Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bludog

American Exceptionalism Limits Our Progress

Recommended Posts

There are so many other nations which handle various problems better than we do in the US.  But we do not take the time to even study their examples, let alone acting to follow their models.  This stems from an attitude of arrogance and superiority, which has its basis in corporate profits.

 

Two of the Biggest Examples:

Mainly due to the insurance industry's  $$$influence$$$  over legislatures, we are stuck with the most inefficient health care systems in the developed world.  We are the only advanced nation which doesn't provide all its citizens with health care.  There is much to be learned from at least a dozen other countries which all handle Universal Healthcare in their own unique ways.  But American Exceptionalism prevents us from considering the best.

 

Countries as diverse as Finland and China have better outcomes from their schools.  But here in the US, the trend is to privatize education, to the detriment of better education.  Businesses involved with private education and and financial institutions which profit from student loans have, in no small measure, kept us behind countries with better education.

 

There are so many other areas where we could learn from other countries which have solved problems better than they are being handled in the US;  From our prison systems, to drug laws.  But American Exceptionalism stands in the way.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/16/2019 at 7:27 PM, bludog said:

There are so many other nations which handle various problems better than we do in the US.  But we do not take the time to even study their examples, let alone acting to follow their models.  This stems from an attitude of arrogance and superiority, which has its basis in corporate profits.

 

Two of the Biggest Examples:

Mainly due to the insurance industry's  $$$influence$$$  over legislatures, we are stuck with the most inefficient health care systems in the developed world.  We are the only advanced nation which doesn't provide all its citizens with health care.  There is much to be learned from at least a dozen other countries which all handle Universal Healthcare in their own unique ways.  But American Exceptionalism prevents us from considering the best.

 

Countries as diverse as Finland and China have better outcomes from their schools.  But here in the US, the trend is to privatize education, to the detriment of better education.  Businesses involved with private education and and financial institutions which profit from student loans have, in no small measure, kept us behind countries with better education.

 

There are so many other areas where we could learn from other countries which have solved problems better than they are being handled in the US;  From our prison systems, to drug laws.  But American Exceptionalism stands in the way.

 

Great points Bludog!

 

But I have always thought the definition of American Exceptionalism has been misused so much that no one seems to remember what it was meant to mean. 

The Free World - open land ownership, freedom from debtors prison and more. It was a grand experiment when the term exceptionalism was used by Tocqueville who once said,

"American is great because she is good.If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

But this was back around the 1830's and there was a lot that Tocqueville did not mention regarding slavery and the whole business of genocide of the American Native people. 

 

I never thought American Exceptionalism to mean this was a better nation by some mandate of God. We were separated by oceans in an incredible land and the country was formed to be a true democracy - Where of course only rich land owners were allowed to vote in the beginning. 

 

But however you cut it, the term has been misused the wrong way and I think to our own peril. We changed a lot after the two world wars and the use of the two nuclear bombs  in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

 

The beacon of light that American Exceptionalism could be became just another Imperialistic super power. We are a Super Power - but that doesn't mean we are good.

 

 

Peace!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you on healthcare.  I think we're finally moving in the right direction.

 

On education, I agree that we have much to learn from other countries.   It seems to me that the biggest opponents of innovation and choice in education are members of the entrenched bureaucracy.   The only change they're in favor of is increased funding.  Yet, we already spend much more per pupil than the places you mentioned (Finland and China). 

 

Quote

The United States spends more money educating its young people than any other nation, according to Education at a Glance 2017, the most recent study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which compiles educational data from nations across the globe each year. In 2014, the U.S. spent an average of $12,157 per student on elementary and secondary education, over 30% more than the OECD average of $9,419.   Investopedia

 

Education at a Glance

 

As with healthcare, whatever we're doing wrong doesn't appear to be a lack of spending.

 

I'd like to see schools compete to better serve their students instead of 'owning' them, regardless of how awful the school might be.  Sweden, for example, uses a voucher system where schools are funded based on attendance.  Germany allows students to enroll in any school they want instead of confining them to districts.  The Netherlands has a voucher system that allows student choice, including public or private schools. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×