Which side makes a better case?
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  • 2 years ago

    Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation also do a Freedom Index and the USA is 18th and 23rd on those rankings.

    • 2 years ago

      @debateme13 'rankings' can be manipulated. One real question is....if you polled people around the world as to where they would want to immigrate...what do you think the answer would be?

      If you want to look at the 'greatest country' ...you would look at a wide range of 'particulars'...and a country like the US might not rank #1 on several different points, but it ranks HIGH on all the important points...and it ranks #1 on the IMPORTANT points.

      THEN - consider - during the 20th Century - which country did more to advance or protect freedom for the world? (HINT: USA).
      AND - ask - which country sent more troops abroad to LIBERATE (and not conquer) - and having liberated - withdrew without taking over and establishing an 'empire'? (ANS: USA)
      When a major catastrophe strikes - which country is likely to send more direct aid and relief assistance and help a country after an earthquake or tsunami or similar? (ANS: USA)
      Which country provides, through various treaties, 'military protection' to protect the country from aggression? (ANS: USA. See NATO, SEATO, etc.)

      Heritage and CATO might rank the US down in 'freedom index' ....but that doesn't take away the SIGNIFICANCE of what the USA means to the world!

      I will not attempt to 'classify' @debateme13 as to leftist or conservative...so the following is 'general' comment not aimed at @debateme13: "Plenty of leftists will ATTACK America and use rankings like 'less free', the 'freedom index', etc. as a way to disparage America.....yet it is LEFTIST policies (like a highly progressive income tax and high regulations pushed by leftists that have crippled freedoms within the USA. If we rejected the leftist drift towards socialism, our country would be even GREATER....and FREER. BUT - in spite of leftists who assault our freedoms, the US is still the most significant force for good in the world. AND- if the US is the most significant force for good in the world, and it is the #1 country that most people would choose to immigrate to ....then by default...America is the greatest country in the world.

  • 2 years ago

    @lina_barbal all day debate marathon :-) Well done!

  • 2 years ago

    @nellyj_misesian US immigration is the most difficult!!!! give me a green card if you can:grin:

  • 2 years ago

    @nellyj_misesian Loads of fun! Thanks for chatting :)

  • 2 years ago

    To my promise to post on the great income mobility in the US
    "Based on absolute mobility, the United States seems highly mobile. Figure 1 shows absolute mobility for all adult children and for the same group broken into birth quintiles, that is, parental income rank when the child was young. The figure shows that, over the sample period, 67% of U.S. adults had higher family incomes than their parents had. Absolute mobility is greatest for those in the lowest birth quintile. For example, 83% of those in the lowest birth quintile had larger adult incomes than their parents had. This falls to 54% for children born into the top quintile. Overall, these results show that most Americans are able to achieve the American Dream in the sense that their standard of living is greater than that of their parents, although we don’t know whether it is a lot or just a little higher."
    http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/2013/march/us-economic-mobility-dream-data/

    • 2 years ago

      @nellyj_misesian A few things: 1)The conclusions found by this source do not support the claim that the United States offers the MOST social mobility in the world
      2) This source also concludes that absolute mobility, or the fact that an individual makes more money than their parents, doesn't account for whether the difference is significant or not
      3) The findings I was referencing that suggest that the children of the poor are more likely to remain poor in the United States than in other countries. So even if their income is technically greater than that of their parents, the numbers suggest that their economic status isn't likely to change.

      Moreover, the fact that minorities are disproportionately living in poverty undermines the claim that just ANYONE can come to the United States and have an equal chance to "pull themselves up by the bootstraps"

      https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2006/04/Hertz_MobilityAnalysis.pdf

    • 2 years ago

      @lina_barbal The vast number of people who are in poverty are in poverty because they fail to follow Dr. Walter E. Williams recommendations: 1) Get a high school education (don't drop out, don't fake it...get a REAL H.S. Diploma). 2) Don't 'make a baby before you are married and have a job 3) Get a job...any job (even minimum wage)...and work hard to advance. Do these things - and you won't be in poverty....and you can succeed! BUT - we have a society that pampers them....tells them that it isn't their fault. And - 4 or 5 generations of single parent families living off welfare becomes an acceptable norm...and somehow it is society's fault?? Give me a frickin break.

      BUT - we live in a society that know gives sympathy to 'victimology'...and 'it's not my fault'...and we blame society rather than people for NOT making the most of what they DO have.

      I am amazed at leftist thinking that somehow our society is 'racist' and we 'hold minorities back' ...yet we have immigrants (legal ones) that come from Viet Nam, Cambodia or even Somalia...and they learn English, they work hard, and in 5 years or so - they might own their own business and be in the middle class. How the hell does that happen in a racist society? (IT DOESN'T.) The vast number of Americans are NOT racist....and anyone is happy to go to an immigrant's business for dry cleaning, laundry, fast food, ethnic food, or what ever...because they are trying to assimilate into our culture and make a living...and most everyone respects that. Most immigrants don't have a hand out, demanding entitlements to be taken care of....

    • 2 years ago

      @mvineyard Honestly, I mainly have a butt ton of questions for you. I'm hesitant to ask them all at once because I get that people feel compelled to answer with full on arguments, which can get messy fast. I guess I'll start with one and if you're willing to be patient, maybe we can come to some kind of productive exchange. I want to start at some point of consensus so that we can get to all your points eventually.

      Let's suspend the conversation of race for a second since you don't think it's a factor and let's just look at poverty and schools. Would you say it's reasonable to assert that impoverished areas have schools that do not give the same quality of education as schools that are in well off neighborhoods?

    • 2 years ago

      @mvineyard Actually, if you want to move this to the community debate thing, that'd probably be better. Let me know if you're up for it.

    • 2 years ago

      @lina_barbal @mvineyard Why not a H2H video debate??

    • 2 years ago

      @gigi I think a debate on this topic would be fun. I just want to get some things clarified so I don't spend the whole video boring everyone with a bunch of questions lol

    • 2 years ago

      @lina_barbal Not a problem! Take a look at what I wrote....you have 2 options....1) You can challenge what I said...make a debate statement with the position that YOU want to defend (and you think is opposite my position).....OR 2) If you want to ask ME questions (and how I would support the statements I have already made) - then maybe we can find a place to exchange ideas and have a non-debate discussion.

    • 2 years ago

      @mvineyard Neat! Yeah, I'd like to start with the latter if that's alright with you.

    • 2 years ago

      @lina_barbal Is there any way to do this on QallOut without a 'head to head' debate? If so..we could start a chat - you could ask questions ....and I might try to do the 'Socratic method' by asking you tough questions....and letting you know how I would respond to the question.

    • 2 years ago

      @mvineyard @lina_barbal just do a head2head on QO here, nonmoderated, and write a question in the debate title instead of a debate statement

      Don't do it somewhere else! :-) we want in on this 🙌🏻

    • 2 years ago

      @mvineyard I'll come up with a H2H question then and post it sometime soon. Then we can schedule it, yeah?

    • 2 years ago

      @lina_barbal correct, just click the camera (black/red) icon under Michael's name and follow the steps from there 😀

    • 2 years ago

      @mvineyard this would be awesome, I love this method! But why not H2H, I would love to watch! It's not the same with text... :-)

    • 2 years ago

      @lina_barbal Go for it... since the ORIGINAL topic was about whether or not the USA is the greatest...how about the question: "What are important factors to determine a country's 'greatness'?" Very open-ended.

      Leftists might decide that a 'super nanny state' makes a country great...one that has a fantastic minimum wage, cradle to grave free or cheap health care, etc. ....while a libertarian might figure that maximizing freedom, liberty, a chance to pursue happiness (and keep the 'fruits of one's labors'....without a punishing high marginal income tax rate) is what makes a country great. Plenty of variability of definitions....so before a real debate on the topic is possible....it would be important to understand what the debaters thinks make a country great.

    • 2 years ago

      @mvineyard I was more interested in your claim that poor people deserve to be poor because they made bad choices and they can simply get out of it by doing the 3 things you listed. My H2H question will probably be some simplification of that and then I'll prepare questions that I had about those points.

    • 2 years ago

      @lina_barbal I am concerned about your used of 'your claim that poor people DESERVE to be poor..' I made no such claim. I did cite the works of a Professor of Economics (Emeritus) who has written Extensively on the topic...and You are encouraged to google his name and 'how to avoid being poor' and you can read all his writings on it. [It is one thing for me to cite some 'expert'....and I tried to avoid making a 'value judgement' about whether they 'deserve' something - or not.] Walter Williams is quite 'pragmatic' about the end results of doing things that are not well thought out....and lots of his writings are not geared to 'blame' the people - but merely state facts....if you do X, the results will be Y...and if you do G, the results might be H....and most people probably can discern that Y and H are different results - one is more desirable than the other....and yet Williams has not said that people who do X DESERVE Y.....but as an economist, he merely points out the logic that X leads to Y.

    • 2 years ago

      @mvineyard You're right, you didn't say "deserve". Fair. I do think the implication is pretty heavy and Williams asserts it, though maybe you disagree with his assertion. In fact, Williams' opening lines in one of his articles is pretty explicit about blame, "If you're a poor adult in America, for the most part, it's all your fault." another article starts with "No one can blame you if you start out in life poor, because how you start is not your fault. If you stay poor, you're to blame because it is your fault." Maybe it's just me, but for me... lol (dumb reference)

      https://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2003/02/19/poverty-in-america-n1106009

      https://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2013/09/11/you-dont-have-to-stay-poor-n1695135

      At any rate, if you have links to his writings that you can share, that'd be helpful. I found a few articles that are riddled with claims and no evidence to support them. I'll keep looking for his articles on this topic, but by the looks of his other posts, he doesn't often provide his sources. Maybe he provides all his sources in his books or something? Let me know if you have any good links.

    • 2 years ago

      @lina_barbal Walter E. Williams is a Professor of Economics at Geo. Mason University. For a number of years, he was the Chairman of the Economics Dept.....and with age, he has stepped back and reduced his teaching load and is now 'Professor Emeritus'.

      He is a fairly prolific author - and has written a number of excellent books on economics. A short article isn't the place to put forth a position and then defend it completely...there is just not enough 'column space' to do so. Editorial Articles tend to be 1,000 to 1,600 words.....so a good columnist will put forth positions...and the reader can investigate further. Pick up some of Williams' books for 'defense in depth'.

      Yes - I am aware that Prof. Williams DOES make claims that might seem to be 'attacks on the victim'....but he points out that individuals CHOOSE to be victims, they CHOOSE to stay poor, they choose to NOT do simple things to get out of their bad situation. AND - he backs it with better information in his books and longer articles.

      AND - you can also check out the works of a 'fellow traveler' - Doctor Thomas Sowell - again, another brilliant Professor of Economics (different university).

      Fact is...both might be considered to have 'unique' perspectives - since both grew up black AND poor.... Walter Williams is especially disgusted with the NAACP - whom he refers to as the "Klan With A Tan" - because they are 'race enabling poverty pimps' who teach 'entitlement and victim mentality' rather than self-reliance and doing 'smart stuff' (like his 3 basic things to stay out of poverty). Both professors both approach economics from a common sense approach - no 'elitism' in their teachings. AND - both have fairly easy to read books that are more heavily 'sourced' and 'referenced'.

  • 2 years ago

    The audo just killed me and I couldn't listen to the whole debate. Both of you were very kind to one another and thoughtful which I appreciate.

    Personally, I think America is probably the greatest country on earth by the most measures. Though certainly not all measures. I am, of course, somewhat biased on the question.

    Where I tend to take exception is when people turn around and say that gives us some right to treat everyone else like "lesser nations." I'm not fond of that kind of thinking.

    I also think it is a problem when people take American Exceptionalism as making us beyond reproach or criticism. Not that any of that came up here.