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Old 05-31-2012, 09:39 AM   #176
DeucesAx
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I don't understand your argument. I agree that one source of happyness is your wealth relativ to your peers. You lose me on "thus the income disparity in the us is good".
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:06 AM   #177
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by metaname2 View Post
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.
Is that you Dick Cheney?
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:49 AM   #178
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

you can talk about Canada and Scandinavia all you want but at the end of the day the weather just sucks. maybe if u r a ****ing polar bear.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:51 AM   #179
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

also, these threads seem racist as it gives people a chance to go "Oh look how great it is in (insert country with only white people)... yeah yeah we get it. what is it that you suggest America do?
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:01 AM   #180
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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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
I went all over Europe when I was stationed in Italy in the 90s, and I found the Germans to be the nicest and most receptive to Americans of any place I visited. The French were the worst in my experience.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:03 AM   #181
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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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.
Yeah, I pretty much agree with this. It's interesting to note that your examples of good programs all date from a long time ago. SS runs well and was started in the 30s. Medicare was started in the 60s and is going to bankrupt the country. Our pre-WWII army developed core values of civilian control, lack of corruption, etc., while our GWOT army botches occupations and flies drones around killing preachers and children.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:26 AM   #182
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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I don't understand your argument. I agree that one source of happyness is your wealth relativ to your peers. You lose me on "thus the income disparity in the us is good".
While it is easy to bemoan a "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality, what we're finding is, at a genetic level, that's exactly what humans are designed to do. It is how our brain chemistry works. Thus, once we account for the bare necessities, pursuing inequality runs contrary to our very nature. In a country with no economic disparity, everyone will be dissatisfied, even if they all driving solid Gold Bentleys that run on foie gras. And that would never happen anyway since egalitarianism serves as a demotivating factor and we don't even have the technology to build cars like that.

Last edited by metaname2; 05-31-2012 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:50 AM   #183
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

Noone is arguing for no economic disparities, except for the band of communists that ravages this forum constantly.

What metaname is arguing, essentially, is that having a perpetual underclass that exists to feed and heat the pools of the middle class and rich is really really nice. It makes him feel good not only that he has a decent standard of living, but that his neighbor does not.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:52 PM   #184
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?



This is why America is the best country. This right here.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:11 PM   #185
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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While it is easy to bemoan a "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality, what we're finding is, at a genetic level, that's exactly what humans are designed to do. It is how our brain chemistry works. Thus, once we account for the bare necessities, pursuing inequality runs contrary to our very nature. In a country with no economic disparity, everyone will be dissatisfied, even if they all driving solid Gold Bentleys that run on foie gras. And that would never happen anyway since egalitarianism serves as a demotivating factor and we don't even have the technology to build cars like that.
What, exactly, are you saying? That (aggregate?) welfare increases with inequality, provided everyone has access to bare necessities? Well let's see. It's probably true that we derive psychological pleasure from being richer than others. Is it also true that we derive psychological pleasure from being poorer than others? lolno.

So if we want to say that welfare increases with inequality, we'd have to show that the psychological satisfaction from having more than other people outweighs the psychological dissatisfaction from having less than other people. That's probably quite tricky. Even if we could do it, it's not clear why this sort of satisfaction is supposed to be an important component of welfare.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:48 PM   #186
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

having a $35k median income with "high income inequality" > having a $35k median income with "income equality"

in practice, having low income inequality just means the 90th-99th percentile incomes aren't as high; think about this when you hear some canadian bragging about their country's 'fairer' income distribution, that fairness is really just a lack of very high paying jobs.

income distribution is positively skewed, not symmetrical.

Last edited by STA654; 05-31-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:52 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by STA654 View Post
having a $35k median income with "high income inequality" > having a $35k median income with "income equality"

in practice, having low income inequality just means the 90th-99th percentile incomes aren't as high; think about this when you hear some canadian bragging about their country's 'fairer' income distribution, that fairness is really just a lack of very high paying jobs.
Lol.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:57 PM   #188
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by Vael View Post
So if we want to say that welfare increases with inequality, we'd have to show that the psychological satisfaction from having more than other people outweighs the psychological dissatisfaction from having less than other people. That's probably quite tricky. Even if we could do it, it's not clear why this sort of satisfaction is supposed to be an important component of welfare.
I don't disagree. It would seem that the solution might be making sure that most people have greater exposure to poorer populations then to richer populations, especially if you are near or slightly below the median in income. In that sense, maybe many of the strategies that the wealthy and upper-Middle class use to insulate themselves from the poor (exurban developments, gated communities etc.) are in fact socially beneficial. It might also help if we emphasize international studies in the poorest schools so that kids will realize that there are people in other countries that have it even worse.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:18 PM   #189
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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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.
Based on your argument we can never compare the US to China.

It's on thing to compare 1000k people to 100k people. But as the numbers get higher, the difference gap gets smaller.

b

Last edited by bernie; 05-31-2012 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:25 PM   #190
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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It might also help if we emphasize international studies in the poorest schools so that kids will realize that there are people in other countries that have it even worse.
LOL

Wow.

b
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:06 PM   #191
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

I'd think the happiness index and surveys along those lines must be taken into context. People living in other countries have much different attitudes towards things than we do, especially in terms of money. I would think many Americans think they are unhappy much more than they really are because we see through media people who are fabulously wealthy.

We also have a very individualistic society compared to others, Asians especially, who have a much more group mentality.

I would argue that if you are lucky enough to be in the top 10-30% of wage earners in the US you would be incredibly happy, as access to all the best things in the world are pretty much in reach financially. I would think being poor here is worse than being poor in a more socialized country. Samson's assessment that if you are willing to work hard here it's probably better, if not, probably worse seems correct.

We have the best system in the world here. It's not perfect, but none are. The good thing here is the crazy people can't take over because of the system. Creationists aren't ever going to change things because our court system will block it. We have checks and balances in our system so when things get out of whack, they can be changed and fixed.

In reality what country in the world can actually get things done more than the US? If some sort of conflict or major problem needed to be addressed, who do you think is going to go take care of it? The US, hands down.

While we may not be #1 in many many aspects like education, # of people imprisoned, etc etc, as a whole there's no doubt at all that the US is the best place to be. We prove it over and over again. When Obama was elected, there was a reason the headlines in Europe were "The US does it again". It's because we're leaders, and things can be done and accomplished here that can't in other places.

Despite all its flaws and problems, I love the US. I love it here. I don't walk around being full of pride, I don't recite the pledge of allegiance or claim my pride for my country at all. I think that type of behavior is unnecessary and silly, but there is no debate - it's awesome here if you are willing to go out and work hard to have a good life. Without a doubt.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:12 PM   #192
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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I would think being poor here is worse than being poor in a more socialized country. Samson's assessment that if you are willing to work hard here it's probably better, if not, probably worse seems correct.


it's awesome here if you are willing to go out and work hard to have a good life. Without a doubt.
Go 'merika!

Especially if we ignore that lack of social mobility, then we can believe in meritocracy.

b
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:15 PM   #193
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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I went all over Europe when I was stationed in Italy in the 90s, and I found the Germans to be the nicest and most receptive to Americans of any place I visited. The French were the worst in my experience.
+1 Especially the French being the worst. Actually, the people in Monaco were worse, but that place is basically just the snobbiest of all the French.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:29 PM   #194
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

Also.. one thing that I think we should touch on is the American attitude in terms of competitiveness. It seems that we have more a competitive nature than others. I'm unsure of this because I haven't lived anywhere else, but in terms of sports and success in other areas it just seems we are overachievers.

There's plenty of this in the poker world, but it seems prevalent in many areas. Any input from people overseas?
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:52 PM   #195
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

Social mobility has actually gone up for the middle 60% of Americans. In other words, the middle class has more opportunities than ever to rise.

The problem is the bottom 20% has become more entrenched than any time in recent memory, leading to a poorer picture overall of American social mobility.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:48 PM   #196
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by wil318466 View Post
Also.. one thing that I think we should touch on is the American attitude in terms of competitiveness. It seems that we have more a competitive nature than others. I'm unsure of this because I haven't lived anywhere else, but in terms of sports and success in other areas it just seems we are overachievers.
I've noticed that the American players who have played professional soccer in Norway (haven't been that many, but some) seem to be hardworking, in some ways performing above their talent and have a good ethic. Getting an American player is usually low risk, as he will give you his best all the time, whereas players from many other cultures may not work that hard or will lack in team-spirit.

Competition and being the best is emphasized stronger form an early age in the US than it is here, I don't think stuff like the Little League World Series or the Scripps National Spelling Bee would fly here, because of the attention and pressure young kids get.

Norwegian kids don't get grades in school until the year they are 13 (middle school), which is also to protect their feelings.

And from my experience, sports and competition is more a part of everyday life in the US than it is over here. We do love sports, but it's not that integrated in society as it is in the US. The importance of winning is implemented stronger and at an earlier level in the US than it is in Norway.

But on the other hand, Norway also overperform in sports (mostly in sports you guys have never heard about and only Norwegians care about, but still ), so I suppose both approaches have merits.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:03 PM   #197
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

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Originally Posted by wil318466 View Post
Also.. one thing that I think we should touch on is the American attitude in terms of competitiveness. It seems that we have more a competitive nature than others. I'm unsure of this because I haven't lived anywhere else, but in terms of sports and success in other areas it just seems we are overachievers.
This might be one of my favorite posts in a thread full of amazing posts.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:27 PM   #198
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

jj,

This thread is exceptional because of the Real Americans posting in here USA #1.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:30 PM   #199
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Get competetive about vacation days (!!!!), public transportation, fun freedoms (drinking in public, topless beaches etc) and urban renewal and I recite the pledge of allegiance every morning
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:39 PM   #200
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Re: Nationalism: Do You Actually Think America is Better Than Other Countries?

I think wil is my favorite poster ITT because he seems to be completely serious. He has a neat combination of ignorance about the world around him and 4th grade social-studies understanding of the USA.

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Originally Posted by wil318466 View Post
When Obama was elected, there was a reason the headlines in Europe were "The US does it again". It's because we're leaders, and things can be done and accomplished here that can't in other places.
I love this gem too. 2008 being the first time a non white male was elected as President is certainly showing the rest of the world how its done...
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