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Old 05-30-2012, 05:11 PM   #151
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by pvn View Post

The people saying "no" to the OP have some good points about why america sux but the thing is the question isn't "is america awesome" it's "do you think america is the best?"

The thing is SOMEONE has to be number one. You can't just show that america is crappy, you gotta show that some other country is better.
I think this link (http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/#/11011111100) is the best answer to the question since you can decide what things you believe are important and see what countries are the best according to your values.

Personally, I'll take Canada over the US because the things I care about are done better (IMO) here: less-religious interference (gambling, gay rights), less strict drug laws, better health care approach (again in my opinion), government spending, etc.

That being said I'd still be surprised if of all the countries in the world Canada is actually the one that I consider the best. But since I've only lived in the US and Canada I'm pretty ignorant of what life is like elsewhere.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:12 PM   #152
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by AlexM View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_US_states_by_HDI

1. Connecticut - 0.962
2. Massachusetts - 0.962
3. Hawaii - 0.961
4. California - 0.958
5. Minnesota - 0.957
6. New York - 0.957
United States Average - 0.956 <- No idea how this makes sense, I'm just quoting
7. New Jersey - 0.955
8. New Hampshire - 0.950
9. Rhode Island - 0.950
10. Colorado - 0.949
11. Washington - 0.946
12. Illinois - 0.946
13. Maryland - 0.945
14. Virginia - 0.945
15. Vermont - 0.944
16. Norway 0.943
If all 50 states were their own unique countries I'd definitely think the best country in the world would be one of those 50. But you can't just pretend the ****ty states don't exist when judging the country as it stands now.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:27 PM   #153
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

You should really consider Canada's higher prices coupled with higher income taxes, as well as the cold/sunless winters (Vancouver's are just sunless and very wet). There are also fewer six figure jobs in Canada (even adjusted for population size).
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:08 PM   #154
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

**** yeah America is better.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:30 PM   #155
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

Havnt been to America, but having spoken to people (extended family) who are either americans or have lived there, they tend to like it. Having said that they are middle class fairly financially secure people, so my sample is fairly limited.

I like the cold weather and rain, think universal health care and basic education is a human right, so im pretty happy where i am.

Is America better than other countries, its definately better than a lot, whether its the best in the world would depend on individual ideological persuasions, tbh i think objectively no country is head and shoulders better than the rest.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:44 PM   #156
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by STA654 View Post
You should really consider Canada's higher prices coupled with higher income taxes, as well as the cold/sunless winters (Vancouver's are just sunless and very wet). There are also fewer six figure jobs in Canada (even adjusted for population size).
The tax rates aren't as different as you'd think - especially if you're just looking at income taxes. Anyway - I'm not saying its perfect either but all of the benefits I listed outweigh the negatives for me.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:58 PM   #157
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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What? I lived in the US for 4 years (I'm Norwegian), and the first thing I emphasize when people ask me about my experience there is how the people there are the nicest, most fun and most helpful I've ever met. Germans on the other hand I feel are more introvert, very wary of strangers, and not helpful at all.
Maybe my opinion is warped since all the Germans I know are well educated professionals, but I would much rather be lost in the middle of Berlin with no money than the middle of New York or Chicago. And I don't even speak any German
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:35 PM   #158
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

One poster said

Quote:
Life in Canada is barely different than life in the US. What factors make the US better and these others worse?
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Originally Posted by STA654 View Post
I've already posted this info ITT, you can find it imo.
Sorry, but no you didn't.

You said about something about being born into a dysfunctional family (no idea what that even means or its significance here). You also said "Given at least a decent upbringing and mental capacity, life in USA > any euro country". Finally, you said the only country that could potentially rival US is Australia.

In other words you just simply stated the US is better, "just because"

Myself and others have offered several possible ways you could evaluate a country:

Scope/potential for upward social mobility
Healthcare
Income per capita
Rank on the U.N. Human Development Index
Freedom
Functionality of democracy
Literacy / education rates
Quality of life
General compassion of the society (regard for fellow humans, desire to help those less fortunate etc)
Incarceration rates


So far, to my knowledge, no-one has argued that the US ranks number one on a single one of these.

Feel free to add anything you think is missing in the list above, or to say why any of the above items are not important.

American posters ITT seem to fall within one of two categories:

The first (by far the majority) are those that are rightly proud of their country but accept that it isn't perfect and has its fair share of faults/shortcomings, some of them very serious ones indeed.

The second category are the "exceptionalists" and rabid nationalists (a small minority) who insist that the US is NUMBER ONE but stubbornly refuse to provide any insight into how they reached that decision - "It is because I say it is" and "Just because".
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:44 PM   #159
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by BadBoyBenny View Post
Maybe my opinion is warped since all the Germans I know are well educated professionals, but I would much rather be lost in the middle of Berlin with no money than the middle of New York or Chicago. And I don't even speak any German
Disagree - New Yorkers are by far the most helpful people of any city I've ever been in. Just look a little lost in a subway station or on a street corner and chances are someone will stop and offer you some help.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:03 PM   #160
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by bobman0330 View Post
I feel like the US actually has to be superior, because it manages to be a very good country despite being governed like crap. Most European countries are governed very well and they generally only manage to be around as good as the US or slightly better. QED

Plus Europe is going straight to Mad Max land just because they entered into a suboptimal currency union. We can blithely threaten to default on our debt, and only 1 rating agency even downgrades us.
I think this is overly pessimistic and cynical. The US is actually really competent in key areas. And it's, coincidentally or not, a lot of the big ticket items in the federal budget.

For instance, I mean, I feel like I'm a pretty decent critic of military conduct, but there's no question imo (I won't pretend to be an expert) that the military conducts operations of tremendous scope and complexity and does it more successfully than basically every other military, both among its contemporary peers and historically.

I bet you could also look to market signals like salaries of former mid to high level military commanders and see that they have valuable and highly sought after skills in the civilian marketplace. I remember reading that when Walt Disney was building Disneyland and Disney World, he consciously sought out former military engineers to put in key management positions on the project(s) because he felt like they were the only group of people qualified to implement giant construction projects.

I mean it gets eleventy gazillion dollars annually, and believe me when I say I don't think America sees the ROI, but if the military were a computer program, I think that's more a problem in design than execution. There's very few "bugs" in the military and the problem exists mostly between the keyboard and the chair. The American public sinks .25 cents of every federal dollar into the military and gets back a professionally run, non-political killing machine with cool death dealing toys you can send all over the world to blow **** up that answers to civilian leadership and noone really worries about internal corruption, the military shaking down its own citizens, waging a coup against democratically elected civilian leadership, etc.. Even in the Civil War, a lot of military leadership was determined via political connections and horse trading. I don't doubt there's still *some* of that, but by all accounts the post WWII American military is a pretty decent meritocracy. Given the size and scope and history of groups of people armed-to-the-teeth, that's pretty expectational.

Second example: Social Security is the largest government program in the world. A recent poll says 80% (!!!) of voters think the program is good for the country. You can't get 80% of people to agree on anything, but they agree on that. You look at crosstabs and the popular is even more popular with people receiving benefits. I'm not trying to say the program is philosophically justified, and ldo people who get checks like the program, but that's just the point: the US federal government is running the world's largest redistribution program and it's incredibly popular. I think that speaks to some core competencies that the money is making it's way to recipients, providing them income security in retirement (no small feat in a country with relatively high levels of poverty and economic depravity for an advanced economy), and anecdotal stories of the checks failing to get to recipients, officials stealing the money, or corruption within SSA where the monies get fed to political allies or for political purposes are exceedingly rare.

Now, someone clever will be by to be like LOL DEBT JUST WAIT, but I mean as you said, I'll take a pretty solid credit ratings, a less than 2% interest rate on federal debt, and yeah, a "look at Europe" as a pretty clear indicator the federal government does it's big ticket expenditures pretty well and the government's finances are in much much better shape than other Western countries trying to do the same ****.

I agree that the US has a dysfunctional political system but would argue that there's a good bit of actual governance America functions exceedingly well at -- there's expectations set for how power gets applied (i.e., we're gonna arm these guys and they're gonna do this stuff, or we're gonna take this money and give it to these people), and the record of performance at achieving those aims is quite good, even exceptional.

Last edited by DVaut1; 05-30-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:19 PM   #161
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by jjshabado View Post
If all 50 states were their own unique countries I'd definitely think the best country in the world would be one of those 50. But you can't just pretend the ****ty states don't exist when judging the country as it stands now.
It's not about pretending some states don't exist, it's about making a comparison that makes sense. Comparing a country with 300 mil people to one with 10 mil is like comparing a 300k hand sample size to a 10k hand sample size. Of course there are going to be some smaller countries higher. It's variance. Otoh, any American can move to any state.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:23 PM   #162
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

In other words, I think bobman and I are like really closely aligned on our thoughts here, with my only real quibble is with his use of the word 'governed' -- I think the US is governed exceedingly well in core spots, in spite of thoroughly mediocre to downright awful political leadership. It's an exceptionally resilient system thankfully immune to a lot of the people running it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:42 PM   #163
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by AlexM View Post
It's not about pretending some states don't exist, it's about making a comparison that makes sense. Comparing a country with 300 mil people to one with 10 mil is like comparing a 300k hand sample size to a 10k hand sample size. Of course there are going to be some smaller countries higher. It's variance. Otoh, any American can move to any state.
Error rates in comparisons.


b
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:55 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by AlexM View Post
It's not about pretending some states don't exist, it's about making a comparison that makes sense. Comparing a country with 300 mil people to one with 10 mil is like comparing a 300k hand sample size to a 10k hand sample size. Of course there are going to be some smaller countries higher. It's variance. Otoh, any American can move to any state.
Lol, This is ridiculous. Countries come in different sizes. That's one of many properties of a country. You can't just ignore that when deciding which country is best.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:38 PM   #165
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by AlexM View Post
It's not about pretending some states don't exist, it's about making a comparison that makes sense. Comparing a country with 300 mil people to one with 10 mil is like comparing a 300k hand sample size to a 10k hand sample size. Of course there are going to be some smaller countries higher. It's variance. Otoh, any American can move to any state.
To use your poker analogy where we want to determine who is the better player with player 1 having 300k hands and player 2 having 10k hands....

You would be saying that P1 would get to cherry-pick his best 10k hands (of 300k total) and compare that with the total 10k hands of P2.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:44 PM   #166
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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This is like saying the modern Yankees shouldn't be considered a great baseball team because their owner was willing to spend a ****load more money on them than other owners. It doesn't matter what the reason is - they're still a good team.
Lolz....you realize the US is the Yankees in this analogy, right?
 
Old 05-30-2012, 11:59 PM   #167
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by PokerIMO View Post
One poster said





Sorry, but no you didn't.

You said about something about being born into a dysfunctional family (no idea what that even means or its significance here). You also said "Given at least a decent upbringing and mental capacity, life in USA > any euro country". Finally, you said the only country that could potentially rival US is Australia.

In other words you just simply stated the US is better, "just because"
lololol

If I link my post ITT that explains why living in the USA is better than Canada (which you claim doesn't exist), do you promise to stop posting here such that nobody must read your idiotic thoughts on this forum again?
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:23 AM   #168
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by PokerIMO View Post
To use your poker analogy where we want to determine who is the better player with player 1 having 300k hands and player 2 having 10k hands....

You would be saying that P1 would get to cherry-pick his best 10k hands (of 300k total) and compare that with the total 10k hands of P2.
Except that I wasn't using those metrics as evidence, merely pointing out that they weren't good evidence the other way. I'm not expressing an opinion on this subject, I'm just pointing out poor arguments.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:34 AM   #169
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Maybe my opinion is warped since all the Germans I know are well educated professionals, but I would much rather be lost in the middle of Berlin with no money than the middle of New York or Chicago. And I don't even speak any German
Wtf , have you ever been to ny? Just today I helped a bunch of taiwanese students find jfk from downtown , and made a tourist girl realized 1st ave turned into Allen . This is the norm to help if someone ask or looks lost.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:00 AM   #170
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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You should really consider Canada's higher prices coupled with higher income taxes, as well as the cold/sunless winters (Vancouver's are just sunless and very wet). There are also fewer six figure jobs in Canada (even adjusted for population size).
Mediocrity is the Canadian Dream
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:49 AM   #171
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by dessin d'enfant View Post
Lolz....you realize the US is the Yankees in this analogy, right?
Lolz... you missed the point completely.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:08 AM   #172
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by AlexM View Post
It's not about pretending some states don't exist, it's about making a comparison that makes sense. Comparing a country with 300 mil people to one with 10 mil is like comparing a 300k hand sample size to a 10k hand sample size. Of course there are going to be some smaller countries higher. It's variance. Otoh, any American can move to any state.
what is variance supposed to be in this context? we're interested in the welfare of the population of a country. monaco's population, say, isn't a 5k hand sample way above the mean relative to some super population. the goodness of monaco is defined in terms of its population.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:24 AM   #173
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by AlexM View Post
It's not about pretending some states don't exist, it's about making a comparison that makes sense. Comparing a country with 300 mil people to one with 10 mil is like comparing a 300k hand sample size to a 10k hand sample size. Of course there are going to be some smaller countries higher. It's variance. Otoh, any American can move to any state.
Same here in Europe for countries in EU zone.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:14 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by STA654 View Post

Given at least a decent upbringing and mental capacity, life in USA > any euro country.

.
Lol
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_...y-adjusted_HDI

Don't get me wrong I love the usa and I choose to live here for several reasons, but in many aspects it is SO far behind that I sometimes think I am in a third world country.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:25 AM   #175
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Lol
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_...y-adjusted_HDI

Don't get me wrong I love the usa and I choose to live here for several reasons, but in many aspects it is SO far behind that I sometimes think I am in a third world country.

Social scientists have shown that happiness and contentment have less to do with your absolute level of wealth then with your wealth relative to others in your immediate environment. Thus, the high level of income disparity in the US, oft criticized, actually creates the potential for more happiness. An income disparity more common in the 3rd world combined with a median level of wealth like that of the developed nations is arguably ideal, and is one of the characteristics of the US that makes it so great. The best of both worlds so to speak.
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