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Topic Subject: What is wrong with America?
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posted 07-06-03 02:05 AM EDT (US)   
America, it used to be the greatest country of the world. But it has been on a steady decline in the past few years. Which is not to say that it is a bad place, but that other countries are at the same level (they have been going up as the US is going down) as the US now. I often think about this, and why it is so.
Here is my question to you, what is wrong with America? I have my own opinions, but I am looking for other explanations as well. Here are mine...

1. World War II. Before this conflict the US was an isolationist country, afterwards, the country became the "world's police." Wars in Korea (sanctioned by the UN) and VietNam (in aid of France, and sanctioned by the UN) were seen as wars that the US shouldn't have been involved in and hurt the country's foreign appeal. As well, now, it seems that the Government is more concerned with foreign problems then their own, domestic problems. Whereas, when we were isolationist, we only worried about ourselves.

2. Politicians. Now, I know that you're thinking "he is going to say that politicians are corrupt." Well, you're right. Corruption in the Government is a huge problem. Back when America was great, the political leaders of this country cared more for the country than their own personal gain. Now, all that political leaders want is money and power for themselves.

3. Crime. The US has some of the highest crime rates in the world. You can hardly say that a country is great when a man can't walk outside his house at night without worrying that he might be murdered. Or shopowners have to bar up their windows so that their goods won't be stolen. Or you can't do something as simple as leave your car unlocked.

4. Mexico. Waves of illegal immigrants cross the border every day. Now, I'm not blaming Mexicans for America's problems, but they contribute. When you get illegals from Mexico, what else do you get? A bunch of uneducated fools that can't speak English (speaking of which, when I was in LA last week, we were at Burger King and they had a poster on their counter advertising "The Great American Burger", we promptly walked out when we saw that the rest of it was in Spanish).

5. Superpower. The US, as the sole world superpower, has such a great responsiblity to do everything perfectly. The Government is in the center of the world stage. However, our actions can only suit one half (theoretically) of the world. The rest start to create a bad image of the US (which they pass on to their children, who pass it on to their children, who pass it on...). The Government, trying to keep a popular image, always tries to do the "right thing", instead of doing what should be done.

There you have it, now, what do y'all think?


"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address
Replies:
posted 07-06-03 08:01 AM EDT (US)     1 / 44  
I think I saw this somewhere else, either OD or The Library.
posted 07-06-03 09:13 AM EDT (US)     2 / 44  
He posted it in the Library too.

"War does not decide who is right... only who is left." -Bertrand Russell
posted 07-06-03 09:49 AM EDT (US)     3 / 44  

Quote:

Which is not to say that it is a bad place, but that other countries are at the same level (they have been going up as the US is going down) as the US now

Which countries do you mean?


It would take a homocidal maniac with a claymore and a kilt to get the better of me!
God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland

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[This message has been edited by NathraX (edited 07-06-2003 @ 09:49 AM).]

posted 07-06-03 10:03 AM EDT (US)     4 / 44  
What i don't like america Canada's greater We kicked there *** in war of 1812!
posted 07-06-03 10:21 AM EDT (US)     5 / 44  
QB,

I respectfully disagree.

I don't think that America has been sliding "down" at all. If anything, our recent military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have reinforced our image as the world superpower.

With globalization of the world markets (ie it's much easier to get widgets from country A to country B then it used to be 50 years ago) it is now important for our economy to become rather active in the affairs of other nations as we are essentially all active in international trade. The world economy is directly correlated to the US economy! We hit a slump and the whole world feels it.... likewise, when we boom the whole world prospers.

I agree with you that the Mexican border is a problem. I was just reading that in New York City, they are going to have to close down six fire departments because the 6 million dollars to keep them open was reallocated for Billingual Education. Yes, that's right... less firefighters so that people can learn in Spanish. We need our borders secure, both to the south AND the north. And we need to hae one national language.

While the US does have a high crime rate, that's part of what happens when so many people live together in such a small location (ie, a city). Compare the crime in, say, New York with the crimes going on in Liberia right now. Sure, maybe the Big Apple criminal will mug you or try to scam you, but in Liberia if you are walking down the street and are identified by an opposing faction, they will put a tire over you so your arms are pinned, fill the tire with gas, and light it. Comparing that kind of stuff with conventional crime, I'll take conventional crime.

I don't think the problem is what's wrong with Amercia, I think the problem is a lot of resentment from other countries that they aren't America. Our culture is all over the planet with globalisation. It's only natural that we are resented by some.

posted 07-06-03 11:59 AM EDT (US)     6 / 44  
Well hey it can't stay like that every country has there rise and fall.
posted 07-06-03 12:12 PM EDT (US)     7 / 44  

Quote:

What is wrong with America?

i'll tell you what's wrong with america;- they've half destroyed the english language with their crazy spellings. (and they still have the nerve to call it "english")


I'M BACK!

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posted 07-06-03 01:13 PM EDT (US)     8 / 44  
what about the couch potatoes off welfare that raise other generations of couch potatoes :]

Winner of EEh Post Award Stolen from Aom

Quote:

If I only had a heart...

posted 07-06-03 02:12 PM EDT (US)     9 / 44  

Quote:

What i don't like america Canada's greater We kicked there *** in war of 1812!

Hmm...No you didn't. I don't recall any Canadian troops marching to Washington and burning the House of White. It was our "close ally" the Brits. Stupid limeys burning our White House.

posted 07-06-03 08:46 PM EDT (US)     10 / 44  

Quote:

4. Mexico. Waves of illegal immigrants cross the border every day. Now, I'm not blaming Mexicans for America's problems, but they contribute. When you get illegals from Mexico, what else do you get? A bunch of uneducated fools that can't speak English (speaking of which, when I was in LA last week, we were at Burger King and they had a poster on their counter advertising "The Great American Burger", we promptly walked out when we saw that the rest of it was in Spanish).

If the US banned every illegal immigrant from the US, the economy would fall even worst, who would do the jobs that only Mexicans mostly do? (the real hard jobs that Americans don't get close to), and they also don't get their tax rebate and they pay taxes, meaning a huge income for the government... and also, they work here and eat, purchase needed items, and buy stuff here, they help out the economy.

and no, I'm not mexican


posted 07-06-03 09:00 PM EDT (US)     11 / 44  
Don't most illegal immagrants get paid "under the table", ie ,no tax?
posted 07-06-03 09:03 PM EDT (US)     12 / 44  
Yes. However, it still helps buisiness and when buisiness booms, tax booms .
posted 07-06-03 11:29 PM EDT (US)     13 / 44  

Quote:

If the US banned every illegal immigrant from the US, the economy would fall even worst, who would do the jobs that only Mexicans mostly do? (the real hard jobs that Americans don't get close to), and they also don't get their tax rebate and they pay taxes, meaning a huge income for the government... and also, they work here and eat, purchase needed items, and buy stuff here, they help out the economy.

Which is more than made up for by the ones that don't do any work and get welfare and sit at home all day. Or the ones that do work and send all of their money back to Mexico, which takes it out of the US' hands as well. Or the ones that are currently suing the US Government (for several million dollars) because their family died while trying to cross the Arizona desert (illegaly) and the Government had denied a human-services request to place water stations in the middle of the desert for the "undocumented citizens" a month earlier. So basically they're suing because the US Government didn't provide Mexican citizens with water.

I think this country could do just fine without illegal immigrants. Now, if they wanted to come over legally, I don't have a problem with that.


"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address
posted 07-07-03 06:28 AM EDT (US)     14 / 44  
I, too, think its unfair to say the UNited States is slipping. Also, when ppl say this, I tend to take it wit ha grain of salt. Every generation of people are convinced of a couple things: They world is gonna end soon, the next generation is all screwed up, and they're nation's time is up (if they are powerful).

Also, I doubt the US will "fall" in the conventional sense. In other words, it is not going to lose out to Europe or China or anything. Rather, the US will surrender its power to a greater gov't. (not quite a world gov't, but definatly going in that direction).

I do agree that it sucks being in the superpower in some cases. This is true for a couple reasons. Firstly, you are bound to be resented. Secondly, it is expected of you by the rest of the world to solve all the problems. But when you do anything, they say, "how dare you get involved". And thirdle, something that grows out of these two, you become a scapegoat for all the problems.

I disagree w/ the thing about politicians. They are about as corrupt now as they always were. Maybe less, considering that if the media catches a wiff, they get torn apart.

The point about crime: Actually, crime has lessoned in the last 20 yrs, although there are signs of it turning again. However, this hints that crime, like the economy, is subject to cycles. Of course the crime reate is to high, thats always true.

How could the US decline? Politically, economically, militarily, ideologically? Well, true, we have lost some credibility lately. Economically, we are in a slight slump, but this is just the cycle. Militarily, I would say we have advanced. And ideologically, we are probably better off.


"Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength." Sun Tzu
posted 07-07-03 02:44 PM EDT (US)     15 / 44  

Quote:

How could the US decline? Politically, economically, militarily, ideologically? Well, true, we have lost some credibility lately. Economically, we are in a slight slump, but this is just the cycle. Militarily, I would say we have advanced. And ideologically, we are probably better off.

I do not judge countries based on its military. Economically, how can you call this a slight slump? This is bordering on depression. Ideologically, we are a little more conservative than Europe or Canada, but not much. Not enough.


"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address
posted 07-07-03 02:45 PM EDT (US)     16 / 44  
But what this topic was getting at was this:

America used to be a great country, now, it is just little more than average.


"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address
posted 07-08-03 07:20 PM EDT (US)     17 / 44  
1. Isolationism was a direct cause of many poorly made choices on the part of the US government, especially during WWII, including our dissapointing hesitation to assist the allies in the opening years of the war--a lesson learned very quickly and too late by the time October of 1940 had arrived. It took another year for the US to catch the hint.

2. politicians have always been corrupt... as power often does to people throughout history. There is the great automakers in the 30's & 40's, there were the rockafellers (sp?), the Kennedy's, We have had senators that have been seated in power for nearly 40 years... and it wasn't because people liked their gun control policies. They had influence and political control to manipulate to their benefit.

3. What kind of crime are we talking about? Terror bombings or shoplifting? Perhaps Columbia or Indonesia didn't make the list... or maybe Somalia or Tanzania isn't included in that study. Okay, those examples don't really compatre, I know, but I guess my point is that the reflection of crime in our country is a reflection of the state of the world we live in. Yes there are and always have been places that may be 'safer' or have less crime but it's all relative in so many different ways. Our world is changing and it's not going to be for the better.

4. A lot of people in California, Texas, Florida and other states have a lot of strong feelings about this subject and I try to be careful because it's a serious subject on both sides. So many people live in such horrible oppression and poverty... if we really knew in this country what so many innocent people have to endure just to survive in some of our neighboring countries, I think attitudes would be different. Personally, legal is legal. It's not right for someone to sneak into another country and abuse the systems put in place designed to assist citizens in need. Unfortuantly many of their own governments do not provide for their needs either. Unfortunatly the US has historically been rather... um stupid regarding it's immigration laws and many current laws were enstated in the 20's and 30's... another product of isolationism I suppose. IT is not what you would call 'easy' to become a citizen of the United States... which is odd to me considering our roots.
My wife is Candian and if she wanted to become a citizen not only does she have to have any odd number of specific medical exams and tests but mental evaluations as well... not to mention a healthy final cost of over $800... not including medical fees and a lawyer if we chose to use one.
We can't even afford this so how does a poor Mexican family do the same? I think we are creating part of our own problem.

5. this may be a decline in 'image' because others may interpret such actions as arrogant and presupmtous and 'unilateral' (I like that one) but I am thankful that I live in a nation that is willing to sacrifice it's own wellbeing and resources to send desperatly needed aid to impoverished countries and military aid to war torn regions and military assistance to threatened nations. Some, if not many, policies and actions have been poorly planned or executed (some at the expense of public popularity) but at least my country cares...

--The world we live in is in decline, period. I am thankful to be living this country and there are a lot of things here that make my life enjoyable to live in spite of the minor sacrifices I have to make to live here. I think it's a great country rising in a dark world.

k- I'm done. thanks for reading all that babble
excellent post, qb_rms


A fool shows his annoyance at once but a prudent one overlooks an insult. -Proverbs-
posted 07-08-03 08:42 PM EDT (US)     18 / 44  

Quote:

4. A lot of people in California, Texas, Florida and other states have a lot of strong feelings about this subject and I try to be careful because it's a serious subject on both sides. So many people live in such horrible oppression and poverty... if we really knew in this country what so many innocent people have to endure just to survive in some of our neighboring countries, I think attitudes would be different. Personally, legal is legal. It's not right for someone to sneak into another country and abuse the systems put in place designed to assist citizens in need. Unfortuantly many of their own governments do not provide for their needs either. Unfortunatly the US has historically been rather... um stupid regarding it's immigration laws and many current laws were enstated in the 20's and 30's... another product of isolationism I suppose. IT is not what you would call 'easy' to become a citizen of the United States... which is odd to me considering our roots.
My wife is Candian and if she wanted to become a citizen not only does she have to have any odd number of specific medical exams and tests but mental evaluations as well... not to mention a healthy final cost of over $800... not including medical fees and a lawyer if we chose to use one.
We can't even afford this so how does a poor Mexican family do the same? I think we are creating part of our own problem.

But are they really just looking for a better life? Or are they "invading" the way Americans did to Texas when it was a Mexican territory? With a first-hand view to the problem, I feel it is the latter.


"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address
posted 07-08-03 09:59 PM EDT (US)     19 / 44  
I don't want to re-say everything the others put in so I'll just stick in my quick humble 2 cents.

Politicians have always been corrupt, if anything more bigger and worst (or at least open/public) than now. Eisenhower's staff, and a lot of the ones before Hoover. Evil is just an inane human thing.

And immigration is definitely a problem in US, but it disturbs me when people call it an invasion. I know Mexicans (some who came illegeal probably) that make meager wages doing stuff most people would never even touch. The ones I knew were humble and nice, and its hard to say leave. Not to mention the fact I have Korean roots, so that Korean police action has personal tie-ins. Americans did try to restrict immigration and foreigners throughout history including the native americans...though they're not foreign. First it was the Eastern Europeans and Irish, the Asians, and these days the Mexicans. The face of America is changing, but it always has been. How can a large good country that has a hand all over the world bar those from worser conditions just because of bad luck?

If anything American has always had its bad sides, it's just most people only learn/remember the good history.


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posted 07-09-03 10:53 AM EDT (US)     20 / 44  
No country is perfect. For example, in the US there's a lot of poverty. A lot more than in the Netherlands. But the US has a bigger militairy (relative and exact). It just depends on where your interests are.

It would take a homocidal maniac with a claymore and a kilt to get the better of me!
God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland

Woad Creations
posted 07-11-03 06:48 PM EDT (US)     21 / 44  
maybe we need wwIII to come soon ww2 got us out of the great depression so maybe history will end up repeating itsself (though i do not praise war)
posted 07-12-03 05:35 AM EDT (US)     22 / 44  
I think WW3 will be a nuclear war, which isn't very healthy.

It would take a homocidal maniac with a claymore and a kilt to get the better of me!
God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland

Woad Creations
posted 07-12-03 06:00 AM EDT (US)     23 / 44  
For some reason, I'm still in the mode of thinking that WWIII, if it were to happen, would not be a nuclear war. Which is interesting because it is the contrary of what everybody else thinks.

"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address
posted 07-12-03 06:02 AM EDT (US)     24 / 44  
Well, if all the nuke powers are on 1 side, it won't be a nuclear war

It would take a homocidal maniac with a claymore and a kilt to get the better of me!
God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland

Woad Creations
posted 07-12-03 10:39 AM EDT (US)     25 / 44  
Nuclear winter anyone? Nobody really wins then. Well, maybe the cockroaches.

Veni Vidi Vici PPPPhhhhlllttt - I came. I saw. I conquered. I shouldn't have had those beans.
posted 07-12-03 10:50 AM EDT (US)     26 / 44  
Well, they wouldn't actually use the nuclear weapons. There is no point to them...they act as a deterrent. No one ever actually wants to use them. They haven't used them in all the wars recently.

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posted 07-12-03 11:40 AM EDT (US)     27 / 44  
But there weren't world wars

It would take a homocidal maniac with a claymore and a kilt to get the better of me!
God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland

Woad Creations
posted 07-13-03 05:11 AM EDT (US)     28 / 44  
Crazy People on every corner, Scripted burdenous headgames, deseased liberal byass.

Signs of decline.

posted 07-21-03 01:28 AM EDT (US)     29 / 44  
The problem is that America is to right-wing

"A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass."
-Crazy Horse
posted 07-21-03 04:48 PM EDT (US)     30 / 44  
What if we are all wrong? It could be the world that is going down...we need new ideologies...I even thought up capnism...I won't delve into it, but it certainly has charms for the poor (special discount cards, etc), but it will go deep.

Anyway, what say we open a topic up where we all go and say our agendas if we had our own government? That would be a good idea. Perhaps some of us might go on to become MPs...perhaps then we might even make a difference. Everything starts somewhere. But, only good things will truly be successful.

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