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Awesomeness!!

Is America the 'best country in the World'?

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I reject this notion.

Working hard doesn't equate success in America. Success is almost universally a product of two things:

1. Networking - Buddy'ing up with people in power often leads to monetary gains. I can't begin to tell you how many people I know that work in high-paying jobs that got there by the virtue of who they knew and/or who they schmoozed.

2. Lack of Ethics - Successful people often find ways of exploiting the rules of a particular system, be it legal, financial, regulatory, organizational, or hell, even personal at times (see evangelism). Show me a rich person, and I'll show you an unsuspecting criminal in some way or another.

Some of the hardest working people I've ever met were some of the poorest. Janitors, garbage workers, cafeteria staff. These people put in some serious toil for little reward.

Interesting you equate success with great wealth. I do not. I said successful. Successful means basically a middle class life. A house, a car electricity etc... Things that a large portion of the world outside of the developed countries do not have. Compared to how much of the rest of the world lives, you can have success in America if you are willing to work hard.

Fwiw, I know a woman who has been a cafeteria worker for 30 years now. Her and her husband worked hard, spent wisely and now they are retired with a house thats paid for and three kids that attended some form of college. Garbage men also can make decent money if they stick with it.

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because we don't have the social safety net Europe has, we get the best and brightest and most driven immigrants. thats why they come here.

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Interesting you equate success with great wealth. I do not. I said successful. Successful means basically a middle class life. A house, a car electricity etc... Things that a large portion of the world outside of the developed countries do not have. Compared to how much of the rest of the world lives, you can have success in America if you are willing to work hard.

I doubt I'm alone in saying that financial independence is a qualifier for "success" in terms of the American way of life.

The other aspects you're talking about, housing, electricity, etc. are pretty much functions of the quality of life we try and maintain in this country, and not really measurements of success.

Here's an example... my mom.

My parents split up and the divorce cost them pretty much everything. They then decided to try and work it out, but shortly afterwards, my Dad died of a heart attack while self-employed. He left her with an almost 6 digit medical bill, so she had to sell the house, and lived with friends for awhile. Eventually my oldest brother started renting a house out to her, and she worked for awhile. The hospital eventually took her to court, and they put a judgement on her for the amount of the remainder of the bill. She's been living in poverty off social security since.

She's not been "successful". But she has housing and basic amenities.

Fwiw, I know a woman who has been a cafeteria worker for 30 years now. Her and her husband worked hard, spent wisely and now they are retired with a house thats paid for and three kids that attended some form of college. Garbage men also can make decent money if they stick with it.

I'd be willing to bet this is more of the exception than the rule for low income families. Hell, our housing market should indicate that.

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US=Ric Flair. The straw that still stirs the drink, good or bad.

You've been hanging out on the Gamecocks sidelines haven't you? :D

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I doubt I'm alone in saying that financial independence is a qualifier for "success" in terms of the American way of life.

The other aspects you're talking about, housing, electricity, etc. are pretty much functions of the quality of life we try and maintain in this country, and not really measurements of success.

Here's an example... my mom.

My parents split up and the divorce cost them pretty much everything. They then decided to try and work it out, but shortly afterwards, my Dad died of a heart attack while self-employed. He left her with an almost 6 digit medical bill, so she had to sell the house, and lived with friends for awhile. Eventually my oldest brother started renting a house out to her, and she worked for awhile. The hospital eventually took her to court, and they put a judgement on her for the amount of the remainder of the bill. She's been living in poverty off social security since.

She's not been "successful". But she has housing and basic amenities.

I'd be willing to bet this is more of the exception than the rule for low income families. Hell, our housing market should indicate that.

In my experience, its generally the rule, not the exception.

My parents also split up when I was young. And by split up, I mean our father abandoned us and took off to live with someone else. We lived in poverty for a while, until my mom married a good man who worked in a factory. Even then, we weren't wealthy, but we were comfortable, especially compared to how we were before.

I joined the Navy when I was older, and when I got out, my military experience got me a job in a bank. Both my sisters went to college. The older one went to college after she got a job. She has a good (not great) job with a natural gas company and her husband repairs factory equipment. They have a very good life. The youngest one had the easiest life and ironically, has struggle the most after college, because she married a guy who is unwilling to work. Hasn't had a job in over a year now, and doesn't even try to get one.

I guess we are all colored by our own experience, but imo those that work hard and make wise decisions (especially in marriage and finance) can be very successful, while the lazy and unwise have it much harder. There are certainly exceptions to that rule, but I believe most of the time it applies.

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In my experience, its generally the rule, not the exception.

My parents also split up when I was young. And by split up, I mean our father abandoned us and took off to live with someone else. We lived in poverty for a while, until my mom married a good man who worked in a factory. Even then, we weren't wealthy, but we were comfortable, especially compared to how we were before.

I joined the Navy when I was older, and when I got out, my military experience got me a job in a bank. Both my sisters went to college. The older one went to college after she got a job. She has a good (not great) job with a natural gas company and her husband repairs factory equipment. They have a very good life. The youngest one had the easiest life and ironically, has struggle the most after college, because she married a guy who is unwilling to work. Hasn't had a job in over a year now, and doesn't even try to get one.

I guess we are all colored by our own experience, but imo those that work hard and make wise decisions (especially in marriage and finance) can be very successful, while the lazy and unwise have it much harder. There are certainly exceptions to that rule, but I believe most of the time it applies.

On the flip side... how many successful people have you interacted with, that DON'T work hard? (Again talking about financial success, since it's a measurable thing, and can greatly influence success in other ways).

I know a bunch. Most of them inherited wealth and did nothing to earn their financial independence and success (aka they knew people, their parents or relatives). In fact, I recall reading that there's a statistic that the majority of wealthy people ARE in fact 2nd generation or later benefactors of financial gains by their family.

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It seems to me that "greatest" is a matter of perspective.

I have been to others countries and some have better appeal in one way but not so much in others. I have always made due with what was avialable to enjoy myself.

The OP's question is similar to asking "What state is the greatest." You can ask 20 people that and get 35 different answers.

But, for me, the US is where I want to live. Greatest or not, devious CIA or half black POTUS. It is my country and I love it.

:patriot:

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To truly love one's own country, he must be obligated to point out it's faults in order to make it "a more perfect union".

;)

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On the flip side... how many successful people have you interacted with, that DON'T work hard? (Again talking about financial success, since it's a measurable thing, and can greatly influence success in other ways).

I know a bunch. Most of them inherited wealth and did nothing to earn their financial independence and success (aka they knew people, their parents or relatives). In fact, I recall reading that there's a statistic that the majority of wealthy people ARE in fact 2nd generation or later benefactors of financial gains by their family.

People don't tend to transcend levels of wealth much more in the US than in somewhere like Western Europe, but our levels are still the highest in the world.

In other words it happens the most here, but it doesn't happen much.

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"Our Country! May she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country!"

1 person likes this

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