How US Dysfunction Looks internationally

The view from Greece, Russia, and Mexico:

They are supposed to be an example of consensus and democracy for the rest of the world,” said Salomón Cavane, 33, the owner of a men’s clothing business. “The fact they can’t come to an agreement because of their pride and their need to show who has the power — it is just ridiculous. I find it quite irresponsible as well



6 thoughts on “How US Dysfunction Looks internationally”

  1. I was just thinking about this because I was talking to someone who served their mission in Argentina. He was talking with some Argentines and they expressed not only discontent, but seemed to be laughing at us. We are a world power right now, but that is not permanent. One only has to look at Russia and England to see how quickly they fell from being a top nation.

    I also found it interesting that most of the people from these other countries are expressing what other Americans are upset about: the exorbitant amount of money that is being spent. America needs to get their economic act together or we are going to be in trouble. However, I think this is an issue larger than economics and that we need a mediator like they explore in this article:

  2. I thought this article was really interesting; I have always wondered how other countries view the government shutdown and the state of the American economy in general. No other country or organization of any kind would ever allow such a massive debt to accumulate, and yet here in America, we just keep spending money that we don’t have, and we are not even making any substantial cuts to our budget. If the United States wants to keep our international standing as a global superpower of sorts, we have to start eliminating this debt of ours, as evidenced by this article.

  3. This was my favorite article of the week. It’s incredibly interesting to hear about other countries’ attitude towards the recent government shutdown- and frankly it’s a bit embarrassing. As stated in the article, “For countries that have had their own experiences with financial crises — often followed by American dictates about the need to be more responsible — the brinkmanship in the United States has produced an especially caustic mix of bewilderment, offense and more than a little eagerness to scold.”

    I believe other countries have every right to criticize the manner in which US politicians have handled the recent political gridlock. The United States justifies meddling in foreign affairs with a self-conceited notion of “American Exceptionalism”. And while I do believe that America was in many ways a “city upon a hill” to other countries in the past, I think we are losing that reputation fast. The US is simply losing its credibility to give advice to other countries. How can we expect to set an example to the world when our own government is crippled with the self-interests of our own policy-makers? We need more pragmatic politicians who are willing to cooperate with each other, make concessions, and reduce the looming, massive national debt.

  4. This article made many points that I hadn’t thought about. For example, if any other country tried to pull what ours just did, the markets would have responded very poorly and those countries would have been crushed. While it is a bit unfair that the United States can do this and get away with it fairly unscathed, it is one of the perks of being the global reserve currency and, as much as I hate to say it, exceptional.

    Of course, we are all hearing about how America is losing its footing in the global arena. But, as far as the markets are concerned, it seems like investors and business people still trust the US to be stable and running despite any suicidal games that our politicians enjoy playing every now and then. (

  5. It’s funny to me that people criticize what just happened in the U.S. as a failure of democracy. In reality, this is exactly what democracy is. Neither side had the positions they needed to do what they wanted, and so there was a standoff. With the high-esteem that democracy is held in, people assume that it is without a doubt the best form of government. Public officials in the U.S. would be committing political suicide if they were to say anything negative about democracy, but the reality is that it is probably the least efficient form of government. However, democracy (and to an even further extent our specific form of it as designed by the Founding Fathers) is designed that way for a reason: so that the government cannot abuse its power. Anything that isn’t agreed upon by almost everybody will take a long time to get done. If people have a problem with that, they need to consider the alternatives. All forms of government have their own pros and cons. A dictatorship leaves open the possibility for all kinds of human rights abuses, but that type of government would also be the quickest moving and most efficient. The democratic republic that we have protects the rights of American citizens, sometimes at the expense of government making quick decisions.

  6. It’s interesting to see other countries views about the US government shut down. I feel like in the heat of the moment other countries are quick to point their finger at US mistakes. Foreign countries like seeing this great power make a mistake. These countries act that they can never trust the US again but in reality in a month or so everyone will put this behind them and trust the US again. I don’t see the US government shut down as a threat to US relations with other countries because countries are still dependent on us.

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