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You will never be happy. There I said it.

USA has so much energy devoted to maintaining the polarization of the people, you've lost sight of what made you great was being united under one leader for the greater good of all.

And Canada is not much better in this area either.
 

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The fallacy in your statement is that there is an objective "greatest good for all". This kind of utilitarian Shangri-La doesn't exist. Additionally, our government is built around the idea that nobody should have a lot of power. The legislative branch IS SUPPOSED to be the strongest (though in reality, the executive has been growing in power for a long time) and it's NOT SUPPOSED to be easy to pass laws. It was designed to not allow another monarch or monarch-like person to happen. I have no doubt it will ultimately fail but it is one of the oldest government in existence for a reason and that's a form of success in and of itself.

Actually, what made us great was being united against one thing (King George III, WWI, WWII, Polio). Once that was over, we went back to being the same caliber of screw-ups as the rest of humanity. Actually, while those were going on, we were still the same caliber of screw-ups as the rest of humanity. We suffer from some pretty serious revisionist history. America's "greatness" is mostly jingoism. We've had major problems since before 1776 right up through the present (treatment of native indigenous population, racism against each new ethnic group migration [Italians, Irish, Polish, Asians of varying flavors, and now Latin Americans], slavery, civil rights, McCarthyism, WWII internment camps, post-9/11 torture, failed nation-building, etc).

The underlying problems are still there but they've created new symptoms in the modern environment and the 24-hour news cycle has magnified them while simultaneously made them more obvious and harder to understand.

While I don't blame capitalism (in the same way that I don't blame the hammer when I accidentally smash my thumb while driving a nail), I do believe that many of the traits selected for in a highly capitalist society (individualism, competitiveness, desire to acrete wealth, magnification of in-group/out-group mentality) are partly to blame for our current situation.

Additionally, the culture of fear that has been promulgated by the media and politicians is incredibly damaging. I'm not saying we shouldn't be safe but the fear mongering NEEDS. TO. STOP.

We are not actually going to make an improvement until we get the idea out of our heads that we are some great people, head and shoulders above anybody else in the world. Watch the first episode of The Newsroom if you want to see Jeff Bridges sum up my feelings on this issue.
 

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Okay, perhaps I was too rosy in my opinion. Forgive me - being polite is a Canadian characteristic.

I will touch on one aspect that is perhaps unique to America: Americans can go through personal / business failures, and live to try & triumph again. Contrast that with other countries and their regulations about loaning money to people whom have suffered bankruptcy before. This and the lack of societal class systems makes your country and Canada, a place for many foreigners to dream about.

What is so discouraging to me when I visit relatives in USA is the failing roads, bridges, and middle class. Your richest are much better off than they were 40 years ago, the middle class is worse off, and the poor are much worse.

I read a lot of articles about the political system in USA, what is clear is that 40 years ago the partisan attitudes were not so aggressive. A good idea from the other party is described as absolutely crazy by the others. Yes, your history shows that when united to a common goal = powerful and fairly efficient results. So you need an clear enemy to best direct your efforts?

Your enemy is yourself. Start by encouraging your stores to carry made-in-America goods. Accept to pay a bit more, but demand quality! Rebuild your middle class.
 

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What is so discouraging to me when I visit relatives in USA is the failing roads, bridges, and middle class. Your richest are much better off than they were 40 years ago, the middle class is worse off, and the poor are much worse.
Not. Standards creep means today's middle class has and does more than out parents did in so many ways. Even folks below the poverty level often have many "luxuries" in life like flat screen TVs and cable.
 

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Not. Standards creep means today's middle class has and does more than out parents did in so many ways. Even folks below the poverty level often have many "luxuries" in life like flat screen TVs and cable.
Don't agree. Today in the nuclear family, both must work. 40-50 years ago, this was not necessary to 'keep-up'. Yes the real cost of some 'former luxuries' such as big screen TV have fallen, but now most players in this home electronics market can't make money on them. If USA turns into a 100% consumer market, who can afford a $35,000 ++ car or truck on service industry incomes? Read the book "That used to be us"
That Used To Be Us | Thomas L. Friedman
 

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I cannot vote (yet!)
I just want to put this out there...

320 million people and the best "you" can come up with are puppets Jeb Bush and Queen Clinton; man it is no wonder so much is in the shitter. Both sides suck!

Firstly
GET RID OF the two party system. More people would vote if they had more choice. Often a candidate with good intentions has to go elephant or donkey just so they can have a shot and then they are sucked into a quagmire of party bollocks

Secondly
GET RID OF lobbyist / lobbying - they are the death knell in politics.

Thirdly
REDUCE political life spans, 4 / 8 / max 10 years then clear the path for fresh ideas and people. Career politicians are a scourge on society. This Leeching off society needs to end. 535 people cause more crap for 320ml people from lobbyist bribes, that has to stop

Fourthly
The electoral college - GET rid of it, if you don't know why, then your vote is part of the problem.

Fifth
Separate church and state (again)


hohum... if the above changed I would spend the money and time to become a citizen so I could vote, as it stands I would be wasting both money and time. Also, before you quote the constitution to me defending above, remember what the point of the Boston tea party was!

:devil:'s avocate
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Not voting is a valid choice in a free country
it might be a valid choice, Jeff, but the cynic in me says the person who doesn't vote has no right to complain that they don't like what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Who?

And yes I agree with you, go vote, but the cynic in me says to no avail, you just cannot complain if you don't. Voting apathy is a serious problem.
the old timers will know who I am talking about.
 
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