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What would you say is the common issue we have in the U.S.?


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[COLOR="Red"]As you well know, the u.s. of a. is facing many problems. war, gay marriage, abortion. i want to know what you otakuers think. what is the worst issue we have in the u.s. today? i would have to say abortion and soldiers dying because of stupid stuff, not getting shot.:animedepr[/COLOR]
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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Bears.

.....actually number one issue today? Nuclear Threats Abroad. So. Iran.

The policies of appeasement and diplomacy have failed to result in anything remotely akin to peace or treaty and instead have resulted in us giving more time to an Iranian madman/Holocaust denier sworn to wipe Israel and the U.S. off the face of the Earth. He'll use a nuke the second he gets it, and no he won't wait until the paint is dry.

The threat of instant annihilation seems more important right now than any other issue at hand. There'll be time to address them all when we're not dead. Of course this is also a MASSIVELY subjective question. So nobody here will/could be technically wrong.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Bears.

.....actually number one issue today? Nuclear Threats Abroad. So. Iran.

The policies of appeasement and diplomacy have failed to result in anything remotely akin to peace or treaty and instead have resulted in us giving more time to an Iranian madman/Holocaust denier sworn to wipe Israel and the U.S. off the face of the Earth. He'll use a nuke the second he gets it, and no he won't wait until the paint is dry.

The threat of instant annihilation seems more important right now than any other issue at hand. There'll be time to address them all when we're not dead. Of course this is also a MASSIVELY subjective question. So nobody here will/could be technically wrong.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]



[COLOR="Red"]uh, you lost me after the second sentence or so. put in a nutshell. what is the most important problem so my nerdy mind can understand, and why always purple?:confused:[/COLOR]
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[INDENT][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]I love purple. And technically it's 'dark orchid' not purple. Indi posts in purple. She loves it too.


Anyway I'm saying the number one issue facing the US is, in a nutshell, we might be completely WIPED OUT by a nation that hates us. And by wiped out I mean not a living creature left after the attack. Perhaps a cockroach...[/FONT][/COLOR][/INDENT]
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[COLOR="DarkRed"][FONT="Verdana"]What I think is the worst issue facing America? The media in general, advertisements, self image,fear, etc. It's an issue everyone is familiar with.

T.V. and music are great, but it does have a general influence on people. Everyday a person has to face what the media tells them what to look like, how to act, what to listen to, what to watch, what to fear (terrorism, politics, gay marriage?, and gas prices), what to buy, and to generally become a consumer whore. I thought the media was suppose to be a great stream of information, yet the average person doesn't know what's going on in Darfur or the sweatshop situation in Saipan.

I don't think the media is going to one day kill us all, but I do believe it is something to look into.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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Foreign policy is the biggest issue we have today. That's the most polarizing issue we have to make up our minds about before november. On one hand we have a candidate that wants to put other countries on a level playing field with us while on the other we have a candidate that is convinced that we just can't bomb enough brown people.

Iran will never attack the united states. Ever. I don't know why people think that this is even a remote possibility. They might be kinda sorta close to the bomb we developed 63 years ago. The bomb would never make it to the US and even if it did it wouldn't destroy enough for us to not be able to heavily retaliate.
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[font=trebuchet ms] Not keeping up with the rest of the world. For a country that for decades encouraged the opening of international markets and entrepreneurship, the US has suddenly become more timid about globalization. Protectionist policies are a thing of the past (in retrospect, have they ever really been beneficial?), and I think we should stop fearing the rise of other nations and just embrace it.

Not saying that the US is going to flounder and die, but it very may well do so. I think Americans like to think that we're still the top dog, and while we sort of are, it's not longer that clear-cut and the gap is closing at an exponential rate.

I sort of agree with Morpheus on the bomb thing. It reminds me of what John Updike once wrote, for some magazine, about how thinking about being nuked and being afraid of it was like thinking about death constantly. It's a problem, yeah, but it's sort of like saying death is our biggest problem. And it might be, I guess, but I'm not going to spend my days worrying about being nuked off the face of the planet. [/font]
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[COLOR="Indigo"]Well if we are talking about the US... [URL="http://holymackeral.deviantart.com/art/Trigger-Happy-1492868"][U]Click Me![/U][/URL] Make sure you take the time to read the artist's notes on the piece. If you don't want to read the whole thing, just skip to the last paragraph of the notes. [/COLOR]
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[font=Arial]To be honest, the worst issue in America is the worsening [b]housing crisis[/b] that threatens to undo years of economic progress. Because of this subprime loan crisis, people's houses are being foreclosed, and this is at its core a causal agent for many other American economic woes being felt by a great swath of the country. Sometimes I think a lot of people simply don't understand the magnitude or seriousness of this housing crunch, and thus pick issues like "abortion" or "gay marriage" as a crisis afflicting the US.

Yes, Iraq is bad. Yes, our foreign policy is abysmal. But I would argue that the worst issue that "we have in the US today" (as the OP put it) is without a doubt the housing crisis.[/font]
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[color=crimson]Haha, of course the fact that the United States holds the greatest nuclear arsenal technologically and has limited defense measures against nuclear weapons falls by the wayside - everyone else is dangerous as ****! If only we were in another war, that'd help our domestic and international situation out greatly!

The United States greatest problem is the fact that its methodology of approaching and fixing problems is purposefully careful, slow, and somewhat democratic. The bureaucracy that bloats out each level you go up (municipal, state, national) is unfathomable. The dim response to Katrina (especially when compared to the effort the PRC is making in wake of the Sichuan earthquake) is a good example of bureaucracy in motion, especially when placed under poor leadership.

The kicker for that is that, well, trimming bureaucracy or streamlining the decision making or leadership process in the United States could possibly be best served by curtailing aspects that are democratic. That is not an ideal most Americans would outwardly support and I would imagine most are content with believing that switching out the dominant party at local, state, and national levels of governance is somehow an ideal solution.[/color]
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[quote name='DeathKnight'][color=crimson]The United States greatest problem is the fact that its methodology of approaching and fixing problems is purposefully careful, slow, and somewhat democratic. The bureaucracy that bloats out each level you go up (municipal, state, national) is unfathomable. The dim response to Katrina (especially when compared to the effort the PRC is making in wake of the Sichuan earthquake) is a good example of bureaucracy in motion, especially when placed under poor leadership.

The kicker for that is that, well, trimming bureaucracy or streamlining the decision making or leadership process in the United States could possibly be best served by curtailing aspects that are democratic. That is not an ideal most Americans would outwardly support and I would imagine most are content with believing that switching out the dominant party at local, state, and national levels of governance is somehow an ideal solution.[/color][/QUOTE]
[font=Arial]I more or less agree with this analysis, with my only disagreement being the fact that there's no streamlining that can feasibly be done if we're working within the Constitution, etc. I think the problem of bureaucratic sluggishness is built into our government. Essentially, the slow speed of deliberation and action is a check against the passions of the moment that might not be prudent in the long-term. So if the problem is systemic (throughout all levels of governance), it'd be difficult if not impossible to fix if working within the pre-existing systems of conventionality we've grown comfortable with in the past hundred years.

You bring up PRC's response to their natural disaster, which is valid. The Chinese government has responded swiftly (and at least superficially compassionate, if not genuinely) and probably due to the centralization of government they have over there. Much less 'democratization' over there. But of course, the government's exaggerated centrality is also responsible for the shoddy schools to begin with (although you could counter in bringing up the engineering of the levies in New Orleans).

Sorry that I rambled (and maybe failed to present a coherent/relevant point), I just kind of wanted to say that. Cheers![/font]
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[font=franklin gothic medium]I don't think that it is necessarily true that democracies can not be streamlined.

Bureaucracy (or too much of it) and democracy do go hand-in-hand to some extent, but then again, the two are not inherently linked.

China is probably not the best example of a government that is streamlined. The Chinese central government is an incredibly complex system with many layers of bureaucracy - which is possibly slower and more lumbering than even the big democracies.

Although China has a central government, it hands many responsibilities to Provincial and Local governments - to the extent that if something goes wrong, the central government simply blames its local counterparts and nothing is ever fixed as a result.

One of the problems with this system, also, is that the central government dictates that local and provincial governments must complete a particular task (or achieve a particular goal) in a given time...without any federal/central support. This is partly why buildings collapse as they have recently - there's a major lack of investment in local authorities from the central regime.

So really, their system is probably not terribly efficient or effective. And at least in a democracy, there is some incentive to streamline procedures - this is because public officials must deliver outcomes to voters, otherwise their careers are at risk. This is obviously not the case in China.

Anyway I really can't say what the biggest problem in America is right now, because I don't live there. I can only give you an outsider's perspective (which may or may not be relevant, depending on the subject).[/font]
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[quote name='James'][font=franklin gothic medium]So really, their system is probably not terribly efficient or effective. And at least in a democracy, there is some incentive to streamline procedures - this is because public officials must deliver outcomes to voters, otherwise their careers are at risk. This is obviously not the case in China.

Anyway I really can't say what the biggest problem in America is right now, because I don't live there. I can only give you an outsider's perspective (which may or may not be relevant, depending on the subject).[/font][/QUOTE]
[font=Arial]Well, I'm admittedly no expert on the PCR's governmental structure.

The thing is in much of American bureaucracy (take government agencies, such as Dept of Labor, Dept of State, CIA etc) there is no electoral process to get hired, it's a regular application process. As a result, the workers within these structures are isolated from the public will and furthermore have no incentive to perform at peak efficiency. Essentially, a healthy democracy does not necessitate a limber bureaucracy... and it's difficult to streamline it anyway. I think the bureaucracy, as a node in a system of overlapping centers of political power (with an eye towards check and balance), is designed to slow things down.

And I think an outsider's opinion on America is not only valid, but extremely beneficial to the overall conversation. It's this general mute on international opinion that has America acting alone much of the time.[/font]
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[FONT="Tahoma"]One of the greatest concerns I think we all share is the change in the cost of living. Gasoline; heating oil and the rate of increase for public transportation just continues to get higher and higher, along with the cost of food. I myself am not affected to greatly, but I know plenty of people who are retired and on fixed incomes who are struggling to make ends meet. [/FONT]
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[quote name='Allamorph'][FONT=Arial]Mental depravity.

And if you think for a moment, you will see why this must be so.[/FONT][/QUOTE]That statement reminds me of some of the stuff I've been reading recently in relation to criminal psychology and The Depravity Scale. Anyway, I'd also agree that the housing issue and that of the cost of living are pretty common issues. As much as I agree that other political issues are a concern, I think fixing some of our more internal ones first is much more important.
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I very much agree that the cost of living is a huge bummer in American society. But the cost of living is really just the tip of the iceberg, the mask that hides the true problem: taxes. Taxes are just one step closer to communism. Taxes are the reason that, in pure economic terms, The United States of America cannot be classified as having a true capitalist economic system. Income tax, hidden tax, sales tax...they are the reasons why prices simply go up and up.

...not to mention the reason the economy remains unstimulated, as money is taken away from hardworking business owners and used for entitlement programs that do nothing...
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[quote name='Mykul']But the cost of living is really just the tip of the iceberg, the mask that hides the true problem: taxes. Taxes are just one step closer to communism. Taxes are the reason that, in pure economic terms, The United States of America cannot be classified as having a true capitalist economic system. Income tax, hidden tax, sales tax...they are the reasons why prices simply go up and up.[/quote]
[FONT=Arial]Spoken like the uninitiated.

Taxes are the only means any government has to pay for the services it is [B]supposed to[/B] provide to its citizens. It cannot fund itself, so it draws money from its constituents to pay for necessary things that by themselves the constituents might not ever pay for.

Say a road needs to be built between City A and City B. City A might use it, but then again they might not, and not everyone in the city would be willing to pay for or provide the labor for a commodity they won't use. The same might be true of City B. But if the State government decides to build it, they will ensure that everyone pays for it, through taxes.

Ideally, that's what the government is supposed to exist as: an elected body of citizens who make large-scale decisions for the people they represent. So the issue isn't [I]really[/I] Taxes.

The issue is the malappropriation of funds generated by taxes by a body of people who are now extremely detached from those people whom they are supposed to represent. The issue is an untrustworthy government, a people who's mistrust has devolved into collective apathy, and thus a government that is not being told what to do (except by special interest groups).

The issue is mental depravity.[/FONT]
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[quote name='Allamorph'][FONT=Arial]Spoken like the uninitiated.[/FONT][/QUOTE]
Uninitiated as in I don't pay taxes? I do, actually, just like every citizen with a job...

And I know how taxes work. I realize entirely that a government cannot pay for itself. I never once postulated that getting rid of taxes should be the solution to the problem. I think you said it better, that the problem lies with detached public officials and interest groups.

The best solution to the problem, I believe, is the fairtax. However, I think we can all be pretty sure that a fairtax bill will never pass. The constitution still gives congress the right to levy income tax (thank you sixteenth ammendment). so, basically, to install the fairtax system in The United States there would have to be another ammendment to the constitution that takes away congress's power to tax income... and ammendments are hard to come by these days.

And so, like you said Allamorph, we are stuck with an untrustworthy public body that is not being told what to do, at least not by the people who have the right to dictate what they should do.

Sorry if my last post seemed to say that taxes are unnecessary.

[QUOTE]The issue is mental depravity.[/QUOTE]

I think that answers the question a little too well. It seems that mental depravity is really the greatest problem in the [I]entire world[/I], not just in America.
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[COLOR="Indigo"][quote name='Mykul'] Taxes are the reason that, in pure economic terms, The United States of America cannot be classified as having a true capitalist economic system. Income tax, hidden tax, sales tax...they are the reasons why prices simply go up and up.[/QUOTE]Taxes are only one of many reasons why prices go up. If we were only having price increases brought about by taxes, things would be a hell of a lot cheaper. Tax increases, unlike fuel and food take a lot more to even be put into action. Where gas companies can arbitrarily increase fuel costs for holiday weekends without any need to have such an increase approved. Taxes may be annoying, but they are regulated far more than other price increases.

Allamorph, mental depravity doesn't really address the problem correctly. It's an oversimplification of the overall issue. Think about it, [I]seriously[/I]. It's only one aspect, something that you already talked about a bit:[quote][font=ariel]The issue is an untrustworthy government, a people who's mistrust has devolved into collective apathy, and thus a government that is not being told what to do (except by special interest groups).[/font][/quote]I don't consider that kind of thing true mental depravity. Though that's probably because my dealing with it is from what Rach already mentioned earlier in the thread. Which translates into what could be considered evil... hmmm...[/COLOR]
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[size=1]I agree with pretty much everyone about what was said. Nuclear war, housing, taxes, so on and so forth. But here is my opinion. All of these crises(sp?) would most likely not be as much of a risk if it weren't for... can anyone guess?

DING DING DING!!!! George freaking Bush. Don't take offense to this Bush fans, I just see his policies as very... for lack of a better word, ignorant. To be honest I think most of our struggles come from his not-so-good way of running this country for the past almost 8 years. How he got re-elected I don't know.

I believe if he were not in office, the U.S. and the world in general would be a much better place. I'm not going into specifics at the moment because I am very tired and about to go to bed, but I will edit this tomorrow and get more in-depth with the conversation.

But yes, Bush is my excuse. Obama '08.[/size]
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"][FONT="Book Antiqua"][quote name='Sabrina'][FONT="Tahoma"]One of the greatest concerns I think we all share is the change in the cost of living. Gasoline; heating oil and the rate of increase for public transportation just continues to get higher and higher, along with the cost of food. I myself am not affected to greatly, but [B]I know plenty of people who are retired and on fixed incomes who are struggling to make ends meet. [/B][/FONT][/QUOTE]My mom is on disability so that's the same as having a pretty fixed income. The increases in the last couple of years have made things really hard since obviously what little increase she gets each year for what she gets a month doesn't even come close to the recent price increases.

I hear people telling us to just suck it up because it's higher elsewhere, but realistically, that doesn't make it somehow affordable just because someone else happens to pay more. We still have to budget carefully and even then, some of the extras we have like oh [I]the Internet[/I], are only because my dad pays for that so I have it for school. [/FONT][/COLOR]
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The number one issue in Amerirca is America its self. We as a country have to many different backgrounds, cultres and diffrences to ever get along. Not to mention that this is the thing that makes are country unique in many ways, but it is the one thing that stops us.
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