands down. We'll back the winner. We fund our best universities and our best high schools very well. We don't back our under-performers. We let them see what's possible, and try to claw their way up the ladder.



    American businesses are more successful than any other in the world. The Chinese, who, by the way, outproduce the Germans by a huge margin, produce the majority of their goods for American (and now European) businesses.

    You see, it goes back to another tellingly American quality. We love cheap labor. We were the last western nation to end slavery. During our early capitalistic years (1860-1920), we had no minimum wage, no unions, child labor, and factory workers were, more or less, indentured slaves.

    So they got rid of all that. Doesn't work in America anymore. So what do the industrious Americans do? They open up China. Chinese factory workers are essentially slave labor for American companies. Think about it. What are they building over there? Shoes, knick knacks, stuff that is labor intensive. But they're not building Chinese-branded shoes. They're building Nike's. They're building Apple iphones.

    They're building our cheap stuff for us for pennies, and, the stink of it is.... we made them think it's THEIR idea.

    We control all the designs, the global brands, the distribution networks, and the operating capital. They do all the work and we get all the benefits.
    All fair points, but some of it (especially the bits of the virtues of capitalism) points to another problem:

    What yardstick, what values do you use to measure the greatness of a country?

    I'd say that outside of America, not many people share this exaggerated, rosy view of capitalism. In fact, capitalism has screwed and raped much of the European population in the 19th century, which is why it doesn't have quite that good a name over here. Although it was a different, unfree kind of capitalism.

    Personally, I'd say having most money is not worth much, when a majority of the people does not participate, but is stuck in poverty, lack of prospects and ****ty education. A country is truly great, IMO, not when its GDP is the best, but when it provides a good life for a maximum of its population.


    (...)
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

  9. #89
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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    (continuation ...)

    What's a good life for a maximum of its population? Basic civil and human rights, political participation, meeting basic material needs, a reasonable share of wealth, a fair amount of safety and security, a good general health and education, good general education, a somewhat civilized culture and nice art scene. IMO.

    A country that provides a maximum of that is a "great" country, IMO. And as those are many different factors, and there is no objective way to weight them against each other, it is very hard to determine which single country is "the greatest". Maybe there is no such thing. At best, you can make the rough estimation that there are better and worse countries.

    If I was a well-skilled person with skills only very few people have, or if I was a top artist of popular culture, perhaps I'd have a better life if I moved to America. If I have a weak health and depend on expensive medication, I'd rather stay in Germany because the American healthcare system is crap (how can you seriously leave general healthcare to a profit-driven free market? That is inhumane). If I'm a low-skilled worker, I'd better stay in Germany too. If I'm reasonable rich and want a good education for my kids, I'd rather move to America and send my kids to an expensive school or university. If I'm poor but my kids are smart, I better stay in Germany, because chances are, they'll get a much better education here. If I'm rich and can afford a good neighborhood in America, my security and safety would be better there perhaps, than in Germany. But if I can only afford a below average neighborhood in America, I'd have to live in a ****hole of gun crime and chances are some gun nut will shoot me. During a recession when jobs are rare and when I'm fired, I'd rather live in Germany because here, I get unemployment support as long as I don't find a new job. And so on ...

    But America is certainly one of the better places to live on this planet. But it wouldn't be my top choice. If I consider leaving Germany, I'd first choose the Netherlands or Scandinavia, then Canada, Australia or New Zealand perhaps ... only then, America is next on my list. But still ahead of southern Europe (unless I want to retire on a good pile of money ), perhaps most of eastern Europe and basically all other countries.
    Last edited by German guy; 12-07-14 at 12:51 AM.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

  10. #90
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    Re: Is America the greatest nation on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    (continuation ...)

    What's a good life for a maximum of its population? Basic civil and human rights, political participation, meeting basic material needs, a reasonable share of wealth, a fair amount of safety and security, a good general health and education, good general education, a somewhat civilized culture and nice art scene. IMO.

    A country that provides a maximum of that is a "great" country, IMO. And as those are many different factors, and there is no objective way to weight them against each other, it is very hard to determine which single country is "the greatest". Maybe there is no such thing. At best, you can make the rough estimation that there are better and worse countries.

    If I was a well-skilled person with skills only very few people have, or if I was a top artist of popular culture, perhaps I'd have a better life if I moved to America. If I have a weak health and depend on expensive medication, I'd rather stay in Germany because the American healthcare system is crap (how can you seriously leave general healthcare to a profit-driven free market? That is inhumane). If I'm a low-skilled worker, I'd better stay in Germany too. If I'm reasonable rich and want a good education for my kids, I'd rather move to America and send my kids to an expensive school or university. If I'm poor but my kids are smart, I better stay in Germany, because chances are, they'll get a much better education here. If I'm rich and can afford a good neighborhood in America, my security and safety would be better there perhaps, than in Germany. But if I can only afford a below average neighborhood in America, I'd have to live in a ****hole of gun crime and chances are some gun nut will shoot me. During a recession when jobs are rare and when I'm fired, I'd rather live in Germany because here, I get unemployment support as long as I don't find a new job. And so on ...

    But America is certainly one of the better places to live on this planet. But it wouldn't be my top choice. If I consider leaving Germany, I'd first choose the Netherlands or Scandinavia, then Canada, Australia or New Zealand perhaps ... only then, America is next on my list. But still ahead of southern Europe (unless I want to retire on a good pile of money ), perhaps most of eastern Europe and basically all other countries.
    No argument from me on anything you've said. I wouldn't want to live in America's lower class either. Your point about healthcare is especially poignant; Capitalism, as practiced in America, has a way of pushing down those who are ill, those who are disabled, those who are born less intelligent or with mental problems. This is the dark side of capitalism and proof that no system is perfect.

    I still would rather live in America than anywhere else on earth. I am a dual American/Swede by the way. I was born intelligent (I like to think anyway) and smack in to the middle class. I've had every opportunity here to make it big, only confined by the limits of my own ambition and craftiness. In Sweden, this would not have been possible.

    For example, I have an uncle in Sweden who is a teacher, but his real skill is fixing up houses. He knows everything there is to know about building and fixing houses, the man is very talented. He is also very independent minded and hardworking. In Sweden, he is lower-middle class. In America, he would be a millionaire, I have no doubt about that. He would not be a teacher here, he would take his love of houses and build them for a living.

    As for comparing countries, I think, as you say, it comes down to what you value. The European ethos seems to be, as you have stated, that greatness is measured by whether a country provides a good life for the maximal portion of its population. The American ethos is that greatness is measured by whether any man has the opportunity to achieve his maximal potential.

    I tend to side with the Americans on this, even while knowing that, as you pointed out earlier with the healthcare, the American system isn't perfect. While some poor people are poor due to no fault of their own, the vast majority are poor because they deserve to be poor. I cannot support a system that enables and rewards people who want to sit on their couch all day, smoke marijuana and play nintendo. This, while putting a glass ceiling on people who are crafty, inventive, and want to work hard.

    I like believing that there is hope to achieve something great, and I like that the poor are given every opportunity to be great if they want to... but if they choose the path of laziness, then we will not coddle them either beyond providing for basic necessities like food, care, and basic assistance.

    That's the way I see it.

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