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THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA'S VIEW OF THE UNITED STATES

 
 
Reply Wed 25 Dec, 2002 03:13 pm
I know some of you read, see or hear international (possibly national to you) media reports on a regular basis. I am interested in their perception of the United States during the course of the last ten years.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 8,306 • Replies: 81
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Dec, 2002 04:48 pm
I think there rather more to International Perception than can be summed in any of the categories .. or in any one category at all, for that matter. The US does receive "Bad Press", not insignificantly of its own doing. Much of this can be laid to Official US Foreign Policy; the US has an uncanny way of angering folks we oppose and folks we support alike.

Current US belligerent stance in no way receives unqualified popularity. However, The US ranks right up there in any survey of nations seen to be desirable places to which to emigrate, to the point the matter is something of an administrative albatross for us. There is at very least a duality to "World Perception of The US"

Our contemporary economic and diplomatic policies are but one factor, perhaps media overaccount that factor. Perhaps that is because "Bad News Is Big News". Folks seem to get more exercisized about what displeases them than what pleases them. A tax increase, controversial military entanglement, some calamitous disaster, some corruption-riddled scandal ... anything of that sort will generate considerably disproportionate media attention as compared to anything else. Apart from calamitous disasters, we're demonstrably capable of all of those, and we are widely presumed to be capable of, if not responsible for, calamitous disasters as well. Its almost a no-win situation, given the confrontational nature of geopolitical practice. The US will make news, and a good bit of that news will be about folks angry about something. When is the last time anyone saw a spontaneous demonstration of tens or hundreds of thousands of folk cheerfully and politely in favor of anything? Folks just don't care that much about stuff that doesn't irritate them. Folks bothered about something try to make it a point to let that be known.


Our standard of living, the Concept, if not The Practice, of our Administrative System, our technological prowess are the envy of the world. Yes, there is "Conspicuous Consumption", and there is incredible waste and ecologic irresponisbility. Yet, while it may be less expensive to produce something elsewhere than in The US, if The US chooses to, The US can be relied upon to commit incredible resources and produce the best something producible. We have an embarrassing crime rate and a bewildering tangle of laws, yet our society is such that it is seen by much of the world as offering unparallelled potential for reward to come from personal initiative. Few if any other nations on earth enjoy the relative comfort of the US; crushing poverty in the US is different from crushing poverty elsewhere. America's poor are somewhat better off than Africa's poor for example. This in itself is considerable problem. The US is envied, and envy is partner to resentment.



timber
0 Replies
 
gezzy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Dec, 2002 08:20 pm
I was born and raised in the US and I moved to Canada going on 3 years ago because I did not like its government. I have no problem with the people there, it's the government I have issues with.
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Dec, 2002 05:16 pm
I LEAVE FRIDAY ON A FAMILY TRIP, SHOULD BE BACK TO ATTEND TO THREADS ON SATURDAY, JAN. 4.
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gezzy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Dec, 2002 09:32 pm
Have a great time Mapleleaf :-D
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Dec, 2002 11:32 am
It depends. Mainstream Israeli media in Hebrew is very complimentary toward the USA, and President George W. Bush obviously gets better rating than our own Prime-Minister. Well, this reflects the popular feelings toward the U.S.; majority of people here are sincere admirers of the United States of America.
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Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2003 04:33 pm
timberlandko wrote:

When is the last time anyone saw a spontaneous demonstration of tens or hundreds of thousands of folk cheerfully and politely in favor of anything? Folks just don't care that much about stuff that doesn't irritate them. Folks bothered about something try to make it a point to let that be known.


Political demonstrations are not a reliable indicator of popular opinion. Generally, we conservatives don't demonstrate. We have jobs to do and don't have time for such nonsense. So you never see a demonstration for a conservative cause. It only takes a few hundred bucks to organize a political demonstration. Very often, the radical Marxists on campus pony up the bucks and prompt the liberal activists on campus to join them, to disguise their involvement. However, if you examine the news accounts of the rally, you nearly always can find somebody from the "Worker's Party" or some such Marxist appellation. They like to get their name in the paper too so you can expect a quote from them.

The far left uses such staged demonstrations to fallaciously argue that their positions reflect some sort of popular groundswell. The naive middle left, who mistake popularity as proof, accepts such demonstrations at face value and points to them as proof of the rightness of their position.

timberlandko wrote:

Yes, there is "Conspicuous Consumption", and there is incredible waste and ecologic irresponisbility.


False. The US takes better care of its environment than the rest of the world because it has the wherewithal to do so. The biggest per capita polluters are the socialist countries and Third World.

I suppose conspicuous consumption is a matter of perspective. For some countries, having two pairs of shoes is conspicuous consumption. Many people in South American countries watch American movies and never see the plot. They are too amazed by the kitchen gadgets in the background and general lifestyle. A can opener could be conspicuous consumption to a Peruvian peasant. When I lived in the Philippines, my maid would chew me out because I was so sloppy with my money, letting hundred peso bills (ten dollars) fall off the dresser on the floor. I imagine she thought that was wasteful and irresponsible.

timberlandko wrote:

Yet, while it may be less expensive to produce something elsewhere than in The US,


False. It is much cheaper to produce almost anything in the US because of our skilled labor force, technology, transportation net, laws, and infrastructure. That's why we produce so much and sell it cheaper than the rest of the world.

Many people falsely believe that cheaper labor means cheaper production. If that were true, places like Sri Lanka and Mexico would be economic superpowers. When you pay a dollar an hour for labor or less, you get what you pay for, unskilled and undisciplined labor. It is only cheaper to use it for special cases where you have long production runs of simple products, like sneakers.

timberlandko wrote:

We have an embarrassing crime rate ...


False. Places like Britain have higher crime rates than the US. You are much more likely to be assaulted and robbed in England than the US.

timberlandko wrote:

Few if any other nations on earth enjoy the relative comfort of the US; crushing poverty in the US is different from crushing poverty elsewhere. America's poor are somewhat better off than Africa's poor for example.


Somewhat better off? America does not have crushing poverty in the African sense. Crushing poverty in America means you can't afford cable TV. Crushing poverty in Africa means you die of appendicitis because there is no doctor and you couldn't afford an appendectomy if you could get it. You can be defined as poor in America by the government while owning your own home, a car, and a color TV. In Africa, the poor have never seen a car or TV. Africans stream to America to be counted among the poor here, the fattest poor people in the world.

timberlandko wrote:

The US is envied, and envy is partner to resentment.


Absolutely true. America has a successful system of freeing people to better themselves. What's hard to take for foreign countries is that the same people who suffer in their countries can come to America and be successful. It's difficult for them to admit their inferiority so they seek to find other reasons, any reason, to explain it away. Colonialism, imperialism, hegemony, cultural dominance, whatever. You name it. Anything except the sad truth that they are unable to organize themselves to succeed.

Tantor
0 Replies
 
Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2003 04:36 pm
gezzy wrote:
I was born and raised in the US and I moved to Canada going on 3 years ago because I did not like its government. I have no problem with the people there, it's the government I have issues with.


You should thank America for allowing you to leave and pursue your happiness where ever you find it, even if up among the moose. There are many countries who would not allow you to leave for any reason. We'll let you back in, too, no matter how much you bad mouth your homeland.

You're welcome,

Tantor
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2003 04:42 pm
(gezzy, you even could have travelled to Cuba! But fortunately the US government hadn't allowed you, to spend money there.)
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Lash Goth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2003 05:08 pm
Again, timber has stated my feelings on yet another subject more effectively than I could have.

I wish Saddam and OBL would get worse press than the POTUS.
0 Replies
 
gravy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2003 06:46 pm
Tantor,
Your extensive post was very motivating. While I disagree with most your assertions, I thank you for inspiring me to come up with evidence for my reasons why.
0 Replies
 
Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2003 11:10 pm
Gravy,

You're ever so welcome. Please bring back the fruits of your research and I'd be happy to shoot it down too.

The Socratic Gadfly,

Tantor
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2003 01:37 am
Tantor,

You neglect to mention that our country also gives Gezzy the right to "bad mouth" it and you the right to be rude about it.
--------------

I think international media largely reflects the opinions of those people and I think a few poll options apply.

I think resentment is ever present as is the knowledge that staying on friendly terms with an economic superpower is a good idea.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2003 01:55 am
Tantor wrote:

Political demonstrations are not a reliable indicator of popular opinion. Generally, we conservatives don't demonstrate. We have jobs to do and don't have time for such nonsense. So you never see a demonstration for a conservative cause. It only takes a few hundred bucks to organize a political demonstration. Very often, the radical Marxists on campus pony up the bucks and prompt the liberal activists on campus to join them, to disguise their involvement. However, if you examine the news accounts of the rally, you nearly always can find somebody from the "Worker's Party" or some such Marxist appellation. They like to get their name in the paper too so you can expect a quote from them.


Do you never tire of generalizations in arrays? In an array each generalization will take validity from the conclusions drawn.

Tantor wrote:
False. The US takes better care of its environment than the rest of the world because it has the wherewithal to do so. The biggest per capita polluters are the socialist countries and Third World.


False, we do a fine job at being green but your "per capita" bit is very false. Please support it with this simple stat:

Pollution of the US/population. Vs. Pollution of world/population

Tantor wrote:
I suppose conspicuous consumption is a matter of perspective. For some countries, having two pairs of shoes is conspicuous consumption. Many people in South American countries watch American movies and never see the plot. They are too amazed by the kitchen gadgets in the background and general lifestyle. A can opener could be conspicuous consumption to a Peruvian peasant. When I lived in the Philippines, my maid would chew me out because I was so sloppy with my money, letting hundred peso bills (ten dollars) fall off the dresser on the floor. I imagine she thought that was wasteful and irresponsible.


Largely correct but said gagetry is consumption nonetheless and takes its toll on the enviroment as does excessive packaging in foodstuffs etc. I don't blame people for using the junk that is part of their lifestyle but there is validity to the notion that this consumption causes a comparative excess in ecologically detrimental activity.

Tantor wrote:

False. It is much cheaper to produce almost anything in the US because of our skilled labor force, technology, transportation net, laws, and infrastructure. That's why we produce so much and sell it cheaper than the rest of the world.


Almost anything? Patently false. Almost anything that requires unskilled manual labor is cheaper to produce abroad. The items that do not fit this category are closer to nothing than everything.


Tantor wrote:
Many people falsely believe that cheaper labor means cheaper production. If that were true, places like Sri Lanka and Mexico would be economic superpowers. When you pay a dollar an hour for labor or less, you get what you pay for, unskilled and undisciplined labor.


Your logic eludes me. If you pay them a pittance and they don't industrialize how would they become a power?

Tantor wrote:
False. Places like Britain have higher crime rates than the US. You are much more likely to be assaulted and robbed in England than the US.


This does not change the fact that we have a high crime rate for developed nations.

Tantor wrote:

Absolutely true. America has a successful system of freeing people to better themselves. What's hard to take for foreign countries is that the same people who suffer in their countries can come to America and be successful. It's difficult for them to admit their inferiority so they seek to find other reasons, any reason, to explain it away. Colonialism, imperialism, hegemony, cultural dominance, whatever. You name it. Anything except the sad truth that they are unable to organize themselves to succeed.


For some to be rich others have to be poor. The rich play a part in the poor's poverty. Many nations are poor due to internal issues. But don't discount the influence of other nations striving to be richer than they.
0 Replies
 
gezzy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2003 07:25 am
Tantor
My reasons for not liking the American government are strong and personal and very valid and I have no reason what so ever to be thankful for anything they've done to me. It's a very long story, but to give you just an idea of what I'm saying I'll tell you that I was accused of medical neglect for refusing to put my son on Ritalin. I almost lost my son simply because I refused to drug him. My reasons go on and on, but I've chosen to put that misery behind me, so I won't get into it again. My parents, there parents, and so on were all born and raised here in Canada and I don't need to be thanking any country for being able to come back home. My civil rights were abused so many times in the US that it hurts. I have the right to my thoughts and opinions and I will always stand by them.
0 Replies
 
gezzy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2003 07:38 am
Tantor
By the way, I like the moose ;-)
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2003 01:00 pm
Unskilled labor cheaper outside the U.S.? Better look at where hour Mac or PC was made and the components therein. Better look at where your new HDTV was made. Better look at where nearly all your clothes are made (sewing is a complex skill -- the men in the crowd should start sewing their own clothes). This is a patently ridiculous statement to make in this day and age. I provide the most high tech light bulbs including medical -- not one of them is made in the U.S. Get real.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2003 01:04 pm
I see no cites for the statistics that Britain's crime rate is higher than the U.S. but because the U.S. has an enormous rural area while a disportionate amount of the popular in Britain are in its large cities, I don't see that it would be conclusive. Let's compare the crime rate in NYC to London.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2003 01:09 pm
Lightwizard

BTW: The other week, I was driving through a car-wash here in Germany, with signs on every post, saying: "Proudly made by patriotic citizens in the USA" - regional newspapers reported about this, since it was opened by Consul General and since .... all maschines are "Made In Czech Republic".
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2003 01:14 pm
(Just looking, if I could provide an online article about this [no, I can't], I found that the company itself is Canadian. :wink: )
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