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What is America?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by melpomene, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. eskimo

    eskimo Banned

    while i dont see why you would consider your observations empirical as the few immigrate shop owners you know or the director of NSA certainly dont qualify for that.

    you dont supply much to support your position either, nonetheless let me try to explain.
    i dont believe in social darwinism. we are humans and through the power of our minds dont qualify for being subjected to rules that might apply in nature. we acctually stepped out of nature. we have morals, we have awareness which ultimately leaves us with responsibility.
    i believe that people are infact not equal as they are a product of their surroundings and up bringing. people are not equally smart thats why they can not achieve equally. i believe that in order to live in a remotely safe society you have to care for the less fortunate as well. see it as a family. do you love one of your sons less because he is not a maths genius like you used to be. do you favour your daughter for achieving higher on her high school finals ?
    you are still a father to both of them and i take it you are a decent father and love them equally much. your underachieving son might be a rebellious pain in the ass but do you stop loving him because of that ?
    why are you afraid to apply these very basic principles and infact very christian principles to the society you live in.
    it is easy to play the blame game and say , it is is their own fault that they cant make it out off the slums into the nice suburbs. like with everything though, answers are not simple. every individual has his own story.
     
  2. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    Rock on Cie. Good to hear from ya.
     
  3. eskimo

    eskimo Banned

    :)

    very good statement : think gobally act locally.

    unfortuantely for many people it stops at thinking globally :)

    nice :) i am 28 and i dont drive either ... sometime in the future we might be able to say : we saved the world rofl
     
  4. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Ahhh Eskimo, I see a long and two-sided discourse in our residency here at GA, more the better.

    What I was largely referring to with respects to empirical observations is the utter failure of creating a welfare state. Lifelong entitlements and such. We've been down that path with LBJ's Great Society (Bob Harris will no doubt have a lot to say on this ;) ). It didn't work.

    What it did do was create a whole subset of Americans that believed they were entitled to a government check every month based on the number of children they produced. That check, geared towards providing the minimum requirements for what is socially accepted as survival.

    It wasn't intended to be that, yet what it ended up doing was creating the aforementioned subculture. It did this by attempting to recover some of these funds from the father of the children. Which, ostensibly, should only be right. What in effect happened is that poor women, in an attempt to raise their income had more kids...kids without a father at home to help raise them, as, if the father was known, he would have been forced to actually pay for the support of his progeny. Now, there were and are educational programs and the likes available to women who find themselves in need of state sponsorship, but there were no performance requirements attached to those programs. End result another failed program.

    As I said, we're fixing that...no lifetime entitlements except in the case of real disability.

    Next you say Condi Rice doesn't count, yet she was born and raised very poor and very black in a very racist Birmingham Alabama in 1954. Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice, was born and raised in a very poor and very black Pin Point Georgia in 1948. Anomalies? Perhaps, or just maybe they saw the opportunities and took them...perhaps my son-in-law, who is branded a 'pocho' (pocho is mexican vernacular for a hispanic person who is brown on the outside and white on the inside) by his own family saw the opportunities and took them and is now a successful contractor. He's not invited to his family functions because English is his language of choice, he requires it of his employees, it's the language on his contracts and he refuses to do business in Spanish.

    I believe your assumption that the successful immigrants I know are 'shop owners' is perhaps a tad racist in and of itself..no? Four of the most important vendors I deal with daily are companies owned by first generation immigrants. These businesses do in excess of $40M yearly in sales with the top two doing over $100M in sales. Still, they are considered small business, but not by these guys...they came here with nothing and they're pretty happy with where they are.

    Perhaps, what I find most disturbing is that your frame of reference has to do with equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity.

    This gets us further to the point. People are not equal in their abilities. The assumption or assertion that they should somehow be is, IMHO, ludicrous. What we should be doing is assuring that they have the same opportunity at absorbing the knowledge necessary to enable them to succeed as they see fit. To answer your poser, if I had a son that was a tad lacking in the cognitive arena, I would not for a moment expect him to compete with a son that was blessed in that area...neither would I expect him to live at the same economic level. That I do not equat with love, for I love all my children the same, my expectations of them vary according to their abilities.. I do expect people to achieve at a level commensurate with their abilities.

    Eskimo, my friend...and I do mean that, while I haven't met you, I consider you a friend, I must ask two questions: Do you really believe in legislating an equality of outcome, and does most of the rest of the world think in this manner?
     
  5. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Thanks, Cyd. I just went to MOAB, and it's no longer there. It's been moved and its probably for the best that it was moved. I honestly didn't mean to piss anyone off.

    I'm removing myself from this thread - many of my questions have gone unanswered, I know they've been read, and I now realize they've been ignored. So fooey. I'm going to take the advice that was given to me earlier, and I'm not going to bother.

    I hate to have to do this, because I'm all for discourse. And maybe it's because of the medium - the written word - that a lot of the communication has been lost, but I now feel that this thread has taken a very bad turn, and I just don't want to be part of it anymore.
     
  6. eskimo

    eskimo Banned

    Perhaps, what I find most disturbing is that your frame of reference has to do with equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity.

    no, i am do not want equality of outcome but equality of opportunity. but that is why i think everyone should be provided with the basics. food and housing for people who can not afford it themselves, education free for all. if that can only be finaced by cutting down the military budget, so be it, or cut down the tax benefits for everyone that earns in excess of $50.000 per year. only that way can you acctually provide equality of opportunity.
    i dont think it is currently given. as i said, i believe it is harder for a 2nd or 3rd generation child from the slums to break the cycle. isnt it sad that america is one of the very few if not the only 1st world country that infact has slums as part of almost every major city ?
    the examples you mentioned (condi rice, clarence thomas, ... ) are honorable but do they reflect the majority of society ? i doubt it. good on them for being where they are but does that automatically mean that everyone can do it ? or are they merely the exeption to the rule ?
    calling them shop owners i am sorry, i was under the impression that you put it that way in an earlier post. i did not mean to belittle immigrants. especially as i have to deal with immigrated indian and pakistani programmers occasionally who are far a away from the clichee of the little corner shop.
    nonetheless , what jobs are the majority of immigrants doing ? not the highly paid, high education jobs but corner shop owner, taxi driver and fast food joint. again i dont mean to sound racists. that is just my experience.

    in a system of equality of opportunity everyone is allowed to achieve a better standard of living all the while maintaining an acceptable standard of living for people that have tried to achieve and failed.

    why the american welfare system failed while it works in other countries is beyond me. i dont know the circumstances that brought it to a fall. i am not for handing out money willy nilly. i am all in favour though for programs that value the family , even if dad is unemployed and offer alternatives to women instead of squeezing out children in order to cash in on child support moneu.
    that is where a responsible welfare system would help. help per family not per head.
     
  7. Sacchiridites

    Sacchiridites Banned

  8. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    :haha: Well at the very least we could say we tried, and that's all that's really important right? Just doing what you can and trying your best...:)
     
  9. Neo

    Neo Banned

    Hmm, I am certainly not an authority on economics. Took an economics course in college because I didn't understand the topic and when I finished the course I concluded no one else, including economists understood the subject either!

    Anyway in the two "America" threads there are many posts linking American culture or attitudes to American corporations.

    It is my amateur opinion based upon personal experience and observation that corporations in capitalistic business countries is that corporations are like a sovereign nation on to themselves with money being the absolute bottom line or Constitution. They will always do what they perceive is best for the corporation. If they could make a billion dollars selling military technology to an unfriendly nation and be confident they could get away with it or not be discovered they would do so in a heartbeat.

    (Any charitable work they do is separate from doing business--at least mostly separate.)
     
  10. jfcjrus

    jfcjrus Veteran Member

    Therein, I believe, lies the cruxt of our difference in philosophy.

    You believe that, to claim ourselves a civilized society, we <i>must</i> care for those that either cannot (or perhaps <i>willnot</i>) care for themselves.

    Where I, and many Americans, believe that you, and you alone, are responsible for your lot in life.
    Being <i>civilized</i>, we're willing to help out, if you find yourself in tough times.
    But, we expect that you will eventually... get your shit together, work hard, and get to the point where you no longer need our help.
    (I'm not depicting 'you' personally....you=anyone)

    I do not generally think that we, in theUSA, believe that we <i>owe</i> anyone a living.

    In this country, the opportunity exists for anyone to succeed.
    It many not be an <i>equal</i> opportunity for everyone, but we're working on that.

    So, does this just boil down to our different views of the <i>entitlements</i>, for just being a breathing human.

    Yes? No?
    (I do realize I probably missed the point of your post, as usual for me. If so, I do apologize).

    Regards,
     
  11. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Yes Matrix you are correct regarding corporations here.
     
  12. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male

    Techie,


    "Well at the very least we could say we tried, and that's all that's really important right? Just doing what you can and trying your best..."


    Going ever so slightly off topic for a moment, I am reminded of an American newspaper article quite some years ago.

    The claim was that if the internal combustion engine and the motor vehicle was non-existant, then the city of New York would be under 15'?? of horse urine and horse excreta.

    The reason was that with the present population and the needs of transportation of people and goods to support the city, a zillion horses would be needed and the waste produced would simply swamp? the city.

    The mind boggles.


    John.
     
  13. eskimo

    eskimo Banned

    Originally posted by jfcjrus

    Where I, and many Americans, believe that you, and you alone, are responsible for your lot in life.
    Being <i>civilized</i>, we're willing to help out, if you find yourself in tough times.
    But, we expect that you will eventually... get your shit together, work hard, and get to the point where you no longer need our help.
    (I'm not depicting 'you' personally....you=anyone) i didnt think you were reffering to me personally :)

    I do not generally think that we, in theUSA, believe that we <i>owe</i> anyone a living.
    correct, i tried to get this point across earlier. their is a fundamental disagreement here which i am hoping to explore and discuss in the future. i believe i made my point why i think the way i do, pointing out social darwinism as a main misconception.

    In this country, the opportunity exists for anyone to succeed.
    It many not be an <i>equal</i> opportunity for everyone, but we're working on that.
    this is not a critic, but it often seems that a lot of people do not realise that america is not the only country with opportunity, where a hard working person can make it to the very top.
    So, does this just boil down to our different views of the <i>entitlements</i>, for just being a breathing human.
    yes, thats what it boils down to. i am hoping that maybe someone can explain to me why you shouldnt be entitled to anything. afterall you are expected to contribute while you are in a job.
    Yes? No? yes :)
    (I do realize I probably missed the point of your post, as usual for me. If so, I do apologize).
    you havent missed my point at all and infact thanks for taking the time to reply to it.
    Regards,

    i really hope we can bring the tone down a bit and continue and calmly discuss this topic because i think it is the most urgent question to solve in regards to the future of mankind on this planet.
     
  14. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    The future of mankind lies in his own hands. He makes or breaks that future. Unfortunately, some think that the rich countries are responsible for bailing out the poor.

    Until those countries get their own act together, no amount of aid (money or food) is going to fix the problems.
     
  15. eskimo

    eskimo Banned

    what a limping comparison. as if anyone would suggest to replace the combustion engine with horses.
    did that article look at the different more efficient ways of implementing compustion engines ? did it investigate alternative energies, bio diesel, combined combustion and electricity, did it investigate the 3 litre engine ?
    this article must havecome from a satire magazin because if it did not it is a highly careless.
     
  16. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Didn't say replace. Said non-existant as if it had never been invented.
     
  17. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    John,

    I have nothing against cars. In fact I love cars. However I do not feel horses are a viable alternative form of transportation. Rather we should use cars with high efficiancy or hybrid engines, and find alternative fuel sources. Also for New York City I hear <A HREF="http://www.segwaychat.com">the segway</a> is pretty cool.

    Cheers!

    Techie2000
     
  18. eskimo

    eskimo Banned

    true, the future lies in our hands, but only asa group can we solve problems, not as an individual. i have never been in favour of or saying that we should simply bail out the poor. i ve said it before when it was about welfare and i think the same applies with development aid. dont hand out money willy nilly.
    i how ever think that "help to help yourself" is a the keyword here. a great step to this could be ridding third world countries of their debts and place them under world bank supervision just like you would do with a company that went bankrupt. wipe the sleight clean and give them the chance to put their money back into their economies instead of paying off silly amounts of interest on debts so high they will never be able to pay them off.
    every private person in the developed countries can declare bankruptcy(dont know if you can do that in the USA, you certainly can do so in many european countries) , why not apply the same to third world countries ? this could be a first step to tackleing the problem.
     
  19. Ugly

    Ugly Fish is Brain Food

    There was a time at the turn of the 18th century when over two hundred! horses were removed dead from the streets of NYC daily.
    Can ya just imagine the smell?
     
  20. limeygit

    limeygit Assume Sarcasm...

    Eskimo, you may want to see if you can get a copy of Ayn Rand's Anthem. It is a very quick read, only take and hour or two, and I think it will help you understand how some of the people you are debating with think.
    I am realy not trying to say anything positive or negative about the book, you, the rest of the people on the board, or in fact anyone, I am "Mr. Love everyone" today, but when I read it, it helped me understand a certain mindset that is common in the US. Maybe it will help you.
     

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