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The 'Socialists' Win (Again) - Page 2

post #41 of 45
"Small things like banning Nazi propaganda, huh?"

On the surface, I agree that any sort of ban on expression seems very dangerous. However, I don't know the situation in France and their democracy is still going strong. They never banned being gay or interracial marriage or something like that so there doesn't seem to be any long term detrimental effects.

"The US has created an environment that fosters economic/intellectual opportunity and technological innovation in ways the world has never seen"

True the U.S. has something very unique that leads to a Microsoft, but let's not discount that for quality things like cars or luggage, Europeans are probably more able to maintain a tradition of quality.

" A great number of us [Americans] eat sushi and listen to Miles Davis"

Here's where the problem is. While there is quality in some things here and there and some people with taste here and there, things have gone downhill quickly in the last 20 years in every category. This is because taste must be passed on and Americans don't seem to care, whereas passing on tradition is important in other cultures. Everything mainstream, that 80% of Americans care about stinks. Today's cartoons are so stupid and meaningless compared to the Bugs Bunny or Tom and Jerry. Almost all mainstream music stinks. Comedy is not funny. People are so dulled by today's wild humor that when I saw There's Something About Mary in the theater, people couldn't get most of the jokes. Almost everything on TV is idiotic besides HBO. The "news" is hype delivered by supermodel anchorwomen. Americans don't seem to care that the more subtle things are getting washed away and that practical result is that people just get used to junk.

"That frees up nearly 30% more resources that I use to grow my business"

While the U.S. may have the best business climate, this usually only helps people that are both smart and had solid, professional parents to teach them how to be capable. If your mother was single and a waitress and you grew up in front of the TV then probably do better in Germany where everyone gets an internship and there is more on the job training. After all, 20% of Americans live in poverty whereas it's a much smaller percentage in Europe. So I'm not ignoring that for certain people you can go farther in the U.S. but for certain people you will most likely go farther elsewhere in a more supportive environment.

"Look, I don't think America is or Americans are "above" European"

Alright then our disagreements are relatively small then.
post #42 of 45
One more round, just for kicks....

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
True the U.S. has something very unique that leads to a Microsoft, but let's not discount that for quality things like cars or luggage, Europeans are probably more able to maintain a tradition of quality.

Believe me, I'm a freak for British motorcars and French leather goods. That's stuffs all great. I would never try to say Americans make the best luggage.

Quote:

Here's where the problem is. While there is quality in some things here and there and some people with taste here and there, things have gone downhill quickly in the last 20 years in every category.

I don't think things have gone downhill in the last twenty years. Hammer Pants? Hair Bands?

Seriously though, America has such a diverse population that it's still struggling to find a cultural identity. The French, British, Italians and Germans have had hundreds, if not thousands of years to develop their respective cultural traditions. But they only got there because each of them was, at one point or another, the Global Superpower that everybody else in the world hated. Give us another century or two...we'll catch up.

Quote:

While the U.S. may have the best business climate, this usually only helps people that are both smart and had solid, professional parents to teach them how to be capable. If your mother was single and a waitress and you grew up in front of the TV then probably do better in Germany where everyone gets an internship and there is more on the job training. After all, 20% of Americans live in poverty whereas it's a much smaller percentage in Europe. So I'm not ignoring that for certain people you can go farther in the U.S. but for certain people you will most likely go farther elsewhere in a more supportive environment.

That's actually not true. Over 80% of millionaires in America are first generation millionaires. Most of them are not smart necessarily...just hard working and thrifty. May I recommend "The Millionaire Next Door" available on the iTunes music store? It's a great read/listen.

Quote:

"Look, I don't think America is or Americans are "above" European"

Alright then our disagreements are relatively small then.

I think every developed country has something unique and important to offer to the World. As I sated above, I think America is just struggling to find itself culturally. In the first few hundred years of the Roman empire, they were seen as a very vulgar people by the Greeks, Egyptians and Persians. Maybe the reason Americans like reality TV so much is because it gives us a chance to try to figure ourselves out. Just a thought.

Oh, and its not fair at all to compare "Tom and Jerry" and "Bugs Bunny" to modern cartoons. They were produced for adults, so its logical that modern cartoons made for children seem "stupid" by comparison.
post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Wilkie

Seriously though, America has such a diverse population that it's still struggling to find a cultural identity. The French, British, Italians and Germans have had hundreds, if not thousands of years to develop their respective cultural traditions. But they only got there because each of them was, at one point or another, the Global Superpower that everybody else in the world hated. Give us another century or two...we'll catch up.

Huh? The Irish, the Danes, the Pole etc also have their distinct culture. And none of them has ever been a global superpower.

And what is the mechanism that gives a country a cultural identity through the combination of power and outside hatred? Distinct identity is normally aquired through if you are made the scapegoats and are prosecuted. What is always in the center of the common history of nations? Never their victories but always when there wasws done wrong to them.
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
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"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
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post #44 of 45
Ever hear of the Celts, Vikings, and Huns?

Not "global superpowers" exactly. But they each controlled the majority of their known world at their peaks.

Power yields culture because it also yields money. Money creates refined culture by financing the arts, luxury goods, fine food and technology.

Its not that other countries hating your influences culture. I was simply stating that you have to start somewhere. It takes time. And at some point, every society known for its cultural achievements was ridiculed by its predecessor(s).
post #45 of 45
Quote:
That's what happens when a massive population puts all its stakes in a single, monstrous bureaucracy. If a hospital or HMO goes under, we still have several competitors who will pick up the slack. If the Norwegian health care system goes bankrupt, or experiences an untimely surge in demand, they're fucked.

This is why population makes a big difference. America is simply too large and dynamic to put all its eggs in one basket.

Dunno that I agree with that. The last decade or so has seen increasing consolidation of mature industries. There may be relatively few industries where there is only (Boeing and commercial jet airplanes) American competitor in a literal sense, but the number of mature industries seeing companies who absolutely dominate a market (Microsoft, Intel etc) and the number where the options are down to just a couple of choices seems to be increasing to levels perhaps not seen since the late 19th or early 20th century. Lack of competition is seen in the US as unacceptable when created by govts but not when created by massive multinationals even though to a great extent the results are rather similar.
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