June 27, 2006

Ameritopia



Survey says...we think we're the best. According to a survey on national pride, American came in first. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13577802/
So what does that mean? I guess I think we're probably the best just because we're the richest, so comparatively speaking, we're the best. But, would I trade in some cash for a better crime record, lower divorce rate, yeah probably. So, here's the big question for you? How can we make this country better. There are no rules. You can bend or break the constitution if you feel like it's getting in the way of a better society. But, state what you would change and why it would help? As great as it is, America can't be the best we can do, can it? What could we do better?

6 comments:

magonline said...

Nothing is sufficent short of a monarchy with Christ as King.

until that happens, i think people tossing aside their political opinions and donating their time/money to taking care of the sick. there is a movement on the way check it out: http://www.starvingjesus.com

magonline said...

Progressive Dyslexic Theologians Say, "Our Image of Dog Must Go"

Jeff said...

Wow, where to begin?

I partially agree with magonline, inasmuch as Americans (myself included) should offer public service much more. I'd advocate high school students be required to perform a certain number of hours of community service (not to be paired with the felons) like serving homeless shelters or visiting the elderly in order to graduate. I think it would strengthen both young individuals and their communities around our country.

Rather than separate our politics from faith (as magonline suggested), I'd do just the oposite. I think America is way off track politically, due largely to ill-conceived notions of how to serve others, and as a result our coutnry is increasingly polarized. The divide between rich and poor continues to grow. The divide between our country and other countries contines to inspire hatred abroad.

So what would I do?

Several things. With regards to the economy, I believe the divide is widening because of our outdated education system. We're at risk of losing thousands more jobs overseas as the world market for labor continues to expand. We need to adjust our education system to reflect the growing global economy, providing them with skills that can't be easily replicated by people abroad willing to work for $.50 an hour. We need to vastly increase teacher's salaries to encourage the brightest minds into teaching, rather than losing them to more $$ in the private sector.

We also need to encourage other countries to stiffen up their labor laws and provide better wages, to level the playing field and acheive more balanced trade. American blue collar workers can't compete if this doesn't happen, and agreements like CAFTA and NAFTA do little to address these issues.

With regards to international policy, I think a major problem in America is our insularity. Far too many people have absolutely no idea what goes on in the rest of the world. I think public policy should really encourage students to travel abroad to get a bit of perspective. Perhaps require/partially subsidize a semester of study abroad for all public university/college students? The late Illinois former Senator Paul Simon wanted something along these lines, and I couldn't agree more.

I also think that our media must do a much better job at covering international news. The internet has been a major boon, but there's still a long way to go.

With regards to our nation's defense, I think we couldn't be more off track than we are now, partially as a result of the insularity I just mentioned. We represent 5% of the world's population and somewhere around 50% of global military spending. Sure, we have a giant target on our back because we're the most prosperous nation around, but obviously something is afoot when that ratio is so out of whack.

That's where I'd start; which doesn't even begin to tackle problems like poverty and malnutrition, addressing preventable diseases abroad, and global warming.

We'll dig into those some other time.

Sabai said...

Amen to re-prioritizing our schooling systems, but I'd like to see someone else have a crack at running them.

The forced-servanthood and jet-setting of our youths may have some drawbacks and would be hard to enforce, but I like the idea.

How 'bout Plato's aristocracy, where we let experts in each field decide on policy for that field, instead of random people who have studied an issue for 20 min. before casting their vote?

Theonomy anyone?

magonline said...

i think jeffs point on "forcing" community service would not be bad if it became a common part of our culture as a whole.

plato's idea would be a floodgate of postmodern thought process and secular humanism to reign in this country. survey says..NO


Jeff - after years of being insanly informed politically...following all the major issues and hearing both sides, I think my faith in our current political infastructure being able to make the impact that is needed is about gone. I was a hardcore conservative, then an independant, and now undecided.

magonline said...

i think jeffs point on "forcing" community service would not be bad if it became a common part of our culture as a whole.

plato's idea would be a floodgate of postmodern thought process and secular humanism to reign in this country. survey says..NO


Jeff - after years of being insanly informed politically...following all the major issues and hearing both sides, I think my faith in our current political infastructure being able to make the impact that is needed is about gone. I was a hardcore conservative, then an independant, and now undecided.