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Guest Post: America Isn't The Greatest Country Anymore

Tyler Durden's picture


Via Lance Roberts of Street Talk Live,

This weekend I had my first opportunity to watch "Newsroom," an HBO series, and I was struck by the opening sequence of the show as Jeff Daniels, aka Will McAvoy, discusses why America WAS the greatest country in the world - but no longer is.   Here are the stats as he breaks them down:

The U.S. is:

  • 7th in literacy
  • 27th in math 
  • 22nd in science
  • 49th in life expectancy
  • 178th in infant mortality
  • 3rd in median household income
  • 4th in labor force
  • 4th in exports

But here are some other stats where the U.S. ranks as well:

  • 19th is State success
  • 3rd in oil production
  • 12th in prosperity
  • 22nd in freedom of the press
  • 2nd in child poverty
  • 30th in nocturnal safety
  • 3rd in "liking" the United Sates (behind Japan and Kenya)
  • 11th in "happiness"
  • 22nd in freedom from corruption
  • 24th in "perceived" honesty
  • 39th in income inequality
  • 4th in employees "faking" illness
  • 3rd in human development
  • 10th in economic freedom
  • 17th in credit "worthiness"
  • 4th in global competitiveness
  • 47th in infant survival
  • 38th in trade freedom
  • 8th in researchers
  • 12th in thriving population
  • 34th in the Children's index
  • 61st in monetary freedom
  • and, most depressingly, 50th in erection length.

You get the idea.  The rise of economic strength was built on the backs of hard working Americans who built stuff from skyscrapers to railroads.  We farmed, we produced and we raised families.   The pride of "built in America" was the flag that we waved.  

America just voted for a continuation of dependency.  Dependency on government for handouts from food stamps to welfare.  Dependency on the graciousness of our neighbors to continue loaning us money to support excess spending.  America has become a debtor nation and the cancer of debt has eroded our economic prosperity.


Can America be great again?  Absolutely.  America has an indomitable spirit and a will to succeed unmatched my any on this planet.  It just requires a spark to bring us together as a country to make the sacrifices necessary to return America to its former greatness.  However, it requires great leaders that will fight for moral values, stand up for what is right, strike down the wrong laws for the right reasons, fight for those in poverty, care about our neighbors and put our money where our mouth is.  

Yet it is great leadership that has been missing.  Each leader has followed the same path of profligate spending and reckless disregard of the long term economic drain for short term economic gains.  The country needs a leader that is willing to take the risks of failure to achieve success.  A leader that is willing to fall to earth while reaching for the stars.  A leader willing to accept the responsibility for his successes as well as his failures.  Our Forefathers were great leaders.  We have forgotten what great leadership meant.  We have opted for mediocrity and self-indulgence and we have reaped the harvest that we have sewn.  

It's not too late for America.  Will McAvoy is right: "The first step in solving any problem is recognizing that there is one.  America is not the greatest country in the world anymore."   We must acknowledge the program.  We must choose to return to begin the long road to recovery by becoming an informed and educated electorate.  We must begin making the right choices, sacrifices and demanding the same from our leadership.   I have hope.

Warning:  Video has strong language




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Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:08 | 2973514 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture
Stop the Press
Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:14 | 2973543 PrintingPress
PrintingPress's picture

The presses shalt never be stopped! 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:17 | 2973566 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Ron Paul tried to make it clear that "individual leadership" is what is needed... Although many knew this message to be true... Most failed to embrace the challenge...

May God help us with the consequences...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:19 | 2973571 tsx500
tsx500's picture


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:23 | 2973594 Inignort
Inignort's picture


Yemen, Syria, Iran, Somalia,...


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:59 | 2973646 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



  • 1st Drone weapons payload
  • 1st Drone altitude
  • 1st Drone loitering time over target
  • 1st Drone sensing capability
  • 1st Domestic drone fleet size
  • 1st Drone sales to foreign countries
  • 1st All-weather drone capabilities
  • 1st Drone fuel efficiency
  • 1st Drone remote control usability and ergonomics
  • 1st Drone VSTOL capabilities
  • 1st Drone-to-drone coordination

I am proud of my country!


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:00 | 2973716 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I'm proud to be a wookiee... HOOAH!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:06 | 2973732 Manthong
Manthong's picture

The Empire Strikes Back

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:33 | 2973815 no taste
no taste's picture

Joe's not proud.

Of course, if I were Joe, I wouldn't be either.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:38 | 2973833 ratso
ratso's picture

Lance Roberts is a moron.

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 01:45 | 2975266 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

SLAVES in the Roman Empire were still SLAVES!!!!!


You don't see Fidel Castro moving to America.


It is better to be the mob head of a shitty state (but you are still relatively wealthy) than live in the ghetto Detroit without a job selling drugs in the street corners and enjoy "welfare"



Tue, 11/13/2012 - 02:48 | 2975341 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

"The rise of economic strength was built on the backs of hard working Americans who built stuff from skyscrapers to railroads.  We farmed, we produced and we raised families.   The pride of "built in America" was the flag that we waved. "

This was sarcasm right? Americans don't actually believe this bullshit do they?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:45 | 2973851 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Shakespeare said "the abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power" and I think that describes America's drone bombing very well. Today I hear no remorse, either from the leadership or from the people in America, regarding US global drone pre-crime murder.

The problem with the policy, other than the fact it is a war crime that destroys the very basis of our legal system, is that it sets the worst possible worldwide precedent. If we think it's OK for a nation to kill someone in a foreign country for a crime they might commit in the future then we need to be ready for their drones killing people in the US. Because the other side will soon have drones just like ours. Oops.

Bombing another country has always been an act of war, and always should be.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:39 | 2974052 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

You must be one of them furriner types.  Sounds like you haven't quite got the hang of the 'Merkin double-standard thingie, yet...

When the USA does drone-strikes, we're making the world safe for democracy and defending freedom.

When someone ELSE does drone-strikes, they're committing war-crimes and instigating terror.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:06 | 2974140 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

That's right. When Hitler fired V2 flying bombs at London it was bad. When Obama does the same thing it's good.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:03 | 2974525 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Exactly!  Have we started attacking London, yet?

(NB: the V2 was a *rocket,* not a buzz-bomb, but I forgive you because you were already dead a couple thousand years before that stuff came along...)

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 02:13 | 2975297 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

winners write history


US won, so hitler is taught as the bad guy

If Germans won, Jews will be taught as the bad guys


When China wins, they are going to tell the world how stupid, corrupt, crass, uncultured, brutal Americans were compared to themselves.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:52 | 2973869 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Good read: Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

See where the drone evolution leads

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:44 | 2973662 xtop23
xtop23's picture

im going to assume the spelling error is a jab at our failing public schools. the alternative is better at exemplifying our educational failure than the actual article.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:17 | 2973766 pods
pods's picture

Well I think this might sum it up:

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 02:19 | 2975306 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

why learn to spell when you have spell check?


why learn to spell when you have rappers who can't spell become millionares while English teachers get welfare?


Why learn at all when education doesn't pay?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:32 | 2973814 jimod
jimod's picture

Start by bringing back the Fairness Doctrine.

News is not entertainment.  

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:20 | 2974411 Forbes
Forbes's picture

But first define fairness...

All the silliness of Humpty Dumpty:

 "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master that's all."

News may not be entertainment, but everything in the media that does not entertain does not garner an audience.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:16 | 2973550's picture



It just requires a spark to bring us together as a country to make the sacrifices necessary to return America to its former greatness.


The problem is that we are forced to sacrifice in order to promote that which is against our own interest. Sacrifice is the problem. Supporting one's family and friends is not sacrifice. It's a mutually beneficial social arrangement based on love and respect.

We need less of government "leadership." This used to be a somewhat free country. Free men are not lead by compulsion.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:58 | 2973711 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Truth is we are fucked @ this point it will only get worse till she finally blows. The meaning of " hell on earth" will be realized by the end of the decade. If I was a betting man I'd say a hell of alot sooner. No man or political party can reverse this now. Winner takes all..

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:14 | 2973763's picture

Events will depend on whether the crisis makes in easier or harder for the moochers and looters to assault the productive members of society. It's entirely possible that in some areas the crisis will lead to greater freedom and that individuals will be free to interact voluntarily and live more prosperously than they did under the empire. Fewer useless gadgets, more organic butter. Sounds good to me. In fact I'm currently not writing a novel on that theme. Too much ZH can lead to a lack of productivity, that's for sure.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:59 | 2973714 Richard Chesler
Richard Chesler's picture

Sacrifice 1: my Obamaphone don't have to be an iphone5. I'll settle for a 4s.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:42 | 2973842 Dugald
Dugald's picture

First, get rid of the top to bottom corruption, a challenge that is I think, for Americans, unsurmountable being too deeply entrenched.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:54 | 2973877 cossack55
cossack55's picture

"men who think cannot be ruled"


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 23:59 | 2975100 Incubus
Incubus's picture

You needed some diseased bitch to tell you that?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:15 | 2973553 PD Quig
PD Quig's picture

Clearly the tack to take here is to do everything that the Dems want to do. They just won a mandate, right?

Unfortunately, reality gets the only vote that counts. There is no way that the either the Democrats or Republicans will ever agree to the draconian change that is required to avoid an economic collapse. Things are so far out of whack that a 100% confiscation of 1%'er wealth would barely close one year's deficit, let alone dent the debt.

Everything that will be done in the next few months will remain firmly in the realm of window dressing and can kicking. It is simply inconceivable that there is the political courage on either side to admit to the real depth of the problems and to suggest the kinds of solutions actually required: wholesale elimination of entire cabinet level departments (Education, Energy, HHS, etc.), massive adjustment to entitlements, and a complete restructuring of the tax code that destroys growth and costs a trillion in compliance every year. None of this has any chance of happening. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Zip.

Give the Democrats what they want. Raise rates, raise spending, raise regulations. The real message of last Tuesday was that all hundred and twenty million people who voted still believe that we can walk across the economic equivalent of a bed of hot coals. Let's try it. I'm ready.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:36 | 2973625 machineh
machineh's picture

Every empire crumbles from within, due to the (unprofitable) cost of 'projecting power.'

Not one empire has ever quit the game in time.

The US could still demobilize from WW II, 67 years after it ended. But it won't.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:57 | 2973709 Popo
Popo's picture

Not just projecting power.  Sates bankrupt themselves in countless ways.  Why?  To preserve the powers of the entrenched elites.   An increasing number of disaffected groups are paid for complacency.   Eventually they can't pay them all and social schisms appear.  Then it crumbles.

But at the end of the day it is always about a small group of elites who rose up through the system and then arrive at the conclusion that the system itself can be used to support them.   Systems are inherently volatile.  As soon as you attempt to lock a structure in place, the "lock" must give or the system must collapse.    

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:34 | 2974035 GernB
GernB's picture

I agree with everyting you said, except I wouldn't place it on one party or the other. I'd just say "let those who think government is the solution do everything they want to do." In the end it will collapse becase there is no solution that is pallatable to politicians on either side. The first step in fixing an addiction problem is admiting you have a problem. We have not got to the stage yet where the public can really see the nature of the problem.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:16 | 2973562 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

It's not length that matters, it's width.  Don't get depressed unless you have too. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:49 | 2973854 Dugald
Dugald's picture

Absolutely, never mind the quality...feel the width!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:20 | 2973576 macholatte
macholatte's picture




We must choose to return to begin the long road to recovery by becoming an informed and educated electorate.  

Why?  50+% don't care.



We must begin making the right choices, sacrifices and demanding the same from our leadership.

The right choices were made. Clearly, not your choices.  Time to adapt.




The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
Alexis de Tocqueville


Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
John Adams



Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:38 | 2973640 EuroInhabitant
EuroInhabitant's picture

"US to overtake Saudi Arabia in oil as China's water runs dry"

US is saved. Forget the doom, US will earn piles of real money and pays off any debt with a big smile. Bye bye crisis.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:34 | 2973820 sosoome
sosoome's picture

Eventually...lot's of gaps between now and then.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:10 | 2973522 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Obama gets 99% of the vote in 100 precincts in Cuyahoga county Ohio.  No way there's any fraud there!

Hey Oh Way to go Ohio

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:18 | 2973569 PD Quig
PD Quig's picture

You mean, "Oiho."

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:26 | 2973795 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

I live here in buckeye land and it is: Nohio

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:26 | 2973601 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



No way at all lol what I think is hilarious is I can't tell you how many times the young people on site have whined about the debt claiming it was all the Boomer's fault (supposedly even those who voted against those they knew were big spenders) well kids your day is coming eventually austerity will kick in and who will you blame when it is YOU picking up the tab?

The 49 Percent That Defeated Romney: Young Voters

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:39 | 2974050 GernB
GernB's picture

Maybe, but at some poine they will realize the burden that has been placed upon them without their consent.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:33 | 2974236 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

I didn't.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:11 | 2973937 Loose-Tools
Loose-Tools's picture

I did NOT vote for Obama (I did NOT vote for Romney, either ... Boo Hoo!). But I do call BULLSHIT on your "Fox News" style lying Propaganda. Cuyahoga County precincts reporting = 1077 of 1077.  Total vote cast for all candidates = 612,415. Votes for Obama/Biden = 420,953. 420,953 divided by 612,415 = 69 percent!  . 100 precincts is not a valid representation of Cuyahoga County. One could probably cherry-pick 100 precincts in a large county in Texas and produce similar results for Romney. BTW...  we were guaranteed to be sodomized no matter who won. Take your Red/Blue shit and eat it!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:52 | 2974100 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Tool, you need to eat less period.  The evidence of voter fraud is overwhelming.  As long time Ron Paul supporters, we shed exactly zero tears when Romney lost.  So you think Barry actually received 99% in those precincts?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:45 | 2973523 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

No shit. And overstatement of the glaringly obvious.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:10 | 2973527 bigkansas
bigkansas's picture

Long live our idiocracy! 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:11 | 2973528 Louie the Dog
Louie the Dog's picture

I have hope.


That's all you'll have soon. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:16 | 2973555 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

No shit. Hope is what you have when there is nothing else on the horizon...........

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:58 | 2973891 Dugald
Dugald's picture

Hope springs internal

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:12 | 2973534 madcuban
madcuban's picture

an indomatibale spirit for more free sh$% you mean.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:12 | 2973540 PUD
PUD's picture

Sadly a finite planet with 10 billion mouths to feed and an eroding climate says otherwise...all the pom poms aside. The problem lies in using things to define "greatness" at the expense of well being.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:34 | 2973580's picture

The population of the developed world would have a less onerous impact on the environment if we were not forced to live under an economic system which depends on the constant growth of unnecessary goods and services. I remember when CNBC continually touted Bed, Bath and Beyond. I used to think that if that's the new blue chip stock we're in big trouble. Without such a system the economy and the monetary system would collapse. It's not a very good system for us or for the environment. But the bankers like it.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:37 | 2973631 PUD
PUD's picture

spot on

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:13 | 2973541 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

So...we're just getting around to realizing this? What does that say about America?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:14 | 2973542 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

I'd be curious that as a financial advisor, what does Mr. Roberts advise his clients to invest in...

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:22 | 2973584 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

I'm bullish on 'Merica long term.  With all the fracking the US is on target to become a net exporter of oil in 4 years and then we have all that natural gas.  Just imagine what would happen if the government actually got out of the way.  The problem is with the banking-government cabal.  Once that snake is killed and head is cut off the healing can begin. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:31 | 2973616 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



hahaha and who is going to punish Wall St.? Obama ROFLMAO  

An Obama Economic Team to Sweep Wall Street Clean snip

When U.S. voters elected Barack Obama president in November 2008, many of us were convinced he would make a top priority of reforming Wall Street, which had just almost succeeded in bringing down our way of life through greed and lack of accountability.

Despite the fact that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) andCitigroup Inc. (C) were among Obama’s top 10 financial backers in 2008, we were hopeful we would see a change in the system whereby bankers, traders and executives were rewarded every day to take huge, asynchronous risks with other people’s money.

We also believed that Obama wouldn’t succumb to the backroom maneuverings of the plutocrats and behind-the-scenes money men -- such as former Treasury SecretaryRobert Rubin and former Deputy Secretary Roger Altman -- who were busy advocating a quick return to the status quo and looking to move their friends into positions of great importance in Obama’s Cabinet.

It turned out we were either naive or stupid to think that when candidate Obama spoke about “change you can believe in,” he was including Wall Street.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:55 | 2973704 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Once you erect such a mighty system of corruption and deciet, there is no going back... not without lots of death. As the 5th dimensional dude from MIB3 said, "where there is death, there will always be death."

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:21 | 2973786 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

How is it that the Soviet Union just dissolved without conflict?  If there was any empire that should have ended violently that would have been the one. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:58 | 2973712 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Zero Hedge had a post on this earlier today. You do not need to spam it on every thread.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:06 | 2973913 Dugald
Dugald's picture

What the hell do you expect from a nation brought up believing in the tooth fairy and captain kangaroo?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:23 | 2974195 GernB
GernB's picture

Wall Street corruption is only a symptom of corruption in our system of government. You can't fix wall street without fixing our government first. Any politician telling you they will, is only telling you what they want you to hear to get elected.

We also believed he would be the most transparent president in recent history, but on his first effort, health care reform, he had to hide what washington was doing from the people, because he knew it would make it even more unpopular people saw the wheeling and dealing being done to get the vote for something that was unpopular with the people.

Reality is there's no reason to believe that when Obama talked about change you can believe in, or that he would fundamentally change the US, that he was talking about change you actually wanted.

It was disheartening to me to see a politician making such an obviously vague statement, in what was a transparent attempt to get people to read into it what they wanted, and to see people so unquestioning of what he was saying. So much for the generation that grew up with the mantra of questioning authority.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:45 | 2973667 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Trouble is that it will be more profitable to export oil products than to sell to Americans. Already happening with gasoline. Falling domestic demand and rising prices will just get reinforced. If government gets out of the way the trend will accelerate. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:25 | 2973793 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

Then the trade imbalance will shrink and possibly manufacturing jobs will return to the US.  I do not see a problem with US becoming an export economy.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:38 | 2973634 5880
5880's picture

His fees

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:19 | 2973548 foodstampbarry
foodstampbarry's picture

I've been looking at swampland in Zimbabwe, I believe it's an improvement.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:15 | 2973549 septimus
septimus's picture

No wonder we're not the geratest anymore, nothing has been done to fix the flaws, the tumors in our economic system.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:16 | 2973552 venturen
venturen's picture

Hey I don't think we are doing the right thigns but where did these stats come from? 2nd in child poverty 

Come ON! 


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:22 | 2973583 PD Quig
PD Quig's picture

93.54% of all statistics are made up on the fly.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:16 | 2973554 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Yes, but Arent the river banks of Da Nile over populated?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:17 | 2973563 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Homework assignment: re-read every sentence where Nietzsche uses the word "great" (in reference to thinkers, artists, politicians, moralists, and people) and see if it can be applied to the future of the USA.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:30 | 2973615 magpie
magpie's picture

Nietzsche wanted 'Great Europeans' - he didn't give a damn about Germany, much less the USA and the rest of the world.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:16 | 2973564 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

The US has been sacrificed on the alter of "2 party democracy".

To achieve this, the citizens' critical thinking must be undermined and channeled into actions that are deemed managable by the coporate owners. It's going well. The electorate is divided almost perfectly.

It's very clear the true enemies are internal yes? When can we attack?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:18 | 2973570 kralizec
kralizec's picture

1st in rushing to the bottom!  Sell it!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:20 | 2973578 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

50th in erection length? That's called a McDick.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:38 | 2973636 worbsid
worbsid's picture

Do you want fries with that?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:55 | 2973703 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Yep. No mayonaise.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:11 | 2973753 Kickaha
Kickaha's picture

Stop Asian immigration!!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:21 | 2973579 GoldbugVariation
GoldbugVariation's picture

The problems modern America has are:

- too much partisanship in politics

- political process too susceptible to lobbyists

- dumbed-down popular media

- not enough emphasis on science and math in education

- little work ethic instilled in children

- too many people with a sense of entitlement

- ignorant geographically, with too much isolationism


Unless these things are fixed, America will not be able to fix itself.  Instead America will watch other countries gradually surpass it, with the same freedoms and with a work ethic which America is sadly lacking.

Some countries with the same freedoms: Singapore, S. Korea, Malaysia, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Canada

Some countries well on their way to getting these freedoms: Brazil, India, many others in S America

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:48 | 2974090 pods
pods's picture

I can sum it up in one problem, that will take away all your issues.

Fractional Reserve Banking.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:41 | 2974266 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

The only way it came to be and continues to be is part popular ignorance, part popular envy, which become entitlement which begets dependence which begets Stockholm syndrome servility and myopia which is where we are now, with comfortable majorities defending the very status quo that bankrupts and oppresses them further every day.

Hard to fight an enemy whose identity you do not know, such as Ben Bernanke vis the American public.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:14 | 2974384 GernB
GernB's picture

Where I think you run into problems is that some only look as far as the banking system, while others recognize that fractional reserve banking as a symptom of a deeper problem: a federal government that has taken for itself powers that can crush individual freedon. As long as the government retains the power to pick winners and loosers, and can redistribute money to individuals, organizations and corporations as it sees fit there will be no fixing the baking system. Because as long as that power exists it will be open to corruption by powerful interests, such as the baking industry.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:23 | 2974692 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Yeah, but... if you take away their hammer (fractional reserve banking) they will stop looking at everything as a nail (a source of pillage).

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 19:03 | 2974343 GernB
GernB's picture

I like your list, but I don't necessarily agree with a couple of the items:

-- I think it's become fashonable to criticize people who stand on their beliefs as partisan and unwilling to compromise.

-- I don't think the problem is limited to lobbyists we have an entire political system based on corruption, and we preach loudly and repeatedly that two wrongs do make a right and therefore it's OK for people and corporations to vote themselves other people's money.

-- I think the media is smart, and being raised in acedemia they are true believers in the progressive ideaology, to the point that they are willing to hide the truth if reallity does not support their ideology.

-- It is hard to believe in science when politicians use it as a tool to gain political ends. We have a corrupt government that uses it's funding of education and research to gain power by employing researchers that will arrive at conclusions that supports policies that they can use to discredit oponents and get elected.

-- It's not just that there's little work ethic, our educational system actively discourages competition and undermines the idea of rewarding people for doing the jobs society needs dones by instilling in people the belief that they should be able to do any job that fulfills them and demand pay that the market won't bear for it, without regard for whether society needs so many people doing that job.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:22 | 2973588 Itch
Itch's picture

You may not be the best country in the world....but why would you want to be? Cant you be happy with who you all are? This is very sad indeed, but its also fucking hilarious listening to you sadsack sentimental twats lament over how "great" you were...chin up, and just remember you are floating in infinity for a very short period of time, and being the "best country in the world" should not have the weight to drag any individual down. You've all been had if you think it should.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:37 | 2973632 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



Well Itch I will say this if not being the so called greatest country in the world anymore would mean they stopped stealing from American taxpayers for all the foreign aid and policing the world works for me. Let the rest of the countries feed their own people and pay for their own defense and I am all for it.

Japan Wants Greater Security Guarantees From The U.S. In Their Confrontation With China

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:18 | 2973772 Itch
Itch's picture

Im all for that too, but remember that foreign aid is probably 90% bribes and keeping allies sweet so you can use there countries for your own wants, and that "policing the world" is really better known as “protecting your own interests”. Which is fair enough, but call a spade a spade!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:58 | 2973892 HurricaneSeason
HurricaneSeason's picture

More like protecting military contractor profits. Remember Rumsfeld wanted to attack Iraq instead of Afghanistan because Afghanistan didn't have anything good to blow up and rebuild. I wouldn't be surprised if they attacked Cuba or Peru for 10 or 20 years, next. There is no logical plan, look at the military scrapyards. If it weren't for the savings and loan collapse, we'd have thousands of nuclear stealth bombers and satellites accidentally shooting  ourselves with lasers and such. Sometimes a collapse is good.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:27 | 2973606 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture
  • 61st in monetary freedom

That is fucking pit i ful.  We are naught but slaves with invisible chains.

The Second American Revolution, getting rolling now in a neighborhood near you.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:40 | 2973649 machineh
machineh's picture

One word: FATCA.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 18:39 | 2974259 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Four words:  Laws Are For Slaves

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 00:06 | 2975111 Incubus
Incubus's picture

Educate a population and show them the value of morality, and you won't need laws.

The need for laws indicates a system that cannot produce a high standard of individual.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:29 | 2973613 q99x2
q99x2's picture

I realized America wasn't so great when I first learned I was considered an American. What did I do to deserve that I asked? They said, "you were born here." I was a kid so I kept asking questions. Is that like the same reason I have blonde hair? Not all people have blond hair they said. Then why are they Americans? Because they live here too.

Then in 6th grade I was sent to the principals office for not saying Pledge of Alliegence. I explained to the principal that it wan't my fault I was born here and that it was idiotic and a violation of my civil liberties to force me to Pledge Alliegence to a stupid flag. After I was done explaining my position that sucker threw me out of his office and said that I was only one person so what the hell are you going to do about it?

Now I know. Digital Democracy.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:35 | 2973623 PUD
PUD's picture

Good for you brother! I've walked that same path too.

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 00:08 | 2975119 Incubus
Incubus's picture

I had to deal with school administration when I refused to say the pledge when I was in grade school, too.

My principle became very irate and yelled this:  "You're going to say the pledge!"

And I never did.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:30 | 2973614 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

As long as the collectivist agenda is forwarded we will never be great again. The country was built on rugged individualism. Take a drive thru some of our fine cities today and see what the populace really looks like and acts like. The bottom is pulling the top down, not the other way around.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:32 | 2973618 Michelle
Michelle's picture

TRUTH, HONESTY, INTEGRITY, CHARACTER - These are the CORE VALUES and PRINCIPLES that "went missing." Until we regain these values and a person holds dear his REPUTATION above All else and in turn hold others accountable to theirs, we will continue this current downtrend.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:33 | 2973620 Joe A
Joe A's picture

What the hell is this 'my country is the best country in the world' BS all about? You might as well put your dicks on the table and compare sizes.....oh wait America, you are screwed!

Wasn't Buthan the happiest country in the world? And they don't all have big houses, 3 cars, etc. Perhaps they don't even have big dickies. But they are happy!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:38 | 2973635 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Doesn't this guy know that talking about things America is not #1 in is........ Un-American!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:01 | 2973899 HurricaneSeason
HurricaneSeason's picture

We're number one in bombs.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:06 | 2973923 akak
akak's picture

USA!!  USA!!  USA!!  USA!!  USA!!


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:39 | 2973642 PUD
PUD's picture

But to be fair...we're #1 in violence, prisoners, obesity, fast food, reality shows, porn, gun crimes, financial fraud, stupid etc etc

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:39 | 2973645 PUD
PUD's picture

and mormons!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:45 | 2973663 machineh
machineh's picture

We're gonna be host country to Jesus on his triumphant return tour. 

After touching down in Independence, Missouri, the Savior heads over to Branson for a special engagement.

Don't miss it!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 21:27 | 2974704 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Where do I get tickets!?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:13 | 2973758 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

Gotta say, Netherlands, Italy and Japan are schooling us on the porn.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:39 | 2973643 SRVDisciple
SRVDisciple's picture

Brawndo's got what plants crave!


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:51 | 2973688 a growing concern
a growing concern's picture

It's probably time to re-watch that movie and plan accordingly.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:41 | 2973652 Eveverything
Eveverything's picture

The countries that rank near the top in most of these rankings (Scandinavia, Northern Europe, East Asia) use more government intervention to acheive them than most of the commentators on this site would be willing to stomach.


What countries out there walk the libertarian walk and have a high standard of living?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:48 | 2973672's picture


What countries out there walk the libertarian walk and have a high standard of living?


None. Because the oligarchs use the democratic system installed in most western nations in order to capture legislative and regulatory functions and loot the wealth of the citizens. Productive people are always the first target of looters. That doesn't mean that freedom is bad. Quite the opposite.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 23:06 | 2974997 Michelle
Michelle's picture

Whew, for a minute therei thought you were referring to the U.S. being a democracy and we were going to suffer the same ills. Fortunately we live in a REPUBLIC!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:50 | 2973679 xtop23
xtop23's picture

..... and here i thought the problem was such a Gordian Knot!!!

By George, you've saved us. Socialism will cure the worlds ills!!!


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:10 | 2973734 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

>The countries that rank near the top in most of these rankings (Scandinavia, Northern Europe, East Asia) use more government intervention

Define "more government intervention". Are you saying they spend more than the US government?

>What countries out there walk the libertarian walk and have a high standard of living?

I think USA is more libertarian than North Korea. And it has a higher standard of living.

Alas, making glib statements isn't the same as doing actual science.


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:43 | 2974066 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

It was a simple question.  Your answer demonstrates just how unflattering the truth is.

Bad idea, bro--you're NOT HELPING!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:44 | 2973659 hannah
hannah's picture

as long as america gives money to foreign countries...IT WILL BE THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON all the teet sucking foreigners that bitch about the usa while taking their handout. fuck the rest of the world.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:55 | 2973702 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Money the US does not have.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:11 | 2973750 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

Wake up!

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:44 | 2973661 Animal Cracker
Animal Cracker's picture

"The first step in solving any problem is recognizing that there is one."

Many think we've done this.  Unfortunately, the "problem" we've recognized is "the other party".  Until we got over that myopia, the real problems will elude us.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:50 | 2973681 fuu
fuu's picture

Lance Roberts gets added to the Gimperman, Aziz, Simon Black yahtzee list.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:50 | 2973686 kito
kito's picture

repeat post by me: couldnt help it, im very patriotic today, being veterans day.........


My country where everythings for free....

sweet department of homeland security....obamas the king......

land where the constitution died......

land of the bankers pride......

from every citizens bent-over backside, let corporatocracy ring..........

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:53 | 2973689 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Since the 1980s Americans have set the example for the rest of the world in shopping for frivolous goods and services. Oh and we were good. And we were the world's capitalists and bean counters, showing others how to rehypothecate and develop superior golfing skills. 

It was a golden age of leisure and aspirational consumerism, where joe blow could feel like a billionaire when armed with a credit card and an SUV. 

Now we're going to have to strip-mine the heartland and all the dirt from sea to shining sea just to get enough oil and gas droplets to keep the lights on. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:52 | 2973692 RougeUnderwriter
RougeUnderwriter's picture

#1 in if you don't like it you can leave - where would you go?


Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:20 | 2973781 kito
kito's picture

texas perhaps?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:32 | 2973807 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

+1 That made me laugh....thx kito!

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 00:25 | 2975141 Incubus
Incubus's picture

Someplace far away from too many people.

Some tropical island that's not inhabited, maybe.  Get a bunch of people together and the longterm outcome is never favorable.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:54 | 2973700 Rob Jones
Rob Jones's picture

OK, what is the greatest country? And how would one go about immigrating there?

BTW, I think the USA is still the greatest country for banksters, lawyers, and doctors. But what about the rest of us?

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:55 | 2973706 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

Sheesh........all this crap about how great America and our founding fathers were. Based on what? The winners write the history books ya know. By modern standards our founding fathers were a bunch of traitorous terrorists. Now our current "fathers" go to great lengths to make sure no more members of the founding father type remain free. Humans, it's what's for dinner.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 15:56 | 2973707 Kastorsky
Kastorsky's picture

bull shit!

The only reason for amerikan prosperity was Ownership Of World Fiat Reserve Currency.

Any shit hole in the world would prosper, if it is alowed to pay everyone with paper it can print at will.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:05 | 2973729 papicek
papicek's picture

Nah, we're just regressing to the mean is all. A mean characterized by apathy, illiteracy and innumeracy, people want to work, come home without major money headaches and then plunk their tired asses down, have a beer and catch the game without too much trouble from the kids. They'll be content to 1) go along with the crowd and 2) be told what to do. Lobbyists can take care of the rest.

It's not much of a life, and its central tenet is merely to get the monkeys off their backs and avoid taking on too much responsibility.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:06 | 2973731 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

Uhm,....what was so great about America?

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 00:27 | 2975146 Incubus
Incubus's picture

We can buy shit with credit cards(middle class)/or EBT cards and eat shit infront of the TV/Computer after we get out of work.


Yeah, fucking America is awesome as fuck.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:08 | 2973738 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

"America has an indomitable spirit and a will to succeed unmatched my any on this planet.  It just requires a spark to bring us together as a country to make the sacrifices necessary to return America to its former greatness."

Unicorns and rainbows.  Unicorns and rainbows.

In ten years, the skyscrapers of Manhattan will be shattered wrecks, inhabited by pigeons.  America became "great" because of the oil dream, which humanity will awaken from soon.  It became "great" because we were fortuitously in a position after 1945 to grant each of our citizens the cheap energy equivalent of 100 slaves each.  That era has passed, and no amount of fluffy fantasy is going to bring it back.  Period.  Shit like this makes my eyes tired - I can't quit rolling them.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:09 | 2973744 wonderatitall
wonderatitall's picture

had ...had the spirit.  obama has got rid of that nasty spirit...wer ma fone

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:17 | 2973768 overhere2000
overhere2000's picture

None of this matters in a globalized economy.  America is just another place.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:22 | 2973779 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

"It's not too late for America."

LOL... Good one. I love these bold assertions with no facts to back them up. How exactly is it not too late for America? How exactly do you push your ideas (peacefully and/or democratically) through a population which is absolutely fine with dependence (majority-wise)?

Congratulations, Lance, for finally "waking up" and joining the rest of the enlightened but don't act like you have stumbled upon any "solution" which hasn't already been repeated for years. Now go back to turning paper and pretending like you've led a productive life.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:23 | 2973787 JR
JR's picture

It’s time to say more than “Yes we can!” and it’s long past time to say “We need to identify the problem.”

The problem is identified in your statistics, and you failed to disclose it.

Stop saying "we need to identfiy the problem" and identify the problem. It is known.

The problem is America's compromise with the devil. It is  the 1965 Immigration Act which allowed an avalanche of low-skilled, low-information Democrat voters into the country who now are proving that they don’t want the moral work-ethic, free-enterprise, liberty-centered nation that Tom Jefferson, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry and George Washington established.

This problem, that continues to be ignored by cowardly spokesmen, has fired a shot through the bow of liberty America.

Stop saying  we need to find the problem and start fixing this one.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:52 | 2974615 Nehweh Gahnin
Nehweh Gahnin's picture

"...Tom Jefferson, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry and George Washington..." were immigrants, you fucking moron.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:27 | 2973799 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Does America have hope?

Let me answer that by asking, can Americans ween themselves off food stamps, can bankers ween themselves off excessive bonuses and QE, can the military scale down its activities by at least 50%, can Bernanke stop fiddling with interest rates, can Congress say "no" to its constituents and can Homeland Security be wound up?

I thought so.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:37 | 2973830 JR
JR's picture

It was either Mark Twain or Rodney King, not sure which, who said: “Can’t we all just get along?”

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:57 | 2973888 mirac
mirac's picture

Rodney King...

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 03:04 | 2975358 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Fairly certain he was being facetious.  Thanks though. I always get those two confused :p

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 17:16 | 2973960 HurricaneSeason
HurricaneSeason's picture

Dont forget government workers getting paid multiples of what they're worth for answering the phone and collecting multiple retirements. The actual problem is the traitor corporations going to China for $1 an hour labor. There is absolutely no way to fix it except to watch their wages eventually triple along with gas and food prices. All the while housing prices and wages here (including government workers) will fall to meet them in the middle. China wants the rest of the world to stop using dollars for international trade and the rest of the world agress, so it might not take long. It's way beyond fixing with more stupid legislation. We need to run up the credit card as high as it can go, before it explodes, and load up warehouses with commodities.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:38 | 2973832 formadesika3
formadesika3's picture

This is so 1980s.





Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:39 | 2973835 TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

I wish I could believe in all of the hype, but I can't. America;s best days are behind it. The downward spiral began in the 1960s, and has picked up speed since the 1980s. We have no moral underpinnings anymore. We are without a rudder {except it's damaged, and we can only turn left!} The values of the people are completely messed up. They value comfort and security over liberty and justice. We value perversity over chaste. Indulgence over sacrifice. And ourselves over our fellow brothers and sisters. No, it is too late to turn back before a collapse, and I doubt even that would turn people back. I saw a bumper sticker on the car of an elderly couple yesterday, it read: "Save medicare, vote democrat". I wonder if this couple has any grandchildren. All they were concerned about was their own teet to suck on. Don't they care that it will doom their grandchildren's future? I bet when they visit them, they say:"Come here baby and give granny a kiss, I love you soooo much!". It is a Judas kiss.

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:42 | 2973844 Tombstone
Tombstone's picture

Not to worry; the new American Communists will soon have us battling Communist China for the number 1 spot. 

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:45 | 2973849 magpie
magpie's picture

Mao vs. Alinsky

Tue, 11/13/2012 - 03:07 | 2975361 xtop23
xtop23's picture

With central banks of the world playing Don King. 

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