Author Topic: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?  (Read 63430 times)

Kris

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #200 on: February 13, 2015, 05:21:56 PM »
In my opinion, we are probably best in certain areas, and we have the potential to be the best in many others, but we cock it up by allowing our political system to be hijacked by hucksters and not valuing science and education enough.

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #201 on: February 14, 2015, 01:05:51 AM »
I'm American and I speak French. I would've preferred Spanish, but French is one of the most spoken languages in the world, so I'm not complaining. English + French will cover a lot of the world's population, while also giving me the ability to read (at the survival level) other Romance languages through cognates & common roots.

BlueHouse

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #202 on: February 15, 2015, 09:56:50 AM »
I was at a lecture the other day that I think adds some insight to the topic.  Sorry if this was already covered, tl;dr
Before the US got into WWII, Americans didn't generally have that opinion. In fact, we had an inferiority complex for the most part.  Some parties with an interest in changing US policy actively started indoctrinating the populace with the "America is strong, proud, and the best".  Part of this came from the Government, and part of it came from Hollywood and other special business interests.  American films, posters, comic books, etc all started to celebrate the American Hero. 
Sorry to say, but we are all indoctrinated by propaganda. 
Also, we are the champions of the world!  (JK)

libertarian4321

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #203 on: February 15, 2015, 04:13:11 PM »
I am Australian. As with many people who are not from the US, I have always found it totally ridiculous that
so many Americans feel that it is normal/acceptable/patriotic/intelligent to say, "The United States is the best country in the world."?
I am someone who has never been to the US. In fact partly BECAUSE of this perception by US citizens, the US would be one of the last countries in the world that I want to visit - there are others that are lower - North Korea, South Sudan, Saudi Arabia (although there are some things I would like to see there), but it is very low.

How can I, who have never even visited either American continent, have that view? How can I even know this about the US unless I have seen people say this on television (I don't even have one, so it must have been television at work), on films, on radio, or the US citizens I have met? Is it just a mantra they say all the time while, really, underneath, they think something else? Does it even mean anything to these US citizens, who don't really know anything about anywhere else? For instance, the US citizen I met briefly in Japan who commented on how well I spoke English when I said I was Australian (she was lost - couldn't even read a map). Or the US citizen who couldn't understand why I find it morally repugnant for people to carry firearms, because any US citizen can in their own country. It comes across as so very arrogant, and I want nothing to do with it.

Yes, as an Australian, I think Australia is pretty good. Possibly the best country on earth - New Zealand might be better, and so might Canada if it wasn't so freezing cold there - but I am firmly committed to Australia. And other people from other environments certainly find other countries "the best country on earth". In fact, I have a friend who thinks Myanmar is the best country on earth, and is completely miserable in Australia because of it.
We've lived in Australia a few years now.

I think, at this point, Australia is probably better overall. We're still moving back to the US.
This is exactly how most people feel about their country - the deep love that makes it the best country on earth for them - without the arrogance of thinking it is THE BEST.

Anyway - what would Christmas be if it didn't threaten to be over 100F in the shade one year out of four?

Oh, by the way, the US is not the world's oldest democracy. I wish US citizens didn't say that as well.

You base your opinion of a massive nation, with over 300 million people, that you've never visited, based on a couple of chance encounters with Americans travelling overseas and a few movies?

So your opinion is based largely on ignorance, in which you seem to be reveling.  That's just as ignorant as the Americans who proclaim the USA the best place, despite knowing next to nothing about anyplace else.

That is why I encourage people to travel.  Experience different cultures and form opinions based on your own experiences and your ability to reason.  Don't settle for ignorant stereotypes.  Ignorance is a significant part of the basis for much of the strife around the world.

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #204 on: February 15, 2015, 05:39:50 PM »
But I don't - as I have said repeatedly, Australia is one of the best places. US is one of the best places. But best? Nah!

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #205 on: February 15, 2015, 07:05:36 PM »
There are many ways to know about another country. Seeing it is one way - and I would suggest it is not the best - it may give you an understanding of the way it fits together - the relationship between deserts, mountain ranges, tropical jungles... It can lead you to question some fundamental assumptions you have. For example, I visited Myanmar (Burma) in 1993. The people longed for democracy. But it seemed to me that what they thought was democracy wasn't the democracy they would get. They had television, which showed US, British, Australian... sitcoms, with people going about their everyday business. Sure, they were viewing democracy, with nice helpful police and government officials who were not corrupt - but it also showed people who were rich beyond their wildest dreams. And if they thought freedom from corruption and riches were going to come automatically as a result of democracy, they were probably wrong. They were going to end up with a democracy more like India's - but very few Indian films were shown. Whenever I have talked to people about their experiences in other countries, the holiday rose-coloured glasses tend to come out - they have seen the tourist spots of the country, rather than what it is actually like as a country for the people living in it.

I don't have a television or go to the movies, but I think that a similarly jaundiced view can be gleaned of just about every country from films and television. The film maker is trying to emphasize some aspect of the country. When we went to Japan, we were on Japanese TV. We were a group of normal skiers, but we were taking part in their "fun run on skis" and were about half of the very few foreigners in the event (we were not in the "race" part, and were doing the second from the bottom course) which had 24,000 Japanese in it. The film crew filmed our first day on skis for six months - we fell frequently, we were terrible - apart from anything else Australian snow is not really snow - it's more like hail because the temperatures are always near freezing point, and this was powder, so we were experiencing something totally different! The segment they broadcast was fantastic - the 30 best seconds of the entire day's skiing. Boy were we good! Even before this I didn't think film was completely truthful - afterwards, I realised just how untruthful it could be!

I am somewhat addicted to reports about the differences between countries - for instance the OECD happiness report. Sure, many of these reports have a table of the relative standing of most countries in the world, with Australia near or at the top. But this is only the start. Reading the body of the reports shows you the diversity of countries, and how different countries tackle their problems differently. It shows you that everywhere has different solutions to their problems. It may reinforce your thoughts that Australia is a pretty good place - one of the best in the world - but it also shows you where your country is lagging - and every country - even the very top - lags somewhere in every one of these inter-nation reports. It shows you interesting solutions. Every country - even the very bottom - has something to teach. And these reports really broaden your understanding of different countries. I read them whenever I find a new one, or a new version of one comes out.

I am also somewhat addicted to history and geography, and have a collection of over 200 metres of books (I measure the amount of bookshelf my books consume), mainly in these categories. I read many library books each year as well.

I consider both of these to be somewhat better sources of information about other countries than movies or visits. I also read international news and behind the news journals such as the Economist.

Coming to MMM has shown me many things about the US that I just don't like, particularly the enormous lack of safety nets for the poor and vulnerable. It's not what people whinge about - it's the things that they just take for granted, like lack of unemployment benefits (not an insurance, anyone who meets the very tight unemployed criteria gets it), old age pension (not the same as SS - everyone who is poor enough gets it) and minimum wage... I already knew about the health benefits. I am sure that there are things that people looking at Australia don't particularly like. There are many I don't like too.

willow

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #206 on: February 15, 2015, 07:46:30 PM »

NICE!

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #207 on: February 16, 2015, 03:01:25 AM »
HA - that's great.

marketnonsenses

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #208 on: February 16, 2015, 05:49:54 AM »
If you lived in the US what second language would you speak? There are no other equeviants to English except maybe Mandarin but no one I know speaks it, not even sure where I could find someone to speak it with

If I was born in US I wouldn't be me anymore so I can't say, but in principle Spanish makes most sense in US. There is a fair number of Americans who can speak it to some extent.

 
Plus, I think most of their nearer neighbours speak it (I know Brasil is Portuguese, but Mexico and Peru are certainly spanish).

Yes, but a lot of the US is almost as close to Europe as it is to South America.  Heck, I've taken cross-Atlantic flights longer (in time) than cross-country US flights.

From the East Coast I think it is shorter to fly to Germany than Brazil. Funny thing. It is a shorter flight from California to Tokyo than it is from California to Sao Palo Brazil. I think people dont realize how far South America is.

jackiechiles2

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #209 on: February 16, 2015, 08:04:44 AM »
There isn't one for sure reason the U.S. is the "Best" country in the world.   However, taken in its totality, it's hard to argue with its citizens believing it is the best.   What we have on here are people taking individual components (education, crime, literacy, etc., ) and thinking "hey, we're not number 1 in education, therefore we're not the best," a line of thinking, that completely ignores the totality of what makes a nation the "best."  Let's look at the U.S. as compared to other nations in its totality.

1.  Political System

The U.S. pioneered the Federal System along with the balanced power system.  Sure, the UK had something like three branches of government when the U.S. declared it's independence, but it wasn't as clearly defined as it was in the U.S. and it certainly wasn't as balanced as it was in the U.S.  Sure, the UK eventually got to the point where the US was in terms of balanced power, but it took a lot longer and took several more civil wars than occurred in the US to get to that result.

2.  Stability

The U.S. really has only had one major civil war in its history.  Sure, the US's history has been relatively short (250 years or so) but not all countries can say they've only suffered one civil war in that time frame.   Again, the U.S. isn't the "best in this regard, but it's pretty good.

3.  Rights of Citizens

The U.S. gives a fair amount of rights to its citizens. Right to free speech, press, etc., are all enshrined in the Constitution.  That's something that wasn't common in the Western world prior to the Bill of Rights.  The UK did have rights that Englishmen were entitled to, but it wasn't very clearly defined.  Maybe Europe is currently better than the US at this because it gives rights to healthcare, maternity care, and childcare, but the U.S. is still far ahead of many other nations at this.

4. Military Power

This is an obvious choice. The U.S. is far superior to the rest of the world in military power.  This has helped to enforce a sort of stability that is unknown in world history.  Since the 1940s, the wars fought have not been on a global scale, but on a much smaller localized scale.  Wars are never good, we got that.  But the European powers fought much larger and much more brutal wars over colonies than the U.S. fought in Vietnam or Iraq.    Someone mentioned pointless wars- the U.S. has started pointless wars with Iraq, and to an extent, Vietnam.  The same can be said for nearly every country.  Russia in Afghanistan, France/Britain 100 years war, 7 years war, etc.  Maybe the U.S. isn't as good at this as, say, Australia, but, again, it's still pretty good.

I should also note that since the U.S. military serves as the de facto military of the EU and Australia, the plush welfare benefits would likely not be available in those nations were it not for the U.S. level of spending on military and defense.  Those nations spend a fraction of what the U.S. spends on the military, because it can rely on the U.S. military to protect them to a degree.  This is a huge benefit to the Western world that the U.S. is fully bearing the burden of paying for.

5.  Education

The U.S. has a highly educated populous compared to other nations. Sure, it's not the smartest in every category, but again, it's still above-average. 

6.  Economy

The U.S. currently has the first (or second) biggest economy in the world.  It alone surpasses the size of the entire economy of the continent of Europe and is nearly the same size as the Chinese economy which has over 3x the citizenry.  The U.S. may not be on top forever, but it's economy will remain a major force worldwide for years to come. 

7.  Medicine

The U.S. medicine system is one of the most advanced in the world. Other nations like Australia or the UK probably have better systems in that it is more accessible to the entirety of the populous, but the U.S. is still above average with its medical care.  When you take into account the medical research that originates in the U.S., it's probably one of the top 5.

8. Population Size/Growth

This may be an arbitrary category, but it's important.  A larger population enables the U.S. to act as an economy of scale and gives it a larger talent base to choose from.  The more educated people there are, the more super-star inventors, writers, etc., there will be. Kind of like how high school sports are divided into school sizes.  There's a reason a school with 5000 kids will field a better football team than one with 500.  The same goes for countries.  The U.S. certainly isn't the size of China or India, but it is in the top 3 and will continue to be with immigration patterns and birth rates.  Russia, Italy, Japan, and much of Europe are being faced with the likelihood of a declining population in the future.  It will be difficult for the public welfare systems to support retirees and health benefits with shrinking populations to pay for them.   

9.  Crime

The U.S. has a very low crime rate compared to many countries.  It has the most incarcerated people in the world- huge negative.  However, the U.S. is a safe country to live and work in.  There are parts of South Africa where there is nearly a 100% chance that a woman will be raped in her lifetime living there.  Such statistics would be shocking in the U.S.  and most of the Western World.  Again, while the U.S. may not be the best in this category as crime rates are probably higher than in other nations, it's still pretty good.

10.  Infastructure

The U.S.'s infastructure is crumbling.  It still has, however, one of the best infastructure systems in the world.  There concept of interstates do not exist in many countries in the world. Europe has a superior rail system.  China seems to be building out rail systems that will make it surpass even Europes.  The U.S. may not be the best at rail, but it still has decent road systems (although in dire need of upgrades).  It still has a good air system with relatively few accidents.  The U.S. may not be the best at infastructure, but it's still relatively good.


Conclusion

There's probably some other categories I'm leaving out like government integrity, natural resources, financial institutions, etc., that also play into whether a nation is a "good" nations.  The fact is, there's not another nation that currently parallels the US in its totality as a nation.  Maybe China or India will eventually do so, but those are works in progress. The U.S. isn't the best at every category- nowhere near it.  But it is ranked high enough in each category that I think the sum of the parts means it is the "best" nation in the world.

I'm not doubting that there's better countries to live in.  Just because a particular country is better to live in doesn't necessarily make it a better country overall.

SnackDog

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #210 on: February 17, 2015, 02:57:16 AM »
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-10/u-s-retirement-security-isn-t-getting-any-better

This sums it up pretty well, although Europe does not rank as high on my list as Australia or Canada.

Grog

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #211 on: February 17, 2015, 05:26:19 AM »


6.  Economy

The U.S. currently has the first (or second) biggest economy in the world.  It alone surpasses the size of the entire economy of the continent of Europe and is nearly the same size as the Chinese economy which has over 3x the citizenry.  The U.S. may not be on top forever, but it's economy will remain a major force worldwide for years to come. 


you did a good resume and I'm not attaccking your conclusion, I just wanted to point out that this assertion is just not true:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

And this includes only European Union, it doesn't include the GDP of continental countries like Switzerland.

The US have a far larger capitalization in the stock markets, but Europe has many company that are not publicly traded so is better not to confuse the world stock capitalization with GDP.

Or did you intended something else with "economy"?

Albert

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #212 on: February 17, 2015, 11:05:53 AM »
Since when bigger means better anyway?

greaper007

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #213 on: February 17, 2015, 11:14:52 AM »
Since when bigger means better anyway?

Hmmm, you'll have to ask your girlfriend about that one...

(hackneyed, yes but if you toss me softballs I have to swing)

lisahi

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #214 on: February 17, 2015, 12:16:16 PM »
The United States is the largest heavily diverse nation in the world. Yes, other countries are larger, but none are larger and more diverse. Despite the melting pot of religions, culture, race, national origin, etc., America is stable and, overall, prosperous. That is a big deal. Because with so many differences amongst its citizenry, it's not easy to stay on course. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants (and it's also one of the most welcoming of immigrants still, despite what some people say about U.S. immigration laws). That means there are a lot of disagreements, a lot of different ideas, and yet America is still plugging along as the most powerful (politically) in the world. I think that's something to be proud of, even if America is not the "best" in every area.

The U.S. is also a country where you can find the near-perfect home for you. Don't like ultra-liberal parts of California? Move somewhere less liberal or somewhere ultra-conservative -- there's plenty of states (and even cities in California) to choose from. Don't want the farm life? Move to one of the thousands of urban environments. Don't like the cost of living? Move somewhere cheap. There is a near-perfect place for almost everybody. In fact, because of the Federal/state division of power, you can even switch states because you don't like the marriage laws, or the state health care laws, or the animal welfare laws, or criminal laws, etc. You can find diversity in living styles in other countries (especially large ones), but not to the same degree. I've lived in Hawaii, Northern California, Washington and Texas. Each very different from one another in lifestyle, pace, expense, political atmosphere, and which "personal freedoms" are deemed most important.

There is a lot about the U.S., when taken in totality given its size, populous, and makeup, that makes it great. Now, is it "the best"? There is no such thing, factually. But I don't begrudge anybody from thinking that their own country is "the best." It's an opinion and nothing more. Believing America is "the best nation in the world" does not mean you shut off your brain and believe it's the best in every single area (obviously, it's not). But when Americans make that statement, they aren't thinking of the parts, they're thinking of the whole.

Chuck

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #215 on: February 17, 2015, 12:59:45 PM »
There are several reasons that the USA is the "best":

We are the most free. Individual liberty here is unmatched anywhere else in the world. We have the greatest mixture of personal (self defense and the means to it are not prohibited by the state), economic (low taxes, low redistribution), and political (very, VERY few controls on any kind of speech) freedom.

We are the most significant. We combine the greatest military with the most productive economy, and this grants us power that is unparalleled in the modern world.

We are the most inclusive. Anyone born in America is automatically American. Do you know how rare that is in the modern world? Any American can sponsor any number of relatives to also become American, making becoming a permanent resident (and eventually a citizen) a very simple affair. Even if you don't meet the generous qualifications, and choose to come here illegally, what do we do? Nothing. Mexico, France, Russia and any other number of other states are very, very harsh in their treatment of illegal immigration, but not us.

So yeah, we are the biggest, strongest and most important. At the same time we reserve powers for the individual that nearly all other nations hold as exclusive domain of the state. Oh, and the S&P500 always goes up.

We kick ass.

Sorry for interrupting the Democratic circle-jerk.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 01:02:33 PM by Chuck »

jackiechiles2

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #216 on: February 17, 2015, 01:14:22 PM »


6.  Economy

The U.S. currently has the first (or second) biggest economy in the world.  It alone surpasses the size of the entire economy of the continent of Europe and is nearly the same size as the Chinese economy which has over 3x the citizenry.  The U.S. may not be on top forever, but it's economy will remain a major force worldwide for years to come. 


you did a good resume and I'm not attaccking your conclusion, I just wanted to point out that this assertion is just not true:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

And this includes only European Union, it doesn't include the GDP of continental countries like Switzerland.

The US have a far larger capitalization in the stock markets, but Europe has many company that are not publicly traded so is better not to confuse the world stock capitalization with GDP.

Or did you intended something else with "economy"?

Yeah, you're right.  There's some articles out there I read that the US had surpassed the EU back in 2013.  It looks like it did in PPP, but that's just one model

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29

In any event, the two economies are very close in size, which is incredible when you think the US has 330 million people compared to the 507 million people in the EU.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #217 on: February 17, 2015, 02:14:21 PM »
Because football > futbol.

libertarian4321

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #218 on: February 17, 2015, 03:06:01 PM »
There are several reasons that the USA is the "best":


Quote
We are the most free. Individual liberty here is unmatched anywhere else in the world. We have the greatest mixture of personal (self defense and the means to it are not prohibited by the state), economic (low taxes, low redistribution), and political (very, VERY few controls on any kind of speech) freedom.

Not really.  Might have been true 80 years ago, but sure as Hell isn't true now.  We are losing our freedoms at a rapid pace, and, like the frog that sits quietly in the kettle as the water heats up, most Americans are blissfully unaware of it.

Though it started before 9-11, that incident, in particular, has led to a MASSIVE reduction in individual rights in the USA, and turned the USA into much more of a police state.

Even "Rah, rah, USA is great!" security state organizations like the Heritage Foundation no longer rank the USA near the top (they have us at 12th).  Organizations with a more libertarian bent rate the USA significantly lower.

http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

The security/police state favored by Republicans, and the anti-capitalism attitude of the Dems have the USA becoming ever less free.

Quote
We are the most significant. We combine the greatest military with the most productive economy, and this grants us power that is unparalleled in the modern world.

Yup, we spend RIDICULOUS amounts on our military.  MORE THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED!  That, my friend, is insane.  Who the Hell are we so afraid of?

In fact, calling it "defense" is insane.  We went waaaaaay beyond "defense" decades ago.  We now have a military designed for, at best, being a global enforcement agency, at worst, designed for global hegemony.

The downside?  ITS EXPENSIVE!  Our military is a HUGE DRAIN on the USA.  It's a huge part of our government debt.  It hurts our economy.  Yes, we still have the largest economy (though not on a per capita basis).  Keep blowing Trillions on the military, and that won't be the case for a whole lot longer.

And FYI, I ain't no liberal peacenik.  I spent 30 years in the Army, active and reserve.  But I'm appalled at how much we spend on so called "defense" 25 years after the Cold War ended.


« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 03:07:36 PM by libertarian4321 »

NICE!

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #219 on: February 17, 2015, 03:11:33 PM »
Yup, we spend RIDICULOUS amounts on our military.  MORE THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED!  That, my friend, is insane.  Who the Hell are we so afraid of?

I agree with your general point about the massive amount of money we spend on defense, but we don't spend more than the rest of the world combined. A few years ago it was more than the next 20 countries, but recently it has dropped to somewhere between 10-15, IRC.

Still a very high amount.

I also agree that we're letting our rights slip away for the promise of security. Unfortunately, this is happening in other places, too. Terrorists are so weak in comparison to the military might of developed states, yet they cause us to restructure our society since we are uncomfortable with the risk inherent to freedom. By all means, fight them, but don't let them change who you are.

Chuck

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #220 on: February 17, 2015, 03:46:27 PM »

Not really.  Might have been true 80 years ago, but sure as Hell isn't true now.  We are losing our freedoms at a rapid pace, and, like the frog that sits quietly in the kettle as the water heats up, most Americans are blissfully unaware of it.

Though it started before 9-11, that incident, in particular, has led to a MASSIVE reduction in individual rights in the USA, and turned the USA into much more of a police state.

The security/police state favored by Republicans, and the anti-capitalism attitude of the Dems have the USA becoming ever less free.
Less freedom? In what way, and as compared to whom?

Remember that warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention and constant surveillance are not exclusive to America. Furthermore, and I hate to burst your bubble here, these things all existed in America a long time prior to 9/11. All the Patriot Act did was codify practices already utilized in the War on Drugs and repurpose them to combat terrorism.

The perception that you are now "less free" is a result of opposition to those practices, largely politically driven and (as Obama's practices have shown) insincere, arising in the run-up to the 2004 presidential election.

In short, them good old pre-9/11 days you are pining for never existed. I agree that there is injustice in that, and certainly ways for us to improve in this regard, but so it goes with the rest of the world. We are tied with some, but vastly superior to many thanks to the controls and accountability that we do have in place.

However, our nearly absolute freedom of speech is unique in the world, where either personal speech (hate speech) or political speech is often restricted. These rights continue to expand, as campaign finance laws that restrict speech continue to be knocked down.

Likewise, our right to personal defense continues to expand. In the last 25 years, the right to carry a firearm for your own personal protection has gone from novel and rare to nearly universal in this country. Even prior to this, we were and are one of the few nations that allows it's citizenry to own many types of firearms, and to employ lethal force in defense of one's body and property.

Finally, in regards to our economic freedom ranking, we are largely (almost exclusively) hampered by our excessive corporate tax rate. I agree that this is an issue. However, on a personal level, the picture looks much better. Personal tax rates, and our rock bottom tax rate on capital gains (one of the main reasons ER is so easy in America) speak in our favor. Remember also that investing in tax deferred accounts is severely limited in many parts of the world- to the point where many force you to buy annuities or some other such shit. Here our freedom to invest in equities and reap the benefits of that investment are unparalleled.


Quote
Yup, we spend RIDICULOUS amounts on our military.  MORE THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED!  That, my friend, is insane.  Who the Hell are we so afraid of?
I'm surprised you have to even ask that question. Here goes:


  • China attacking Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and eventually threatening Australia.
  • North Korea attacking South Korea, triggering a counterattack that causes the above to start occurring much sooner.
  • Russia attempting to annex Estonia, Ukraine, Georgia and eventually Poland, the last forcing the EU to declare war.
  • War between Israel and Iran.

Those are just the four big ones. That isn't even counting the little things like the Philippines melting down, allowing communist extremists to take power in the north and Islamic extremists to take power in the south.

None of them are presently likely, precisely because our military is present or implied to respond to each situation.

WWIII is a very real possibility. It can happen. It doesn't happen because half the world is scared of us, and the other half is allied with us (and uses our heavy defense spending to cut their own- see: Canada.)

Quote
The downside?  ITS EXPENSIVE!  Our military is a HUGE DRAIN on the USA.  It's a huge part of our government debt.  It hurts our economy.  Yes, we still have the largest economy (though not on a per capita basis).  Keep blowing Trillions on the military, and that won't be the case for a whole lot longer.
Yes, it's quite expensive to keep the world from killing it's self. WWIII is not an acceptable alternative... and I fail to see how any of this takes away from the idea that we are the best. The fact that we have assumed this burden, voluntarily, is to our credit imo.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 06:04:31 PM by Chuck »

libertarian4321

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #221 on: February 17, 2015, 06:02:31 PM »

    Less freedom? In what way, and as compared to whom?

    Remember that warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention and constant surveillance are not exclusive to America. Furthermore, and I hate to burst your bubble here, these things all existed in America a long time prior to 9/11. All the Patriot Act did was codify practices already utilized in the War on Drugs and repurpose them to combat terrorism.

    The perception that you are now "less free" is a result of opposition to those practices, largely politically driven and (as Obama's practices have shown) insincere, arising in the run-up to the 2004 presidential election.

    In short, them good old pre-9/11 days you are pining for never existed. I agree that there is injustice in that, and certainly ways for us to improve in this regard, but so it goes with the rest of the world. We are tied with some, but vastly superior to many thanks to the controls and accountability that we do have in place.

    However, our nearly absolute freedom of speech is unique in the world, where either personal speech (hate speech) or political speech is often restricted. These rights continue to expand, as campaign finance laws that restrict speech continue to be knocked down.

    Likewise, our right to personal defense continues to expand. In the last 25 years, the right to carry a firearm for your own personal protection has gone from novel and rare to nearly universal in this country. Even prior to this, we were and are one of the few nations that allows it's citizenry to own many types of firearms, and to employ lethal force in defense of one's body and property.

    Finally, in regards to our economic freedom ranking, we are largely (almost exclusively) hampered by our excessive corporate tax rate. I agree that this is an issue. However, on a personal level, the picture looks much better. Personal tax rates, and our rock bottom tax rate on capital gains (one of the main reasons ER is so easy in America) speak in our favor. Remember also that investing in tax deferred accounts is severely limited in many parts of the world- to the point where many force you to buy annuities or some other such shit. Here are freedom to invest in equities and reap the benefits of that investment are unparalleled.


    Quote
    Yup, we spend RIDICULOUS amounts on our military.  MORE THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED!  That, my friend, is insane.  Who the Hell are we so afraid of?
    I'm surprised you have to even ask that question. Here goes:


    • China attacking Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and eventually threatening Australia.
    • North Korea attacking South Korea, triggering a counterattack that causes the above to start occurring much sooner.
    • Russia attempting to annex Estonia, Ukraine, Georgia and eventually Poland, the last forcing the EU to declare war.
    • War between Israel and Iran.

    Those are just the four big ones. That isn't even counting the little things like the Philippines melting down, allowing communist extremists to take power in the north and Islamic extremists to take power in the south.

    None of them are presently likely, precisely because our military is present or implied to respond to each situation.

    WWIII is a very real possibility. It can happen. It doesn't happen because half the world is scared of us, and the other half is allied with us (and uses our heavy defense spending to cut their own- see: Canada.)

    Quote
    The downside?  ITS EXPENSIVE!  Our military is a HUGE DRAIN on the USA.  It's a huge part of our government debt.  It hurts our economy.  Yes, we still have the largest economy (though not on a per capita basis).  Keep blowing Trillions on the military, and that won't be the case for a whole lot longer.
    Yes, it's quite expensive to keep the world from killing it's self. WWIII is not an acceptable alternative... and I fail to see how any of this takes away from the idea that we are the best. The fact that we have assumed this burden, voluntarily, is to our credit imo.

    Quote
    Remember that warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention and constant surveillance are not exclusive to America. Furthermore, and I hate to burst your bubble here, these things all existed in America a long time prior to 9/11. All the Patriot Act did was codify practices already utilized in the War on Drugs and repurpose them to combat terrorism.

    They weren't "non existent" before 9-11, but 9-11 was used as an excuse to take them to obscene levels.  I never said the USA was truly free before 9-11, it surely wasn't.  The USA is, in many ways, far more repressive than many other nations in a variety of ways, and was even before 9-11.

    The insane, failed "War on Drugs" being a great example of ineffective police state activity in the USA before 9-11, resulting in the USA having the highest incarceration rate in the civilized world, much of it for victimless "crimes" like smoking marijuana or hiring a hooker, "crimes" which are non-existent in much of the civilized world.

    I've lived overseas, and traveled extensively.  If you think the USA is "more free" than most of the western world, you are delusional or uninformed.  I'm not saying any other country is perfect, either, but it's insane to claim that the USA is the "freest country in the world."

    Quote
    Finally, in regards to our economic freedom ranking, we are largely (almost exclusively) hampered by our excessive corporate tax rate. I agree that this is an issue. However, on a personal level, the picture looks much better. Personal tax rates, and our rock bottom tax rate on capital gains (one of the main reasons ER is so easy in America) speak in our favor. Remember also that investing in tax deferred accounts is severely limited in many parts of the world- to the point where many force you to buy annuities or some other such shit. Here are freedom to invest in equities and reap the benefits of that investment are unparalleled.

    There is a WHOLE LOT more to "economic freedom" than just tax rates.  Ridiculous and burdensome REGULATION hugely impinges on economic freedom.  And the USA is big on ridiculous and burdensome regulation.  Not the worst, but nowhere near the best, either.

    Quote
    Quote
    • China attacking Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and eventually threatening Australia.
    • North Korea attacking South Korea, triggering a counterattack that causes the above to start occurring much sooner.
    • Russia attempting to annex Estonia, Ukraine, Georgia and eventually Poland, the last forcing the EU to declare war.
    • War between Israel and Iran.

    Those are just the four big ones. That isn't even counting the little things like the Philippines melting down, allowing communist extremists to take power in the north and Islamic extremists to take power in the south.

    None of them are presently likely, precisely because our military is present or implied to respond to each situation.

    WWIII is a very real possibility. It can happen. It doesn't happen because half the world is scared of us, and the other half is allied with us (and uses our heavy defense spending to cut their own- see: Canada.)

    Wow, you really buy into the scare tactics used to keep the military industrial complex humming along.  My Boeing stock thanks you for not questioning the BS.

    After the Cold War ended, the military industrial complex really, really, really needed a Boogeyman to replace the Soviet Union.  They haven't really found one, but by "throwing enough shit against the wall" they've managed to convince enough Americans like yourself to "live in fear" of a whole bunch of bad (though highly unlikely) scenarios all occurring at once to keep the "defense (yeah, right)" dollars flowing.

    BTW, I would point out that most of those "scare" scenarios you listed are HIGHLY UNLIKELY, and even less likely to occur AT THE SAME TIME.  And, frankly, some of them are none of our damned business/not our problem.

    South Korea is twice the size of North Korea, and vastly more wealthy.  It ain't our damned job to defend South Korea from it's smaller, impoverished neighbor.

    If Israel and Iran start something, why would that require the USA to have 10 carrier battle groups, and millions of soldiers?  Not our problem.

    I'm particularly fond of the way those that benefit from the military industrial complex have tried to turn China into the big, bad, aggressor.  You know how many wars China has engaged outside it's borders in the past 150 years?  Three.  Vietnam (a two week scuffle in 1980), Korea and Tibet.

    Guess how many the USA has been involved in?  Dozens, large and small, including an invasion of China, BTW.

    Just since 1898, we've fought the Spanish, Philippines (twice, not including the Spanish American War), China (Boxer rebellion, I won't count the time we bombed their embassy in the '90s), Mexico (1915), invasions and occupations of Haiti (multiple times)- Dominican Republic (multiple times)- Nicaragua,  World War I, Russian Civil War (another one which most Americans are blissfully unaware of), World War 2, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Lebanon (multiple times), Grenada, Panama, Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and now Iraq/Syria against ISIL. 

    Good God, man, we shouldn't be worried about China, China and the rest of the world should be worried about us, because we have been involved in more wars, by far, than any other nation in the past 120 years.

    We would be just fine, even in your (highly unlikely) "scary" scenarios, with a standing military half the size of what we currently have.

    In conclusion, I'd like to see a USA with more personal freedom (there are PLENTY of nations with as much, or more, than we have), less government regulation and more economic freedom (we aren't the worst, but we sure aren't the best), and a less war like stance (costly as Hell- let South Korea, Japan, Germany, etc provide their own defense, they ain't poor- as long as the American taxpayer agrees to foot the bill, they will NEVER take care of themselves).

    Hedge_87

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #222 on: February 17, 2015, 08:14:48 PM »

    Ricky

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #223 on: February 17, 2015, 09:54:09 PM »
    Just as a preliminary, I haven't read past the first couple of posts. Anytime you throw ambiguous words like "best" around, all you're ever going to get are opinions. Too many variables for one.

    I don't hear "America is the best country" as much as "New York is the greatest city in the world". But I'll address the former.

    American pride comes in part from how much has been achieved in a relatively little amount of time. Though the land is as old as the earth itself, the USA is a relatively young country. People take pride in all of the innovation here. Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, etc. There is no other Microsoft in the world. It happened in America.

    Also: film, television, games. America is great because it's not a bunch of hicks screaming "hell yeah, country!" It's a diverse group of people coming together to make amazing things. There's no where else with as much diversity.

    I'm not using this information to purport superiority, just giving reasons as one might (possibly naively) perceive America as the best.

    America also has the highest economic throughput in the world, leading one of the best standards of living due to high productivity.

    Achievements and superiority in technology and movies doesn't necessarily make you the best though, so there are still areas for concessions.
    « Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 10:04:14 PM by Ricky »

    jackiechiles2

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #224 on: February 18, 2015, 07:28:57 AM »


     
    Good God, man, we shouldn't be worried about China, China and the rest of the world should be worried about us, because we have been involved in more wars, by far, than any other nation in the past 120 years.

    We would be just fine, even in your (highly unlikely) "scary" scenarios, with a standing military half the size of what we currently have.

    In conclusion, I'd like to see a USA with more personal freedom (there are PLENTY of nations with as much, or more, than we have), less government regulation and more economic freedom (we aren't the worst, but we sure aren't the best), and a less war like stance (costly as Hell- let South Korea, Japan, Germany, etc provide their own defense, they ain't poor- as long as the American taxpayer agrees to foot the bill, they will NEVER take care of themselves).


    I'm not saying we need to be defending Germany, South Korea, or Japan, but your statement that the US has been involved in more wars than any other country in the last 120 years is totally incorrect.

    The UK served as the Superpower prior to WWII.  Wars it has been involved in since 1890s

    Anglo-Zanzibar War (1896)
    Boxer Rebellion (1899) 
    Second Boer War (1899)
    Invasion of Tibet (1903)
    WWI (1914)
    Russian Civil War (1918) (although I'm not sure why you are separating this from WWI since the main interest was Russias participation in the war)
    Turkish War of Independence (1919)
    Third Anglo Afghan War (1919)
    Irish War of Independence (1919)
    Somaliand Campaign (1920)
    Great Iraqi Revolution (1920)
    Great Arab Revolt Palestine (1936)
    British Zionist Conflict (1938-1948)
    WWII (1941)
    Indonesian National Revolution (1945)
    Greek Civil War (1944, but could be part of WWII)
    Vietnam (1945)
    Malayan Emergency (1948)
    Korean War (1950)
    Suez Canal Emergency (1951)
    Mau Mau Uprising (1952)
    Cyprus Emergency (1955)
    Suez Crisis (1956)
    Border Campaign with Ireland (1956)
    Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation (1962)
    Dhofar Rebellion (1962)
    Aden Emergency (1963)
    Falklands War (1982)

    Then all the Gulf and European campaigns with the US since the 1980s. 

    Other European colonial powers have many additional wars that you're not thinking of since you seem solely focused on the US military history.


    Again, I'm not saying we need military bases in first world countries anymore, but the US military spending and size of its force are what allow those other countries to spend to little on their military and have greater freedom or standards of living in the US.

    Also, for all the "bad" things the US has done involving itself in foreign affairs, I think it's safe to say extremes are limited by US own moral code/concern about public opinion.  It's unlikely appealing to the Russian or Chinese moral codes would be as strong a restraining force on the exercise of power as it is in the US should those countries ever ascend to the global position the US currently occupies.

    NICE!

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #225 on: February 18, 2015, 10:31:50 AM »

    Schaefer Light

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #226 on: February 18, 2015, 02:46:24 PM »
    In the words of Denis Leary...

    "Two words, nuclear fucking weapons, okay?
    Russia, Germany, Romania
    They can have all the democracy they want
    They can have a big democracy cake walk
    Right through the middle of Tienanmen square

    And it won't make a lick of difference
    Because we've got the bombs, okay?"



    RetiredAt63

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #227 on: February 20, 2015, 08:11:09 AM »
    That was interesting - Canada was 6th, top in the North America, the U.S. was 12th.   And our score has dropped because of labour issues, there has been some rather restrictive legislation on unions recently.

    And no union bashing, please - unions do well (membership numbers, activity) when they are needed, and they are usually needed.  If they are not needed at a particular company or industry, then they tend not to form.

    http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

    SK Joyous

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #228 on: February 20, 2015, 08:54:59 AM »
    Ha, this is a really thought-provoking thread. I have totally been brainwashed from youth, because it's way too easy for me to automatically think, "yeah! America's the best!!" without thinking, wait, why?? I think the default for a lot of people is "freedom": free to be anything you want, free to succeed, free to voice your beliefs, etc... but, uh, pretty sure you're free to do all those other things in other first-world countries with decent governments as well (e.g. most of Europe). So that's a pretty dumb reason.

    So I guess it's not the best, I just really like it because I grew up here. I will say that one thing I think is really cool/"the best" about the U.S. is the awesome cultural/climatic/physiographic diversity within our borders, just by virtue of being so huge and having a history of diverse immigration (which itself is linked to the hugeness/natural resources). Off the top of my head I can't think of any other first-world countries that are similarly diverse, and I think it's a pretty neat feature.

    Canada.

    Chuck

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #229 on: February 20, 2015, 09:06:52 AM »
    Ha, this is a really thought-provoking thread. I have totally been brainwashed from youth, because it's way too easy for me to automatically think, "yeah! America's the best!!" without thinking, wait, why?? I think the default for a lot of people is "freedom": free to be anything you want, free to succeed, free to voice your beliefs, etc... but, uh, pretty sure you're free to do all those other things in other first-world countries with decent governments as well (e.g. most of Europe). So that's a pretty dumb reason.

    So I guess it's not the best, I just really like it because I grew up here. I will say that one thing I think is really cool/"the best" about the U.S. is the awesome cultural/climatic/physiographic diversity within our borders, just by virtue of being so huge and having a history of diverse immigration (which itself is linked to the hugeness/natural resources). Off the top of my head I can't think of any other first-world countries that are similarly diverse, and I think it's a pretty neat feature.

    Canada.
    Uh, dude. It's called the Great White North for a reason, mang.

    SK Joyous

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #230 on: February 20, 2015, 10:46:59 AM »
    Sorry, but those are not the only interpretations of those parts of history.

    Lol. No kidding.

    Shows up late to war. Takes all credit.

    +1

    Chuck

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #231 on: February 20, 2015, 11:00:05 AM »
    Sorry, but those are not the only interpretations of those parts of history.

    Lol. No kidding.

    Shows up late to war. Takes all credit.

    +1
    This is a common refrain.

    Who made most of the ships, planes, bullets and bombs that were being used prior to our arrival again?

    2lazy2retire

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #232 on: February 20, 2015, 11:07:20 AM »
    Sorry, but those are not the only interpretations of those parts of history.

    Lol. No kidding.

    Shows up late to war. Takes all credit.

    +1
    This is a common refrain.

    Who made most of the ships, planes, bullets and bombs that were being used prior to our arrival again?
    +1 - America is the best when it comes to wars

    SK Joyous

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #233 on: February 20, 2015, 12:36:06 PM »
    Ha, this is a really thought-provoking thread. I have totally been brainwashed from youth, because it's way too easy for me to automatically think, "yeah! America's the best!!" without thinking, wait, why?? I think the default for a lot of people is "freedom": free to be anything you want, free to succeed, free to voice your beliefs, etc... but, uh, pretty sure you're free to do all those other things in other first-world countries with decent governments as well (e.g. most of Europe). So that's a pretty dumb reason.

    So I guess it's not the best, I just really like it because I grew up here. I will say that one thing I think is really cool/"the best" about the U.S. is the awesome cultural/climatic/physiographic diversity within our borders, just by virtue of being so huge and having a history of diverse immigration (which itself is linked to the hugeness/natural resources). Off the top of my head I can't think of any other first-world countries that are similarly diverse, and I think it's a pretty neat feature.

    Canada.
    Uh, dude. It's called the Great White North for a reason, mang.

    Sure, the snow (and dang it is cold right now :) - but we are also a huge country founded on immigration, and have at least the same (and it could be argued, more, due to more of a 'mosaic' mindset rather than a 'melting pot' mindset) cultural diversity as the U.S.  I like visiting the 'States - I like the people, the sights, etc - and it isn't a culture shock to visit there quite as much as it was to visit Italy and France (although Georgia's southern hospitality was a bit of a shock, even for a super-friendly Canadian).  I'm not knocking the U.S., but I do reserve the right to mock the 'U.S. is the best, full stop' attitude that sometimes comes from south of us :)

    SK Joyous

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #234 on: February 20, 2015, 12:43:39 PM »
    Sorry, but those are not the only interpretations of those parts of history.

    Lol. No kidding.

    Shows up late to war. Takes all credit.

    +1
    This is a common refrain.

    Who made most of the ships, planes, bullets and bombs that were being used prior to our arrival again?

    Yep, you build stuff good...

    Joking aside, yes, the U.S. was a part of the British-mobilized worldwide human, industrial, capital, and armament ramp-up that allowed the Allies to fight the Axis.  However, they were not the only part, and they were definitely late to the party of fighting the war itself (actually, both world wars).  Again, not knocking the U.S., just poking a bit at the 'we are the very best' mentality that seems to end the conversation.

    deborah

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #235 on: February 20, 2015, 12:46:23 PM »
    Ha, this is a really thought-provoking thread. I have totally been brainwashed from youth, because it's way too easy for me to automatically think, "yeah! America's the best!!" without thinking, wait, why?? I think the default for a lot of people is "freedom": free to be anything you want, free to succeed, free to voice your beliefs, etc... but, uh, pretty sure you're free to do all those other things in other first-world countries with decent governments as well (e.g. most of Europe). So that's a pretty dumb reason.

    So I guess it's not the best, I just really like it because I grew up here. I will say that one thing I think is really cool/"the best" about the U.S. is the awesome cultural/climatic/physiographic diversity within our borders, just by virtue of being so huge and having a history of diverse immigration (which itself is linked to the hugeness/natural resources). Off the top of my head I can't think of any other first-world countries that are similarly diverse, and I think it's a pretty neat feature.

    Canada.
    Uh, dude. It's called the Great White North for a reason, mang.

    Sure, the snow (and dang it is cold right now :) - but we are also a huge country founded on immigration, and have at least the same (and it could be argued, more, due to more of a 'mosaic' mindset rather than a 'melting pot' mindset) cultural diversity as the U.S.  I like visiting the 'States - I like the people, the sights, etc - and it isn't a culture shock to visit there quite as much as it was to visit Italy and France (although Georgia's southern hospitality was a bit of a shock, even for a super-friendly Canadian).  I'm not knocking the U.S., but I do reserve the right to mock the 'U.S. is the best, full stop' attitude that sometimes comes from south of us :)
    The reports about diversity in countries actually do put Canada at #1. Australia is somewhere in the top 5. I am not sure that the US makes it to the top 10 - but it's a while since I have read the reports.

    SK Joyous

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #236 on: February 20, 2015, 12:47:19 PM »
    I really love Canada (my home and native land), and I also really like the U.S. and its people - I hope to see even more of it over the years, but at least we've visited a pretty good cross-section so far.  I also really enjoyed the parts of Europe that we've visited; haven't been to Australia yet but am definitely looking forward to it!  I don't really care who is the 'best' - heck, I don't even dispute anyone from any country's right to claim it!  I do, however, reserve the right to poke fun at people who walk around claiming 'absolutes' based solely on personal opinion :)

    deborah

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #237 on: February 20, 2015, 12:53:56 PM »
    Sorry, but those are not the only interpretations of those parts of history.

    Lol. No kidding.

    Shows up late to war. Takes all credit.

    +1
    This is a common refrain.

    Who made most of the ships, planes, bullets and bombs that were being used prior to our arrival again?

    Yep, you build stuff good...

    Joking aside, yes, the U.S. was a part of the British-mobilized worldwide human, industrial, capital, and armament ramp-up that allowed the Allies to fight the Axis.  However, they were not the only part, and they were definitely late to the party of fighting the war itself (actually, both world wars).  Again, not knocking the U.S., just poking a bit at the 'we are the very best' mentality that seems to end the conversation.
    Since it was Russia who are usually credited with "beating the Nazis" in WW2, I'm not sure than America made "made most of the ships, planes, bullets and bombs" that beat the Nazis. Recent analysis of WW1 by US war historians and others appears to agree that WW1 would have ended about 6 months later than it did if the US had not entered it because by that time, people in the field had finally worked out to actually fight the war.

    deborah

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #238 on: February 20, 2015, 12:54:43 PM »
    I don't really care who is the 'best' - heck, I don't even dispute anyone from any country's right to claim it!  I do, however, reserve the right to poke fun at people who walk around claiming 'absolutes' based solely on personal opinion :)
    +1

    mak1277

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #239 on: February 20, 2015, 01:00:01 PM »
    I don't really care who is the 'best' - heck, I don't even dispute anyone from any country's right to claim it!  I do, however, reserve the right to poke fun at people who walk around claiming 'absolutes' based solely on personal opinion :)
    +1

    Deborah doesn't care...she's only posted 700 times in this thread trying to say America's not the best.

    NICE!

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #240 on: February 20, 2015, 01:00:34 PM »
    I love Canada and Canadians, but diverse? The population is over 75% white. The next 15% is Asian.

    I was surprised how high the Asian number was, FWIW.

    SK Joyous

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #241 on: February 20, 2015, 01:05:04 PM »
    I love Canada and Canadians, but diverse? The population is over 75% white. The next 15% is Asian.

    I was surprised how high the Asian number was, FWIW.

    Not sure where you're getting your information (or your position that skin colour is directly related to diversity), but here is the info from Stats Canada:

    Immigration

        In 2011, Canada had a foreign-born population of about 6,775,800 people. They represented 20.6% of the total population, the highest proportion among the G8 countries.

        Between 2006 and 2011, around 1,162,900 foreign-born people immigrated to Canada. These recent immigrants made up 17.2% of the foreign-born population and 3.5% of the total population in Canada.

        Asia (including the Middle East) was Canada's largest source of immigrants during the past five years, although the share of immigration from Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America increased slightly.

        The vast majority of the foreign-born population lived in four provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, and most lived in the nation's largest urban centres.

    Ethnic ancestry

        More than 200 ethnic origins were reported in the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS). In 2011, 13 different ethnic origins had surpassed the 1-million mark.

    Visible minority population

        Nearly 6,264,800 people identified themselves as a member of a visible minority group. They represented 19.1% of the total population. Of these visible minorities, 30.9% were born in Canada and 65.1% were born outside the country and came to live in Canada as immigrants. A small proportion (4.0%) of the visible minority population was non-permanent residents.

        Combined, the three largest visible minority groups-South Asians, Chinese and Blacks-accounted for 61.3% of the visible minority population in 2011. They were followed by Filipinos, Latin Americans, Arabs, Southeast Asians, West Asians, Koreans and Japanese.

        As was the case with the immigrant population, the vast majority lived in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta. Seven out of 10 lived in the three largest census metropolitan areas: Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.

        The visible minority population had a median age of 33.4 in 2011, compared with 40.1 for the population as a whole.

    http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-010-x/99-010-x2011001-eng.cfm



    NICE!

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #242 on: February 20, 2015, 01:19:49 PM »
    Some people have adjusted Canada's official numbers to put a race to them, showing a larger white population in Canada. Add history to the mix and this is not a difficult conclusion.

    At any rate, it doesn't matter. I like Canada and Canadians and do not care about their race or origin. I think both the US Census and the Canada statistics to have questionable classifications.
    « Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 01:40:36 PM by NICE! »

    deborah

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #243 on: February 20, 2015, 01:37:35 PM »
    I don't really care who is the 'best' - heck, I don't even dispute anyone from any country's right to claim it!  I do, however, reserve the right to poke fun at people who walk around claiming 'absolutes' based solely on personal opinion :)
    +1

    Deborah doesn't care...she's only posted 700 times in this thread trying to say America's not the best.
    Actually that's not quite correct. There are so many different ways to define "the best" that I can't imagine anywhere being "the best" on more than a few measures. I think the US is good - like a lot of other countries. It has been a lot of fun poking holes in some of the statements. And I don't really care (that is why it has been FUN!)

    On a more serious note, this thread has taught me a lot about how some people think. Who would have thought that ANYONE would write that their country was "the best" because it allows people to carry guns everywhere - in the same time period that babies are accidentally killing their parents because of this. It has also introduced me to strange ideas like "American Exceptionalism".

    I still have a hard time getting my head around the thought that the US is more diverse than any 52 other countries because all its states are as different as countries. The same state - federal dichotomy applies to Canada and Australia (before federation the states were considered to be separate nations - and so we still have the National Gallery of Victoria for example). We have different state laws, school curricula (although a national one is being developed)... But I would never have thought we were as different as Germany and France - because our states have the same language and similar cultures. I still think this must be the case for the US as well.

    SK Joyous

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #244 on: February 20, 2015, 02:48:19 PM »
    Some people have adjusted Canada's official numbers to put a race to them, showing a larger white population in Canada. Add history to the mix and this is not a difficult conclusion.

    At any rate, it doesn't matter. I like Canada and Canadians and do not care about their race or origin. I think both the US Census and the Canada statistics to have questionable classifications.

    It's all good, I too like a lot of people from a lot of countries - in fact, I can honestly say I have no blanket 'dislike' for any nationality of people, I think our differences and diversity are very interesting and add some spice to interaction (how boring would it be if we were all the same!)

    MoneyCat

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #245 on: February 20, 2015, 02:56:48 PM »
    Canada is the world's best country because they have great national healthcare, good universities, a very stable economy, a good national pension program, plus they always win gold medals in hockey.  It's a lot easier to make a living there than the USA.  Canada has even taken over most "Hollywood" productions in star-studded Vancouver.

    aspiringnomad

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #246 on: February 20, 2015, 03:31:19 PM »
    Canada is the world's best country because they have great national healthcare, good universities, a very stable economy, a good national pension program, plus they always win gold medals in hockey.  It's a lot easier to make a living there than the USA.  Canada has even taken over most "Hollywood" productions in star-studded Vancouver.

    Also the most bubblicious real estate market in the world, with a price to rent ratio approached only by NZ and HK. Speaking of which, since there are a lot of Canadians and Kiwis on this board and this thread is prime for hijacking, it would be interesting to get thoughts on those two real estate markets. If you own in Canada or New Zealand (or even Australia to a lesser extent), are you at all concerned about a bubble? My plan is to FIRE in NZ in less than a decade, and if there's no correction to that ratio between now and then, there's no way I will buy a place when I can rent for 57 cents on the dollar. Maybe a discussion for another thread :).

    NICE!

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #247 on: February 20, 2015, 05:51:37 PM »
    Some people have adjusted Canada's official numbers to put a race to them, showing a larger white population in Canada. Add history to the mix and this is not a difficult conclusion.

    At any rate, it doesn't matter. I like Canada and Canadians and do not care about their race or origin. I think both the US Census and the Canada statistics have questionable classifications.

    It's all good, I too like a lot of people from a lot of countries - in fact, I can honestly say I have no blanket 'dislike' for any nationality of people, I think our differences and diversity are very interesting and add some spice to interaction (how boring would it be if we were all the same!)

    marketnonsenses

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #248 on: February 26, 2015, 02:26:47 PM »
    Canada is the world's best country because they have great national healthcare, good universities, a very stable economy, a good national pension program, plus they always win gold medals in hockey.  It's a lot easier to make a living there than the USA.  Canada has even taken over most "Hollywood" productions in star-studded Vancouver.

    It is weird how Canada doesnt have to spend much on Military things. I wonder why. Their space program and list of world changing innovations are on par with super powers like North Korea and Kenya. (I am just causing trouble, I love Canada)

    RetiredAt63

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    Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
    « Reply #249 on: February 26, 2015, 03:16:03 PM »
    For our population size we spend a fair bit.  However, the HarperTM government keeps saying they support the military but keep cutting the % of GDP that goes to the military.  Not to mention cutting support for veterans (and after Afghanistan we have young veterans who need support). So, yeah.  Plus don't expect to see a lot of basic science research from us for a while - lots of issues there too.

    Space program - well there was Anik1 way back when, and the Canadarm, and Chris Hadfield (I know, a person, not a thing) at the ISS.  Remember our population is just over 35 million (less than that of California).  We are more like Australia than the US, in that we have a small inhabitable land area (for us the southern edge of the country, for them the continental margins ) and the rest is tough (for us the North, for them the interior).  Shorter growing season for agriculture, more winter conditions to cope with, more work just going into the basics.

    We like it here anyway - Glad you like us  ;-)

    It is weird how Canada doesnt have to spend much on Military things. I wonder why. Their space program and list of world changing innovations are on par with super powers like North Korea and Kenya. (I am just causing trouble, I love Canada)