Several reasons. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. The vast majority of its population arrived at the maximum about 500 years ago. There's relatively little hostility towards newcomers, if for no other reason than you can't credibly be xenophobic when your own forbears arrived on the preceeding boat. It also lacks the cultural rigidity of older countries - there's no nobility or framework of inheritance of privilege - about as close as you'll see is the Kennedy clan. One's social mobility is almost entirely limited by ambition (the ability to accumulate large quantities of money helps, of course). The legal restrictions on immigration are relatively lax, in large part because being an immigrant or the descendent of an immigrant is somewhat of a mark of distinction here. In some countries it's looked at more as an indication that you're a failure where you came from. So we pride ourselves on being "immigrant-friendly". One of the biggest draws is being the Land of The Free. Although we don't have as much freedom as we think. We've been slowly ceding such things are presumption of innocence (pre-employment drug screenings & proof of residence, which were introduced during the Reagan years), freedom to acquire knowledge (until relatively recently, you could legally listen to anything transmitted over public or private airwaves as long as you didn't use the information for proscribved purposes), and other items. And, of course, post-9/11, we've seen assaults from people appointed to positions of public trust who want to see our American Way of LIfe preserved even if they have to put us all in jail -- at one point to the degree that they were talking about instating practices that got King George's soldiers thrown out of this country. No, I didn't mean Bush. The other King George! And last, but not least, taxes are generally lower here. Because we have neither the expensive social safety nets of many European countries nor the tight "in-crowd" control of the wealth by a small privileged minority they way countries like Iraq or the Bananna Republics do, people perceive the U.S. as one of the best places in the world to go get rich without having the process hindered or restricted by people who want to take it all away from you as fast as you can make it. [ September 19, 2003: Message edited by: Tim Holloway ]
"privilege" comes from the Latin words for "private" and "law" (legal) and dates to feudal times. To "claim privilege" meant that you were above the laws that applied to the common people.
Originally posted by Ouaknin lionel: racially tolerant... Not so much more than european country and maybe less.
Depends upon what you are talking about, Ouaknin. Germans and Italians are extremely racially tolerant on the surface. But rarely will you see anyone (racially) from outside Germany or Italy in management, on the board, much less running the whole organization. Turks have lived in Germany in large numbers for more than 50 years, yet a couple years ago only one Turk was found on the board of any of Germany's top 100 companies. The US is less obviously tolerant, but I've worked under managers of many races and national origins, often first-generation immigrants. This extends right up to the CEO level. So what do you prefer? Lip-service toward tolerance or the real thing? [ September 22, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
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