Talk:United States

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Heading[edit]

Just after: "...a prominent political and cultural force, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovation." I would like to discuss adding a sentence about what makes America great. From a neutral perspective, this is important because I believe that it is not simply the richness of resources, that is mentioned on the page, or the abundance of land, or any other factor except the people and the Culture itself, that makes the USA what it is. Further down the article, the section on Culture describes the American creed and American dream, but a short and simple sentence in the heading that also references the Cultural section, the same as the other references do, would add to a neutral view of the country. Would someone be willing to help me to construct such an proposed addition please? Zarpboer (talk) 12:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for suggesting that my edit "requires copy-editing and better placement (not after geology) - requires discussion on talk" - Dhtwiki = It was: The people of the United States are known for their ideal "that all things are possible books", their emphasis on freedom, initiative and individuality and for their pursuit of the American Dream. - My citation was: The American spirit; a basis for world democracy - google.co.za/books?id=gHwAAAAAYAAJ - please suggest a more appropriate position? Is improvement to the sentence by replacing "their emphasis on freedom, initiative and individuality and for their pursuit" with "their emphasis on freedom, initiative and individuality as well as for their pursuit" be adequate? Zarpboer (talk) 12:58, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I meant "geography" (and climate), not "geology" with regard to placement. It would go before, if it were agreed to. But the fact that you've had no response to your initial comment tells me, and it was my reaction, that "what makes America great" is too nebulous a topic to be addressed easily, if at all. At least it needs to be developed in the article body before it's reflected in the lead (your initial suggestion seemed to be to place it in the Culture section). However, if you're going to address the point, I think you need to have references more recent than the one you quoted (also, remember that punctuation goes before a reference, which I think was my major complaint regarding your edit needing copy-editing). Dhtwiki (talk) 13:11, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
For a more recent take, we could use:
Americans have built a nation over the course of their history in a continuing contest over the meanings of freedom, politically, economically, and over which residents are entitled to its expression in their participation, civil liberties, moral ideals, and working lives.
(ref. Foner, Eric. The Story of American Freedom (1998) ISBN 0-393-04665-6, p. xvi-xix.) TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:18, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
That is a very good reference. (and a great sentence) I am going to work through it properly, thank you so much, it covers the shaping of freedom very well! - My comment was more related to the people of the USA, I came to the page originally to look for a reference to American culture, can do spirit and what the core differentiators are. I had to read through a lot, to get to the culture section, (The USA page is gigantic) then that linked to the American dream and even then, nothing much about that which is the generally accepted notions of freedom, individuality and initiative - in an academic paper I once read "can do spirit"? Adding an additional section would make the page even larger than it is? It is obviously the people of America that makes the country great?, what and who the people of America are at their core, that is the deficit on this very well developed page? Maybe this is all obvious to an American? but it is not obvious to the non American and it is difficult information to find Zarpboer (talk) 14:31, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
How does Foner's sentence distinguish the United States from other countries, much less pinpoint what makes the U.S. great? How we came down on the issue of who is entitled to participate has varied widely throughout our history. 1919, the year of your reference that talked of a "can do" spirit, was the year of most lynchings of blacks, if I recall correctly. For some a "can do" spirit caused them a lot of trouble. And that was an era in which we were growing and becoming greater. Dhtwiki (talk) 05:06, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
But that is exactly the point made above already... the American people developed, and is constantly developing an understanding of freedom. It is the ability of the people to be honest with themselves, to reflect, to freely speak out, to criticize themselves. This from the 17th century, through 1919 and to this present day. Sofar as I can establish, that is the universal truth about the American people and what makes them great. Regarding the "can do" spirit, it is in this spirit that many good and bad things were done? From a neutral point of view, it is not really relevant whether the "can do" spirit has done evil things or good things, just simply that it was, and is the essence of the American people? Zarpboer (talk)
  • Comment I'd be highly reluctant to insert any single individual's opinion of the American people (or any other people) into an article about a country. It would seem doomed to fail WP:POV. I'm especially reluctant when the source is around 100 years old but even a new book would fail WP:POV.Jeppiz (talk) 21:31, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Response to comment: Is your proposition that it is a single individuals opinion that the culture and essence of what is a country, is not its people? It is preposterous to even consider that a country could exist without a people! Anyway, to take this back to the original issue: On this USA page, if it is generally accepted that a country cannot even exist without people, then in the heading weight should be given to those people. Personally I do not know what makes the American people who they are. What the USA page does not reflect, is why is the USA great? Is it the USA laws?, The amount of natural resources in the USA? - Patently, not. It is the American people themselves. So then, what is it about these people? What is it that differentiates an American from myself (an African)? What I do know, is that they are a great and giving people, who have and are constantly developing and even re-inventing themselves. They have done many great things and continue doing many great things. (I can give a simple recent example to reflect the giving spirit of this great nation: sending 3000 troops to help with the West African Ebola virus.) American people are awesome. And simply the culture of who these people are needs more weight in the heading of the USA, that is not a WP:FRINGE or single individuals opinion. It simply is a neutral, balanced and encyclopedic view of the page itself. Zarpboer (talk) 07:59, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
So we now have a statement supporting the idea of a summary sentence on the American culture. And another disagreeing with the general idea in the abstract because characterizing "what makes America great" will be POV. I agree with the general idea. The source may be from a historian with a sociological emphasis, who may be describing the American culture without determining that is "what makes it great", but rather iterates specific characteristics contributing to its continuation as a recognizable world culture. So the search is on for the reliable source with a pithy characterization to supply proposed language for a copy edit. Otherwise the suggestion dies at the conceptual stage as unpractical. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:28, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Zarpboer, as usual (I'm sorry to say) you don't get the point and then you rant against your own misunderstanding. Nobody is denying that there are different cultures and that countries consist of their individuals. But to from there to a phrase claiming to define a nation is quite a leap. And how to decide on whom to rely? Mitt Romney has one view of what characterizes the US. Usama bin Laden, to take an extreme example, also had a view on that, though very different from Romney's. If you ask sociologists from the UK, Mexico, Nigeria, Iran, Russia, Australia and China about what defines Americans, you're likely to get very different answers. So the question is quite simple. If we should include the view of one, or a few, individuals, how do we decide whose view of the US to present?Jeppiz (talk) 12:35, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Jeppiz No, sorry, You are not understanding what I am saying... I never said 'culture' - You did. I said: "a Country consists of people" Regarding your remark about the views of what characterizes the USA, the answer is simple: Use that which is the generally accepted view(s) of what defines the American people. Even between Usama bin Laden and Mitt Romney the views do intersect, or at the very least not conflict, around a few simple words, for example: Freedom. Then, the idea is not to define the culture of the American people, culturally the American people are non exclusive and Americans consist of almost all the different modern cultures on the planet. There is no universal truth or universal fact, which is why Foner's sentence: Americans have built a nation over the course of their history in a continuing contest over the meanings of freedom, politically, economically, and over which residents are entitled to its expression in their participation, civil liberties, moral ideals, and working lives. Read it again - And more specifically as it pertains to the economic part of that sentence, it excludes ALL nations. (Extreme example, Zimbabwe progressive example, Britain) the defining differences here are: continuing contest, the British nation is not so defined, and on the other side of ridiculous, neither are the Zimbabweans or anyone else. In fact, ask not how Foners sentence makes the USA great, rather ask how it does not? Which other nation on the planet can make the same claims of constantly, consistently over hundreds of years, doing the same thing now as they did a hundred years or two hundred years, ago? The American people are discussing freedom right now, today, somewhere in the USA it is a trending topic, the same as they have consistently been doing. Nobody else does this. Not the Dutch, Not the Germans, nobody. For other nations it is more of a cyclic thing, not a continuing contest, over centuries. And when I say nations, I do mean the people (all the cultures that combine into a cohesive unit which forms a singular country) - Personally: If I am not understanding something then maybe if someone could explain it differently to me, I would sincerely appreciate it, maybe I am not as intelligent as you are and it would be really cool to come to terms with this concept properly Zarpboer (talk) 13:10, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Politicians are not reliable sources published in academic journals with peer review. Everything is not relative. The point of going to academics is that they will have analytical descriptions which can be acknowledged in many different places, as their characterizations are backed up by evidence. The variable will be whether those same traits are admired, respected, tolerated or reviled.

The religious tolerance in the United States which allows Sunnis and Shia to worship with their families in a Mosque of their choosing and make it home with all alive is despised in the Islamic State, where one is executed on the roadside for answering the diagnostic question wrongly: How many kneelings at morning prayer? The Sunni answers correctly for that culture, the Shia is summarily executed. There is nothing the U.S. can do to satisfy the ISIL objection as long as Shia are allowed to worship in peace in the U.S., and the American culture will not admit religious intolerance, and there is evidence which peer-reviewed academics use to support that view.

But religious toleration as a trait in the American culture cannot be included in this article without a reliable source and proposed language for a copy edit which is agreed to in consensus. The issue is encompassed in the Foner quote addressing "civil liberties". It describes a culture of contests over core values, which is to say each iteration in the quote refers to traits in the culture. The POV "what makes America great" is exactly what is to be avoided in favor of what is descriptive. Although adherents of American exceptionalism are everywhere, it is not necessary to demonstrate that no other culture is religiously tolerant to describe the U.S. as such, only that it is descriptively manifest among the Americans as a culture in order to note it in one way or another. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:24, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Cool!, the way you explain things are very very cool, thank you so much for taking the time TheVirginiaHistorian I also now understand the inclusive nature of the descriptive differences in the various iterations of the sentence. And, obviously as per your explanation, I similarly accept that additional references to the American dream, can do spirit, etc. will require the same descriptive source as Foner. So, the Foner sentence is fine, with consensual acceptance, and the hunt is then on for contextual and non WP:SYN generally academically accepted citations which includes the additional concepts. Okay, research it is then Zarpboer (talk) 13:42, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Can I just remind everybody about WP:FORUM? ThanksJeppiz (talk) 15:44, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking of sources such as the social historian who was the Librarian of Congress for a number of years, Daniel Boorstin, mining his books, articles and speeches. Foner was president of the American Historical Association. The idea is to find a reliable source of nationally recognized stature in an academic field. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 06:43, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Add "Zoroastrians" to the section in religion in America.[edit]

In the section listing other religions, you also add Zoroastrians, as they do have a presence especially in California. http://www.religioustolerance.org/zoroastr1.htm. Refer to the part about "membership". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.15.249.35 (talk) 20:27, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

GDP poverty etc in lead[edit]

Per WP:LEAD, the section is suppose to define the scope of the article, and summarize its content. Although this is really a summary article of a multitude of more specific articles, in reading the article, and the lead it appears to give significant weight regarding the household income, wealth distribution and poverty rate. This is not reflected in the body of the article. Therefore, either the economy section needs expansion, or these statistics need to be moved into the body of the article in say the demographics section.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 13:35, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Simply taking out some of the most detailed supportive evidence would give us a last intro paragraph to read:
The United States is a developed country and has the world's largest national economy.[5][26] The economy is fueled by an abundance of natural resources and high worker productivity.[27] While the U.S. economy is considered post-industrial, it continues to be one of the world's largest manufacturers.[28] The country accounts for 37% of global military spending,[35]being the world's foremost economic and military power, a prominent political and cultural force, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovation.[36]
That alone would be a major improvement in my opinion. The footnotes would automatically renumber. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:41, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
That does look better.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 12:14, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
First attempt made on main page. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:26, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Improved map?[edit]

This version of the first map was just reverted as being not an improvement. I think the newer, reverted map shows Hawaii and some Caribbean islands better, while not having any obvious faults. It also delineates Central and South American political boundaries. I ask for reconsideration. Dhtwiki (talk) 17:45, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree, no adequate reason was given for reversion. --Golbez (talk) 22:07, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
The second revert was noting the editor's reversion of intervening edits. The first was because the transformation of the colors makes it difficult to see most of the globe (no point in "delineates" if there's no context). But this is Wikipedia - have it your way. TEDickey (talk) 23:05, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree, the removal of the intervening edits was bad (I missed that) and they shouldn't be edit warring for a map, let alone changing numbers without an edit summary... so please don't react poorly to this discussion, it's not necessarily about your reverts but rather the map. In a vacuum, it looked like the map was being reverted on its own merits, and I apologize for not looking deeper into it. --Golbez (talk) 13:20, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
I had only seen the first reversion of the map, which involved only the map, when I posted. I myself had to revert the person who first added the new map, that person having a tendency to combine helpful and unhelpful edits. It was after that reversion, and while I was salvaging what was helpful, that I went ahead and added the new map, believing I had consensus here to do so. Dhtwiki (talk) 20:17, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Comment in Russian[edit]

Россия – священная наша держава, Россия – любимая наша страна. Могучая воля, великая слава – Твоё достоянье на все времена!

Chorus: Славься, Отечество наше свободное, Братских народов союз вековой, Предками данная мудрость народная! Славься, страна! Мы гордимся тобой! От южных морей до полярного края Раскинулись наши леса и поля. Одна ты на свете! Одна ты такая – Хранимая Богом родная земля!

Chorus Широкий простор для мечты и для жизни Грядущие нам открывают года. Нам силу даёт наша верность Отчизне. Так было, так есть и так будет всегда!

Chorus — Preceding unsigned comment added by 201.47.231.79 (talk) 14:52, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

This post does not appear to be a contribution on the writing of the article. Seems the text of a song. Any translation? I remember having conversations with native Spanish speakers with little command of speaking English where they would speak slowly in Spanish, and I would speak slowly in English, and we understood one another. But here, should it be treated any differently than a random posting which is not relevant? I have no command of Russian at all. Any translation? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:09, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Courtesy Google Translate:
Russia - our sacred state, Russia - our beloved country. A mighty will, great glory - Your heritage for all time!
Chorus: Be glorious, our free Fatherland union of brotherly peoples, Ancestor given wisdom of the people! Glorious, country! We are proud of you! From the southern seas to the polar lands Spread our forests and fields. One you are in the world! You are one such God - guarded native land!
Chorus: Wide spaces for dreams and for life The coming year we are opening. Gives us strength, our loyalty to the Fatherland. So it was, is and always will be!
Unless someone is wanting to open a discussion regarding rightful ownership of Alaska, this doesn't have much to do with the U.S. Dhtwiki (talk) 21:43, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 September 2014[edit]

203.190.1.22 (talk) 09:54, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Please resubmit your request, providing any necessary sources. Thanks, NiciVampireHeart 11:54, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Corporate tax rate[edit]

This article has a lengthy discussion of the incidence of the corporate income tax, but only a brief mention of corporate income tax rates, which I believe to be misleading. I propose that [1] from [2] be included to illustrate the US effective corporate tax rate, supported by the statistics in [3]. EllenCT (talk) 22:05, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

As a counter argument, perhaps we could pare down the content on the subject in this article (as it is becoming bloated in general) and instead include any such information in more specific sub-articles, such as Taxation in the United States or something similar. The content certainly belongs at Wikipedia. The question (as always) is whether an omnibus, overview article such as this is the best place for it. --Jayron32 23:03, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
In my opinion, articles should serve to counter common misconceptions. The average reader is unlikely to have accurate information about US corporate tax rates or incidence given the extent of misleading financially conflicted sources prevalent in even high quality news source discourse. EllenCT (talk) 23:18, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Whether or not Wikipedia should counter common misconceptions is a non-sequitur as to whether or not the material unnecessarily bloats an overview article. Misconceptions can be countered at Taxation in the United States as well as anywhere. This article is too big, and the emphasis on certain topics provides an imbalance that does not befit an overview article like this. While Wikipedia can, should, and does contain a wealth of information about the United States, it is impossible to put it all in this one article. The specific topic of taxation policy is sufficiently esoteric and arcane as to be unsuitable for a general overview article, which should focus on basic history, geography, structure, etc. instead. I am certainly not arguing against the inclusion of the information at Wikipedia, just that this one article needn't include it. --Jayron32 13:01, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
If misconceptions are common, then why shouldn't they be addressed in an overview? The multiple sentences we have on incidence are arcane enough, and we don't need more than a single additional sentence to properly address the effective corporate tax rates and the misinformation surrounding them. I will find a better source to address TFD's comments below. EllenCT (talk) 05:31, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
If by common you mean "common among people who spend time considering the taxation system within the United States" you may have something. That's why it belongs in the article on taxation in the United States. If by common you mean "among people", then no, it is not a common misconception because most people don't think about the taxation system of the United States at all, and in an overview level article like this, such discourses are entirely out-of-place. People who come to this article aren't looking for this specific information, really. What they are looking for is a general overview. If they wanted to know about the intricacies of U.S. tax law, they'd go to articles about that. --Jayron32 18:40, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
What is your source for the assertion that "most people don't think about the taxation system of the United States at all"? EllenCT (talk) 21:16, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
You have not mentioned what edits you plan to make. Certainly in the U.S. as in other countries, corporations are able to amortize fixed assets faster for tax purposes than for corporate accounting. In order to compare effective rates with other countries, you need to show that the sample used is representative of corporations as a whole in the U.S., whether accounting principles for determining income are similar, and the extent of deferred taxation in the countries used as a comparison. That requires a source. My understanding is that effective corporate tax rates are higher in the U.S., primarily because it has not replaced them with value added (or goods and service or "fair") tax, with the result that the country puts itself at a competitive disadvantage. See if you can find anything that addresses the issue and it might merit a brief mention. TFD (talk) 15:25, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Sadly this reflects very common misconceptions. I will propose a specific edit with a single sentence to help address the concern, the mistakes, and the missing information, but not right now. EllenCT (talk) 05:31, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Ellen, you need to find relevant reliable secondary sources. Because of the complexity of the subject, it is always possible to find facts that support one side or another, which can then be used by partisan sources. For example, the U.S. taxes overseas earnings while other countries do not, but the U.S. provides tax breaks for overseas earnings that are not brought back to the U.S. And the U.S. provided accelerated depreciation to encourage investment to get out of the Great Depression, while countries that were not as hard hit did not. There are also U.S. corporations that do not pay tax on profits transferred to shareholders that are then taxed as personal income. We could spend pages of discussion determined how to weight all these issues, but the best approach is to use reliable sources to do the analysis for us. TFD (talk) 15:03, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
In economics the most reliable secondary peer reviewed academic journal articles often end up being published in law reviews, but not always. I will find the best. EllenCT (talk) 21:16, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Bering Strait and Ethnicity[edit]

There is no [ethnic chart] that I can see, and it is a [THEORY] that [Native Americans] [migrated] across the [Bering strait], so please make an [Ethnic Chart], and make "[The Native Americans] crossed the [Bering Strait Land Bridge]" Into "It has been theorized that The [Native Americans] crossed the [Bering Strait Land Bridge]" — Preceding unsigned comment added by CDboyAwesome (talkcontribs) 17:47, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean or want with the term "ethnic chart," but the Bering crossing is mentioned in the first paragraph of the history section. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 18:09, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
[Why] are you [typing] [like this]? --Golbez (talk) 18:16, 30 September 2014 (UTC)