Jump to content
bludog

What Makes America Great?

Recommended Posts

There are currently two competing visions of what makes America great: 

 

1 - The vision of an Oligarchy which dominates the rest of the world politically, militarily and commercially.  This vision includes continuing to exploit the resources of the natural world to the max, choosing to reject the reality of negative consequences.

 

2 - The vision of an egalitarian, Social Democracy in which maximum prosperity and well-being for all is the goal.  This vision includes recognizing and repairing climate change and environmental degradation while striving to cooperate with other nations to solve the problems of humankind.

 

Trump's slogan, MAGA, is a call to regress to a time when vision #1 held sway, while making false promises of prosperity for white people.  In 2016, Trump and his minions won the battle of ideas.  To bring about vision #2 is a great goal, worth fighting for.  I, for one, refuse to believe it is beyond reach. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Makes America Great?

 

Me.  And not just me, you too, probably.

 

People who work create better conditions for others. Whether that work is cleaning an office building or driving a bus or searching for a cure for cancer or starring in a movie, it improves conditions for others. The people of America make America great through their service to others. All work is service to others.

 

Even people who don't work can add value to the country and the world.  Retirees take care of their spouses, watch their neighborhoods for crime, are involved in the political struggle for a better future, and communicate their wealth of experiences to following generations. I expect to be one of those in about 3 years... unemployed and overjoyed. :D:P

 

It's the people of America, most of them anyhow, that make America great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, laripu said:

People who work create better conditions for others. Whether that work is cleaning an office building or driving a bus or searching for a cure for cancer or starring in a movie, it improves conditions for others. The people of America make America great through their service to others. All work is service to others.

 

Agreed:  Labor, be it great or humble, should be honored.  Because all those who labor make a contribution to society. 

 

But honoring labor is nothing more than lip service if the vast majority of those who contribute are so poorly compensated that family savings and savings for retirement are at a low ebb, while family debt has skyrocketed to the highest in history.   And laborer resources are further depleted when government chips away at medicare and medicaid in the death of a thousand cuts.  And when laborers get too old to work, the vast majority are faced with continually reduced Social Security  ---  All this so that a small handful of the very rich can become even richer, at the expense of the rest.

 

Honoring labor lacks substance when private schools and the banking industry can lawfully saddle some of our best and brightest with student loans, which rob graduates of the chance for prosperity for decades after they graduate.  

 

Today, in the United States, the minimum wage is being kept artificially low, so that corporations and the ultra wealthy can make higher profits.  While at the other end, tax laws are being passed which put a higher burden on most labor but give big breaks to the corporations and the rich.

 

So called "right to work" laws and the stacking of the NLRB with plutocrats, along with an unregulated, union-busting law firm industry, have all been responsible for the near extinction of labor unions in the United States.

 

In truth, in the United States of 2019, labor is being sullied, not honored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/12/2019 at 11:44 AM, bludog said:

There are currently two competing visions of what makes America great: 

 

1 - The vision of an Oligarchy which dominates the rest of the world politically, militarily and commercially.  This vision includes continuing to exploit the resources of the natural world to the max, choosing to reject the reality of negative consequences.

 

2 - The vision of an egalitarian, Social Democracy in which maximum prosperity and well-being for all is the goal.  This vision includes recognizing and repairing climate change and environmental degradation while striving to cooperate with other nations to solve the problems of humankind.

 

Trump's slogan, MAGA, is a call to regress to a time when vision #1 held sway, while making false promises of prosperity for white people.  In 2016, Trump and his minions won the battle of ideas.  To bring about vision #2 is a great goal, worth fighting for.  I, for one, refuse to believe it is beyond reach. 

 

We are now living through an era in American history, which looks more like vision #1 than #2.

 

Wealth inequality, already, badly out of balance, is steadily rising while National prosperity is in decline.  The social safety net of FDR and LBJ is disappearing.  Labor unions are dying out.  Big money interests control our government. 

 

We are engaged in endless conflict at the $$behest$$ of war profiteers.  We are attempting to bend other nations to our will, including our allies, by levying tariffs.  Pollution regulations are being rolled back.  Nothing is being done about Global Warming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bludog said:

Today, in the United States, the minimum wage is being kept artificially low, so that corporations and the ultra wealthy can make higher profits.  While at the other end, tax laws are being passed which put a higher burden on most labor but give big breaks to the corporations and the rich.

 

Ironically, if people had a living wage, and if education was free for good students, and training was free and available for others that wanted it, then wealth in this country would explode, and the rich who own businesses, even taxed at much higher rates, would gain immeasurably in the long run.

 

It's exactly like investing. If you invest in the working people of the country, that investment will pay back in huge games in productivity.

 

And on the contrary, not investing in our people will make us a nation of meth and opiate addicts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2019 at 7:37 PM, laripu said:

 

Ironically, if people had a living wage, and if education was free for good students, and training was free and available for others that wanted it, then wealth in this country would explode, and the rich who own businesses, even taxed at much higher rates, would gain immeasurably in the long run.

 

It's exactly like investing. If you invest in the working people of the country, that investment will pay back in huge games in productivity.

 

And on the contrary, not investing in our people will make us a nation of meth and opiate addicts.

What you are describing sounds much like America in the years after WWII. The labor glut drove down the  wages to sub-living levels. But, free college educations and vocational training created one of the greatest booms in US history. Education is a "public good", we all benefit from it. Those GI Bill "takers" even got living stipends. As I think about it, so did I. Proto-Socialism at its finest. And, yes, the marginal tax rates were breath taking in the 50s. But, then, so were the profits in all sectors. While the original GI Bill was really a jobs program it turned out to be one of the single most valuable investments America has ever made in its people.

 

Now, about that "American Exceptionalism" thing...America is a nice country, broadly speaking. But I don't see it as being particularly exceptional. In fact, it is getting less admirable as Dear Leader's regime endures. What is exceptional about America is the long record of essentially honest (if not so fair) elections and mostly civil transfers of power to the newly elected administration. That is just about it for us. The honest elections are in the rear view mirror and as we watch them recede in the mirror we are about to run over the peaceful and orderly transfer of power because we are distracted .

 

Right now, I just want to yell, "No that isn't how that works. This isn't the way any of this works". So much for a society based deeply in the idea of voluntary compliance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great first post.   ^   ^   ^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, bludog said:

Great first post.   ^   ^   ^

Thank you very much. It is kind of you to say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can undo a disaster like Trump by impeachment or 4 years later, either way he's going to prison soon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we just try hard, we pat each other on the back, we come clean, we understand with a whole heart,

to work hard is a necessity, an intrinsic one, it inspires folks, 

Everybody I know would say this to me, because how easy it is to fall, to fail.

That sounds fluffy --- too fluffy they say.

Look, I grew up in Detroit. Playing basketball, my older brother, well he told me, you are only as good 

as your competition. Backboard Fever, the book was passed down to me.

He went and made his shot, and not thinking about getting the rebound, he ran back and it seemed as 

though he was never a team player, because he never cared to defend, pick up the dribbler coming to our

side of the court to score.

But we grew up solid, we grew up rock hard. We defended our turf, even though we did not have the best

offensive players, except, for this one guy. He was our jewel who could score, the team became a team

together, as one, to set the picks. 

We were no names, we just loved to play, and find out how magnificence might just some day look.

 

Peace!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are soooo many reasons America became great.  My thoughts...

 

We started off with English laws, language, and civility. 

 

We had unmatched work ethic and self sufficiency.  Settlers on the frontier, which at one time was places way out west like Ohio and Tennessee, had no government and very few fellow citizens to depend on.  You worked your ass off or you died (and many did die).   They died early even when they did work their ass off.

 

We were largely 'good' people who either aspired to heaven or feared hell.  Many people never locked their door.  When Andrew Jackson was inaugurated, there was an open house at the White House.  

 

The nation was founded in rebellion against an overbearing government and so it constitutionally limited it's own government to the bare minimum while establishing numerous rights for citizens.  We were blessed with a group of people who somehow managed to set aside their personal interests and make compromises for the good of the nation.

 

Our land had boundless untapped resources.  We faced little interference or competition from other nations as we were protected by two oceans that took weeks to cross.  

 

Over time, we came to recognize mistakes (slavery, mistreatment of the Indians, women's suffrage) and correct them.  

 

A man (and mostly they were men because we were sexist) could become as rich as his talents would allow.  The government protected earnings while making few demands in the way of taxes.  Entrepreneurial spirits ran wild.  We became prosperous. 

 

With prosperity, we began to create a safety net for the elderly and the sick.

 

When the rest of the world needed us, we bled for them, and made the world a safer place.

 

Our history is nothing to be ashamed of.  People did amazing things given their situation, history,  and technology.  We should be proud of where we came from.  At the same time, we need to continue to evolve.  What worked in 1800 won't work in 2020.  We are not the best we can be.  If we are to remain 'great', progress must continue to progress.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Renegade said:

If we are to remain 'great', progress must continue to progress.

 

At every level, if you're not moving forward, you're falling behind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The acceptance of immigrants throughout our history played a big part in our success.  And we are falling behind in that too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, bludog said:

The acceptance of immigrants throughout our history played a big part in our success.  And we are falling behind in that too.

 

Absolutely.  I forgot that one, and probably many more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...