What are some American practices that Canadians find odd?

  1. Using dollar bills all made of the same color and using old material (cotton). Why not upgrade the bills to make it more fraud proof like Canada did?
  2. Not using the Metric system. God do I hate Fahrenheit especially. Impossible to tell how cold or warm it is.
  3. Love of guns.. why Americans love their guns… its part of their culture. But as a Canadian i still dont get why having a gun is necessary in everyday life
  4. Using a Jury system. We dont have jury duty in Canada. We appoint judges. Having a jury makes it much more likely for the defendant to get away with a lot cases out of sympathy.
  5. Similar to point above Americans sue alot!! Theres like a lawsuit going on all the time it seems. And it can be for the smallest of reasons.
  6. Universal healthcare is considered a “socialist” policy in the US which means its “bad”. Americans have been trained to equate anything “socialist” with venezuela/communism it seems.
  7. Americans HATE taxes. Tax cuts tax cuts all the time. How many Americans would drop dead if they knew our top tax rate kicked in at only $130k and we had a national sales tax?
  8. Pronouncing “Z” “zee” while we pronounce it “zed”. I guess zee is easier to ryhme with in the alphabet song?
  9. Calling my name out at restaurants. Uhh in Canada they just call your number and you get your food. Why do Americans insist on asking my name? Not only could my name be something complicated but what if two people had the same name and same order? What now brown cow??
  10. Age limit of 21 for drinking. Especially odd considering by that age you can already own a gun and drive.

What is the reason for the decline of the United States?

Others have given much more detailed answers, but I think America peaked in the 1950s and 1960s with Eisenhower and JFK and started to decline once the 1973 oil crisis, Vietnam war and Nixon scandals hit. As many others have pointed out, Reagan has been among the biggest factors in America’s downfall. When you keep cutting taxes for the rich, its obvious the rich will keep getting richer, at the expense of the lower and middle classes. The thing is these days Republicans / conservatives will say ‘lets not help poor people’ or ‘lets not help immigrants’ because they deserve to be poor. Let the rich keep their money cause they earned it. But how much money does the rich really need? Gates and Bezos and Zuckerberg have over 50 billion dollars. That money could have gone to improving the education system, help fund universal healthcare, a better social saftey net, etc. The highest marginal tax rate of the 1950s was 90%. Now its a measly 35%.
Oh, and the military industrial complex is the other thing. The US defense budget is almost $700b now. It dwarfs all other discretionary spending. Since when did the US have to be the police force of the world? That military budget has also taken away money that should have gone to improving healthcare and education.
Somewhere along the way, Americans lost their way. they became too greedy, too selfish and unable to care about other people. today you have the most polarizing environment where they would sooner kill themselves than help the opposing party. Yes, America needs to be ‘great again’, but the answer is not electing Donald Trump.

Was Ronald Reagan a good president?

No, I don’t think so. I think he was definitely a charismatic and inspirational leader, which is part of the reason why he won his two elections by a landslide, but as to his actual accomplishments, the recovery of the economy in the 1980s was mostly due to the work of Paul Volcker the Fed Reserve chairman who raised interest rates in order to curb inflation at the time. This ended the stagflation of the 1970s. But Volcker wasn’t in favor of deregulating enough, so Reagan canned him and appointed Alan Greenspan instead, who some would say is the architect of the Great Recession of the late 2000s.

To me the worst thing about Reagan is that he brainwashed people to believe that supply-side economics i.e Reagonomics or Trickle-down economics, worked. It doesn’t. Never have and never will. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you keep cutting taxes for the rich, it will increase the inequality gap between the rich and poor, which is still growing to this day, since taxes for the rich have remained low since the 1980s. It also increases the deficit, which is why you see the US national debt balloon tremendously since the 1980s. But the rich people obviously love this strategy, and so they love selling this hogwash to the general public that cutting taxes for the rich will somehow benefit the economy. Take a look at the 1950s and 1960s. Pretty good economic time. Marginal Tax rates for the rich? Try 90%. That didn’t seem to affect the economy back then though.