5 Truths About The USA

Just a random photo of a national embarrassment.
Just a random photo of a national embarrassment. | Source

It's Time To Clear Up Some Misconceptions

Hailing from the United States and knowing that my country is under a microscope, I cringe whenever Sarah Palin talks or when a new, annoying "reality" television show comes out.

It's more embarrassing than I care to admit, and I've found myself trying to explain these national embarrassments away whenever I meet people on my travels, or on the Internet. Or even when they're here visiting.

With that said, it's time to put some horrible misconceptions to rest. A lot of the stereotypes and generalizations people have about the USA just aren't true.

1.) Americans Are Friendly And Polite

I know, what a shocker, right? Americans are friendly and polite? Well, it's true. Don't just take my word for it, non-Americans who have visited here generally feel the same way.

But let me, as an American, explain. We are a country of immigrants and have been so since the dawn of the Union. There is a lot of diversity here and, contrary to popular belief, we are an accepting people. Of course, there are blowhards and knuckleheads, but those idiots aren't the norm. Here, we actually frown on those types.

If you visit our country, we will show genuine interest in you, treat you as one of our own, and make you feel at home. Americans are outgoing, smile a lot, and are polite and courteous.

(Pardon me. Thank you. How are ya? Have a great day.)

It's very American to demonstrate patience, fairness, to be accepting and to be curious about others. I hope one day you visit my country and find this out first hand.

Harvard University
Harvard University | Source

2.) Americans Aren't Uneducated

This is one I hear all the time. Even some Americans are starting to buy into this notion, because we are as self-loathing as we are patriotic. The fact of the matter is that this isn't true.

I don't know how or why this notion was born, but it's time to lay it to rest.

Firstly, the United States still leads in science and technology. The gap is shrinking as global education becomes a priority, but it isn't a lack of trying or competitiveness in the United States. Other countries have just improved.

Secondly, the United States of America has the world's best universities. Seven of the top 10 universities are in the US, and over half of the top 50.

Thirdly, when you take public education and tertiary education into account, the United States ranks 5th in the world. To put that into perspective, there are over 190 countries. The US is ahead of the UK, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Finland.

Are there dumb, uneducated Americans who get too much air time? Yes? But, again, those people are not the norm.

A clip from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

3.) Food In The USA is Actually Fantastic

I almost have to urge to apologize for McDonald's, Subway, Burger King, KFC and all of the other hideous fast food chains that have spread like wildfire across the globe. But I won't. Why? If there wasn't a market for it in your country, they wouldn't last there.

That said, food in the United States is actually fantastic once you get away from all the fast food garbage. Because we're a country of immigrants, the cuisine is satisfying and diverse. In any major city, you can get top-notch Italian, Greek, Mexican, Thai, German, Irish and any other ethnic dish that comes to mind.

New York City is actually the food capital of the world. Most lists have NYC at number one, but it's always in the top 3 with Toyko and Paris.

The typical "American" foods are pretty good too, if I do say so myself. Pancakes, waffles, burgers, fried chicken, corn bread, BBQ etc., etc. This is why our waistlines are expanding so rapidly.

(Yes, the obese stereotypes do hold true)

Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher Discuss Religion in The USA

4.) Americans Aren't That Religious

We're just a bunch of Bible-thumping quacks, correct? A country full of religious simpletons and slack-jawed yokels? Again, not true. Not even close to being true, actually.

The United States does have a religious majority, as does most of the world, but we really don't differ from Canada or the UK in a matter of faith. Around 70-75% of people in all three respective nations identify as Christian.

As for church attendance, only around 17% of Americans attend church on a weekly basis (in some polls, it's even less). Twenty percent of Americans identify as "nones" and 1/3rd of Americans under the age of 30 identify as non-religious.

Church attendance and religiosity changes from region to region. Where I'm from, in New York, no one ever talks about religion, nor do I know anyone who goes to church. In the southern states, however, faith is a much more important virtue.

Ah, and then there's the United States constitution. A completely secular document that separates church and state. Neither god nor Christianity is mentioned in the US constitution. The USA was the first real post-enlightenment nation and was founded by enlightened, secular men. We are, in no way, shape, or form a Christian nation.

Bottom line: we're not the nation of Bible-thumping, god-fearing people you thought we were. In fact, we're in-line with most other developed nations.

Source

5.) Quality Of Life In America Is Very High

"You have no health care, there are too many gun deaths, and you people are all fat."

That's what I hear about the United States all the time and that's why people think that the quality of life here is low. Well, again, that's not the truth. We do have decent healthcare (it needs vast improvement, though); we do have too many gun deaths (though they're at historic lows); and we are fat (but no longer the fattest).

But there's more to quality of life than health care and guns. One must factor in: cost of goods, disposable income, hygiene, access to food, access to housing, access to fresh water, access to education, cost of land, and job opportunities. In all of these areas, the United States ranks very well.

The United States of America actually ranks 2nd in the world, trailing only Switzerland.

Conclusion

The United States is not the stereotypes you thought were true. Do some of them hold true? Of course. It just isn't the norm.

Life here is pleasant and easy going, and there are a lot of opportunities to take hold of. Under President Obama, things here have slowly but surely gotten better each year: unemployment is down, income is slightly up, dow is up, and violence is down. Of course there is still room for improvement.

Our healthcare system got a massive upgrade too, and, as of right now, minimum wage increases are popping up state-by-state.

This piece wasn't meant to brag. Just trying to clear up some confusion.

Come by for a visit anytime.

More by this Author


Comments 85 comments

Debbie Snack cake profile image

Debbie Snack cake 2 years ago from Iowa

Hey, nice hub; I enjoyed reading your work, and I agree, there is always room, for improvement in the Good old USA...


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Hey, thank you. I appreciate that, And yes, there's always room for improvement. Of course.


S T Alvyn profile image

S T Alvyn 2 years ago from New England

I agree on 1 and 3, (except bread!) but the others it depends on where you go and what sector of society you either observe or live in. I am British and live on an off in New England.

As for education, there is a large sector of people who don't finish High School and for college many cannot afford it. I met many who had not gone to college, especially those from single parent families and are in a trap as they cannot better themselves. Just watch an episode of Undercover Boss!

Religion, well it dominates New England due to it's history but even on TV on a Sunday there is nothing to watch except religious shows and cartoons, so I opted for cartoons.

Quality of life? I observed many people struggling, Seniors (USA) and immigrants who could not even afford their bus fare and got thrown off. People on food stamps, I eavesdropped on conversations on the bus where people were at the mercy of their bosses to come in to work at will for a few hours. ( These were USA born and bred people).

In all societies there is a rich/poor divide and the USA is no different I have found.

(To balance my views, I was at Harvard, but got the local bus in and as I wanted to be among the normal day-to day people rather than the train with commuters. The conversations I heard were enlightening. Many on disability and I struck up a friendship with Senior in a home who rode the bus each day. I observed one man with a bag of cans for recycling and later that day he was carrying bags of groceries from the supermarket. This is how a large sector of American society lives, but no one sees or whats to hear about, but it does exist.)


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

As Tina Turner stated in the song, Simply the BEST! Great and excellent hub to all those who do not know about America and also the negaters, haters, and naysayers who are American. This country is FANTABULOUS, if it weren't, why do so many people immigrate here and want to tour here?

Yes, New York City is the food capital of America. Whatever cuisine you desire, it's here for the asking. New York City is THE CITY of cities-we have everything here. It is indeed THE GREATEST CITY in the world. I am living good and am a HAPPY AMERICAN.


Miebakagh57 profile image

Miebakagh57 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

Thank you, Blake 83. In my boyhood days, what I heard most about the USA is gun, gun, gun. I know this is not true though I had not visit this Great country.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Hello Blake......Looks like you attracted a couple of Russians who are not terribly in love with us. Oh well. At this precise moment, it seems they have an issue or 2 to deal with......Good luck with that, Russia.

It's rather nice to start the day with some interesting positive light being shed on the great and powerful USA.

As I've always said, "Can't think of a single place I'd rather be."

I enjoy your writing style, Blake......Up U&I......tweeted and pinned.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

I agree with your basic premesis, but I have lived overseas during my adult life. Food is better in Europe. My Italian relatives buy fresher and better foods than what we have in this country. I can't say for the rest of the world, but even when I lived in Mexico, the fresh foods were abundant. Other countries do not have the preservatives in food as we do here in the U.S. As far as education, believe me, the Europeans are better educated than many here in the U.S. They take education much more seriously than we do here in America. I have taught overseas also and have been in many European classrooms. I have studied at European and Mexican colleges and they are much tougher and more rigorous than here in the U.S. The U.S. right now is only doing a mediocre job of educating its youth. I am not trying to burst your bubble, but I am being realistic. I have witnessed 'ugly Americans' when living overseas. Unfortunately, this is what the people overseas tend to remember. No, we are not all like that when we travel. I have taken students to Spain and Germany on tours and they have behaved better than some American adults in these countries. Sad, but true. What all Americans need to remember, is that when they leave America's shores, they are a guest in these other countries and how they act is sometimes the only representation of an American some of the people of other countries ever have with Americans.

Now, that all said, Congratulations on HOTD. I think this is a well-written and well said hub. I am glad you zeroed in on the positives of our nation. We are a friendly people that is for sure.


darkprinceofjazz 2 years ago

I don't go to Church either, mainly due to the hypocrisy of organized religion. I am not an atheist, perhaps and agnostic due to those who don't follow the dictates in their own holy-books.

I believe it is a sad day when America is recognized as a secular nation though, I worry that secular humanism does not carry the same restraint from bad behavior as Christianity does when it's practiced the way Christ intended, or any other faith for that matter.

I don't talk politics too much because I despise it so, the nut jobs on both ends. I have had a belly full of Left and Right wing name calling. I don't believe your tired cliche' about Sarah Palin serves a real purpose except to divide people either and cater to the extreme element.

Somewhere along the line people have lost the ability to just agree to disagree on topics. I don't like it when ignorant people on the right try to tell me how to live my life, especially the extreme religious right, and I don't like the extreme left telling me I have to use 1 square of toilet paper or not eat a hamburger.

There is a growing trend in America at least, rejecting the 2 party left/right system. Most people I know and associate with are tired of the extreme negativity on both sides.


cjbehr 2 years ago

Congratulations on HOTD! I have been really annoyed lately with people downing our country. If they don't like it, they should move or be quiet. We are not perfect, BUT there are many good things about this country to be thankful for. I agree with Dark Prince - I too have had a belly full of the left and right name calling.... I'm done with negativity - let's talk about what we agree on and how we can support our country and make it even better.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 2 years ago from US

So we are an educated, friendly, Godless country who has good food and skips church? Who in hell chooses hub of the day? You make patriot sound like a bad word but people should like us anyway. Not hard to figure out your party from all the double talk. Who are you trying to convince to be our friends? The Christian killers? Sounds just like your leader.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

I thank you all for the comments, though I reserve the right to note your personal experiences as antecdotal at best. I don't write off personal experiences, just can't take them as facts.

For this piece, I used OECD statistics re: quality of life and education.

As for the US, it already is a secular nation. Always has been. The constitution is a secular document.

Of everything I've ever written, I was convinced that this would not create controversy. Was trying to clear up muddles and misconceptions, and somehow the comments took on a life of their own.

While I appreciate open discourse, I worry a bit that my points have been missed. Not blaming anyone for that--perhaps it's my fault for not writing clearly enough.

Anyway, thanks again everyone.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Polly, save the hyperbole, pedantry, and assumptions. I will note that you're probably the type of person that makes the US a laughing stock though.

And as someone who served in the US Air Force, spare me your "patriot" nonsense. Continue baying at the moon with the rest of the tea party.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Nikolay, I'll address you one time. And that's simply to say that I've no time to waste on you or your Russian hypocrisy.

You can comment for the next month if you'd like, but it'll get no responses from me.


starbright profile image

starbright 2 years ago from Scandinavia

We are all unique individuals, so it stands to reason that whichever nation we visit around the world including the USA, our perceptions of its people, culture, habits, standards and so on - will vary. Although the world has become smaller (cheaper travel, the Internet), much of what we know about each others countries comes from the media and is often sensationalized in one way or another - news sells, the mighty $ thrives. /£/Euro. I've never met an American that didn't greet me with a smile, make me feel welcome or offer me anything but great tasting food. Then again, I've not met people from other nations that haven't treated me the same way. Really interesting read, thanks for sharing and congrats on the HOTD. My pleasure to vote and share.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 2 years ago from USA

I've read a few negative views of the US, so it is refreshing to read a positive one. This is a job well done.


My Bell profile image

My Bell 2 years ago

Congratulations on HOTD! I think this article is well researched and well written. I'm an Army brat so I have seen the world - helping me open my mind to cultures and people. I have experienced these stereotypes as an American and also have challenged the stereotypes set on foreign nations - for example, people in France generally are not rude. You will come across a rude French person if you spend time there, just like you would likely come across a rude person in the U.S. or pretty much anywhere if you spent time there. I have a large family in France that live in the countryside they could not be more friendly. They love Americans and I love being an American! Thanks for this article.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Thanks for the comments again, all. Appreciate the discussion.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Congratulations on your HOTD! While I don't necessarily feel all the "truths" are the most important misconceptions foreigners have about us, you make some fine points with your research details.


PDF 2 years ago

I was rolling with that perspective in your article for a while but the comments section here has changed my view.

In retrospect, the 'positives' about the US are all kinda superficial: 'polite' 'good food' 'don't go to church' and so on. Then the list of reasons why being a nation of obese, trigger-happy people in a country where only the rich can afford proper healthcare is balanced out is given as 'disposable income, hygiene, access to food, access to housing, access to fresh water, access to education, cost of land, and job opportunities' and I can no longer bite my tongue.

Especially after you refuse to answer the Russian guy simply because he's Russian. Don't you think that your view of the grass-roots people of Russia might be as distorted as you think everyone else's view of America is? Aren't you expressing the same prejudice that you decry in this article?

And what of the Native People? The First Nations? What of a USA that still won't honor the Treaties it made - where the Native people have few of those things you list and have been erased from the school history curriculum except as a nineteenth century curiosity and a sugar-coated legend of the first Thanksgiving?

How long did it take between the first African slave arriving on these shores and the success of the Civil Rights Movement? When will the genocide and marginalisation of the People to whom this land belongs be acknowledged, apologised for and the Treaties honored? Modern Natives don't want you all to go home to Europe - we understand the flow of history. But we won't be wiped out and treated as nothing more than an historical embarrassment or tourist attraction - still less a sports team mascot.

You are mad because Russia has annexed the Crimea. How the hell do you think your ancestors acquired *their* and now *your* land?

And before you shout at me about your time in the armed forces - remember that Natives volunteered in the Second World War and fought in Vietnam and are out in the Middle East right now in US uniform.

The hypocrisy, ignorance and lack of respect that you show here and the trivial superficiality of your points about what's good about the US is exactly what causes other people to shake their heads in sorry wonder.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

This piece wasn't an excuse for past or current atrocities. It was to clear up modem muddles and misconceptions. Not sure how or why it got bent into that context, but feel free to post more long-winded nonsense if you'd like.

If you think education, quality of life, and a friendly society are "superficial" that's your own prerogative. Food you can say is, but that just shows you missed the point of my article and turned it into me somehow defending imperialism and excusing atrocities. Somehow you've turned a post that highlights food(!) into a dopey political shitstorm. Your doing, not mine.

I am a native by the way, so thanks for that. I was accused of being unpatriotic, that's the only reason I referenced my military background.

Again, this article was meant to clear up misconceptions about the United States. Not excusing foreign policy, or current/past atrocities. Save your whiny twaddle for someone who actually is saying the things you pretend to be outraged about.


black_mezziah profile image

black_mezziah 2 years ago from Cebu City

Great post! I really admire USA as a country and the way Americans live with their life, me myself see how very polite Americans is. Thanks for sharing.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Blake.....LOL...."Welcome to HP!" When there's thousands of people all chomping at the bit to spew their opinions (right, wrong or ignorant).....this crap will happen. I'm clueless as to how some people go off on tangents ...off the wall....and twist things.....and the best thing to do is laugh at the craziness and hit "delete."

I know a few losers who will pick a fight because you say, "Hello." Gotta just pity them.

I'll repeat. I can't think of another place I'd rather be. And since we're all free to leave, should we be so disillusioned.....needless to suggest...........................

At this particular time.....Russia or Palestine may be a lovely place to live, don't you all think?


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Fpher, I'm actually impressed with some of the mental acrobatics I've seen here.

It's not just that everyone wants to state their opinion, it's that they look for things to be outraged about. Even when it's not there. I've somehow managed to piss the fringes of the left and right off, all over subjects I never even touched.


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 2 years ago

I love this country~ thanks for a great hub!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Which should tell us you'd make a PERFECT Politician!! I'm sure you're quite happy you are not!..........LOL.....

Oh yeah....those initials as my profile name? They're annoying, I know. Try "Paula".........When I joined here it didn't occur to me to use my real name. Come to think of it...a lot of things didn't occur to me! :) Peace, Paula


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

Our America the beautiful is shared by many voices with both negative and positive views.

I understood what points you were making and I am happy you love our country and shared your feelings about it. And, I enjoyed reading your hub whether everyone agrees with you or not.

Some like to vent, bisect and dissect different points of views; and that is their right to do it---we are the land of the free and still have freedom of speech. Although I might not agree with everyone---I respect opinions from Americans and other countries.

Our children learn from us and will travel the world in the future much more than we do now. And, I hope America will still be the land of opportunity, and since I am from Florida I do smile a lot, and welcome anyone from another country who appreciates America.

To all the ones who do not like America---I say “Take your aspirations back to where you came from---and I don’t care who you are.” Even I vented---sorry about that!

Bobbi Purvis


CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 2 years ago from Northern Germany

First of all: congratulations the HOTD trophy.

I am with you on No.1, however this is kind of superficial and visiters certainly notice that.

No. 2: education - a few excellent universities don´t make up for the underperforming rest. Sorry to say so.

No. 3: Food - kind of personal preference isn´t it? I have been many times to NYC and never found anything particularly special or diverse about the cuisine.

No. 4: Religion - well, living in Northern Europe where church participation on weekends is less than 1%, the 17% you mentioned is of different magnitude. Travelling on this planet quite a lot i have the impression that only Muslim countries come close to that religious infiltration. But yes, of course the US is a secular country, politics religion are separate and the Constitution takes care of that.

No. 5: Quality of life - certainly true for the high income people. What about the rest? The GINI Index on income inequality puts the US next to 3rd world countries. High crime rate, not to mention the incredible gun related homicide rate are logical outcome.

Don´t get me wrong. The US is a great nation with great people. But there is a reason for this lineup of stereotypes. They hold some truth.


e-five profile image

e-five 2 years ago from Chicago, Illinois, USA

Some really good observations. I particularly liked "we are as self-loathing as we are patriotic."

As a US native and resident who's got a brother born and living in another country, I probably compare the US to other nations more than most Americans. The most troublesome thing is that the US doesn't seem to be keeping up the things that made us the envy of the world in so many categories: our roads and bridges are starting to fall apart, disparity in wealth is growing, investment in education and technology are lagging, jobs and entire industries are being offshored, etc. I think a few of the negative stereotypes you cite in your article are a result of those trends. Unless we change it soon, we will actually become the unpleasant place a lot of people believe we are.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

E-five. I agree with everything you said. Every word. Thanks for the insight.


swilliams profile image

swilliams 2 years ago from Arizona

Congrats on H.O.T.D. Blake! You Rock! Great article man! Tweeted out! Voted up!


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Awesome article Blake83. I agree with evry bit you said.

I came to the USA for studies in mid 80s in NYC (An older cousin went to Union College in your city). I loved the city and the country. I have lived there and am living in Canada now, but all my favorite vacations spots are in the USA.

As a wildlife lover, I will add one more point that the USA is the best country for protecting its natural heritage too. Despite several failures, unlike others, we still managed to protect our natural heritage via national parks and Endangered Species Act. Our record is better than any other country of the world.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Chris, appreciate the comment, but I have to call you on a few things.

1.) I didn't make up the education ranking. The OECD did, after factoring in public and tertiary education. And it's not just a few universities. The US has 40% of the world's top universities.

2.) Food. I suppose it is personal experience. If you couldn't find diverse cuisine in NYC, I have a hard time believing you were actually in NYC. But sure, different experiences for everyone.

3.) No, Church attendance isn't 1% in Northern Europe. It's around 15% in the UK. Can't remember the stats on the Scandinavian countries, but it's above 1%.

4.) Again, the quality of life isn't something I made up. They are OECD numbers. You're right about income inequality of course, but the lower end in the US is a world away from the lower end in a country like, say, Columbia. The low end in the US still lives comparatively well, and the nation as a whole ranks 3rd on the OECD HDI list.

As for gun deaths, I agree they are too high--though they are at historic lows right now. And as far as overall violent crimes, the US ranks lower than every other English speaking nation.

Thanks for the compliment, and I agree that some stereotypes hold true. It's just overdone ad nauseum, and I'm trying to clear it up.


cfin profile image

cfin 2 years ago from The World we live in

I find most stereotypes to be created to benefit or hammer a whole group of people. Usually the smaller the group, the less favorable the stereotype.

FYI Inequality-adjusted HDI, the USA ranked 16th. It's all about perspective though, and although I prefer living in Ireland, I still think the standard in the US is high. HDI - basic is a good indicator. Inequality is an issue in the US though, but all countries have their issues.


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 2 years ago from California

You chose a controversial topic, and you stated your views clearly and unapologetically. I give you props for that. But I have to wonder: if everything is so fine and dandy, why is U.S. ranking #17 in the level of happiness? The life satisfaction continues to drop, and this is "despite the fact the U.S. led all nations in both disposable income and household net wealth per capita". I must agree that the points you chose to highlight look good on the surface (access to food, education, healthcare, great ethnic food) but if you look deeper, the income inequality that plagues this country certainly overshadows those positives.

Congrats on the HOTD!


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

I wasn't emphasizing positives, though there were some. I'm clarifying misconceptions. The US definitely has problems.


underthedome profile image

underthedome 2 years ago from Mombasa

You guys need to find a way to shut Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman up! Even I'm getting embarrassed for you...and I live in a country where our president if a defendant at the Hague. And whats with Fox News!


PaulGoodman67 profile image

PaulGoodman67 2 years ago from Florida USA

I am a Brit who has lived in the US for 4 years, and visited many times before that. I agree with some of the points and disagree with others.

1.) Americans Are Friendly And Polite? Aboslutely true. They are also tolerant.

2.) I personally would say that education levels are far more spread out than say, European countries. Yes, the US has some of the brightest minds and best universities in the world, but there are also a helluva lot of uneducated people here.

3.) You can get some excellent food in the US, but the quality of food generally is low in my experience. (Although the standard of service is generally excellent!)

4.) I am not sure how you could say that Americans aren't religious. Coming from Britain, the religiousness of the country shocked me for a long time. The vast majority of Americans are religious and a large proportion of the population go to church/place of worship at least once/week. It is much more religious than any comparable developed country.

5.) The quality of life is mixed. Certainly if you are wealthy, you have a pretty high standard of living, but most Americans aren't wealthy.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Paul,

I agree that you can get higher quality ingredients in other nations. For example, I lived in Argentina for a while and their fruits were better. Still, US food is underrated because of fast-food and mass-produced garbage. That was my point, mostly.

Education levels vary throughout the country, but the overall ranking, when you combine public and tertiary education, is always in the top 5 or 6. University education is 1st. I do agree there are a lot of uneducated folks--too many, in fact.

I'm not saying Americans aren't religious. It's a majority Christian nation. And it's a big business here (What isn't), as can be seen by mega churches. What I'm saying is that the religiosity of the states is greatly overrated and I'm showing that with data. Changes by region, too. In the south, it's everywhere. In NY, where I'm from, no one ever talks about it.

Of course the quality of life is mixed, and there are issues with income equality. Again, I'm using OECD numbers and rankings (which ranks the US 3rd). Even after adjustments for income inequality, the US is still 16th. Not the best, but not the third world country some whiners pretend it is. And there's been a lot of improvement the last 3 years, with the US climbing the list each year.

Thanks for your input.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

What a great HOD. And glad this information came from stats and not personal opinions. Makes a stronger case. I just commented yesterday on a hub about things being so bad in the US and I pointed out things continue to improve inspite of what we often hear/read. One of the things that make America great is that we always think we can do better.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Kathleen, thank you. You're one of the few people who took into consideration that I actually used data and that this isn't an opinion piece.

You said " I just commented yesterday on a hub about things being so bad in the US and I pointed out things continue to improve inspite of what we often hear/read" and I agree. This is true. It's part of what I'm trying to demonstrate here.

Appreciate the comment.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

You certainly are packing in the crowds today. It's good to see some positive information and well presented.


ZipperConstantine profile image

ZipperConstantine 2 years ago from United States

The number of people who want to think "How Great it is" is part of the problem. We are broke, (if we weren't we would not be borrowing from China). We print worthless money to keep the stock market up, we don't count the people who are no longer looking for work to keep the numbers small, we are stepping down as the World's greatest county to becoming the worlds most despised country because we have made promises we are not keeping.. Our Constitution has become a joke, Potus makes up his own laws and doesn't even care when the Supreme Court says no, he will do it anyway. The government is trying to take over every aspect of our lives. People not paying attention where all those tax dollars they pay out of their paychecks are going and now Potus wants Billions to bring over more illegal Aliens. The majority of our forefathers came here legally, every wonder why they came here? Maybe it was to escape what we are now changing into. The positive thing about America is her freedom and the power it has given her people to live free of oppression. Keep your eyes open and use the one power you have your voting right. Research the candidates you are interested in look at their voting histories, know what their platforms are. Don't vote a party because your parents like it, know what it is all about be a responsible American. It is always nice to hear nice things but our basic foundation is under attack, our Constitution. Without it, we are just another oppressed country.


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Controversial, yet well written article. Congrats on winning HOTD!

John


Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

Great hub and replies Blake83! I knew you would get some 'negative attention' for saying good things about America. It's highly untrendy to not hate this country or enjoy it. I'm glad to see that your points are well-researched and not just pulled from the sky.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

A great defence of your country. I appreciate this.

I had not heard something good said about Obama for a while. I appreciate this also.

No God in the constitution? I did not know this. But I believe they were good men. Much peace.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Again, thanks for all the comments. Especially from those who could stay on-topic, and especially to those who realized that I wasn't pulling these numbers out of my ass.

I'll reiterate again that I'm using OECD data to support my points.

Didn't expect this hub to become controversial (still don't understand how it is) or to be attacked for points I didn't even make, but it is the internet. There's a lot of nonsensical obscurantism.


bdn9385 profile image

bdn9385 2 years ago

The amazing truth about birthright is that it will give you a huge leap at the start but will not accompany you onto the finish line. A scepter in turn makes you slow from the start but finishes off with a skyrocket speed pass the finish line. Now a birthright combined with a scepter is like the propagation of waves in the space, they do not end, they do not stop. Now if US is to continue to become the World's super power, she needs to continue clinging on to her morals and disciplines. She cannot continue being proud Mary heralding all stars because that kind of mentality will only consume her down to the foot. Humility and Kindness is invincible. Those were the true powers of your forefathers before that brought you into the state of affluence you have enjoyed so far which now are slowly fading because of failure to acknowledge this simple fact. I do not believe however that America is hopeless. What her people only need is some sort of enlightenment and encouragement. Kudos to you Blake! :)


ZipperConstantine profile image

ZipperConstantine 2 years ago from United States

Blake you should be proud, a good article gets a lot of responses. You have accomplished this. When people take the time to comment you know they have read your article regardless of their remarks. That is what counts as an author. You wrote a good article that spurs thought from people and that means it is successful. Oh, and buy the way I wanted to add, "In God We Trust."


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Thanks Zipper. We disagree on just about everything I think, including your in god we trust quote. But I appreciate your input and perspective. The fact that we can sit here and disagree without having to worry about it is a good thing.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 2 years ago from US

You mean like the patriotism of letting our Vets die this very minute and many a day and no one has time to say let them see a doctor! Or maybe the firing of our high class military (captains) that has a thought of their own to protect us and go by the constitution or cutting pay of our military? I could go on. Which are you proudest of. I have more than my father from WWII to be proud of and thank God he is not here to see what America is today! Thank God for Fox News too; the only place to hear the truth.


swilliams profile image

swilliams 2 years ago from Arizona

I agree with Ms. Zipper C. Blake! Not everyone is going to agree with you. As we both know writing can be like a fickle partner. All you want to do is get your tires rotated and the other person wants to fight. In other words you got your point across now everyone has there opinion. Keep cool and write on!


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Polly, you're hollering gibberish. You're not addressing any of the points I made and you're making asinine presumptions about me as a person.

Everyone has family that served in the military. Almost all the men on both sides of my family did, including myself. You don't get to take credit for your father serving in WWII, the same way as I don't get to take credit for my grandfathers serving in both WWs, the Korean War, and Vietnam. Got it? I can take credit for my time in the Air Force, because it was *me* who did it.

Question your loyalty to a big money news corporation and your blind partisanship. And stop assuming you know who someone is or what they believe. That's all I ask.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

Swilliams,

Of course I appreciate all the comments. I've wanted one of my hubs to blow up, and here it is I guess.

Still, I have to make an attempt to correct people when my points are skewed. Disagreement I've no problem with.

Thanks for your input as always. I value you.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Blake: I think you've been trolled a little bit. Been there - Shake it off!


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

A little bit, yeah.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

I do not like Palin or Reality TV, but I do like Subway's veggie subs! :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Hey GF!!! Palin?? She's a Train Wreck.........I prefer the tuna sub! The only good thing about most reality TV is that it helps us to realize how normal (sane) we are!! Well, OK......most of the time! I missed you today!


mbuggieh 2 years ago

I thank God and my lucky stars EVERY day that my great-grandparents had the foresight and wisdom to leave Europe with their children and come to the United States. I am forever indebted to them. I really am.


greeneyedblondie profile image

greeneyedblondie 2 years ago

"If there wasn't a market for it in your country, they wouldn't last there." I never thought of that, but that is so true. Go ahead people in other countries, eat McDonalds to your heart's content, you're the reason it's there.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

Congrats on HOTD. Well done, though I admit I nearly skipped reading it just because of the leading photo of one of our "national embarrasments."

I'm glad I did, and I'm glad you set the record straight, pointing out the fact of the minority position of the under-educated right wing extremists.

Voted up!!


GlendaGoodWitch profile image

GlendaGoodWitch 2 years ago from California

I am from Europe and can honestly say that Europe has nothing on the U.S.A. In this country we can have any kind of fruit and what many of these anti American cry babies can seem to remember when they go oversees is that while some of the food is good in other countries, the variety is limited and priced on the moon.

I always marvel at these people who have so many complaints about America and the fact that they don't seem to ever pack up their bags and leave this place permanently. This is a free country and its citizens are free to move to Mexico, Cuba, or anywhere else, any time they wish.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

Glenda, couldn't have agreed with you more. Those who complain about America don't know how many people in the world have it. Many people in the world don't have the immense opportunities that Americans take for granted. Even the poorest American can make his/her life better if he/she elects to change his/her negative mindset. In fact, the poor in America is considered affluent in many countries. If America is so sad, why do so many people want to come to America? Well, I'll wait. Let the anti-American crybabies wait; when and if they travel to other parts of the world, they oftentimes change their tune.


Hackslap profile image

Hackslap 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

I've been to America way back in 1999 and can completely agree with this analysis even though the media portrays USA in a very different light (as they focus on the idiots than the normal folk) ... I find Americans way more open and friendly (as against Australians) and everyone does indeed get a fair go up there if you can add value ... People like Sarah Palin are a disgrace to the nation


Rosie writes profile image

Rosie writes 2 years ago from Virginia

I enjoyed your article. It was very well-written, explaining things with a good choice of words. Unfortunately, a lot of what people believe is due to what they see on television. I sometimes think that television rules the world. People believe what they see and hear often - it is a shame.


Miebakagh57 profile image

Miebakagh57 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

I am not surprised by these divers minds and hence, divers thoughs and opinions. Live is still developing.


mbuggieh 2 years ago

For those who think that the USA is about "affluence" or who think that Americans love the USA because we are affluent...

You really know nothing about us and nothing about what the sources of pride are for us; nothing at all.


Miebakagh57 profile image

Miebakagh57 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

Hi Mbggieh, grant that it is so, would you be kind enough to enlighten us on this issue? If you are an American, then the buck rest on your table! Thank you.


mbuggieh 2 years ago

I think one needs to live in the USA to understand the place and its people. The USA---as place and people, is an experience which words cannot describe adequately.

But let me say this: I don't see people from all around the world willing to risk just about everything---including their lives, to get here (to the USA) so whatever we have and whatever we are doing, then we clearly have what people want and are doing what people want to do.

I suspect the thing we are and are doing is called freedom.


samuel hodges profile image

samuel hodges 2 years ago from Winston-Salem NC

...and as they say, "that's my point of view."

Enjoyed your article on the points you made. Interesting, and entertaining.


Anne Harrison profile image

Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

A really interesting, and provocative article. Nice to read something that is patriotic and not jingoistic. Having visited America a few times, I'm always amazed at how different it is to the image presented through the mass media / movies etc. Too many people are ready to cast judgement without actually going to a place (though the coffee is better here in Oz….) Congratulations on HOTD.


Miebakagh57 profile image

Miebakagh57 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

Noted. But more of interest to the public.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I wholeheartedly wish I could agree with you on all counts, but I have to agree with SuzetteNaples on a couple of issues: To quote an article I read recently:

“The results from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which are being released on Tuesday, show that teenagers in the U.S. slipped from 25th to 31st in math since 2009; from 20th to 24th in science; and from 11th to 21st in reading, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which gathers and analyzes the data in the U.S.”

I’ve heard these statistics elsewhere as well. I only wish this were not the case. What we are doing in terms of contributions in the world of science is quite different; it's really quite extraordinary. Where we are failing (in one area), is in our public school systems, which has, and will continue to, pose serious problems. Interesting article, however, and I quite agree about certain individuals who seek the media limelight like Mrs. Palin who portray us in a less than flattering light.


Miebakagh57 profile image

Miebakagh57 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

I am not an American National and your accessment? of the American educational progress among youths, though good is not the main issue.

The question is: Is America still great in the eyes of the world? Yesterday, 30 July I was ask on a membership survey...which nation tell other nations what to do! Would you say it is America?

Thank you.


mbuggieh 2 years ago

Regarding US education:

We educate ALL of our children---not the select few. We test and measure ALL of our children and honestly and openly report test results.

If education in the US operated as it does abroad in terms of restricting access to education, in terms of selective education, in terms of selective testing, and in terms of selective and sometimes even fraudulent reporting of testing outcomes, then the results would be very different.

And once again: Despite claims of how dismal our educational system is, it appears that people continue to flood the US from around the globe seeking access to our educational system and educational opportunities.


Miebakagh57 profile image

Miebakagh57 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

Yes, I agree completely. The same can be said of any other nation. I have seen Americans, British and Indian nationals schooled in my country, Nigeria from the nursery to the University level.

Truly, education is without border.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Blake,

Sorry I wanted to go back to my comment and then your response, although I am not sure it was directed at me.

There is a misconception in the world at large that the USA is a country of hunters who have wiped out all its wildlife.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Mbuggieh: I don’t think the problem lies with higher education at all, which is why others come to this country to study at our leading universities. But universities and colleges are defined as higher education. Public school systems are defined as K-12. This is why teenagers were being tested and measured across the board with those being educated in other countries.


mbuggieh 2 years ago

Did you know, Genna East, that in most countries around the world---including in Europe, that fewer than 10% of children ever attend what we would describe in the US as a high school; that fewer than 3% attend college or take a college-prep curriculum at (again) what we would describe as the high school level?

Imagine if we tested just the top 3-10% of American kids and sold those numbers to the world as a marker of the quality of American public education?

In addition to that: There is ample evidence that many countries (including but not limited to India and China) not only limit test-taking to a small minority of students, but "fudge" and entirely fabricate scores.

One place where this is particularly evident in on the TOFEL test---required of international students who come from non-English speaking countries before they gain admission to US colleges and universities. The test is designed to measure and ensure college-level proficiency in American Standard English.

Colleges consistently and frequently report that students with near-perfect scores on English languages tests (again designed to ensure college-level English language skills among international students) are barely able to read and write English at the K-3 grade level.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

"Did you know, Genna East, that in most countries around the world---including in Europe, that fewer than 10% of children ever attend what we would describe in the US as a high school"

May I ask what reference you are using for this figure? The reason I ask is that even Unicef has reported that 92% of children in industrialized nations attend secondary school.


CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 2 years ago from Northern Germany

Seems to be something about the educational issue:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zaka...


Miebakagh57 profile image

Miebakagh57 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

The level of education one attain is not an issue here. Demonstrating, applying and solving problems is the core. You can get the best education in any best college or university but solving questions at a personal or national level may elude you! Some of the best solutions to technological problems were resolved by undergraduates or persons with less than a college certification. Think of it. Many examples abound in the United States.


Miebakagh57 profile image

Miebakagh57 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

The level of education one attain is not an issue here. Demonstrating, applying and solving problems is the core. You can get the best education in any best college or university but solving questions at a personal or national level may elude you! Some of the best solutions to technological problems were resolved by undergraduates or persons with less than a college certification. Think of it. Many examples abound in the United States.


CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 2 years ago from Northern Germany

@Miebakagh57: The issue with US education is not the high level university education but the school and college level. As much as creativity and problem solving skills are needed, a certain amount of basic knowledge must be aquired first. And that is where the mess gets on its way, from Elementary to Middle to High School to College.


Blake83 profile image

Blake83 2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY Author

The US is middle of the pack as far as primary, middle, and high school is concerned. There is a gap between that and our colleges and universities. It's a problem that has to be addressed. Still, plenty make the jump with no problem as the US has more uni and college graduates per capita than virtually every other western nation.

So yes, while public education does need to improve, there's no need for hyperbole.


Miebakagh57 profile image

Miebakagh57 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

Okay. Let the improvement begin.

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