My my EJ, I don't understand how you manage to come up with the colorful "garbage bin" reference with regards to America, but I do believe that the analogy academics favor these days is more of a "tossed garden salad."
I do believe, however, that you suffer from an affliction that is far too prevelent on this site - one dimensional thinking. In the United States, I am considered pretty far to the left of the spectrum. I am an ardent critic of US government policies, both at home and abroad, but I believe in criticizing at the RIGHT time for the RIGHT reasons. I'm afraid that many Europeans and citizens of the world suffer from a sort of hysteria and derangement when it comes to the United States, however, and so sites like this particular one leave me exasperated at the sheer ignorance that comes from those so ready to chastise the US for its supposed ignorance.
For example, just today I read a post by a Canadian who wanted "natural disasters" to visit the United States because we "cause them." Now, I suppose this individual is talking about global warming, and the fact that the US emits 25% of carbon emissions... but here's where one-dimensional thinking falls flat and why I can't take the opinions of so many people seriously. There is a decent correlation, across the board, vis-a-vis carbon emissions and % share of world economy. It doesn't mean that the US shouldn't do MORE to help prevent and reverse global warming, but the sheer inability for some people to think critically about problems is apparently a global phenomena. Whereas Americans take everything in the American media at face value, apparently the citizens of the world drink liberally from the fountain of "blame America for everything." Regardless of why or how much carbon emissions are attributable to the US, for example, our smart-guy neighbor in Canada says that we are "responsible" for it... as if global warming would disappear if the US dropped off the face of the earth tomorrow! One dimensional thinking, my friends, is what makes you JUST like the 30% of Americans who still support President Bush.
Now, to your comment about brain drain, EJ, you are also suffering from one dimensional analysis. To begin with, perhaps you missed the recent stories about American students not going into engineering or IT fields that are so often easily outsourced to places like India. Indian students are sought after by US companies because they are good, AND they work for less money than Americans would expect for the same pay. Indians come here to work because we have the companies HERE, in this "garbage bin country" you hate, to employ these Indian citizens in advanced technical fields. Nobody FORCES them to come here, EJ, and that is something you must not forget. MANY second and third world economies are heavily dependent upon aid sent from workers who go to first world countries such as the US and then send money home to places like India. (or look at how ridiculously dependent MEXICO'S economy is on remittances from illegal workers! Hence why Vicente Fox encourages them to come here!) In the end, India's subsidization of so many engineering students hurts AMERICAN workers, since AMERICAN workers are not as competitive at the rate they demand... not too mention the scores that American companies employ WITHIN places like India.
Lastly, to your glib comments about "education," "values," "respect," etc... I don't know what to say, really. You ACTUALLY think that most other countries in the world don't have similar or same problems as the US? I feel that you are just a curmudgeon, lamenting "kids these days" and how things are "better" "somewhere else." I suggest you spend sometime, stepping outside your comfort zone, to REALLY learn about your fellow Americans. For example, you say we are greedy and only care about one thing, yet Americans are second in the developed world for population percentage who belong to charitable organizations: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lif_mem_of_vol_org_cha-lifestyle-members-voluntary-organisations-charity
As a matter of fact, here is a good list of statistics that will help you truly research and learn about American lifestyles and priorities: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lif_con_in_soc_ins_civ_ser-confidence-social-institutions-civil-service
For example, I notice in another post you praised to free spiritied, happy Mexican way vs. the American way. However, statistics show Americans are quite a bit "happier" and more satisfied as a whole than Mexicans. QUITE a bit! http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lif_hap_net-lifestyle-happiness-net
One dimensional thinking. It kills from the inside out. There are PLENTY of things to want to change or dislike about America, and being the biggest and most powerful will naturally bring the microscope of the world upon us. I just wish our critics would educate themselves a bit more, to be more effective in their criticism. NOTHING fortifies an ignorant American opinion like an ignorant European opinion ABOUT America. THAT is something you should remember.
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