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Why can't Americans believe other countries are better?

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Why can't Americans believe other countries are better?

Postby Jackal » Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:10 pm

I've noticed that some of the people I know back home can't admit that any other country can do anything better than America. It's ridiculous. Anybody from the European countries is mature enough to admit that his home country is good at some things, but not good at others.

Why do Americans need this almost religious belief that America is the absolute best at everything? It's insane, but many Americans will get hostile and even violent if you suggest otherwise. "America" is the real object of worship in America. The country fundamentally relies on the worship of the state (hmm...reminds me a bit of fascism...). If Americans always overlook their country's weaknesses and mistakes while in the glassy-eyed trance of fanatical patriotism, how can it ever improve?

In America, people are expected to smile, wave the flag, exclaim how extremely free the country is, insult foreign countries when someone mentions them, exclaim how liberating it is to choose from only two presidential candidates who have already been thoroughly vetted by the ruling elites, and live for nothing but working, eating highly processed foods, buying useless things, and taking the next dose of antidepressants.

Anyone else have some thoughts about this?
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Postby gmm567 » Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:01 am

I totally agree with you. The germans run their legal system better, their patent system, their school system...they even do sex better--prostitution is legal and hot, hot fraus go for $50 a session.

They do so many things better......I think most americans have no idea about other countries and how things are done differently.
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Re: Why can't Americans believe other countries are better?

Postby ladislav » Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:09 pm

In the Ol' country there is a proverb- " Every Snipe Praises his Own Swamp"

In case you do not know what a snipe is- here is a snipe:

http://www.exzooberance.com/virtual%20z ... 268029.jpg
The English equivalent is

Every cock ( rooster that is) crows upon his dunghill.

A human tendency. People think their mother is the best, their own city is the best, their country is the best. In the US this tendency is strengthened by the following factors:

America does have a very high standard of living, you can't argue with that.

The population of America is composed of immigrants who had come from countries far worse than the US ( at the time, at least), or for whom those countries showed a very bad side. The memories are still alive in generations and the traditions of appreciation live on.

America is georaphically isolated and is still full of recent immigrants who say only praises to it. Those who do not like it, do not come or they just leave.

Yeah, there are only two candidates and fast food sucks but many people came from countries with murderous dictators ( not two but only ONE) and death squads, no jobs and NO food, so compared to those, America seems like paradise. People can go to school, there are student loans, people can buy cars one week after they start working, people can buy a house easier, and the country is relatively free from political strife ( compared to El Salvador, Guatemala, many African countries, Indonesia, etc.)

Not compared to modern day Europe, but who is coming to the US from Europe now?

So there you go.
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Postby Jackal » Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:10 pm

Ladislav,

Sure the quality of life in America is better than in most third-world countries, but that doesn't set the bar very high.

I don't think the US can continue to evolve if it has no interest in improving. Some developing countries like Brazil and China have made great improvements to their countries and are catching up to the US in many ways. If the US continues to remain the same without adapting, it will eventually be left behind.

Yes, regional isolation explains part of the reason why Americans can't admit that other countries could be better than them at anything. Another factor I think is media isolation. The American media rarely allows any foreign viewpoints to slip through to its viewers without at least being thoroughly denounced first. Of course, now with the advent of the internet people can get media from around the globe, but I think most Americans simply aren't curious enough and have been conditioned not to seek out foreign viewpoints. Acceptance in American society often depends upon the intensity with which you deny foreign views and ideas.

Giving up the "either you're with us or against us" mentality would make America stronger and more adaptable, but I doubt it will ever happen.

I think many of the statements which Americans believe are true about their country are only really true when qualified by the phrase "Yeah, if you're rich."

Examples:
"America has the best educational system in the world."--Yeah, if you're rich!
"America has the best health care in the world."--Yeah, if you're rich!

And there have been endless articles written about the erosion of the middle class in America.
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Postby ladislav » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:23 pm

Sure the quality of life in America is better than in most third-world countries, but that doesn't set the bar very high.


High enough for the average Joe Six Pack to revel in self satisfaction. With some 10,000,000 illegals in the country, and every nationality in the world represented in most US big cities, why would he not think that this is the best country on Earth and 'everyone' is trying to come here'? It is very easy to make that conclusion.

I don't think the US can continue to evolve if it has no interest in improving. Some developing countries like Brazil and China have made great improvements to their countries and are catching up to the US in many ways. If the US continues to remain the same without adapting, it will eventually be left behind.


Yes, but it will take a very long time for those countries to catch up. 50-100 years? A Joe Six Pack is not that forward-looking, and he sees all these Chinese trying to get into the US- only recently they had intercepted all these boats with illegal Chinese. And lots of Chinese are in the US. Why are they coming? Must be the greatest country in the world.

Yes, regional isolation explains part of the reason why Americans can't admit that other countries could be better than them at anything. Another factor I think is media isolation. The American media rarely allows any foreign viewpoints to slip through to its viewers without at least being thoroughly denounced first.


This I must agree with. I guess people will just not value those viewpoints until those countries whence it comes become awesome international players that will affect the Americans' daily lives in a big way. Otherwise, sheer practicality makes it unfeasible for people to even listen to those. The viewpoints are coming from countries that are weaker, with less successful technology or less military power. Why would a lion listen to a badger's viewpoint?

Of course, now with the advent of the internet people can get media from around the globe, but I think most Americans simply aren't curious enough and have been conditioned not to seek out foreign viewpoints.


Because for about a century those viewpoints were coming from countries that were less successful, poorer or more backward, in general. And immigranst from those countries were wretchedly poor and unhappy looking. Their viewpoints must have been wrong.

Acceptance in American society often depends upon the intensity with which you deny foreign views and ideas.


I agree with this. I think America is a country in which two opposites exist side by side. On the one hand, it hosts every international organization on earth and every possible culture, with tolerance and acceptance. The US is involved in just about every place in the world in one way or another. It has invited academics and scientists from all around the world, as well as artists and writers and given them citizenship. On the other hand, you have this attitude that you mention.

Giving up the "either you're with us or against us" mentality would make America stronger and more adaptable, but I doubt it will ever happen.


It will start happening when America becomes poorer than some other country and that country/culture begins influencing everything in the world more than the US. It will start happening when its culture can market itself as successfully around the world and becomes and attractive as the US culture. In the 1990ies thousands were flocking to universities to learn Japanese and US companies adapted many Japanese business methods. Japan became very prominent and people became respectful of its views, religion, martial arts, etc. Now that it is no longer a challenger, the interest has waned.

I think many of the statements which Americans believe are true about their country are only really true when qualified by the phrase "Yeah, if you're rich."

Examples:
"America has the best educational system in the world."--Yeah, if you're rich!
"America has the best health care in the world."--Yeah, if you're rich!


Medical, I agree, although, if you are very poor, you will also qualify for medical treatment. This is how so many Mexicans can come and give birth to enormous families, get subsidies and live good lives. Yeah, if you are rich and, also, if you are very, very poor. You can get student loans and Pell grants and go to school if you are miserably poor. This is why many a Filipino is dreaming of going to the US.

In the Philippines, if your family has no money, you can forget about college. Or high school, for that matter. I have seen smart people in teh Philippines whose parents did not have enough money to get them through high school. Now they are facing a bleak future. Not in the US. Pell Grants and student loans will make school possible for you. Then, you can get a job and have a car and a house. This can all be done in less than 10 years by most people. So, for the majority of the world; America is paradise that they would like to taste.

And there have been endless articles written about the erosion of the middle class in America.


Yeah, this is true; that is why middle class people from all over the world are not anxious to get into the US. The poor are. And these do not care much about ideas or challenging American views, or teaching Americans new viewpoints which obviously have failed to help those people become successful . Plus if the poor are in the US already, they become very patriotic. Their old country turned its back on them. America has given them so much. It must be a better country.
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Postby Winston » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:28 pm

Ladislav, I thought the opposite was true, that usually it's the richer class of foreigners that are able to get to the US. That's why most of the Chinese families in the US are from the middle class and above, as well as Indians and Russians. Lots of rich neighborhoods in the SF Bay Area, for example, consist mostly of Indians.
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Postby ladislav » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:43 am

WWu777 wrote:Ladislav, I thought the opposite was true, that usually it's the richer class of foreigners that are able to get to the US. That's why most of the Chinese families in the US are from the middle class and above, as well as Indians and Russians. Lots of rich neighborhoods in the SF Bay Area, for example, consist mostly of Indians.


And in LA, half the population are poor Latinos and there are many VNese, Hmong, and other refugees. Those are poor ones. So, as I said, the richer class gets in; and the poorest. In NY, one million are poor Colombians and another million are poor PRicans. Plus, for generations in the past, it was the poor people searching for opportunities that came. For two hundred years, that is. For every rich Indian in California, there are 10,000 poor Mexicans.
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Postby momopi » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:22 pm

Tony Blair once said, "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in and how many want out."
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Postby Winston » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:58 am

ladislav wrote:
WWu777 wrote:Ladislav, I thought the opposite was true, that usually it's the richer class of foreigners that are able to get to the US. That's why most of the Chinese families in the US are from the middle class and above, as well as Indians and Russians. Lots of rich neighborhoods in the SF Bay Area, for example, consist mostly of Indians.


And in LA, half the population are poor Latinos and there are many VNese, Hmong, and other refugees. Those are poor ones. So, as I said, the richer class gets in; and the poorest. In NY, one million are poor Colombians and another million are poor PRicans. Plus, for generations in the past, it was the poor people searching for opportunities that came. For two hundred years, that is. For every rich Indian in California, there are 10,000 poor Mexicans.


W: But how do the poor get in? Doesn't the government try it's best to keep them out? Why do some poor get in but not others?
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Postby Winston » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:02 am

momopi wrote:Tony Blair once said, "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in and how many want out."


W: But countries do not usually report how many are leaving or why. The US gov doesn't keep stats on expats or those who leave, for example, according to other sites. No country wants to cover why people leave it. Remember Little India did a report on why many Indian immigrants were sad, lonely and depressed in the US, but did CNN or ABC cover that? Noooooooo!

Tony Blair is disliked by the whole British population. So how does he keep getting re-elected?
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Postby Jackal » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:44 pm

ladislav wrote:Why would a lion listen to a badger's viewpoint?


Lol. Great metaphor! I guess I have a passion for "badgers."

Actually, I'm kind of disappointed. I remembered incorrectly that you said "beavers" instead of "badgers." Oh, well. I have a passion for beavers as well!

However, these metaphors just apply to the countries as a whole. Individual citizens might really be minnows physically or intellectually who are just cheering on their country's "lion." Minnows could learn a lot from badgers--and beavers!--as well.
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Postby ladislav » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:16 pm

WWu777 wrote:
ladislav wrote:
WWu777 wrote:Ladislav, I thought the opposite was true, that usually it's the richer class of foreigners that are able to get to the US. That's why most of the Chinese families in the US are from the middle class and above, as well as Indians and Russians. Lots of rich neighborhoods in the SF Bay Area, for example, consist mostly of Indians.


And in LA, half the population are poor Latinos and there are many VNese, Hmong, and other refugees. Those are poor ones. So, as I said, the richer class gets in; and the poorest. In NY, one million are poor Colombians and another million are poor PRicans. Plus, for generations in the past, it was the poor people searching for opportunities that came. For two hundred years, that is. For every rich Indian in California, there are 10,000 poor Mexicans.


W: But how do the poor get in? Doesn't the government try it's best to keep them out? Why do some poor get in but not others?


The question should be how have they been able to get in. For two centuries, America let in 50 million poor Europeans, Chinese laborers, Japanese and Filipino laborers, etc. It is only a very recent phenomenon that skilled laborers and people with money were encouraged to come in. How do the poor get in now?
1) family reunification visas- one person will bring 10 relatives. Been going on for two centuries now.
2) refugee visas- Hmong, VNese, Laotian, Cambodians and yours truly.
3) illegal laborers and guest agricultural workers.
4) green card lottery
Last edited by ladislav on Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Grunt » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:20 pm

Ladislav, you got into America on a refugee visa? I have been considering that to get into Canada but my wife says that once you apply for refugee anywhere you are never allowed into any other nation due to fear of claiming refugee again.
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Postby ladislav » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:25 pm

WWu777 wrote:
momopi wrote:Tony Blair once said, "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in and how many want out."


W: But countries do not usually report how many are leaving or why. The US gov doesn't keep stats on expats or those who leave, for example, according to other sites. No country wants to cover why people leave it. Remember Little India did a report on why many Indian immigrants were sad, lonely and depressed in the US, but did CNN or ABC cover that? Noooooooo!

Tony Blair is disliked by the whole British population. So how does he keep getting re-elected?



Well, US does keep some statistics on how many Americans are living abroad and it is some 6 mil- 2% of the population. It does not keep stats on how many are leaving because it does not have an exit 'emigration' booth when you leave. You just walk out, no questions asked. One advantage of living in the US is that you can just slip out and no one will care.

As far as the UK, people go there to earn pounds ( so that a family in Pakistan or Poland can have a house- a house costs 5k in the countryside) and to get on welfare, for the most part. Sure, poor Pakistanis want in, they pay better in the UK than back home. Americans "want in to" Kuwait and Saudi if the money is good. Same with jobs in Iraq. When the pay is 10K a month- that is 4 x more than back home, people will come in droves. Money!
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Postby ladislav » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:35 pm

Jackal wrote:
ladislav wrote:Why would a lion listen to a badger's viewpoint?


Lol. Great metaphor! I guess I have a passion for "badgers."

Actually, I'm kind of disappointed. I remembered incorrectly that you said "beavers" instead of "badgers." Oh, well. I have a passion for beavers as well!

However, these metaphors just apply to the countries as a whole. Individual citizens might really be minnows physically or intellectually who are just cheering on their country's "lion." Minnows could learn a lot from badgers--and beavers!--as well.


They do not think so. All they need to know is being taught by the lion. How do you convince them? The once who think that Badgerland can provide some benefits, such as prettier she-minnows join the 2% of minnows that are living an inter-dam life.
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