Tuesday, July 04, 2006

“Because I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat.”

What a great title from a prospective immigrant from India.
Here is one of the better posts about what we all need to remember, and what alot of Americans don't realize. We do have it great in America.
Karten is in England right now, and sent me a mail telling about how much she realised she's changed- and how favorably we compare to the 'old sod'.

What's So Great About America

The newcomer who sees America for the first time typically experiences emotions that alternate between wonder and delight. Here is a country where everything works: The roads are paper-smooth, the highway signs are clear and accurate, the public toilets function properly, when you pick up the telephone you get a dial tone. You can even buy things from the store and then take them back if you change your mind. For the Third World visitor, the American supermarket is a marvel to behold: endless aisles of every imaginable product, 50 different types of cereal, multiple flavors of ice cream, countless unappreciated inventions like quilted toilet paper, fabric softener, roll-on deodorant, disposable diapers.

The immigrant cannot help noticing that America is a country where the poor live comparatively well. This fact was dramatized in the 1980s, when CBS television broadcast an anti-Reagan documentary, “People Like Us,” which was intended to show the miseries of the poor during an American recession. The Soviet Union also broadcast the documentary, with the intention of embarrassing the Reagan administration. But it had the opposite effect. Ordinary people across the Soviet Union saw that the poorest Americans had television sets and cars. They arrived at the same conclusion that I witnessed in a friend of mine from Bombay who has been trying unsuccessfully to move to the United States for nearly a decade. I asked him, “Why are you so eager to come to America?” He replied, “Because I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat.”


In the United States, on the other hand, the social ethic is egalitarian, regardless of wealth. For all his riches, Bill Gates could not approach a homeless person and say, “Here’s a $100 bill. I’ll give it to you if you kiss my feet.” Most likely the homeless guy would tell Gates to go to hell. The American view is that the rich guy may have more money, but he isn’t in any fundamental sense better than you are. The American janitor or waiter sees himself as performing a service, but he doesn’t see himself as inferior to those he serves. And neither do the customers see him that way: They are generally happy to show him respect and appreciation on a plane of equality. America is the only country in the world where we call the waiter “Sir,” as if he were a knight.

The moral triumph of America is that it has extended the benefits of comfort and affluence, traditionally enjoyed by very few, to a large segment of society. Very few people in America have to wonder where their next meal is coming from. Even sick people who don’t have money or insurance will receive medical care at hospital emergency rooms. The poorest American girls are not humiliated by having to wear torn clothes. Every child is given an education, and most have the chance to go on to college. The common man can expect to live long enough and have enough free time to play with his grandchildren.

I really think that if more Americans got out in the world to REALLY see what kind of a chithole the majority of the world is, that they'd realise we are the greatest country in the world.
I don't mean the tourist traps, go to the centeral forrests of Puerto Rico where the highway we built from Rosey Roads to San Juan is a one lane strip of uneven concrete lined by ventas with dirty kids and trash all around.
Look accross the border in El Paso- you can see by the windowless hovels where the line is.
Canada looks like America that I remember from the 60's with narrow highways, skewed power poles with no buried utilities, extremely limited cell coverage (and that's in their cities)- but they have government healthcare if you want to wait 3 months for an MRI.
Central America where they do the jobs that Mexicans won't- because Mexico is better than where they came from.
Africa- with their dictators and slave trade- propped up by the UN?
Asia- if you don't live in a city, forget ANY modern conveniance, and don't complain because the Communists or the Islamofasciests will shut you up.

I almost forgot- in Britain, a modern European country- when they start to get dry, they don't tell you to stop watering your lawn. They shut off the water to your house and make you go to a central water pipe for your domestic use.

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