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What do American's think of this?

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rkaiser

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:shock: Do you folks think that isolationism and protectionism have caused this or will they fix these things?

One way or another it is a problem, is it not?

Scoff it off as Liberal or left wing, but it seems to be facts written by an American.


No. 1?

America by the numbers

by Michael Ventura

No concept lies more firmly embedded in our national character than the notion that the USA is "No. 1," "the greatest." Our broadcast media are, in essence, continuous advertisements for the brand name "America Is No. 1." Any office seeker saying otherwise would be committing political suicide. In fact, anyone saying otherwise will be labeled "un-American." We're an "empire," ain't we? Sure we are. An empire without a manufacturing base. An empire that must borrow $2 billion a day from its competitors in order to function. Yet the delusion is ineradicable. We're No. 1. Well...this is the country you really live in:

* The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (the New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).
* The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
* Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the earth. Seventeen percent believe the earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005).
* "The International Adult Literacy Survey...found that Americans with less than nine years of education 'score worse than virtually all of the other countries'" (Jeremy Rifkin's superbly documented book The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, p.78).
* Our workers are so ignorant and lack so many basic skills that American businesses spend $30 billion a year on remedial training (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004). No wonder they relocate elsewhere!
* "The European Union leads the U.S. in...the number of science and engineering graduates; public research and development (R&D) expenditures; and new capital raised" (The European Dream, p.70).
* "Europe surpassed the United States in the mid-1990s as the largest producer of scientific literature" (The European Dream, p.70).
* Nevertheless, Congress cut funds to the National Science Foundation. The agency will issue 1,000 fewer research grants this year (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004).
* Foreign applications to U.S. grad schools declined 28 percent last year. Foreign student enrollment on all levels fell for the first time in three decades, but increased greatly in Europe and China. Last year Chinese grad-school graduates in the U.S. dropped 56 percent, Indians 51 percent, South Koreans 28 percent (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004). We're not the place to be anymore.
* The World Health Organization "ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the U.S. [was]...37th." In the fairness of health care, we're 54th. "The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world" (The European Dream, pp.79-80). Pay more, get lots, lots less.
* "The U.S. and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all their citizens" (The European Dream, p.80). Excuse me, but since when is South Africa a "developed" country? Anyway, that's the company we're keeping.
* Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year. (That's six times the number of people killed on 9/11.) (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.)
* "U.S. childhood poverty now ranks 22nd, or second to last, among the developed nations. Only Mexico scores lower" (The European Dream, p.81). Been to Mexico lately? Does it look "developed" to you? Yet it's the only "developed" country to score lower in childhood poverty.
* Twelve million American families--more than 10 percent of all U.S. households--"continue to struggle, and not always successfully, to feed themselves." Families that "had members who actually went hungry at some point last year" numbered 3.9 million (NYT, Nov. 22, 2004).

* The United States is 41st in the world in infant mortality. Cuba scores higher (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).
* Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).
* The leading cause of death of pregnant women in this country is murder (CNN, Dec. 14, 2004).
* "Of the 20 most developed countries in the world, the U.S. was dead last in the growth rate of total compensation to its workforce in the 1980s.... In the 1990s, the U.S. average compensation growth rate grew only slightly, at an annual rate of about 0.1 percent" (The European Dream, p.39). Yet Americans work longer hours per year than any other industrialized country, and get less vacation time.
* "Sixty-one of the 140 biggest companies on the Global Fortune 500 rankings are European, while only 50 are U.S. companies" (The European Dream, p.66). "In a recent survey of the world's 50 best companies, conducted by Global Finance, all but one were European" (The European Dream, p.69).
* "Fourteen of the 20 largest commercial banks in the world today are European.... In the chemical industry, the European company BASF is the world's leader, and three of the top six players are European. In engineering and construction, three of the top five companies are European.... The two others are Japanese. Not a single American engineering and construction company is included among the world's top nine competitors. In food and consumer products, Nestlé and Unilever, two European giants, rank first and second, respectively, in the world. In the food and drugstore retail trade, two European companies...are first and second, and European companies make up five of the top ten. Only four U.S. companies are on the list" (The European Dream, p.68).
* The United States has lost 1.3 million jobs to China in the last decade (CNN, Jan. 12, 2005).
* U.S. employers eliminated 1 million jobs in 2004 (The Week, Jan. 14, 2005).
* Three million six hundred thousand Americans ran out of unemployment insurance last year; 1.8 million--one in five--unemployed workers are jobless for more than six months (NYT, Jan. 9, 2005).
* Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea hold 40 percent of our government debt. (That's why we talk nice to them.) "By helping keep mortgage rates from rising, China has come to play an enormous and little-noticed role in sustaining the American housing boom" (NYT, Dec. 4, 2004). Read that twice. We owe our housing boom to China, because they want us to keep buying all that stuff they manufacture.
* Sometime in the next 10 years Brazil will probably pass the U.S. as the world's largest agricultural producer. Brazil is now the world's largest exporter of chickens, orange juice, sugar, coffee, and tobacco. Last year, Brazil passed the U.S. as the world's largest beef producer. (Hear that, you poor deluded cowboys?) As a result, while we bear record trade deficits, Brazil boasts a $30 billion trade surplus (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
* As of last June, the U.S. imported more food than it exported (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
* Bush: 62,027,582 votes. Kerry: 59,026,003 votes. Number of eligible voters who didn't show up: 79,279,000 (NYT, Dec. 26, 2004). That's more than a third. Way more. If more than a third of Iraqis don't show for their election, no country in the world will think that election legitimate.
* One-third of all U.S. children are born out of wedlock. One-half of all U.S. children will live in a one-parent house (CNN, Dec. 10, 2004).
* "Americans are now spending more money on gambling than on movies, videos, DVDs, music, and books combined" (The European Dream, p.28).
* "Nearly one out of four Americans [believe] that using violence to get what they want is acceptable" (The European Dream, p.32).
* Forty-three percent of Americans think torture is sometimes justified, according to a PEW Poll (Associated Press, Aug. 19, 2004).
* "Nearly 900,000 children were abused or neglected in 2002, the last year for which such data are available" (USA Today, Dec. 21, 2004).
* "The International Association of Chiefs of Police said that cuts by the [Bush] administration in federal aid to local police agencies have left the nation more vulnerable than ever" (USA Today, Nov. 17, 2004).

No. 1? In most important categories we're not even in the Top 10 anymore. Not even close.

The USA is "No. 1" in nothing but weaponry, consumer spending, debt, and delusion.

Reprinted from the Austin Chronicle.

· · Vol 26 · Issue 1264 · PUBLISHED 2/23/2005
URL: http://www.citypages.com/databank/2...rticle12985.asp
HOME: www.citypages.com

City Pages is the Online News and Arts Weekly of the Twin Cities
 

rancher

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I read part of this and most of the problems stems from immigrants that have move here and don't want to learn English and our education. Now we have to have Spanish in our schools from lower grades on. Last I heard we still spoke English. Take out all the minorities and retest and see if the results come out the same. I agree we have problems in the slums of big towns, the reservations and etc., but pouring more money into it for education is not the answer. Teachers and students need to be held liable for their own actions. If we have a bad teacher, then fire them and hire someone who can do the job. Parents need to make sure their kids make it to school everyday. What do you think of it rpkaiser? Or is the just another USA slam? Well off to move some pairs.
 

Faster horses

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rancher, I heartily agree with you. Education has had too much money thrown at it as it is, and the problems worsen.

These kids are taught in liberal colleges by liberal professors. What do we expect?

Kids think they have the right to attend school, instead of treating it as a privilege. My dad didn't get to finish school. He knew it was a privilege and his dad couldn't afford for him to finish. Isn't that a different concept? Where did things start to go wrong?
 

Clarence

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All this is probavly true, at least from some peoples viewpoint. Still you Canadians whine if you do not get the share of the US market you want. What side are you on?
 

Silver

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Clarence said:
All this is probavly true, at least from some peoples viewpoint. Still you Canadians whine if you do not get the share of the US market you want. What side are you on?

Why does any commentary on the state of your union that raises any questions automaticly make one a liberal or a whining Canadian? I'm sick to death of this. It seems like the "whining" card is all some people have to play when they don't have the courage for a little introspection.
 
A

Anonymous

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Clarence said:
All this is probavly true, at least from some peoples viewpoint. Still you Canadians whine if you do not get the share of the US market you want. What side are you on?

Clarence- How true...Canada is no different than the rest of the world that cuss and slam America and the Evil Americans, but at the same time are fighting tooth and nail to immigrate here or get a part of our economy... :?
 

Silver

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Oldtimer said:
Clarence said:
All this is probavly true, at least from some peoples viewpoint. Still you Canadians whine if you do not get the share of the US market you want. What side are you on?

Clarence- How true...Canada is no different than the rest of the world that cuss and slam America and the Evil Americans, but at the same time are fighting tooth and nail to immigrate here or get a part of our economy... :?

You must have slipped in the shower and bumped your head OT. Who wants a part of who's economy? Who is lining up to immigrate into which country? Maybe look into it.
 
A

Anonymous

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rancher said:
I read part of this and most of the problems stems from immigrants that have move here and don't want to learn English and our education. Now we have to have Spanish in our schools from lower grades on. Last I heard we still spoke English. Take out all the minorities and retest and see if the results come out the same. I agree we have problems in the slums of big towns, the reservations and etc., but pouring more money into it for education is not the answer. Teachers and students need to be held liable for their own actions. If we have a bad teacher, then fire them and hire someone who can do the job. Parents need to make sure their kids make it to school everyday. What do you think of it rpkaiser? Or is the just another USA slam? Well off to move some pairs.

Whats may even be worse than education is what the illegal immigrants are doing to our health care system-- not only raising health insurance costs out of sight for those that pay and bankrupting clinincs that by law have to give care-- but I was reading now that in certain areas of the country we are having to again vaccinate for polio, tuberculosis and many diseases that were wiped out, all being brought in by the illegals......

Maybe when Canada gets all those Packing Plants open many will go right on thru the US and live off Canadas socialized system while they send their earnings back south of the Rio......
 

agman

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Response...While the posted article makes for amusimg conversation one can see the shallowness of the analysis when describing consumer debt. To mention debt without looking at the assest side of the ledger is simply put "inapporpriate analysis". The household assest-to-debt ratio is approximately $6.00 of assests for each dollar of debt. That is hardly a crisis and would likley rank Number 1 in the world.

I don't have the time to disect each of the commets that were posted but you can get the clear message from the aformetnioned response regarding inadequate inforamtion. Fear mongers always amaze me in what they don't know which is usually more relevant to the issue than what they do know. agman
 

don

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clarence: All this is probavly true, at least from some peoples viewpoint. Still you Canadians whine if you do not get the share of the US market you want. What side are you on?

we're on the canadian side clarence just as you are on the american side. this means we expect other countries (not just the states) to live up to trade treaties and deal in good faith. i have heard often enough that the cattlemen did not get to vote on nafta so they shouldn't have to live by it; but i also remember hearing the draft dodgers we had coming up here in significant numbers in the 60's and 70's saying vietnam wasn't their war. most americans seemed to think (and i agree) that the govt could commit the whole country to a foreign policy; especially a democratically elected govt. i doubt many americans would argue that the priority the usa has over other countries to canada's energy and other resources is a bad deal. if america wants to be more isolationist in its trade and foreign policies remember it is you who is backing away, not others. if trade agreements are abrogated by anybody it will mean the whole trade agreement is shot, not just the parts someone doesn't like.
 

Clarence

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To my way of thining, trade agreements are made for two purposes. To improve the economy and raise the standard of liveing for those we trade with and to provide an opportunity for American investors to invest in these countries. What this will do is lower the standard of living for the American worker, or encourage the government to provide him with his expected standard of living. All those things mentioned above are because other governments are providing them for their people, I doubt if that can last forever.

We have one of the highest standards of living of any country in the world.
We may not really deserve that, but few Americans want to give it up. You can call us greedy if you like, perhaps you are right.
 

Cal

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That BS Michael Ventura article was posted on the Political and Coffee Shop as well. I'm assuming Michael Ventura will choose to permanently leave the country and we can stop sending out foreign aid and funding the UN as well. Illegal immigration will also cease when the news of how poorly we are doing gets out. But how do you explain this? :

4/7/05

Jobless Claims Plunge as Economy Shows Lasting Strength
Initial filings for unemployment stand at lowest rate in two years

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Good news for the U.S. job market came today as the Labor Department announced new claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 19,000 for the week ending on April 2. This report suggests that the long-term positive trend in the employment market is holding strong.

“The U.S. economy is growing and adding jobs at a consistent, healthy and sustainable pace,” said ATR President Grover Norquist. “By giving Americans back more of their own hard earned money, President Bush is giving the Americans economy the freedom and stimulus it needs to create new jobs.”

Today’s news supports the strong, long-term positive trend for the U.S. labor market. Since the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act passed in June of 2003, the U.S. economy has generated 3.1 million news jobs. In the last 13 months alone, 2.5 million jobs have been created. Furthermore, the nationwide unemployment rate stands at 5.2 percent. Prior to the 2003 tax cut, unemployment stood at 6.3 percent, but steady job growth has driven the rate down to a figure well below the average of the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s.
 

Murgen

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While I don't agree with all the points raised in this article, we do deal with some of the same problems in Canada.

My personal opinion is that Government control and political correctness has caused most of these problems. Some people have forgotten how to take care of themselves and be responsible for their own well being. As a society we have become lazy and somewhat greedy.
 

mrj

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Agman is right on, as usual, in his take on that article. Interesting and maybe fun to point how "bad" we are......for those who get their kicks that way.

One has to wonder about the source and credibility of the information when considering what may lie behind the surface.

In the USA, children through age 16 are compelled to attend school. Huge increases in per child spending for education has not been met with commensurate increases in learning.

Parents have choices in whether to fund their childrens' food and clothing or get their own pleasures in life first. Too much alcohol and drugs does not leave much for the children of many parents.

Choosing (even if by default, it is a choice) to have children before getting the necessary education to be able to adequately support them does not leave much chance for the children to be adequately cared for.

Increased competition for world market of manufactured goods makes the past ease of getting jobs with little education a thing of the past. Our people have not had to take education seriously in the past. Too many have learned from our welfare system to believe the lie that the world owes them a living, so have not educated themselves enough for todays' job market.

If the US health care is so horrible, why are many from socialized medicine countries coming here for medical treatment?

In spite of lack of health insurance, hospitals are not allowed to turn away anyone in need of care, so I don't trust that claim of people dying because they lack insurance.

Why is our country or government to blame if people choose to have children before they have enough money to care for them? Chances are, the nations ahead of us in this area have higher abortion rates that the USA. Living in poverty in the USA is a life of ease compared with living in poverty in many other nations. There are government programs available if people will make use of them.

The claim of infant mortality probably is the most unfair. We are saving babies born weighing less than EIGHT OUNCES in this country! Compare our abortion rates with those nations having better infant mortality rates!

One has to wonder about the comparisons of work hours and compensation rates in the USA and the rate of self employment to working for others between the nations in the comparison, if in fact, any legitimate comparisons were made. This looks a bit like a comparison of apples to oranges type thing from start to finish in order to make the USA look bad.

BTW, how many people are leaving the USA for "greener pastures" in other nations as compared with the number coming in to our country, both legally and illegally?

If the numbers on children born out of wed-lock are correct, why wasn't it also mentioned that those numbers have been dropping for several years? How many years of liberals telling girls and women that they can do whatever they want is behind the numbers on single parent families? The mantra of "if it feels good/right--do it" and "you can be whatever you want to be" being corrupted into "you can do whatever you want to do" has led many people into making hasty and ill-thought out decisions that have not served them or the resulting children well. That is a result of too much "freedom", IMO.

Does anyone else wonder if the high numbers of "abused" women and children might just in some part be the result of the businesses created to take care of those people? Sort of like programs to feed "the homeless"....as those feeding stations grow, so do the numbers of "customers". Is anyone doing anything to find out why all those people are homeless and to get them out of that cycle? And I don't mean by creating more welfare programs, but by finding which are truly needy and putting the rest back to work.

So many criticisms of programs such as the so called "police cuts" shows the agenda of this piece.......obviously liberals trying to reinstate programs/money cut by conservatives.

Certainly there are problems. Why do we need to compare with the European nations we tailed up after WW I and II, and continue to help to this day?

Maybe it is time our government was less generous with others and more firm in seeing that those of our own we help are truly deserving and not malingerers. Surely children in bad situations need help. Their parents need to be forced to clean up their act, too. Those who need help through no fault of their own should be helped. Fraud, theft, and mis-use of government moneys must be stopped. That alone would leave an astounding amount of money for better health care. Tax reform and more efficiency in government programs would make more money available for true needs, as well as leaving more money in citizens pockets so that they could contribute to good causes.

With all our faults, and all our "needs" in this country, how many of you want to leave it permanently?

MRJ
 

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