Debunk of an article by Canadian loon Mark Steyn
Mostly chatter, when he does accidentally stray into saying something fact based, he gets it wrong.
Mark: "The Brokest Nation in History is the only country in the developed world...">>
Not true. We're not even close to broke. Let's be honest with language.
4. without money; penniless.
Here is a list of nations sorted by public debt as a percentage of GDP:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... ublic_debt
The US comes in 36th.
Measured by external debt, we come in 38th:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... ernal_debt
Notice all of our very successful, wealthy, peer countries, in the top ten. They're not broke either. Our entire debt is just under our GDP for one year. My entire debt is about 5x what I make each year, and I'm not broke either. Our wealth VASTLY exceeds our debt, thus we are by definition, not broke. See also: "The Hollow Cry of ‘Broke’"http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/opini ... ml?_r=2&hp
MARK: "a land with over a trillion dollars in college debt,">>
That's actually a good thing. It means people are borrowing money to invest in their education and in their future. The notion that this would be a bad thing, is absurd.
MARK: "The American Dream, 2011: You pay four bucks a gallon to commute...">>
Our fuel is actually way under priced and a fraction of what many of our peer countries pay. Our price doesn't include the approximately $95 billion we spend per year to secure a steady supply. Nor is it taxed enough. Our gas taxes only pay about half of the cost of road building and maintenance. The rest comes out of general revenue. Gas taxes should pay for all of it. Our economy is hit hard by fuel price increases because for decades we have encouraged (with direct tax credits and subsidies to the wealthy), the purchase of profoundly inefficient and wasteful vehicles.
Contrast this with the Japanese example:
"Japan's energy consumption per person is now almost half that of the United States...
Japan now imports 16 percent less oil than it did in 1973, although the economy has more than doubled. Billions of dollars were invested in converting oil-reliant electricity-generation systems into ones powered by natural gas, coal, nuclear energy or alternative fuels. Japan, for instance, now accounts for 48 percent of the globe's solar power generation - compared with 15 percent in the United States."www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/a ... 007/11/09/
Thus, when fuel prices increase (as they will continue to) Japan isn't hit nearly as hard as we are, because they are so much more efficient.
MARK: "In a sane world, Americans would be outraged at the government waste that confronts them everywhere">>
Actually, compared to our peer nations which clearly beat us on so many standard measurements of societal function, our social spending is a pittance in comparison. Note:
"The United States currently ranks thirty-fourth(34th) out of the thirty-four(34) members of the OECD in regards to spending on social programs, dead last.
The amount the United States spends is currently only 7.2% of our gross domestic product on programs that make up our social contract with the American people."http://www.politicususa.com/en/u-s-rank ... l-spending
The notion that we vastly overspend on wasteful social spending is a right-wing canard.
MARK: "our elites worry about sea levels.">>
And with good reason. All scientific bodies of national and international standing agree with the basic findings of human influence on recent climate change, and that the earth is warming and we are causing it. This will have serious repercussion on sea level and the billion+ people living on coasts. Anyone who denies climate change has all, and I do mean all, of the peer reviewed science against them. Having all of the science against you, is never a good place to be.
MARK: "It’s America that’s drowning.">>
America is drowning in a sea of misinformation, which is widely distributed by people like Mark Steyn and his crackpot media accomplices. These people are without excuse, really should know better, and should be ashamed of themselves.
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer