Skip to main content

View Diary: German Spiegel: "Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation" (317 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Well, I just read one of the articles (10+ / 0-)

    DR bases this on, and this jumped out:

    Nevertheless, "decline" is a big word, especially for a nation that is still the world's number one economic and military power, and will remain so for at least the next decade. It's also a country whose innovative energy seems unbroken in many fields, and one that, unlike Europe, has balanced population growth and enormous mineral resources. In fact, when it comes to the demise of former world powers, Europe's decline is much more evident than that of the United States.
    Kinda contradicts his thesis.

    Fuck you, I put on pants yesterday.

    by MBNYC on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:59:28 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  There are many many papers (6+ / 0-)

      ...on this reality in academic and foreign policy circles these days. The idea should not be attributed to der Spiegel. It is far from original to them. There's a global discussion going on.


      A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

      by Pluto on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:07:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm totally with you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder, TheLizardKing

      I agree that the US has many many problems, probably the biggest problem of all, Climate Change, isn't even being seriously talked about. Not that they are doing anything about it except lipservice in Europe either.

      That being said, I have never liked the childish "us" vs. "them" arguments. If Europeans were so superior, then they wouldn't be making such contrasts. It is akin to the right-wing of our party saying we are better because of our gun rights and free markets.

      Alas, no human population is superior to another. We are all capable of good and bad. The European system of health care more effective and less costly than our own, no denying that, but rather than discussing the ins and outs and implications, his diaries often read like, "we're better than you, aha!"

      What's the point of this nonsense? What difference is DR expecting to make? What do these diaries accomplish, except for the mustering of "yeas" or "nays" in a meaningless body of voters?

      In reality, although I agree with you that he is attempting to be sincere, his diaries can almost be construed as trolling. At the very least, he always presents them in the most simplistic and unproductive manner.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:17:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To ranger995 - I thought you were a supporter (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranger995, Don midwest, mkor7

        of green technologies? Did you know that Germany last summer set a new world record for solar power generation. Also the hi-speed trains that the diary highlights are a green technology that creates a large number of American jobs that cannot be outsourced.

        Please reconsider your position as to supporting the effort this diary attempts to effectuate, but more to the point is the reality; while we can all be proud Americans we don't have to be proud of the broken American social safety net. There, we can, should and must do better.

        (My green energy diary link below)

        Reuters reports "Germany sets new solar power record" (an American expat's view from the E.U.)

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

        by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:26:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for your response. (7+ / 0-)

          I applaud all green energy efforts, but they are not even close to enough, even at record production, they are not even in the ball park. Temperature rise is going to start happening on an exponential curve, and we are not even making a dent in green house gas production-even in Germany and the rest of Europe.

          I also agree that the US is in desperate need of reconfiguring our electricity grid system and addressing our infrastructure problems.

          High speed rail is great, and there are at least some dedicated tracks being built right now in the US, for example the rail line between Chicago and St Louis. A large part of the track is in testing phase now, and other parts are near completion. Check it out.

          HSR

          I know this isn't the only one too, rail lines are being constructed all over the country. Also, new freight lines and bypasses are being built to deal with the volume problems in hubs like Chicago.

          Germany is much smaller than the US, and it will take some time to lay down all of the tracks necessary for our train system. Also, as you know taking those trains in Europe is extremely expensive, much more expensive than Amtrak is here in the states, even the regular lines, but especially the high speed lines.

          I am just not a big fan of the contrasting of countries, or one country pointing out the fault of others. I don't see how the contrast is helpful, and I think your diaries get a lot of emotional responses out of people. Personally, I do a lot of traveling and I find that people are bigoted towards Americans, just like Americans are bigoted toward them. Using stereotypes to reaffirm superiority is just not my cup of tea.

          I think your diaries would be better if, rather than talking about the decline of the US and how great Germany is, you would just stick to talking about how great it would be if the US had a high speed rail system like Europe, which we are in the process of building. Just drop the unnecessarily harsh contrast and derogatory language and most people would agree with your points. Look how skillfully Michael Moore contrasts our Medical system with Europe's in Sicko, he doesn't make any point to say that European's see us as morons or anything like that. He merely sticks to the benefits of their system.

          "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

          by ranger995 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:52:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  To ranger995 - Great post (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ranger995, high uintas, lostinamerica

            Thank you also for your suggestion. All feedback is welcomed. As for myself, I don't know if my approach is always the best but it is an honest approach but I'm grateful to get reader support on, because I have known people who have DIED in America because they didn't have health insurance. Their passing to me is real and painful. I write these diaries in their memory.

            Please see the quote below from Reuters.

            (Reuters) - Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found

            sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

            by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:00:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is no denying that the health care system in (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Democrats Ramshield, niemann, MBNYC

              the United States is an absolute shameful disgrace. It is not that way because we are stupid or inferior, it is that way because the health care and health insurance industries are very powerful here. I mean we have for-profit hospitals.

              Focus your ire on them.

              "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

              by ranger995 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:08:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  To ranger995 - Thanks for the post (0+ / 0-)

                Please note, the diary attempts to focus on the need for change. That's all. I think Americans have dying for health care reform. This must change.

                sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

                by Democrats Ramshield on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:19:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  True, but the problem is deeper than that. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lostinamerica, flowerfarmer
                It is not that way because we are stupid or inferior, it is that way because the health care and health insurance industries are very powerful here.
                The only reason those industries are very powerful here is that our politicians are very weak.

                They wouldn't have so much power if we had "representatives" who would do their jobs -- doing the right thing for the American people -- rather than trying to make as much corporate cash for themselves as possible.

                The ire should indeed be on those industries ... but equally on our government system which encourages our politicians to be in bed with them.  It is indeed a U.S. governmental problem.

    •  daaaaaaamn (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      virginislandsguy

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site