Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ways To Save America

Why is the US becoming a second-rate country? I think that this is the progression of any civilization: there is a youthful stage in which the ambitions and patriotism of its citizens and leaders allow the civilization to grow and prosper. But then, complacency takes hold - people begin to think of their privileges as inalienable rights rather than something to be worked for - and the civilization begins its inevitable decline.

But there are many things Americans could do to stave off this decline. Here is my list:
  1. Take Responsibility For Your Action Or Inaction. Americans, by in large, have become a bunch of whiners. Every day, I meet people complaining about the government, their jobs, their neighbors, their spouses, and on and on. Everything is someone else's fault - never ones own. For example: Americans are lamenting that their jobs are lost to countries like China. China, with its near-slave-labor wages is to blame! Never mind that Americans are buying Chines goods, knowing full well under what conditions said goods are made!
  2. Tort Reform. Huh? Let me explain: since Americans think everything is someone else's fault, they feel justified in trying to extract payment for these wrong-doings. So they spend their time suing each other. Why else, do you think the US has only 5% of the world population, yet 95% of the world's lawyers? Most lawyers in the US perform no useful function other than to encourage, facilitate, and profit from this behavior. Eliminating frivolous lawsuits would allow American companies and individuals to produce goods more cheaply - since they would not have to spend so much time and money defending themselves in court. As a side-benefit, liability insurance rates would go way down. One proposed reform is to simply ask the suing party to pay for the defendant's court costs if the suit is decided in the defendant's favor. Seems fair, doesn't it? Well, guess what powerful lobby is against this ever passing? The lawyers, of course.
  3. Respect. Kids are not taught to respect their elders. Why did I (in Germany) and my wife (in China) grow up respecting our teachers? Because our parents taught us to be respectful and because when we weren't respectful, either the parens or the teacher would smack us! In the US (because of parents not taking responsibility and lawyers eagerly waiting to help parents OR children), teachers would not dare touch a child. Heck, even parents dare not physically punish their child in public for fear of being visited by an overzealous social services department.
  4. More Logic and Less Emotion. When deciding who our political leaders are, Americans too often use their hearts rather than their brains. A friend voted for Bush because he was "pro-gun" and my friend likes to bear arms. It never even occured to him to vote for a President based on what was best for the country. Americans get (and believe!) everything fed to them by the biased news media. They should try to see things through the eyes of other countries by, perhaps, getting some of their information from non-US news sources! A better education would be helpful too.
That's all I can think of. Opinions are welcomed.