Consider This, America.
January 6, 2002 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Consider This, America. The Washington Post has nine editorials from around the world on how America should use it's current bully pulpit: Uganda on tunnel vision, Germany on "softly flexing" muscles, Mexico on energy and labor, Canada on women's rights, Peru on capitalism/property rights, Japan against unilateralism, England encourages being a "real" superpower, while Pakistan wants us to be balanced. Sage words of advice, or more finger wagging from the global set?
posted by owillis (19 comments total)
Ok. Whatever they want. We will see to it pronto. But there are other countries we have yet to hear from. What can we do to please them?
posted by Postroad at 2:01 PM on January 6, 2002

I vote "finger wagging".
posted by Steven Den Beste at 2:09 PM on January 6, 2002

Crap. I linked the wrong thing. It should have been this.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 2:10 PM on January 6, 2002

Oh right...

Like Germany is historically known for the softness of its muscle-flexing; Mexico for its amphetamine-like energetic labor, Peru for being the very model of rights-respecting capitalism in action; Japan for its universality and desire of embracing the world; and Pakistan for its unwavering striving for balance in all things political and religious.


If I were the U.S. I'd politely recommend these countries take their own advice.

OK, listen to Canada, but responding(chewing gum in mouth essential for full effect) "yeah, yeah, yeah, sure thing, buddy" and to the UK, going "quite right, old chap, quite right, so glad you brought that up, I'll see to it at once..."

And then go back to whatever it's been doing. America's doing fine, thank you very much.

And I'm not even American.

The nerve of these people!*

*Those people at the freakin' Washington Post of course...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:16 PM on January 6, 2002

I liked the series. Just finished reading every one of them. The most interesting thing I read was at the end of Japan's article: "... the results of a 24-nation poll conducted late last year by the International Herald Tribune with the Pew Research Center: U.S. policy and action was given as the main cause of international terrorism by 18 percent of Americans vs. 58 percent of foreigners."

I hadn't heard about that poll.
posted by acridrabbit at 2:25 PM on January 6, 2002

here acridrabbit

I'm sure its been posted before?
posted by X-00 at 2:37 PM on January 6, 2002

I really like what I know about Hernando de Soto (economist who wrote the Peru article) and his ideas. The type of bottom-up reform that he prescribes for developing nations seems exactly right to me. Has anybody read his book?
posted by lbergstr at 3:01 PM on January 6, 2002

Steven we you linked to your local host address.
posted by geoff. at 3:08 PM on January 6, 2002

Thanks, X-00.

lbergstr: I agree. I hadn't ever thought about property rights (or lack thereof) being an issue in spreading capitalism, but of course it makes total sense. I wonder what on earth the US could do to help that problem, though.
posted by acridrabbit at 3:08 PM on January 6, 2002

Sigh. I'm an idiot today. OK, one more time: here's the comment I wrote this morning about those 9 editorials.

And that IHT poll was a crock.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 4:14 PM on January 6, 2002


De Soto is quite on the left, but even I agree with his basic premise. Pretty much, countries with stable governments and respect for property rights succeed in turning their capital into growth, and countries that don't fail. I don't know where the debate even comes from here: No country needs more aid, they just need less robbery from the government and a lessening of the "business-is-evil" attitude.
posted by Kevs at 8:34 PM on January 6, 2002

"Global Set"? Is not a "Set" a smaller part of something? It may come as a suprise to many United-Statesiens, but you are the MINORITY. You've got, what, 300 million people? The earth has 6 billion! It's hardly the "global set" finger wagging, it's the vast majority trying to pull the minority back into line.
posted by Jimbob at 12:07 AM on January 7, 2002

Nine authors is hardly a majority of the global population, Jimbob.
posted by skyline at 12:23 AM on January 7, 2002

US : "Omigod! Like, you've totally confused me with a superpower that gives a fuck!"

THEM : "America! Baby, wait...."
posted by dong_resin at 12:41 AM on January 7, 2002

Well! That's the last time I vote for Hugo Young as my representative.

Newspaper columnists criticise another nations foreign policy.

The Nerve!
posted by DaRiLo at 1:39 AM on January 7, 2002

Boy, I'd love to see the world where the minority always shuts up and gets back into line when the majority tells it to. I bet that would be a wonderful place to live.
posted by darukaru at 6:09 AM on January 7, 2002

Jimbob takes his foot and stuffs it firmly in his mouth. As usual. Y'all should still listen to people outside yr own borders, however.
posted by Jimbob at 6:24 AM on January 7, 2002

i agree jimbob.
I enjoy reading and listening to opinions formed by people outside my usual parochial sphere. This helps me understand where i fit into the greater picture, illuminating topics with strange new perspectives that i could not provide myself.
posted by asok at 6:54 AM on January 7, 2002

["quite right, old chap, quite right, so glad you brought that up, I'll see to it at once..."]

Did anyone else read this in a James Mason voice? Thanks for the laugh Miguel!
posted by revbrian at 9:20 AM on January 7, 2002

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