America’s perception of the rest of the World..


As I am just returning from France and Italy, I continue to be baffled by the lack of knowledge people in this country have of the rest of the World. Lack of knowledge, lack of interest to educate oneself or complete stupidity, I am not quite sure why, in 2010, we still have to deal with such ignorance.

I must say everytime I spend a few weeks away, be it in Europe where I grew up or other countries, I come back with a complete different view on this country. It seems to me the United States, once the most powerful and inovative nation on the World, has taken a turn for the worst. What I find the most interesting is the reluctance, in most cases, to move forward and make changes to established rules and laws that simply do not work. I was listening to a radio show yesterday on NPR (I know right?). I was struck by the comments the host made after an ex governor of Virginia (a Republican..it’s ok, we need some of them too) praised the energy policy of France. France has developed, for the past 30 years, a policy based on getting 75% of its energy produced by nuclear power plants. Wait, there is more. France RECYCLES its waste when the US, which has about 10 plants still does not know what to do with its waste. The comment the radio host made was as follows “Well, that’s no reference. We can so much better than the French”. Really? Can you also do better on Health Care (France has one of the best systems in the World), transportation (remember the Bullet Train which now covers 80% of the French territory), lifestyle (French people live longer thansk to a healthy diet AND a healthy work habit), Cuisine, Technology (France invented the ancester of the Internet..and dropped the ball allowing the U.S military to step in and commercialize it). Did you know France invented the computer chip and still produces a large number of them? Remember the airplane that kicked Boeing? Yes, the AIRBUS..the product of a cooperation between France, England and Spain. Oh, yes..the CONCORDE. 30 years ahead of its time. Another French invention.

That said, I will give you that French people can be arrogant (After all, I am one of them). But for the U.S. to spit at France and Europe over what their ability to do better..THANK JUST FREAKING DO IT. Last I checked, we have one of the worst health care system in the World, one of the worst civil right records (Gays are still not allowed to marry or adopt in most states), one of the worst energy grid, one of the worst road system (France forces contractors to guarantee the work for 99 years, so does Germany..making their roads some of the smoothest on the planet). Do I need to go on?

One more thing people. Louisiana was a third of the current union. It was sold by France to the U.S so it could finance Napeoleon wars. Another fact? Louis XVI lost his head in part because it helped America gained its independance from England through financing their war..and bankrupting France leading to the Revolution. That is on top of sending navy ships to help America win a decisive battle against the brits.

Last I checked, this was NOT a competition. Rather a matter to look elsewhere for solutions we sometimes have problems implementating because of an obvious lack of education or open mind. So let’s not talk about arrogance please. I think the U.S. has had the runner up title for over 10 years now.

PS: Criticizing a country is not sufficient ground to be sent home. For those who think that anyone criticizing the U.S. should live elsewhere, you just made my point about ignorance. Thank you 🙂

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