President Obama Makes Best Argument for American Exceptionalism Yet

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  1. undermyhat profile image60
    undermyhatposted 11 years ago

    "If you own a business, you didn't build that..."
    President Obama says taxpayer funded roads and bridges built American business.

    President Obama has said Americas infrastructure is in of repair

    Poorest Countries in the world - #1 Democratic Republic of Congo
                                                   #2 Liberia
                                                   #3 Zimbabwe
                                                   #4 Burundi
                                                   #5 Eritrea
                                                   #6 Central African Republic
                                                   #7 Niger
                                                   #8 Sierra Leon
                                                   #9 Malawi
                                                   #10 Togo

    All have roads and bridges.  So the miserable American infrastructure is not unusual in the world but it isn't holding back American business genius - rather it is creating businesses. 

    What is going on in America where there just isn't enough money spent on roads and bridges.  Even the poorest countries in the world have roads and bridges.  What don't they have? 

    President Obama can tell you that what they don't have there that we have here is American Exceptionalism.  The most productive, innovate, powerful economy the world has ever seen has crumbling roads and bridges that built American business.  So the only possible answer is there must be something different about America.

    1. Cody Hodge profile image61
      Cody Hodgeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Ah yes, Togo has roads so therefore it doesn't matter that our roads are crumbling. Best argument I've heard all day.

      1. undermyhat profile image60
        undermyhatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        President Obama said it is because we have roads and bridges that American businesses exist in the first place.  American business, with the assistance of those roads and bridges, have created enormous wealth.  If other countries that have roads and bridges have not been able to produce such wealth than it must be because there is something unique about Americans.

        President Obama has introduced the idea.  I am merely endorsing his position.

    2. profile image0
      PrettyPantherposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Your logic is, um, impeccable.

      Too much Shiraz tonight?

      1. undermyhat profile image60
        undermyhatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        So you don't believe what President Obama has said?  That businesses aren't prosperous because we have roads and bridges?  What would possess someone to say such a thing?  It is so obvious that no one has ever done anything of note in America with out roads and bridges, so it must be the roads and bridges, right?  Or, since there are roads and bridges everywhere and America is the wealthiest country in the world, despite roads and bridges that are crumbling, than there must be something about Americans.

        I am just supporting President Obama's postions.

        !) Businesses are not successful because of individual effort.
        2) Businesses are successful because of roads and bridges
        3) roads and bridges are crumbling
        4) China's infrastructure is so much better
        5) Despite the difference in size, America is still an economic powerhouse
        6) President Obama is creating millions of jobs
        7) Despite China's advantages, America's declining infrastructure, the arrogance of the rich in thinking they did it all by themselves

        There is something unique about Americans

    3. recommend1 profile image59
      recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      This is pure BS and you actually know that - however,  the difference issue is real enough and can be addressed.  Lets not get too general as  I know that the right and gun nuts etc get confused by hard questions.  Number one poor country on your list the Congo -

      the King of Congo and the surrounding regions became Christian in 1491, established diplomatic relations with the Vatican and many european countries. By 1510 the people of Congo incuding memberso f the royal family were being sold into slavery (par for the course with christians) In around 1700 after a long series of revolts against colonialisation the female leader was defeated and of course burned to death as a witch, making her an African Joan de Arc.

      To cut a long story short about the warring of the Belgians and the French over the rich resources of this region, and little issues like the deaths of 23,00 local slave labour in the construction of the 500 kilometer railway the Chemin de Fer Congo-Océan between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noir, various attempts at independance failed due to competing outside pressures, mainly from France, then since the second world war the discovery of oil put the final curse on the country bringing in the Americans to add to the expoitation of the locals by France and by now various other nations including Russia.

      This poor country has been torn to shreds between many big players - nothing to do with roads or anything of the kind - just greed and force of arms.

      1. gmwilliams profile image85
        gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        +1. Agreed!

      2. undermyhat profile image60
        undermyhatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I am not knocking Congo or its struggles.  They do have roads, bridges, mentors, government, bureaucracy and so they are equiped for success.  I suppose it is only a matter of time.

        My point is America is great because of those things and the President made that point.  "You didn't do that" is right, we did that and if not for Americans business wouldn't be successful.  Maybe what Congo needs is Americans.

      3. undermyhat profile image60
        undermyhatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        1) I am not sure what you are contending is BS?  Can you be specific
        2) So what is the real issue?  How can it be addressed?
        3)  I am pretty certain that I am being very specific, as was the President.
        4)  I am not sure what propted teh "gun nut" comment?  But is it helpful or germane?
        5)  I am pretty sure the discussion of the conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are accurate and true but are they, also, germane?  What confusion has been revealed so far?  Can you be specific?
        6)  I am pretty sure I have been clear and not at all confused - President Obama is saying that the product of American business is because of raods, bridges, bureaucrats, government, diversity, etc...other countries have all of these things, even poor countries who have, admittedly, been the victims of European Imperialism, but are no where near as powerful as the US in many areas - Why?  It must be us, President Obama said it was us.

  2. profile image0
    rickyliceaposted 11 years ago … _2011.html

    Best Infrastructure

    1    Switzerland     6.8
    2    Hong Kong     6.7
    3    Singapore     6.6
    4    France     6.6
    5    Iceland     6.6

    Worst Infrastructure

    134    Nigeria     2.4
    135    Paraguay     2.4
    136    Romania     2.4
    137    Mongolia     2.3
    138    Angola     2.2
    139    Bosnia and Herzegovina     2.0

    While infrastructure does increase the wealth, it is also a byproduct of wealth.

    Those countries may have roads but their dirt roads, or bridges made of wood, thus they don't really equate what we're use to here.

    1. profile image0
      rickyliceaposted 11 years agoin reply to this
    2. undermyhat profile image60
      undermyhatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      President Obama did not say quality roads and bridges, in adition, he has said America's roads and bridges-its infrastructure - are inferior to China's and crumbling.  Threrefore, there must be something unique about Americans.

  3. profile image0
    JaxsonRaineposted 11 years ago

    I pay my taxes. I pay taxes on every gallon of gas I buy. I use roads.

    I don't owe the government for the roads, I help pay for them.

    The only reason to try and put forth that kind of argument is to detract from individual effort. Every product and service I use, I pay for. I don't owe anybody, and my business is one that I am building.

    In fact, if you take it further, the wealthy pay more for infrastructure than the poor. They travel more(more gas tax). They pay more into taxes. They pay more than their fair share for the infrastructure, so they are more responsible for it than anyone.

    1. Mighty Mom profile image78
      Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I assume, then, that you are against building the KEYSTONE PIPELINE.

      1. profile image0
        JaxsonRaineposted 11 years agoin reply to this


      2. undermyhat profile image60
        undermyhatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        That is a good idea, perhaps the federal governemtn should do the actual building of everything, since the roads and bridges it builds, regardless of how poorly maintained, make people rich.  Maybe it can be renamed for President Obama.  The Obama Pipeline, rather than it be built by a private interest waiting for the government to issue permits and approve the agreemnet with Canada. 

        I guess we should add governemnt permits to the argument.  If not for government permits America would not be so wealthy.  Roads, bridges and Bureaucracy exist everywhere so there must be something about America.

  4. Cody Hodge profile image61
    Cody Hodgeposted 11 years ago

    "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help," Mr. Obama said. "There was a great teacher somewhere in your life... Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen... The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

    The entire "you didn't build that" quote.

    I think he has a great point about how someone who is successful now had some sort of help on the way up. I wanna say that he meant that you didn't build the bridges and roads that help build the infrastructure that helps your business succeed. Unless of course you happen to run a business that builds bridges and roads. Otherwise, this was grossly taken out of context.

    1. Mighty Mom profile image78
      Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That's exactly the point. Take everything grossly out of context, then deny the context over and over until the misquote becomes ingrained in people's minds.

      1. undermyhat profile image60
        undermyhatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        That is hardly what I am doing here. In fact, I think he has a point - even in his " you didn't do that."  We did that, didn't we.  Every American makes America successful.  Our strength is our diversity.

    2. undermyhat profile image60
      undermyhatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Not by me.  Everywhere has mentors, parents, family, teachers(of some kind) and of course roads and bridges - so what is it the makes America so powerful politically, economically, militarily and culturally?  There must eb somethign.  If a business owner didn't do it by himself and we all did that for him than there must be something about us, Americans.


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