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Old 03-18-2013, 11:39 AM
 
994 posts, read 1,018,040 times
Reputation: 806

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigeonhole View Post
About US highways : I like it that they are made of concrete. In my country (France) most of them are still made of tar (a 19th century technology), because "the summers being not very hot, there is not risk of tar melt". This vey sentence is telling : France's and US highway technologies are world apart ! the difference between a world giant and a middle sized country which thinks itself "big" ...
I think it may also have something to do with how built up an area the road goes through. Tarmac (i.e., a mixture tar an gravel) is much more flexible than concrete, and absorbs sound better (as anyone who has ever driven over the transition from tarmac to concrete highway will know). No doubt concrete has other advantages, such as being more hard-wearing perhaps.

Concrete is also a 19th century technology, even though it's more associated with late-20th century building.

 
Old 03-18-2013, 11:51 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
15,745 posts, read 18,367,756 times
Reputation: 11261
Quote:
Originally Posted by masonbauknight View Post
I'm not at all shocked by some of the anti-American comments on this thread, especially from Canadians and Europeans. Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Israel have a very good quality of life. Unfortunately, newspapers and TV in these countries often run reports (which I read/watch in 4 languages) on how awful America is: land of CRIME! (the crime rate is actually down to what it was in the early 1960s, when Kennedy was president), land of UNHAPPINESS AND MISERY! (though Americans are pretty optimistic and relatively happy), and land of ILLITERACY! (though American students have performed rather well on international evaluations). The last point is interesting: 15-year-olds in the U.S. did better than 15-year-olds in a number of European countries on language and science (but less well in math) on the int'l PISA exams. In the recent international PIRLS reading exam of 9-year-olds, American kids were number 6, just after number 5 Russia (Russian schools are noted for doing an excellent job teaching their kids to master the Russian language). A number of European nations come in below the U.S. in several measures.

Many people from rich countries like Canada, France, the UK, Germany and Israel have been conditioned to think that America is a hell hole: no safety net, poor Americans can't go to the hospital, and a lousy quality of life (except for the most affluent Americans). That is simply untrue. The IIDH (adjusted for inequality) is #16, and that is darn good for such a miserable country as the U.S.A.
It's all a demographics game and this has been said before many times on here. The United States has a much higher percentage of lower-income minorities compared to Canada and developed European countries. That's what skews and drives down the numbers for the U.S. Ethnic differences in outcome are real.

If you compared just white Americans to white Europeans, the figures for the U.S. would be at least on par and probably better.
 
Old 03-18-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,241,734 times
Reputation: 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
It's all a demographics game and this has been said before many times on here. The United States has a much higher percentage of lower-income minorities compared to Canada and developed European countries. That's what skews and drives down the numbers for the U.S. Ethnic differences in outcome are real.

If you compared just white Americans to white Europeans, the figures for the U.S. would be at least on par and probably better.
What difference does ethnicity make? Is poverty less of a problem because it mostly affects minorities? I don't understand your point here. On the one hand, Americans will brag about their cultural diversity but when it's not so convenient, they'll blame the high crime/poverty/incarceration rates on ethnic minorities as if they're somehow separate from the rest of the country. You can't have it both ways.
 
Old 03-18-2013, 01:23 PM
 
1,189 posts, read 1,741,193 times
Reputation: 957
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
It's calculated like this:

Human Development Index - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You can see the main differences here:

International Human Development Indicators - UNDP
International Human Development Indicators - UNDP

Apparently Canada has fewer mean years of schooling, much lower GNI in purchasing power parity per person, and fewer telephone subscribers per 100 people. These are legitimate points.
Why does everyone need a telephone? Excess isnt always good
Maybe education in canada is good enough that they do not need as many years of schooling?
I bet the purchasing power parity per person isnt that much lower then america
 
Old 03-18-2013, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Top of the South, NZ
16,022 posts, read 12,588,229 times
Reputation: 5119
Quote:
Originally Posted by masonbauknight View Post
I'm not at all shocked by some of the anti-American comments on this thread, especially from Canadians and Europeans. Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Israel have a very good quality of life. Unfortunately, newspapers and TV in these countries often run reports (which I read/watch in 4 languages) on how awful America is: land of CRIME! (the crime rate is actually down to what it was in the early 1960s, when Kennedy was president), land of UNHAPPINESS AND MISERY! (though Americans are pretty optimistic and relatively happy), and land of ILLITERACY! (though American students have performed rather well on international evaluations). The last point is interesting: 15-year-olds in the U.S. did better than 15-year-olds in a number of European countries on language and science (but less well in math) on the int'l PISA exams. In the recent international PIRLS reading exam of 9-year-olds, American kids were number 6, just after number 5 Russia (Russian schools are noted for doing an excellent job teaching their kids to master the Russian language). A number of European nations come in below the U.S. in several measures.

Many people from rich countries like Canada, France, the UK, Germany and Israel have been conditioned to think that America is a hell hole: no safety net, poor Americans can't go to the hospital, and a lousy quality of life (except for the most affluent Americans). That is simply untrue. The IIDH (adjusted for inequality) is #16, and that is darn good for such a miserable country as the U.S.A.
What is unfortunate about having newspaper/tv reports about other countries. Sometimes there are items with negative tone about the US but so what? There are reports about many countries, with many outlooks on them and from many different sources.

The worst things I hear about the US is often from Americans themselves.
 
Old 03-18-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,805 posts, read 17,088,029 times
Reputation: 8981
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
It's all a demographics game and this has been said before many times on here. The United States has a much higher percentage of lower-income minorities compared to Canada and developed European countries. That's what skews and drives down the numbers for the U.S. Ethnic differences in outcome are real.

If you compared just white Americans to white Europeans, the figures for the U.S. would be at least on par and probably better.
Why does it matter? we are all Americans. there is no "minority"
 
Old 03-18-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,805 posts, read 17,088,029 times
Reputation: 8981
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
What difference does ethnicity make? Is poverty less of a problem because it mostly affects minorities? I don't understand your point here. On the one hand, Americans will brag about their cultural diversity but when it's not so convenient, they'll blame the high crime/poverty/incarceration rates on ethnic minorities as if they're somehow separate from the rest of the country. You can't have it both ways.
And the Dutch always like to over-generalize about everythin.



(yes, its a joke)
 
Old 03-18-2013, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
15,087 posts, read 11,598,062 times
Reputation: 9700
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
What difference does ethnicity make? Is poverty less of a problem because it mostly affects minorities? I don't understand your point here. On the one hand, Americans will brag about their cultural diversity but when it's not so convenient, they'll blame the high crime/poverty/incarceration rates on ethnic minorities as if they're somehow separate from the rest of the country. You can't have it both ways.
Exactly!
Furthermore, you won't often find Canadians whining that the Aboriginal population is skewering their numbers and dragging the stats down.
 
Old 03-18-2013, 02:44 PM
 
Location: In the heights
20,424 posts, read 21,973,473 times
Reputation: 10419
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
What difference does ethnicity make? Is poverty less of a problem because it mostly affects minorities? I don't understand your point here. On the one hand, Americans will brag about their cultural diversity but when it's not so convenient, they'll blame the high crime/poverty/incarceration rates on ethnic minorities as if they're somehow separate from the rest of the country. You can't have it both ways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by weltschmerz View Post
Exactly!
Furthermore, you won't often find Canadians whining that the Aboriginal population is skewering their numbers and dragging the stats down.
Not really fair to lump that many Americans. If anything, Americans as a group have very divergent views even though it's often a specific kind of stupidity that goes on and on about being a "true American".

The US is very much a developed country. It has serious issues but also a lot of great things about it. Not all of us are ridiculous like some of the other Americans here, but I do think the good attributes of the US gets pretty short shrift some times compared to the admittedly very bad attributes the US also has.
 
Old 03-18-2013, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Chicago(Northside)
3,719 posts, read 5,897,880 times
Reputation: 1642
Quote:
Originally Posted by weltschmerz View Post
Exactly!
Furthermore, you won't often find Canadians whining that the Aboriginal population is skewering their numbers and dragging the stats down.
Neither has America regarding Native Americans.
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