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American Exceptionalism Limits Our Progress

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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. 

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On 5/19/2019 at 5:25 AM, Renegade said:

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). 

 

 

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. 

if it works in Sweden, but it might be important to understand that in Sweden, they think about the best way to make it work first and foremost. Here in the US, sadly we just do not. 

You can borrow anything, growing up kind of poor, I knew that, but the reason you borrow something, is to return it, and also to make something better out of it. 

What is the important goal, why? Can we at least agree on that?

 

Hard work pays off, if you work towards some goal that is good. If you do, you show people it is possible. You don't gloat about being rich if you achieve success, actually if you achieve success and still find people suffering and a horrible system, it kind of makes you feel more than sad. But you don't give up. You never get up. That's not what you do.

You are so used to working hard. You enjoy it. Just working hard. It fills the day. 

 

I know a lot of people who never got any what they call success, but they were successful. They survived and they still work hard. Even in their old age, they got great grand kids who listen to them and even try to emulate their behavior understanding early on their grace.

 

The youth can do this. Better than I could, Robert Frost thought, when he wrote, "meeting and passing". My grandmother on my mother's side told me this.And she gave me his book of poetry. I think she thought he was sexy.

Peace!

 

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10 hours ago, TheOldBarn said:

I know a lot of people who never got any what they call success, but they were successful. They survived and they still work hard. Even in their old age, they got great grand kids who listen to them and even try to emulate their behavior understanding early on their grace.

 

Intelligence sees and understands grace.

 

The great majority of people understand only their own appetites, and are motivated (at best) but their yearnings and (at worst) by their fears.

 

You're right about success. Real success is what you described. But in the end, everybody fails. The house always wins.

 

"Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows"

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On 7/4/2019 at 6:43 AM, laripu said:

 

Intelligence sees and understands grace.

 

The great majority of people understand only their own appetites, and are motivated (at best) but their yearnings and (at worst) by their fears.

 

You're right about success. Real success is what you described. But in the end, everybody fails. The house always wins.

 

"Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows"

I think inevitably it appears to be this way.

But it is not, not true, not final, not the way forward,

that could ever suffice.

We need smart people who will lead /  we need

people to become hero's and to think more about

the greater good than of their own selfish success.

Aristotle said, politics is the highest order to community.

Talking is the same thing as thinking, to Aristotle.

You remember, hard work. The purpose, is to make

the good. Aristotle thought, to make the good, 

was behind the necessary communion of community,

everything an individual does, to make the good, 

to make ones mind become free. 

The aim of the individual is the aim to make some

good. How can you add to this arrangement

definitively? 

The hierarchy of good / the community.

You and I could say the good, is bridled with, and in politics,

we ride.

We make freedom, not by our own learnt knowledge, but by 

our collective knowledge that must be free to all. 

Peace!

 

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