Is America becoming a Third World Country?

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fangz1956
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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Feb 02 16:20

Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

jjordan
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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby jjordan » 2008 Feb 02 16:57

Parenti says,
"Today, the conservative goal is the Third Worldlization of America, to reduce the U.S. populace to a Third World condition, having people work harder and harder for less and less.

Spoken as only a socialist could, in my opinion. We can argue about what is happening in the real world of American politics and economics, but this is most definitely not the conservative goal by any measure. Some of Parenti's extreme perspectives distort what wisdom he may otherwise have to offer.

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fangz1956
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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Feb 03 08:52

Michael Parenti is considered one of the nation's leading progressive thinkers. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 1962, and has taught at a number of colleges and universities. His writings have been featured in scholarly journals, popular periodicals, and newspapers. Dr. Parenti lectures around the country on college campuses and before religious, labor, community, peace, and public interest groups.

Interesting how we jump to label progressive thinkers as radical or socialist. I think we do that when someone speaks a thought that challenges us to view things in another way............to step outside of our comfort zone of set thoughts and ideas and concepts. Do we immediately begin to stamp labels on those because they strike some chord of truth that we would prefer to ignore? Ah yes, ignorance IS bliss and reality is highly uncomfortable at times.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQv7oNdAYhg&feature =user

:wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby jjordan » 2008 Feb 03 11:46

Fangz,
Stamping labels? I didn't say he was a "fat, ugly, ignorant socialist." I didn't mean socialist as a four letter word and I don't think Parenti himself would argue with that description. He might prefer the more Western, ear tickling, "ultra-progressive" moniker instead, but it seems to all boil down to the same thing. I think on the inaccuracy scale my calling him a Socialist pales in comparison to his suggestion that the goal of conservative thinking is to reduce the United States to a "third world condition." Some may make reasonable and compelling arguments suggesting "third worldlization" is happening. To say its the goal of conservative thought clearly reveals a socialist agenda, in my opinion. It would be akin to capitalists saying that the goal of progressives is to destroy the private sector so as to facilitate a complete government takeover of all the markets. I don't think that's the case either. Clearly, we all will argue about where the lines between private/public sector and centralization/decentralization of power should be drawn. Nevertheless, I think most Americans would align more with Adam Smith than Karl Marx. For Mr. Parenti, his opinions seem to indicate where his pendulum swings.

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Juggler » 2008 Mar 02 09:25

Image

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Uji
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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 07 10:45

Thing about third world countries is they are great if you've got money.

In Brazil, say, you can get as good health care and every other commodity as you can in a first-world country. You just gotta have the scratch to pay for it.

What you notice traveling in third-world countries, though, is the poor infrastructure -- crumbling roads, poor public conveniences, etc.

You combine those two and it's starting to sound a whole lot like the US today. All the US lacks is the hordes of obviously dirt-poor folks you see in the third world. But even that is changing, here. Poverty is more and more obvious. (Just visited some relatives in Mississippi. Driving through the rural part of that state is something!)

The term Republic -- which we used to use to describe our country -- means "for the public good." Interesting that we so seldom use that term anymore.

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby 10thFO » 2008 Aug 07 16:33

WiseOne and Uji I take acception to the reflection to a 3rd world country. Been to a couple in my life. Matter of fact when I served in the Army. Let's just say that I deal with some of the destitute of America these days. I also deal with a bunch of young people that have decided that stealing copper is an easier way of getting money to get high with. When I was in Somalia and they had no wire for electricity it was because the thieves had stolen it to buy guns on the black market to get into power. The meth problem in the united states is something that is being swept under the rug, but people aren't stealing copper wire to pay bills with, no they could care to craps less about paying their bills the one's stealing it are the drugheads looking for their next high.

Being in Somalia and Haiti and seeing what their infrastructure looks like, does not even come close to resembling the issues with America's roads and infrastructure. I'm sorry, but that is not even a plausible relation.

The worst states in the country are the northern states that take such a beating with the harsh winters. In the south and midwest, I have really found very few issues with road
And when I go to NY state and they are paying at least .50 more for a gallon of gas, and 2.50 per pack more for cigarettes, and the property taxes in the rural parts of the state are 8 times what they are in Lexington, then I see some of this is self inflicted by states like NY. If you don't like VA roads then maybe we need to raise taxes a little, but the inordinant amount of taxes that NY "taxpaying" residents are burdened with is unfathomable to most people in the other 49 states.

Then again, if it weren't for their unions, teachers, cops, state employees, and their luscious retirements they wouldn't be paying 7.5% in sales tax and schools taxes out the ying yang.

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 07 20:39

My third-world experience was a little more upscale -- Mexico and Central American.

You are right, much worse even there. Can't imagine what Somalia must be like.

Anyway, thanks for the reality check. Your right, a comparison with the 3rd world is stretching it a bit.

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Wise One » 2008 Aug 07 21:48

"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Uji
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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 08 09:08


10thFO
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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby 10thFO » 2008 Aug 09 09:06

Yet strangely enough, I don't see people trying to flee this country, to immigrate to another of the "supposed better ones". You can use statistics all day. We use a good portion of GDP on our defense, and other by products of being this great country. Do I think we need to make some changes? Yes, but not to more socialistic ones. I believe that is wherein lies the problems we are starting to face today. Too many free handouts, whether they be to other countries or to lazy people not wanting to work. The perception of some of our youth, went from a hand up to a hand out long ago. And it's not getting any better.

As for the defense, there may come a time where we need it or where we don't, but just looking at the sheer number of Chinese should give one pause. They are a true power now, and when the day comes where there are more people than sustainable food, then people will begin fighting for it.

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Wise One
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A low, low Bar

Postby Wise One » 2008 Aug 09 11:50

"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 09 12:46


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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Wise One » 2008 Aug 09 13:55

"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 10 13:04

Thanks WiseOne. I'm sure the Danes are a very generous people -- but 52% GDP . . .

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby 10thFO » 2008 Aug 10 20:30

My point about statistics, is that you can usually find one to back your position if you look long enough. They are sort of like opinions nowadays, seems we all have some. I'm sure most of the statistics that are thrown out on the internet and in the news, could be questioned for authenticity very easily. That was my only point about statistics.

As for socialist handouts to businesses? and for roads? I grant that there can be good in every action, but as we have become accustomed to seeing, their is also a lot of waste as well. Most of it not well regulated, then when it comes to light, we scratch our heads and wonder how in the hell they get away with it in the gov't, cause if we did it in our work we'd be looking for other employment.

I see fraud quite frequently when it comes to social programs such as welfare, and SSI, and SSDI. I make sure I report those that I feel are in violation, mostly people living together, using their maiden names to qualify for food stamps when their SO is working but they fail to report they are actually living with a working person, which puts them over the threshold for income. Also the people that are on Disability that I see working basically full time jobs for cash money.

As for the immigration? Would be interesting to see just who is leaving? are these people that had already immigrated here? Does this take into account for the number of illegals that are still coming in. Does the statistics for those leaving and the percentage increase take into consideration a spike in the population from what it was a decade ago.
That is my problem with most statistics that people will use in a forum on the internet, or in a letter to the paper. You can take them out of context, or they can be taken out of the context of a reality that does exist. Statistics may give you a baseline to start a discussion, but in all fairness, the baseline shouldn't move just to suit the point of the argument, no?

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 11 11:09

Good point, 10thFO. And it's so easy to make mistakes, too. (Like my over-generosity to the Danes!)

As to emigration: I think that the majority of emigrants are "foreign-born." Sounds like they are folks that immigrated here, got citizenship, accomplished whatever they needed to accomplish here (education, earn monry, etc.) and then moved on to some other nation state. So, as you say, it would be possible to use these same statistics to support your point about emigration, I'll bet. So statistics don't prove anything -- or rather, they can be used to prove anything. But at least they give us a place to start talking about the problem. I'll bet if we talked a problem long enough to agree on the statistics, that we would reach consensus on the problem as well.

Waste is certainly damaging. The question is whether or not opposing "socialism" in general is the best way to solve that problem. Why not just oppose waste? Maybe the problem isn't the social program, but the way it's administered?

It seems that many Euro-socialist countries are now electing more conservative governments. This seems to have a lot to do with immigration and anti-EU nationalism -- at least as much as dissatisfaction with big government. But one might be able to make a case that many socialist countries are having second thoughts about big-time socialist schemes. But not about the big programs--everyone complains about the National Health Service (in the UK and Canada, for example), but you'll be hard pressed to find many people who want to go back to a US-style private health system.

Anyway, I feel like we already understand each other better on this one. That's got to be better than what usually happens in these sort of discussions.

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Wise One » 2008 Aug 12 09:42

"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 12 12:22

The numbers I found agree with yours. About 300k emigrants, with the vast majority "foreign" born. Don't know what that means.

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Re: Is America becoming a Third World Country?

Postby Amy Probenski » 2008 Sep 12 10:11



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