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Old 10-27-2008, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Ottawa, Canada
609 posts, read 1,043,538 times
Reputation: 173

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryB View Post
I have traveled quite a bit, and the differences in "freedom" between living in Europe and America can be unnoticed. I had a friend in England who couldn't rent her house without doing a pile of paper work and getting permission for the rent she needed from the government. I also had an aunt in Germany who couldn't paint the outside of her home. She had to contract through a labor-union contractor. In Belgium, if you find yourself in a new income bracket, you can't stay in the cheaper apartment rental you currently have. These are subliminal differences that I did find to be totally different from America.

We do have a lot of super rich people in America. However, many people who considered themselves lower middle class or even middle lower class have much more, in terms of personal goods, than a person in Europe who would fall under the same income.

So again, these are small differences that many people on both sides aren't aware of.
small government regulations about painting a hosue ct are insignificant and mean nothing when we look at the larger picture.

the fact that the middle and lower class has more than their european counterparts has nothing to do with the united states being better, but rather with consumerism and the economic system, whiwh as we can see isnt working well right now.

europeon poor and middle may have less physical objects (which by the way doesnt measure how well off they are another myth) but the fact is they have free healthcare and extremely cheap transportation affordable to all, whiwh to me is much more inmportant than "personal goods"

why is stuff in america so cheap? like at walmart and stuff and things are more expensive in europe? its called cheap labor exploitation. the fact that your cheeseburger only costs 99 cents is because the guy behind the counter is making nothing.

yet again im not trying to attack america or its patriotism. i think nationalism and being proud of your country is something many other western societies lack nowadays. instead they demonize their history and make their citizens feel like crap (ie canada bringing up any chance they can how we abused the aborigionals when we settled, abused the japanese living in canada in ww2 ect)

i dont live in the us but it seems they dont do this as much and instead have a proud; eventful history they can look back to. great political leaders, military leaders, scientists, inventors, actors, writers ect..

my only problem is with the very very rich. why should that CEO of a conpany make 500 000 a year, while the janitor cleaning the building supporting his family only makes 20 000. ( i dont know the exact average each makes um just trying to prove a point). I just believe a little redistributingof the wealth is in order: i mean its kinda ridiculous that oprah is worth 2 billion dollars and makes hundreds of million a year, while good; hard working americns can barely support their family or pay for healthcare..

again i didnt mean to insult america; i love america
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,064,818 times
Reputation: 3717
Default Ohhh leangk. Your biases are showing!

One: your suggestion that a few small regulations fade in the light of "the bigger picture" is illogical and patently false on its face! Just a few small regs? "You must ask first before you paint your house". "You must ask first before you wear that colour of beret". "We will only allow you to take out 1 library book at a time, and we'll give you the list of which ones". "You can only buy a car that fits into THIS special size-measuring *** we've set up". "You may not ...." Well you get the picture. Just a few little regulations.

Two: does the high salary of all CEOs really bother you, just on its face? Without looking into the job requirements of the CEO? A person making, say, $500k a year does WAAAAYYY more work than that $20k janitor. For good reasons. Not the least of which is his personal responsibility to make the decisions that keep, say, 45,000 employees working despite a world-wide economic turndown (that, I'll also say, is proven to not be JUST the fault of the greedy US). Do you not wonder what would happen if we could magically swap those two in their jobs? You seem to think they're equal in ability and inner drive. I wonder what experience and training the janitor would rely on to manage, say, General Electric. In case you don't understand, there would be, in short order, CHAOS, and soon the bi-monthly payday outlay by the company, affecting all of those 45k employees, would drop from multi-millions down to a much more egalitarian ZERO. Nice!

Let me explain, leangk. Despite your obvious illogical apparent anger at, oddly, ALL CEOs who make, what, more than $50k for their time and responsibilities and initial risk taking, you just have to get it through your head that by far the majority of managers, CEOs and business owners are NOT crooks nor nasty and un-caring members of society. They care about their employees even when same often spit on their bosses. I've been on both sides of that fence, and yes, bizowners often seriously risk their own and their family's fiscal futures on a possible good idea. Most often they miss the mark the first few times, but they bravely persist, and eventually, possibly, they make it. Only to have the like of thinkers like you, with an entitlement mentality, pound on the company doors crying "unfair". It is why we small biz employers quietly refer to our employees who can't stop bleating about inequality, as "the 'e' word". They have PROVEN themselves to be greedy and lazy in many more cases than documented cases of greed on the management side.

By the recent examples on Wall St., we do watch and police ourselves. Many will pay for this nonsense, and I didn't note any complaints when the Dow was skyrocketing up during the past few years. Or when homeowners greedily made big profits when they flipped their real estate. One thing CEOs don't do when the chips are heading down... they don't whine. Whiners are never successful in the entrepreneur role. They do make good union members though.

Three: European free health care? Like in Canada, where I suspect you're either from or now live. C'mon! You either do or ought to know better. Just who ,then, does pay the strict government-limited salaries of those docs and nurses? (It's only a "small regulation"...) Oh yeah,,, I forgot. The taxpayer. Nice high marginal "re-distribution" taxation. Also known by hard-working "donators" as gov'mint sponsored theft.

And finally (thank god!): Four: Great low-cost transportation in Europe? I've spent time in both Europe and Japan. Esp. Japan, the train and local transportation systems are truly wonderful! The Nosomi, etc. Great! Before I thought it through, I wanted to see such a system here. But even if we speeded it up by a factor of two (i.e: 400 mph. That's about 720kph in your world..) it would take 7 hours to get from LA to NYC. IF they didn't ever stop for food and fuel ("Help! Let me off" I live in Kansas City! We just passed it! Stop!"). Not to mention the cost of the dedicated infrastructure. Check out your globe: Europe's a tad bit smaller, and encompasses quite a few independant countries. Even the TNS&F can barely manage to afford Via Rail, and they use 50 year old locomotives (F9s) belching toxic diesel smoke as they struggle across the vast prairies. Hardly The National Dream, eh? PS: We already have Acela in the east. Using Bombardier-built locos at that! Check it out. Fast, low cost, efficient. Localized where it's needed.

And again, who pays for all this so-called free infrastructure and administration? Not the taxpayer, again? Man.. their median incomes must be staggering over there to sustain all of this loving government largess. And I'm reminded of the fabulous government programs nicely demo'd in the late great USSR. ("Drink your 'free' vodka and shut up, comrade! I'm fixing your Lada, again, as fast as I can in this unheated garage. Damn management!")

It just doesn't work here. That part's proven! What is proven is the inevitable end result of vast re-distribution and egalitarian equalization programs. Their names are Stalin, Lenin, "The Dear One", Pierre Elliot Trudeau (I personally knew his wife Margaret, and the stories I could tell about HIS arrogance... well, they'd come after me if I did).

Sir, you oversimplify this world. I suspect you're an angry youngish possibly French-Canadian Canuck college student complete with a like-minded room-mate. (Am I close? Come on... be honest). The sort who parades with a flaming placard, demanding equality for all, even when we're not equal. Of course I'm not referring to the disadvantaged, don't go there; just the lazy wanna-be whiners. I used to be a card-carrying NDP'r, but then I grew up. So will you, one hopes.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Ottawa, Canada
609 posts, read 1,043,538 times
Reputation: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
One: your suggestion that a few small regulations fade in the light of "the bigger picture" is illogical and patently false on its face! Just a few small regs? "You must ask first before you paint your house". "You must ask first before you wear that colour of beret". "We will only allow you to take out 1 library book at a time, and we'll give you the list of which ones". "You can only buy a car that fits into THIS special size-measuring *** we've set up". "You may not ...." Well you get the picture. Just a few little regulations.
small regulations are irrelevant and you are making something out of nothing. I promise you, that when it comes to mortgages, buying a car, painting your house, where your dog can crap, europe and america have more or less strict examples in all the cases. why are these little things unimportant? because i think its more important to look at a huge problem (ie many people without healthcare in the US) then nitpick and say "oh americas better because we can take more than one book. youve obviously missed the entire point of my point.



Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Two: does the high salary of all CEOs really bother you, just on its face? Without looking into the job requirements of the CEO? A person making, say, $500k a year does WAAAAYYY more work than that $20k janitor. For good reasons. Not the least of which is his personal responsibility to make the decisions that keep, say, 45,000 employees working despite a world-wide economic turndown (that, I'll also say, is proven to not be JUST the fault of the greedy US). Do you not wonder what would happen if we could magically swap those two in their jobs? You seem to think they're equal in ability and inner drive. I wonder what experience and training the janitor would rely on to manage, say, General Electric. In case you don't understand, there would be, in short order, CHAOS, and soon the bi-monthly payday outlay by the company, affecting all of those 45k employees, would drop from multi-millions down to a much more egalitarian ZERO. Nice!
way more work?? 25 times more work? but you cant measure like that. the point is that both jobs are nessecary. the fact that a janitors job is not as hard, has less responsibility ect is relevant and therefore he should make less. but 25 times less? inner drive has nothing to do with it. maybe the janitor tried to start a business but lost all his money. and since (yet another bad thing) the price of education is soo high he couldnt go back to school for business. (btw its only 600$ a year in france)

there would be, in short order, CHAOS if you switched a number of people in different jobs. if you switched the actor with a nuclear physicist. the teacher with the ceo. the proffesional athlete with the a stock broker. you obviously yet agian dont understand my point. its not just about CEO's. its about anyone who makes millions and millions, while other hard working people can barely get by. im not saying make everyone poor, im not even saying as you tried to illustrate, although in vain, switch everyone with someone else and try and do their job. im simply saying that those top 10? top 50? at the head of a company make a tad bit less, and let the money trinckle down to the workers on the bottom. of course those head honchos deserve money, they earned it and do, but the imbalance that is happening now is most clear in america. thats all i was saying


Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Let me explain, leangk. Despite your obvious illogical apparent anger at, oddly, ALL CEOs who make, what, more than $50k for their time and responsibilities and initial risk taking, you just have to get it through your head that by far the majority of managers, CEOs and business owners are NOT crooks nor nasty and un-caring members of society. They care about their employees even when same often spit on their bosses. I've been on both sides of that fence, and yes, bizowners often seriously risk their own and their family's fiscal futures on a possible good idea. Most often they miss the mark the first few times, but they bravely persist, and eventually, possibly, they make it. Only to have the like of thinkers like you, with an entitlement mentality, pound on the company doors crying "unfair". It is why we small biz employers quietly refer to our employees who can't stop bleating about inequality, as "the 'e' word". They have PROVEN themselves to be greedy and lazy in many more cases than documented cases of greed on the management side.
yet again a poor analysis of what is happening. to use a massive generalization about anyone who wants more equality. its not about those who complain, and yes everyone should have the entitlement mentality. not the fact that you can be lazy, not work and think you get the 6 digit salary. but rather everyone, which goes back to my past point, at least derves the basic entitlement to healthcare, affordable education ect..


Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Three: European free health care? Like in Canada, where I suspect you're either from or now live. C'mon! You either do or ought to know better. Just who ,then, does pay the strict government-limited salaries of those docs and nurses? (It's only a "small regulation"...) Oh yeah,,, I forgot. The taxpayer. Nice high marginal "re-distribution" taxation. Also known by hard-working "donators" as gov'mint sponsored theft.
yet again i never said healthcare was a small regulation. its clear you have no point so instead you try and put words in my mouth. the small regualtion was, i said, insignificant to healthcare. i was obviously using it in a different context saying that small regulations on homes, painting ect is well worth having everyone have healthcare.

but anyways. in france, people go to the doctor. and when they go, they go just like americans!! thats you!! and when they go, they get a bill, which is probably the same cost as the american system. they then send this to their insurance (which everyone has cause its cheap, affordable and convenient, not to mention nessecary) and get reimbursed!!! wow!!!! wheres all the regulations in that?? is it not the exact same as the american system.. except.. everyone can afford it...

its true it can become more expensive with the weighty system canada has, but it doesnt have to be liek that. and to simply dismiss it because "oh it could cost alot" when people who need healthcare arent getting it is selfish and silly..

Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
And finally (thank god!): Four: Great low-cost transportation in Europe? I've spent time in both Europe and Japan. Esp. Japan, the train and local transportation systems are truly wonderful! The Nosomi, etc. Great! Before I thought it through, I wanted to see such a system here. But even if we speeded it up by a factor of two (i.e: 400 mph. That's about 720kph in your world..) it would take 7 hours to get from LA to NYC. IF they didn't ever stop for food and fuel ("Help! Let me off" I live in Kansas City! We just passed it! Stop!"). Not to mention the cost of the dedicated infrastructure. Check out your globe: Europe's a tad bit smaller, and encompasses quite a few independant countries. Even the TNS&F can barely manage to afford Via Rail, and they use 50 year old locomotives (F9s) belching toxic diesel smoke as they struggle across the vast prairies. Hardly The National Dream, eh? PS: We already have Acela in the east. Using Bombardier-built locos at that! Check it out. Fast, low cost, efficient. Localized where it's needed.
yes finally! now you can stop embarrassing yourself... but unfortunately.. its about to get alot worse for you here.... a tciket on viaral form ottawa to toronto, roughly the same distance from where i am(grenoble) to paris would cost around 180 dollars canadian.. now lets see how much it will cost using SNCF....50 euros??? thats it?? wow!!!!

not the mention i was talking about public transpo. as in buses and trams in cities. and how much did that cost me a year? 100 euros?? thats crazy!!!! in canada isnt it like 80 dollars a month?? hmmm not to mention the trams here make money, have a lrge amount of users, and you can get to anywhere in the city extremely fast.

cross country transportation is different, but yet again i never mentioned that once...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
And again, who pays for all this so-called free infrastructure and administration? Not the taxpayer, again? Man.. their median incomes must be staggering over there to sustain all of this loving government largess. And I'm reminded of the fabulous government programs nicely demo'd in the late great USSR. ("Drink your 'free' vodka and shut up, comrade! I'm fixing your Lada, again, as fast as I can in this unheated garage. Damn management!")
america is super rich. france not so. and yet they manage to have healthcare, almost free secondary education and a superior publci transpo system.. how embarrasing.. the public transo pays for itself, and the others are nessecary costs. i dont think you can put a price on healthcare





Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
It just doesn't work here. That part's proven! What is proven is the inevitable end result of vast re-distribution and egalitarian equalization programs. Their names are Stalin, Lenin, "The Dear One", Pierre Elliot Trudeau (I personally knew his wife Margaret, and the stories I could tell about HIS arrogance... well, they'd come after me if I did).
umm can you tell me please how trudeau brought about a redistibution...doesnt ring a bell.... and no stalin did not start a massive redistribution. there still remained the rich elite on top, and the poor (although yes the land was redistributed on the bottom). you want to look at effective redisribution and a generally more equal society?? its called europe.. you confuse communism with socialism. very ignorant on your part.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Sir, you oversimplify this world. I suspect you're an angry youngish possibly French-Canadian Canuck college student complete with a like-minded room-mate. (Am I close? Come on... be honest). The sort who parades with a flaming placard, demanding equality for all, even when we're not equal. Of course I'm not referring to the disadvantaged, don't go there; just the lazy wanna-be whiners. I used to be a card-carrying NDP'r, but then I grew up. So will you, one hopes.
and probably the most ignorant statement ever made. as i said, my dads british, moms canadian, and grew up in ontario. i dont have a roomate. the fact that you likes the NDP is embarrassing. even i wasnt stupid enough to steep that low. i always have and always will support the conservatives (although they arent right enough for me)

i hate the left in general because they are mostly hypocryts, and the extreme "revolution left" parralel so much to the nazis its scary. yet another reason i hate them. unfortunately for you ive already grown up, and am way beyond you in so many aspects.

look at some of my other threads and posts... maybe youll see just how "left wing" i really am.

the fact that i think all people deserve healthcare doesnt make me left, it makes me thoughtful of other people.

anyways in your opinion at hand and of your opinion of me you couldnt ahve been farther from the truth!!.

but dont take my word for it, look at my very "anti-left" post on multiculturalism. my very "right wing" stance on abortion and so on. go ahead, look, and finally enlighten youself for once. go on
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Aiken S.C
765 posts, read 1,680,876 times
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Wasn't the 700 billion dollar bailout for management ? To repair company's raped and pillaged by managers? CEO's getting millions of dollars in bonuses at the expense of the shareholders?
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,064,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvislives View Post
Wasn't the 700 billion dollar bailout for management ? To repair company's raped and pillaged by managers? CEO's getting millions of dollars in bonuses at the expense of the shareholders?
Elvis, I and a whole bunch of Constitutionalists would have voted against that bailout, but it's important to note that, no, the $770B did not just go into the CEO's pockets. That is a nice urban myth. It is a loan to be used to buy bad "notes", which will be then re-sold (in their dreams, I'd say, but that's at least the plan). In theory a lot of these $$$ might be recovered, and the good components of the saved companies might also be saved. Along with their investor's life savings. I think that's the rationalization at least.

It might have been better used in other more creative ways.

To leangk;


I, as a partially disabled person, have been subject in the past 5 years to the abysmal adminstration and discriminations of corporate health care in the US. I'm in no way an apologist or defender of it. There. It's your turn to be dead wrong. I just know that the oft-proposed (Hillary Clinton, for example...) wide-open single-payer system of health care, in terms of fiscal management, doesn't work either! As in Canada, and possibly France? Too many folks just waddle in to their doc's office or the local hospital and expect A-One First Class technically advanced health care. Of a type, technically speaking, that you can only get in the US. (Note: A few years back, the Canadian Federal Minister of Health flew down to Rochester, NY to have his cardiac bypass surgery performed at the Mayo Clinic. Quite a confidence vote, non?)

The free market system, with all of its faults, has allowed the development of best-in-class technologies here because, wonder of wonders, the providers are allowed to go to the market and see what the competition's doing, and what they can charge realistically. Because of healthy competition, the costs have fallen, per service, to less than that which the government allows in Canada. For a noisy cramped bout in The People's Diesel-Powered MRI Machine versus Panasonic's latest hyper-tech multi-function 3-D Scanner System.

What is needed in this country is a government-managed ( Oh god....) system that promotes technical advancement through a competitive process and some free-market expression, plus a mandate that anyone who wants health care can get it without pre-evaluation. Surprise surprise, not everyone here wants it, but their numbers are rolled into the big lie.

Perhaps a partial-pay subsidy process would be equal enough, with the truly disadvantaged getting partial or full government assistance? Actually that's pretty much the way it is here now through disability Medicaid, disability Medicare or the regular versions of both of those. But who wants to mention that, eh? Better to promote The Big Lie.

Big greedy insurance companies here shouldn't be allowed to cancel or not renew an existing participant, nor not take on a new participant just because, for instance, that applicant has had a few severe headaches, has hypertension, a kidney stone, or whatever silly actuarial excuse. That approach may be valid for homeowner's insurance, but since we're all in this together, and most every one of us will get real sick just before we die, or might generate obsteric / pediatric expenses, and because we should provide our "overpaid, greedy employers" with basic healthy productivity, there should be some community-supported altruism in health care systems.

Another forgotten point: while one might have to pay, say, $450/mo for a good health care plan in the US (such as my employer provided), which comes to what, $5400/yr, one's participation at that expense level is optional. Note that it's not free in Canada either, and I'm not talking about the high taxes. Right up front, you have to pay about $170/mo in B.C. About $2000/yr. Adding in the high tax rate, this is hardly free! Here, if you have a basic policy extra coverage is also available but optional. But you also pay significantly less taxes here, with certainly more than $5400 saved in the US system, or a net difference of only $3400 if you consider your co-pay up in Canada. Cheap! Here I am not REQUIRED to be my brother's keeper. I may want to contribute, but no-one forces me. It's called a free society.

Re: Vast diff is salaries. Yes, the responsibilties and consequences could actually be 25X, or 100X, more critical at the top. Have you ever been at the top in management? Plus, we'd all like, even you, to have more money, and if you start a risky endeavour, which has possible potential high return, you'll take it, I promise you. Because you earned it. The janitor can always better himself, right? That's what the CEO no doubt did. High cost of education? I worked my way through my 3 degrees on my own. no silver spoon. My kids have also done the same here in the US. And doctors regularly leave "U" with over $250k in debts. They get to charge $500k+ a year, esp. if it's your heart they're scalpeling on.

It was you that made these initial massive generalization, to which I responded. Don't get confused, friend.

Your quote: "yet again i never said healthcare was a small regulation. its clear you have no point so instead you try and put words in my mouth."

I missed it; did I say you thought healthcare was a small regulation? What? Who is putting words into mouths?

Well, details details. I'm not embarrassed; was I supposed to be? I'm just saying that there are two sides to all of this, where you think the US system sucks completely, that there's only one side, your side. No, many of our systems suck, but just partially, and we're willing to talk about it here and perhaps make improvements that the majority agree on. One of the better things about our horrid country. Fortunately we have a lot of examples of both extreme socialist and capitalist/imperialist examples to learn from. The diff between you and I, observably on these posts, is that I can see, examine and admit to the problems on both sides.

I've not branded you either right or left. I'm certainly neither of those two choices.

On trying to figure you out, I thought back to some of your earlier posts. Didn't you mention somewhere else (I can go look I suppose) that you were so upset with someone's post, not mine, that you almost killed your roommate? Perhaps I mix you up with someone wlse. Look back at my post: in trying to figure you out, I took a stab at your background. I said "I suspect". A good old fashioned guess absent your answer to my past-post direct question about your citizenship. Hardly the ignorance you paint me with, unless inference based on observation in the absence of a direct answer is ignorance in your book. Are you hiding something? If your dad's British, your mom's Canadian, and you grew up in Ontario, unless you immigrated here and then moved to Grenoble, I'd have to assume as of now, absent your commitment, that you're not an American.

Again I ask, directly, are you? If not, just what are you doing on a post that asks "Are You Proud to be an American"? Just couldn't contain your huge dislike of us? Saw a target-rich environment? Excuse me if you are, but as you've presented it so far, it seems unlikely. Seems that, if you were, you'd have answered this simple question already. Hmmm. I also note that, for example, if an atheist barges into a Christian post and starts blathering inappropriately, combatively or hatefully, the administrator will ask that person to leave, and can even prevent them from posting.

Others on this thread might, less generously, say "Get out of this thread" if you are not a valid contributor. Anyone?

Last edited by rifleman; 10-28-2008 at 11:03 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:57 AM
 
Location: God's Country, Maine
2,052 posts, read 3,974,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leangk View Post
no where the freedoms you enjoy are as prevelant?? thats obviously an opinion, and a very stupid one at that. why? because FACTS disagree with you. Canada and most of europe enjoys the same freedoms you do, if not more.

also, "this is the greatest country in the world" sounds too much like in the movie "thank you for smoking". that again is an opinion. would i disagree with you?? of course! why? because i believe that part of your freedoms, and being a greatest country, is that all citizens have an equaler share. and that is not true in the United states. I hate the american dream. because it says that 10 people ahve to be poor so one can be rich. but why cant 10 people be so-so instead of 1 super rich person??
We are the greatest country in the world because we allow equality of opportunity.

You have that confused with equality of outcome, which is a Commie/Socialist ideal!
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:11 AM
 
3,566 posts, read 4,491,128 times
Reputation: 1846
Default In response to Rifleman

Sssshhhh, lets keep that coffee buzz between you and I. My nic is a play off my name so there is an a rather than an e=Pandamonium. My intention is not to come off harsh. Really it is not.

Hope, happiness, and evil cannot be measured. Even if it shows up in the form of an I-Pod. The US does not operate as a bunch of bumbling idiots that can stand back in shock when things go wrong. We live in an empire for now. The US does not “help” other countries. If it just “helped” then Rawanda would not have happened and Darfur would not be happening. The US does not do anything for anyone unless there is something to gained from it or “interests”.

I ask you

Do you hope that an American that wins a medal in the Olympics is not going to have to give it up?

Do you hope that the Arc of Islam theory does not have any more blowback on our shores or an election in another country is not followed by “US backed”?

Do you hope that there will be an alternative to prison or rather prevention before prison for the mentally ill?

Do you hope that you don’t become homeless?

Do you hope that the great medical accomplishments will be available to you?

Do you hope that a US corporation is not aiding and abetting places like Thailand with surveillance? How about that freedom? Did you see the list of other countries? That is pretty much how you defend yourself with those nation-states. Not by some past historical accomplishment. This is not a bad episode of Married with Children and we are not recounting high school football glory days. This is an empire and it will eventually fall. All empires do.

You need more than hope, or saving, there needs to be some doing. This requires going beyond Faux news and vague interpretations. This requires clear objectives and action. These are not concerns, this is our reality.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:10 PM
 
3,536 posts, read 5,077,957 times
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No. I'm not proud to be an American. I feel that CEO pay is too high (Enron, the recent AIG scandal in Vegas, Worldcom). I was pre-med and realized that wow, interns at a hospital make about 40k. You've been with them. There are finally laws that make pulling a 20hr shift illegal. Meanwhile CEOs are going to party it up in Vegas with taxpayer money. Doctors make 100-300k on average with a few making in the 7 figures. No doctors make in the 8 figures. Teachers can hope to make the high 5 figures. (my dad was a teacher) Shows where our priorities are. That aside that we don't have a pay scale that really makes sense.

Healthcare. We need universal healthcare. I recently graduated college and realized "wow, I need to find a job with healthcare" In our lackluster economy, it's a little easier said than done. I just hope I don't get sick...otherwise I'm screwed. We have the lowest rate of healthcare coverage in the industrialized world. Hell, Cuba is beating us at the healthcare game. I'm not illegal. I'm from a middle class background. I have a degree, planning on getting my Masters. I can't afford healthcare. I'm busting my but working 12 hr shifts with autistic kids many days. Trust me, it's not easy. My friends are all in the same situation. Recent college grads are screwed!!! Because of people that believe that universal healthcare is "unAmerican". What does that even mean? Just because all citizens should be healthy? I'm not saying that everyone should switch to a state mandated system, but there should be affordable healthcare for all. We pay for other kids to go to school, why not make sure that they are healthy too? I'd gladly see my tax money go to healthcare than to an unjust war.

Ah...the war. Why are we even in Iraq? Biggest blunder ever. It doesn't make sense that Osama would be with Sadam. Osama was anti-secular, Sadam was secular. Osama beleived in no government, Osama believed in large goverment. It doesn't make sense. No weapons of mass destruction were found. There are other MORE ruthless dictators and rulers (why not go to Sudan, Chad, Rwanda, North Korea, etc.) So it's not because we wanted to help the world. In my opinion, the war was based on unknowingly false and scant information. But, in the midst of rising of oil prices, it made it convient to stay in hopes that the surge will enable a victory and that we would have large contracts for oil and rebuilding. Wow...America...awesome.

Public transporation sucks overall in America. Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, San Jose, San Diego...pretty much the newer westerm cities suck. Why? Goes back to CEO influence. Now, I'm stuck in suburban Los Angeles having to pay the nation's highest gas prices to go to work 20 miles away sitting in traffic for up to an hour. If the government would subsidize more on mass transit, this would make things A LOT better. Yes, there is the local government that pays, but limited amounts of money. Private companies clearly don't want to flip the bill. I guess the state would work...but point being that this is a sore point in America.

Schools. Our inner city schools are BAD. I work in one, I've attended one. I've seen what an inner city school can become. The reason why the inner city even exists, is because of the racism of the previous generation. This forced minorities to live in areas that White people did not want to live in. Hence, what occured is that a concentration of poverty developed. Now, our inner cities school children are suffering. It's not because of their race that they act this way, it's because of the environment that was created and perpetuated. Some of these schools are third world status. Meanwhile, we give tax breaks to the richest portion of the population and fund an unpopular war. If we can adaquately fund these schools, provide more after school programs, provide teacher incentives to teach in poor districts (rural or urban), then we can at least make a little difference.

Pot, legalize it. War on drugs is like the war on terror...doesn't make sense. Marijuana can actually be an income generator. See my other post concerning marijuana for more info.

I'm not saying America is a bad nation. Nor am I saying it's so horrible I want to move. I just don't think it's the greatest. It's meh...it's okay. I mean there are better nations in terms of standard of living and social justices. With that said, it's not like we live in the third world. We shouldn't rest on our laurels, but we should strive to make America all that it can be. An America where the American dream is attainable for all, not just for some. When we achieve that dream, then I will be proud.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:33 PM
 
268 posts, read 942,552 times
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Pride in/for a country can come from many factors: history, accomplishments, ideals, future promise, culture, social and economic structures, etc.

I choose to focus on what America now stands for, and what the data seems to indicate about America's priorities.

If we compare ourselves only to industrialized/developed nations, this would discount practically all of Asia except perhaps Japan and Singapore (China is still a developing nation in my book, and Russia is not really any kind of power anymore). It would discount most of Eastern Europe and South and Central America, and practically all of Africa.

The reason I'm doing this is to compare us only to nations who have the luxery of having lofty ideals or high standards for its people because -

If we then set the standard for a truly civilized nation as depending on how it takes care of the least among its people - America would be near the bottom in practically every measure.

We have (arguably) the highest infant mortality rate among developed nations. We are practically the only developed country without universal health care. According to the TIMMS (standardized test for 39 participating nations) our 8th graders are 19th in science and 18th in math - worse it seems that the longer our kids stay in public schools (measured in 4th and 8th grade) the poorer they become. According to the OECD only Mexico, Greece, Portugal and Luxembourg scored lower than us in Math. According to the GINI-coefficient (a measure of inequality between rich and poor; usually correlates how poor a country is to having a wide spread) we are one of the richest nations that have the widest inequality.

. . . and we're supposed to be a country of deep religious beliefs - so much so that the religious beliefs of our leaders are always called into question during an election year.

We can not claim to be a civilized nation, a nation of deep religious beliefs, if we do not care for our own children (and their education), our sick, and our poor.

I chose to give up my affiliation with my birth country to be an American. I chose to be a teacher to give back to my adoptive country, but I am saddened by what America has become, and what it now stands for. No, I am no longer proud to be an American, no longer proud of this country.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica
4,708 posts, read 7,561,996 times
Reputation: 1023
hey conservatives, will being "a proud American" bring back the 40% I lost in my IRA in 2008?
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