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View Full Version : America Better off Than Egypt -- Right? Let's Take a Look.



xSnoofovich
31-01-2011, 14:49
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/were-better-off-than-egyp_b_816080.html

A tourist who was interviewed last night from Cairo spoke for millions of his fellow Americans when he said he couldn't imagine living a country like Egypt. It is hard, isn't it?

Imagine: A government run by and for the rich and powerful. Leaders who lecture others about "sacrifice" and deficits while cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy. A system so corrupt that rich executives can break the law without fear of being punished. Increasing poverty and hardship even as the stock market rises. And now, a nation caught between a broken political system and a populist movement that could be hijacked by religious extremists at any moment.

No wonder they're upset! Why, we'd be marching in the streets too.

Here's the reality: Income inequality is actually greater in the United States than it is in Egypt. Politicians here have close financial ties to big corporations, both personally and through their campaigns. Corporate lawbreakers often do go unpunished. Poverty and unemployment statistics for US minorities are surprisingly similar to Egypt's.

And remember the ratings agencies that told us everything was fine with our country's banking system, right up to the moment it collapsed? Just two months ago, Moody's reassured investors that the Egyptian government had a "stable outlook" for the foreseeable future. Sure, the analogy only goes so far. But why is it so much easier to see what's wrong on the other side of the world than it is here at home?

How do you say "deficit commission" in Arabic?

Egypt's been plagued by the same contradictory "cut taxes and reduce the deficit" logic we're hearing in the US. And why not? It serves the same web of financial interests.

Spurred on by the IMF and the World Bank, Egypt eased corporate regulations and began privatizing its bank sector. It lowered individual and corporate tax rates, while at the same time setting new deficit targets for slowed-down government spending. that won praise from Middle Eastern news outlets and corporation-friendly multinational institutions. "Egypt - A successful reform story," read a typical headline.

The Heritage Foundation continued to celebrate Egypt's increased investment and trade "freedoms" and its lower tax rates, while chiding it for adopting a modest 1.5% stimulus program after the fiscal crisis. (This information can be found on the Foundation's unironically-named "2011 Index of Economic Freedoms.") As their personal economic picture remained bleak, Egyptians were told that all was well. After all, as one government website explained, the country has been enjoying the benefits of "an open and flourishing stock market."

But profits didn't "trickle down." A UNICEF study showed that those years of stock market growth also saw an increase in the number of Egyptian children living in poverty. "This growth," said the report, "has not led to a proportionate reduction in income poverty or deprivation." And we saw this headline in the United States, just before the financial crisis struck: "U.S. Child Poverty Rates Increase Despite Rising National Incomes."

Egypt's government pressed on with privatization, despite a study which showed that "only 20% of citizens considered privatization to be beneficial to Egypt's economy" (just as in the US, a laundry list of the public's strongly-held opinions continued being ignored in Washington.) And despite soaring food prices, Egypt's government declined to boost food subsidies and promised to impose a "means test" that would restrict access to this form of assistance. (While the government held the line on food assistance, it did increase its subsidies for fuel - a form of assistance which, unlike food aid, benefits domestic and foreign oil interests.)

This next statistic may sound familiar: There haven't been enough new jobs created in Egypt to keep pace with the number of new job seekers. Despite this stagnation,the austerity-minded government hasn't invested additional funds for jobs and economic growth. Apparently Egyptian officials thought that an unemployment rate of 9% could become the "new normal" without serious political repercussions.

Bad call. But, hey, they exceeded their deficit-reducing goals for last year! So why's everybody griping?

Crime Pays

Whenever political leadership is entwined with big-money interests, corruption's likely to follow. Some of that corruption may be legal, and even when it's not enforcement is often lax.

Few "legal" forms of corruption are more immoral than rampant bank speculation to drive up food prices. Yet there are several reports which suggest that US banks have done exactly that. If true, that would make them complicit in Egypt's political turmoil.

Some corporate crime does make it to court in both countries. In Egypt, German auto maker Daimler AG is being investigated on charged that it used bribes to help it win government business. In the US, JPMorgan Chase gave up three-quarters of a billion (yes, that's billion) dollars after officials in Alabama were bribed to help it win government business.

Wall Street banks have a record of chronic criminality in the United States, yet continue to maintain a level of political power and influence that would look familiar to any Egyptian.

Cairo On the Potomac

Poor voter turnout, slanted media coverage, intimidation, corruption ... and Egypt's elections aren't very good, either. If you want to win elected office in the US, it helps to be from a politically powerful family like Hosni Mubarak's son. Then you'll need to raise enough corporate money to earn a nomination from one of the two major parties.

Mubarak's wealth is estimated to be in the $30 to $40 billion range. US leaders are pretty wealthy, too: The average net worth of a U.S. Senator is $1.7 million, and that of a member of Congress is just under $1 million. Their most popular investments include Bank of America (the worst foreclosure lawbreaker in the country), Exxon Mobil, Citigroup (which deceived its investors), Wells Fargo (which has repeatedly laundered drug money), the fraudsters at Goldman Sachs, and bribery-haunted JPMorgan Chase. (More information on the crimes of each here.)

Wall Street bankers showered Democrats with campaign contributions in 2008 and were rewarded with bailouts and reform that stopped short of systemic change. They showered Republicans with money in 2010 and are being rewarded with efforts to undo the reforms that Democrats were able to pass last year. And after a year of record corporate profits, the media are insisting that the government isn't "friendly" enough to big business.

Poverty and Inequality

How uneven is the distribution of wealth in our two countries? Studies from several organizations, including the United Nations and the CIA, applied the widely-accepted "GINI Coefficient" to both countries and found that the US has greater inequality of income than Egypt.

19.6% of Egyptians and 14.5% of Americans live below the poverty line. 21% of Egyptians are considered "near poor," and 40% of Americans will fall below the poverty line at some point in their lives. One in six American children lives in poverty. So do one in four African Americans, which means the poverty rate for African Americans is greater than it is for Egyptians.

Life for the Egyptian poor can be much harsher than we're used to seeing here. Roughly 3.8% of Egyptians live in "extreme poverty," which means they don't have enough to eat on a daily basis. While that level of poverty's much rarer here, 14.7% of US households experienced "food insecurity" in 2009, according to the USDA, a measure which includes uncertainty about the ability to buy enough food and the inability to purchase it. In 2008, 17.3 million Americans lived in a household where one or more people went hungry during the year because there wasn't enough money for food.

Egyptian health statistics aren't all that different from those of African Americans. An African American male born in this country has a shorter life expectancy than an Egyptian (70 years, versus 72.4 years). Infant mortality (the death of a child before his or her first birthday) is much worse in Egypt (25 per 1,000 birth) than it is in the United States (6.9 per 1,000), but African American infant mortality is 14.1 - nearly 2.5 times that of Caucuasians. And the gap between white infant mortality and that of African Americans and Native Americans increased during the last decade, while Egypt's rate continued to improve.

Poverty damages the body - and a damaged body perpetuates poverty. The Center for Economics and Policy Research found, disabled persons in the US were two to three times as likely to be impoverished. CEPR found that "almost half of working-age adults who experience income poverty for at least a 12-month period have one or more disabilities," and "nearly two-thirds of working-age adults who experience consistent income poverty ... have one or more disabilities." As the authors observed, "Disability is both a fundamental cause and consequence of income poverty."

American values

Societies have historically rebelled against extremes of inequality, and recent studies have even suggested that the human brain is "hardwired" to dislike inequity. For our part, Americans have always prided themselves on valuing "fair play," a "level playing field," and "opportunity for all."

Yet income inequality in the US is rising sharply. It's true that Egyptians face greater extremes of poverty but the poor in this country suffer more disease, greater disability, and an earlier death than other Americans.

Egyptians face much greater hardships and dangers than Americans do, and it would be wrong to minimize either their difficulties or their bravery. But while we shouldn't trivialize our differences, it's also wrong to ignore our similarities. If we do, it lets our nation's leaders do far less than they should be doing to create real economic and political change. It allows us to praise the Egyptian people without challenging our own consciences. It lets us admire their activism without seeing the need for action here at home.

Sometimes it's easier to admire courage in others than it is to seek it in ourselves.

BrandonL
31-01-2011, 16:05
The dissimilarities between Egypt and the US are greater than you or this article seem to suggest.

We are far from being in a 'state' like Egypt.

sweetfart
31-01-2011, 19:09
Are we on a roll with these ______ vs. USA threads? What's next, are we going to prove to the world that life in the Congo, Vietnam, Moldova is better than in the US? These threads are like a chihuahua growling at a St. Bernard. Woof woof, motherf*cker.

Kraven Morehead
31-01-2011, 20:27
Sweetfart, the reason is that many come here are pizzed off the USA. So there is anti USA thread in many foreign websites.
One is that Americans are the top dog in the world and spread their version of culture and politics to the world. So many people are jealous at the wealth and influence that the USA has.

Two is that America does not always takes is own medicine. It preach like Oral Roberts as being the moral inspiration of the world, but reality they are worse in morals than the countries that they shake their finger at. When caught they try to bury like Wikileaks or stuff from Kathryn Bolkovac.

Most people in the real world do not trust the US Government, Military, or the UN.

Swordfish90293
31-01-2011, 21:22
Sweetfart, the reason is that many come here are pizzed off the USA. So there is anti USA thread in many foreign websites.
One is that Americans are the top dog in the world and spread their version of culture and politics to the world. So many people are jealous at the wealth and influence that the USA has.

Two is that America does not always takes is own medicine. It preach like Oral Roberts as being the moral inspiration of the world, but reality they are worse in morals than the countries that they shake their finger at. When caught they try to bury like Wikileaks or stuff from Kathryn Bolkovac.

Most people in the real world do not trust the US Government, Military, or the UN.

So tell us something we don't already know.

Sometimes even a great rag like Huffington gets a hair up her ass... People that are pissed off at the U.S., may be justified, but are likely unhappy to begin with. The rare shit for brains will maintain this point and move out to a third world country where he'll hold a grudge against Obama while subsisting on a diet of white rice. More power to him. I hope he dies of cancer.

Look at Brazil where 30% of the population lives under the poverty line. Still a great nation with optimism and faith. You'll hear them piss and moan about the situation while it's Samba Sol all day long. But hey...life is what you make it...

"The world could end tomorrow and I couldn't care less. I have problems of my own"
- Marat Safin

Kraven Morehead
31-01-2011, 21:32
So tell us something we don't already know.

Sometimes even a great rag like Huffington gets a hair up her ass... People that are pissed off at the U.S., may be justified, but are likely unhappy to begin with. The rare shit for brains will maintain this point and move out to a third world country where he'll hold a grudge against Obama while subsisting on a diet of white rice. More power to him. I hope he dies of cancer.

Look at Brazil where 30% of the population lives under the poverty line. Still a great nation with optimism and faith. You'll hear them piss and moan about the situation while it's Samba Sol all day long. But hey...life is what you make it...

"The world could end tomorrow and I couldn't care less. I have problems of my own"
- Marat Safin

Agreed, but what gets people's panties in a knot is that you have Americans who preach morals from the mountains and get caught doing things that they should not do.
UN declared free election in El Salvador was overthrown by the CIA militia. But yet they preach from the mount about freedom and democracy.

They want Assange to be tried for having unprotected sex with two Swedish ladies, but Dynacor has trafficed women for sex slavery and they still go unpunished and get more contracts.

What is the expression if you are going to talk the talk , then walk the walk.
Americans themselves do not trust their government, but when a foreigner states the same conclusion, you have a hissy fit.
Face it, your government is corrupt.

mrzuzzo
31-01-2011, 21:39
What a stupid thread. It's like comparing an orange to USA.. You'll probably find some similarities but the differences will still be huge.

Kraven Morehead
31-01-2011, 21:54
What a stupid thread. It's like comparing an orange to USA.. You'll probably find some similarities but the differences will still be huge.

Like a stupid thread like "America what a ^%**hole"
Then if this is your point, agreed.

mrzuzzo
31-01-2011, 22:09
Like a stupid thread like "America what a ^%**hole"
Then if this is your point, agreed.

+1 bud. I was just trolling when I made that thread. Seemed to work out pretty well.

BrandonL
31-01-2011, 22:12
A tourist who was interviewed last night from Cairo spoke for millions of his fellow Americans when he said he couldn't imagine living a country like Egypt. It is hard, isn't it?




Hands down, the best part of this article.

Swordfish90293
31-01-2011, 22:26
Americans themselves do not trust their government, but when a foreigner states the same conclusion, you have a hissy fit.

Face it, your government is corrupt.

Americans don't trust their government! What! With proof like the majority that voted Bush in trusting every word he said, then voted him out...not being blindly trusting!

It may be that any country is entitled to talk shit about their government, but when someone else does, watchout! Anyone with half a brain could recite this...

tsarski
31-01-2011, 22:39
Americans don't trust their government! What! With proof like the majority that voted Bush in trusting every word he said, then voted him out...not being blindly trusting!

It may be that any country is entitled to talk shit about their government, but when someone else does, watchout! Anyone with half a brain could recite this...

The majority that voted Bush in? I thought Al Gore got the majority vote in 2000?

Kraven Morehead
31-01-2011, 22:41
Americans don't trust their government! What! With proof like the majority that voted Bush in trusting every word he said, then voted him out...not being blindly trusting!

It may be that any country is entitled to talk shit about their government, but when someone else does, watchout! Anyone with half a brain could recite this...

Majority of Americans don't vote


Turnout in national lower house elections, 1960–1995 Country Compulsory № Turnout
Australia Y 14 95%
Malta N 6 94%
Chile Y 2 93%†
Austria N 9 92%
Belgium Y 12 91%
Italy N 9 90%
Luxembourg N 7 90%
Iceland N 10 89%
New Zealand N 12 88%
Denmark N 14 87%
Germany N 9 86%
Sweden N 14 86%
Greece Y 10 86%
Venezuela N* 7 85%
Czech Republic N 2 85%
Argentina Y 12 83%
Brazil Y 3 83%
Netherlands N** 7 83%
Costa Rica N 8 81%
Norway N 9 81%
Romania N 2 81%
Bulgaria N 2 80%
Israel N 9 80%
Portugal N 9 79%
Finland N 10 78%
Canada N 11 76%
France N 9 76%
United Kingdom N 9 76%
South Korea N 11 75%
Ireland N 11 74%
Spain N 6 73%
Japan N 12 71%
Estonia N 2 69%
Hungary N 2 66%
Russia N 2 61%
India N 6 58%
Switzerland N 8 54%
Poland N 2 51%
United States N 18 48%***
*Compulsory voting until 1998
**Excludes pre-1968 elections, when voting was compulsory.
***Turnout rates during the period ranged from 55%
for general election years, to 40% to off-year elections
(those for which the presidency was not on the ballot).
Statistics from Mark N. Franklin's "Electoral Participation", found in
Controversies in Voting Behavior (2001). Includes only "free" elections.
†Excludes pre-1989 elections. Sources: Electoral Service,
Election Qualifying Court.


Interesting that Americans come to this board and take pot shots at Russia, but that is ok, but when people comment about the USA, whoa, that is bashing.
Like I said the problem is that if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.

BrandonL
31-01-2011, 22:47
I'll bash Russia, and if someone bashes America, I have every right to defend and respond, as anyone can do the same about my posts :)

The problem Kraven, that as you well know, most people who come here to bash America, actually, don't know shit about America, and are just blowing crap out their ass.
It goes vice-versa as well.

I don't mind people coming here, and bashing America, as long as they know what the hell they are talking about.

mrzuzzo
31-01-2011, 22:50
Interesting that Americans come to this board and take pot shots at Russia, but that is ok, but when people comment about the USA, whoa, that is bashing.
Like I said the problem is that if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.

Yeah but we all know and agree that, generally, Russia is a crappy country with a low quality of life, little opportunity for the average citizen, and corruption on every single level.

The same cannot be said about USA.

Swordfish90293
31-01-2011, 23:05
Majority of Americans don't vote



Interesting that Americans come to this board and take pot shots at Russia, but that is ok, but when people comment about the USA, whoa, that is bashing.
Like I said the problem is that if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.

Poor effort at dodging my statement...walk the walk, can you?

Kraven Morehead
31-01-2011, 23:23
Poor effort at dodging my statement...walk the walk, can you?

You can't even flippin crawl.
Majority of Americans don't vote. Why? Apathy to what they have in government or lack of trust. America has in reality no ability to start a third party. You have two parties that have been in power so long that they have become corrupt, bureaucratic, and ineffective.
http://media.mlive.com/news_impact/photo/pewjpg-c2b1b1c416f6a547_large.jpg

Swordfish90293
01-02-2011, 00:01
You can't even flippin crawl.
Majority of Americans don't vote. Why? Apathy to what they have in government or lack of trust. America has in reality no ability to start a third party. You have two parties that have been in power so long that they have become corrupt, bureaucratic, and ineffective.
http://media.mlive.com/news_impact/photo/pewjpg-c2b1b1c416f6a547_large.jpg

Your issue was first with trust, then diverted somehow to voting...are we expected to follow your disorganized thoughts down every rabbit hole you decide to crawl into?

Kraven Morehead
01-02-2011, 00:14
Your issue was first with trust, then diverted somehow to voting...are we expected to follow your disorganized thoughts down every rabbit hole you decide to crawl into?

We or you?
Just cause you cannot comprehend, does not mean others can't.
Face it, you can only troll.

Swordfish90293
01-02-2011, 00:20
We or you?
Just cause you cannot comprehend, does not mean others can't.
Face it, you can only troll.

We should try to stay on topic. I apologize if I detoured. It was my fault following you down that rabbit hole.

Your commentary is shrinking into childish blather. I suggest you take a break, get some sleep, and you'll feel less agitated in the morning...

Kraven Morehead
01-02-2011, 00:43
We should try to stay on topic. I apologize if I detoured. It was my fault following you down that rabbit hole.

Your commentary is shrinking into childish blather. I suggest you take a break, get some sleep, and you'll feel less agitated in the morning...

Read your commentary. you have stated nothing but nothing contractary garbage without any back up. "No it isn't " is not back up. You have zero debating skills.

Fact is that majority of Americans do not vote because of apathy to the government and trust. See stats or do I have to write it in crayon or puppet show for you to understand?

Backup to the point about the second graph about trust about the USA government. What colour crayon do you need for this one? You see that the graph goes down really low like your comprehension level. That means that they do not trust the government.

If the people of the USA do not trust the government (here is a big leap for you), then how the rest of the world trust the US Government.

Here is more info. Beware there maybe big words.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17474900/ns/world_news/


updated 3/6/2007 11:05:56 AM ET 2007-03-06T16:05:56
Share Print Font: +-LONDON — Israel, Iran and the United States were the countries with the most negative image in a globe-spanning survey of attitudes toward 12 major nations. Canada and Japan came out best in the poll, released Tuesday.

The survey for the British Broadcasting Corp.'s World Service asked more than 28,000 people to rate 12 countries — Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Russia, the United States and Venezuela — as having a positive or negative influence on the world.

Israel was viewed negatively by 56 percent of respondents and positively by 17 percent; for Iran, the figures were 54 percent and 18 percent. The United States had the third-highest negative ranking, with 51 percent citing it as a bad influence and 30 percent as a good one. Next was North Korea, which was viewed negatively by 48 percent and positively by 19 percent.

Canada had the most positive rating in the survey, with 54 percent viewing it positively and 14 percent negatively. It was followed by Japan and France.

Respondents were also asked their views of the 27-member European Union; 53 percent saw it as positive and 19 percent as negative.

Correlation with military power
Britain, China and India were viewed more positively than negatively, while Russia had more negative than positive responses. Opinion on Venezuela was evenly split.

"It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the pursuit of military power," said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, which conducted the research along with pollster GlobeScan.

"Countries that relate to the world primarily through soft power, like France and Japan and the EU in general, tend to be viewed positively," he added.

Pollsters questioned about 1,000 people in 27 different countries, including the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Australia; as well as four predominantly Muslim countries: Egypt, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia; and two countries with large Muslim populations: Lebanon and Nigeria.

The respondents were interviewed in person and over the phone from November to mid-January. The margin of error ranges from 3.1 percent to 4.9 percent, depending on the country.

Swordfish90293
01-02-2011, 01:00
Kraven, I didn't say "No it isn't". You may be confusing my posts with those of someone else, perhaps on another thread, at another time, on another galaxy. What started as commentary on America bashing quickly became your angry, pointless rant. Again, I apologize. I have a low tolerance for confused, directionless thought. It's entirely my fault for engaging you, really.

It's late, put away your crayons and go to bed. Don't forget to treat your hemorrhoids, you'll feel better and less agitated. Try to not get cream on the sheets...

Willy
01-02-2011, 01:21
YouTube - Sick Puppies - Anywhere But Here

Swordfish90293
01-02-2011, 01:24
Arf!

Kraven Morehead
01-02-2011, 05:40
Kraven, I didn't say "No it isn't". You may be confusing my posts with those of someone else, perhaps on another thread, at another time, on another galaxy. What started as commentary on America bashing quickly became your angry, pointless rant. Again, I apologize. I have a low tolerance for confused, directionless thought. It's entirely my fault for engaging you, really.

It's late, put away your crayons and go to bed. Don't forget to treat your hemorrhoids, you'll feel better and less agitated. Try to not get cream on the sheets...

Perhaps you are right, I should have bothered to engage some like yourself as you state that you are "troll in training" and your sole purpose is to be a bother.

As per low tolerence directional thought, stop smoking Willy's special cigarettes, then the world might be not so confusing (actually probably simplifies things).

Swordfish90293
01-02-2011, 09:09
Perhaps you are right, I should have bothered to engage some like yourself as you state that you are "troll in training" and your sole purpose is to be a bother.

As per low tolerence directional thought, stop smoking Willy's special cigarettes, then the world might be not so confusing (actually probably simplifies things).

Kraven, I know I'm right. Last night my tolerance level for bullshit was critically low. So anyone willing to dish it out should have been able to take it. Today, who knows. Sorry it was you last night. Today is already reserved for someone else.

Last night was for therapy and entertainment. Thanks for obliging...

As for smoking shit, I don't...never did, never will...9 out of 10 voices in my head tell me not to...

FatAndy
01-02-2011, 11:18
You have voices in your head? Already? Damned Moscow air... :)


9 out of 10 voices in my head tell me not to...