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you take my comment pejoratively, and I didn't intend it that way.  I was simply trying to say to Izzy that I didn't think the stats we had would really pick up the groups she was talking about.

yes I definitely believe in stats.  and will try to remember your comments on future posts regarding providing more data--though I don't think I'm totally guilty here.  I do a fair amount of research before most of my posts (not all,,,ahem).

Actually as I've said before, I love many aspects of Europe--the life style is great.  If I were world dictator, I would combine aspects of both systems, and maybe get the best of both worlds.

And perhaps on your 3rd and 4th dotpoints, maybe there is a little defenseness on both sides of the pond--each side interpretting a statement as more of an attack than was intended?

(BTW, and only answer if this is simple for you, how do you get those dot points in your post?)

by wchurchill on Sat Oct 15th, 2005 at 05:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't take your statement for an attack, but for what it was: a second (in this thread) attempt to say what you think this site is about. This site doesn't have an agenda. It's about you as much as me, since we're both users, like Izzy, DeAnander, Migeru, many others here.

As to defensiveness on both sides of the pond -- I'm sorry, but you should take a look at how you behave, and then tell me I'm the defensive one! What's more, non-Americans have a hundred times more reason to feel defensive than Americans do. One of the effects of American exceptionalism is to blind many Americans to the extent to which their country dominates world discourse.

But this thread is long and this can be discussed elsewhere...

The Comments Window in which we type handles lists and bullet points for you. Just put an asterisk * (or a dash - )at the beginning of each line you want formated with a dot. If you type 1 2 etc at the beginning of each line you'll get a numbered list. (beginning of line = against left margin, you don't need to type in spaces).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 16th, 2005 at 03:49:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a few examples of random comments attacking American positions, IMHO, without justification.  

"If you hold a job in the US you pay Federal and State Unemployment tax, but the benefits you get, if you lose your job, especially if you haven't worked yet a long time, are so low a"  WRONG

"On an average the tuition costs per month is well over $ 2,000.00 plus for the cheapest public university "  ABSURD

"It's not comprehensible to me why Americans don't revolt against the lack of any common sense  security net that covers people from the worst, homelessness through joblessness and bankruptcy through sickness."  WE DO VOTE FOR WHAT WE WANT, REGARDLESS OF SOMEONE ELSE'S OPINION OF OUR COMMON SENSE.  IS IT POSSIBLE THAT YOU JUST DON'T GET AMERICAN OPINION?  NO, I GUESS WE'RE JUST F''''ING IDIOTS, AND OUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE SHOULD JUST BE TAKEN AWAY FROM US.

Analsis of WSJ article, which project much of American opinion:
"They tell these lies over and over, that it's not the system it's the people, the underclass with their "certain characteristics."  It's not a lack of jobs, education, skills, or opportunity, they say.  It's the people.  The inert mothers and lazy fathers who won't get out of bed.  These people do nothing to help themselves, they always say.  And they profit from these lies and this fear and make the moat wider while the castle grounds shrink."
YEAH AMERICANS COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE POOR, DON'T DO ANYTHING TO TRY TO ALLEVIATE IT, DON'T CONTRIBUTE THEIR HOURS OF WORK OR MONEY.  AMERICANS ARE JUST BLOOD SUCKERS ON THE LOWER CLASS.

"As for the US, I meant what I said:  Yes I believe poverty is a goal of the system.  The social programs you allude to are, in the US, being thoroughly trashed.  The New Deal was seventy years ago, and after a fine run of four decades, it is now road kill."  THIS WAS PART OF A DISCUSSION THAT ACCUSED THE USA OF HAVING A POLICY OF CONDEMNING ITS CITIZENS TO POVERTY.  ABSURD OF COURSE.

by wchurchill on Sun Oct 16th, 2005 at 05:12:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think you read my comment properly. What are your quotes trying to prove? That there are Americans who don't share your point of view on America? That you get mad and shout when they express their point of view? (Yes, using capitals is like bolding -- use it in a neutral way to point something up, OK, but if you're arguing with force, it gives the impression you're shouting. I'm surprised this needs explaining.)

It wasn't worth your arguing elsewhere with restraint and respect for others, to blow it now with this kind of intemperate display.

In matter of fact, it is clear that America differs from other developed countries by not alleviating poverty by means of social transfers. That is part of a system. It's an expression of political will -- and not from one side of the aisle only, since Clinton greatly reduced welfare payments. Now there may be arguments in favour of a system like that, but I don't think you can portray a country that has made that choice as kind-hearted and caring. If the system is all-out competition, winner-take-all, then it's not simultaneously sweetness and light. You can't have your cake and eat it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 16th, 2005 at 07:58:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Analsis of WSJ article, which project much of American opinion

The WSJ is definitely written from the perspective of America's business elite, not the people. Is this another example of working Americans identifying with their employers more than with their coworkers?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 16th, 2005 at 07:59:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again -- wrong, false, and absurd from where you stand.  And you're also jumping to some very wrong conclusions.  Afew has already commented, but I feel I need to add a couple of things.

First, as already argued, you state as wrong three comments from one person who was clearly sharing her own thoughts, experiences, and observations.  Not only that, but she has already corrected her statements and put them in context -- as you yourself also did in the same thread.  And what did we establish?

*She misstated about who was paying Federal unemployment tax and was corrected.  She admitted she'd been incorrect and thanked the person who corrected it.  Her central point had been and remained that unemployment payments were low -- a point never refuted.

*She clarified that her observations about tuition were based on non-resident status, which makes her claim correct in those circumstances (which you know).

*She expresses her own opinion, basically wondering why we aren't angry about certain situations.  You have seemingly read a lot into that.  You are arguing against things never stated or implied.

Before I get into defending myself and my interpretation of the WSJ article, I'll ask you this -- you made some incorrect statements in that thread as well.  How would you feel if someone who had read the whole thread and your consequent corrections, went into another thread and quoted you out of context?  

I could easily comb through and say many things like "wchurchill believes everyone making $20k per year pays NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX.  WRONG!"  

Would that be fair?  I don't think you'd be very happy about it, especially since you and I went back and forth quite a bit to establish the veracity of that statement and corrected it.  In fact, quoting your original statement without acknowledging your correction would be, in essence, telling a falsehood, since I know better.

Now, as to my very own statement about the WSJ and their ilk.  You say:

Analsis of WSJ article, which project much of American opinion:
"They tell these lies over and over, that it's not the system it's the people, the underclass with their "certain characteristics."  It's not a lack of jobs, education, skills, or opportunity, they say.  It's the people.  The inert mothers and lazy fathers who won't get out of bed.  These people do nothing to help themselves, they always say.  And they profit from these lies and this fear and make the moat wider while the castle grounds shrink."
YEAH AMERICANS COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE POOR, DON'T DO ANYTHING TO TRY TO ALLEVIATE IT, DON'T CONTRIBUTE THEIR HOURS OF WORK OR MONEY.  AMERICANS ARE JUST BLOOD SUCKERS ON THE LOWER CLASS.

First, I'm happy you acknowledge that the article reflects the opinion of many people in America -- the fact that many believe these conditions are the poor's own fault and not a flaw in the system is one of the problems I'm addressing.  It's good to hear someone admit it instead of denying it.  

But I think it was clear, although perhaps not, that I was not talking about all the American people.  I was describing, as afew basically points out, the statements of those in power as regards those without.

You accuse me of viewing all Americans in a certain way -- uncaring and unhelpful.  I did not write this and, further, I don't think it.  I believe many Americans are exceedingly kind, generous, and hardworking.

What particularly interests me though, is your continued view of the "lower class" as seperate from "Americans" as illustrated in your false claim that I think Americans are bloodsuckers.

To be clear, the point of my using the WSJ article was to illustrate how some powerful people and institutions in America dehumanize the poor.  Calling the poor inert, lazy, and that they cannot be helped through normal means is vile propaganda -- even when framed as a search for solutions.

Now.  The fact that seemingly nice enough people such as yourself apparently can't see anything wrong with calling fellow Americans in dire straits lazy and inert is, in my view, a very clear example of the problem I am speaking to.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 16th, 2005 at 01:54:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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