The American Patient - Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation

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  1. CHRIS57 profile image60
    CHRIS57posted 11 years ago

    I love America. I was raised in Michigan, i do business in the US, but then - i donĀ“t live in the US. Professional life takes me all over this planet. May be that allows a more unbiased view on the state of the US and allows to compare developments in the US with other places.
    Results and my personal impression were and are always sad, not very favourable for the US.
    Just before election Tuesday the German weekly magazine "Der Spiegel" came out with a cover story about the condition of the US. … 65295.html
    To read this may be painful. But i want to raise the question: Is this mirror held in front of our face tilted, biased, offset?

    1. recommend1 profile image60
      recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      On balance it appears to reflect most outsiders opinion of the US.

      The same kind of opinion was very apparent around the place after the discgrace of the St Louis floods.

      World opinions have been falling steadily in response to the Vietnam war, the disgraceful bombing of Laos, the unbelievable treatment in the US of its own veterans from that humiliating defeat, then the disclosures of criminalality at the heart of the US government, then every other bad move around the world since that time, the blatant vote rigging that put Bush into power and on and on and on - not least the support needed from China in the form of trillions of dollars to keep the blundering ship of state on course  -  did I mis much ?

      1. Drive By Quipper profile image57
        Drive By Quipperposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Put on the pads and let's play some football! No? Soccer is your thing? Part of being an American is not caring what the rest of the jealous world thinks about us.

        Vietnam was not a humiliating defeat. The people wanted the military to pull out and they did. The goal was accomplished. We stopped Communism in it's tracks and ran Russia broke.

        Good luck staying prosperous in China without us. You are on your way back down. We are sick of subsidizing oppressed labor and buying substandard products.

        1. recommend1 profile image60
          recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          You seem to represent a particular section of American society.   The 'rest of the world'  is not jealous, it wants to live its own life in its own way.  The idea that 'everyone' wants what you have is outdated by many years;  from the day you guys shot Kennedy and started down the road dictated by your political gangsters.

          You were totally beaten out of Vietnam in the most humiliating way, despite being responsible for the deaths of several million innocent people and dropping more bombs on tiny Vietnam and on neighbouring Laos than the total used in WW2.  As for stopping communism in its tracks - this is beyond laughable.  And I note that 'broke' Russia is starting to buy up American companies along with 'communist' China, the same China that helped you out with trillions of dollar loans while you printed more dollars.

          I carry out social compliance work here in China, the funniest thing in the news recently is how your biggest retail chain impose their requirements on its Chinese production partners, yet do not comply with them in their own US outlets big_smile        The biggest problem I have in social compliance is that (in the factories I am involved with) the workers are actually happy with their situation, pay and conditions, more than can be said for most American production workers.

      2. Ralph Deeds profile image64
        Ralph Deedsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        World opinion of the U.S. has improved markedly under Obama compared to the nadir under Bush. And educated people still come to the U.S. from all over the world for graduate studies and decide to stay, in contrast to China where many come temporarily for business or other reasons but few emigrate. Foxconn is hardly the envy of the world.

        1. recommend1 profile image60
          recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          You are right that world opinion showed some improvement with Obama, I not so sure that this improvement has continued with the failure to close Guantanemo - continuing drone attacks on territories that are not 'at war' with the US etc.  Whilst generally Obama has approval, the toxic politics of the US and the  deep (and shockingly aggressive) divide in American society receives more attention.

          And of course people go to the US for higher education as they do to every 'developed' country and they more often choose to stay in every one of those countries.  This is a function of the stage of development rather than anything else, especially as only the rich can afford to do this.

          It is also notable that the racketeers and corrupt politicians generally dissapear to the US with their stolen millions - where they are made welcome, despite the occasional requests for their extradition to face appropriate justice for their crimes.  I guess they are in good company in the 'other' half of America where, incidentally, Walmart vies with Foxconn in world opinion.

          In respect to Foxconn - their buyers, who dicate conditions at the factories,  are American as you know.  The number of 'buy anything but Apple' teeshirts around China are a good indication of how the Chinese view this whole situation.

    2. Gypsy Willow profile image64
      Gypsy Willowposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Sadly the article underlines do many truths. One of the saddest is the treatment of Vietnam Vets. Our local park is full of sad homeless people. How can a country claim to be a super power when it can't look after its own?

    3. tammybarnette profile image62
      tammybarnetteposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      This article describes everything I have been crying out about. It is noticeable to many of us that taxes must be raised, and purse strings tightened in the right places, subsidies to big oil(geesh) Much is common sense, but many buy into the garbage that taxes should be cut to build the economy(please note my sarcastic tone there,lol) Obviously we must bring enough to not only pay our bills on time, but repair our nation...our infrastructure...and heal our people...Balance must prevail...

  2. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    There are some pointed truths in the article, which sadly citizens refuse to see.  It takes compromise and implementation to keep a country strong. 
    In the last five years, Republicans in Congress have used the filibuster a record-breaking 385 times, or as much as it was used in the seven decades between World War I and the end of the administration of former President Ronald Reagan in 1989.

    Citizens needs to be more involved in local and state politics. We need to get rid of the rigid policy makers that want to take the country backwards.  There needs to be term limits in  Congress.  Mitch McConnell needs to be replaced.  Hopefully, things will begin to change and our government can get things done together for the people and the country itself, i.e., badly needed improved infrastructure.

    It takes the people of a country to unite for the common good of all.  We should expect and demand it from our leaders.  Voter turnout this past election is a good start.  Stay involved.

    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I dare say things aren't going to change much until people realize that the problem isn't democrats OR republicans.  Until they quit making statements that this party did this or that party did that.  Until they understand that the political ethics we have created for the entire system is unworkable.

      As it stands, replacing any individual will do little good as we will only get another of the same ilk, whether from the same party or the other one.  The people in general will have to rise up and demand accountability from their representatives, along with a strong set of ethics.  That won't happen until the people themselves develop these things, and that's a long ways off.

  3. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    When a party refuses to budge or even look at a bill for the sole purpose of trying to make the president a one term president, that is a party related problem.  And it didn't work.  Look at what more could have been accomplished if they had been more focused on working together as an integral branch of the government. 

    I agree,  and many are.  Let's hope more will recognize their duty as citizens.

    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I seem to remember the entire Democratic population of a state legislature leaving the state so as to prevent a vote.  I seem to remember a major Democratic politician stating that a bill had to be approved before anyone could know what was in it. 

      This kind of nonsense is NOT limited to one party - it is symptomatic of a group of politicians declaring that they, and only they, shall run the lives of everyone beneath them.  Compromise is not acceptable and shall NOT be considered.  Much the same as what I've seen in these forums the past few weeks...

      It goes far beyond a simple, though deep, difference in idealogy - it is a declaration that only one party (whichever one is speaking at the moment) has all the answers, that the country will be designed as they wish with no one else having a say.

      1. Uninvited Writer profile image79
        Uninvited Writerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        But it is telling that Congress has filibustered on more bills in the past 2 years than in 70 years of US history.

        1. Barefootfae profile image58
          Barefootfaeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I can't help but wonder why they flt a need to do that and I can assure you it was more than the one term president dead horse that keeps getting beaten here.

    2. Barefootfae profile image58
      Barefootfaeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      What about Harry Reid?
      He doesn't want to work together.

  4. Tom Koecke profile image61
    Tom Koeckeposted 11 years ago

    When the stated objective of the opposition is to make sure the President serves only one term, their actions, or better stated as inactions, become obviously political rather than in the best interests of their constituents or the nation as a whole.

    The article hits this truth on the head. It also places the blame where the blame lies: the Tea Party.

    With the exception of the Civil War, Americans have always found a way to put differences aside to fight for the common good. We are as polarized today as at any point since the Civil War. This not only cannot be good for the country, it is not good for the world. If anyone thinks an economic collapse in Greece, Spain, or Italy would wreak havoc on the world's economy, imagine what an American economic collapse would do.

    It is time for reasonable Democrats and Republicans to move to the center in unification, and let the minorities of radicals on the left and right argue over cradle-to-grave coddling and let-them-eat-cake economics.

    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Your first paragraph, IMHO, illustrates the only real problem.  I very much doubt that you find a greater number of politicians in all of Washington than you have fingers on your hands, that actually care about the country as a whole. 

      They care about their friends.  They care about themselves, and retaining their job with all its power and perks.  If their friends get in the way of their position the friends will go in a heart beat.

      1. Tom Koecke profile image61
        Tom Koeckeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Maybe you're correct on that, but it isn't the way I see it.

        The Tea Party put the Republicans in the House in a precarious situation. Boehner was leading a majority that truly wasn't a majority unless the Tea Partyers were included. They not only stalled any legislation the Democrats might have, or did, put forth, they also stalled any legislation moderate Republicans might have, or did, put forth.

        Romney made a huge mistake putting their fair-haired boy on as VP. As hard as he tried to dissassociate himself from the ultra-right-wing radicals and appear moderate, he had a running mate who blamed Obama for the credit rating downfall and the fiscal cliff when any thinking person knows it was the ultimatum put forth by the Tea Party that did both. Then, as idiots came out of the woodwork talking about "legitimate rape" and rape babies being "gifts from God," he was fighting the reality that they were of the same ilk as his running mate.

        Boehner's comments after the election that "Obamacare is the law of the land" and "it is time to get down to business" are signs that there are responsible legislators within the Republican party. As I said, it is time for reasonable and responsible participants from both parties to meet in the middle, and leave the radical fringes of both parties on the sidelines crying over the unresolvable philosophical differences.

    2. CHRIS57 profile image60
      CHRIS57posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Actually elections happen in 2 year intervals. President - Congress -...
      That puts emphasis on short term thinking. The past 2 years with the GOP being pushed by Tea baggers really showed all .
      This 2 year interval only makes sense if some kind of common goal agreement is possible between parties.

  5. pramodgokhale profile image39
    pramodgokhaleposted 11 years ago

    Rise and fall of nation, communities, system is a process. At present i am reading books of Thomas Friedman on global issues, The world is flat, Hot Flat,and crowded.Then Lee Iaccoca former CEO of Ford corp. Both Claimed USA can be No.1 again ,Is there any ground for such claims?
    I think decline of USA means there will be domino effect , world economy may come to standstill.USA was growth Engine to world economy in the last half century.One thing certain that America has qualities and after WW--II shouldered global responsibilities , funding under Marshal Plan to Europe and Japan and food supply to the world.
    USA was player of cold war and during that period they promoted Military-Industrial complex and Arms industry became livelihood of America and No war No business situation , they never imagined and finally it took toll of American economy.
    New economic blocs emerged such as EU, BRIC, monopolies across the globe already shattered and new monopolies may emerge.
    If America still has merits then present global crisis should be opportunity to prove and regain leadership.
    thank you sir,
    pramod gokhale

  6. paradigmsearch profile image59
    paradigmsearchposted 11 years ago

    We are a mess. But we will survive; so far as history indicates anyway. But, then again, there is the Roman Empire...


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