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  #11  
Old 07-29-2009, 05:32 AM
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My very country has been liberated by the US, the constitution has been inspired by the American constitution and we have enjoyed freedom and prosperity because of this as well as America's protection during the Cold War.
I have always been inspired by many accomplishments of the US as well as other nations or cultures who achieve something admirable.

I think that learning from each other and each other's history is a simple way to not repeat mistakes others have already made and to copy concepts that work.

I have always believed that America is that very nation of pragamatism, but if neocons don't like things that work and prefer dogma, vague blabla about what America is supposed to be according to the long dead founding fathers instead of reasoning, logic and simple comparative analysis, so be it.

We Europeans will certainly continue to love the US, but not refrain to point out that torture, imperialism and serving the special needs of a few interest groups and elites is not what has made America big.

There are plenty of Chinese and Indian people who are ready to substitute the US if it continues on the "Roman Road". Again a lesson from history, here about the fate of the Roman democratic empire.

Last edited by horatio : 07-29-2009 at 05:35 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-29-2009, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
My very country has been liberated by the US, the constitution has been inspired by the American constitution and we have enjoyed freedom and prosperity because of this as well as America's protection during the Cold War.
I have always been inspired by many accomplishments of the US as well as other nations or cultures who achieve something admirable.

I think that learning from each other and each other's history is a simple way to not repeat mistakes others have already made and to copy concepts that work.

I have always believed that America is that very nation of pragamatism, but if neocons don't like things that work and prefer dogma, vague blabla about what America is supposed to be according to the long dead founding fathers instead of reasoning, logic and simple comparative analysis, so be it.

We Europeans will certainly continue to love the US, but not refrain to point out that torture, imperialism and serving the special needs of a few interest groups and elites is not what has made America big.
Well with a new President, we are striving to change that perception back to a good one.
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  #13  
Old 07-29-2009, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
My very country has been liberated by the US, the constitution has been inspired by the American constitution and we have enjoyed freedom and prosperity because of this as well as America's protection during the Cold War.
I have always been inspired by many accomplishments of the US as well as other nations or cultures who achieve something admirable.

I think that learning from each other and each other's history is a simple way to not repeat mistakes others have already made and to copy concepts that work.

I have always believed that America is that very nation of pragamatism, but if neocons don't like things that work and prefer dogma, vague blabla about what America is supposed to be according to the long dead founding fathers instead of reasoning, logic and simple comparative analysis, so be it.

We Europeans will certainly continue to love the US, but not refrain to point out that torture, imperialism and serving the special needs of a few interest groups and elites is not what has made America big.
I'm glad that many Europeans realize how politically diverse America really is. America HAS made a lot of progress in the last thirty years, despite the fact that it's been in fits and starts, and quite uneven. After all, we have a President who is not from the majority racial group. Even most our conservatives avoid falling into the pitfalls of overt racial oppression, despite its deep and abiding roots in the historical past; some of the most powerful conservatives are even married to "nonwhites." Progress has been made.

Still, much more progress remains ahead and it is nonsensical, in my view, for us to assume that everything that America does differently from other countries is automatically superior. Unlike some others, I am little opposed to constructive and well-meaning criticism of this country by our friends abroad. What, after all, are friends for?
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  #14  
Old 07-29-2009, 05:41 AM
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Well with a new President, we are striving to change that perception back to a good one.
One advantage of multi-lateralism, one that focuses merely on your own self-interest is that others will take over part of the work. You will not decide alone, but you will not have to do the job entirely alone either.

I am sure that all the brave American soldiers who risk their lives won't mind if other nations take over some responsibility.
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  #15  
Old 07-29-2009, 05:48 AM
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Still, much more progress remains ahead and it is nonsensical, in my view, for us to assume that everything that America does differently from other countries is automatically superior. Unlike some others, I am little opposed to constructive and well-meaning criticism of this country by our friends abroad. What, after all, are friends for?
That's all I wanted to say initally, let's simply take a look at other countries who seem to manage something better than we do. If it turns out to not be better, we still will have learned something.
For example, central Europe could learn something about small government and the ensueing smaller unemployment rates in the US whereas the US could learn something about the need for financial regulation from Europe (just the need, our regulation failed badly during the crisis).*

* I intentionally picked out a "right" and a "left" topic to point out that pragamatism is more important than ideology.
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  #16  
Old 07-29-2009, 05:48 AM
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One advantage of multi-lateralism, one that focuses merely on your own self-interest is that others will take over part of the work. You will not decide alone, but you will not have to do the job entirely alone either.

I am sure that all the brave American soldiers who risk their lives won't mind if other nations take over some responsibility.
Shame there isn't a move towards a world government.
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  #17  
Old 07-29-2009, 06:01 AM
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One more thing: If the reason for "prosperity" is that we don't care much for others, then I think we could do with a little less of this "prosperity" in favor of what we are also supposed to hold up as ideals rooted in ethics and religious belief: Compassion and helpfulness to others. "Freedom" is not a good excuse for endless self-seeking.

"No man is an island, unto himself." -- John Donne.
That's why it is important to not merely look at GDP as an indicator for well-being but also at income inequality, life expectancy, crime rates, air quality/pollution etc.
I exaggerate a bit to make my point now which is not supposed to be US bashing as I could say similar things about my own country, but most folks here are US citizens: what is the use of the high US GDP when it leads to high income inequality and thus high crime, when the health system is so inefficient such that the money flows to certain lobbies and does not translate into longer lifespans, what is the use of having a larger military budget than all other NATO members, of blowing up funds which could be used to feed children or hire teachers?

Or to quote Eisenhower:
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

Last edited by horatio : 07-29-2009 at 06:04 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-29-2009, 06:11 AM
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Most of us Americans don't give a rat's *** how Europeans think we should do things. And I'm not talking about the "utopian" "hope and change" "social justice" Americans who hang out on a silly little Star Trek forum. I'm talking about Americans who understand why and how this country was founded, and why it will endure. I'm talking about reality.
If you fear quoting Europeans just quote some Americans.

There are also a lot of American economist who prefer an other type of economy, such as the nobel-prize winner Joseph Stiglitz.

You can change your economy to a stadium that is less susceptible to risk and more caring for its people and hide that it becomes more "European" by quoting some American icons.
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Last edited by TheTrekkie : 07-29-2009 at 06:15 AM.
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  #19  
Old 07-29-2009, 06:16 AM
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Very interestingly, virtually everyone who has predicted the financial crisis is what you could consider a left economist: Krugman, Roubini and I think that Stiglitz also smelled the smoke before the mainstream did.
But based on three observations, I don't wanna claim that there is a correlation between competence and political orientation.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:39 AM
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Very interestingly, virtually everyone who has predicted the financial crisis is what you could consider a left economist: Krugman, Roubini and I think that Stiglitz also smelled the smoke before the mainstream did.
But based on three observations, I don't wanna claim that there is a correlation between competence and political orientation.
When the current type of economy gets into trouble of course its critics have predicted it.
And the left economist were the critics of our current economy.
However, these facts also make it hard to differentiate who of them was clever enough to actually recognize the roots of the current crisis and predict it on a scientifical basis and who just was against that kind of economy on an ideological basis and just had the luck to have chosen the right side.

Actually I don't know a lot of economists in person that still believe the Invisible Hand eventually could do everything on its own . (however there are disproportionate many Keynsians where I study)
Where I study they taught these things in the first semester, but themselves or their staff are interested in assymetric information, external effects and all these imperfections of the free market that make it interesting to be a scientist.
Only the answers are different ones, depending on the school they are coming from, some of them rather prefer a Keynsian solution, some of them are ordoliberals and prefer the happy medium between laissez-faire capitalism and socialism, in Germany e.g. a solution based on Walter Eucken.
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Last edited by TheTrekkie : 07-29-2009 at 06:50 AM.
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