What's Great About America

What's Great About America Video Notes

  • prosperity: America is a wealthy nation. Americans give more charity than any other country. Compared to every country in the world, America is rich.
  • business: In old Europe, merchants were lower in status than the clergy, artisans, and soldiers. In America being in business is a respected profession. Guarantees of success or failure are not offered to businesspeople. Property rights were emphasized in the Constitution such as patents and copyrights. Americans are willing to invest in new ideas.
  • inventors: Anthony Sullivan is a television pitchman for inventions that left England for opportunity in America. AJ Khubani has a billion dollar company and offers inventors the chance to pitch their inventions in five minutes. Not all inventions are successful, but inventors are free to revise or create new ones.
  • invention: American are free to invent gadgets, widgets, and technologies. Many inventions fail, but inventors continue to invent because businesses are willing to invest in new ideas.
  • Europe: Some people say it is difficult to do business in Europe. France regulates the wine industry, while Californians wineries are free to self-regulate and experiment. French wine sales are now down and California wine sales are up.
  • regulation: In some countries, a person has to get permit after permit to open a business. It took Stossel a week to get a license to do business in Delaware. In America, it is easier to start a business than most countries. It takes an average of 77 days to start a business in Iraq. Deleware and Nevada are considered easier places to start a business than New York City because of lots of bureaucracy. Although it is easier to start a business in America, some states are making it more difficult.
  • entrepreneur: This is a person who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of business or enterprise. Jean-Baptiste Say, an eighteenth century Frenchman says it is "one who undertakes an enterprise, especially a contractor, acting as intermediatory between capital and labour."
  • failure: Americans are free to fail as well as succeed. When a business fails in America, the owner is not considered a failure. Edison, Ford, Dr. Seuss, Oprah, and other Americans failed in their early careers and businesses, but later gained success. Americans are free to try again. (11 minutes)
  • military: Some people say American troops invade countries, yet America has never enslaved or plundered a country. The British came to conquer and rule numerous countries in its past history. In contrast, America has tried to act as a peacemaker. America often polices the world, but once peace is gained for a country, it goes home.
  • rebuild: America has rebuilt numerous countries, including Germany and Japan, but has not charged money or reparations for the rebuilding. America has spent a lot of money in rebuilding Iraq.
  • pillage/ plunder: After a natural disaster, America's military is often used to provide food, tents, blankets, medicine, doctors, and aide to foreign countries. Rome plundered and enslaved the people of the countries it conquered. Americans often try to make the world a better place and don't steal resources and enslave people. (16 minutes)
  • charity: Americans contribute lots of money to foreign countries. While the American government gives less foreign aide than some nations, Americans give twice as much as Canadians and ten times as much as French people. There are a lot of different types of charities in this nation.
  • adoption: Americans try to adopt children with no parents in foreign countries. Although foreign governments make it difficult to adopt, Americans still adopt needy kids.
  • compassion: "The tears of strangers are only water" was a proverb that D'Souza learned in India that illustrates the lack of compassion for strangers. Americans often naturally show compassion to people in need instead of just family and friends. Charity can be as simple as providing someone with a clean shirt. Carlos Vasquez owns a dry-cleaner and will clean suits for people who are unemployed. In recent weeks, he cleaned 20 suits for free. A bowling alley gave free bowling to unemployed people and even held a job fair. "We take care of each other-it's better than money."
  • volunteer: Some students have worked for free and held fundraisers to help a local business immigrant from Turkey. Americans take care of one another. Ray says, "Thanks to America, I made it." (22 minutes)
  • racism: America has a history of racial conflict, including the death of hundreds of Americans in race riots, but racism has gone underground. In other parts of the world, racism is prevalent and the cause of violence.
  • slavery: Africans were slaves in early American history and after emancipation they faced Jim Crow Laws, segregation, and discrimination.
  • race: Many Americans try to work on establishing good relations with other races. Although there are still race problems, there is not a lot of evidence of racism today. Many Americans are friends with people of other races.
  • segregation: America has done a lot to correct past racial problems. At one time in parts of America, signs were posted stating "Whites Only" or "Colored Only." White people were given preferential treatment in the past, but equality is now becoming the norm in America.
  • immigrant: A lot of people of various countries and skin colors emigrate to America and are offered the opportunity to succeed.
  • Dinesh D'Souza: He is the author of the book What's So Great About America. He was born in India and believes there is a lot of great things about America-especially when compared to other countries of the world.
  • intermarriage: Racial mixing or interracial marriages in the last seven years in America is up by 20%. Websites sometimes cater to people who like differences. In 1967, interracial marriage was legalized in all states by a Supreme Court ruling. Nine out of ten young people are fine with people marrying people of different races. At one time it was look down upon for the Irish to marry Italians, Christians to marry Jews, and Catholics to marry Protestants.
  • free speech: Americans can say just about anything because the First Amendment protects speech. It allows Americans to offend people, say ridiculous things, and act rude.
  • offend: D'Souza says Americans have a high degree of tolerance towards sarcasm, abuse, blasphemy, and criticism. This helps Americans hold leaders accountable.
  • Canada: Although Canada is a democratic country, free speech is limited. This country banned Ann Coulter from speaking at a university and the vice president of the university even suggested that Coulter should be arrested if she spoke. Canadian bureaucrats can fine and punish Canadians who offend others and charge them with hate crimes.
  • hate speech: Some nations are trying to make kinder societies by limiting what people can say. Canada, France, and Germany fine and arrest people for offensive speech.
  • press: Americans can publish things on Youtube and share videos that sometimes are offensive. News is not censored much in America.
  • censorship: Many countries censor the speech and press of people. Canadians are often censored by political . A private company did censor a depiction of Muhammad on South Park, but
  • governments: There is no First Amendment in Canada and Great Britain. Amendment One allows citizen journalism and the ability to speak out against government. Tank Man, a courageous Chinese student faced a tank and disappeared. Venezuela has shut down news stations. (38 minutes)
  • commercialism: Some people say America is a cesspool of commercialism. The sideshow was popularized in America. People hawk their goods and push freak shows, yet all kinds of people want to come here.
  • materialism: Some people say Americans are all about money, commercialism, wasting energy, working too hard, trashiness, and depravity. This concept is gross to people who have a lot, but numerous people around the world have wants and needs.
  • immigration: People from all over the world try to immigrate to America. Immigrants sometimes make long and sometimes dangerous trips to come to here.
  • individualism: D'Souza says that America is great because the major decisions in a person's life are shaped by the individual. Americans often have a lot of choices. Americans can make a living doing things they like instead of being forced into a class or profession. America doesn't pressure you to pursue a type of living.
  • opportunity: America now celebrates its diversity. It offers opportunity to people who had nothing before. People are free to speak, start new businesses, innovate, and write the script of their own lives-whatever that might be.