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Switch to Forum Live View Is America the Greatest?
4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 3:52PM #1
vra
Posts: 7,467

Yesterday, my son showed me a short video from YouTube that is a "rant" given by Jeff Daniels on a t.v. program entitled "The Newsroom", and I think you'll find it interesting but controversial.  It's only 3 minutes long, and I'll apologize in advance for the language used:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=h__uutzcQXc



Thoughts? 



Edit: nj1015.com/lautenberg-announces-plans-fr...


HTZ is for current news

Moderated by Stardove on Feb 19, 2013 - 02:58AM
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4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 4:24PM #2
Erey
Posts: 21,730

I had already seen the rant over a week ago.


 


We are the best in some things and not so good in others.


 


Some of those factoids about education and infant mortality are cooked stats and easily skewed to the negative.  There are great things we can say about education and medical care here (other thread I am sure).


I think chest pumping can be dangerous (is rarely dangerous) but mostly it is obnoxious.  But to my fellow americans when I read their posts or their comments in other places what concerns me most is they don't know how to appreciate a damn thing.  They don't know how to value a damn thing and all they are doing is screaming and wailing for change.  This is not the kind of thinking that leads to positive changes.  Like I mentioned we have some things going very well for us and if we can't recognize where things are going well then we are in effect throwing them away and not preserving them.   

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 5:56PM #3
mountain_man
Posts: 44,029

To answer the question; no, America is not the greatest. We are no better than anyone else, nor are we better than any other country. American "exceptionalism" is the cause of much of our problems with the rest of the world.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.   Isaac Asimov
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4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 5:58PM #4
Ebon
Posts: 10,148

No, you're not the greatest. In some areas, you're better than other nations. In other areas, you're worse. Just like any other nation.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 5:59PM #5
IreneAdler
Posts: 2,849

What are the parameters for measuring “greatest”?


These are not specified. So this is entirely a subjective judgment. Not worth much.


 


Irene.

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 6:59PM #6
mountain_man
Posts: 44,029

Feb 18, 2013 -- 5:59PM, IreneAdler wrote:

What are the parameters for measuring “greatest”?


These are not specified. So this is entirely a subjective judgment. Not worth much.


Good point. Let's take one parameter of greatness; income inequality. In a great country there would be a few poor and a few rich and the majority of the population would be doing great.


We are way down on that list. According to Wikipedia; A 2011 study by the CBO found that the top earning 1 percent of households gained about 275% after federal taxes and income transfers over a period between 1979 and 2007, compared to a gain of just under 40% for the 60 percent in the middle of America's income distribution.


Going by income inequality, we rank 77th out of 146. Not very good.


So, let's try another category; distribution of wealth. Again, a great country would have a few poor and a few rich and everyone in between would be doing fine.


Oh, we aren't doing so well there either. "the lowest-earning three-fifths of Americans -- 60% of the population -- own just .2% (one-fifth of one percent) of all wealth outside the home." (source)


In the distribution of wealth category we rank fourth.... from the bottom.


We are among the biggest and most aggressive, but greatest? No. Not even close.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.   Isaac Asimov
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4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 7:35PM #7
jane2
Posts: 14,295

I tend not to be concerned with a label.


Just on this board we see many philosophies of life and what makes that good.


My own family was well-educated going back to my grandfather who earned an engineering degree as did his brothers. All were bent on success and my grandfather died as a minor financeer. We were expected to do well in school and college and in our careers. Money WAS important but not the be all and end all. I made the most money as a straight-commissioned salesman by following the guide-lines, listening to sales reps and considering my customers to the max.


Some luck is involved in most lives but enjoying hard work and its benefits can work for many.


Do I like the corporate economy we now have now? Not especially.


 

discuss catholicism
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4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 7:48PM #8
Ken
Posts: 33,858

Feb 18, 2013 -- 3:52PM, vra wrote:


Yesterday, my son showed me a short video from YouTube that is a "rant" given by Jeff Daniels on a t.v. program entitled "The Newsroom", and I think you'll find it interesting but controversial.  It's only 3 minutes long, and I'll apologize in advance for the language used:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=h__uutzcQXc



Thoughts? 



It's only half right. America isn't the greatest, but it never was the greatest.

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 9:31PM #9
TemplarS
Posts: 7,522

Good grief, it's from a TV show...

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2013 - 10:50PM #10
solfeggio
Posts: 10,753

Yes, it was just a few lines spoken by an ACTOR in a television series.  I don't see where anybody would be upset about it.  You see similar sentiments expressed in any number of TV programmes and movies.


As several posters have already pointed out, the U.S. is just another country, better at some things and worse in others.  Nobody's country is the greatest in everything.  But, so what?  That's how it has always been.


I would say, though, that from WWII up to perhaps the Reagan years, the U.S. was, indeed, the most powerful nation in the world.  During this roughly fifty-year empire you could do no wrong.  The Vietnam war helped tarnish that image, and the Reagan years during the 1980s pretty much put paid to any lingering illusions of grandeur.


But, unfortunately, because of various factors which the historians can some day debate, the countries of the industrialised West, including the English-speaking countries and Europe, have fallen on hard times.


We're all hurting.  I'm no economist, but I'd say that too much power in corporate hands is certainly a problem.  Poor leadership doesn't help.  The list is endless.


 


  

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