What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Is America still great? (split-off)

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
And of course it plays no part in why any foreigner might move to Japan... I've never heard them express contempt towards their home countries, their home people, their home politics, their home culture, their home women, and so on...
Haven't met many Americans lately?
 
Joined
21 Jun 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
96
I don't know about "best", but the U.S. is still pretty great. One thing I like about it is it has one of the least bad copyright systems in the world, with strong fair use protection. I do wish we hadn't been pressured into following the Berne Convention, though.

Every country has its ups and downs. Japan, too. I don't think you can unilaterally classify any country as "the best", unless you're talking about world domination, which the U.S. wins at by far at the moment.
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
119
No, but why do you think it's so great?

Well we are the largest nominal GDP in the world. The second largest GDP period. Despite us having less than a third of the population of both India and China. Our education system and justice systems could use some major work but there are ups and downs to each country. If we go strictly by number of people the USA is also the country with the largest number of foreign born population so strictly speaking the world thinks it's pretty great here. There's a big difference of the way of life from state to state though so where you visit/live is going to have a big impact on how you view the USA.

Well their government is led by a reality TV star. That's kinda cool I guess.

And around literally half of us that voted decided he was the man to lead the country. So if we could leave politics out of this it would be great.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
You can't leave politics out. How do you think the country itself was formed and reformed?

Our education system and justice systems could use some major work but there are ups and downs to each country.
You are trying to rationalize here. "Major work" indeed! It's also not getting any better with the current Secretary of Education, nor with the head of the EPA. The US has a terrible number of science deniers, which counterbalances the GDP statement you made.In addition to science deniers, there are many who are history deniers in favor of their religion, and I'd go so far as to say that most can't even make a logical argument to defend their religious beliefs. Having the freedom to believe what they want seems to mean to some that their religion should be exempt from so many things, yet they are divisive and cruel and anti-education in that loving religion.

If we go strictly by number of people the USA is also the country with the largest number of foreign born population so strictly speaking the world thinks it's pretty great here.
How do you figure? Other countries have a large foreign-born population, too, and they have freedom and rights similar to the US. You don't see them trying to put out travel bans like the US attempts. Are all of those foreign-born people accepted with open arms? Not lately with travel ban legislation and talks of a wall and deportation, and look what happened during WWII with domestic-born Japanese!

Americans' health is in bad shape with its diet of hamburgers and pizza and nacho chips. Japanese have a fear of visiting due to its gun ownership and bigotry, and they are not alone. Major polluters are trying to stop progress in cleaning up the nation and planet. Major industries are farming out work to other countries.

Would you like to address anything that video said, or are you just going to be like the sorority girl in it? Ootmaster, your profile says you are in Indiana. If that's correct, how much expat experience have you had? I've been abroad almost 20 years, which means I've learned to see the US from a different perspective. That's very important to this conversation, whether you are an American or not.
 
Last edited:

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,455
Reaction score
2,252
This thread needs to be split. The current topic of discussion has nothing whatsoever to do with the original topic. It's no longer even in the same hemisphere.
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
119
I agree it could use a split. I didn't know being a proud American was such a controversial idea now.
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
119
Would you like to address anything that video said, or are you just going to be like the sorority girl in it? Ootmaster, your profile says you are in Indiana. If that's correct, how much expat experience have you had? I've been abroad almost 20 years, which means I've learned to see the US from a different perspective. That's very important to this conversation, whether you are an American or not.

I've seen the video a great number of times and I've never seen reason to respond to the statements made in the video. Yes I am in Indiana. I have not had much opportunity to go outside of the United States in fact just recently around 6 months ago I made my first visit to Japan and outside of the United States. It was a month long vacation. So I've had no experience living outside of the United States and have spent a grand total of 0.003% of my life anywhere outside of the United States. So I have seen extreme differences between the United States and Japan but that's the extent of my experience, but I was also only in Japan as a visitor.
 
Joined
21 Jun 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
96
If a month was 0.003% of your life, then:

0.00003x = 1 / 12
x = (1/12) / 0.00003
x = 2,777.77777...

So... you're almost 3,000 years old?

I think what you meant to say is 0.3%. ;)

You don't see them trying to put out travel bans like the US attempts. Are all of those foreign-born people accepted with open arms? Not lately with travel ban legislation and talks of a wall and deportation
I don't know what life is like in the U.S. for immigrants. I suspect it depends largely on how well they assimilate into American culture. But a lot of Mexicans clearly prefer the U.S. over Mexico if they immigrate so much despite, as you say, not being accepted with open arms here. That suggests to me that, at the very least, the U.S. is far superior from the perspective of many Mexican-born people than Mexico.

Let's assume that the U.S. is the worst of developed nations, for the sake of argument. Why can the U.S. not still be great? I'd consider the U.S. to be one of many great countries in the world. Where you put it depends on your values and perceptions. But surely it's not unfair to consider it one of the great ones, alongside countries like Japan, the U.K., Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, France, etc?

and look what happened during WWII with domestic-born Japanese!
If you consider Japan to be better than the U.S., I don't see it being in your best interests to bring up WWII atrocities. Let's not poison the well either way, eh? Many countries are guilty of many atrocities throughout history, but what really matters is the here and now.
 

Uncle Frank

SECURITY
Admin
Joined
21 May 2003
Messages
11,210
Reaction score
1,175
Got everything I want here in Maine , I'm happy and feel life is good in my part of the US of A.
gunLover.jpg
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
I've seen the video a great number of times and I've never seen reason to respond to the statements made in the video.
I thought my asking was a good reason. Why are you being so difficult?
 

nahadef

Quietly exploding
Joined
27 Nov 2012
Messages
1,645
Reaction score
928
The dozens if not hundreds of Americans I’ve met in Japan have all been pretty excellent people: thoughtful, kind, intelligent. I tend to like them more than the people from countries I like more; Canada, England, Australia, etc.

That said, the Americans I encounter online are all too often thick and living in a bubble, happy to speak out about what they don’t really know about. I still have about a dozen good “Americans in America” online friends as well. The country does have diversity of thought if nothing else.

It is no longer a great country, if ever. I’d classify it as immoral at this point. Luckily a lot of Americans realise this. Fingers crossed.
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
119
I thought my asking was a good reason. Why are you being so difficult?
I'm American. It's what we do best.

Normally I'd leave it at that as that's my preferred type of response but you seem to be serious about creating a serious discussion around the topic. I would say one of the greatest things about the country I live in is the opportunity. I'm not a rich person and neither was my family, but within the past few years I've had the opportunities to change my personal situation by working hard and acknowledging that the thing that needed changing was myself. It's the drive for betterment in face of adversity that's pretty well shared among a lot of us here.

While we'll bicker and pretend that it's a very divided nation and that red or blue is the reality. A lot of us stand in the purple and try to see the good of both sides. And when a national disaster comes we still roll up our sleeves and collectively don't look at any identifiers when helping those in need.

Whether it's the greatest nation is certainly debatable by what you choose to measure a nation by, but I certainly feel it's a nation to be proud of, whether it's the greatest nation the worst or somewhere in between. Maybe my stance isn't able to be rationalized but it's the stance that I have.
 
Last edited:

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
119
Care to share any of your squirrel recipes? :emoji_wink:
I would but you'll find the best squirrel recipes come from the deep south. Up here we just deep fry everything. Also never share your best squirrel recipes you sell them to the highest bidder.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
you seem to be serious about creating a serious discussion around the topic.
Of course! I don't think I showed any other inkling. This is a discussion forum, anyway.

I agree that America has been the land of opportunity. I used to work with a Vietnam refugee who stowed away on a ship to get to the U.S. and knew almost no English, yet worked his way up to a college degree and a good job in a pharmaceutical company. I myself came from a family with little money, so I had to work to pay for my way through college including graduate school. That's only part of my firsthand experience.

While we'll bicker and pretend that it's a very divided nation and that red or blue is the reality.
Any reason why you seem to scoff at doing that? I'm not big on politics, but it's pretty clear nowadays that such a divide exists.

And when a national disaster comes we still roll up our sleeves and collectively don't look at any identifiers when helping those in need.
Who is the "we"? Many ordinary citizens and first responders, yes. But there are many politicians who delay action, and even the religious groups often tend to help only those who believe or who will wait for a sermon before helping out. I'm only saying be careful when using "we".

Whether it's the greatest nation is certainly debatable by what you choose to measure a nation by
So you're going to avoid responding to anything specific in the video. Fine. That's burying one's head in the sand. By the way, I'm not saying America is one of the worst countries or that it has nothing but faults. I'm just saying that in recent years it has lost its status of being as great as it once was. Violence, hate crimes, racial injustice, overt religious oppression of others, declining educational standards, etc. all contribute to that image.

I'm proud of some of its aspects, too. But I also recognize it is not living up to what it used to be... just like the video stated.
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
119
Gosh, Glenski. Your indictment of America overlooks our biggest problem: our medical care system.

Well that definitely depends on who you talk to on that one. If you're referring to medical insurance it certainly needs work. I personally like what I've got but that's because my employer pays the majority of my premium costs and my deductible and out of pocket maximum are very low. If you're talking about our actual medical facilities and procedures I would have to disagree. We're one of the best if not the best in the world.
 
Joined
7 Jun 2008
Messages
1,024
Reaction score
110
You are one of the lucky ones. So am I. My kids aren't so lucky.

My son can't find health insurance for his family of six at any price. Before his insurer pulled out of the state, he was paying $1,400 per month for insurance. He now figures that if any in his family suffer a serious illness or injury, bankruptcy court will be his only recourse.

I believe US medical care in many ways is the best in the world. I've had to make use of medical care a lot in recent years, and don't have much to complain about. In my observation, it was better than the health care I observed in Japan. I say "better" in areas of amenities, only, so far as I could tell. For instance, my mother-in-law in Japan had to share a room in the hospital with three other patients. When I've been hospitalized in the US, I was given a private room. Even uninsured patients here share a room with just one other patient.

I have first-rate health insurance. First-rate health care here is not always available to those without assets or insurance.

On this issue, I have to agree with Glenski. The US should join Europe, Japan, and the rest of the first world, by adopting a single-pay system that covers everyone.
 
Joined
7 Jun 2008
Messages
1,024
Reaction score
110
Am I the only person in the entire world that loves being an American and thinks it's great here?

Nope. I think it's great here in the US.

I watched that video and the guy's anti-American spiel went by too fast for me to remember its content. Maybe it's my tired old brain, but I'd rather respond to what I see in writing, in this case, Glenski's post. Since it's my reply, I'll dictate its terms (with due deference to forum rules, of course).

1. Science deniers, history deniers, and religious hypocrites. Yes, the US has all of that. And it's all gotten worse.

2. Other countries have freedom and rights. Yes, but not to the extent we have them in America. In Europe, I've heard, it's illegal to be a Holocaust denier. That's not a right to freedom of speech. In the US, Holocaust deniers, along with other kooks, are free to spew their nonsense. And it's the right of the rest of us to listen or not listen as we choose.

No other country has a right to defend yourself from criminals, as in the US. A right to keep and bear arms. In Japan and Europe, they'll lock you up if you carry a gun or knife and use it to defend yourself from a criminal. A free citizen has the right to defend themself with weapons that equalize the usual physical disparity between criminal and victim.

If attacked in Japan or Europe, the government tells you your only option is to cower in the corner and beg for mercy from the criminal who's bent on raping and/or killing you. The police can't stop him, not unless they happen to be on the scene. The police will sure try hard to find your rapist or killer after the fact, but they won't be able to save you. Many Americans believe it's better to assume the right and responsibility for defending yourself.

That right to be a not-victim is something that's lacking in the country you live in, Glenski. I know Japan has a much lower crime rate, and that is to its credit. But Japan and the US have very different cultures, and Japan is much more homogeneous. I've been to Japan, lived there for a while, and while I felt more safe there, I didn't feel as free.

A lot of Americans put more weight on the freedom factor, I think, than people in other countries.

3. Japanese people are afraid to visit the US because of guns and bigotry? Really??? Do you have some support for that notion? Fear of guns? As for bigotry, my J-wife has lived in several places in the US for 42 years, and says she's never encountered bigotry here. America's race problems are almost exclusively white versus black, and more recently white versus Hispanic. Asians have assimilated well and they tend to have a good reputation. Americans tend to think Asians are smart, hard-working, and law-abiding.
 

johnnyG

先輩
Joined
23 Dec 2010
Messages
1,321
Reaction score
624
...
A free citizen has the right to defend themself with weapons that equalize the usual physical disparity between criminal and victim.
... Many Americans believe it's better to assume the right and responsibility for defending yourself. ...

So how'd that work out in Las Vegas, or Orlando, or San Bernardino, or just now in NYC?

As far as I can tell, no armed citizen (good guy with a gun) took out the bad guy(s), or even just ever so slightly aided the police with those firearms.
 
Joined
7 Jun 2008
Messages
1,024
Reaction score
110
I was talking about a RIGHT to self-defense. I didn't talk about the success rate of doing so, although there are many instances of citizens defending themselves with firearms or otherwise.

In the NYC case, gun carry is banned by the city, so the citizens were presumably unarmed.
 
Top Bottom