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Is America the greatest country in the world?

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    A young women in the audience asked the question, "Why is America the greatest country in the world?" of a panel of so called experts. The reply by one panel member is noteworthy. Note it has explicit language and shocked the audience.

    https://www.facebook.com/wahkantakoda/videos/10202913417307550/?fref=nf
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    Man I miss that show. I'm so bummed that HBO decided to end it after only three seasons.

    Everyone who thinks 'America is the best' should be able to explain why, exactly, we are. As he said in the clip--we are number one in only three things: number of prisoners, people who believe in god, and military spending. I'm not entirely sure how that makes us the best country in the world when we are behind some third world countries when it comes to education and countless other topics.
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: Man I miss that show. I'm so bummed that HBO decided to end it after only three seasons.

    Everyone who thinks 'America is the best' should be able to explain why, exactly, we are. As he said in the clip--we are number one in only three things: number of prisoners, people who believe in god, and military spending. I'm not entirely sure how that makes us the best country in the world when we are behind some third world countries when it comes to education and countless other topics.
    When I just started on this site, I mentioned the same look at the US; a couple of members said why don't you leave if you don't like it here. Finally there are some people popping up who don't look at this country through colored glasses as 90% do. Since I lived overseas then you look at this country sitting with your mind on the outside looking towards the US; then you realize , like the guy said, how screwed up things are because of pure indoctrination ask Bill Maher.
    Indeed we think we can do everything with money ( even the Bin Laden killing did cost according to the news $25 million) , bribery, indoctrination, Pentagon and church power etc. I do not consider this a "free" country; it totally depends on who you are; is a homeless person free? Dropping bombs on people who you never met is that also an expression of "freedom"? Electing "puppets with billions, is that freedom? I wonder what this country is all about.
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    The term is undefined. What does greatest country in the world even mean? Greatest military? Hell, even that can be debated when thechnologically advanced weaponry gets bogged down by guerrilla tactics and ied's.

    That term to me is inherently dangerous. I would rather focus on making the country the best it can be.
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    I think our country is great. Are we misguided, misrepresented, over charged and not taking proper care of our planet ? Hell YES.
    But the horse is out of the barn and war mongers will continue to profit nicely. I would say the US is probably number 5 - 10.
    The overwhelming beauty of America is this..... Anybody can be removed. Whether it's: convicted, not re-elected, impeached..... there are
    ways to right a wrong. I hate the gridlock in DC but that same balance keeps us safe.
    Where's better ? That would be worthy of it's own thread. My choices might include Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia, and probably a couple
    Caribbean nations.
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    The best and honest speech ever uttered by a non-politician, and I also miss that show, Jeff Daniels was really good as the burnt out anchorman and he had superb cast of co-stars.to go along with the excellent writing.
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    For me....yes....but I've never lived anywhere else.
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    No way Josė
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    I think this fits as well in this topic; Train derailed; 7 death and plenty hurt etc. The train went a 106 mph is a shallow curve; but 55mph was the recommended speed. Again this picture shows how we are running way behind the rest of the world. We rather spent money on $400 million a piece military aircraft then on infrastructure. I would not doubt that the rails on the crash location are from 1946 somewhere if not older. In Europe/Japan high speed trains can go easily 150 mph without problems because the whole system is built for these speeds including the rails. The mono rails are even better. This shows again that this country spends money on the wrong things, which means we are number "x" on the list related to that, not number "1"
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    Dutch - I agree with you. I marvel at the technological advancements in rail travel in Europe, Japan and China. Even India, the joke of many Americans as we smugly share videos of their people on crowded trains, have invested more in rail and fast trains than America.

    In America, President Obama, as a part of his stimulus package in 2009 put a chunk of money into developing high speed rail travel. Governor Walker vetoed those plans in Wisconsin. Your Florida governor did likewise. And of course, Chris Christie, in New Jersey put the brakes on a tunnel project. I think California was the only state that wasn't opposed to the idea, but I haven't heard what's happening there. I suppose there were obstacles to overcome there as well.
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    Schmidt Wrote: I think California was the only state that wasn't opposed to the idea, but I haven't heard what's happening there. I suppose there were obstacles to overcome there as well.
    The California high speed rail is currently under construction. It's taken a long time to get it going, and it's not supposed to be done for another fifteen years. I'm not sure why it is going to take so long though.

    California High-Speed Rail
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    Thanks Jared. I think we all agree that high speed rail is just a part of a much bigger problem regarding infrastructure. Republicans are so obstructionist in their phobia about cutting taxes and spending and "big government tyranny" that they have lost all sight of what made America "great" during a few small windows in our distant history. And those windows have been kept tightly shut by the "No Compromise" Tea Party Republicans that mimic Reagan's often repeated slogan, "government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem".

    I live in the highly Christian conservative city of Colorado Springs whose candidates run for office on the mandate of cutting taxes...always cutting taxes. We've cut city government taxes and services, and now after the winter people are bitching about all the potholes. However, the city doesn't have enough money to fix all the potholes because we vote down all measures to increase taxes. Given a choice in this city of lowering taxes and living with more potholes, they will always vote for more potholes. They won't call it "potholes" though...they vote for the promise of more prudent spending, and to an extent I might agree as I look where my city taxes are spent. But then they cut bus services to poorer neighborhoods to cut spending...or stop watering our city parks and trees, which then die and have to be replanted.
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Schmidt Wrote: I think California was the only state that wasn't opposed to the idea, but I haven't heard what's happening there. I suppose there were obstacles to overcome there as well.
    The California high speed rail is currently under construction. It's taken a long time to get it going, and it's not supposed to be done for another fifteen years. I'm not sure why it is going to take so long though.

    California High-Speed Rail
    Thanks Schmidt and Jared; I guess the point is that the US always does things piecemeal; they buy/built new train units but totally neglect to built a new rail system'
    Here in FL on the west coast the rails in my town are still from the Edison/Ford times who had vacation plantation homes here; cargo trains still dare to run on it. I bet on the east coast of the US and trans US a lot of the original rails laid are still in daily use. The same applies to our bridges etc.( I'm glad that for aircraft there is a life limit set) .High speed train rails have a special profile and lip which prevents "lift off; the route network in France had to be totally rebuilt to handle the 200 mph plus speed. But likely such will not happen here; everything goes to fight wars and the Pentagon; they are the real US "god's.
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    Schmidt Wrote: Thanks Jared. I think we all agree that high speed rail is just a part of a much bigger problem regarding infrastructure. Republicans are so obstructionist in their phobia about cutting taxes and spending and "big government tyranny" that they have lost all sight of what made America "great" during a few small windows in our distant history. And those windows have been kept tightly shut by the "No Compromise" Tea Party Republicans that mimic Reagan's often repeated slogan, "government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem".

    I live in the highly Christian conservative city of Colorado Springs whose candidates run for office on the mandate of cutting taxes...always cutting taxes. We've cut city government taxes and services, and now after the winter people are bitching about all the potholes. However, the city doesn't have enough money to fix all the potholes because we vote down all measures to increase taxes. Given a choice in this city of lowering taxes and living with more potholes, they will always vote for more potholes. They won't call it "potholes" though...they vote for the promise of more prudent spending, and to an extent I might agree as I look where my city taxes are spent. But then they cut bus services to poorer neighborhoods to cut spending...or stop watering our city parks and trees, which then die and have to be replanted.
    Like the Brits say: Penny wise; pound fool. The other crazy thing here is that the Army Corps of Engineers runs a lot of things here; so only the wrong things are done by them, because they just follow up orders and don't have a clue about real infrastructure. Like here in FL with water management. If you drive a tank who cares about potholes!! In Europe all the design and follow up is done by civil engineers; An Army corps should deal only with their own Army mess.
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    Nicholas Kristoff reminded us yesterday that our country is continuing to slide down.

    "A measure of social progress finds that the quality of life has dropped in America over the last decade, even as it has risen almost everywhere else."

    " The newest Social Progress Index, shared with me before its official release Thursday morning, finds that out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011. And the declines in Brazil and Hungary were smaller than America’s."

    The index, inspired by research of Nobel-winning economists, collects 50 metrics of well-being — nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education and more — to measure quality of life. Norway comes out on top in the 2020 edition, followed by Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. South Sudan is at the bottom, with Chad, Central African Republic and Eritrea just behind.

    The United States, despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence, ranks 28th — having slipped from 19th in 2011. The index now puts the United States behind significantly poorer countries, including Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus and Greece.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/opinion/united-states-social-progress.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    Another area where we have slipped is in respect. The last time that America was the most respected country in the world was when Obama was president. I've seen a variety of polls that shows us as low as #22, but a recent Gallup poll puts us as #2, but a long way from Germany, which is #1.

    The US had a 33% global approval rating for 2019, just one percentage point ahead of China and 3% ahead of Russia. Germany outshines all three by a long stretch, with a 44% rating. These were the only four countries respondents were asked about.

    The survey of a thousand adults in each of 135 countries was carried out around the world in 2019, before coronavirus struck. Washington’s global standing could suffer even further in light of its mismanagement of the pandemic, which has left the US as one of the worst hotspots for the disease

    Donald Trump has frequently claimed that he has made the US respected again in the world, but the poll figures suggest the opposite. The US was the most admired country in the world for every year of the Obama administration except one (when it came a close second to Germany in 2011), but then its popularity plummeted 18 percentage points after Trump’s took office, recovering marginally after that at just over 30%.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/27/germany-most-admired-country-in-the-world-as-us-china-and-russia-vie-for-second-place-gallup-poll

    Personally, I'm of the opinion that a survey that only asks about 4 countries is not a very valid survey. According to the Reputation Institute, America comes in at #22. In this poll, Germany comes in at #15, and Canada came out on top. Since the survey below was conducted 4 years ago, there have been some changes.

    https://www.elitereaders.com/most-respected-country-in-the-world/

    The list was updated in 2018, and we have dropped even further - to #36. The reputation of the U.S. has been in steep decline since 2016, dropping two spots to No. 36 on this year’s list, below even the Philippines, which ranked a surprising No. 35 in spite of President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous regime.

    Unlike the U.K., which, despite having a less-than-stellar global standing, has managed to maintain much of the support of its citizens, the U.S. seems to have lost the trust of stakeholders both internationally and domestically, perhaps a consequence of the nationalist rhetoric that sometimes emanates from the White House. “There’s a disconnect—the economy is thriving, business is great, but what does it stand for? What does the government really represent?” Levy says. “The U.S. is at an ethical and moral crossroads,” Hahn-Griffiths adds. “It’s not good enough to have an advanced economy—it’s about what you’re doing to help society progress in the right way.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/vickyvalet/2019/10/15/the-worlds-most-reputable-countries-2019/#7c9c9f8e4cb8

    There WAS a time when our educational system was the best in the world, but now we are ranked at #17. Ironically, our educational system is as good as it has ever been, but the 16 countries ahead of us have done more to improve, which is why Finland is #1. The article below goes into more detail:

    https://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2015/01/why-finns-are-smarter-than-us.html