Social Question

rojo's avatar

For non-American Flutherites: Where are you from and do you still worship us for what we have given the world?

Asked by rojo (14861 points ) October 9th, 2012

Seriously though, we have heard for years how the rest of the world used to look up to the US and how we were world leaders. But no longer.
So, has it changed? Was it ever really that way? What is your opinion of the US? What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? Should we be doing anything at all?

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50 Answers

glacial's avatar

@rojo I’m a Canadian. To be honest, the notion that “the rest of the world looks up to the US” is funny to me. I think that’s something Americans tell themselves to feel good; same thing with the phrase “American exceptionalism”, or my favourite, calling the US president “the leader of the free world”... as of the last time I checked, I live in the free world, and I didn’t vote for your president. The hubris inherent in this phrase still astonishes me.

Lately, I watch a lot of American news, and I’m very interested in US politics – I think this is mainly because I discovered liberal pundits who were interesting to watch during the 2008 election. I became a fan of Keith Olbermann (who has now somewhat gone off the deep end), and I love Rachel Maddow. So, I know a lot about your politics, and I can get worked up about the issues. But it shouldn’t be surprising that countries outside the US are much more closely connected to their own histories, cultures, and politics – we’re not actually in awe of America. If anything, we watch you because you have an enormous potential to ruin it all for the rest of us – environmentally, economically, and politically.

So… what is it that you think you have “given the world”, exactly?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@rojo When we do good deeds, the rest of the world respects that. We just haven’t done much of that lately.

thorninmud's avatar

When I lived in France, it was clear to me that what was “worshiped” was the fictionalized America of movies and music. It’s a powerful myth, one that Americans themselves also buy into.

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial I think America takes credit for separation of church and state, modern democracy, and creating a country that is born from immigrants seeking a new, free life. We also take credit for doing away with the notion of being born into a social class and having to stay there, all men created equal, and that each individual succeeds on their own merit, having nothing to do with family name, or having to live down the sins of their fathers, etc. I am not saying America actually plays out that way to the ideal. Certainly there are other countries in history that had some of these ideas, but when America was created and became very prosperous we were rather unique in some of it. Back 200, 500 years ago countries were run by royalty or the church. All of the Americas had significant immigration, but our brand of democracy and separation of church and state was kind of set apart back then. we also were part of the industrial revolution, and some states gave away parcels of land for people to start farms and new lives, so people sought work here, a livelihood. America was the land of opportunity.

Since America continues to have an immigration “problem” so it reinforces the idea that people want to come here. But, now as the world is smaller and other countries are just as much or more fair and free in some ways, people are emigrating to other countries.

Also, some countries have a unrealistic idealistic view of what America is like, and I think that was much truer 50 years ago. We were perceived, because of the media, as everyone having a golden life in America. Now America is perceived by many as having a bunch of religious extremists in our citizenry, being war mongers, and awful for not providing health care for the country, and more.

Seek's avatar

I think the last time America was looked on favorably was at the end of WWII, and that’s only if you ignore the persecution of Asian-Americans during that time.

We’ve been screwing it up ever since.

Personally, I think this country’s bragging about winning a giant “King of the Hill” contest, and it’s failing to realise no one else is playing.

tups's avatar

I am from Denmark, and no, I do not worship USA. To me, USA is just another country, although I’m aware of the fact that USA has a lot of power that can affect the rest of the world. I don’t think USA is a better country than a lot of other countries. I think it is important to think about the world as a whole and not USA as one thing and the rest of the world as another thing. It seems to me that some Americans really do think about the world outside of America as nothing more than that. But there is a giant world outside of America, obviously, that’s where I’ve been all my life.

Leanne1986's avatar

I am from the UK (England to be exact). From a political point of view I don’t worship the US (although that doesn’t mean I am not interested) but I do love to visit the country and in general, I find the people to be very friendly and welcoming.

flutherother's avatar

I’m from Scotland and I’ve spent a little time in the States and I love the country and the people. It is still a brand new country with shallow roots. In many ways it is a frontier society even today with a simple view of good and bad and a tendency to see violence as an easy solution to complex problems. I do not worship the country, it is an experiment and still has a lot to learn from more humane societies in other parts of the world.

What has America given the world? An ideal of democracy that it has failed to put into practise itself. The concept of material greed as a virtue. Lots of terrifying new weapons.

ucme's avatar

I’m English & eeh-merry-ka is a big arsed country that, like any other nation, has it’s good & bad points…..now what are those good things again? Oh yeah, Rambo & cheeseboigers!! :¬)

Seek's avatar

Hey, the pizza’s good too.

tups's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I prefer the Italian kind.

AuroraSolei's avatar

I feel as if questions like this are the reason why other countries view Americans as arrogant. As an American, I feel we have done a shit poor job with our own communities let alone other countries and it’s time for us to rebuild ourselves before asking if other’s worship us as if we are god’s. For American’s are not. And I am an American and feel we can do so much more but need to start with ourselves first.

deni's avatar

I seriously shuddered when I saw the word “worship” in the question line. I am American. I truly think we are terrible in so many ways. I try my hardest not to be those ways.

There are a lot of beautiful things here though.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@AuroraSolei I agree, the question embarassed me when I read it! Jeepers!

Sunny2's avatar

Americans as a group, are arrogant, self- righteous know-it-alls, all in the name of God. And I’m beginning to be afraid that we have a non-functioning government which cannot be salvaged. (I hope I’m wrong)
Individually, we’re the salt of the earth; open and friendly.
I’m an American, but not always proud of it.

rojo's avatar

If I offended, I apologize.

I was using the word “worship” facetiously, note the term “But seriously” in the next line.

For years we have been fed the pap that we are the best of the best and we are what everyone else aspires to be and in my opinion, we have only rarely lived up to the hype. Even today a certain political party is pointing out how the mighty have fallen under the present leadership (completely forgetting the ridicule we suffered under the previous administration) and how they can threaten the world into once again “respecting” us anddoing what is right; as defined by America.

Personally, I have never felt that as a nation we have been held in high regard. Feared perhaps but not respected. And, as @Sunny2 pointed out, we are certainly an arrogant self-righteous breed.

But, no offense meant to fellow americans, it was the insight into exactly how others view us without the media/patriotic filter that I was after.

I should have been less sarcastic.

Can I go back and modify my question?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Honestly, without our arrogance and courage and pushiness, our ancestors would have stayed in their birth countries. We push because we have been pushed and we don’t like it, honestly we could learn something from that about how you treat others.

Sunny2's avatar

@KNOWITALL You mean like killing the indigenous people if they don’t agree to giving us what we want? It’s very true that it’s part of our historical background and character; but times have changed and only some of us have had the negative factors of being adventurous, achieving the ultimate self-sufficiency regardless of what anyone else might need, and the sense of utter self-righteousness bred out of our family lineage.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes, my Cherokee ancestry is important to me and I’m fully aware of the horrors humans inflict on each other.

That’s the dichotomy, we’re aggressive and arrogant enough to make our lives better even if we have to trample other’s rights to get it. A nation of narcissists some may, but we also help a lot of people around the world.

As I said, we could learn something from our history about how we treat each other.

Harold's avatar

As an Australian, I don’t think that the US has offered the world anything constructive at all. These are my reasons:
1. Playing world policeman, and sticking its nose in the affairs of other countries
2. Desecrating the English language
3. Being so backward that it refuses to accept the metric system
4. Being largely ignorant of the rest of the world
5. Persecution of those who dare to reveal its dirty laundry
6. Hypocrisy in claiming other countries are guilty of torture when they do so themselves
7. Producing crap cars
8. Stupid, dangerous attitude to firearms
9. Neglect of its own poor and disadvantaged
10. Absurd health system
11. etc, etc, etc

Of course, this is not aimed at individual citizens, many of whom are very fine people. However, it is a very strong impression of the nation as a whole.

Seek's avatar

@Harold I can’t give this answer enough GAs.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I must preface this by saying that the majority of people from the US I have met have been fantastic people. My criticisms of the US are largely related to politics, with a few cultural criticisms as well. Considering the manner in which “representatives” are elected, I do not believe this in any way reflects the people.

1. Arrogance. Barack Obama said at a rally in Seminole, Florida, that “There’s not a country on Earth that wouldn’t gladly trade places with the United States of America”. Whether that is true or not (I think not, for the reasons below), that is supreme arrogance.

2. Creating war and instability. Iraq and Afghanistan aside, the posturing of the US in South East Asia is frankly scary. China has rightly criticised the US of possessing a “Cold War mentality”. I also don’t believe US attitudes to the Middle East are at all constructive, including their continued dogmatic opposition to the formation of a Palestinian state.

3. Institutionalised corruption. Electoral campaigns in the US are lengthy, and rely heavily on the donations of wealthy backers. To me this is the very definition of corruption, and it undermines the goal of democracy, which is to allow people lacking in power and influence to still have a say.

4. Institutionalised inequality. Inequality has risen at a ridiculous rate in the US, and while employment has risen to 8%, the rich keep getting their tax cuts and bonuses.

5. Fear of anything remotely “socialist”. Obama has been repeatedly criticised for his “socialist” policies. In fact when placed on the full scale, Obama lies firmly toward the right. A true leftist is more like Chavez, who has actually made significant progress in helping the poor.

6. Capital punishment. I still can’t believe that a country that claims to be “civilised” and the “leader of the free world” practices vengeance in preference to justice.

7. As @Harold said, perversion of the English language. I believe this has taken much of the subtlety and meaning out of words.

8. Exploitation of the poor. To my knowledge, the US does not have a minimum wage. Certainly it seems common for members of the working class to survive on tips, or to have to work multiple jobs. As a reference point, Australia’s minimum wage is $15.96ph, or $606.40 per week. Tertiary education is also limited to the very rich or those capable of getting scholarships. I think it should be open to everyone with the academic ability to succeed in this sphere.

9. Remote warfare. Drone attacks are estimated to kill up to 10 civilians for every militant. There is also an assumption that everyone with a gun is a militant. Some attacks also go for a second shot to take out first responders, to encourage the population to allow victims to die without medical attention. I believe this technique was pioneered by Al Qaeda.

10. Extreme patriotism. I constantly exercise my right to criticise my government, my country, and my people. This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t fight for and die for each of those structures if necessary. In my experience (and this point is very open to debate, since I have never actually been to North America) US citizens are very hesitant to question their country. If the government has it wrong, the opposition must have it right. I rarely hear a US resident say “the way they do things in Norway is better” for example.

rojo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh what country are you from?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh
You make some interesting points.
1) I’ve met a few people from other parts of the world and they are usually proud of their country as well. Arrogance is Obama’s middle name…lol

2) We have learned a lot from our past experiences, and I take issue with ‘creating war and instability’, I simply don’t believe that’s correct.

3) Of course we’re corrupt. I certainly don’t think we’re the only country with corruption issues by the powerful.

4) If I were extremely talented, powerful or even more attractive than I am, I could have lots of money. I think it’s pretty fair because we have the Mark Twains, Abraham Lincolns, Martin Luther King, etc…all poor, all became great leaders.

5) Socialism sucks, why would we want it? Even most liberals don’t want socialism.

6) I’m not a big capital punishment proponent, but we have a saying ‘do the crime, do the time’, everyone knows the rules so you break them and you get what you get. Seems fair, it’s not hard to stay out of crime for goodness sakes.

7) Our ‘melting pot’ of a country takes in people from all over the world who come for freedom, opportunity and education and they all bring their own enunciations, etc…why would we curb the progression of our unique culture?! Those that care about the language do so and they have that right, do you think we’re embarassed about ebonics?

8) The US does have a minimum wage. In my state it’s $7.25 per hour I believe,and you can get 3 packs of ramen noodles for $1 here, so it’s not bad. Our education system provides free education throughout 12th grade, so if you choose another path, like dropping out, then that is your choice. No one exploits the poor here that I’m aware of, we give them free education, free food, free MediCaid or MediCare. Some people choose not to go through the hoops to get that stuff free, but again, that’s their choice.

9) That is a military operation and we have a lot of drones in a lot of places. Those places should not mess with us and drones disappear, so what’s the problem?

10) Absolutely, extreme patriotism! The difference between you and most of the people I know, is that we wouldn’t hesitate to die for our country. Perhaps things here would be better if we took more ideas from the rest of the world (Amsterdam perhaps?!) but CHOICE is what makes our country beloved to us. We can build a house to our own specification, buy land to surround it and do whatever we want, within regulations. We can form a commune and be tax exempt and form our own govt within those walls, many groups have done that and will continue to do so. Yes, we are extreme patriots, or at least most of us, because despite our problems, our arrogance and our mistakes, we are still proponents of freedom and democracy for all. I still get a tear in my eye when I hear the Star-Spangled banner because like at the Olympics when a poor little black girl took home gold medals…the opportunity is still here for those willing to pursue it.

Seek's avatar

^ I get a tear in my eye at the Star Spangled Banner too, but mostly because no one seems to hit the right notes anymore, and I’m crying in pain.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@rojo I’m Australian. While I love my country, I do have many criticisms that I do not hesitate to voice.

@KNOWITALL Thank you for your detailed response. I will address the points I find most pressing:

2. That is a matter of opinion, perhaps for another time. I did not mention US interference in Latin America, which I believe to be another instance of creating instability. Henry Kissinger’s association with Pinochet was far from appropriate either.

3. No, the US is not the only corrupt country. It does, however, claim the moral high ground, and expect the rest of the world to follow the US model of capitalist democracy.

5. Socialism does not suck. It just has a bad name, because we in the Western world have been educated to believe that socialism is akin to Leninism and Soviet style communism. Socialism, by definition, is simply a focus on social policy rather than fiscal policy – prioritising people over money. At some stage I will expand on this concept in another thread. My point here is simply that any liberal policy can easily be tarnished with the “socialist” label. Unfortunately the same applies here.

6. Again, your mantra “do the time, do the crime” focusses on revenge, not justice. No amount of vengeance towards a criminal can undo the crime. Why do you think we don’t torture any more (except in Guantanamo, or in cases of Extraordinary Rendition, but that is another point entirely).

8. Interesting, thanks for the information. How much is rent in your state?

9. Your other points I merely disagree with. This one I find repulsive. Those places shouldn’t mess with you? Have you forgotten that its their land? That they are supposed to have sovereignty there? That they have a right to self-determination? The US has no right to be there in the first place, nor do they have the right to dictate activities there, regardless of whether they agree or disagree.

KNOWITALL's avatar

2) Exactly, a matter of opinion.

3) The US often does claim the moral high ground of ‘supporting democracy’. You’ll have to take that up with the President, I have no power to change that except by voting for the best person for the that job.

5) By the GOVERNMENT! We choose for the people, by the people, the government is supposed to (per our Constitution) enforce said document and rights, not administer them.

6) How is that revenge? Do the crime, do the time is a fact, and frankly with all the attorney tricks, often even if you do the crime, you don’t do the time. It has nothing to do with revenge. When child molesters and pedophiles get 5 yr sentences and ruin a child’s life you think they should go to a posh rehab or ? I know if I rob a bank with a weapon, I’m in for at least 10 yrs, so guess what I don’t rob banks.

8) Rent varies city to city and depends on bedrooms, garage, etc… I could rent a low-end house for about $300 a month in my area.

9) If the US wasn’t giving so much money and weapons to various countries, or the country wasn’t a strategic necessity to us, or they weren’t ASKING for help, why would we care? Because we don’t like evil dictators mutilating children and raping women or mass graves, or in Libya’s case, sodomizing and killing our ambassadors. If China ever turns on you and your PM, don’t ask for help then.

Seek's avatar

^ Yay Socialism. Boo occupation. And if the US really wanted to support democracy, there would be a simple majority vote for the office of President. We don’t have that.

I have no intention of dying for a country just because I happened to be born here. I could just as easily have begun as a bit of DNA in a Norwegian woman’s uterus, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about misinformed people thinking socialism is a bad thing.

And I haven’t seen anything bigger than a sublet bedroom for $300 in over ten years.

Oh, and I don’t rob banks because stealing is bad, not because there are consequences.

Not trying to argue, just throwing it out there that no one American can speak for “all” or even “most” Americans.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yeah, socialism, you must be a Liberal then. Enough said.

You don’t have to die for your country, others will always step up so you don’t have to. Like my family.

I have no idea where you’re at, but I’m from Missouri, and my mortgage is only $600+ a month, so don’t know what to tell you.

Okay, skeptical…Psychology 101, consequences are taught to children because it is a deterrant to bad behavior.

Yes, I certainly agree after reading your opinions. But again, that’s what makes our country great imo, our many freedoms, even the freedom to crap on your own country if you choose.

*So Fire what is your opinion on the following article about Australia. Just curious.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/gillard-seeks-assurances-on-attacks-20121015-27n2b.html

Seek's avatar

According to the most recent census,

In Florida, where I live, 49.2% of all owner- occupied homes cost more than 30% of a household’s income.
In Missouri, 29% of homes cost that high a percentage. However, in your state, 58.8% of homes cost 25% or less of a person’s income.

So I guess the lesson is, move to Missouri. If you can afford to move, find a job, and buy a house. Then you’ll be in good shape. Of course, then the housing prices will go up. And jobs will be scarcer. And then you’ll be the same as Florida, California, and Hawaii. Not fun places to be poor. Srsly.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Plus, you have to pay to take a vacation to FL. LOL. Whenever I move away from FL I can’t believe I have to pay to vacation there to get out of the cold. Not to mention t-shirts are way way cheaper than sweaters and winter coats. And, air conditioning is way way cheaper than heating a house almost always.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes, a lot of people are moving in here, and have been for quite awhile. Our cost of living is still cheap (3 pks ramen noodles for $1, gallon of milk about $2.69) and we have a lot of job openings.

But you might run into a toothless Bubba at the symphony…lol

PS, Sorry I let my temper answer your last post.

@JLeslie Not if you have family in Largo with a mother-in-law’s suite haha!

Seek's avatar

I have to ask – why on earth do you judge cost of living based on the price of ramen? Isn’t the idea that one lives on ramen supposed to indicate how poor one is? Like, “that poor struggling art student, all he can afford to eat is ramen!” The goal is to be able to afford things like grass-fed beef and organic bananas, isn’t it?

KNOWITALL's avatar

haha, it was kind of a joke….we’re a college town and a LOT of adults and elders are in school still or again here. We also have a large Liberal population and hippy kids, so yeah, we have Mama Jeans Natural Food Markets and many many more health food stores. They aren’t very expensive, you can probably get the pricing online if you’re really interested.

Seek's avatar

@JLeslie – The heat in Florida is deadly. Literally deadly. And it gets cold here as well. Maybe only for a few weeks, and maybe we don’t have blizzards, but it’s enough to kill some of our many poor elderly people.

Anyway, I think we’re avoiding the point. The point is that it’s incredibly expensive to be poor in this country, and all the claiming that ramen is only a quarter a bowl in the world is not going to change the fact that this country was built with a comfortable middle class in mind. This means: it’s nearly impossible to make life happen without a car. Car requires gas, car insurance, licenses, car payments, etc. None of which are getting any less expensive. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with available, useful public transportation, and you can afford the rent there, I’m not talking about you.

How about this: the housing crisis happened while I was pregnant with my son. My husband and I lost everything – everything in about six months. I tried to apply for welfare and was denied because I couldn’t make it to the mandatory job interview training classes because I couldn’t pay someone to watch my 3 week old infant, or drive us to the class.

Now, if you are too poor to apply for welfare, life is hard. and I find it insulting when people who have no idea what that struggle is try to dismiss it, like it’s a person’s own fault that they’re in hard times, and how dare they complain.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I don’t pay to stay in FL, I pay to get there.

I have to agree with @Seek_Kolinahr Ramen Noodles is not a good gauge for cost of living.

@Seek_Kolinahr Had your husband lost his job?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Yes, that sounds hard, but as a Republican, and I’m not trying to make you mad here, BUT shouldn’t you have had a plan for a ‘worst-case’ scenerio before getting pregnant and bringing life into this cruel world?

That is our ‘personal responsiblity’ model we’re always talking about.

That’s one of the many reasons I never had children, too much responsibity and too many ways for it to go bad for us all. If I had $50k in the bank, no problem, but I will not raise a child to suffer or be poor for my own gratification.

Seek's avatar

Well, he owned a very profitable hardwood flooring business. Unfortunately at some point in 2008, people stopped buying houses, and could no longer afford to have their floors refinished. It’s amazing how quickly a small business can close when literally all work disappears for two years. Ours wasn’t the only business that closed, either. All but one or two closed completely, and that’s only because those two had no qualms about hiring illegal workers, or, y’know, doing a good job. So they could charge much, much less.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Ah, luxury goods, yeah I can see that. Is everything okay now?

Seek's avatar

Hubs sold his entire record collection – 40 years of hardcore collecting – in order to keep a roof over our heads. He held down a minimum wage job for a while when that money ran out. I just started a new job a couple of months ago. Hubby’s a Stay at home dad for a while until we can afford to get a second car. When that happens, we’ll have to find some way to afford part-time childcare while he gets his flooring business restarted. He’s doing a little under-the-table stuff for friends and former clients until then.

So, no, not everything is okay, but we’re working hard to get there. And terrified of what will happen if the Red Team pulls the carpet back out from under us. Again.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I have empathy for your situation, and I would have hoped you could have brought your nfant with you to the mandatory class. Where it sounds bad is being pregnant and having a 3 week old infant. Maybe you had used birth control and something went wrong, I don’t want to assume anything, but being tight on money and having one baby after another means your situation is more precarious than maybe it had to be.

Still, I think getting help should have been made easier for you.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My uncle works in admin at the VA there, and I’m not sure if you’re even close to Largo or anything, but he says they have a pretty high hiring rate at the entry level positions and you should apply for anything to get in, then they promote quickly.

It just sux because I hope we do win and it helps people like you.

If the welfare or help system weren’t deluded with fraud, perhaps they could help you and I, and others that are the working poor. I believe in my party and I don’t believe in Obama at all. So I guess we’ll see.

Seek's avatar

Ack! No no no! I have only one kid. The crash happened soon after I fell pregnant, but we didn’t run out of backup money until six months later – after I had the kid. I wasn’t able to work because I was high risk – hyperemesis, fainting spells, it was really bad.

I have only one son. No Irish twins here. No other kids at all if I have my way. Would you believe that we planned to get pregnant because the business was doing so well and I could afford to take time away from working?

KNOWITALL's avatar

LOL, you almost made me snort with your reply!!!

Seek's avatar

Sorry, one pregnancy was so bad, the idea of another still makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@KNOWITALL

3. See my original post on point 3 – I can’t take it up with your president, because I am neither a US citizen or obscenely rich.
5. I’m not quite sure what you’re getting at here. The government (our governments) have told us that socialism is bad because it is a capitalist institution. Embracing socialism would change the power dynamics of our countries, and power likes nothing less than change.
6. I never said child molesters should get out quickly. As a bit of background, I study the human brain as a full time student. I recognise as well as anyone that some people simply cannot be rehabilitated. However capital punishment is something altogether different. Criminals have decreased rights, but they still have a right to food, shelter, health care etc. I believe they also have a right to life. The reason their liberty is restricted, i.e. we lock up criminals rather than banishing them or cutting off their hands and letting them go, is because the community is not safe from them. Prison achieves this end without violating their right to life.
8. So it seems the cost of living is cheaper there than here, but I still think $7.25ph is ridiculously low. I earned $10.50ph in my first job as a 16yr old.
9. You seem to think that the US intervenes in foreign affairs out of altruism. So why, may I ask, has it not intervened in Zimbabwe and Sudan? What about Mali? Why did the US support Pinochet, and even Saddam Hussein in his early days? Iraq was not invaded when Saddam massacred tens of thousands of Kurds, but when he started to re-negotiate his oil export deals. By the same token, I don’t support China.

I support national sovereignty and the right to self-determination, even when the military or political power do not support that right.

As far as our involvement in Afghanistan goes, I support our troops fully. They are brave men and women that do our country proud. However they should not be in Afghanistan, and the politicians who sent them there should take personal responsibility for each loss. Since we are there though, I think our rebuilding work is very valuable. I must stress that this does nothing to mitigate the immoral nature of the invasion, but that it is making the best of a bad situation.
I can, on the other hand, understand why some Afghans turn on our soldiers. To them, our troops are a symbol of the debilitating war that has gripped their country for over a decade. I strongly disagree with their course of action, but I can understand why they choose it. Our soldiers are doing a fantastic job, but I will be happy when they come home.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

JLeslie's avatar

I think our minimum wage is horribly low also, and it is even lower for certain professionals like waiting tables (I think it is around $3) because the assumption is they make tips as part of their wage. Some parts of the country people don’t tip well. I here people where I live complain about it, which I never heard before from waitpeople in other cities.

@Seek_Kolinahr Got it. :)

KNOWITALL's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh

Let me for a brief moment address #6 about capital punishment.

IMO, as long as our prisoners who committed crimes are treated better and cared for better, along with the rate of pay for caregivers/ guards, than our elderly in nursing homes, I will not change my stance. I am Catholic and Republican which means I am Pro-Life in almost every circumstance imaginable from conception to death.

I am very torn on this issue because in our country, prisoners have the right to all kinds of assistance from free counseling/ therapy, to drug detox, to education, to internet use, 3 meals a day, shelter, some get dogs to train for their therapy. It’s more than a lot of us (middle to low income families, elderly) are entitled to and we have done no wrong and committed no crime. How is that okay?

On the link provided below, the costs associated with death rather than incarceration point to incarceration being cheaper, so be it, I can’t contradict those figures, but from a moral perspective those who have broken the law of the land deserve just punishment. If you’ve read the Bible there are specific punishments for crime, losing a hand, stoning, etc…we are already going to far from that with a needle and sedatives, it’s ridiculous.

If I were to be incarcerated, of course most would prefer life imprisonment, but myself, I would prefer a quick death rather than live in a cell all my life. We can simply agree to disagree on this issue.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

9) You know that I as well as yourself are not privy to National Security matters so I will not be able to give you an informed response on this issue.

As far as Afghanistan, I support our troops fully as well. Whether we need to be there or not is a decision for our government imo, again I am not privy to details. My military friends have told me we need to be there and nothing more. Our political parties are using Afghanistan and our withdrawal as weapons for this election, so I will have to side with my party that we need to be there for now, and continue training their military to be self-sufficient and if they are able to take over by 2012, so be it. I will be happy to have our troops home as well. So I don’t think we disagree much on that issue.

Good day, and thank you as well.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@KNOWITALL I agree that criminals should be one of the last sectors of society to receive funding for leisure activities. The elderly should be among the first. The website you link to has a point, but I think it is a side note. Capital punishment is immoral, because it denies the right to life. The law should only have the power to deny criminals the rights to free movement and property.
I have read the Bible, and on the points you mentioned I disagree with it. One of the more common acts of ‘justice’ in the Bible is killing people for believing in different deities (Elijah and the prophets of Baal, etc.). I would argue that that is frankly immoral. Another Biblical precedent is killing people who refuse to sign over their land rights (Jericho, Ai, Nineveh, etc.). Again, that is not something our society should be modelled on.

9. True, we are not privy to national security matters. However the results of US foreign policy are there for the world to see. Take Manuel Noriega for example. He was initially a CIA asset, performing a valuable service for the US while he dealt in drugs, murdered, laundered money, and bribed officials. This went on for several decades. However when he became governor of Panama, and started to enact policies that the US didn’t like, suddenly his drug related activities were sufficient to justify a full scale invasion. The US has a history of foreign interference in a manner that does not benefit any party besides itself, sold to the public under the banner of international altruistic heroism. Frankly I think the world would be a better place if the US returned to its early 20th century isolationist policies.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh

Capital punishment is immoral, that being said much of our population thinks it’s entirely justified and since we are a democracy, majority normally rules, like with abortion issues. With a democracy, you have to take the good with the bad, educate your countrymen and pick candidates that you believe in.

I agree with you on the isolationist policies, but 9/11 triggered something that is irreversible for us, much like Pearl Harbor. Obama said ‘no new wars’ and ‘no new troops on the ground’ but as we’ve seen, he hasn’t lived up to that. We shall see what happens in future.

Good talk!!

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