Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Use this forum to discuss the June 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, What Makes America Great by Bob Dowell
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Sushan
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Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by Sushan »

This topic is about the June 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, What Makes America Great by Bob Dowell


Donald Trump’s riding the “make America great again” wave to the White House in the 2016 presidential election not only shocked but, in varying degrees, angered and disgruntled the liberal minded establishment, not to mention some of the conservative minded establishment as well.........New York Governor Cuomo expressed deep disdain by voicing his counter statement: “America was never great!” Saying make America great again presumably means that America was once great and that it can through enlightened leadership become great again. Saying America was never great presumably means America’s previous existence was mediocre at best and a miserable failure at worst. One thing for sure, the country is passionately divided over the issue.
(Location 62 - Kindle version)

When the former President Donald Trump brought the matter regarding greatness of America on to the stage, for some reason seemingly the most unexpected result has occurred; the country, the Americans expressed different opinions on the matter. When America is the land of freedom and opportunity to the outside world why do the Americans not feel the same about their country? Is it merely politics? Or is it due to something else?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
heracleitos
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by heracleitos »

Sushan wrote: June 5th, 2022, 1:23 am When America is the land of freedom and opportunity to the outside world ...
Even though the USA certainly gets inundated by illegal immigrants who seek to bottom feed on whatever cash jobs that they can scratch from under a stone at the very bottom of the US labor market, people with real options are absolutely not interested in that particular "opportunity". Seriously, it is not because a country attracts large hordes of desperate bottom feeders that it would be attractive to anybody else.

I would never illegally immigrate into any country. I can do that perfectly legally, and I am also not that desperate.

As a digital nomad - nomad capitalist, I can guarantee to you that the USA is not a particularly desirable destination for people like me. Have a look at the various cities mentioned in nomadlist.com. Apples to apples, just based on the cost of living, few digital nomads would ever go to the American cities mentioned in the list.

Concerning freedom, for a starters, any country where the government tries to coerce you into paying personal income tax and social security levies, is not free.

I could live for the rest of my life on Phu Quoc island, Vietnam, and never get extorted by their government for that kind of personal taxes. The Vietnamese government is also not interested in interfering with my private life. They would never try to confiscate half my assets in order to give it to an ex-romantic connection. Therefore, in every respect that matters to me, Vietnam is much freer than the USA.

Even China is much freer than the USA. Seriously, in what way do the USA offer more freedom or more "opportunity" than even Russia or China? I cannot see myself ever running into trouble with the Chinese or Russian government, if I lived there. The American government, on the other hand, they would quickly start making trouble in an attempt to collect personal taxes. After a while, they would probably also want to extract money from me to give it to an ex-romantic connection. You cannot avoid trouble with them, unless you keep paying and keep simping.

America is absolutely not the land of freedom to the outside world. It is also not the land of opportunity. It is merely a destination for desperate illegals to jump from the bottom of one labor market to the bottom of another one.
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

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Sushan wrote: June 5th, 2022, 1:23 am This topic is about the June 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, What Makes America Great by Bob Dowell


Donald Trump’s riding the “make America great again” wave to the White House in the 2016 presidential election not only shocked but, in varying degrees, angered and disgruntled the liberal minded establishment, not to mention some of the conservative minded establishment as well.........New York Governor Cuomo expressed deep disdain by voicing his counter statement: “America was never great!” Saying make America great again presumably means that America was once great and that it can through enlightened leadership become great again. Saying America was never great presumably means America’s previous existence was mediocre at best and a miserable failure at worst. One thing for sure, the country is passionately divided over the issue.
(Location 62 - Kindle version)

When the former President Donald Trump brought the matter regarding greatness of America on to the stage, for some reason seemingly the most unexpected result has occurred; the country, the Americans expressed different opinions on the matter. When America is the land of freedom and opportunity to the outside world why do the Americans not feel the same about their country? Is it merely politics? Or is it due to something else?
Simply that not all Americans are stupid enough to believe the hype and relentless self promotion of the nationalists.
The fact is that American is way behind in many areas.
It is obsessed with warfare and is the chief cause of violent death in the world since the end of WW2.
It has the highest prison population in the world, more even than China despite their greater numbers.
The US, despite claiming to be the richest country in the world is failing its people, with poverty and poor education.
American are killing each other with guns at an alarming rate and have no way to control the massive number of guns - more guns in the US than people, which is way and above any per capita rate in the world.
It is torn by racial prejudice and racial conflict, and still is seen as a bastion of White privilege.

What makes that "great"?
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by LuckyR »

Everyone knows that, what's your point?
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Because America isn't 'great' and never has been? 🤔
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by GE Morton »

Pattern-chaser wrote: June 6th, 2022, 10:16 am Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Because America isn't 'great' and never has been? 🤔
Well, there was a period when the country could plausibly be described as "great" --- the period between the end of the Civil War and ~1930. During that period the USA became the wealthiest country in the world, and the first in history in which a majority of its citizens were not poor. Also during that period all of the technology that characterizes "modernism" --- electricity, radio, internal combustion engines, airplanes, mechanized farming, antibiotics, photography, motion pictures and audio recording, etc., were either invented or commercially developed and widely deployed in the US. That was also the freest period in American history; slavery had been abolished, and governments at all levels consumed an average of 7% of GDP; the rest remained in the pockets of those who had earned it. Today it is >40%.

But, of course, it all depends on what you count as contributing to "greatness."
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by heracleitos »

GE Morton wrote: June 6th, 2022, 1:45 pm Well, there was a period when the country could plausibly be described as "great" --- the period between the end of the Civil War and ~1930. During that period the USA became the wealthiest country in the world, and the first in history in which a majority of its citizens were not poor.
The seeds of destruction were already sown in 1913 with the simultaneous introduction of the Federal Reserve and income tax.

The final nail in the coffin was the introduction of mandatory social security contributions by Roosevelt in the nineteen thirties.

It led to all kinds of yearly reporting obligations with a view on massive income confiscation.

It made the USA a less attractive place to live in than the 80% of the globe that does not enforce mass income confiscation policies.

Especially when your income is location independent, e.g. as a digital nomad or nomad capitalist, I do not see why anyone would voluntarily want to become the victim of all these income confiscations.

The USA is also one of these countries where you could easily get trapped into a situation in which the government compels you to keep making payments to an ex-romantic connection while getting nothing in return for your money. They could even go for half or more of your assets in that context. Again, you do not run that risk in 80% of the world.

In other words, the USA is not a good place for your finances, and also not a good place for your private life. Even places like Russia and China are less obnoxious in that respect.
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by LuckyR »

heracleitos wrote: June 6th, 2022, 9:58 pm
GE Morton wrote: June 6th, 2022, 1:45 pm Well, there was a period when the country could plausibly be described as "great" --- the period between the end of the Civil War and ~1930. During that period the USA became the wealthiest country in the world, and the first in history in which a majority of its citizens were not poor.
The seeds of destruction were already sown in 1913 with the simultaneous introduction of the Federal Reserve and income tax.

The final nail in the coffin was the introduction of mandatory social security contributions by Roosevelt in the nineteen thirties.

It led to all kinds of yearly reporting obligations with a view on massive income confiscation.

It made the USA a less attractive place to live in than the 80% of the globe that does not enforce mass income confiscation policies.

Especially when your income is location independent, e.g. as a digital nomad or nomad capitalist, I do not see why anyone would voluntarily want to become the victim of all these income confiscations.

The USA is also one of these countries where you could easily get trapped into a situation in which the government compels you to keep making payments to an ex-romantic connection while getting nothing in return for your money. They could even go for half or more of your assets in that context. Again, you do not run that risk in 80% of the world.

In other words, the USA is not a good place for your finances, and also not a good place for your private life. Even places like Russia and China are less obnoxious in that respect.
Makes total, perfect sense. On another note, how should governments acquire the capital to operate?
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by GE Morton »

LuckyR wrote: June 7th, 2022, 4:08 am
Makes total, perfect sense. On another note, how should governments acquire the capital to operate?
With taxes, or when possible, via fees charged for services rendered. The question re: taxes is, What sort of tax, imposed upon whom, and to pay for what?
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by LuckyR »

GE Morton wrote: June 7th, 2022, 1:48 pm
LuckyR wrote: June 7th, 2022, 4:08 am
Makes total, perfect sense. On another note, how should governments acquire the capital to operate?
With taxes, or when possible, via fees charged for services rendered. The question re: taxes is, What sort of tax, imposed upon whom, and to pay for what?
Ah, but others would like services to spring magically for free out of thin air.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

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heracleitos wrote: June 5th, 2022, 9:46 am
Sushan wrote: June 5th, 2022, 1:23 am When America is the land of freedom and opportunity to the outside world ...
Even though the USA certainly gets inundated by illegal immigrants who seek to bottom feed on whatever cash jobs that they can scratch from under a stone at the very bottom of the US labor market, people with real options are absolutely not interested in that particular "opportunity". Seriously, it is not because a country attracts large hordes of desperate bottom feeders that it would be attractive to anybody else.

I would never illegally immigrate into any country. I can do that perfectly legally, and I am also not that desperate.

As a digital nomad - nomad capitalist, I can guarantee to you that the USA is not a particularly desirable destination for people like me. Have a look at the various cities mentioned in nomadlist.com. Apples to apples, just based on the cost of living, few digital nomads would ever go to the American cities mentioned in the list.

Concerning freedom, for a starters, any country where the government tries to coerce you into paying personal income tax and social security levies, is not free.

I could live for the rest of my life on Phu Quoc island, Vietnam, and never get extorted by their government for that kind of personal taxes. The Vietnamese government is also not interested in interfering with my private life. They would never try to confiscate half my assets in order to give it to an ex-romantic connection. Therefore, in every respect that matters to me, Vietnam is much freer than the USA.

Even China is much freer than the USA. Seriously, in what way do the USA offer more freedom or more "opportunity" than even Russia or China? I cannot see myself ever running into trouble with the Chinese or Russian government, if I lived there. The American government, on the other hand, they would quickly start making trouble in an attempt to collect personal taxes. After a while, they would probably also want to extract money from me to give it to an ex-romantic connection. You cannot avoid trouble with them, unless you keep paying and keep simping.

America is absolutely not the land of freedom to the outside world. It is also not the land of opportunity. It is merely a destination for desperate illegals to jump from the bottom of one labor market to the bottom of another one.
When you put it in that way, it seems like America is not so great. But people who are outside America still see it as the land of freedom and opportunity. They talk about the freedom of talking, freedom to have or not to have a religion, and lots of opportunities to earn in comparison to other countries. The jobs may not be white collared, yet people love to be in USA and be a US citizen. Currently a large amount of people are walking from Mexico to enter this land. And there should be something about USA that drives them to take such a journey and risk to go there.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by Sushan »

Sculptor1 wrote: June 5th, 2022, 6:11 pm
Sushan wrote: June 5th, 2022, 1:23 am This topic is about the June 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, What Makes America Great by Bob Dowell


Donald Trump’s riding the “make America great again” wave to the White House in the 2016 presidential election not only shocked but, in varying degrees, angered and disgruntled the liberal minded establishment, not to mention some of the conservative minded establishment as well.........New York Governor Cuomo expressed deep disdain by voicing his counter statement: “America was never great!” Saying make America great again presumably means that America was once great and that it can through enlightened leadership become great again. Saying America was never great presumably means America’s previous existence was mediocre at best and a miserable failure at worst. One thing for sure, the country is passionately divided over the issue.
(Location 62 - Kindle version)

When the former President Donald Trump brought the matter regarding greatness of America on to the stage, for some reason seemingly the most unexpected result has occurred; the country, the Americans expressed different opinions on the matter. When America is the land of freedom and opportunity to the outside world why do the Americans not feel the same about their country? Is it merely politics? Or is it due to something else?
Simply that not all Americans are stupid enough to believe the hype and relentless self promotion of the nationalists.
The fact is that American is way behind in many areas.
It is obsessed with warfare and is the chief cause of violent death in the world since the end of WW2.
It has the highest prison population in the world, more even than China despite their greater numbers.
The US, despite claiming to be the richest country in the world is failing its people, with poverty and poor education.
American are killing each other with guns at an alarming rate and have no way to control the massive number of guns - more guns in the US than people, which is way and above any per capita rate in the world.
It is torn by racial prejudice and racial conflict, and still is seen as a bastion of White privilege.

What makes that "great"?
I agree with you. Apart from all the facts that you mentioned bizarre gun firings and killings have been reported frequently in the recent past. So far America was a threat to the rest of the world, because of its meddling interference in international political matters. But now it is becoming a not so safe place to its own citizens. It is found that many billionaires are obtaining second citizenships other than the US one because they simply do not feel about the US as the land of opportunity and prosperity anymore.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by Sushan »

LuckyR wrote: June 6th, 2022, 5:08 am Everyone knows that, what's your point?
Everyone knows what? Is it that all Americans not agreeing on the greatness of their country? Or is it about America not being a great country? Or the both?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by Sushan »

Pattern-chaser wrote: June 6th, 2022, 10:16 am Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Because America isn't 'great' and never has been? 🤔
I think it is unfair to mention such a statement regarding greatness of the US as there are many who believed (and still believe) that the US is a great country. But we have to consider why all the people do not have the same feeling about the topic.
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Re: Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Post by Sushan »

GE Morton wrote: June 6th, 2022, 1:45 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: June 6th, 2022, 10:16 am Even all Americans do not agree on America being great, why?

Because America isn't 'great' and never has been? 🤔
Well, there was a period when the country could plausibly be described as "great" --- the period between the end of the Civil War and ~1930. During that period the USA became the wealthiest country in the world, and the first in history in which a majority of its citizens were not poor. Also during that period all of the technology that characterizes "modernism" --- electricity, radio, internal combustion engines, airplanes, mechanized farming, antibiotics, photography, motion pictures and audio recording, etc., were either invented or commercially developed and widely deployed in the US. That was also the freest period in American history; slavery had been abolished, and governments at all levels consumed an average of 7% of GDP; the rest remained in the pockets of those who had earned it. Today it is >40%.

But, of course, it all depends on what you count as contributing to "greatness."
We are having a seperate discussion on how a country can be a great country.

I think what you described about the US in the early 18th and 19th centuries gave the first impression to the world on its greatness. And seemingly that has long lasted in hearts of many people, to think and say that America is a great country even today though it is having almost nothing unique now in comparison to the rest of the world. And it is not free of problems as well.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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