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How does the government of the United States compare?

  1. Feb 20, 2005 #1
    Much criticism has been directed at the democracy of the United States lately. What country, U. S. or other, do you believe practices the nearest to ideal government?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2005 #2
    North Korea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. Feb 20, 2005 #3
    Only when Danarchy has come will there be a great government! :biggrin:
     
  5. Feb 20, 2005 #4
    I would be happy if the US would get rid of the electoral college, and start enforcing laws on state/national officials. Does Poland have a good government? I had a prof who talked about how great it was compared to the US, but he was from Poland, so he was probably biased.
     
  6. Feb 20, 2005 #5

    EL

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    Sweden... :biggrin:
     
  7. Feb 20, 2005 #6

    russ_watters

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    One thing about the eastern bloc countries is that many of them, after the wall fell, constructed governments based on the US's or the UK's - but taking into account what we learned in the past 200 years. Those countries really should have "better" governments than us. But there is a catch-22: since those countries are both young and still in a rough spot economically, its hard to measure if those governments have succeeded.
     
  8. Feb 20, 2005 #7

    PerennialII

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    I'm actually willing to agree with you (don't know what is wrong with me :biggrin: ) ... and I'm looking at you across the bay from the east :biggrin: .
     
  9. Feb 20, 2005 #8

    EL

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    I have to politely say that Suomi is not bad at all either... :wink: In fact I don't think there are much differences except you guys have a president and we don't.
    (And I think Norway, Denmark and Iceland fits into the top cathegory as well :smile: )
     
  10. Feb 20, 2005 #9

    PerennialII

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    Yeah, it's tough to find differences from the excellence of Nordic countries ... I think in some areas Sweden is a bit ahead of us, I've a vibe that your system overall ain't quite as "stiff" as ours (not that ours is, but it seems that we tend to copy many such traits from you with a small lag).
     
  11. Feb 20, 2005 #10

    GENIERE

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  12. Feb 20, 2005 #11

    EL

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    Sorry, I do not really get what you mean? Could you explain it more detailed?
     
  13. Feb 20, 2005 #12

    EL

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    Yeah, I think so too. It feels like Finland has been a few steps behind us since the war...until recent years!. Just look at icehockey...you have started beating us too often... :tongue:
     
  14. Feb 20, 2005 #13
  15. Feb 20, 2005 #14

    EL

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    Last edited: Feb 20, 2005
  16. Feb 20, 2005 #15

    Gokul43201

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  17. Feb 20, 2005 #16

    GENIERE

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    SWEDEN
    You're not aware that Sweden has privitized it's Social Security System?

    http://www2.bc.edu/~jbw/No_Frames/GSA99FP.html

    “… Recently Swedish policymakers concluded that major changes had to be made to avoid a collapse of that system due to aging of the population, the trend toward early retirement, and a projected wage growth rate far below what would be needed to keep the system in balance (Palme & Svensson, 1999, pp. 355-356). In 1998 legislation was enacted calling for changes that will gradually replace the prior defined benefit system with a two pillar defined contribution scheme…”

    The second pillar:
    “…is a funded individual accounts scheme in which workers select private mutual fund to manage the assets in the account. They can shift freely from one mutual fund to another. An important difference between this pillar and the first pillar is that the rate of return here is determined by the rate of return in the financial market. In contrast, the rate of return for the first pillar will be driven by the rate of growth of the economy (Palmer, in press). At any point after age 61 a worker can convert this account into a fixed or a variable annuity with or without a survivor’s benefit. What about survivor benefits in connection with the first pillar? If a worker dies before retiring, the notional capital in the person’s account is distributed to the notional accounts of his or her survivors.”
     
  18. Feb 20, 2005 #17

    EL

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    Well, I interperated the term "Social Security" not as just what you get when you are retired, but also including when you are ill, unemployed, and more...I really thought "Social Security" included all these things, but maybe I'm wrong?
    However, what has been PARTLY privatized in Sweden is the savings for the retirement. (Indeed its not such a big part, but since I'm still quite young I'm not sure of the exact numbers.)

    No. It is too early to say anything about the effects of the new system. I mean, it was recently introduced, so unless it can travel faster than c it is in fact impossible. :wink:
     
  19. Feb 20, 2005 #18

    Kerrie

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    i have heard that Iceland has a terrific government, and overall a very balanced nation. did a lot of studying on their culture when i was in high school, and at one time i wanted to visit there to consider moving. not many trees however, and that would have gotten to me after awhile being from oregon.
     
  20. Feb 21, 2005 #19

    SOS2008

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    A difficult question to answer without a basis of what the indicators of democracy are. It appears that attempts to generate indicators began only recently and still is in progress. So here's a starting point:

    http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/democracy_and_governance/

    USAID Democracy & Governance Goals

    The Agency focuses its efforts to promote democracy and good governance on four distinct, but related goals:

    1. Strengthening the Rule of Law (Judicial/Legal System) and Respect for Human Rights
    2. Promoting More Genuine and Competitive Elections & Political Processes
    a. Elections – Free and Fair
    b. Multi-party System – At least two functioning parties at all levels
    c. Voter Turnout
    3. Increased Development of a Politically Active Civil Society
    a. NGOs (non-governmental organizations)
    b. Labor Laws/Trade Unions
    4. More Transparent and Accountable Governance
    a. Is the legislature the effective rule-making institution?
    b. Do the executive and legislative bodies operate openly and with
    transparency?

    Other measurements not specified above:

    Independent Media
    · Legal penalties for "irresponsible" journalism
    · Proportion of media privatized
    · Proportion of the population connected to the Internet and restrictions on Internet access to private citizens

    Often focus is on women's rights/participation in government. (Which means elections still haven't equalled democracy in Afghanistan.)
     
  21. Feb 22, 2005 #20

    SOS2008

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    I see the question as two different ones--What is ideal may not necessarily be a democracy. If a Dictator is benevolent, it is the most efficient system there is. I don't think any country defined as a democracy practices it the same, as each needs to tweak it to their own needs (as mentioned, economic status), culture, etc. When the founding fathers created the system in the U.S., it was considered revolutionary. Who can say it couldn't be improved upon?

    Also, I feel democracy is a pendulum. The 2000 and 2004 elections have been questionable in terms of fairness. The U.S. has never had more than two viable parties, so it doesn't take much to be reduced to only one party. In view of illegal immigration, outsourcing of jobs, lack of loyalty to labor via retirement pensions, etc., labor has little to no voice at this time. The Bush administration has been the most secretive I've seen in my lifetime. We have problems with a free press--at the minimum lacking in balanced and fair reporting. And with regard to women's rights, women now make 74 cents (it was 76 cents) to the man's dollar, and if the fundamentalists/neocons could have their way, women would be pregnant and barefoot and back in the kitchen. By our own indicators, we wouldn't quality for aid. :surprised
     
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