America Essay

People are unhappy with America because they have forgotten how much power they actually have. Despite the economic turbulence of the last few years we still live in a land of opportunity. Since the creation of this country a lot has changed. In its beginnings America grew rapidly and is to this day the undisputed most powerful nation on earth. Our country has military bases in every country on every continent, we are leaders in technology and medical sciences and we live so far above even being concerned about things like sanitation that people in some countries have to think about on a daily basis. Still, though all these things are true, many people feel as though our country has changed in some small way and not for the better.

Why is it that the people of such a great country feel as though their homeland is no longer living up to their expectations? America was and still is one of the youngest nations in the world. Perhaps it is because we made our country so quickly that somewhere along the way we forgot to fill some space and now there is a void that all of the things that we have cannot fill. Despite all of the technology and opportunity that we are presented with many people are still not content. People feel unhappy with the direction that this country is going in. The countries economy has dropped and it is difficult for many people to find jobs in some areas. America was founded on principles of liberty and freedom and although our country is still great, for some reason we are falling behind while the rest of the world seems to be catching up.

America has decided to take a hiatus and in the meantime has fallen behind; a lot like the story about the turtle and the hare. Once, our country was the leader in nearly everything. We had the best schools, the best government, and the best military. In the past twenty years China has started to become a leader in electronics and computing. As a matter of fact, china was traditionally is thought of by Americans as a place where things were manufactured for cheap amounts of money. China now has one of the best educational systems in the world. For years, and although it seems ridiculous, the goal and marketing techniques of most American companies involved designing a product and then sending the raw materials to china to have them molded and assembled. The assembled product would then be shipped back to the United States to be sold to people. This seems like an insane number of extra steps but in reality it is less expensive for companies to do this rather than simply just making and assembling all the parts in the US. This has sent unimaginable amounts of money out of the country with no income coming back in return.

There is no country that sends its materials and pays to have them assembled in the US because that would simply not be practical, the cost would be way too much for that foreign company ever to make a difference and they would soon go out of business. Along with that, America has a ridiculous amount of rules and regulations that would restrict what we could make. If the product contained lead, certain chemicals, or produced too many emissions during the manufacturing process, America would never be allowed to make such a product. There is so many economic barriers in America and because of them the American economy has declined. Our country spends billions of dollars to keep its military bases in other countries and it is unthinkable that another country would be allowed to set up a base in the US, even if the government allowed it the people of America would not. Americans think too highly of themselves in comparison to the rest of the world. We think of other countries as strange backwards worlds where none of the signs make any sense and the people don’t understand the words that you say. In reality we are the backwards country. We are in fact the backwards place refusing to use the metric system and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Why is it that Americans feel so obligated to be a part of this underlying national hypocrisy? We do things to other countries that we could never have them do in return. Ironically the British Petroleum company BP that was responsible for the gulf oil spill was half owned by another American company. Imagine the outrage if after that event happened the Mexican government sent armed troops to the US to re-build out government. We did exactly that after the 9-11 attacks. 9-11 was a terrorist act but instead of negotiating with countries that the terrorist organizations were operating in, we sent troops and made their country a democracy. This event triggered the popular slogan “democracy or die” because our country essentially sent armed troops to rebuild Iran’s government.

Just as said in the poem “America” by Tony Hoagland, “And I remember what Marx said near the end of his life: I was listening to the cries of the past when I should have been listening to the cries of the future.” This powerful quote is saying that at the end of his life Marx realized that all of the things he had done were based off of the things that had happened in the past. It is better to look to the future because after everything is said and done you can still never go back and change the past. The only thing that you can ever possibly hope to change is the future. The future is completely dependent on what you say and do now. That is why it is best to make the most of what you have because everything to come is completely dependent on that.

Not just as a country, but as a planet, we are entering a fantastic technological age. Information of any kind; with a few exceptions due to matters of national security, can be accessed from anywhere on the planet. You can use your phone to find out how to find water in a desert if you are standing in the middle of the Sahara. You can find out who someone is by uploading a photo to Google and searching for similar people. All of these things are amazing and are contained within the US and transmitted thought the world. It is time for people to realize the power of technology. The recent shelving of the SOPA and PIPA bills was an amazing demonstration of people showing what America is about. These bills were intended to stop the theft of copyrighted information and its distribution via the Internet. Unfortunately they would have made some of the most powerful and most popular sites in existence liable to copyright infringement. Google which because it lets you search for images, music and other things that could potentially be copyrighted material would end up being responsible. Wikipedia, although not on purpose, does contain some plagiarism simply because anyone can edit it. These are just a few examples of what the piracy bills were indirectly and unintentionally targeting. Because of the technology in this country there were millions of people who took advantage of online petitions emailed letters to congress asking for the bills not to be passed. This exposed an amazing glimpse of what America is truly capable of. If we had today only the communicative technology that was available a hundred years ago I guarantee that those bills would have passed.

The true meaning of the question: what does it mean to be an American, is one that after seeing what happened with the SOPA bills I can finally answer. Being an American means that you have the right to stand up next to people who believe in the same thing that you believe in and that you can defend that idea without fear of persecution or oppression. Being free in America does not mean that you are free to do whatever you want. There are laws to protect people and make this country a safer place. A free country means that you are free to choose your own destiny. There is no predestination and there is no limits to what anyone can achieve.

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