America

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Bard, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. Bard

    Bard Erchamion

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    What do you guys think of the US? I hear alot of things about it on this forum...not really bashing it or anything, just some random statements. I also would like to hear what people from other countries think of this country. Comparing the US would be good too, just to hear some different points of view. Please have legitimate proof to back up your statements. Also, what mistakes do you think the US has made(besides the obvious ones)?
    Let's do it!
     
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  2. Ringquelle

    Ringquelle Graveyard Faerie

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    Well..... I think the U.S is a nice country if you don't include most of the political issues. I don't like Bush, not to mention most other politicians.

    I also ahte the fact that the state doesn't care about its inhabbitants, or about what happens to them.

    America has good things though, like its culture, the large variety of people, the general kindness.....
     
  3. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Personally I love America. It's my favorite country I've ever been to. The only countrys I like anywhere near half as much are England and Japan. However I think some American Freedoms need to be more limited in certain cases. Namely, Michael Moore shouldn't be allowed to speak. About anything. Ever. Especially since he hates America more than Osama.
     
  4. AcrobaticHippo

    AcrobaticHippo Determined

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    Well, apart from the politicians, I think the US is a pretty intriguing country, what with it being a sorta cooking pot (y'know, the spices are the people from all over Europe?) and besides, some places are very interesting to visit...and also, I respect the US for making many advancements, even though some of the basic ideas weren't theirs...I might think of settling there someday, but hey, there's England and of course, mah Singapore :D
     
  5. Jessehk

    Jessehk The introverted

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    So people should be denied their right to speak if what they are saying does not match what you were tought to believe in?
     
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  6. Boadicea

    Boadicea Warrior Queen

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    Well, being an American, I would hope that I think that it's a great country, which I do! We've been blessed with so many rights that, previously, most countries didn't have, and some that still don't. Enough said about why I love it. Unfortunately it's not what it used to be. Our economy and, in my opinion, culture, is steadily declining. I think everyone's debated about the politics enough, so I don't need to go into that. But culture-wise, here's what I mean: Jnanee, I think that the fact that there are so many different cultures and nationalities all blended together is great, to an extent. The problem now is sense there is so much diversity, there's very little classical tradition left in our society, because there is no certain old cultural heritage that people hold on to. Instead, all of it's swallowed up in the culture of suburbs and Walmarts.I don't know how other people feel about it, but it makes me sick and sad to watch this country be consumed by its own prosperity and freedoms.....as for Michael Moore, I think he's as Anti-American as they come, but if the government had the authority to shut him up, they would gradually strip all Americans of our freedom of speech, and it wouldn't be a democracy anymore.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2005
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  7. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    If you truly believe that Michael Moore is anti-American, that is a shame, because you missed the point.

    He believes sending American citizens to a war that in his opinion is being fought for the wrong reasons is contrary to the best interest of the average American citizen.

    He believes that the "Right to Bear Arms" that is guaranteed in the Constitution does not necessarily mean assault rifles that have no practical use in hunting or self-defense.

    He is Anti-Bush, Anti-establishment and Anti-big-money; but hardly Anti-American.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2005
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  8. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    America...

    I don't think Europeans really understand America. I mean, on the one hand, it should be the illuminated guide into the future; The most advanced country in the world. Still, America is a country with one of the biggest seperations between poor and rich, has some of the highest crime rates, aren't as healthy as most (western-) Europeans. Also, a lot of political issues are solved in a completely different matter. We see them often as old fashioned; Death penalty, guns and arms legislation, pseudo-theocratic tendancies. Still, it is also the country of wealth and prosperity, often earned by influential multi-nationals. Companies that (apparently) go at great lengths to continue profit making.

    I think that the really frustrating part is, that America chooses to go whichever path seems best in their interest in international politics, often lacking tact towards other countries and international organistations. Arrogance is the word that springs to mind. And whether for good or for worse, this is really what's bugging most people in the rest of the world. And if you ask me, this arrogance is completely the reason America is where it is now; hated in the Arab world, frowned upon by the Europeans. Still, they can allow themselves this positions due to an irreplacable part in the world economy. Which only adds to the frustration.
     
  9. Oberyn Martell

    Oberyn Martell The Red Viper

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    Moore's an idiot and his work isn't worth taking seriously,but that's not a reason to censor him.But if you honestly believe he's anti big-money,well,he seems to have no problem making it.

    Anyway,part of the reason(the biggest part,IMHO)that we seem to stand apart from the rest of the world is that basically every country in the world was founded on history,blood,and culture.The US isn't,we were founded on an ideology.We are different from the rest of the world,different doesn't mean better or worse,it just means different.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2005
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  10. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    I disagree, I saw Michael Moore's work...I respect him and see him as one of America's best! He stands up for your people and is right in every way what he says in his documentary's. America is a corrupt land with corrupt politicians...but it's not beyond saving. America is a great country, but the way it is know it is not my first place where I want to be.
     
  11. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    You miss the reference. "Anti-big-money" isn't against making money, it's about using that money to inflict corporate policy onto world political policy.

    See: "World Trade Organization"
     
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  12. Harbringer

    Harbringer New Member

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    America is pretty badass.. Although I will still have the Motherland in my heart
     
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  13. Oberyn Martell

    Oberyn Martell The Red Viper

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    How do you see the WTO as demonstrating that concept?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2005
  14. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    Moore has said on tape that Americans are the stupidest people on the planet. He just says this in foreign countries where it is likely to get little press.

    Second, he makes strawman or ad hominem arguments while peddling his videos loaded with misleading or outright false "facts".

    Third, he is a hypocrite in denouncing the capitalist system while using that system to make his millions.

    Last, assault weapons in the form of military grade weapons havent been publicly available in the states since the 50s. Nobody is arguing against him.

    He used his money to become a large player in the 2004 Us Presidential race and to argue US foreign policyon the world stage.

    We have a large separation between the poor and rich because we dont penalize the success of the talented. Not very much anyway. We are advanced because we dont penalize advancement. We are pioneers in technology because we dont penalize pioneers.

    It would do you well to remember that "poor" in this country means:
    a modern home with water, heat, Air Conditioning, electricity;
    multiple televisions with access to public (not state controlled) broadcasts which include daily news and entertainment;
    clean drinking water;
    a car;
    internet access;
    A better living wage than the overall average income in most EU countries.

    Socialist and Communist wealth engineering schemes have been proven throughout the 20th century to be flawed. It creates a stagnate economy which in itself may be adequate but if foreign countries maintain capitalism their economy grows or inflates to the point that progressive governments and citizens must spend increasing amounts of capital or trade goods to maintain the same buying power.

    France has an economy that has been stagnate for decades. Their regulation over business and employment has close, leave or stagnate (except for a specific few which focus a large portion of their business overseas) Health Care in Canada is universal yet the specific services provided are roughly equilivent to 1970s US healthcare. Even large countries like Russia found that they needed to artificially infuse their holding by either creating a slave workforce or capturing wealth from other nations.

    The ability to trade your labor or the work of your hands (or mind) on the free market is a basic freedom in the US and only one reason to love this country. So long as that is the case in few countries, we will continue to be prosperous.
     
  15. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    So you choose to penalize the untalented? And how in the world would you penalize advancement? (I can think of some ways, like anti-stemcell legislation ;))

    Live is a risk, Karta. Is not losing a talent?

    And so I send you forth into the abyss of the Comptons to preach this story.

    Better wages? Care to share what the minimum wage is? and what exactly what social security an unemploid citizen gets? Or someone (medically) unable to work without insurance?

    France is in trouble for the neglect of politics to renew their economical structure. This should have been done long ago, but politicians failed to do so (for obvious reasons). Scandinavian economies, more social in nature, seem to do just fine, though. And with those being some of the happiest nations in the world... what exactly is your point?

    Canada heh? I think the two best health (and wealth?) parameters are longelivety and average length. In the US both have been decining for decades now. I can't remember that being the case for Canada...

    Russia... I think Russia can't be compared to the US in any way at this point. They've just been through about 75 years of totalitarism, which consumed Russia to the ground.

    through the competition of countries not so caring for their personel. Why do you think China is doing so well all of the sudden? That has nothing to do with China being protective to their citizens. Yes, Beijing smelled the big money in the west. And neither Europe nor America will be save from it's hunger...

    But I see your point here, increasing social security costs rend gouverments no option other then to cut in them. deeply. Which is happening all over europe now. Still, we are very aware that the simple work can be done in forreign countries for a fraction of the price. Which isn't necesserally a problem, you just have to adapt to this situation. Which also is happening. And in my opinion, there's nothing wrong with that...


    Still, I totally forgot to bring lawsuits into the equation... Those are greatly obstructing the economy; it's a fast trip to unmeasurable wealth, but in time it will gnaw on the very pillars of America. For example, the 200mln (that was the figure, right?) Merck had to pay to that widdow in the first Vioxx case could have financed about 20-50% of a new medicine. If you still have Merck stocks... too bad for you. There are more people in line, this is a company that's going down... (In a case where I see the FDA not going completely free either... not to mention Merck continued the sales overseas, after it already cut exploitation in the US)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2005
  16. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    You dont reward the untalented. Why should people who make no effort to succeed be rewarded with anything more than their actual value?

    You penalize advancement by not guaranteeing copyrights or patents.


    Even the people in Compton have these things. Some of the people in Compton have nicer thing than I do. Ive visited migrant worker camps at the tobacco fields in Virginia. You might feel bad for them because their temporary housing looks bad but the parking lot tells a different story. If people spend their money on non essential nicities they shouldnt get supplements that make up the difference. As you said "Live is a risk" and so they bring their suffering on themselves.


    I dont know enough about modern scandinavian economies to argue. That doesnt mean the criticism of france isnt valid.

    Maybe Americans like to do things that hurt their health. Short of conscription, a better medical system doesnt necessarily improve that.


    I thought that lawsuits would be a way of keeping the evil corporations down, limiting their exploitation of the populace and punishing them for their greed. You are against that? Personally I am. Every time some idiot gets 200 mln for spilling hot coffee on herself we destroy a percentage of our potential.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2005
  17. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Ahhh... yeah... I forgot. The meritocracy. I think it has been proved by now that the Meritocracy is flawed as well. See, meritocracy depends on a chance. And chance says that not the talented but the lucky get rewarded. Sure, when you are talented, the chance of being successfull in life increases, but in no way guarantees success. Now does the motivation of this risk equal what the downside of losing imposes? From what I know, security leads to a happier life then the risk... Which is what it's all about. Happiness. Right?

    OK... is there something I should know about copyrights or patents? Far as I know, the differences between the US and the EU are very small on this point. Sure, China doesn't respect them, but that's outside of the picture right now. At least, there are no differences in either in my trade. 15 years. that's it for Medicine. I think copyrights hold for 80 years?

    The only difference I know about was the dispute on gene sequences, which were patantable in the US some years before Europe, but they had no choice then to follow American suit...

    Errr... right.

    First of all, that sort of contradicts. First of all, you defend the economical status of the economical underpowered citizens. And then, you go on by telling me life is a risk and that they call whatever misery they are in over themselves... So... what is it? Do they suffer from their poverty or do you deny their position to complain?

    Then, I'm not too sure the people below the poverty line do get the same chance as the rich 10%...

    And...
    Population below poverty line: 12% (2004 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 1.8% highest 10%: 30.5% (1997)
    (source: CIA.gov)

    Interesting...

    You call an example, I call another. You made a claim about Socialism not working and giving the example of France (where, according to you, it didn't work out). I counter this by giving an example of countries where it did work out... Balance :)

    No way to take this into the equation. You might be right (which doesn't pleed for the US either way). Still, there is a correlation between healthcare expenditure and national health.

    You might be right. Still, I believe it's the Gouvernment's duty to keep evilness out of the commercial zone... Still, would you like to be an MD, with the chance of being sued to death when you make one mistake? There is a hospital saying; Sometimes Doctors are just like humans. They CAN make mistakes. It happens. Still, the benefit of MD's greatly exceed the damage they do. However, this doesn't count for the individual in court. And I'm sure there are cases where the Doctor is completely to blame. Still, I don't think these cases are in proportion to the amout of money involved in the compensations they are made to pay.

    Still, I don't see how sometimes minor damage to anyone would yield such amounts of money, where in other cases there's no money for life-saving operations. How is a human valued at $200mln? I think there's an agreement in The Netherlands that medical treatment expanding a patients lifetime with one year should not exceed 10.000 euros (currently about $11.500).
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2005
  18. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

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    Sorry, I'm kind of jumping into the middle of your debate here, but I just had to respond to this.

    "Talent" and "effort" are really completely different things. You can be very talented at something, yet still make absolutely no money because of it.

    Effort is putting forth your best doing what you have to do. The great thing about America, is that if you truly want to succeed, if you want a job, if you want to make money, if you want to be able to provide for yourself and your family, you can. Captialism and the "meritocracy" rewards people who do their best. You don't necessarily have to have "talent." My sister has a minumium wage, part-time job which she got about a year and a half ago. Over that time, she has rarely called in sick, always showed up on time, worked holidays, etc., and she has been reawrded for her efforts by a significant raise and a promotion.

    Bottom line: In America, it's not "chance". Your level of success, for the most part, is determined by the level of effort you put forward to get yourself there. If I sit around at home on the couch, doing nothing but complain about what I don't have, why should I be rewarded with tax money from people who are actually out there working?
     
  19. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    I know pharmecudical patents are very short. The EU is also very reluctant to institute patents on applied logorithms such as MP3 codecs and other compression / encryption software.

    Maybe not the same chance. But a chance.

    I dont think that socialism is completely unsustainable. It is possible that a country with a small enough population and a large trade surplus could maintain the expense of nationalized health care. Im just not familiar enough with the netherlands to know if this is the case.

    I agree completely. Criminal negligence or intentional harm is completely different from an accident. A doctor cannot be expected to perform perfectly especially as hard as they are worked. An accident in good faith shouldnt be an invitation for lawsuit.

    In the states our system is two tiered. One tier is the value of the loss which is dependent on the actual cost of the loss over the lifetime. If someone can no long do their job because of injurious harm they would get the annual salary multiplied by the number of years they would be expected to work. The second tier is a penalty award. It is intended to cause the accused to suffer and change their actions. The higher payouts come from the second tier and normally lawyers get one third or more of the award.
     
  20. Ringquelle

    Ringquelle Graveyard Faerie

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    in the netherlands we depend upon Health insurances.In a few months, everyone will have one. If you fall ill/break something/etc., the company who you got your health insurance from will pay part of the costs the medicine, treatment, diagnosis, operation etc.
    It's also for one or two contraception pills. And abortions are free I believe.