Britons .... Polite but Boring !!! Watch

Howard
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#21
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#21
(Original post by Made in the USA)
Lets talk about these poor people for a moment.

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

  • Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.
Some of these statistics are absurd. Of course someone living in a rickety old farm house in rural Kentucky has more living space than someone living in an apartment in Paris or Vienna, or for that matter, New York. Hardly a sign of wealth is it?
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Evil-Tuna
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I think the correct term to use here is owned!
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Beekeeper
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#23
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(Original post by Johnny)
The thing that really go me though is the black and hispanic "underclass". Do you know that at every hotel we stayed in, not one cleaner was white? Not one suit in Washington was black or hispanic? The divide is pretty shocking...
I don't really think this divide is exclusively an American feature. Exactly the same could be said for London, just look at the workers on the tube. Are you going to tell me now that London is not an advanced city? :rolleyes:

How exactly do you define 'advanced' anyway? Would it be 'advanced' to kick all the non-white workers from the tube and replace them with white workers? What would this achieve?
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Made in the USA
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(Original post by Johnny)
Here's another statistic. Did you know that the top 20 per cent of earners take over half the national income. At the same time the bottom 20 per cent took home just 3.4 per cent. The Gini coefficient for the USA is larger than any in europe. So much for your "advanced nation" claptrap.
I love this board because the cultural differences are so interesting. Some of my neighbors have more then I do, some have less. The obvious fact that the rich in the US have a vastly higher standard of living than the poor is generally not seen as an injustice in America. While european socialists are trying to figure how to fix this "problem" with wealth redistribution, I'm just shrugging my shoulders thinking, so what???? :confused:

Americans trying to excel over one another is what made this country as wealthy as it is.
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Made in the USA
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(Original post by Howard)
Some of these statistics are absurd. Of course someone living in a rickety old farm house in rural Kentucky has more living space than someone living in an apartment in Paris or Vienna, or for that matter, New York. Hardly a sign of wealth is it?
Fair enough. That stat doesn't mean much, but the point is that poverty is a relative term. Poverty in Zimbabwe is not the same as poverty in the USA.

(Original post by Howard)
Well, you can come and take my place in paradise if you want.
I thought you enjoyed living here from some of your other posts. Are your frustrations with your healthcare plan enough to consider permanently moving to another country?

(Original post by j4mes_bond25)
Bearing in mind the following news article from Yahoo News

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21022006/34...ring-poll.html

where:

>> Britons are widely seen as Polite & Educated, but sadly Boring &
>> French as being the Rudest, while
>> American are seen as Most Ignorant (isn't it a common knowledge ???) & Ambitious

However, I wonder as WHAT EXACTLY is it that's seen as a sign of "Politeness" & "Boredom" within an individual Briton, in the eyes of Johny Foreigner ???
A lot of stereotypes are pretty inaccurate. Every country in the world is comprised of different cultures, ethnicities, and subcultures. Within any country, you'll experience sub-regions and communities that differ substantially from one another.

For example, visit NYC's Park Avenue and you'll still find the upper East Side moneyed crowd. I find them to be patronizing, ultra liberal elites who love to tell the masses how they should be living their lives. As much as I dislike them, I must concede that most of them know far more about geopolitics than the vast majority of people you'll ever meet anywhere in the world.
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~the_one~
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just look at the workers on the tube.
I'm not saying that there isnt an "underclass" in england, however the tube is a bad example. The majority of tube workers/drivers i see everyday are white (a large majority, i dont have any stats though - dont kill me) and tube workers actually have quite good jobs, a decent wage (more than teachers)and relitively long holidays
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cappucino07
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(Original post by Beekeeper)
I don't really think this divide is exclusively an American feature. Exactly the same could be said for London, just look at the workers on the tube. Are you going to tell me now that London is not an advanced city? :rolleyes:
I disagree with that....go to Washington D.C, the divide is far more pronounced.
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Made in the USA
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(Original post by Johnny)
I spent almost eight weeks in America two years ago travelling along the east coast. I hated it. Oh sure the people are friendly enough, the majority are totally ignorant as to where Britain is in the world, but frindly all the same. :rolleyes:
You probably hated it because you already made up your mind about what Americans are like before you even got on the plane.

Americans know more about the continent they live on than where you live and vice-versa. Most Europeans probably can't find 90% of the states on our map.

Until you can correctly label at least 50% of US states on a blank map, without aid, I don't want to hear you complain about Americans and geography.
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cappucino07
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(Original post by Made in the USA)
You probably hated it because you already made up your mind about what Americans are like before you even got on the plane.

Americans know more about the continent they live on than where you live and vice-versa. Most Europeans probably can't find 90% of the states on our map.

Until you can correctly label at least 50% of US states on a blank map, without aid, I don't want to hear you complain about Americans and geography.
Europeans will be far less ignorant about American geography than Americans to ours, mainly because of our exposure to your culture.

I doubt most Americans could name more than one city in England, where as many Europeans would be able to list a number of American cities.
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Made in the USA
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(Original post by Beekeeper)
I don't really think this divide is exclusively an American feature. Exactly the same could be said for London, just look at the workers on the tube. Are you going to tell me now that London is not an advanced city? :rolleyes:

How exactly do you define 'advanced' anyway? Would it be 'advanced' to kick all the non-white workers from the tube and replace them with white workers? What would this achieve?
Something else that doesn't seem to have occurred to johnny is that the majority of people that live in Washington DC are black. Of course blacks are poorer, but in DC, you'll see far more of them doing low-wage jobs than in other cities simply because there are more of them.
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Made in the USA
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(Original post by morgangills)
Europeans will be far less ignorant about American geography than Americans to ours, mainly because of our exposure to your culture.

I doubt most Americans could name more than one city in England, where as many Europeans would be able to list a number of American cities.
That has to be just about the worst analogy I've ever heard in my life.
Apples and oranges. England isn't the same size as the United States. England is the size of Alabama. How many cities can you name in Alabama?
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Johnny
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#32
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(Original post by Made in the USA)
You probably hated it because you already made up your mind about what Americans are like before you even got on the plane.

Americans know more about the continent they live on than where you live and vice-versa. Most Europeans probably can't find 90% of the states on our map.

Until you can correctly label at least 50% of US states on a blank map, without aid, I don't want to hear you complain about Americans and geography.
If you had read my post properly, you would have understood that I found the division in America between races and classes surprising, during my eight weeks there.

So no I didn't hate it even before I got on the plane. I still don't hate it, it just doesn't seem to me like an advanced society as demonstrated by the points that I have already made (e.g the size of the gini coefficient etc.) which by the way you have conveniently ignored, apart from giving some garbage about how some government body defines poverty. I would have thought it fairly obvious that they would talk a good game after all and try to present poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth as a smaller problem than it really is so this to me is not excatly hard evidence is it. But again I am aware of the difference between absolute and relative poverty.

As to the second section in bold: there is a difference between knowing the relative positions of countries and the states or areas within those countries.

For example, I would say that about half of the Americans that I spoke to didn't know where Britain was, but I'm fairly sure that a larger percentage of europeans know where America is.

To put it another way: where is Northumbria in the UK; Ile-de-France in France; Hessen in Germany or Umbria in Italy? This is the same as asking me to position the states in America, as these are areas that a country is made up of, much as America is made up of states.

And before you start ranting about the size of these respective areas again, surely you must see that this is irelevant as it is the number of states and areas that count, not their relative size.
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Johnny
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(Original post by Made in the USA)
I love this board because the cultural differences are so interesting. Some of my neighbors have more then I do, some have less. The obvious fact that the rich in the US have a vastly higher standard of living than the poor is generally not seen as an injustice in America. While european socialists are trying to figure how to fix this "problem" with wealth redistribution, I'm just shrugging my shoulders thinking, so what???? :confused:

Americans trying to excel over one another is what made this country as wealthy as it is.
So, the people that are born into poverty are destined to die equally poor as well. Social mobility in the US is lower than most if not all european countries. In a restrictive society, like the USA, there is little class movement and the wealth is not shared equally.

A society with perfect social mobility and ample opportunity is called a meritocracy, because, in such a society, individuals' responsibilities and compensation are matched to their capabilities. This is what we in Europe call social justice.
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Rusty33
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(Original post by Higgy)
Yeh but most of them dont own a passport, know sod all about the rest of the world, think they are the greatest people on earth, i would rather live in the economic powerhouse of the world, europe anyday than that arrogant unsafe mess.
I find it amusing how you have to condense an entire CONTINENT into your idea of a "powerhouse" in order to "compete."
(Original post by Johnny)
Right. Would the most advanced nation on earth, as you so modestly put it, have the highest percentage of its citizens living in poverty in the developed world?

Thats right, 37 million Americans, a whole 12.7% of the population live in poverty and every year since 2001, that number has grown. Indeed under George Bush alone, an extra 5.4 million people have slipped into poverty.

Gosh that sounds extraordinarily advanced doesn't it? not.

The United States also has the highest number of billionaires in the world at 269 yet almost a quarter of all black americans live below the poverty line and 22% of Hispanics fall below it as well, despite the figure for white Americans living in poverty being just 8.6%

"Gee" this is just sounding better and better isn't it?

I spent almost eight weeks in America two years ago travelling along the east coast. I hated it. Oh sure the people are friendly enough, the majority are totally ignorant as to where Britain is in the world, but frindly all the same. :rolleyes:

The thing that really go me though is the black and hispanic "underclass". Do you know that at every hotel we stayed in, not one cleaner was white? Not one suit in Washington was black or hispanic? The divide is pretty shocking but even more worrying than that was that no white American that we mentioned this to, seemed at all bothered by this divide. I doubt they would have even noticed if "us crazy aussies/scottish/french" (yes, some actually thought we were french!) hadn't pointed it out to them...

When I read this article in Sunday's observer, I would love to say that my mouth dropped open with surprise, but (having spent some time in America), this just wasn't the case. It just sadly confirmed what I already suspected.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world...712965,00.html

Having spent the first half of my life in "poverty" (no TV, no car, government subsidized housing, government aid food program, etc) I will testify that, although our version of poverty is difficult to live in, it is in no way comparable with the rest of world's version of poverty. You visited for eight months blah blah blah. You think because you took an extended vacation here you got a firm grasp on American life? :rolleyes:

(Original post by SamTheMan)
Americans have used their "ignorance" to their advantage. Americans have a "clever" way of simplifying things. For centuries, American culture and language has had to be simplified to integrate more easily new immigrants.

In situations, where Europeans would waste hours with implicit statements, trying to make themselves sound clever, Americans will say it, nice and simple, straight-forward.

As for the cliché, it's mostly the fact that Americans know little about things outside the US which has created it. What's more, the level of its secondary schooling is mediocre. The only thing that compensates that, is its fierce attitude towards research which is behind the prestige of its universities.
America is a competitive front. Unless you come from a little bit of money, or unless you make it career oriented, or a hobby, it is very difficult to find TIME to learn about the rest of the world from an in depth perspective. I got to school for 6 hours a day, I study for 2, and I work for 8. You tell me when I am supposed to find time to leisurely study the economies and governments of the world? The time I don’t spend sleeping I usually spend on the net because I have strange work hours and most of my family and friends are sleeping.

That and think of it this way. You bash people from the United States about not knowing "the rest of the world." That's like criticizing a teacher for not knowing the names of every student in a large lecture. There ARE over 200 countries in this world. The bottom line is that people from other countries get pissy when people from the US don't know a lot about THEIR country, because then they feel as if the people of the United States are portraying them as inferior. That’s totally not the case. Here in the US, where I assure the way of life is more fast paced that 98% of the rest of the world, as an entire nation, if you don’t keep up, you will get lost in the shuffle.

(Original post by j4mes_bond25)
Now as far as your sodding claim about "production of medicine & ammonia" is concerned, it really amazes me the way your use your malfunctioning brain cells. Do you seriously think the 6 billion individuals would've NO existence IF Yanks weren't around ???

Cos bearing in mind your nonsensical logic, it can be concluded that:

>> If a Briton like Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee didn't discover the World Wide Web, Bill Gates wouldn't have been no. 1 richest person in the world
>> If a Briton like John Logie Baird wasn't around, the world would be a rather boring place without TELEVISION
>> If a Briton like Roger Bacon wasn't around, the world would've had problem seeing Bank's small print without the MAGNIFYING GLASS
>> If a Briton like John Stringfellow wasn't around, we would've been STILL travelling by ships to cross the sea & not the AIRPLANE
>> If a Briton like Issac Newton wasn't around, the world would've been ignorant about the FORCE OF GRAVITY
>> If a Briton like Alexander Graham Bell wasn't born in Britain, the world would've been still communicating with telegraphs & not the TELEPHONE



Now your gurantee is just as good as Bush's policy

99% of people would rather live in America ??? What is the basis of this particular claim, I wonder ??? Did it pop-up, all of a sudden, in your bird-brain ??? Was it confirmed in your dreams by some fairy ??? OR was it merely your utter ridiculous claim ???

Have you seen any sensible soul around making any claim whatsoever WITHOUT backing it up with a reliable source ??? No, I don't think so .......... so may be there's a lesson for you to learn from people around :rolleyes:

Some people learns from mistake & some from experience, but sadly your case seems HOPELESS

In fact, your post in itself portrays the image of how blithering idiot Americans are :cool: Do they actually use their brain BEFORE they say anything OR are they all as wise as Bush :rolleyes:
:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Tell me the United States isn't the single most influetial country in the World. Tell me it doesn't have more than double the GDP of the next closest competitor. The US runs ****. Flat out. And, denying that would be quite a moronic move on your part.
(And, do you honestly have to follow every sentence with a smiley face? )
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Rusty33
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#35
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(Original post by Johnny)
So, the people that are born into poverty are destined to die equally poor as well. Social mobility in the US is lower than most if not all european countries. In a restrictive society, like the USA, there is little class movement and the wealth is not shared equally.

A society with perfect social mobility and ample opportunity is called a meritocracy, because, in such a society, individuals' responsibilities and compensation are matched to their capabilities. This is what we in Europe call social justice.
Yeah, your knowledge comes from years and years of experience, right?

Like I said before, you can come from nothing and make something of yourself. My family is perfect example. We didn't hit the lottery, or come accross some fortune accidentally. We are not rich by any means, but if you can learn to make sacrifices, and work hard, you can accomplish anything you want. Don't tell me what can't be done when I've already done it.
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Rusty33
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(Original post by Johnny)
If you had read my post properly, you would have understood that I found the division in America between races and classes surprising, during my eight weeks there.

So no I didn't hate it even before I got on the plane. I still don't hate it, it just doesn't seem to me like an advanced society as demonstrated by the points that I have already made (e.g the size of the gini coefficient etc.) which by the way you have conveniently ignored, apart from giving some garbage about how some government body defines poverty. I would have thought it fairly obvious that they would talk a good game after all and try to present poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth as a smaller problem than it really is so this to me is not excatly hard evidence is it. But again I am aware of the difference between absolute and relative poverty.

As to the second section in bold: there is a difference between knowing the relative positions of countries and the states or areas within those countries.

For example, I would say that about half of the Americans that I spoke to didn't know where Britain was, but I'm fairly sure that a larger percentage of europeans know where America is.

To put it another way: where is Northumbria in the UK; Ile-de-France in France; Hessen in Germany or Umbria in Italy? This is the same as asking me to position the states in America, as these are areas that a country is made up of, much as America is made up of states.

And before you start ranting about the size of these respective areas again, surely you must see that this is irelevant as it is the number of states and areas that count, not their relative size.
How much could you spew off the top of your head about Gabon?

Don't answer that, because I don't want to know. I'll assume that it isn't a lot. And, if by chance you might have done a report on that country for school, I'd bet a majority of Brits don't know much about it. Or, maybe at all, for that matter. The point is people will only make relevant in their lives what they must. For most people, knowledge about Europe is necessary for survival in this society. There are too many other things concerning us.
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Johnny
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(Original post by Rusty33)
Having spent the first half of my life in "poverty" (no TV, no car, government subsidized housing, government aid food program, etc) I will testify that, although our version of poverty is difficult to live in, it is in no way comparable with the rest of world's version of poverty. You visited for eight months blah blah blah. You think because you took an extended vacation here you got a firm grasp on American life? :rolleyes:
Please read post #32. But if you still can't get to grips with it, I am aware of the difference between absolute and relative poverty.

Whereas you argue that because absolute poverty is low in America it is 'good' society, I believe that society's role extends to redistributing wealth and income to the extent where relative poverty is low as well.

There is a difference, but thanks for insinuating that I am making ridiculous statements with sarky smileys when in fact it is your lack of terminology that has lead you to misinterpret my post.
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Rusty33
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(Original post by Johnny)
Please read post #32. But if you still can't get to grips with it, I am aware of the difference between absolute and relative poverty.

Whereas you argue that because absolute poverty is low in America it is 'good' society, I believe that society's role extends to redistributing wealth and income to the extent where relative poverty is low as well.

There is a difference, but thanks for insinuating that I am making ridiculous statements with sarky smileys when in fact it is your lack of terminology that has lead you to misinterpret my post.
Tool. It's not a lack of terminology. It's a difference in opinion. You share a more socialistic view of economy. What you don't get, is that I was implying that I don't CARE that feel there is a disproportionate spread in wealth. You don’t know what it is like to live and work here. You don’t know what advantages we have or don’t have to the fullest. I am telling you that What you also didn’t get was that in this country, for the most part it is a disproportionate spread in wealth, but rather in work ethic. If you work hard here, good things will happen to you.
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Johnny
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(Original post by Rusty33)
How much could you spew off the top of your head about Gabon?

Exactly how much does the average American know about Gabon. This is such a surious concept that you propose. Infact it is almost laughable. The comparison was originally between two prominent Western democracies. Naming a random country like Gabon is therefore irrelevant.

Don't answer that, because I don't want to know. I'll assume that it isn't a lot. And, if by chance you might have done a report on that country for school, I'd bet a majority of Brits don't know much about it. Or, maybe at all, for that matter. The point is people will only make relevant in their lives what they must. For most people, knowledge about Europe is necessary for survival in this society. There are too many other things concerning us.

Right. So Europe is not necesessary for life in America eh? Well guess what? You should stop massaging your ego because knowledge of America is not exactly essential for life in europe either, yet the average european still knows about it. Could it be that they are as a whole better educated?

Don't make the mistake of assuming that there are not more pressing matters, in the world outside of America, than America. In other words, there are many things concerning us as here in europe as well.
What do you do in school if you don't learn about the world. Geography and History anyone?
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Syntax
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Eh you can't really generalise about America - it's obviously an advanced country yet 60% believe in intelligent design/creationism, they have the highest percentage of impoverished people in the developed world, yet it's a hugely rich country where many can work their way up.. and so on.

As for what the thread was originally about (..before being derailed by the anti-America bandwagon ..I'm glad to see that, despite being boring, we are loved!
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