Locals Give Their Thoughts on the United States: “I’m not sure that any of us can have a true perception of the world when we know so little about it…”

Locals Give Their Thoughts on the United States

“When it comes to how American culture shaped me intellectually, I find it difficult to say, as I have no idea what it is like in another country to have the culture and life shape you intellectually.  For all I know it could be very similar. It reminds me of the time a reporter asked George Harrison what it was like to be a Beatle.  And he asked, ‘What’s it like to not be a Beatle?’, as that is the only life he had known from being a teenager.

“When it comes to how American culture shaped me intellectually, I find it difficult to say, as I have no idea what it is like in another country to have the culture and life shape you intellectually.  For all I know it could be very similar. It reminds me of the time a reporter asked George Harrison what it was like to be a Beatle.  And he asked, ‘What’s it like to not be a Beatle?’, as that is the only life he had known from being a teenager.

Just guessing at this, in my opinion, I think the biggest difference would be in America we are granted the freedom and opportunity to pursue anything.  We have no limits other than ourselves and our imagination.  We have access to any number of resources that a good portion of the world does not.  In my opinion, this great advantage actually has turned us lazy as we are spoiled greatly and do not take advantage of such.

I’m not sure that the current American culture places much value on intellect.  For me personally, I can only say that capitalism, the free market, and our founding documents have had a great influence on how I view the world and it is/was obvious in my travels.  I’m not sure that this has a direct connection with intellect, but these are probably the biggest shaping American values have had on me.

I found the overwhelming majority of people I encountered while traveling had positive views of America.  Most would say how much they wanted to visit and others would literally beg for me to take them back with me.  The most complaints I heard came from people in Socialist countries or with that mindset who have a disagreement with the uniqueness of the American system.   However, when traveling through countries that were once under communist Russian control, they could not stop talking about how great America was and how much better things are in a capitalist society — which is American in nature.

walking

I’ve had the discussion of how to resolve some of the challenges America faces, many times with friends and travelers.  The first problem is defining what the ‘challenges’ are and that in itself is a never ending discussion.  Is the challenge threats of terrorism? Healthcare? Economy? Immigration? Race relations? Transgendered bathrooms?  There is no clear answer to this.   It is a moving target and no matter how many of them are resolved, ten more will suddenly arise in their place.

Generally speaking, I believe the easiest and best thing to do is to shrink the size of federal government and return power to the states themselves.  This is the entire point of our Tenth Amendment.  The States are fully capable of deciding what is best for themselves and their citizens. Each state is unique and should have the ability to govern itself in the same way.

The values of a New Yorker are much different from the values of a Texan. Neither is necessarily wrong. Just different. Consequently, there is no reason for the federal government to try and make all of the states cookie cutter.  Reduce the size of the federal government, return it to the states, and remove government from the free market. Any interjection, no matter how small, on the government’s part compromises the free market.

My hopes for America in the future would be to drastically reduce the size of the federal government, return power to the individual states, remove all of the government red tape and interference in the free market, and to replace the IRS and existing tax code with the Fair Tax (or consumption based tax).  The more freedom given to the people, and to the states, the better. Essential liberty and freedom. Nothing more. Nothing less.

There is always something to improve on or some way of bettering things in general. I say that, while at the same time, admitting that I’m not sure that I actually have a perception of the world.  I’m not sure that any of us can have a true perception of the world when we know so little about it.  That is a great lesson I learned through traveling.  You don’t know what you don’t know. Until we have visited every country and group of people in the world, and had time to understand them, I believe it is unfair to cast a perception on this world.  I don’t believe I have a good grasp on it at all.  However, definitely not satisfied.