My son Dave bought the DVDs with the first season of the HBO’s series “The Newsroom”, and we watched the first episode today. In the beginning, they showed a press conference, where a journalist asked a TV anchor, “What makes America the Greatest Country?”. He could not give a decent answer, which got me thinking, “How would I answered this question?”
I live in the USA for twenty one years. Before that I lived in the USSR. I’m an American citizen. I don’t have any other citizenships. I can compare. I can observe. I can speak up freely.
To put it short, the USA is the most wanted country in the world. That’s why it’s the greatest country in the world. Of course, not 100% want to relocate to America. But most of the people do even if they say otherwise.
People vote for America by putting the money (or lack of thereof) where their mouth is. People find any possible way to get their feet on our soil. Some people are educated and they know exactly why they want to come here. Some people simply get a gut feeling that this is the right place to live and raise children.
Some people use this magic word “opportunities” without knowing exactly what it means. For most of them it’s an expectation of some miracle. Say, I’m a poor guy from Pakistan working at a gas station, and one day the the Rolls-Royce pulls over and my life will never be the same. Or more realistically, I’ll work for 7 years and make enough money to buy a house in my country and my family will live better. Because of America. There’s something in the air…
Living here for two decades, I can say that the USA is not a rosy place where life is good for everyone. I see double standards in politics. I see that we are sending our kids to wars where we shouldn’t be. I see fraud in financial and insurance industries. I see how lawyers rule here, but they do it according to the laws and not the bribes. I know that pharmaceutical companies do what they want in pricing, but people have pills. Maybe too much of the pills. I had to go through a surgery. After getting a second and third opinion, I picked one of the best surgeons in the country and everything went perfect.
But I also see that there is law in this country. A policeman is not your enemy (even if you’re making 80 on 65). I see that if you have an idea for business, this country doesn’t stop you. Go ahead and try it out. If you made a mistake, try again.
This is the country with the most stable financial system. People from around the world send their own money to America for storage. Technically, they give us the money for free, without the interest. Dollar up, dollar down, but it’s The World’s Currency.
The high education is one of the most respected and recognized in the world. Seven hundred thousand foreign students get their higher education in the USA.
I see that more that 200 nationalities learned how to live together and respect each other. Do they really like each other? Not always, but they respect the rights of other to be here. Live and let live. Again, it’s not perfect. The Ebony and Ivory problem still exists. But it’s better than in any other multi-national country.
We have fair elections. They may not be perfect, but when Barak Obama won, I knew that he won not because some people cheated on counting votes, but because he’s a winner according to the today’s laws.
I like the fact that people are smiling to each other. Not as much as before 9/11, but they smile. I like the fact that most of the people you are contacting try to help you and not take advantage of you. Retired people can maintain a decent lifestyle and enjoy good medical treatments (at least till Obamacare will come into our lives).
That’s why the USA is the greatest country in the world in my opinion. This is not the right country for everyone. If you need siesta and fiesta on the daily basis, your native Colombia or Brasil is a better place for you. But why all these Mexicans are risking their lives illegally crossing the border every day just to get to the American soil without education, English or profession? I guess, they decided that America is the greatest country in the world. I decided this wehn I was a kid and have never changed my mind since.
22 thoughts on “What Makes America the Greatest Country in the World?”
There is no such place as the greatest country in the world for everyone. US may be this place for you, Yakov, but for me and my wife it’s the different place. Man in “The Newsroom” was right.
Yakov, thank you for your blog, your books. I listen to your americhka.us, I`ve read your ESnoBS, I`ve listened all issues of BTradio and now I follow this blog.
Nice post. But you`re a soft developper (more or least), you`re man from IT-world. You earn good money. And you enjoy this country. But what about those people who works in shops, gas stations etc. Do they enjoy US too? Could you advice some person who can`t write “if-statements” to leave his country and to live in US. I hope you could understand my poor english. I`m not a native English speaker.
You need to ask these very hard working Mexicans who cut my grass or work on the road on these hot days. They don’t write if-statements. I can’t even imagine HOW they can work this hard having very little pay. Nobody hold the gun to their heads an forced them to come here. For them it’s better here. Of course, hey compare this life with their home countries. There is a place for everyone in this country on one condition: they must feel that the USA is the right place for them. It’s not like a person google up Top Ten Countries and decides to come here. They must just know that this is The Place.
btw, Yakov. I`m Russian system administrator. I enjoy your podcasts and blog, but what do you think about sysadmins and their work in Russia/US? Is there some specific issues about work. For example I almost can`t work from home like software developer etc. I`ve never heard you told about it. Can you say smt? (You told about international community for IT person, like “you can be just first guy in your town” – I tried to search some forums for exactly system administrators in English to understand their issues – but I found none. (((. Off-topic, but thanks anyway.
I’m glad for you, as a person who in his life proves that dreams come true.
As a talented, hard-working and wise man experienced past discrimination and injustice taste you are worthy of the best. I sincerely wish you and your family good luck.
Thank you, Saul.
I understand your feelings, compared to the countries you list. But I think there are many more countries that offer the same freedom and opportunities, but have found a better balance in caring for the people who are less fortunate that you are. America has great lure because of the image it projects through Hollywood, and parts of its really are truly amazing, but you can’t judge a book by its cover alone
You can’t blame me for judging this book by the cover. I live here and actively write this book. 🙂
There are some pages that I’d like to tear out. But in the world’s library this book has lots and lots of interesting pages, at least to my taste.
On America having a lot of interesting pages, I totally agree. I’ve visited the west side of the US a number of occasions, and always said that if my study coach back in the days (1992) would have gotten his way and had me do a internship in the US, I probably would not have returned. But I do believe that that is one of the better parts of the US. But hopefully my future travels will teach me more.
Yakov, I understand you are fantastic educator, software architect and wise man.
But don’t you see what is going with our beloved country NOW?
Read that from one of the best US thinkers:
Don’t you see a large group of people who got (almost all) power here and actively destroying it?
There is some evidence that their rise was sponsored by foreign powers (ask Putin about Soros).
And get and read/watch this, it is all related: http://www.wnd.com/2013/05/obamas-sword-and-shield/
I would highly recommend you to check http://www.wnd.com/ regularly for a drop of truth, antidot to Pravda and Izvestia, which our official media has become (CNN, MSNBC, even Fox). And start fighting peacefully for that country, all healthy foundation we had (Constitution, its judeo-christian roots, common sense, amazing resilience, overall smart population) And in a great picture those illegal mexicans around are NOT friends of US! And most of those pathetic republican RINOs (McCain, Rubio, Bohnner, Bush, …) – what a shame!
So far I haven’t seen any other country that would be a better place FOR ME. It may be not as good as it used to be, but it’s still the best.
You can apply the famous Churchill’s quote to countries too: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
“The greatest and most favored nation upon the earth is the United States. A gracious Providence has shielded this country, and poured upon her the choicest of Heaven’s blessings. Here the persecuted and oppressed have found refuge. Here the Christian faith in its purity has been taught. This people have been the recipients of great light and unrivaled mercies…”
David, great quote! Unfortunately, it is passing awayquickly. The more our country defies God (in rejecting His laws regarding family, abortion, gays, starting be on Israel’s enemies side, becoming unlawful and anti-christian), the more there is a chance it will be Judged. And as you know, there is nobody standing for Israel in the Last Days, so where is US there?.. One of many or won’t exist?..
And then there is this side to the US. This one always makes me a tad nervous and some what scared.
Read the first chapter of the book I quoted, Titled, “The destruction of Jerusalem.” It will clarify why U.S foreign policy towards the nation of Israel is wrong and will end up getting us involved in Armageddon. Israel are God’s chosen people, not a state in the middle east. The Jewish nation’s probation closed as a state at the end of the seventy week prophecy. Yes individual Jews can be saved, as many as want, but they are not a peculiar nation of God’s chosen people any longer. “And if you are Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal 3:29 … “there is neither Jew nor Greek…for yea are all one in Christ.” v. 28 WND is messed up on this point, and in the U.S. we have historically had peace because we respect all religions as long as it is practiced peaceably. It’s called civil and religious liberty, the principles that I believe have led to our prosperity.
To live there I agree, but rise children there I’m not fully agree, take yourself as example you are a very good programmer, but your children are not into programming, maybe if you’d rise them in Russia, they will be programmers too naturally :). at least it’s just my point of view, can you show me where i can learn about hybris and thanks for your blog and publications Mr Yacov, best regards 🙂
David, read The Source, i.e. Bible. Here is a clean (no Greek) translation – free downloadable PDF: http://www.coyhwh.com/en/bible.php. Lets see Rev. 7:4-8, pg.1549: “one hundred forty
four thousands, having been sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel:
Out of the tribe of Judah…” Do you know of any Gentiles from the tribe of Judah? I personally know 10s of Jews who believe in Yeshua haMashiah. There is 100-300K people messianic jews today, and rising quickly. So sorry, but EGW is dead wrong. That kind of replacement theology is dangerous and leads to antisemitism, look at BHO and Jeremiah Wright. Jews were, are and always will be His Chosen People. And in the Last Days there will be a huge Revival among Jewish people. God does not change his promisses. Baruch Hashem!
Yakov, I guess you would like this link “http://www.upworthy.com/watch-a-teacher-make-her-3rd-grade-kids-hate-each-other-for-the-best-reason-imaginable-2?g=2” It’s about respect to each other that you wrote about.
yakov the usa has a hell of a lot of blood on its hands. a hell of a lot. all your reasons for america being so great seem to do be about money. really there is more to life than money. how about countries with just as high a standard of living but that dont have this track record of starting wars and slaughtering people in developing countries. countries like canada, ireland, switzerland, iceland, sweden. i would sooner call those countries the best in the world in the same way i would rather have tea with a normal person than with a murderer.
All these countries can enjoy nice standard of living because there is a world policeman like the USA. I really wish the USA would stop wearing this hat though. Let these rosy countries become more active in the world politics.
Почему вы пользуетесь вордпрессом вместо того что бы создать свой блог? у вас же есть такие знания.
I certainly don’t agree with the “fact” that there is a “greatest country in the world.” How are you supposed to know that if you’ve never lived anywhere else?
Mr. Yakov Fain: The problem I see is that you’re generalizing alot and don’t seem to see the down-sides of this country…but then again…who really does? If you live in a certain country you often don’t perceive what happens outside or don’t notice the issues outsiders can see .
1.) Do you seriously think that the 50.000.000 in the U.S who can’t afford health insurance think that your health-system is the best? How great is it to live in the U.S if 101 million Americans are dependent on food stamps? The gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S is undescribable.
2.) How good is it really to have top technologies and the best surgeons when the majority of Americans can’t afford them?
3.) You said that over 700.000 foreign students come to the U.S to get their education there. Ask yourself how many AMERICANS can afford to go to university. Many of them spend the first ten years of their work-life paying off their student loans, while there are other countries where you get your education for free. Here in Germany we don’t pay student loans at all.
4.) And to reply to one of your comments: The U.S won’t ever stop playing the world police as long as their own interests are at stake. 😉 Good deeds are connected with own interests. The U.S government makes it look like they have no other choice but playing the world police…like “If no one else does it, we have to do it.” Has it ever occured to you that being and playing world police means power? It is always better to have the control over everything than letting others control you.
Plus: Why do they spend billions of dollars for military? I can answer this question. The U.S have gone into insolvence how many times?! The U.S pay their depts with war loot. They are practically dependent on them. And who has to suffer for it? The average U.S citizen does.
5.) You are right: Places like the Nordic countries for example who enjoy their nice standard of living mind their own business. If you don’t fight wars you don’t have enimies.
The U.S might be the most POWERFUL country on this planet, but its certainly not the greatest. Life is not a competition. Every country is special.People who claim that their country is better than others only downgrade places they’ve never seen from the inside. Nothing more nothing less. 😉