Posted by: Jim | July 24, 2008

Is America the Best?

Bubbagut and Todd both feel that “everything is fine” and that we are not in dire circumstances. I’ve been asked to back up my assertions with facts.

Fair enough. Even though I’ve been pushing the rock up that hill for the past five years on this blog, I will try once again to convince Conservatives why there is a problem. Sorry if I seem a little burned out in my descriptions.  

  1. Separation of Classes

The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. Unfortunately the previous sentence has become such a truism that it has become trite. But while you dismiss that sentence as hackneyed, please grasp that this is putting the US on a course toward violent revolution. I’m not trying to be an alarmist here, but when Marx wrote his treatise on Dialectic Materialism, he showed the reasons why historically … <blah blah blah, I’m quoting Marx. You’ve stopped listening now.>

  1. The Loss of our Representational Government
    That’s right. We lost it. It’s gone. And no matter what you say I doubt anything will make me believe we still have it. Most Americans have been lulled by lies, and have grown to expect lies to such a degree that you don’t recognize that your representational government has become a self-perpetuating money-maker for Corporations. George Orwell taught us this in <blah blah blah … You don’t like what I’m saying. I lost you.>
  2. The Impotence of our Constitution
    That’s right. It’s impotent. George W. Bush cut the nuts right off it, and Congress let him. He has broken so many laws without recrimination that the message to future heads of state is clear: The Constitution ain’t no big thang! Do as ya please! (Note to investors: go long on penitentiaries.)
  3. No balance of Power.
    The Congressional Branch of Government used to oppose the Executive Branch. Since both branches have willingly grafted themselves onto another tree (Corporations), they no longer oppose each other. They only pretend to. The flagrant corruption we see today (which we’re numb to) is just a symptom of this.
  4. Failing Currency
    Most of our SNAFUs overseas have been to protect our flagging dollar. Oil is actually secondary (I’m learning). Our problems mostly stem from our currency. We’re entering an inflationary economy for the first time in 35 years. I won’t blame the Bush Administration for this, because most of the actions that have eviscerated the dollar were done by previous administrations. But Bush has not addressed them. According to him, the economy is growing. Jah.
  5. Energy Crisis
    Jimmy Carter brought this to our attention in 1973 when there was still time to take appropriate action. Reagan didn’t. Clinton didn’t. Bush didn’t. They took a bad situation and made it horrible. Is there time to rescue ourselves? Where is the fucking LEADERSHIP that we need to steer this country away from a non-renewable, dwindling resource? It’s not happening. We don’t have any. We have an energy crisis now, and there’s no better way to kill an economy.
  6. We’re the richest, but not the best.
    Todd actually “Challenged” me to show how other countries are better.

Challenge taken:

EDUCATION

“The national results in international comparisons have often been far below the average of developed countries. In OECD‘s Programme for International Student Assessment 2003, 15 year olds ranked 24th of 38 in mathematics, 19th of 38 in science, 12th of 38 in reading, and 26th of 38 in problem solving.[52] In the 2006 assessment, the U.S. ranked 35th out of 57 in mathematics and 29th out of 57 in science. Reading scores could not be reported due to printing errors in the instructions of the U.S. test booklets. U.S. scores were far behind those of most other developed nations.[53] In addition, many business leaders have expressed concerns that the quality of education given in the US system is generally below acceptable standards, and should be adapted in order to conform to the needs of an evolving world. Bill Gates has famously stated that the American high school is ‘obsolete’.”[54] from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_States>

HEALTHCARE
Who is better? Germany! They pay 1/3 the cost per capita for health Care. Doctors are not as rich, but I am not a Doctor so I don’t care. Most doctors in Germany don’t care either.  Also, 47 million Americans (about 15.8% of the total population) had no health insurance coverage at some point during 2006. For these people, any of the following countries would be a better place to live:  Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal,[4] Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.[ from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_the_United_States>

CRIME
It’s hard to compare crimes internationally, because they are defined differently. Murder is pretty easy to define however. If you don’t want to get murdered, move to almost any other industrialized nation. Murder happens more in the US than in any other industrialized nation. We are similar to “lesser developed Eastern European countries” when it comes to murder. There’s something to be proud of! So Todd should amend his statement to “Show me a country <like Croatia> that is better.”  from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States>

I’m out of time or I would cover more topics, but there’s three. You really should stop saying that the US is the best place in the world to live. It’s not! We love it the most though! Because we grew up here! I love it the most too, so on that we agree. But because I love it is why I’m so angry.

Because we ARE the richest. We can AFFORD to be the best in all these areas but we SUCK. Because our corrupt government enables inequity and oppression.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Toad’s an ass. You give him credibility he doesn’t deserve when you debate him as an intellectual equal.

  2. Looking into my right-wing crystal ball I can see that two of the three examples chosen might be blamed on the presence in the US of too many…

    … but then again, I spent a lot of time in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee…

  3. its funny (tho not for poor jim)-

    how people don’t get it still, that we are all on the same boat. if the ship goes down, we all go down with it. the right wing has been so good at diverting us for years- with shiny big fast toys, wars, “sinful” activities of others, etc etc….that we don’t notice how small the percentage is, of those who are privileged. not just here in america. but the world.

    and if anyone thinks they could survive so well without others around-go see one of those armageddon movies.
    or plan ahead, and make a reservation on the moon colony we are all waiting for….maybe, if you know the doorman, you’ll get in!!!

    PS-maybe, next time anyone doubts re the conditions of the world-ask if they’ve have ever left our comfortable USA-where we can FEEL special, and BE ignorant, all at the same time!!

    PPS-and for most of the people I see-
    life in America is really not as comfortable as they wish it could be….

  4. Jim – I do not have a whole lot of interest in debating you as it require too much effort for something where neither of us would sway the other’s opinion. So I will wing it.

    Separation of Classes – I am not sure if I like the distinction of classes but I do agree that the rich get richer. I see it from the perspective of being a business owner though and I am ok with the rich getting richer. I know from personal experience that I took the financial risk to start a business. I also remember losing money for three years in a row and being in debt several hundred thousand dollars, living in my father-in-law’s basement and being away from my family working long hours. Turns out it has paid off for me as I do quite well financially….and I am doing better every year. When I look at my employees and see my income vs. what I pay them it is significant. They could start the same business I am in – but they chose not to risk it financially or make the sacrifice necessary to succeed as I have. I deserve the rewards for my hard work and sacrifice. It is too easy to stand on the sidelines and throw rocks at the rich getting richer without being willing to make the same sacrifice they have made.

    Healthcare – I prefer not to review anyone’s study as I will likely find it is biased one way or the other. I will satte though that if I need a major surgery there is only one place I would consider having it – right here in the USA. I suppose ost people feel the same – maybe it is ignorance and someone else you mentioned has higher quality healthcare…but my gut tells me to stay home on this one.

    Crime – I cannot argue with you – we have a high crime rate. I suppose it is not all good.

    Economy – we have seen much worse than today and I do not see us having a terrible economy at this time. Great Depression – that was bad…we are not even close. Like I said before – we have more homeowners buying more toys and gadgets and computers and whatever. We are fine. Gas is expensive – some banks will go under – this is not the sky falling.

    Energy Crisis – Not sure I would call this a crisis. Gas has gotten expensive. We have lots of natural resources in the US – we just have the inability to tap into these resources due to liberal interference. The largest coal reserves in the world are located in Montana – but no power plants are built or coal dug up in I do not know how long – every time a corporation pursues tapping these resources they are tied up in law suits by liberal organizations suing them.

    I would sum it up that I do not see the sky falling as you would like to depict. I do not see a revolution at hand or people living in the streets. I see a blip in the growth of our country that we will rise above with ingenuity and perseverence.

  5. Bubba,

    I’m in agreement with you that being rich, and getting richer is a good thing. My hat is off to you and your success (sincerely). You deserve what you have. That’s not the point I was trying to make though. The disparity between the rich and poor is growing at an alarming rate. That’s my concern. And in a class society (which we are) there needs to be cooperation between the classes. There usually has been cooperation between the rich and the not-rich in America, but this cooperation is eroding. Workers today are at the mercy of their employers. The middle class can’t afford homes, health care, legal protection, or an education anymore!

    With regard to Health care, you’re basing your opinion on your gut. OK … hard to argue with someone’s gut when I used facts to present my side. 🙂

    The economy seems like a blip now, and I hope you’re right. I hope that’s all it turns out to be. I have serious concerns about our currency though.

    And we are most certainly in an energy crisis. I’m not sure how else you can describe our situation …

  6. Bubba and Todd: assuming you know how to read (you haven’t really given any indication of that here), I can recommend several books on all the subjects covered in this post. Of course, you are smarter than everyone, even educated and experienced economists and historians, so you won’t take anything they say seriously. But if you want some recommendations, I’d be happy to provide them.

    For starters, because it’s easy to read and understand, I’d go out and get yourself a copy of Ron Paul’s spot-on manifesto, called ‘The Revolution’. It’s fairly short, so you can get through it in one sitting — but fair warning; it’s not illustrated with cartoons.

    Oh yeah, I forgot — Ten-term Texas Republican Senator Ron Paul is a wackjob, right? They told you that right after refilling your Kool-Aid cup. The same people who insisted Iraq would be a ‘cakewalk’ and would ‘pay for itself’ in oil revenues right after they ‘greeted us as liberators’. Keep believing what you think you know, boys. Don’t learn anything that might challenge your little prepackaged spoon-fed microwaveable babyfood ideologies.

    * * *

  7. Jim, thanks for responding. Perhaps I should clarify.

    We may not be at the top in mathematics, science, or even knowledge of our mother tongue, but the things of which we possess first place with no apparent contenders are freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I know. I enjoy my freedom each day. I have pursued happiness, and have obtained a fair amount of it. I work my ass off. I pay my taxes. I have served my country. I purchase gasoline at whatever price it is without blaming my government (yes, the current McCain ad is kind of silly). My mortgage is current and not in danger of foreclosure (Colorado is #3 in the nation). I give when I can to charities I believe to be worthy of my support.

    I do not blame our schools as the root cause of why our children are becoming dumber and dumber in the eyes of the world, I blame the parents. Home schooling is not the answer, paying closer attention to your children is the answer. My children laugh at most of the TV interviews given by the supposed role models in this society. NBA, NFL, Hollywood, and most political figures. My kids do not emulate what society pushes on them, they listen to their PARENTS.

    I am RESPONSIBLE for MYSELF, first and foremost, libs. I have family and some friends who are reliant on me not fucking it up. Get a group of self-reliant people together, and it makes this country even better. We’re not concerned with the government making it all better. Truth be told, what happens in Presidential elections does not effect me in the least. This country is the same to me as when George Bush I was elected, through Clinton and Bush II. This country has not been the same since Reagan. Write that one down, you’ll want to remember it.

    Eddie Izzard has said, “Watch out America, you’re the next Rome. All you’re missing are orgies and vomitoriums.”

    I’ll take that – Rome at its peak was great. I also believe that we will not allow history to repeat itself. We’re smarter than that.

    Bri, I acknowledge your challenge regarding my reading comprehension skills. I respectfully disagree, and challenge you to check your comprehension calibration. Jim didn’t even read my challenge correctly. I am rubber, you are glue 🙂

    Sorry for the rant guys and gals. The U.S. tops my list for countries in which to live and thrive. Your mileage may vary, but even for stop and go city driving, America is still head and shoulders above the rest of the world’s highway mileage.

  8. Oh, and Chuckie? In the words of The Fonz, “Sit on it.” You make me laugh.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: