stevef wrote:Yes, the world needs the USA, they brought us...
- genocide of the North American indians
Started by the Spanish.
- slavery and the slave trade
Around since antiquity, still around today, and participated in at the time by other Africans. Of course, when the trans-Atlantic slave trade began, the U.S. wasn't even a country.
- senseless wars of aggression against Vietnam, Iraq, the list goes on...
Also not unique to the U.S.
- the tobacco industry and the millions it kills
Wouldn't it be the U.K. that brought the world the tobacco industry? I thought Walter Raleigh kicked it all off.
- the NRA and the gun nuts
These "gun nuts" also predate the U.S.
- nuclear power
I'm not sure where the first nuclear power reactor was built. However, following your argument for a second, how should countries, such as France, that derive the majority of their electrical power from nuclear sources, go about getting that power? Should France, for instance, go back to coal? Viable alternatives may exist, but you haven't given any evidence that they do.
- nuclear weapons
Nukes stopped Imperial Japan and their aggression. The alternative would have been much worse.
- crank fundamentalist religions
I wasn't aware that Mecca was in the U.S. In fact, I wasn't even aware that the U.S. was around in the seventh century.
- support for murderous dictators like Suharto, Pinochet, Kabila
Again, this has probably been around since antiquity. The U.S. hardly introduced this concept to the world.
They certainly weren't the first country to do this.
- Torture in the 21st century
As opposed to countries that simply continued it on from the 20th century.
Yep, the world sure needs the USA! USA #1!
America has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the entire world by a good margin.
I agree that this is definitely an issue, though probably not as much as the conditions under which people are kept in other countries, the lack of due process elsewhere, etc. If people have committed a crime and go to jail for it, then that just shows that the system works in that sense.
Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese.
Indeed, but this is probably more a function of America being one of the first countries to reach a certain level of prosperity. Obesity is sky-rocketting in most parts of the world now, and by mid-century there may be several countries giving the U.S. a good run for its money.
The United States leads the world in credit card fraud.
Obviously. It has the world's largest GDP and probably has the largest number of credit cards. If a person wanted to commit credit card fraud, they'd hardly seek out Vanuatu as a potential market.
The United States has the highest divorce rate in the world by a good margin.
Are you sure about the second part of that statement?
The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by far.
Again, the second part. Also, regarding the first part, a lot of it probably goes unreported in many other countries.
There are more school shootings in America than anywhere else in the world.
Definitely a problem.
The United States has the highest child abuse death rate in the world.
I don't believe this for a second. Probably every country in Africa has a higher rate.
The United States produces more pornography than any other nation in the world.
So what? I'd be much more concerned with child pornography, sex-trafficking and so on.
More people have been diagnosed with mental disorders in America than anywhere else on earth.
That could mean that either 1) other countries don't have as developed/prevalent psychiatric systems and/or 2) there is a lot of over diagnosis.
The United States has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire globe.
Again, if you're talking about per capita use, I'd be surprised if that were true. If you're talking about absolute numbers, then I'd say that is a function of the population size coupled with the size of the general economy (because again, if a person wanted to sell drugs somewhere, they wouldn't do so in Vanuatu).
Nobody in the world gets more plastic surgery done than Americans do.
I've actually heard that it's Koreans.
The United States leads the world in eating disorder deaths.
I have no idea about this one.
The United States has the most total reported crimes in the world by far.
Maybe people don't report them elsewhere for a number of reasons such as shame, fear of reprisals, having no faith in their criminal justice system, etc.
The United States has the most complicated tax system on the entire planet.
Maybe they do, but how does anyone even define this?
The United States has the most laws on the entire planet.
Maybe they do, maybe they don't. It doesn't necessarily mean anything by itself.
The United States spends more on the military than the next 12 nations combined.
That's precisely why many other countries don't have to spend any money on their military. If Western Europe had to actually pull its own weight in this regard, it wouldn't be able to afford its welfare state (well, it can't afford its welfare state anyway). People love bringing this one up, but if the U.S. hadn't spent the lion's share of this in the past, then most of Europe would probably be speaking either German or Russian by now.
The United States has the most foreign military bases in the world by far.
Again, this is a function of the previous point.
Though, of course, it's not alone in doing so.
These lists are a whole lot of points taken in complete isolation, and often, they're either 1) not actually backed up with any statistics (or they're linked to crappy pieces of shoddy journalism written online), or 2) wildly open to interpretation as to their positive or negative consequences. Furthermore, these lists conveniently leave out the many good things America has done. Yes, America has all sorts of issues, and there are lots of things it has done wrong, and continues to do wrong. However, as much as everyone likes to talk about the U.S. being so bad, what's the alternative? Fascism in the 1930s and 1940s? The Soviet Union through to the 1990s? How about today though? So let's say America suddenly ceased to exist. Who would replace them (because someone would)? China? Russia? An Islamic caliphate? All three? Yeah, they're all wonderful alternatives with a love of mankind, a great human rights record, etc. Get real.