Author Topic: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?  (Read 63407 times)

nanu

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #50 on: February 06, 2015, 06:17:31 PM »
I can end this thread with two words: DALE EARNHARDT! Now simmer down, go get yourselves a beer, and go watch some Dukes u Hazzard reruns.

I have every single episode of the Dukes of Hazzard.

Even the stupid one with the aliens. WTF was up with that?
Did you watch all of them that you can say that you hate all of them? If so, why continue watching after a few episodes? (I'm just interested in your answer, I've never actually seen the show)

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #51 on: February 06, 2015, 06:48:44 PM »
I can end this thread with two words: DALE EARNHARDT! Now simmer down, go get yourselves a beer, and go watch some Dukes u Hazzard reruns.

I have every single episode of the Dukes of Hazzard.

Even the stupid one with the aliens. WTF was up with that?
Did you watch all of them that you can say that you hate all of them? If so, why continue watching after a few episodes? (I'm just interested in your answer, I've never actually seen the show)

No, I did not watch all of them so that I can say I hate all of them.

#1. Saying I hate Dukes of Hazzard will mean permanent expulsion from my home state of Tennessee. You don't say things like that. I also will not admit to not liking Nascar (because, um, it's great or something I guess. Left turn FTW!).

#2. Love the show. Had a General Lee piggy bank when I was a kid (ok, so being a car it couldn't be a piggy bank, you know what I mean). But even shows I love(d) can have crappy episodes. There's even a couple episodes of Cougar Town I could do without. Er, did I say Cougar Town? I meant Big Bang Theory. Sorry about that slip-up.

PerpetualWanderlust

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #52 on: February 06, 2015, 06:58:55 PM »
I think my country (United States) is the greatest country on Earth. It's not something that I say based off of hard evidence, although there are probably some facts that would help make the case.

It's because it's MY country. I love it. I'd protect it with my life if I had to. It's like my mother; I'd never admit that she is anything but the best in the world.

Call it being near-sited, stupid, or whatever you like. To be honest, I feel sorry for you if you don't have the same pride in your homeland.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 07:00:57 PM by PerpetualWanderlust »

Beric01

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #53 on: February 06, 2015, 07:00:50 PM »
I think my country (United States) is the greatest country on Earth. It's not something that I say based off of hard evidence, although there are probably some facts that would help make the case.

It's because it's MY country. I love it. I'd protect it with my life if I had to. It's like my mother; I'd never admit that she is anything but the best in the world.

This kind of "my country can do no wrong" mentality is exactly why the US is going downhill.

PerpetualWanderlust

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #54 on: February 06, 2015, 07:03:19 PM »
I think my country (United States) is the greatest country on Earth. It's not something that I say based off of hard evidence, although there are probably some facts that would help make the case.

It's because it's MY country. I love it. I'd protect it with my life if I had to. It's like my mother; I'd never admit that she is anything but the best in the world.

This kind of "my country can do no wrong" mentality is exactly why the US is going downhill.

Don't get me wrong. Just because the US is the best IMO, doesn't mean it is perfect or without fault. For example, I really wish we would improve our education & public transport system.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2015, 07:08:06 PM »
I think my country (United States) is the greatest country on Earth....
This kind of "my country can do no wrong" mentality is exactly why the US is going downhill.

Big difference between thinking your country is the greatest, and thinking it can do no wrong.

Barbaebigode

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #56 on: February 06, 2015, 08:05:15 PM »
Judging by many of the answers to this thread, it's because americans have really specific personal criteria to judge countries and coincidentally the US is always the number one by those standarts.

surfhb

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #57 on: February 06, 2015, 08:42:37 PM »
Hey, give us a break.     Our big heads are attributed to saving the planet from those kraut eating Nazi bastards.  ;)

phillyvalue

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #58 on: February 06, 2015, 09:03:32 PM »
and as far as productivity goes

GDP of US - 16.7T
GDP of EU - 17.5
Population of US - 320m
Population of EU - 507m

1 US worker   ~1.5 EU worker in productivity . yes, Dorothy, they do more and do it better, at massive scale.

This is something I hear Americans brag about often, but don't understand at all. In the same breath they are talking about 60+ hour work weeks and not enough vacation time, or time with their families. If i were to choose a 'best' country it wouldn't be the one where I'm far more likely to be expected to work overtime with no compensation and give up 'my life' for 'my job'. I would think that most people on this forum would agree to that.

Well, the beauty of it is that it's all up to you. Nobody has to work 60+ hrs to live a good life in the U.S. You can live an amazing life and retire early working ~40 hours a week if you are willing to live a lifestyle that is still materially far better than most people around the world can dream of. Or, if you love what you do and want to make your work a priority in life, you can work much harder, and the American system tends to reward hard work that is put towards productive uses very well. The perception that Americans have to work harder is driven by the consumerism mentality, which certainly exists here in abundance, but you don't have to fall into the trap yourself.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 09:05:10 PM by phillyvalue »

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #59 on: February 06, 2015, 09:20:12 PM »
Using the same figures, as far as productivity goes

GDP of US - 16.7T
GDP of Australia - 1.56T
Population of US - 320m
Population of Australia - 23m

1 US worker   ~ 0.7 Australian worker in productivity

And the Australian worker has more annual leave, better minimum wages...


AlexK

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #60 on: February 06, 2015, 09:40:43 PM »
I've only been to the USA, China, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, New Zealand, and Canada. The USA is better than all of those countries in my opinion. Do I need to visit every other country to be sure? Maybe. The fact that I am a US citizen makes it much easier to live here than anywhere else.

Slavery wasn't cool though.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #61 on: February 06, 2015, 09:47:00 PM »
Using the same figures, as far as productivity goes

GDP of US - 16.7T
GDP of Australia - 1.56T
Population of US - 320m
Population of Australia - 23m

1 US worker   ~ 0.7 Australian worker in productivity

And the Australian worker has more annual leave, better minimum wages...

What exchange rate are you using? In the not too distant past the AUD was near parity with the USD (in fact, it was worth even more than the USD). Right now $1 AUD is $0.78 USD. If those numbers are assuming $1 = $1, then they're off. If not, then wow...Australia was kicking even more butt last year and the year before.

Though it seems a little silly to say a country suddenly became richer/poorer just because another country's dollar rose/fell. Only a bit silly, I realize there is an actual change in relative wealth.

MMMaybe

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #62 on: February 06, 2015, 09:59:58 PM »
Americans think that America is the best country in the world because a startling percentage of them have never left the country. They have nothing to compare it to...

Those that have lived or travelled abroad often tend to have a more balanced view. That is, America is not perfect but it is great for x and y reasons.

As for me, I think that there is no perfect country. It is arrogant to assume that you are always the best and the brightest and I inwardly roll my eyes is when I hear statements like that.

CDP45

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #63 on: February 06, 2015, 10:21:21 PM »
We've created the most wealth for the most amount of people in the history of the world. 315,000,000 people, PPP of $53,000. You're on a website dedicated towards spreading the reality that people can work 10years and retire in America, something impossible for basically all of the history of mankind, even within 50 years.

I think people who haven't been here don't understand the exploding volcano of abundance , which is great MMM has an outsiders perspective being canadian.

It's a great place to live and self actualize.

Australia had a nice run in the 2000s, but the commodity boom is over, probably never to return, might need to cut back on social spending. There is no free lunch.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #64 on: February 06, 2015, 10:42:01 PM »
Using the same figures, as far as productivity goes

GDP of US - 16.7T
GDP of Australia - 1.56T
Population of US - 320m
Population of Australia - 23m

1 US worker   ~ 0.7 Australian worker in productivity

And the Australian worker has more annual leave, better minimum wages...

What exchange rate are you using? In the not too distant past the AUD was near parity with the USD (in fact, it was worth even more than the USD). Right now $1 AUD is $0.78 USD. If those numbers are assuming $1 = $1, then they're off. If not, then wow...Australia was kicking even more butt last year and the year before.

Though it seems a little silly to say a country suddenly became richer/poorer just because another country's dollar rose/fell. Only a bit silly, I realize there is an actual change in relative wealth.
This was in USD according to Google. https://www.google.com.au/search?q=gdp+australia&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=vpDVVPzKJIKxmAXzm4LQAg I did not calculate the exchange rate at all. Just copied the European comparison above, and put in the numbers.

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #65 on: February 06, 2015, 10:49:35 PM »
We've created the most wealth for the most amount of people in the history of the world. 315,000,000 people, PPP of $53,000. You're on a website dedicated towards spreading the reality that people can work 10years and retire in America, something impossible for basically all of the history of mankind, even within 50 years.

I think people who haven't been here don't understand the exploding volcano of abundance , which is great MMM has an outsiders perspective being canadian.

It's a great place to live and self actualize.

Australia had a nice run in the 2000s, but the commodity boom is over, probably never to return, might need to cut back on social spending. There is no free lunch.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Often in the past Australia has been top of the world. But what does it matter? As Bill Bryson said in his book about Australia (haven't looked up the exact quote but it goes something like this): In the 1950's Australia was top of the world rankings, and each household could buy an electric jug!

If most people have enough does it really matter whether you're first, or tenth - any country in the top ten of most indices has a fantastic environment for its citizens. Australia does very well on most world comparisons - as does Canada, Switzerland and the Nordic countries. Unfortunately, the US rarely makes it into the top 10 of these indices.

Malaysia41

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #66 on: February 06, 2015, 11:20:53 PM »
America is the best because we have The Onion.

The small minority of US citizens who read The Onion are laughing at the majority - who are wearing this t-shirt 24/7. 

I suspect the rest of the world is laughing too?

crazylemon

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2015, 12:49:55 AM »
I think more interesting is why other countries don't say it as much. Certainly within Europe we tend to get a little unsettled by nationalism (I mean with pretty good reason when you look at the previous century, or the one before that). Obviously we can still be patriotic but there is an increasing realisation that Individual European states are no longer big enough to play on the top table of the world stage on their own.

markbrynn

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2015, 01:01:59 AM »
Quote
I think my country (United States) is the greatest country on Earth. It's not something that I say based off of hard evidence, although there are probably some facts that would help make the case.

It's because it's MY country. I love it. I'd protect it with my life if I had to. It's like my mother; I'd never admit that she is anything but the best in the world.

Call it being near-sited, stupid, or whatever you like. To be honest, I feel sorry for you if you don't have the same pride in your homeland.

I find this series of statements lacking in logic, especially if you visualize the outcome.

American loves his/her country and will protect it with his/her life.

Italian feels same.

Sri Lankan feels same.

Etc. Etc.

They start telling each other that their own country is "the best!"

What happens next?

And please don't tell me that you feel sorry for someone who isn't proud of their homeland. Pride is different from telling everyone that your country is the best. On top of that, where is the self-reflection? If I have a pair of boots with holes in them, that don't keep my feet warm, why would I try to convince myself that my boots are better than somebody else's? That seems like trying to champion a blind love that is completely uncritical of itself. That mentality is a major reason why people, companies and nations fail.

markbrynn

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2015, 01:09:14 AM »
Quote
I think more interesting is why other countries don't say it as much. Certainly within Europe we tend to get a little unsettled by nationalism (I mean with pretty good reason when you look at the previous century, or the one before that). Obviously we can still be patriotic but there is an increasing realisation that Individual European states are no longer big enough to play on the top table of the world stage on their own.

I can't speak for the rest of the world, but the reason why I don't say "my country is the best" is because it's a statement that ends conversations. It is the exact opposite of open-minded and curious about the world. If I tell somebody that my country is the best, it doesn't invite them to share something about their country.

There's nothing wrong (in my opinion) about sharing things you love about your country, but think about how it sounds to the person on the other side of the table. If you talk about the good and the bad in detail, you have a conversation. If you say that "my country is the best" you have very little to discuss.

Dexterous

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2015, 02:02:13 AM »
Switzerland is my favorite country due to it's scenery, culture/languages, transportation, economy, political system, neutrality, etc.

By the way, I'm an American so some of us do think other places are equally awesome (or better).  ;)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 03:39:22 AM by Dexterous »

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #71 on: February 07, 2015, 03:17:38 AM »
We've created the most wealth for the most amount of people in the history of the world. 315,000,000 people, PPP of $53,000. You're on a website dedicated towards spreading the reality that people can work 10years and retire in America, something impossible for basically all of the history of mankind, even within 50 years.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Not sure about the most amount of wealth in the history of the world. PPP is a good measure - much better than GDP per worker. However, as I was responding to a post, I used the same methodology as had been used for Europe. I notice that parts of Europe show better PPP than the US which is 10th (not best in the world), as against Australia which is 14th (not bad in either case). The difference in the figures show what every Australian MMM complains about - that the cost of living in Australia is quite high. Unfortunately, we are located at the end of the line, so everybody charges the earth to ship here. For instance, Adobe products that you buy online, and are shipped online to your computer are something like twice the price they are in the US - go figure!
Australia had a nice run in the 2000s, but the commodity boom is over, probably never to return, might need to cut back on social spending. There is no free lunch.
Rubbish! You have not followed the fortunes of Australia for long enough. That is just what they always say a few years before the next commodities boom. And there is always the fact that we are one of the richest countries in the world (possibly the richest) as far as renewables is concerned. Think of the fact that we lead the world in skin cancer - it's partly because we actually are one of the very best places for solar power - same with wind...
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 03:31:42 AM by deborah »

pancakes

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #72 on: February 07, 2015, 03:40:26 AM »
Fascinating topic. I feel very lucky to have been born in Australia. We have it good here, I mean just look at how well we get on in the midst of seemingly continual political upheaval. I'd probably feel the same to have been born in America. Actually I'm pretty pleased to have been born at all

SnackDog

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #73 on: February 07, 2015, 03:50:52 AM »
As far as quality of life goes, Australia is normally considered highest in the world, and for good reasons: climate, water and air quality, economy, politics, healthcare, education, nature, low crime, low poverty, etc.  Cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane routinely rank best in the world: they are stunning places to live, full of fabulous people, parks, nature, food, wine, etc.  Look no further!   

Europe has social problems, Canada is freezing cold, Latin America is a complete disaster, Asia is largely still emerging (except Japan and Korea which are unfortunately culturally closed), Africa is a corrupt mess and we all know what a fiasco the US is with crime, pollution, obesity, consumerism, appalling education, no healthcare, etc.

phillyvalue

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #74 on: February 07, 2015, 03:55:23 AM »
In terms of U.S vs Australia, when you look at PPP per capita (GDP adjusted for cost of living) the U.S comes out about 10% ahead. That seems like the relevant figure to use.

The point about the number of people the U.S has made wealthy is the key IMO. There are ~10 countries with PPP per capita higher than America, some much higher, but these are tiny countries, all of which combined don't come close to the U.S population. Luxembourg may have living standards 80% higher, but there are more people living in NYC than the entire country. It's a pretty amazing thing that you have 300+ million people, from Manhattan to Kansas, ranking among the top in living standards in the world.

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #75 on: February 07, 2015, 04:08:01 AM »
But this thread isn't US vs Australia, but about why all these US citizens (Americans includes Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Argentinians... - are US citizens Yankees or something else - they haven't appropriated the whole two continents, just half of the top one) are always saying that the US is the best. Because I am Australian, I am using Australia (my homeland, and therefore a pretty good place, but not necessarily the best - and certainly not the best for everyone, because I don't want to be crowded out of my homeland) as one example of a place that I really know.

Of course, because the gini coefficient in the US is so much worse than it is in Australia, the US actually gives many fewer of its citizens the ability to have the PPP that the GDP PPP figure would suggest. Whereas, as the Australian gini figure means we have a much more equitable distribution of wealth, we possibly have a greater proportion of citizens able to take advantage of the higher PPP - and to therefore FIRE!

« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 06:05:09 AM by deborah »

fa

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #76 on: February 07, 2015, 05:52:19 AM »
This is sort of a silly topic, but amusing.

The French have better food, Africa has some amazing animals, Costa Rica has unbelievable biodiversity, Japan is wonderfully safe,  New Zealand has awesome hiking trails, Germans can drive much faster....

But, the US has a combination of:
-an unbelievable track record of political stability
-a federal system that works remarkably well
-more personal freedom than exists in many places, including European countries
-more economic opportunity than just about anywhere on the planet
-in spite of the US deficits, the US is the only country that has always paid its debts in full (nice for us investors!)
-food cost is very low compared to most industrialized countries
-taxes are generally lower than most countries
-an incredible amount of natural resources
-a founding document and constitution that have served as a model for many countries around the world
-less petty crime than many places
-makes achieving FIRE much easier than most other countries
-there is a lot of freedom of expression
-a very high standard of living (maybe too high)
-huge open spaces and tons of natural beauty
-a low level of corruption.  Most people don't ever deal with such a problem.
-wide variety of climates, from arctic to subtropical

This is a pretty awesome combination.  As an example of the low petty crime:  I have a nice set of patio furniture that is sitting on my patio, in full view of the street and has been there for 20 years.  In how many places on earth can you do that?  My patio set would have been stolen long ago in most places outside of the US.

Freedom of expression.  Did you know that is many western countries, it is illegal to express your support for the Nazis?  I would find expressing your support for the Nazis despicable, but it is legal in the US.  In most countries, there is freedom to express what is already accepted, not what is "on the fringe" or touches a raw nerve of history.  In the US, freedom of expression truly means just that.

Are there things that could be better?  Of course.  But, on aggregate, this is a pretty incredible place to live.  We have started to look at places to retire in the world, because I am not a nationalistic person and I am open to other options of places to live.  So far, we have not come across a place we would rather live when you take everything into consideration.  It is not for lack of checking it out:  my passport almost ran out of space to put customs/immmigration stamps.

I wasn't raised thinking that the US is the best.  In fact, I have enjoyed many aspects of places I have visited on all continents.  But when you put together a list of what matters, I find it tough to come up with a country that is better overall.

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #77 on: February 07, 2015, 06:43:58 AM »
It is a silly topic. But Australia has it all:
- Where else do you have the possibility of being killed by any one of 3/4 of the 20 most venomous snakes in the world (including 8 of the top 10, and the most venomous snake in the world)?
- What other country in the world has lost its leader who disappeared while swimming? Most other places manage to lose their leaders in much more violent ways, but the most violent that Australia can manage is swimming.
- What other countries have never had a civil war?
- I have a feeling that Australia has also never defaulted on a debt, but you could prove me wrong.
- Where else in the world has such a low population density? We are the size of the contiguous continental US with less than 1/10 the population.
- Where else in the world are things missed so much in Wikipedia? Our largest lake is not mentioned in the lists of large lakes (and Lake Eyre is quite large), because most towns are so small, they don't appear on google maps until you REALLY zoom in, we have one of the world's oldest living trees (estimated to go back to the last ice age, because its seeds need ice to germinate), we had the tallest tree in the world (someone cut it down and it was the longest ever measured)... but none of this is in Wikipedia, so it doesn't really exist.
- Where else has had more stable government? Of course it depends upon what you call stable government... (you may not be aware of the fun we are currently having)
- Where else has actually relinquished ALL its UN mandated territories, and let them be self-governing?
- Where else has the world's largest population of feral goats (best cashmere in the world, ruining artwork 60,000 years old), camels (more than Arabia - huge pest - millions of them - more dangerous than kangaroos if you hit one in your car), horses (another huge pest - ruining the delicate national parks)?
- Where else has the oldest known depiction of a human, the oldest known human cremation and the oldest known human burial, and artwork 60,000 years old?
- Where else in the world has had half of its capital cities visited by major natural disasters in my lifetime (half of them twice), without it being a really big deal? (I'm sure you've heard of Katrina - but have you heard of Tracy?)
- Where else has no active volcanoes on its mainland?
- Where else does everyone get the name and location of the Capital and the highest mountain wrong?

Jags4186

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #78 on: February 07, 2015, 06:52:15 AM »

agent_clone

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #79 on: February 07, 2015, 07:12:12 AM »
I had a friend genuinely commented to me once about how Australians "just love" Americans.  Which, frankly, I think most Australians are just pretty easy going and likeable and give pretty much anyone a chance to be the same in return.  But making a blanket statement like that I thought was just weird and wondered how he came by that assumption.  He said an Aussie told him that.  I told him that guy was probably teasing him/making fun (that's the only equivalent I can think of to 'taking the piss').

Yeah, my experience would not be that Australian's "just love" Americans.

The US is not #1 in a lot of ways, but "we" are #1 in some very important ways - namely economic opportunity and freedom, especially of speech.
But you are not #1 in economic opportunity or freedom.  You have 50% about a socio-economic mobility which is on par with Italy, and which is much worse than many countries around the world, 50% means that the wealth of your parents affects how well you do economically in society, compared to about 18% in Australia.  In regards to freedom, you guys have so many laws about things that you think you have the Freedom, but really only do if you have the money for it (i.e. lots of money to pay for lawyers), admittedly, Australia has similar issues here.

Heres some stats about socio-economic mobility around the world: http://www.oecd.org/tax/public-finance/chapter%205%20gfg%202010.pdf .

But, the US has a combination of:
-an unbelievable track record of political stability
-a federal system that works remarkably well
-more personal freedom than exists in many places, including European countries
-more economic opportunity than just about anywhere on the planet
-in spite of the US deficits, the US is the only country that has always paid its debts in full (nice for us investors!)
-food cost is very low compared to most industrialized countries
-taxes are generally lower than most countries
-an incredible amount of natural resources
-a founding document and constitution that have served as a model for many countries around the world
-less petty crime than many places
-makes achieving FIRE much easier than most other countries
-there is a lot of freedom of expression
-a very high standard of living (maybe too high)
-huge open spaces and tons of natural beauty
-a low level of corruption.  Most people don't ever deal with such a problem.
-wide variety of climates, from arctic to subtropical
Ok i want to address some of these points...
-an unbelievable track record of political stability
Political stability, are you sure about this?  I seem to remember there has been at least a civil war, the civil rights campaign, more recently you guys have had large scale riots in various places such as Ferguson.
-a federal system that works remarkably well
Are you sure on this.  My understanding is that now you have to have hundreds of millions of dollars to be elected president.  Interesting that it cost 2 billion dollars to elect a president in 2012... Source: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/02/economist-explains-4.
Also if this is so, why have we in Australia for the last few years had news about congress blocking the debt ceiling because of petty differences of opinion.  Admittedly the states can continue to function well while this is occuring I presume.
-more economic opportunity than just about anywhere on the planet
Incorrect.  Your socio-economic mobility stats contradict this.  It has just been indoctrinated in to you guys that this is true.
-in spite of the US deficits, the US is the only country that has always paid its debts in full
Incorrect you guys have sovereign defaults in your history http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_default .  There are a number of countries around the world that haven't.
-a very high standard of living (maybe too high)
Are you sure on this.  For some yes, but for a number of your poor people perhaps not so much.  I hear that some poorer people have 2-3 part time jobs just to survive, my question would be why?
-a low level of corruption.  Most people don't ever deal with such a problem.
Hmm, I'm not so sure on this... I would look at what your elected officials are doing and what deals and vested interests they have, i.e. who funds them.  That being said, I presume you don't have to pay a bribe to get the police to investigate things like some other countries such as India (although the racial profiling of cops is another matter...)

Schaefer Light

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #80 on: February 07, 2015, 07:54:58 AM »
You guys can debate this all you want, but who was it that saved the world from the Nazis?  And who was it that kicked the Brits' asses and went on to form a country that was even bigger and more powerful than Britain?  And if your country is being attacked by a foreign enemy, then who are you going to call for help?  No other nation has done what this one has to promote freedom at home and abroad.

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #81 on: February 07, 2015, 08:00:23 AM »
Sorry, but those are not the only interpretations of those parts of history.

Cookie78

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #82 on: February 07, 2015, 08:15:41 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.

Villanelle

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #83 on: February 07, 2015, 08:17:04 AM »
You guys can debate this all you want, but who was it that saved the world from the Nazis?  And who was it that kicked the Brits' asses and went on to form a country that was even bigger and more powerful than Britain?  And if your country is being attacked by a foreign enemy, then who are you going to call for help?  No other nation has done what this one has to promote freedom at home and abroad.

Who was it that helped the US get freedom from the Brits?

Also, what we have done in the past can't be used as the only measure of where we stand today.

Unlike make of the people in this thread, I've lived in other countries, and I've traveled extensively (30+ countries).  And I don't think the US is either superior or inferior to many of those places.  It's just different.  Japan is amazing in so many ways, for example.  Crime is minimal, the people are polite and helpful to the extreme (to an outsider at least, which is the only perspective I can offer), and they look out for each other.  There is a certain subjugation of self that is beautiful.  When the US has an incoming hurricane, people get in fistfights over the ability to stockpile Everything.  In Japan after one of the biggest scale disasters in history, people waited politely in line and bought only what they needed, erring on the side of less in case someone else needed it more.  That's better than the US would do.

But their education system is brutal on kids.  It doesn't allow a lot of recovery once you are put on a lessor track.  There is a certain prevalent dislike for some other countries that makes me, as an American uncomfortable.

So it isn't perfect.  But neither is the US.  I'd say the same about Germany.

Every country is flawed, and I think many are equally good overall.  And no doubt some place that is better for one personality type is going to be worse for another personality type.'

But the "fuck yeah, 'Merica!!", based on nothing factual and no other experiences seems terribly ignorant to me. 

Barbaebigode

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #84 on: February 07, 2015, 08:24:56 AM »
You guys can debate this all you want, but who was it that saved the world from the Nazis?  And who was it that kicked the Brits' asses and went on to form a country that was even bigger and more powerful than Britain?  And if your country is being attacked by a foreign enemy, then who are you going to call for help?  No other nation has done what this one has to promote freedom at home and abroad.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_%28World_War_II%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_authoritarian_regimes_supported_by_the_United_States

BlueHouse

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #85 on: February 07, 2015, 08:36:31 AM »
I donít know the answer to the question, but I am pretty sure that as soon as people believe that they are the best, they give up striving to be better.  For that reason, America falls behind in education, health, mortality rates, and most of the items that determine a great nation.
Could it be that our leaders want us to be complacent? 
We have all seen the statistics and we know where we rank on the list of nations, yet even I have a desire to believe that weíre higher up than we are. 
The truth for me is that Iím pretty comfortable and I have a great quality of life.  I can go to bed every night pretty secure that my government will still be in place tomorrow and that anything Iíve worked to achieve will probably still be as valuable tomorrow as today. 
Harder to admit is that some people/groups/nations are hammers and some are nails.  I donít want to be the nail.  It would be really nice if everyone had a great quality of life and security and money, and I hope they all can get it.  But IĒm not willing to give up what I have (been given or worked for) so that someone else can have as much as I have.  I donít want the nation I live in to be ďthe nailĒ to anyone elseís hammer. 
I know I didnít say that very nicely or politically correct, so Iím expecting a lot of attacks on my statements.  sorry, just didnít feel like trying to make a feel good statement, when this is basically how I feel about it. 

Indexer

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #86 on: February 07, 2015, 08:59:29 AM »
So I live in the US, and I love the US.  Is it the best country in the world?  I would sure like it to be as I'm living in it. 

If you live in trash you will want to live somewhere else.  If you live somewhere nice you would like to think it is the nicest. 

There are many things other countries are better at than the US, but I'm going to argue the US is the best place not based on best place to live but for making the world a better place.  Given the superpower card we primarily used it to make the world more stable instead of being dicks and trying to take it all over.

Europe spent centuries... millenia fighting over the same stupid lines, religion, grudges, etc.  Their feuds brought about the two worst wars in human history.  Africa/Middle East/South America are a mess not even worth mentioning.  China/Russia have corruption levels off the chart and treat their people like trash, and I don't think there is any doubt either one would expand through force if given the chance(both are trying on a small degree even now).  Australia and Canada are both great places to live, and with W Europe are the beneficiaries of a very safe world. 

Since the US helped win WWII the world has been a better place.  Sure there is stupid infighting in little pockets of the world, but it stays in those little pockets.  There are no large scale wars between major powers(even the cold war was cold).  If many countries were given the military/economic superpower card they would abuse it to no end.  The US abuses it military strength to make sure the oil keeps flowing out of the gulf... I admit it, but given how the world works(off oil) if the US didn't other countries would do it(hopefully with Canada/US pumping out our own oil that will be less of a problem.)  Other wars in the past 60 years can normally be attributed to trying to hold back Russia or bringing stability to an area(I imagine S Koreans are grateful).  How many countries would overtake Iraq, and then try to build a stable government?  If Russia controlled Iraq, it would be called the oil field of the Soviet Union and it would quickly include what is now Kuwait, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.  Even our stupid mistake was handled better than most other countries would have handled it.  Australia, Canada, Western Europe, etc. can rest safely knowing they won't get invaded tomorrow.  From a not getting invaded point of view Canada is probably the safest place to live in the whole world.  The US won't invade, and because of proximity to the US no one will touch Canada.  The US is more likely to be directly attacked than Canada is.  Now go tell the people in Georgia(country) and Ukraine how awesome it is to feel safe living next to a superpower....

Given the ability to rule the world...
Greece tried.
Rome(Italy) tried.
The UK tried.
Spain tried.
France tried.
Germany... lets not even go there.
Japan... helped Germany.
Italy... helped Germany.
Russia, probably would have done it if it weren't for the USA.
etc...
Given the chance China probably would try as well.

Given the superpower card the USA just said  "don't threaten us" (pointing nukes at us or shutting off the global oil supply both count).  Post WWII the USA could have just split the world with Russia... honestly given that we had the A-bomb first we could have just taken Russia right then and there too.  The fact that we have a democracy where the leader doesn't have ultimate power, and the fact that we prefer stability over violence means we tend to use our power more for stability rather than greed/violence.

Serious question for the Ausies, given your natural resources, if the USA wasn't in the picture and China was the most powerful country in the world with a military bigger than every other country combined, do you think they would hesitate to taking those resources?  If you say no, look at how much they are currently causing problems over open ocean near Japan which doesn't even have resources.  Or look at the company they keep(N. Korea).

act0fgod

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #87 on: February 07, 2015, 10:12:21 AM »
Quote
Don't most people who live in a reasonably stable first-world country feel like their country is the "best"?

Ok, I wouldn't say that about America (even though I'm American), but I'd say I feel that way about my alma mater (Go Hawks!), my state, my city, etc.

Doesn't mean it IS the best, just that it's the most I could ever want.  It's the best for me.

I find this very interesting. Your first sentence is exactly the kind of thing I have trouble understanding. To answer the question, no, I don't think my stable first-world country is the best. I think lots of countries do different things well and what's the point of trying to determine "best".

Then, in the last sentence you say "best for me." Maybe that's my answer. Maybe so many Americans are just leaving out the "for me." Maybe if I insert those words every time I hear an American say "America is the best" then it will make more sense. (Though if you haven't never visited about 95% of the world I'm not sure how you can know it's the best for you.)

I feel like this exchange is the crux of the issue.  Why wouldn't you live in the country you consider the best?  Is it because they won't have you or because you don't have the finances to go there?  My grandparents left their home and moved to the US with nothing because they thought it was the best country in the world.  I'm glad they did and if I didn't think the USA was the best country I would try and become a citizen elsewhere.  I have an uncle who left the USA and moved to Australia and became an Australian citizen.  I respect his opinions and am glad he moved to the country he thought best for him and his family. 

I currently live in Korea due to work and have traveled a good amount visiting each continent and a good number of countries.  From my experience the USA is the best country and that's why I choose to call it home.  I'm not saying the USA is without faults.  I admit other countries do some things better, that's why I like to travel.  Travel allows me to experience those other things, but all things considered the USA offers the best of what I'm looking for.  I can't understand why someone would choose live in a location they don't consider the best fit for them.

I also take other peoples statements with a grain of salt.  Everything someone else says is based on their experiences and their opinions.  Any statement of best is subjective or based on a specific set of criteria.  I understand that and try not to get offended by peoples opinions.

lizzie

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #88 on: February 07, 2015, 10:36:28 AM »
(Americans includes Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Argentinians... - are US citizens Yankees or something else - they haven't appropriated the whole two continents, just half of the top one)

I just want to note that it's common for people around the world to refer to US citizens as "Americans." Also, there really isn't a readily available obvious and easy to use alternative term. So please don't assume that when people refer to themselves as "Americans" that they are being jerks. I too wish there were a consensus alternative term because I'm tired of being lectured about this.

MidWestLove

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #89 on: February 07, 2015, 10:42:47 AM »
-an unbelievable track record of political stability
Political stability, are you sure about this?  I seem to remember there has been at least a civil war, the civil rights campaign, more recently you guys have had large scale riots in various places such as Ferguson.

yep, pretty certain about it. no comparison with Australia at all - remind me please what Australia was circa 1770 and what laws it was operating under? Wasn't it still a Queens Dominion during the time of US Civil War?  How old is the current constitution of the Australia (from colony , to self governing colony, to Commonwealth ,etc) ? No comparison here at all for political stability. And do not get me started on Europe (with two world wars in 20th century alone), what republic are French under now? how many monarchies that had in between? I know of no other country (and would like to hear it) that kept is primary law through over 2 centuries, may be Swiss did?
 
-a federal system that works remarkably well
Are you sure on this.  My understanding is that now you have to have hundreds of millions of dollars to be elected president.  Interesting that it cost 2 billion dollars to elect a president in 2012... Source: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/02/economist-explains-4.

yep, pretty sure about that too. federal system works and pretty much the only way to run vast countries, China may be the only country of sufficient size that is not run that way. federal system is not about dollars to be elected president , it is about separation of power between global and local levels, local elections with real power to influence results, it is about tolerance to different (in cases massively different) operating social contracts (laws in our states).  Australia is federal too, but I am not sure how much the 'rights of the lands' withing Australia are balanced against the feds.



Also if this is so, why have we in Australia for the last few years had news about congress blocking the debt ceiling because of petty differences of opinion.  Admittedly the states can continue to function well while this is occuring I presume.

:) that is exactly what we want out of our government, making sure it can not screw us too much.  the best government is the one that does not get in the way.

-more economic opportunity than just about anywhere on the planet
Incorrect.  Your socio-economic mobility stats contradict this.  It has just been indoctrinated in to you guys that this is true.

:) compare it with any other country over 100 million people please and come back with your findings. Australia is not a good cause since it is tiny population wise, less than multiple US states..


-a very high standard of living (maybe too high)
Are you sure on this.  For some yes, but for a number of your poor people perhaps not so much.  I hear that some poorer people have 2-3 part time jobs just to survive, my question would be why?

Yes. again , nothing to do with number of poor people (or we will be using Bahrain here as example of good country where there is citizen master class and massive slave class (I mean non resident workers) for residents)

So in short , US is better and much larger Australia - both started with good stock (primarily English colonists) where we got religious sects and you got convicts . The difference , US had the balls (ok, fortitude) to kick Brits out while Australians did not. Both had horrible track record on native population, both are first world countries and close allies on multiple levels united by common language (expect Australians speak it funny).

See? :)
 

deborah

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #90 on: February 07, 2015, 01:55:04 PM »
As I have said before,
But this thread isn't US vs Australia, but about why all these US citizens are always saying that the US is the best. Because I am Australian, I am using Australia (my homeland, and therefore a pretty good place, but not necessarily the best - and certainly not the best for everyone, because I don't want to be crowded out of my homeland) as one example of a place that I really know.
Serious question for the Ausies, given your natural resources, if the USA wasn't in the picture and China was the most powerful country in the world with a military bigger than every other country combined, do you think they would hesitate to taking those resources?  If you say no, look at how much they are currently causing problems over open ocean near Japan which doesn't even have resources.  Or look at the company they keep(N. Korea).
It is worrying, and I'm not sure what would happen. China has shown (over millennia) that it is not interested in taking over large sections of land far away - unlike European nations or their offshoots. Sure, over the millennia of the Chinese empire, it has grown and shrunk, but not that much - especially compared with what it could have done, and what empires elsewhere have done.

The modern Chinese government is different, so expecting them to remain where they are and not expand may not be wise. However, to date, it could easily be argued that the US, with the number of Pacific Islands that it has taken over (not including Hawaii), the puppet states it has supported, and the bases it has established everywhere, has demonstrated more empire building in the last 100 years than China (the British empire started by them building bases everywhere). The problems in the South China Sea are disturbing developments that may indicate a new expansionist tendency, and it is unfortunate that the British in the 1800s and the US in the 1900s demonstrated so clearly to China that domination of the South China Sea is in their best interests.

Besides which, the Chinese are much more cunning than that - they already own sizable amounts of Australia, as they have been buying up our farmland to provide them with food security in a post-climate-change world, sizable amounts of mineral resources too, and there are an enormous number of them in Australia as international students. So they have done it without their military, and without any intervention from the US.

remind me please what Australia was circa 1770 and what laws it was operating under? Australia was independent, operating under the laws that had governed it for more millennia than any other society has had a continuous set of law.
Wasn't it still a Queens Dominion during the time of US Civil War?  At this time most of Australia was still running under the laws stated above
How old is the current constitution of the Australia (from colony , to self governing colony, to Commonwealth ,etc)? As we are a Commonwealth of states (similar to the US actually), these go back to prior to the US civil war.
I know of no other country (and would like to hear it) that kept is primary law through over 2 centuries, may be Swiss did? You have not heard of the Magna Carta or the Code of Ur-Nammu, which is the earliest code of law in existence?  All codes of law that I know of have built from previous ones and it is unreasonable to consider that ones own laws were created in a vacuum. However, the fact that many new nations base their constitutions and structure upon the US one means that US law and its judicial and political structure are a very worthy gift to the world.
 
Compare it with any other country over 100 million people please and come back with your findings. Australia is not a good cause since it is tiny population wise, less than multiple US states.. So the US is only the best of 12 countries in the world? There are only 12 with over 100 million.

So in short , US is better and much larger Australia - only slightly larger than Australia - remove all of you're outlying areas and we are similar sizes. And, as I have said, Australia is my homeland and it is the best for me.
The difference , US had the balls (ok, fortitude) to kick Brits out while Australians did not. We did it in a non-violent way, without guns. We are proud of doing it this way, through non-violent means.

Both had horrible track record on native population, both are first world countries and close allies on multiple levels united by common language (expect Australians speak it funny). Well, we have yet to have an argument about who speaks funny!
 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 02:01:44 PM by deborah »

Ambergris

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #91 on: February 07, 2015, 02:16:41 PM »
As  British person, and newly minted US citizen, who has lived in the states for nearly 18 years (almost as long here as in Britain) I'm going to weigh in on this, with my usual care and total lack of bias.

American is the most powerful and richest country in the world, so it has the impression it is terribly important. It is. Whether it should be is, of course, a matter of considerable debate. It uses its wealth to build a vast military that it can use to enforce its foreign policy pretty much anywhere; it does, and everyone knows it will and plans accordingly. So the claim not to be "conquering" or "imperial" is pretty much beside the point.

The sweet, burning core of the US's sense of importance, however, is its belief that its "founding fathers" and their ideas were special. They weren't. They were pretty mediocre thinkers. The supposedly great "Declaration of Independence" was an almost complete rip off of John Locke's "Treatise of Government", for example, as were many of the other writings of the time. The ideas were British that had existed in part since the time of the Magna Carta and were developed in full in Britain during the seventeenth and earlier eighteenth century. The British even tried to do what the USians did in the seventeenth century, and set up a republic under Oliver Cromwell.

The difference is that the USians succeeded. This was not due to their overwhelming brilliance but partly due to a lot of historical, social and geographical chance.

The problem is that the "founding fathers" were trying to impose extremely liberal, modern, and non-religious ideas on a highly conservative, religious population. They were also themselves big, fat hypocrites, slave owners and so on. The ideas were in large part not implemented. MLK put this more kindly when he wrote that the US DoI and BoR were a "promissory note" that had not yet been cashed in (by freaking 1963, by all that's holy). They still aren't today. The ideas the US borrowed from Britain and France were, in large part, followed though on faster over there despite the lack of overt commitment to them.

The highly conservative religious population is still here, compared to the rest of the developed world. The religious nuts who burble about freedom in the US are the ones who have the least concept of what it actually is, and absurd authoritarian social agendas to boot. These are the ones who try to cash in on the importance of the ideas the hardest, but at the same time have the absolute least connection to any of them.

A lot of the other American claims to greatness are also lies. Economic equality of opportunity is laughably absent here. It's not real in any of the rest of the developed world either, but they don't feel the need to pretend about it.

The US's one greatest saving grace is its diversity. It isn't one country, it is many countries, and there are as many different "Americas" as there are Americans. Thank God. Otherwise I might have stomped my way home ages ago, grumbling in disgust. Probably not, though. Britain sucks, too.

The US reminds me of a great big gangly teenage boy, one half arrogance and one half burning insecurity, thowing its weight around in the presence of its little elderly aunties (the European countries) and smaller cousins (like australasia).

What the US needs, more than anything else, is the power to laugh at itself, its identity and its history. To NOT TAKE ITSELF SO F***ING SERIOUSLY. Americans currently seem able either to scream about their importance and wonderfulness or gravely shake their heads over their appalling awfulness. American isn't either of these things. It's just a bit stupid, clunky, awkward and daft.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 02:24:17 PM by Ambergris »

beltim

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #92 on: February 07, 2015, 03:53:12 PM »
but about why all these US citizens (Americans includes Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Argentinians... - are US citizens Yankees or something else - they haven't appropriated the whole two continents, just half of the top one

Fun facts:

1) There is only one country with "America" in its name: the United States of America
2) There is at least one other country with "United States" in its name: Mexico (Mexican United States is one of the translations of the formal name of Mexico into English)

So "American" is the proper name for citizens of the USA.

markbrynn

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #93 on: February 07, 2015, 03:54:23 PM »
Quote
What the US needs, more than anything else, is the power to laugh at itself, its identity and its history. To NOT TAKE ITSELF SO F***ING SERIOUSLY. Americans currently seem able either to scream about their importance and wonderfulness or gravely shake their heads over their appalling awfulness. American isn't either of these things. It's just a bit stupid, clunky, awkward and daft.

I like the majority of this post (just quoted the last paragraph), but particularly agree about not taking itself so seriously. Any ideas WHY so many Americans take their country so seriously? By this I mean to not only like/love your country, but to also seriously argue that it is the best.

[For the Americans out there who will probably ask, no, most other nationalities don't take their countries so seriously. Certainly some people from other countries take their country seriously, but from my experience, it is a particularly common trait amongst Americans.]

Kris

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #94 on: February 07, 2015, 04:07:35 PM »
Quote
What the US needs, more than anything else, is the power to laugh at itself, its identity and its history. To NOT TAKE ITSELF SO F***ING SERIOUSLY. Americans currently seem able either to scream about their importance and wonderfulness or gravely shake their heads over their appalling awfulness. American isn't either of these things. It's just a bit stupid, clunky, awkward and daft.

I like the majority of this post (just quoted the last paragraph), but particularly agree about not taking itself so seriously. Any ideas WHY so many Americans take their country so seriously? By this I mean to not only like/love your country, but to also seriously argue that it is the best.

[For the Americans out there who will probably ask, no, most other nationalities don't take their countries so seriously. Certainly some people from other countries take their country seriously, but from my experience, it is a particularly common trait amongst Americans.]

We are super, super indoctrinated to do so.  In school, from a young age.  And lately in our incredibly polarized society, especially since 9/11, it's been a sort of McCarthy-esque atmosphere in certain circles/regions/political parties where even questioning whether there might be certain things we could learn from other countries is tantamount to treason. 

My husband and I have a running joke between us.  Whenever one of us happens to point out something about the US that is problematic, or compare something (like health care) in the US to a better practice in another country, the other person will ask, "Why do you hate America?"

It is kind of sad.  There are a ton of great things about our country.  But it is indisputable that we are slowly losing ground, in part, I believe, because of a cultural inability to truly believe any other country could possibly teach us a thing or two.

Left Bank

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #95 on: February 07, 2015, 04:25:14 PM »
It's brainwashing.   If you say anything less than 100% positive about this country, you are branded a pinko commie who hates America.   

The America is #1 mindset is bullshit and whitewashes a lot of atrocities this country has committed and still commits as well as preventing us from learning about and from all the good things being done in other countries.  There are many great things about this country, but here's a list of where America is most certainly not #1:

1) Health Care
2) Economic and Social Inequality/Mobility
3) Frugal living
4) Health/being in decent shape (have you seen all the fatass motherfuckers out there?) - esp noticeable if you go to Europe and Asia and contrast with the US
5) Crime
6) Educational outcomes
7) Affordable college education
8) We start too many unnecessary/illegitimate wars
9) Work-life balance (def too few vacation days, amount of parental leave is a joke in this country)
10) Too many people are religious and all the problems that causes
+1,   ALL DAY LONG!

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #96 on: February 07, 2015, 04:51:50 PM »
Any ideas WHY so many Americans take their country so seriously? By this I mean to not only like/love your country, but to also seriously argue that it is the best.

I'm from the South and know a lot of stereotypical rednecks. With guns. Do you REALLY want them to not love America? Cause, um, I'm not sure that's the best course of action.

In case you don't know, a lot of people watch Civil War re-enactments, and hope THIS time the Confederacy will win. The South Park episode on this is not that far fetched.

lizzie

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #97 on: February 07, 2015, 05:03:12 PM »
As  British person, and newly minted US citizen, who has lived in the states for nearly 18 years (almost as long here as in Britain) I'm going to weigh in on this, with my usual care and total lack of bias.
Hey, welcome to US citizenship. Glad you joined us!

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The US reminds me of a great big gangly teenage boy, one half arrogance and one half burning insecurity, thowing its weight around in the presence of its little elderly aunties (the European countries) and smaller cousins (like australasia).

This kind of echoes what I was going to say, which is probably a bunch of pseudo-psychobabble but I'll say it anyway. I don't normally hear regular people talking about how the US is the greatest country in the world. But I hear it ALL THE TIME from politicians. My theory is that this has to do with Vietnam and the culture wars of the 1960s, of which there are still echoes today. We are a young nation, and Vietnam caused this big teenage-like crisis of identity (think Kevin Kline in "A Fish Called Wanda" yelling, "We didn't lose Vietnam! It was a tie!") Which caused a big backlash, "America-love it or leave it!" etc. Somehow this all became bound up in the idea that liberals always blame America first and are soft on defense, blah blah blah. So now every politician of any persuasion has to say "America is the greatest!" and wear a flag pin or the terrorists win. Of course, if politicians were in the habit of saying this before Vietnam, this theory makes no sense.

MidWestLove

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #98 on: February 07, 2015, 05:04:33 PM »
Is this wrong?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Australia

The Constitution was approved in a series of referendums held over 1898Ė1900 by the people of the Australian colonies, and the approved draft was enacted as a section of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp),[1] an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

if is it right then Australian Constitution is 115 years old, ~1/2 of the age of US one.  this is what we mean under political stability in form of government :)

for me , the more interesting question is trying to find immigration/emigration balances between various entities as this speaks volumes more than Magna Carta BS,  as it is people voting with their feet, uprooting themselves and going through significant effort to improve their lot elsewhere. i.e. we can talk about all we want about tyranny of oppressive taxation in EU and host of other issues, the flow of people dying (literally) to cross Mediterranean to land of shores of Italy from North Africa tell me all I want to know about North Africa countries and their suitability for life. Same way El Salvadorians dying to get through difficult Mexico trip and into US tell me plenty about Latin America.  I know that data exists within state (with my state of Illinois having dubious honor of being second worst in ratio of people departed to people immigrated to the state (62 departing for each counted, 38 entering the state, only New Jersey beat us at 64)). that also tells me plenty about how (badly) Illinois is run in case I can not see it with my own eyes.  Not sure if similar stats are available between major states.   


MidWestLove

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Re: Best Country in the World - why do you say this?
« Reply #99 on: February 07, 2015, 05:15:02 PM »
actually, reading up more on it  - it seems I was wrong and the current form of Australia law (defining itself as a nation) is 30 years old where it finally separated from UK for by defining the roles/responsibilities with its former colonial master.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Act_1986

Australia could be proud- it beat some of the former Soviet republics by 5 years!!  Great!  and in plenty of those republics (including one I was born in within Central Asia have created and run empires from 500 BC and peaked in 10th century) have much more history than all Europe (and its colonies) combined, but no sane person would be claiming 'same government and constitution for the last 2500 years'.  See , my country is the best, right?