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Americans, how do you feel about America?

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by kenny, Jul 4, 2014.

Americans, how do you feel about your country?

Poll closed Oct 12, 2014.
  1. 1 Worst country in the world

    5 vote(s)
    6.4%
  2. 2

    3 vote(s)
    3.8%
  3. 3

    1 vote(s)
    1.3%
  4. 4

    2 vote(s)
    2.6%
  5. 5

    10 vote(s)
    12.8%
  6. 6

    5 vote(s)
    6.4%
  7. 7

    15 vote(s)
    19.2%
  8. 8

    3 vote(s)
    3.8%
  9. 9

    7 vote(s)
    9.0%
  10. 10 Best country in the world

    27 vote(s)
    34.6%
  1. missy
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    by missy » Jul 5, 2014
    A lot of great responses and thought provoking comments. I really appreciate those who took the time to elaborate on why they voted the way they did. As a third (or fourth?) generation American (my great grandparents were all born here with the exception of my father's grandfather I believe) I love living in this country. But like many I know it is not a perfect country. Though I cannot think of any other I would want to live but in large part that is because I never really gave it tons of thought. My family is here and my life is here and I know there are good qualities and bad qualities about life anywhere. No one has the monopoly on perfection. If only.

    I love the people here but I am sure I would also love people wherever I lived as there are good and not so good people all over this world and that is not a uniquely American quality LOL. Do I love the government here? No not at all and it has been disappointing seeing promises and hopes broken and manipulated much of my adult life regarding what the politicians promise the people. I don't know enough about other governments to be able to intelligently comment about them but would guess politics is politics all over and I value living in a democratic country with the freedom to say and do and be whom I want to without fear (mostly) of repercussions.

    Yes, I completely agree machiko and find your posts to be intelligent and thoughtful and articulate. Thank you for joining the PS community. You are a welcome and lovely addition. :appl:


    Like many others here I feel fortunate I was born in the USA and in general I respect our country and what we (as a people) stand for. The opportunities we enjoy here to make something of ourselves and the acceptance to be who we are (for the most part but you won't find me living in a small town probably just because I wouldn't fit in or feel as comfortable as a place where there is cultural diversity). Helping countries who need our help and in my view being a caring country (especially the people living here as opposed to just looking at the politics which can be distressing but again I cannot comment compared to other countries because I do not know enough about other countries as I have never lived anywhere else). Going back in time if it wasn't for the USA more of my relatives would be dead. Few countries offered the Jewish people living abroad a refuge, a place to go when Hitler was massacring us and so many other minorities.

    Of course we have a dark past concerning this topic (and many others unfortunately) as well because it was a delayed response for political reasons of course and as a country we did not act fast enough IMO. And going back to another thread that was deleted unfortunately I would like to remark on someone's comment there that just because we take in refugees doesn't make us a great country. Umm totally disagree. We don't (I mean I know we do sadly but not as often as some other countries do) turn our backs on people in need. People who need to come here for safety reasons, people who are being persecuted just because of who/what they are. And that does make us a great country for that reason alone. Generally I believe we offer safety and refuge to those in need. I do not know the whole story and I do not know who and why we turn others away but I believe if someone needs a place because their life is in danger elsewhere (and as long as they become productive members of society and do not break laws) America offers them that opportunity and hope.

    I believe living here (and other countries too I am sure but just commenting on what I know personally) one can make their dreams come true with hard work and yes a bit of luck. There is an inequality here as I think there are in all other countries to some degree. Some a larger inequality and some less so. And there is much that needs to be changed.

    However even with all that I still would choose to live here time and again. Though I am not above changing my mind should my circumstances or my families circumstances change. As a PSer and a woman I reserve the right to change my mind at any time. Though I will not change my mind in saying I believe America has a lot to offer to many. And saying that does not detract from other countries. There are many wonderful countries in this world. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could all just get along and work in harmony to make the world a better and safer and happier place to live and raise future generations to be strong healthy and happy people who genuinely care about others. Don't underestimate altruism as an important driving force in this world. That is what makes people and countries great.
     
  2. AGBF
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  3. oldminer
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    by oldminer » Jul 5, 2014
    This man's valor and patriotism is just one element of what makes the USA a great place. he gave almost everything for a country he held allegiance to and the country gave him the opportunity to bring himself up from poverty to be a truly successful person and an individual. Not everyone gets recognized for doing what is right or becomes honored by his country, but we now face, as a nation, a changing attitude in the public that the government must take care of them even if they do not make an effort to help themselves succeed. It just will not work that way and I am concerned that our path is not the right one. Universal service in the military or in a civilian job corps would go a long way to giving young citizens the discipline they lack from faulty upbringing, poor parenting, drug disabled neighborhoods, and inefficient education where respect and civility are not taught. Right after high school, or immediately after a kid drops out of school, while there is still some hope of remediation, there ought to be a couple years of tough love and quality adult guidance to put people on one or more right paths that can be taken in our free country instead of the equal number of poor choice paths that also are possible and very tempting.

    If anything is lacking about the USA today, it is our loss of reasonable discipline and the lack of respect for adults that is not being enforced on so many children. I don't mean beating up the kids with a strap, but by allowing lack of civility in children you end up with young adults who are square pegs for the round holes of success in society. At your youngest age you learn how to learn. To do that, you must pay attention. That is the very first way one learns. What you see, and how that visualization is provided, are crucial elements of later success in school, sports, relationships and business. Unfortunately, one does not inherently know these things. As you age, comes experience and better understanding. This is far more important to younger folks than to us old guys who know about it, but have already raised our own families. I see my own shortcomings now becoming so much more clear. It isn't all bad since my two children turned out just fine in spite of me, I suppose. Maybe I am being too hard on myself or proof that is easier than it might appear to do the right thing with the next generation.

    The USA is a great place to live. If you truly think it isn't then one of its greatest merits is that you are totally free to depart. Is the USA the greatest nation on earth? Most of us are ill informed and would choose based on very limited experience. I don't necessarily like where the country appears to be headed financially, but I can't know the future, so I will just wait, see and VOTE.
     
  4. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Jul 5, 2014
    +1 Oldminer. As a former public school teacher, I witnessed the decline in discipline in the schools, to the point that if teachers called in parents over a discipline issue, the parents often blamed the teacher. On the other hand, our youngest daughter was in a public charter school with high expectations and a very clear discipline policy. You either followed the rules or you lost the privilege of going there. That is what we need, high expectations with consequences when they are not met. Rather, we have an entire group of people with no respect and who feel entitled to benefits that they do not earn and the rest of us have to pay for.
     
    


    


  5. jillianfl
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    by jillianfl » Jul 5, 2014
    Monarch please enlighten me and find where I said anything about that I think "every other country is comparing themselves to USA... and how ever country is striving to be like USA"- never said anything of the sort (though since you brought it up- everyone who tries to escape their own country wants to and tries to come here anyway don't they!! They only go to Europe first if it's geographically closer to them).

    And I have lived and traveled throughout Europe for 3 years and traveled to Africa btw, so if you think I have only spent my life on our soil, you are wrong!! So again, enlighten me with some facts about what I said instead of mischaracterizing what I said.

    No better and no worse than any other, huh? So the countries that behead you for not practicing religion they want you to, or being gay, or leaving an abusive husband, are "no better, and no worse" than here?? The countries that still find slavery acceptable, condone beating and abusing their women & children are "no better, and no worse" than here?? Must be living under a rock if you don't realize all this that is happening in the world in other countries on a regular basis, and you don't think and can't admit that we do in fact have it better here. Easy for you to say of course when you live here and can say whatever you want instead of somewhere in the middle east region, or Pakistan, North Korea, or some of the African countries, or Cuba.
     
  6. jillianfl
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    by jillianfl » Jul 5, 2014
    somehow I messed up submitting my reply lol... it will either appear below
     
  7. jillianfl
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    by jillianfl » Jul 5, 2014
    Ok I am not from planet Kenny that's for sure!!! Not what I was saying and proving that you don't read!! I was saying that YOU should have said that, I would never say such a thing, but YOU are the one who puts up a poll and then gets pissed that OldMiner puts in a link about an American Hero and says that stuff like that will skew your precious poll that somehow you think is going to even be accurate or scientific anyway.

    YOU said that YOU were upset b/c you thought that poll takers could have their minds changed if they viewed his link. Then YOU post an in your face pic instead, that everyone can see so you proceed to further ruin your own poll by your own logic. Which your own logic is ridiculous and insulting to any PS user, because you are insinuating that they can't form their own opinion and answer the question without being swayed by seeing pro or con posts!! I would never micromanage someone, you are talking about yourself, the clear micromanager of the poll, getting pissy b/c people were posting their opinions below and you thought that would skew results (again, insulting to all members since you think they don't use their own minds and are swayed so easily by thoughts of other posters.)

    Whether a link was posted or not or whether people just continued to write their own feelings below your poll, by your logic (and only yours!!!) is the poll somehow not accurate b/c you claim that people seeing posts will somehow influence them. (So are people living in a box everyday and not influenced by the world around them outside of what they may read on PS??)

    Work on your reading comprehension, since again, a total incorrect characterization about what I was saying. If YOU felt your poll could only be accurate by not having people post anything for others to see (which you said "I'd rather Americans vote before viewing anything.That way the poll results reflect how they really feel, not how something influenced their vote") then YOU should have said so IN THE BEGINNING AS PART OF YOUR INSTRUCTIONS.

    Again, your logic is totally flawed on that, but since you've stated that you think that way then that's the only thing you could have done to have gotten the outcome in the poll that YOU were seeking. I would never complain about people commenting and posting things if I put up a poll. YOU were the one that did. And posting silly dog picture memes and trying to mock and make me look bad by blatantly lying about what I said is not going to change that.
     
  8. kenny
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    by kenny » Jul 5, 2014
    No comment besides, Okie Dokie then, you have a nice day.
     
  9. Asscherhalo_lover
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    by Asscherhalo_lover » Jul 5, 2014
    I am a born American and I can't answer this question. I have not been to many other countries. Based on what I know of other countries from people who are from them I would place us somewhere in the middle. I also think The US is hard to judge as a whole as everything can vary so much from one state to another. It's a big country after all.
     
  10. Rhea
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    by Rhea » Jul 5, 2014
    I agree entirely. I'm with you, Ginger. Sweden, perhaps? Or I've always wanted to try Canada as well! There are so many great places and I can't imagine claiming one as THE BEST. I've only ever lived in 2 countries long enough to truly adapt and be able to make a judgement.

    I didn't vote in this poll. I voted in the other. I hold both American and British citizenship but having lived in England most of my adult life I felt the other poll was a better fit for where I feel I'm at. It makes me sad to say that. I somehow feel both and neither.
     
    


    


  11. justginger
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    by justginger » Jul 5, 2014
    I completely understand, Rhea. It used to make me sad, realising that I would never 100% 'belong' in either place. A few more years of perspective and I realise that I belong everywhere! It's very liberating, and lovely when you find others who have the same perspective, other global citizens. The only thing that makes me sad now is that my roots are too deep here to up and leave now. I've accidentally become settled with a zoo of animal responsibility. Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada - I'd love to try them ALL. :D
     
  12. missy
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    by missy » Jul 6, 2014
    That's right Ginger. You and Rhea and others are global citizens and belong everywhere. It's the human experience. We are all bonded together by that. For better or worse. We are all in this together. And the sooner everyone realizes this the better off we will be in this world.



    Thank you for posting that video Oldminer. Amazing man and inspiring story. I am proud to be an American. That's right and perhaps that experience is unique to each individual and it doesn't mean we are perfect but we can still love our country and be proud to be part of it. Flaws and all. Always striving to be better.
     
  13. Tacori E-ring
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    by Tacori E-ring » Jul 6, 2014
    Having lived for a short time in a 3rd world county I am shocked 4 people voted America is the worse country in the world :confused: Maybe they have never been abroad. I am sure every country has its issues but overall I am very grateful I am an American with the freedoms that many people in other parts of the world do not have.
     
  14. Indylady
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  15. SB621
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    by SB621 » Jul 8, 2014

    Ginger my DH and I call it being a citizen of the world. :appl: While I only hold citizenship in the USA I also have spent the vast majority of my life living abroad in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Our family is definitely nomads and I like how we go wherever the wind may take us. It is hard to always answer that question of where you are from. I'm not really from anywhere. I have found this attitude makes me less invested in country politics and more interested in global politics and issues.

    Anyhow I didn't' vote but I'm guessing my answer would be around 6.
     
    


    


  16. makemepretty
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    by makemepretty » Jul 8, 2014
    I watch the news, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. It's scary out there.
     
  17. AGBF
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    by AGBF » Jul 8, 2014
    Well, this week I have decided not to move to Kenya or Uganda. Reading, "The New York Times" makes me very sad.

    Deb
    :read:
     
  18. nkarma
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    by nkarma » Jul 8, 2014
    I get quite negative when asked this question. I think the standard of living is much better than countries with tyrant governments and abject poverty. For a developed or developing country, I find the US is quite behind when it comes to quality of life for all of it's citizens. I agree with others though that there is no such thing as best or worst. I think for a lot of people, where they are from and the great culture they have is what they want most. I have visited some very very poor places, but even in those countries there is a sense of community & family and helping each other that I have never in the US.

    For me the things the US excels at are:
    1. General colorblindness on an individual level (Racism between individuals seems to has dwindled signficantly in each generation)
    2. A place immigrants from all over can come to be content and generally make a better life & be welcomed.

    Areas of improvement:
    1. Institutionalized racism. The numbers of minorities in prison and not in the university system are staggering and are not a coincidence.
    2. Poor K-12 education
    3. Media and perpetuation of fear
    4. The judicial system and incarceration rate
    5. The class system. If you aren't born male, white, in a healthy family, middle class, etc...you are a lot less likely to get ahead in life. Many people haven't and for generations will live in poverty because there are no social services for the less fortunate compared to other countries. These social support systems don't exist because "some people don't work hard enough and are moochers."
    6. Poor healthcare both for physical and mental illnesses
    7. Wage gaps. The economy is driven on middle & upper class people with disposable incomes to buy a new iphone every 2 years, jewelry, etc....The people that lose are the minimum wage workers needed to make & sell these things cheap for the middle class. i would rather pay was more fair/even if that means professionals made less so that millions more can make a living wage.
    8. Corporate democracy. We were on the forefront of democracy in our history, but it is being well document how much of an oligarchy we have become in the past several decades.
    9. Foreign affairs. Don't want to go into too much, but tens of thousands of people have died and suffered because of our involvement and wars in their countries.
    10. The environment. The US uses 25% of the world's fossil fuel but is only 7% of the world population.
    11. Entitled mentality. I have this disease too and have had to squash it some recently. By entitled I don't mean the "moochers"; I mean the mentality that we are better, deserve the absolute best, and the only way to do things is our way. I have never met an American who wasn't somewhat entitled.
     
  19. Dancing Fire
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    by Dancing Fire » Jul 8, 2014
    I love it !...spoken like a true liberal!... :clap:
     
  20. AGBF
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    by AGBF » Jul 8, 2014

    The only correct answer to the question being to say that the United States is flawless and that we may as well simply refer to it as The Garden of Eden?

    Deb
     
  21. azstonie
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    by azstonie » Jul 8, 2014
    I voted 5.

    I've lived in other countries, EU countries. It was my experience that life is better there--I thought the lifestyle was more humane, more child friendly, more senior citizen friendly, and more vulnerable people friendly. The infant mortality rates in the EU were better than they were here when I last checked. French healthcare is the best in the world and it is single-payer. Education and culture respected more when I lived in the EU than when I lived here, eeking out a living as a musician in both places.

    There was more respect for society in general, people of all financial strata used the libraries, the museums, the parks, the concert halls. Cleaner cities. Public transportation to be proud of. In Switzerland if your train is for 1802 hours, DO NOT get on the 1801 train, :hand:

    No one was concerned with someone else's sexual orientation or birth control choices or medical care.

    There was not a huge bunch of the super rich and a middle class funneling into poverty. No ones children had to go into the military for lack of options in life.

    My friends, also ex-pat Americans say its still a good, good life there and they are glad they stayed.

    So why am I back here?

    I'm back here to help my aging parents (I'm an only child).

    I try to make wherever I live a more humane place, kind of "love the one you're with."

    But I do think that politicians with their "Best Country in the World" crowd pleasing, they are banking on the fact that many Americans don't travel, aren't into history or current news, and would just rather buy into this as their options in life don't include a wholesale move elsewhere.

    All of the above, just my experience.
     
  22. kenny
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    by kenny » Jul 8, 2014
    I consider being called the L-word to be one of the highest compliments.
    Being called the C-word is a horrid insult IMO.

    Liberals rule.
    Conservatives drool.
    ... and since that rhymes, it's extra true. :dance:
     
  23. mochiko42
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    by mochiko42 » Jul 8, 2014
    +1. My American DH and I don't have plans to move back to the US for many of the same reasons as your friends.

    We live in Asia and many people we know (including ourselves) in Hong Kong and Japan think of the US as a more dangerous place due to the gun culture and all the news about school shootings in the US. (try comparing the murder or incarceration rate of Hong Kong or Tokyo with any large US city... Or as a woman, I guarantee that you would feel safer walking alone at night in a dark street in either Asian city but maybe not any major US city of comparable size (population above 7 million).

    Having said that, obviously living in the US would be preferable to living in a war-torn area like Somalia or South Sudan. :)
     
  24. packrat
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    by packrat » Jul 8, 2014
    HEY! How come nobody mentions the free wine samples at the grocery stores in Iowa??? Cripes people. That's as good a reason as any to live here I'd say.
     
  25. mochiko42
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    by mochiko42 » Jul 8, 2014
    Oh yes!! My mum was so excited when we moved to Canada and she found out about this wondrous thing called Costco.. :lol:
     
  26. JanesJewels
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    by JanesJewels » Jul 8, 2014
    I have a French friend and a Swiss friend here in the States. Both have told me that they find their home countries to be deeply sexist. The Swiss friend said that women only got the vote in the whole country in recent years, and that it was accepted practice to give a job to man where it's between two equal male/female candidates, because he needs to support his family. The French have a Motherhood Medal, but I can't remember how many kids you need to have to get it. I think the French also pay really high taxes, and they have had problems in large cities with race-related riots.

    Also, there is indeed a French military for people who feel they don't have many options in life. (I think one poster above referred to this.) It's famous - the French Foreign Legion! They ask no questions, so if you've got a past, doesn't matter....obviously they're getting their recruits from somewhere, so at least some people in France and/or the rest of Europe join the military to get a better life than they could have otherwise.

    I've also heard people who studied abroad say that French society is very hard to break into, because social lives revolves around families - large ones, since France is a Catholic country and (as mentioned above) encourages women to have more children. I think there are tax incentives for this too.

    Just saying that Europe isn't perfect either. It sounds as if it can be very hidebound and conservative - judging from those I know from those countries.
     
  27. azstonie
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    by azstonie » Jul 9, 2014
    Liquor in the Back !!!! I hear The Star Spangled Banner when I think of LITB!!
     
  28. Dancing Fire
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    by Dancing Fire » Jul 9, 2014
    [quote="nkarma|1404829415|Areas of improvement:
    1. Institutionalized racism. The numbers of minorities in prison and not in the university system are staggering and are not a coincidence.
    [/quote]


    And guess who chose that path? Yup, just blame everything on society instead of looking in the mirror ... :wall:
     
  29. Sky56
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    by Sky56 » Jul 9, 2014
    When I lived in France, I missed the US very much. I definitely sensed a closed-mindedness vibe in comparison to home, and it was very hard to escape cigarette smoke. :bigsmile:
     
  30. nkarma
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    by nkarma » Jul 9, 2014

    And guess who chose that path? Yup, just blame everything on society instead of looking in the mirror ... :wall:[/quote]

    You have never been treated better or discriminated against because you're Asian? If you haven't noticed, lucky you, but it is there whether you notice it or not. No one knows what it's like to walk in another person's shoes, especially people that come from privilege and that includes your gender and race.

    If there isn't such things as institutionalized sexism, racism, etc... why will your daughters earn less money that will add up to hundred of thousands of dollars over their whole lives than if you had sons? Maybe they should take a look in the mirror!

    I really don't think you are saying Latinos and African Americans choose to be incarcerated at a rate that is 6X that of white Americans for the same crimes, but it kind of sounds like it.
     

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