Talk:United States/Archive 40

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Archive 35 Archive 38 Archive 39 Archive 40 Archive 41 Archive 42 Archive 45


Human Rights

Hi, I intend to add a human rights section (guantanamo, racism, fundamental rights etc.) to this article. Should that be placed under "Government, elections, and politics" or "Crime and law enforcement"? In my opinion first one is appropriate as it has to do with the policy of the State. (talk) 08:36, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Request: External Links: The role of licenses of the Creative Commons in the democracy and in the policy of the U.S.

National anthem

On the Wikipedia article about Norway it's possible to listen to the Norwegian National anthem by clicking play on the article, why hasn't that been added on the article about the United States? Niceley September 7 2011 —Preceding undated comment added 18:47, 7 September 2011 (UTC).

Request Word Change

In the second quote (in which is also a link) of the third sentence in the "Independence and Expansion" section of the article, the phrase "unalienable rights" is used; I believe the correct one though, is "inalienable rights."

No. The present text is correct. Here is a link to the National Archives' transcript, where you can also download a high-res image of the original parchment.—DCGeist (talk) 21:53, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Human Rights

Hi, I intend to add a human rights section (guantanamo, racism, fundamental rights etc.) to this article. Should that be placed under "Government, elections, and politics" or "Crime and law enforcement"? In my opinion first one is appropriate as it has to do with the policy of the State. (talk) 08:36, 6 September 2011 (UTC)|}} A) I have seen human rights and corruption in the main country articles after government and politics or Foreigh relations with an own title. See Burma or Libya. B) In Nigeria human rights is a subtitle of the societal issues. C) I added human rights in Singapore as subtutle onder government and politics [1]. See : Talk:Human rights in Singapore#Difficult to find this info Talk:Singapore#Human rights. This was not approved, but there may be other reasons including the actual elections.

  • Now I recommend: An own title after Government and politics since it makes it easier to find. In my opinion both human rights and corruption deserve own titles in the main articles since they are of high importance in the development of the democracy and in my opinion the actual issues should have higher priority in the main articles than the history. Watti Renew (talk) 17:57, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Cold War

The last paragraph of the introduction, a historical paraphrase of the United States' military activities, barely cites the Cold War as a major concept and period in the country's history, while the article for the Soviet Union resumes it's foreign policy by describing it's political opposition to the Western Bloc. Even thought citing the period in the introduction is arguably more essential to the article about the USSR, as it has led to the state's dissolution, the Cold War was responsible for (among other direct consequences) the crucial cultural differentiation between the Western and Communist "Worlds", perhaps the most defining direct effect of American culture in world culture in the century, the very significant and broad involvement of the United States in Asiatic civil wars through the second half of the decade (Vietnam, Korea and Afghanistan) and the nuclear arms race which was the central issue in global geopolitical concerns until the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc.

Arguably, those facts and circumstances, which are very extensively described and documented in Wikipedia, are arguably more important to a brief and succinct description of the United States than, for example, the extensive description of it's territorial acquisitions in the 19th century in the same paragraph (most already appropriately described in the first paragraph), and their inclusion in it would resolve the issue of disparity between the articles for the USA and USSR which currently, in direct comparison, might well give a very unwanted impression of North American ethnocentrism and political anachronism to English Wikipedia.

I suggest a revision of the last paragraph of the Introduction section. I'd write it as

  • "Through the 19th century, the United States displaced native tribes and extensively expanded it's territories in the North American continent and beyond. In the 1860s, the American Civil War between the agrarian South and the victorious industrial North over the expansion of the institution of slavery and states' rights led to the end of legal slavery in the United States. By the 1870s, its national economy was the world's largest, and the Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a major global power. After emerging from World War II as the first country with nuclear weapons and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the United States began an extensive cultural and political opposition to the Soviet Union and associated Eastern Bloc countries, the Cold War, leading to many overseas military interventions (notably in the Vietnam and Korean Wars) and an increasing nuclear arms race through the second half of the century, ultimately emerging as the sole world superpower with the dissolution of the USSR. The country currently accounts for 41% of global military spending, and it is a leading economic, political, and cultural force in the world." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Skhikkhi (talkcontribs) 00:01, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
The Cold War already has its own section in the history portion of this article. Remember that for the United States, the Cold War constitutes less than 1/5th of its history, while for the Soviet Union the Cold war represents more than 3/5ths of its history. Arguably, it can be said to be far more than that as the jockeying and power balance between the West and the East played into world foreign affairs before the Cold War proper started (some in the West viewing Nazi Germany as a foil to the USSR before the start of the Second World War, for example). We need to take care that the lead is well representative of the US topic as a whole. Doing so will means that the Cold War will get less mention in this article than in the USSR; we have other issues over the history such as slavery, the wars with Native Americans, and more. To put it another way, look at the article on Russia. Its lead discusses the Soviet era, but its portion on the post-World War II superpower status is about the same length as the one for the US article, and doesn't even mention the Cold War by name. Russia has a lot more to its history than the Cold War, and its introduction is going to reflect that. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 01:27, 26 September 2011 (UTC)


There ist nothing about employment in this article, one of the most import questions in today-USA. Just some lines about income. Isn't this funny? --13Peewit (talk) 16:09, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

What's "funny" about it? Some people evidently find it much easier to bring an attitude here than constructive suggestions. Isn't that "funny"...
Let's find out if you're one of those, or if you actually care to expend some mental energy on improving the article. We do provide the current unemployment rate. What other information do you believe would be particularly useful, and where exactly do you think it should go?—DCGeist (talk) 15:36, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
"One of the most controversial political topics is the current 0.7% homeless rate among general youth 18 - 25 years of age, though low; still presents itself as a general topic for most media outlets"

0.7% Homeless? Apologies; I forgot I was at Wiki, where we are pro-NATO,U.S but anti-everything not NATO, Amerikan, or of Amerikans allies. How you can possibly say Amerika's economy is better than Norway's in terms of debt and homelessness is beyond me. There's a difference between improving the article, and enhancing a false view of the U.S. Funny that you include China as one of Amerika's allies, being that they have been fear-mongering China for the last six months. Perhaps we should go with sources outside the U.S Whitehouse..? I mean come on.. They stopped being a reliable source for these types of things years ago when they began lying admittedly, issuing false information and such. Atleast acquire decent sources.--Suffery (talk) 11:11, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Rather than wasting your time attacking people that you don't even know and achieving nothing, you could present a source that defends a different statistic for the homeless in the US. You know, actually contribute to improving the article. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 12:46, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 18 October 2011

The GDP per capital of the USA is only around $33,000 according to the national GDP reported journal. The GDP per capital of USA stayed the same for the last 20 years. (talk) 20:05, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Gonna need a source, and a reasoning why this is relevant. --Golbez (talk) 21:16, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Statue of Liberty

What do people think of incorporating a suitable image of the Statue of Liberty into the article? I believe it is important as being the leading icon of the United States, along with the flag. This isn't a patriotic issue but rather one of completeness and WP:UNDUE in terms of extant pictures of an apple pie, two current politicians, a religious institution, a ranch-style home, a writer, and an athlete, while excluding this symbol of far weightier gravitas. Help would certainly be appreciated in finding such a picture. Castncoot (talk) 03:03, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

My first thought was that the article is already chock full of images and can't really handle--and doesn't need--another. On second thought, it occurred to me that we could move the image currently accompanying the lead portion of the "Culture" section down to "Food" (which currently has no image) and rework the caption to address the phrase "As American as apple pie", and put a Statue of Liberty image in the vacated spot. Do other people think that would be appropriate? Is the Statue of Liberty a suitably representative image of our culture? DocKino (talk) 03:53, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
You bring up an interesting point. Unfortunately, because there are also a flag and a baseball bat in the picture, I'm not sure that this image could be moved to the Food section. The real question is if apple pie is any longer the significant part of U.S. culture that it was may once have been. On the other hand, the Statue of Liberty will likely remain a timeless classic in the American psyche, already displayed ubiquitously in the media as well as on stamps and at U.S. ports of entry from international points of travel. Getting back to your question, I believe that some of the above pictures I specified above should be removed, and one appropriate image of the Statue should be incorporated somewhere. Castncoot (talk) 05:00, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
As a non-American it amazes me that the Statue of Liberty isn't in the article. It's probably THE single dominant symbol of the USA outside the country. HiLo48 (talk) 07:16, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
I think the apple pie image is pretty dated. The expression "as American as apple pie" is dated and baseball's no longer the most popular sport in the US (football is). Plus, it's sort of weird having them on the flag. Hot Stop talk-contribs 14:21, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Terrific, I think we've developed a pretty good consensus here - I'll proceed to remove the apple pie picture and substitute it with an image I obtained from the Statue of Liberty in popular culture article. I think that's a good starting point, and as always, people are free to make constructive modifications. Castncoot (talk) 16:36, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Good discussion. I felt an image of the actual statue was more appropriate and selected one from among the three dozen or so on the Commons. (Given the brevity of the text it accompanies, it became clear that a landscape-format image was preferable, so it could be large enough to show some detail without spilling too much into the following subsection.) I also wrote a caption that hopefully will be read as relevant to the topic of culture.—DCGeist (talk) 18:17, 21 October 2011 (UTC) Nice job!Castncoot (talk) 19:54, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 25 October 2011

Why isn't there a Gini category which says that United States' Gini is high, beside the Gini number? It seems like the only two countries missing this are the US and UK. Guess that would make them look bad, but it is unappropriate for an encyclopedia to hide facts, no matter the reason. (talk) 20:49, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

I assume you're referring to the Gini coefficient? That information is included in the infobox. Taking a quick look around, I notice that some countries list a category, others list a rank, and others list a number only. I'm not sure what suggests we should use one over another; perhaps it depends on the source cited. – Luna Santin (talk) 21:08, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and to be more clear about what I mean, please look up countries such as Russia, Sweden etc. They have both category and the actual Gini coefficient next to each other. Bosnia, UK, France, Egypt, Greece, and certainly some more have just the coefficient stated, like the US does, but the vast majority has both (please don't make me calculate percentage :). I am not saying we should use only one, but the contrary, state both category and coefficient like in the "Sweden" article. Of course, this should be done for all of those countries, but we have to start somewhere. (talk) 00:16, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
Excuse us, but you referred to the purported "Gini category" as a "fact". On exactly what basis do you claim this so-called "category" to be a "fact"? Are you familiar with our Wikipedia:Verifiability policy? It appears not. Please read it carefully. Then go out and research among the high-quality sources our policy requires and see if you can find any support at all for the "category" you presently believe is a "fact". The FACT is, people have been trying to impose this made-up category on this article page for years, when in FACT, they should have been removing it from other country article pages, because it has no basis among reliable external sources. Get to work, friend. Please.—DCGeist (talk) 04:32, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
I only used term 'Gini category' because that's what it's named in Wikipedia source. Surely you are aware that this is just tertile being expressed in more user-friendly way (colours and words 'high','medium','low'). Are you saying that we cannot even divide by three because it is considered original research and not simple logical deduction? (talk) 09:59, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Why not divide by two, or four, or five, or six, or eight? Because any such pseudo-authoritative division is out of line here if it is based on "Wikipedia source" as you put it. If we're going to name categories, those names and categories must be based on external sources that meet our verifiability standards. We're not allowed to create category divisions ourselves, understand? That's how Wikipedia works. I asked you before and I will ask you again (but for the last time): Please read our Wikipedia:Verifiability policy and take it to heart.—DCGeist (talk) 10:24, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
I understand your point about naming issues. However, I do not see why 'highest third', 'lowest quarter' etc. would not be accepted as the verifiability policy states that 'drawing conclusions not evident in the reference is original research'. It is evident if a country is positioned in the lowest quarter in the same list in which it is shown to be 39th overall. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:43, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
But again: on what basis are you choosing to divide into three parts...rather than into two...or rather than into four...or rather than into five...or rather than into...? The simple answer is that you can't perform such a division on your own chosen basis. If an outside source that meets our standards performs such a division, then we can reflect that. So seek out that outside source!—DCGeist (talk) 11:56, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

I marking that as  Not done since there is no consent. If you gain any consent, then place replace again the parameter to no. mabdul 13:23, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Gini update needed

Hello everyone. Found that there is wrong information up about gini "Gini (2007) 45.0[1] (39th)." 39th place is wrong if you follow the link provided by "39th" you will find that it is on place 94th (if sorting by "CIA Gini as a percentage"). Siim44 (talk) 13:43, 30 October 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Siim44 (talkcontribs) 07:21, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Isn't it notable that not absolutely everywhere under U.S. jurisdiction drives of the right?

Is it just me? or doesn't the lead of the article mention US territories? As such think it implies that all of them drive on the right too. CaribDigita (talk) 22:53, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

US territories aren't officially part of the USA. The USVI aren't unique in this different driving side to the controlling state, Gibraltar drives on the right yet the UK drives on the left. You wouldn't put Left (except for Gibraltar) in the UK infobox. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 01:02, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Chipmunkdavis is exactly right. As is Golbez, who explained this in edit summary.—DCGeist (talk) 01:32, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
The lead of the article mentions the territories because they are possessions of the U.S.; however, they are not part of the country. The infobox does not include their population, economy, languages, or area, so why should it include their driving style? --Golbez (talk) 13:55, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Motto - Proposed Change

I would like to propose that:

Motto: In God We Trust (official)
E Pluribus Unum (traditional)
(Latin: Out of Many, One)

Be changed to:

Motto: In God We Trust (official)
E Pluribus Unum (original)
(Latin: Out of Many, One) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:58, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Generally when one proposes such a change, they also provide a source.--OuroborosCobra (talk) 01:19, 5 November 2011 (UTC) is one article about it.. and there is a lot of documentation that states that E Pluribus Unum was the motto up until 1956, and was the first official motto of the United States. Therefore, it is fair to say that it is the original motto. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:58, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate in the economic indicators box needs to be updated from the September 2011 (9.1%) figures to the current, October 2011 figures (9.0%). The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows it here [2] Kildruf (talk) 23:26, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

.gov is a US domain name?

I'd question the US having a strong-hold over over the .gov domain name (source). InTheRevolution2 (talk) 00:57, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

The .gov topic and its sources disagree with your opinion TEDickey (talk) 01:40, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
There's which is USVI, which is Guam, (as per the discussions above) they aren't to be really regarded as a part of the United States. So it isn't USA only. CaribDigita (talk) 03:21, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
You realize all the results in that Google search end with, right? --Golbez (talk) 03:31, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Population of the US

DCGeist, thank you for directing the data also in the main article Demographics of the United States. [3] I fixed this. In my opinion the population of the country is such a main issue that the short text and table would deserve a place also in the main article of the United States. Based on my fixing the main problem, it would in my opinion be fair on your side to have some flexibility as well. How do you think? Watti Renew (talk) 16:58, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

"Flexibility" sounds nice, but if we were "flexible" about every proposed good-faith addition to the article, it would be ten times as long as it already is. As things stand, it is generally recognized that the article is already pressing against the limits for acceptable length. It is a constant, but necessary struggle to restrain it from further expansion. Meanwhile, we have many associated topical articles that are much more suitable for the addition of worthwhile information of a relatively fine-grained nature. That is the backdrop against which this discussion must take place, not individual "flexibility." Now let's look at the two elements of the proposed addition:
* Table showing U.S. population at six different dates: I am strongly opposed to the addition of this on two grounds. The first, which is sufficient in of itself, is that its addition would yield extreme (and ugly) media clutter. There is already a lot of media in the section, and the addition of this table would squeeze the text to an unacceptable degree. Second, we use tables to rapidly convey data of great interest to readers—fundamental information like leading economic indicators, racial/ethnic breakdown, and language demographics. It is highly unlikely that more than a very, very small number of readers come to a general overview article on the United States thinking, "I want to know what the U.S. population was in 1971 and 1990." Sorry, but this table has no place in a general-interest article of this type.
* Text describing U.S. population growth since 1990: The paragraph in question already describes U.S. population growth over the course of the 20th century (i.e., since 1900). I don't believe the paragraph needs two such conceptually similar sentences, especially given our space limitations. In the present context, the 20th-century-growth passage delivers more information, because the paragraph tells us already that the country's current annual population growth rate is positive at 1%. Furthermore, two paragraphs later, we learn, "Between 2000 and 2010, the country's Hispanic population increased 43% while the non-Hispanic population rose just 4.9%." Much of the essential information provided by the proposed addition is thus already covered in the section. We simply can't afford the sort of redundancy it would introduce. Sorry, but no.
Let's see if any other editors are interested in weighing in on this, and what their perspectives are. Best, Dan.—DCGeist (talk) 17:44, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree; this summary article does not need detailed numbers on the demographic history of the country, that's much better dealt with in a child article. Especially in the format it was presented, it was not compatible with the current article (why would you think it's good to give the change in population from 1990 to 2008 at the start of the section?). That the population increase in the last statistical period was almost entirely Hispanic is very relevant to current demographics; what the population was in 1971, or 1990, much less so. DC elaborates better than I would or could. --Golbez (talk) 17:49, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

 :) I agree with you, flexibility can not be the only key argument. I am sure we agree that the article should describe the most important facts about the USA. The population growth is one of the key problems of the world future. Therefore, the population development should in my opinion be shown in every country article in short like a table. This argument is supported by following statements:
  • 1) “A bigger issue than how much we consume per person is how many we are in the world. The question of the world population and development are like married together. We need to work for both to solve the important questions of the world future. “ Ms. Minna Säävälä, Väestöliitto, Väestöliitto (The Family Federation of Finland [4]
  • 2) Lester R. Brown: “Improvement of the family planning is the main problem and the most urgent problem of the world. The benefit is huge and costs are minimal. If desired the family could become smaller fast. E.g. in Iran the number of children pro family dropped from seven to three by political decisions from 1987 to 1994. if we neglect the active family planning, the costs can exceed our resources.” ref Perhesuunnittelun tehostaminen on maailman ykkösongelma Lester R Brown Helsingin Sanomat (HS) 26.2. 2009 A2
  • 3) Dalai Lama visited in Finland in August 2011. As I remember he stated the idea (e.g. HS) that today the world is one, so that the concern of the environment and development is our common challenge. In this respect in my opinion you can not claim that the concern of the population growth is not of interest in the article of the United States. Every article should have all information fairly including the population growth. According to WP:NPOV …all significant views fairly, proportionately, and without bias. Watti Renew (talk) 17:57, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Discussion of population growth is not being rejected; using a large table with random years is. What I have more of is a response for the method in which you made your argument. The quality of an argument to include a table of information in a summary article is inversely proportional to the number of external links and quotes used to support said argument. It's also just plain nonsensical to use NPOV as a reason. --Golbez (talk) 18:06, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
This deletion is discussed including the table: [5]

Population in the United States increased from 1990 to 2008 with 54 million and 22 % growth in population.[1]

  1. ^ CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion Population 1971-2008 IEA (pdf pages 83-85)

Watti Renew (talk) 16:46, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Population in the United States [1]
Year Million
1971 207.7
1980 227.7
1990 250.2
2000 282.4
2004 293.3
2008 304.5
Wikipedia policy, like WP:NPOV, is a widely accepted standard that all editors should normally follow. For development I can add text like in the Demographics of Canada and related wikilinks World population and Overpopulation. This table is not large and years are not random, but the first and last year available and 10 years interval. 2004 shows the latest development. Data may be searched by many since World Population will surpass 7 Billion on 31 October 2011 [6]. Watti Renew (talk) 16:53, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
No, not happening. You've convinced no one and are ignoring the multiple, irredeemable problems that have been raised with your edit. I encourage you to give this up now and move on. You will not succeed in this misguided effort, and you run the risk of being blocked if you pursue it via an edit war.—DCGeist (talk) 01:41, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Hi DCGeist, you still did not agree. I thought I convinced allreagy everybody. I need a cup of coffee before reply. Watti Renew (talk) 16:45, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Who was convinced? Name one person. --Golbez (talk) 16:53, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Just to throw a new voice in, while I agree that population growth is an interesting and important issue, the information people will be searching for when coming to this page (and indeed what many may look for in the main demographics page) is information about the present day country, its present population and ethnicities etc. While a sentence or two summarising historical and possibly future growth may be useful, a table is a bit Undue. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 16:52, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Summary: 1) Watti Renew: The population of the country is such a main issue that the short text and table would deserve a place. The population growth is one of the key problems of the world future, supported by 3 expert citations. According to WP:NPOV …all significant views fairly, proportionately, and without bias. 2) DCGeist: too long article, many associated topical articles that are much more suitable, very small number of readers have interest, article includes allready population growth rate 1% and by 2000-2010, the Hispanic population increased 43% and others 4.9%. 3) Golbez: only a large table with random years is.rejected, It's also just plain nonsensical to use NPOV as a reason. 4) Chipmunkdavis: the information people will be searching for when coming to this page is information about the present day country While a sentence or two summarising historical and possibly future growth may be useful, a table is a bit Undue.

REPLY: I find thretening less polite. According to Blocking policy responding with excessive force can discourage users from editing. WP:NPOV Wikipedia does not hide important facts. WP:NPOV, is a widely accepted standard. You made good argumets that can be used for the development. DCGeist, Readers should have interest in the population growth and Wiki does not hide importat facts. Long Ok, lets have less history in the article. More relevant articles. YES I agree. This is a Both/And -question not Either/Or -question Energy in the United States, Climate change in the United States, Corruption in the United States and Human rights in the United States deserve also a place in the article. Human rights in the United States was supported in the discussion reacently., Let’s include theese in the article. Golbez, Let’s do a smaller table. Chipmunkdavis: a small table offer useful fact of the development in a glance. Year 1990 is commonly used reference year in respect to climate change calculation. If needed, I sugget to table 1971, 1990 and 2008 since this data is available and shows the change in our generation. 1900 is too far in the history. Details may be highly relevant and interesting but details are not a sufficient argument to hide the overall picture of the population growth in the United States during this generation 1970-2008. Watti Renew (talk) 12:32, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Actually, wikipedia does 'hide' important facts. It's an essential part of WP:Summary Style, and ensures we don't end up with overly massive articles. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 19:24, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Chipmunkdavis, the summary article does not hide the core facts as this. There are more suitable details to exclude, if necessary to avoid overly massive articles. Examples:
A: In population a more compact table of the population centers and link Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Do you support?
B: 25 % of the article is history. The improvement options are 1) move all text in History of the United States 2) reduce text or 3) remove history pictures. Last option is a soft solution without losing facts and getting faster loading of the article. Do you support? Watti Renew (talk) 17:46, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we need a table at all. That should stay in the main article. As for history, 1 is ridiculous, 3 is fairly irrelevant as pictures don't affect prose size (with picture MOS being slightly different), but 2 is good, if you want to do 2. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 17:51, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Chipmunkdavis, when I keep the size of the article constant, in my opinion, I have taken your criteria into account. To shorten the US history, is an open opportunity for everybody. You can also do it. If there is too long history, it is not in my opinion fare reason to remove the other improvements. Watti Renew (talk) 15:15, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Let me clarify first of all that they're not my criteria, they're wikipedia's criteria, laid down by various guidelines. The article is currently 174.733kb, of which 64kb is article text, in case you were wondering. And you're right of course, the door is very open for myself to shorten history, or do various other things in the aritlce. One day perhaps I might (and the first thing I'd do is deal with that strange family structure section, but that's for another time). However, that's not on my to do list at the moment. You made an edit, and it was reverted. DCGeist and Golbez agreed here that the information you added did not belong to the article. I agreed with them. You have not convinced any of us that the information should be in. You are welcome to pursue other methods of WP:Dispute resolution if you really wish, but I will say now that in my opinion they probably won't get far. The best use of your time now that consensus is against you here is to direct your editing somewhere else, perhaps further expanding Demographics of the United States. I've reached the point where I'm repeating my arguments, so unless something new comes up, I think that's me done. Good luck with your editing endeavours, Chipmunkdavis (talk) 15:30, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Smiley.svg Hi friend Chipmunkdavis, I hope you understand that my aim is a good dictionary, cooperation and reach consensus. As I agree with many of your opinions, I feel that we are companion editors and have more mutual interests than disagreements. It is natural that the language and cultural differences can create misunderstandings but I feel we can work this out to reach consensus: Consensus is Wikipedia's model for decision-making Sorry, If it takes time but there is no timelimit - Please give both yourself and the other party some time. Often it helps to just take a deep breath and sleep on it. Don't worry! You can always fix the problem later. I continue with the other things later. As I understand, you can agree with the text part. OK? Population in the United States increased from 1990 to 2008 with 54 million and 22 % growth in population. Watti Renew (talk) 16:52, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
There is a consensus and it is very clear—this largely redundant data is not getting added to the article. Your failure to convince anyone speaks for itself. It's too bad that you can't come to terms with the consensus, but a consensual process does not guarantee that everyone leaves entirely happy. You may continue to repeat yourself here for a while, if it pleases you, but this process is evidently complete. As Chipmunkdavis said, the best use of your time is to direct your editing endeavors somewhere else. Best of luck.—DCGeist (talk) 20:42, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
DCGeist, opinions needs reasons WP:CONS. You can reply my reasons given for you in the summary above.[7]. Please wait that I reply Chipmunkdavis first. Watti Renew (talk) 14:55, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
DCGeist, article content is not based on voting since it would be easy to ask friends to support one's opinion. Now ready, thanks Smiley.svg. Watti Renew (talk) 16:34, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Chipmunkdavis, let me correct misunderstanding: With criteria I referred to your argument with reason in discussion. WP:CONS: Consensus discussions should always be attempts to convince others, using reasons. In this discussion your comments were no 1, no 2 and no 3 and reply no 4. The summary of 1-3 is: “While a sentence or two summarising historical and possibly future growth may be useful, a table is a bit Undue. I don't think we need a table at all. It's an essential part of WP:Summary Style, and ensures we don't end up with overly massive articles. “ Watti Renew (talk) 14:59, 21 October 2011 (UTC) continue
Chipmunkdavis, I understood that your main consern was the size of the article. This may be a valid argument. However, I point out that it can also be weak and indistinct. Anyone can make the article massive with pictures or other details and claim thereafter with this criteria that all other information is undue. Therefore, I tried to convince you that the history section (25 % of the article) is more responsible for the overly massive size than my tiny addition. As you point out the share of text is 64 kb and photos and tables 110 kb. In my opinion there are too many photos. Watti Renew (talk) 16:04, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Chipmunkdavis, to fix the size smaller I will:
  • 1) Do the metropolitan area infobox more compact with same data.
  • 2) Remove: Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, Battle of Gettysburg, New York Harbor, 1902, Abandoned farm in South Dakota and World Trade Center, since the history section includes too many pictures and takes space from the other section that is not fair and balanced. The table of the population growth in 1990-2008 is more a core fact of the US than the pilgrim picture, old harbour or non-existing building, since it gives more relevant information. Watti Renew (talk) 16:09, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Chipmunkdavis, in my opinion, the estimations of the future population is not relevant, since Wikipedia does not predict the future. The citizens of the US can influence their population growth and demographics e.g. by education, health care, population control and family planning. In respect to the climate change and consumption of the natural resources and energy it is in my opinion more valid how many citizens there are in the US today and tomorrow than the ethnicity of the people. Also this supports the importance of the argued table. This is a world problem. We have to control it worldwide. Therefore, I started adding the country specific tables: see User:Watti Renew/Sandbox/Population. Watti Renew (talk) 16:29, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Though a clear consensus developed against several of your proposed changes and you were able to develop no consensus in favor of any of your proposed changes, I see you went ahead and made them anyway. I believe they detract from the quality of the article, and I have reverted them. If you edit war to restore them, you will be blocked—it's happened on this page before.

Your proposed changes to the Demographics section have clearly been rejected—with, yes, multiple reasons given—and we will not indulge you on that matter further. If you wish to see if you can build a consensus in support of any other of your proposed changes (just as Castncoot did below for the addition of a Statue of Liberty image), start a new thread to specifically address one or more of them.—DCGeist (talk) 17:50, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Sorry guys, I will quit this article and discussion since none opf my sincere attempts were supported. Have a nice time. Watti Renew (talk) 17:56, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
  • WP:CIVIL: Participate in a respectful and considerate way, do not ignore the positions and conclusions of others and avoid upsetting other editors whenever possible
  • WP:CON: Consensus develops from agreement of the parties involved. This can happen through discussion, editing, or more often, a combination of the two.
DCGeist, you upset me by ignoring me in the consensus. In my opinion, this is not the intended idea of the consensus. After having many cups of coffee, I am back. Further, you should not make judgements of an incomplete work. Watti Renew (talk) 16:40, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
What consensus? You never had one person agree with adding this. The only consensus has been against you. I truly do not understand why you are continuing this fight, except perhaps you enjoy aggravating others. --Golbez (talk) 16:55, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

New proposal

I will edit my proposals on page:User:Watti Renew/Sandbox/United States Demographics. It has own discussion page, if you like. I will introduce the outcome here. Watti Renew (talk) 16:43, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

I try to consider Wikipedia:Article size, WP:summary style and WP:Undue from national and international perspective.
In my opinion, global perspective is key summary facts since World Population was 6 billion in 1999, will surpass 7 billion on 31 October 2011 [8] and with the 2007/2008 growth trend 8 billion in in 2025. Watti Renew (talk) 16:46, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Despite the misleading header, this obviously does not concern a new proposal. Watti Renew's proposed alterations to the Demographics section have been repeatedly and roundly rejected. It is sad that he is unable to recognize that the horse died a long time ago.—DCGeist (talk) 18:06, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Might be time for some blocking/banning if he is unable to comply with Wikipedia policies. --Coolcaesar (talk) 05:09, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
WP:Assume good faith. I have not stated all my proposals yet. The photos, for example Watti Renew (talk) 17:46, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Assume good faith is when dealing with editors who are as yet unknown (i.e., first encounter, or they're in their first few dozen edits). No need to assume good faith when you have already demonstrated your bad faith ten times over as DCGeist and Golbez have already pointed out. --Coolcaesar (talk) 13:25, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
This may be a misunderstanding. I do not understand what you refer to. Please, discuss your own arguments concerning my proposals and not make assumptions of other person’s attitudes, including DCGeist and Golbez. We should discuss here the proposals to improve the article, not other editors characters. Watti Renew (talk) 17:26, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Under work Watti Renew (talk) 18:57, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Template:Population of the largest cities of the United States

Population of the 10 largest US
cities and municipal areas (1000)
City Region
New York 8,362 (1) 18,897 (1)
Los Angeles 3,832 (2) 12,829 (2)
Chicago 2,851 (3) 9,461 (3)
Houston 2,261 (4) 5,947 (7)
Dallas 1,300 (5) 6,372 (4)
Philadelphia 1,547 (6) 5,965 (6)
Washington, D.C. 602 (x) 5,582 (5)
Miami 399 (x) 5,565 (8)
Atlanta 420 (x) 5,268 (9)
Boston 618 (x) 4,552 (10)
Phoenix 1,594 (7) 4,193 (x)
San Antonio 1,374 (8) 2,143 (x)
San Diego 1,306 (9) 3,095 (x)
San Jose 965 (10) 1,837 (x)
(order no), x = not in top 10
Source: 2010 U.S. Census

I made Template:Population of the largest cities of the United States(2,183 bytes) to substitute Template:Largest Metropolitan Areas of the United States ‎(4,112 bytes). In my opinion this change deserves place, since it takes less space andd has more data. How do you like? Watti Renew (talk) 18:56, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

First of all, as it is, the new template is not useful. It does not say "in millions", and it does not say what "n.d." means. Are you saying there's no data as to the size of Miami and Boston? Secondly, the sizes of the largest areas is more important than the sizes of the largest cities; it is more relevant to include Washington on this list than San Antonio. Thirdly, what is the rationale for including 14 (not 10, not 15) cities? --Golbez (talk) 19:08, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Fourthly, at least one of the numbers is plain wrong, as San Diego has been over a million for a while. --Golbez (talk) 19:09, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
You have correct. Fixed. I shall recheck these still. This template includes the top 10 cities and also top 10 metropolitan areas in the US based on the population number. According to the article there are four global cities with the population over 2 million (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston) and nine cities over 1 million. This is demonstrated in this template. Watti Renew (talk) 14:49, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I would sooner suggest the municipal population be added to the existing template. Since your table makes no attempt to explain why there are 14 cities, it could confuse readers (wondering, for example, why Washington is coming after San Jose, but before Boston). Due to the wild disparity between municipal and metropolitan populations of many areas of the country (some large regions have tiny inner cities, like Miami and Salt Lake City, whereas some large cities have virtually no suburbs, like San Antonio and San Jose), it doesn't seem to me wise to try to combine the two. The notes required to explain to the reader the reasoning for inclusion and ordering in the list would be so much as to simply justify two separate lists. And I don't think two lists are justified (such a statistic about "9 cities over 1 million" can be treated in text, as it's the metropolitan area that's more important for a summary article). --Golbez (talk) 15:12, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I believe the current template, which was arrived at through the work of multiple editors and after several other variations were tried out, serves the article and our readers very well. Golbez's analysis of the proposal's deficiencies is spot on. I don't see any good argument for a change here.—DCGeist (talk) 01:39, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Concur with Golbez and DCGeist. The current table focused on metro areas is fine. Classic example of if it ain't broke, don't fix it. --Coolcaesar (talk) 05:09, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Hi all. Thanks for your improvement ideas. I agreed and made these corrections. See inclosed table. I agreed also that the older templates are beautyful and are useful in other articles. This new template deserves place here based on WP:Article size and WP:summary style, since it has the smaller size advantage. Watti Renew (talk) 17:04, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Haven't you read ANY of the points just raised above? There are other issues MORE important than the size of the table alone. Plus your table as it stands is STILL a horribly confusing mess. For example, the free-floating 1000 does not indicate that the numbers below are in thousands, which is why such tables ALWAYS use the phrase "in thousands" because it's much clearer. That's just one of over a dozen current issues with the table, but I don't have time to teach you basic design principles that most educated persons acquire by the age of 18. --Coolcaesar (talk) 12:44, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
There are still errors, fundamental layout problems, and logical issues with your box, but since I've already stated why I don't think it belongs, and due to my contempt for your attempt to cite NPOV as a rationale for including population figures from 1971, I won't help you with them. I hate to say this to someone so apparently enthusiastic, but please give up on this. --Golbez (talk) 15:23, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
“in thousands” fixed. Thanks, Coolcaesar for reminding me. WP:Civility: Editors should behave politely, calmly and reasonably, in order to keep the focus on improving the encyclopedia and to help maintain a pleasant editing environment . Please argument the other issues you refer to. Watti Renew (talk) 18:50, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
"Please argument?" How old are you? As I ALREADY stated, I don't have the time to teach you basic Web design or desktop publishing. Yes, your mistakes are THAT fundamental that I would literally have to write an entire textbook to explain what is wrong with your table. If you're only 9 or 10 years old, I apologize for being so harsh (we all were a bit obtuse at that age). If you are OLDER than 18, then you have my condolences. --Coolcaesar (talk) 13:25, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I point out that I have made many improvements in my proposal with the help of your critics that have pointed out the improvement opportunities and also some clear errors. Watti Renew (talk) 18:43, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Citing sources

According to the WP:LENGTH, WP:REF it is not needed to write the www-link twice. Is there some reason to keep these? This concerns several en wiki pages but here with over 200 references, the space lost is more. In my opinion, the ref list would be easier to read without dobble links Also I prefer to write the references without the template in the ref form. For example, in this article 141 alphabets would be in shorter 79 alphabets as following:

Population in the United States

I suggest the following addition in a new form, since 1) I find numbers more accurate data than describtive pictures. 2) One of the main reasons for the population growth is poverty. In my opinion, underminding the population growth problem serves the interests of those who want to undermind the reasons of the population growth. WP:NPOV Wikipedia does not hide the facts for any political reasons. 2) This is core data in the article since the US is the third populous country and at moment its population continues growing 3) Since the US population growth is based also in legal and illegal immigration, it shows that this problem can not really be solved only by focusing the domestic population, but needs to be considered worldwide. In my opinion, this is very urgent for the sake of the natural resourses and climate change. As Lester R. Brown wrote Improvement of the family planning is the main problem and the most urgent problem of the world. The benefit is huge and costs are minimal. There is no other place to go. There is only one planet. The following proposal takes 400 kb less space than earlier:

Population in the United States (Millions):

  • 1971: 208
  • 1980: 228 (+ 20)
  • 1990: 250 (+ 22)
  • 2000: 282 (+ 32)
  • 2004: 293 (+ 11)
  • 2008: 304 (+ 11)

Watti Renew (talk) 18:55, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

The fact that you continue to cite NPOV as a rationale for including this forces me to not take this seriously. I note you still haven't justified using 1971 instead of 1970. --Golbez (talk) 19:14, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

You have good questions. The 1971 is based on the source. The reason may be linked in the climate policy. I think of this. See also my other population template. With help of your all good questions I have now thw new proposal: Watti Renew (talk) 15:59, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Look it this way: You have to convince me.
  • Good dictionary tells more than what you are looking after. It tells all the relevant facts, data you should know and pay attention to.
  • Our generation is responsible for the population growth during 10, 20, 30 and 40 years. We can influence the future development of population and it is one of the easiest ways to reduce the energy consumption. The more people, the more difficult to reduce the use of nature resources including energy. This has importance since the use is not sustainable. Watti Renew (talk) 13:52, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Concur with Golbez. Your argument simply does not make sense. I've seen better arguments from crazy homeless people talking to themselves in the corner booth at a San Francisco McDonald's. --Coolcaesar (talk) 13:25, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
It is interesting that you gave a reason to visit San Francisco to learn better argumation. I will try to achieve the knowledge by other means. I quess that near Hollywood you may see anyone playing a theatre on the road. My key concern is in the climate change and interest in the negotiations. Since the US is a major contributor in the emissions, it is needed also for the solution. It is a multi question problem including population growth, deforestation, extreme weather, World energy resources and consumption and consumption in general. I have many concerns of the negotiations. In my opinion the population growth induced climate change will have more influence in the US that any other single issue, e.g. Hurricane Katrina part of the issue. Watti Renew (talk) 18:48, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

pictures pictures pictures

Am I the only one that was struck by the picture of the suburban home as odd? I think a picture of a suburb would be more fitting. Also, for the major city template I suggest adding at least 2 more pictures of the next 2 largest cities as many other countries have...thanks

Dillan.Murray (talk) 07:45, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

This is my proposal as part of the Talk:United States#New proposal:
WP:LENGTH: Removal and renewal of pictures from time to time enhance page value. I suggest to:
* Remove: Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, Battle of Gettysburg, New York Harbor, 1902, Abandoned farm in South Dakota and World Trade Center, since large share of history (9 out of 35) takes space from other sections that is not fair and balanced WP:UNDUE. There may be more essential pictures and tables available than the pilgrim picture, old harbour or nonexisting building. These five take 750 kb. Is removal approved?
Potential new:
  • 1) Geography and environment The national parks are internationaly valued and protected for the future generations. a photo is also included e.g. in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Article write: There are fifty-eight national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks, forests, and wilderness areas ” & The supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies is the continent's largest volcanic feature Pictures included are Satellite image of topography and a bald eagle. I suggest to select new photos from time to time of the US natural beuty and rarities. Anyone interested?
  • 2) Culture: UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a photo is also included e.g. in Ethiopia. This article has now no facts of the national heritage of the US nor UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In my opinion, some photo would deserve a place, since these are included in many other national articles proving a high international interest in the protected heritage values. Anyone interested?
  • 3) Geography and environment: Dinosaurus lived here 65 million years ago and disappeared in extinction caused by climate change (Nature (journal)). No science can rebuild lost animal species. According to the UCBerkeley humans are responsible for the ongoing extinction danger of mammals and it could be prevented. ref fi, Science (journal) Every fifth mammal is in danger of extinction ref fi Biodiversity gives high economical value. Humans are dependent on ecology. Ecology means that species influence one another. We do not have complete knowledge of these dependencies or lost future opportunities.Ecology is international, e.g. most birds migrate. Saving animals is important for human health, wealth and heritage. Article: The United States is home to more than 400 mammal, 750 bird, and 500 reptile and amphibian species.[9] The Endangered Species Act of 1973 protects threatened and endangered species and their habitats. In my opinion animals and their danger deserves more attention in the article of the US and here is also an opportunity for a new photo. 35 present pictures include only two animals:Great Seal of the United States US-GreatSeal-Obverse.svg and Haliaeetus_leucocephalus2.jpg. Anyone interested? Watti Renew (talk) 17:43, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm struck by your characterization of the location of the most significant and traumatic event to happen in the United States in the last 40 years as "a nonexisting building," and its presence in the article as "undue weight." --Golbez (talk) 19:21, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
And in answer, Watti Renew, to your refrain of "Anyone interested?": No. No one is interested. The case you make for removing and substituting images is uncompelling, at points self-contradictory, filled with factual errors, and often completely incoherent. DocKino (talk) 20:42, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree that most pictures already on the article do not need replacing, I was just suggesting addition of more. Look here for a good example: — Preceding unsigned comment added by ([[User talk:Dillan.Murray (talk) 20:10, 19 November 2011 (UTC)|talk]]) 06:00, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

With "Anyone interested?" I point out that these suggestions are an opportunity to all users excluding my edits. Based on photos in the National Geography this article could have better nature photos.
The non existing building was destroyed in the war. The key question is “How to create peace and prevent war?” Therefore in my opinion the removal of this picture would enhance page value. Watti Renew (talk) 14:23, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
This is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a blog or editorial page. Editors aren't supposed to have an agenda. The key (and only) question is "What has greatest encyclopedic value?". --William Thweatt Talk | Contribs 16:46, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

First European settlement in what is today the United States: Saint Augustine

The first European settlement in a country colonized mainly by Europeans it's a very important information that needs to be added to this article. It's widely documented that Saint Augustine was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the town it's the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United States.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Frran (talkcontribs)

There are many sources that the vikings regularly made visits (and maybe even had settlements?) in northern America. The Vikings had a colony/settlement in Greenland between ca 1000-1400. There is no information at all about this in the article. It is known that the vikings traded with the native american people. There have been nordic coins found in native american settlements and arrow heads made by native americans found in nordic countries. I think this should be mentioned somewhere, since it probably is the first meeting between Europeans and native american people. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 20 November 2011

Change the Government to Oligarchy, the United States is no longer a formal Democracy as shown in the OWS Protests. (talk) 23:54, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

No references provided for change. Jarkeld (talk) 00:00, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Error --- Under religion it has a statement that starts with 'According to a 2007 survey' and the link says it is a 2001 survey.Mylittlezach (talk) 04:08, 26 November 2011 (UTC)Mylittlezach (talk) 04:10, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Also, when you click on the subset under religion that says 'Religion in the United States', the numbers do not jive with the ones on this page.Mylittlezach (talk) 04:10, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Cheerleading a Sport

I had thought that that was still debateable. If so, stating it as fact is irresponsible. I know consensus, in the end, accounts for nothing, but was wondering if we could get one just for the hell of it... Jersey John (talk) 06:52, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

I think in the context it's in it's fine. FWIW there was a court ruling a few years back saying it wasn't a sport (in regards to Title IX) Hot Stop talk-contribs 13:42, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

The role of finance and the crash of 2008

In the section on the U.S. economy, a sentence or two should be added about the financialization of the U.S. economy and the whole shift from keynesan full-employment to economic neo-liberalism, a.k.a. the Washington Consensus. the resulting crash of 2008, and the debate that has been going on for three years now over the role of finance. This debate has roiled the economics profession, and there are some particularly harsh critiques of the failure of most economists to foresee the crash -- and not all of them are marxist critiques. See, for example, the work of Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Simon Johnson, Dean Baker, Thomas Palley, Frank Partnoy, Nomi Prins, Nouriel Roubini, and Yves Smith. This issue is one of the most important - and most intractable - that has preoccipied political debate for three years now, and the failure of political elites to find a solution has led to both right and left discontent in the streets. -- Tony Wikrent — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:46, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Misleading first sentence


I have two suggestions. The first sentence for the article about the United States is misleading. It suggests that the federal constitutional republic is comprised equally by fifty states and a federal district. This is insulting to the United States citizens who do not live in a state or district. To have the sentence discussing territories relegated to the end of the paragraph is worse, it shows their lands and homes as insignificant. I suggest to take out the last sentence, and to rewrite the first sentence to state:

"The United States of America (also called the United States, the U.S., the USA, America, and the States) is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states, a federal capital district and several territories in the Pacific ocean and the Caribbean sea. "

(There are millions of U.S. citizens who live in the U.S. but not in a state!! Ex. Puerto Rico, Guam....)

And for the section about politics I think the basic allotment of voting rights among U.S. citizens residing in the United States is not explicit. In fact, it should be the first sentence for the voting section. It is a basic constitutional requirement that it is not enough to be a citizen to vote for the President, but one must also reside in a state or D.C. Therefore, there are about 4 million or so American citizens who are not allowed to vote for the President. Or to send voting representative or senators to Congress.

Thus I propose this sentence:

"Only U.S. citizens who live in one of the fifty states may vote for the President, or to send voting representatives and senators to the federal Congress. The U.S. citizens who live in the federal district may vote for the President, but they may not send voting representatives and senators to the federal Congress. The U.S. citizens who live in one of the territories are constitutionally forbidden from voting for the President or to send voting representative and senators to the federal Congress." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tahoe530 (talkcontribs) 17:52, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Puerto Rico (along with all of the other unincorporated territories) is not part of the United States, it is a possession thereof. The population and area in the infobox do not include it, nor should they. The United States consists of fifty states, one federal district, and one incorporated territory. --Golbez (talk) 21:25, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I do agree, however, that the nature of delegates should be mentioned, as they are official members of the federal legislature, though not voting members. --Golbez (talk) 23:08, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
The "Political divisions" section currently states: "American citizens residing in the territories have many of the same rights and responsibilities as citizens residing in the states; however, they are generally exempt from federal income tax, may not vote for president, and have only nonvoting representation in the U.S. Congress." I think that already covers the valid concerns here. DocKino (talk) 08:27, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I had only searched for the term 'delegate'. Maybe that belongs more in a section on politics or elections than in political divisions? --Golbez (talk) 14:24, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Drug Policy

Can something be included in the human rights section about the federal government's stance on drugs and the treatment of users/distributors? Distributors are punished as seriously as some violent crimes. Users are generally forced to hide from the police-state that has been established to remove these people from society and contain them all within some form of monitoring (probation, prison, random screenings, job-related drug tests, etc.) Additionally, the private business sector is encouraged not hire someone who uses or has used drugs. Is this considered a federal fascism, or does the government have to execute these people for it to be considered fascist?

What the? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:57, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Title of article

Why is it "United States" and not "United States of America"? Maybe it is self explanatory in the US, but in other countries the America part is often used, too. So I assume this is the consequence of non-intentional US-centrism. (talk) 19:52, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Please go to the top of this discussion page and read the Frequently Asked Questions, this is answered therein. --Golbez (talk) 20:01, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I overlooked it. (talk) 23:12, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

US reverts

I would like to know how exactly my small edits of the United States article were "poor, undiscussed, and unreferenced"... what is your rationale?

  • First, i linked the words middle class and suburban in a caption. How was that "poor" and why would it possibly need discussion and reference?
  • Second, you reverted my simple observation about US population distribution. Look at any US population distribution map (such as this one)
    and you will see that the observation I made was simple and accurate: The population is concentrated either on the eastern half of the country or along the west coast. If you wanted me to I could find dozens of sources with that simple fact.
  • Third, I made the caption for the American football image relevant. The reader doesn't need to know that this is a picture of a quarterback looking to pass the ball. What they need to know is that American football is the most popular spectator sport in the nation, which is already mentioned in the body paragraph, therefore the caption itself needs no discussion or reference, and is certainly not "poor"

I don't want to start an edit war, so please allow me to revert my edits back, as I contend there is nothing wrong with them. If you want me to source my info on US pop density, I will, but everything else is completely fine. Cadiomals (talk) 02:19, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Cadiomals, your edits were neither preceded by any discussion nor accompanied by any substantive edit summaries, so my description of them as "undiscussed" is incontrovertible.
(1) "Middle class" and "suburban" are common (very common) dictionary terms, and linking them in an article on the United States is an obvious example of overlinking. I had this edit in mind when I wrote "poor". This article could stand less linking of plain English words; it certainly doesn't need more.
(2) First, the observation was not so simple. It also included the following claim, "The center of the contiguous United States has a relatively low population density, since the region is reserved mostly for agriculture." I had this edit in mind when I wrote "unsourced". Second, there is the question of whether the matter of geographical population concentration is significant enough to add to this summary overview article (already arguably overlong), or whether it is the sort of detail more appropriate for coverage in the topical Demographics of the United States article. I believe the latter is the case. This is the sort of point where discussion can be very helpful.
(3) First, as you state yourself, you rewrote the caption of the football image so that it provided largely redundant information. That in itself makes it a questionable edit. Second, the claim you made is overbroad and arguable. The primary text is more modest and accurate: "American football is now by several measures the most popular spectator sport." However, by total annual attendance, baseball remains the most popular spectator sport, so your caption is inapt. Third, the long-standing, now restored caption does more to help the reader by linking to two crucial terms--quarterback and pass--which are two of the main elements that distinguish American football from the forms of rugby with which many non-American readers will be more familiar. I also had this edit in mind when I wrote "poor".
In sum, the edits in question were not terrible, but they were very far from "completely fine" and reversion was the appropriate way to address them. DocKino (talk) 22:12, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you very much for replying, DocKino. I am more than open to constructive criticism. I know that I am not perfect or always right, and when someone thinks I've done something wrong I want to know how and why so I can improve myself. You have raised some good points that I never would have realized and I will definitely keep them in mind as I continue to edit articles. Your advice is much appreciated. Cadiomals (talk) 16:07, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

James Bevel

One Randy Kryn recently reverted a change I made almost three weeks ago to restore the name of James Bevel to the following sentence: "A growing civil rights movement, symbolized and led by African Americans such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Bevel used nonviolence to confront segregation and discrimination." I believe it is obvious that Bevel has no business appearing alongside Parks and King in this context, and I have reverted Kryn's edit.

A look at the history seems to indicate that Bevel has only ever appeared in this article because one person has pushed for his inclusion: Randy Kryn. A look at the article on Bevel reveals that virtually all the claims for his significance rest on two articles written by...Randy Kryn. I have examined several general-interest histories of the civil rights movement, both in my own library and via Google Books, and I have not found a single one that accords Bevel prominence, either symbolic or practical, anywhere close to Parks or King. This is not to say that Bevel did not play an important role in the CRM. It seems he did, but so did many other people. Kryn, and apparently Kryn alone, believes he somehow stands head and shoulders above all those other people to merit mention alongside Parks and King in what must be a very, very tight summary passage. One point of reference--not determinative, but certainly noteworthy--is Oxford University Press's Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present, published just two years ago. A simple word string search shows Rosa Parks on 44 pages, Roy Wilkins on 40, Stokely Carmichael on 38, Bayard Rustin on 30, John Lewis on 25, James Farmer on 24, Andrew Young on 23, Medgar Evers on 20, Whitney Young on 17...and James Bevel on 3.

Kryn is certainly entitled to his personal opinion, but again, none of the sort of high-quality sources on which we rely accord Bevel anything like the status Kryn wishes to grant him--far from it--so his name should remain out. DocKino (talk) 17:41, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Randy Kryn here. Bevel's name was included after (if I recall correctly) weeks of talk on the discussion page. DCGeist had asked me to discuss the inclusion and let others comment in order to reach a conclusion. Bevel's name was then included (please read the past discussion page).
Of course Bevel is co-equal to Dr. King in the movement, and the other major civil rights historians know it but decline to say it publicly. Please go over every aspect of Bevel's work and see if there is disagreement about the things attributable to him. Bevel, in short, as Director of Direct Action and Director of Nonviolent Education of SCLC, initiated, organized and directed the Birmingham Children's Crusade, the Selma Voting Rights Movement and the Chicago Open Housing Movement, and initiated both the March On Washington and the Selma-to-Montgomery March. This occured after Bevel organized and directed the major successes of the Nashville Student Movement, and after he and Dr. King met and agreed to work together as equals.
The 1984/1988 paper which documents this data was included in David Garrow's book "We Shall Overcome, Volume II" and was followed up on by years of futher research. The major civil rights historians (David Garrow, Taylor Branch, Adam Fairclough) know that this data is accurate, and Garrow even proofread further manuscripts. Please contact Prof. Garrow and Taylor Branch to verify each point (what Bevel initiated, what he strategized, etc.). If, after having his name included in the article for years, I would ask that a full investigation be done to confirm each and every one of these individual "claims" in order to disprove them, and, if this cannot be done, to please return his name to the article. As before, I welcome any questions on the subject. Randy Kryn 18:04 21-12-'11
As I said before on this page, the only way to remove Bevel's name and make the article accurate would be to remove the word "led" from the sentence. Rose Parks and Dr. King symbolized the movement, but, at least in Park's case, did not lead it. Dr. King and James Bevel were the first-tier leaders of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Randy Kryn 18:14 21-12-'11
I agree with DocKino here, just because Bevel may be co-equal to Dr. King doesn't warrant him being mentioned in this summary article. His importance is not really independently demonstrated (nor is it widely known, unlike 100% of the other people mentioned), and thus there's no point in including him here over the many, many other viable candidates. Can you link us to the particular archive where this discussion took place? I don't recall it. I'm also starting to be concerned about a conflict of interest here - your pushing to get Bevel mentioned here could be seen to further your own writings' success. If Bevel is truly worthy, then hopefully someone who hasn't written a book about him will include him. --Golbez (talk) 18:18, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
"Of course Bevel is co-equal to Dr. King in the movement, and the other major civil rights historians know it but decline to say it publicly." Well, that's exactly your problem right there. We rely on what high-quality sources, such as major civil rights historians, say publicly...not on what we believe they should say. Please see our WP:Verifiability policy. The day Taylor Branch describes Bevel as King's "co-equal" or anything like it, I'll support the reinclusion of his name in the article. Same for Garrow. For the moment, the available sources clearly indicate that historians simply do not consider him a "first-tier leader of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement" on or close to par with King. DocKino (talk) 18:23, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Would you be willing to contact both Branch and Garrow? Branch's phone number is public, and, although I won't relate my private talks with him here, if you ask him that question you may get a surprising answer. Incidently, DCGeist himself added Bevel's name, and then added him again at one point where it was removed for a few days. Randy Kryn 18:30 21-12-'11
Randy, I keep mentioning our WP:Verifiability policy for a reason. Please do read it. We can have all the conversations with Branch and Garrow we like and it won't make a difference. We are obliged to base our content on what has been published in reliable sources. Once again, those sources published to date do not treat Bevel as on anything like the level of King. DocKino (talk) 18:45, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
My 1984 paper with a 1988 addendum on Bevel was published by David Garrow in 1989 in his book "We Shall Overcome, Volume II". He would not have published it if it were not accurate. Since Bevel has been included in this article for a long time based on this reliable source paper, as well as my other work, I would think that removing his name would only occur if those papers can find published arguments which prove that my main points are false, publications which do not exist. Just within the last month Warren Goldstein of the University of Hartford cited Bevel on his C-Span lecture on Birmingham, saying that since Dr. King had no major success between 1956 and 1963 he would have been basically finished as a major civil rights leader if it wasn't for James Bevel's Children's Crusade. Randy Kryn 19:23 21-12-'11
I'll make this my last comment unless and until other editors weigh in. The point is not whether the information you present in your 1984/88 article is "accurate" or "false". The point is how that information is interpreted, whether through discussion or omission, by multiple high-quality sources in the field. It is abundantly clear that those sources do not regard Bevel as nearly as important as you do. I refer you back to Oxford University Press's Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present. I observe again that neither Branch nor Garrow has written anything anywhere that might be understood to express the view that Bevel was even nearly as important as King and/or far more important than any other civil right movement leader besides King. It may or may not be true that your view of the history should prevail; what is incontrovertible is that it does not prevail in, and is in fact contraindicated by, the existing published literature examined at large. DocKino (talk) 20:14, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Other high-quality sources in the field likely shy away from full discussion (in one place and not, as it is now, spread out through their published material) of Bevel's overall place in the movement because it would propel Bevel's history to an equal standing with Dr. King (although the mention in the article just includes the terminology "such as" and not "co-equal"). For example, in Taylor Branch's At Canaan's Edge he quotes King during a moment of anger during the Memphis actions in 1968, which Bevel opposed: "He confronted Bevel, who had been a mentor to Jackson and Young, as a genius who flummoxed his own heart. 'You don't like to work on anything that isn't your own idea,' said King. 'Bevel, I think you own me one.'" (thus acknowledging that Bevel initiated and organized all of the other movements he worked on). As for books, Bevel's name isn't mentioned once in Tom Brokaw's book on the 1960s, he is not on the walk of fame at the King Memorial in Atlanta, and is rarely mentioned in many of the overall "Who's Who" type books categorizing the era. This is one of the things that make the study of Bevel's career so interesting - that he has not been given the proper credit. I will add more references from Branch, Garrow, etc. into the Bevel page after the holidays (and happy Festivus!). I, too, hope more editors chime in. Thanks for the discussion, and in time I hope that this decision is reversed. Randy Kryn 20:42 23-12-'11

Obama Administration Reforms

Under "Contemporary era", the article states simply that "Major health care and financial system reforms were enacted in 2010." I think having just that sentence implies that the reforms were universally considered positive ones. I feel that the article should go into somewhat further detail about these enactments, and mention the controversy they have generated. Thoughts? Philpill691 (talk) 20:29, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Almost every bill and administration cause controversy, so I don't think there's any reason to single out particular ones unless they're particularly egregious, which I suppose is the justification for including the controversy over the Iraq War. If people want to know more they can go to the article on the reforms or the administration. This article shouldn't go into detail about any law, being a summary article. If anything, the PATRIOT Act is far more reaching than the above, and it's not even mentioned. --Golbez (talk) 23:50, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

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I'd like to briefly mention—as many articles of other countries do—the United States' High Development Index in the introduction, as an addendum to the economy paragraph. Any reasons not to—anyone?--AndresTM (talk) 22:45, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Visual revisions

"Why did you make a change (a) without discussion and (b) without comment that (c) lowers the visual quality of the article?"

All right, then:

Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg -> Flag of the United States.svg

because it is an updated version of the flag (and it's the same file used for the Flag of the United States page), and

USA orthographic.svg -> United States (orthographic projection).svg

because as cleaner as the first map is, the lack of the Great Lakes (as if the area was all land) makes the map misleading. Raistuumum (talk) 03:56, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

You went a little overboard with this one, DocKino. I think you just needed to make your daily round of reverts. He didn't "lower the visual quality of the article," he was trying to improve it in good faith. And not every little insignificant revision to an article must be discussed in the talk page to meet your approval first. You're probably going to find some highly specific bordering on trivial reason why you're right and the old images should be kept, but you still sound incredibly arrogant saying "no, its you who has to answer the question." Cadiomals (talk) 04:18, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Other names

Isn't the US of A a name some people call it? Tommy2215 (talk) 15:17, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Colloquially, sure, but we could easily list fifty common colloquial names. At a certain point we have to stick with the absolutely most common ones. I could even suggest removing "The States", but I've heard a lot more people say something like "I'm going back to the States" than, say, "going back to the US of A." No one uses that in actual conversation. Maybe poetically. :P --Golbez (talk) 15:24, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Very few people use "US of A" and mostly joke about it due to hearing from the movie Borat. Whatever we have now is fine and no more.--Maydin37622 (talk) 05:00, 17 January 2012 (UTC)


The U.S. is de facto a secular country. We are culturally a Christian nation due to ~80% (249 million) Americans identified as Christians as of 2011, of which the U.S. has the world's largest Christian population. Our federal/state holidays are both secular and Christians (Good Friday/Christmas Day). All of our presidents and some of our founding fathers were Christians. All of this should be mentioned in the article.--Maydin37622 (talk) 05:04, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Most of that which is relevant to this article is mentioned already in some form or another. That said, you have the definitions of de facto and de jure mixed up. The United States is de jure secular, as that is established within our legal principles, such as the Bill of Rights. de facto comes from the fact that the overwhelming majority of the population is Christian, etc. Though even that isn't really accurate since secular does not mean atheist or not Christian. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 05:11, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I think it should definitely be mentioned that 249 million Americans live in the United States which is rougly 80% of the population. "In God We Trust" is our national motto. How could government be 100% secular when "God" is on our currency and motto, and Christian high holidays as public holidays, and presidents swear on bible?!

While it is true that a majority of the US population is Christian, our founding fathers established this country as officially secular through the first amendment, which contains the following words: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Secular means the absence of religion or religious influences in government. While most of our politicians identify as some form of Christian by law it is not supposed to affect their policy-making. However, it often does. That doesn't change official law, though. Cadiomals (talk) 17:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd also point out that the 80% figure (or rather 78.4%) is already in the article. I'd suggest reading the existing religion section and coming up with concrete suggestions for content missing from the article to discuss before continuing this conversation further. As an aside, presidents swearing on the bible is another example of something that does not make the US government not secular. Swearing on the bible is a personal choice made by presidents, they are not legally mandated or required to do so. The US recently had a congressmen use a Qu'ran for the photo-reenactment of the swear in (the actual swear never has any books). He used a Qu'ran owned by Thomas Jefferson. Again, secular does not mean atheist. If politicians, by personal choice, wish to use a holy book during a swear in ceremony, they are allowed to do so. The Constitution certainly does not establish the use of a bible or any holy text as part of the presidential swear-in ceremony. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 17:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)


The article should mention the importance of French language in the United States. French is after Spanish language the most taught and widely used language. French language is spoken as an official language by our neighbor in north. French language is also available in many products and certain other things. --Maydin37622 (talk) 16:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Actually, French is not just after Spanish, in fact it's pretty far behind. According to US Census statistics from 2009 on languages spoken at home, English only is at 228.7M, Spanish at 35.5M, Chinese at 2.6M, Tagalog at 1.5M, and French at 1.3M. By speakers, Chinese and Tagalog are more important, with Vietnamese not far behind French. Where Spanish speakers account for more than 12% of the population, French accounts for less than 0.5%. Even if we include French Creole, French still falls behind Chinese and falls below 0.7% of the population. French is already mentioned in the language section of the article. What our neighbors to the north speak is irrelevant to the content of this article unless a reliable source can be shown saying that has a major impact within our borders. As for products, again, a reliable source would be needed to show that French is used much higher than other languages on products. Remember that a lot gets imported from Mexico, Japan, China, Korea, etc., and then is sold with the languages of the originating countries. It isn't hard to find many other languages on products either, such as Hebrew. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 17:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
And keep in mind that the main reason you see French used on products is so they can be sold easily in both the US and Canada. --Golbez (talk) 17:46, 17 January 2012 (UTC)


Why the demonym in the infobox says "american" since America is a whole continent including more countries? That's a bit racist. (talk) 20:16, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

America is at least two and maybe three (Central America?) continents, but there are African Americans and Chinese Americans and all sorts of other Americans. What is racist? What does race have to do with it? Carptrash (talk) 20:22, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
If only there were an article that explained this. --Golbez (talk) 20:52, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
You can use "United Statesian", but when have anyone ever used that in normal conversation? Let's just use "American" for now. Agent 78787 (talk) 01:30, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually, you can't use "United Statesian". That's simply not English, and does not appear in any standard American English dictionary. DocKino (talk) 01:34, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Everyone knows "American" refers to the United States. It is extremely rare for "American" to be used in reference to people from North or South America. What else could you use? Certainly not "United Statesian" or whatever, and "United States of American" is simply too long. That's why it was shortened to simply "American." Canadians, Mexicans, Brazilians, etc. have their own demonym and are never referred to alternatively as "Americans" even though they come from the American supercontinent. Also, there is nothing remotely racist about any of this. Cadiomals (talk) 02:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
It's all a bit clumsy unfortunately. Obviously people from the USA are known as Americans. That's unarguable. But we also have the Organization of American States. Its members are the thirty-five independent states of the American Continent. And there's that word again! When I saw The Motorcycle Diaries (film), about Che Guevara and Alberto Granado, it was in Spanish with English subtitles, and the protagonists routinely spoke of "the American people". They meant citizens of the continent, not people from the USA. So, one has to depend on context. HiLo48 (talk) 02:15, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

The context here is "as used in wikipedia." So . . . . . . . ..... ?
I once saw a Canadian documentary about what it means to be a Canadian, and it turned out that Canadians had little in common except (and I quote) "We are not Americans." They were pretty clear what the term means. Carptrash (talk) 06:55, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

What about 'merican. I don't think that has any confusion.

We aren't here to make up new terms or push terms not commonly used. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 03:53, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't think it is racist whatsoever. Calling somebody who lives in Canada a Canadian isn't racist, is it? Though, yes, there are both of the Americas, North and South, it is typical for one who is referring to people of the United States to say "Americans." Other countries have their own demonyms, and they use them, instead of referring to themselves as Americans because they live in the Americas. Canadians and Mexicans are Canadians and Mexicans, and though they could be called Americans as well, they are not. Simple as that. If it really matters, which I don't think that it does, then you should see the person who decided that people in the USA would be called Americans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kevorm (talkcontribs) 03:17, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Proposed new table for "Demographics"

Somedifferentstuff substituted a vastly expanded race and ethnicity table for the existing one in the Demographics section. DocKino reverted on the following grounds: "That massive level of detail is inappropriate for this summary overview article. You need to make your case in Talk and see if there's any support for altering the well-established table."

While SDS's proposed table offers worthwhile information—it essentially duplicates a table we feature in the topical article Demographics of the United States—I concur with DocKino's assessment that it drills down to a level of detail that isn't suitable for this general country-level article. Related considerations are the very large size of this article—which compels us to always be looking to restrain growth—and the existing density of media (in which I include tables) in the specific section in question—which argues against making the section even more media-heavy. I believe the article is better off with the status quo and without this new table. Comments from all are invited.—DCGeist (talk) 11:04, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

The section had 2 pieces of media before and 2 pieces of media after. My changes don't make the article that much larger. The table on the LEFT is the table that was in the article. The table on the RIGHT is the table I added. The old table is misleading because it says the white population is 72.4%, not clarifying for "Hispanic or Latino". The table on the right, taken from the article, Demographics of the United States, clarifies this. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 10:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

The left table with percentage only is enough. We do not need to get in more details, which it seems very confusing. I would like to update the list of languages spoken/understood as of 2010. --Maydin37622 (talk) 16:40, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Race/Ethnicity (2010)[3]
White 72.4%
Black/African American 12.6%
Asian 4.8%
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.9%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander 0.2%
Other 6.2%
Two or more races 2.9%
Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 16.3%
Race / Ethnicity Number Percentage of
U.S. population[4]
Not Hispanic or Latino 258,267,944 83.7 %
White 196,817,552 63.7 %
Black or African American 37,685,848 12.2 %
Asian 14,465,124 4.7 %
Two or more races 5,966,481 1.9 %
American Indian or Alaska Native 2,247,098 0.7 %
Some other race 604,265 0.2 %
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 481,576 0.2 %
Hispanic or Latino 50,477,594 16.3 %
White 26,735,713 8.7 %
Some other race 18,503,103 6.0 %
Two or more races 3,042,592 1.0 %
Black or African American 1,243,471 0.4 %
American Indian or Alaska Native 685,150 0.2 %
Asian 209,128 0.1 %
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 58,437 0.0 %
Total 308,745,538 100.0%

Excellent tables. I prefer the left one more, because we do not need to get in details of actual numbers. Percentage is enough.

I agree, the left table is enough. Cadiomals (talk) 16:56, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

POV tag

Somedifferentstuff has tagged this section as POV and we are told to come here; I assume this is the section referred to, but the consensus appears pretty strong to keep the more basic table. I strongly urge SDS to elaborate on why the tag exists quickly, or it will be removed. --Golbez (talk) 22:37, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Leave the tag up until we get more opinions. As you can see above, no one has made a strong case as to why the article should use a table that is misleading. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 00:10, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
That is an insufficient response.
(1) You placed a tag that raises the issue of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, yet you have made no case that the existing table is biased or otherwise nonneutral.
(2) You now claim that the existing table is "misleading," yet you have made no case that this is so.
(3) You prefer the far more detailed table, when there exists a topical article entirely suitable for that level of detail. Five editors have already stated that they favor the exiting table; no one has supported your position.
Given the foregoing, there is no need for the tag or to solicit more input, unless you have something new to add.—DCGeist (talk) 01:48, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I clearly showed in my opening statement that the table violates NPOV by being misleading. Please address that issue directly. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 09:09, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
    • You have yet to actually indicate what is not neutral about the table. Saying it's misleading is not sufficient, if that's the case then use a fact tag (which would be removed, because the numbers match the primary source). --Golbez (talk) 19:38, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

While I prefer the table on the right, for its precision, I do not necessarily find the table on the left "misleading". The interested reader will have to delve a little more for accuracy, mostly as pertains to the issue of "white" versus Hispanic. All that being said, while I prefer the table on the right, I do not feel so strongly that I would carry on a protracted debate. Boneyard90 (talk) 00:09, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

The POV linking of article titles to other articles, and "the States".

I included a source comment next to the article title synonyms to attempt to warn off the continued linking of the article titles to other articles, e.g. the (POV) linking of America over to the article for Americas, referring to WP:CONTEXTLINK.

Also included the definite article the in the bolded article synonym "the States" (as opposed to "States") as the definite article is necessary semantically for this informal term to refer to the United States.

Both were reverted as "plainly misguided". The only guidance I had was the MOS, so I invite comment on the matters. – RVJ (talk) 03:25, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

By "good faith but plainly misguided addition to lead section", I was referring to Cloudblazer's large, undiscussed, nonsummary addition (see thread below), not your small and focused changes. As for those:
Your point about not linking bolded title synonyms has been de facto accepted, I believe--the link has been removed from the bolded "America". There's no need for the long, inline comment--especially since no explicit consensus was reached.
The phrase "the States" no more needs a bolded the than do the phrases "the United States", "the U.S.", or "the USA", or, for that matter "the United States of America". Let's stay consistent and just bold the substance. DocKino (talk) 05:20, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah, very well then. As for the States, I submit that "the" is part of the substance. This is supported: [10] [11][12][13]RVJ (talk) 08:43, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Pretty compelling. I've moved onto the fence. Anyone else want to weigh in here? DocKino (talk) 09:12, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Lead section

User:Cloudblazer wishes to add the following to the lead section:

However, the recent financial crisis of 2008-09 has, as a Pew Research article put it, "...has turned the spotlight to America’s declining economic prowess. Once the fearsome colossus, many now see the financially-strapped U.S. as a great power in decline."[5] A recent CIA report [6] [7] that was published before the financial crisis suggested that United States dominance on the world stage could come to a close as soon as 2020; indicative that United States power is in a steep decline.[8][9][10]

I reverted the addition. The lead section is meant to "summarize the body of the article with appropriate weight" (WP:LEAD); the addition of this material in this case clearly undermines that aim, rather than enhances it. The addition was also made in evident ignorance of the frequently voiced concerns about the article's length. As a more general point, this is a Good Article, and any sort of major addition to or alteration of the lead should only take place after clear discussion and achievement of consensus. DocKino (talk) 05:12, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Fonduelazone's jingoistic edit summary notwithstanding, yes, that is way too much for the lead, and is frankly a bit of crystal ball gazing. If it belongs anywhere, it's in the article on the economy, definitely not this summary article. --Golbez (talk) 05:25, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Let me quote something to you. "It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies." From the what should be in a lead section. I do believe the Financial crisis is somewhat covered in another part of the article, so it follows the guidelines. The statements are well sourced and documented; I fail to understand your problem with it. I don't consider it "crystal ball gazing" either. I mean the United States is heading the way of the British empire albeit much quicker then the former did. many military conflicts The US has made can uncannily be compared to similar actions the British empire took in the waning years of its supremacy. I believe the US will remain a dominant player on the world stage for the foreseeable future, but this notion/fantasy that we are still a superpower is unsettling. The power that has for a long time centered in the west is moving to other countries, China, India, Brazil. These are the superpowers of the future. I have not met anyone else in my field who would deny that power shift. Who are the largest creditor nations in the world? Japan, China, Asian Countries. The largest(massive) debtor nation? United States at a whopping 15+trillion. Study some history lads, what empire in history do you know has maintained the height of its power after its economy collapsed and its main body of government entered huge debts? That's why the Roman Empire collapsed. It could no longer afford to maintain its massive empire so its tax revenue fell crushing the economy of mainland Rome which for over a thousand years had relied on that income and large cheap imports from its colonies. I don't think the US is going to collapse, but it should be included that its massive power is fading. It is no longer the "leading culture, economic, political force" in the world. Its government is in the process of coming to terms with this reality. Give me your facts boys(or girls) that its not true the US super/hyper power is not fading. FACTS. or if your predictable argument is going to be it doesn't belong in the lead section(refer to my first statements) please tell me where it should go. Cloudblazer (talk) 15:02, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

The argument is not over whether or not the U.S. "super/hyper power is fading." The argument is over whether that prognostication belongs in this article, let alone in its lead section. Per WP:DUE, WP:LENGTH, WP:LEAD, and WP:CRYSTALBALL, it does not. DocKino (talk) 15:28, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

The USA is still the worlds sole superpower. The most powerful nation on earth by by far. There are several ways to show this.

- The US economy is by far the largest in the world. It is 3 times larger than China. - The USA still has the worlds largest manufacturing idustry. 20% of the world’s manufacturing output is from the USA. - The USA spends more on the military than the next 17 nations COMBINED. - The US Navy is larger than the next 13 navies COMBINED. - The US Navy has 11 supercarriers. - The US military has by far the best technollogy in the world. - The USA has 8,500 nuclear weapons. - There are 828 cars per 1,000 people. The highest in the world(Monaco isn't a country).

Who knows how long US supremacy will last. The USA and China will be the two superpowers in the 20th century. Moonshot926 (talk) 17:45, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Er, Monaco would like a word with you, as they are very much a country. --Golbez (talk) 17:50, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
And which century? But agree with DocKino, the prognostication does not belong in the Lead. Boneyard90 (talk) 17:56, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

it has no need to be the single superpower. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

That "need" is irrelevant. What "should be", "might be", or even what "will be" are all irrelevant. This is not an editorial, it's an encyclopedia article. It describes what is. When some aspect of the country's status changes, then this article should be changed accordingly. Boneyard90 (talk) 03:04, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

link missing

There is no link to Politics of the United States at the beginning of the section "Government, elections, and politics" -- (talk) 16:29, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

It's right there at the beginning of the subsection "Parties and ideology". DocKino (talk) 16:56, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Basketball as 'American'

It should be noted that basketball while invented in the states was done so by a Canadian and the completely, America born label, as suggested in this article, is misleading.

Taken from the NBA's website:

The roots of basketball are firmly embedded in Canada. In 1891 the game was invented by Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian who hailed from Almonte, Ontario. Having been given the task of creating a new indoor sports activity while conducting a physical education class at the international YMCA training school in Springfield, Massachusetts, Naismith designed what we now call basketball. The original game involved 13 rules and a peach basket hung ten feet above the floor. Even though it took place in the United States, at least ten of the players who participated in the first-ever game were university students from Quebec. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 1 February 2012

Under the sports section Basketball is labeled as an American invention. However, it should be noted that basketball while invented in the states was done so by a Canadian and the completely, America born label, as suggested in this article, is misleading.

Taken from the NBA's website:

The roots of basketball are firmly embedded in Canada. In 1891 the game was invented by Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian who hailed from Almonte, Ontario. Having been given the task of creating a new indoor sports activity while conducting a physical education class at the international YMCA training school in Springfield, Massachusetts, Naismith designed what we now call basketball. The original game involved 13 rules and a peach basket hung ten feet above the floor. Even though it took place in the United States, at least ten of the players who participated in the first-ever game were university students from Quebec. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 1 February 2012 (UTC) (talk) 23:36, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

This has been raised before, and I've come to believe this is a worthy point. While we don't have the room to go into all the details, I've edited to address the basic issue. It's good to have Naismith's name in our article: he is surely the most historically significant Canadian American, just surpassing Young Neil and P.J.DCGeist (talk) 23:48, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Already done Celestra (talk) 06:26, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 February 2012

The United States is a Representative Democratic Republic. The United States is not a Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic. To be a Constitutional Republic, the people would derive their rights from the Constitution. We do not. The Constitution of the United States was created to protect and codify the unalienable rights of the people. To be a Presidential republic, the power would be required to be mainly in the Executive branch when, in fact, in the U.S. the Legislative branch is the most powerful. To be a Federal Republic, the power would rest solely in a Federal government, while in the U.S. the Federal Government is co-equal to that of the States, some of which are already independent republics. This is poli-sci 101. I would be happy to provide cites for this, but any first year poli-sci text book will bear me out.

Thank you for all that you do and for your great work here on Wikipedia!!! Regards.

Rdmaclean (talk) 08:41, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made.--Ankit Maity Talk|Contribs 11:34, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Note This Peer Review

I started by adding some references.

Any thoughts?

--Iankap99 (talk) 07:56, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Usa sole superpower, where?

EU has largest Gdp in the world,stronger currency too. EU owns the largest conventional military in the world and a nuclear stockpile able to cancel Earth.So where is this souperpower named usa? Eu compared is an empire.In Wiki enn all Us apeople are in and Cia Propaganda that support wiki doesn't tell reality. Usa today in EU are considered 2nd world...superpower hehehehe You are strongly complexed vs EU. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:46, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

The EU isn't a country. Midnite Joker (talk) 14:51, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Text of the Peer Review

United States

Previous peer review

* Further information

This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because it is a very high volume article that is close to FA, please be as thorough as possible.

Thanks, Iankap99 (talk) 00:59, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Comments by Kumioko First I want to say thanks for submitting this. I agree its very important both to the project and because its extremely high hit amount. Although it is currently an A class article, IMO it needs quite a bit of work and probably isn't A class quality but its all fixable and this is a good start. Here are some of my observations so far and I will read through in more detail in the next couple days. I hope you don't mind but as I read through I am going to fix some obvious small things.

  1. The lede is a bit too long and should be trimmed
  2. The lede should not contain any inline citations. Inline citations should be in the article body that the lede summerizes
  3. There are a few places that appear to be missing inline citations
  4. I think we should update the numbers mentioned for the population statistics to reflect the new 2010 census
  5. A few of the references appear to be dead links. See here
  6. IMO we have a few too many pictures. I think if we try and limit to 1 or 2 pictures in each section, that represent that section, that would be best. There are currently 5 different maps of the US being used in different ways and I think is too many of the same thing.
  7. The template in the demographics section needs to be updated with the new 2010 census results and contains a dead link
  8. IMO the Culture section should come after the history section and before the Government and political sections
  9. I think we should combine the information found in the government/election subsection regarding politics and elections and move it to the Political divisions section.
  10. I ran it through AWB and didn't find anything.
  11. I ran it through the peer reviewer and nothing came up
  12. There are no Disambiguous links
  13. The article size is 169 KB so its extremely big. Eliminating some uneeded images will help but we might need to do some trimming of content as well.
  14. The template include size has been exceeded so some templates are not being displayed.
  15. I think we should move some of the see also's to the see also section and or incorporate the "Main article" links that appear in many of the sections into links within the sections somehow. There are so many its very distracting from the content of the article IMO.
  16. I also think the article is a see of blue links with many things being links 3 or more times, sometimes in the same sections. --Kumioko (talk) 22:51, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
I went ahead and made some changes but there are a lot left to be made before this article is FA quality IMO.
6) I took out some of the images and moved some others around to display a little better and not have so many on the right. We may need to drop a couple more still but its a bit batter now.
15)I trimmed out some of the hat notes. There is no need to add hatnotes if the link already appears in the section. Plus eliminating some of the hatnotes will help fix the template error and reduce the page render size.
16) I took out some of the common links for things like apple pie and baseball that nearly anyone in the world would know but they were restored. I know that it is disappointing to not link to everything but there are several reasons why we don't need to link to every conceivable article.
  1. The article page size is huge and we need to trim it down. Quite a bit actually.
  2. There are so many templates on the article that it is not rendering correctly and exceeds the maximum number of templates allowd on an article.
  3. The sea of blue links to articles that have a limited relationship to the topic are distracting and take away from the links that are meaningful.
Also here are some additional things that I think need to be addressed.
  1. Some of the sentences are choppy and need to be cleaned up
  2. We need to do a thourough copyedit and fix all the prose, grammer and punctuation issues.
  3. IMO some of the information is a bit out of sequence and should be restructured to be a little more clear to the reader. For example IMO Culture should come after History and before the government section.
  4. I recommend we add the Measurement sysems to the Science and technology section
  5. I recommend combining the Parties, ideology, and politics subsection of Govnerment and elections with Political divisions section and then rename the Govnerment and elections section to just Govnerment.
  6. I recommend adding the Language, Education and religion sections under Culture.
  7. IMO the History section is too long and too comprehensive for a general article about the US. I recommend we trim out some of the content of the us History section from this article and add it to the History of the United States article.
  8. I recommend separating the Foreign relations and military into 2 different sections. These really don't belong together IMO.--Kumioko (talk) 20:57, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Missed this peer review, but if I could add some quick comments, Kumioko above noted the article was too long, and the article needed restructuring. It needs restructuring definitely, but I think it'd be much better to look to combining sections rather than splitting, as with the current Foreign relations and military section. It's easy to present them together, as there is overlap, which comes naturally with the United State's superpower status. Obviously not all foreign relations of the US are military, but if it's split than things will need to be repeated in two sections, not the most efficient use of space. CMD (talk) 15:15, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Territories - part of the U.S.?

Aren't territories part of the U.S.? The people who live in U.S. territories are U.S. citizens by birth, so how are they not part of the U.S.? Rklawton (talk) 17:04, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

The CIA's World Fact Book includes possessions as part of its description of the United States.[14] Is there some other source that says possessions aren't part of the U.S.? Keep in mind that "Republic of the United States of America" redirects to this article, so it's not appropriate to narrowly define the U.S. for the purposes of this article as "states only". Rklawton (talk) 17:09, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
"Republic of the United States of America" does not redirect to this article. In fact, nothing exists there and never has, according to the deletion log. Not that I see the relevance anyways. The CIA World Factbook entry also does not include the posessions as part of its description. For example, in geography under area, it specifically limits its description to the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The only area where I see the possessions listed is under "Dependent Areas," which the CIA defines as "nonindependent entities associated in some way with a particular independent state." That doesn't make them part of the associated country, but, well, associated with that country. Bermuda is listed for the UK, but is a British Overseas Territory, meaning it is not part of the United Kingdom but does fall under its jurisdiction. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 17:33, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
The first lines at the top of the CIA article read: "Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. " So not only is mention of America's possessions in the article, it's in the second sentence. Rklawton (talk) 17:55, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Apparently I forgot how I navigated to this article. Regardless, the article says it's about a country, and the territories are unquestionably part of the country as they fall under its laws. The fact that Wikipedia *doesn't* have a separate article for some over-arching entity that includes both the U.S. and its territories should also serve as a strong indication that these territories (or possessions) are part of the U.S. - as clearly they aren't some other separate legal entity with their own seats at the table of world governments. Rklawton (talk) 17:55, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Next, the demonym is "American" - a label that applies to anyone born in American Samoa, American Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and more. Their citizenship is automatic - they are part of this country, and this article is about a country rather than just a segment of a country. As such, we should include mention of the *whole* country and not exclude significant minorities. Rklawton (talk) 17:55, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Now, I've presented a source that shows possessions to be part of the U.S. Unless you have a source that indicates my source isn't reliable or you have a source that contradicts my source, then you should concede the point. Rklawton (talk) 17:50, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Wow, what a deeply specious argument you're making from the Factbook. Who cares if the Factbook mentions territories? The point is that it never says they are part of the United States. Only incorporated territories are part of the United States, and the only incorporated territory is Palmyra Atoll. The whole point of an unincorporated territory is that it is not part of the United States. People from U.S. territories are United States citizens because of congressional statute, not constitutional right. See Balzac v. Porto Rico. If Puerto Rico were part of the United States, people born there would have the constitutional right to citizenship. The Court ruled that they did not have such a right, and, so far as I'm aware, that decision has never been overturned. Puerto Rico is not part of the United States. It is a possession of the United States whose inhabitants have been granted U.S. citizenship by Congress. ETA: territories are, of course, under the jurisdiction of congress, but they do not "fall under US laws" in the sense that all constitutional rights automatically apply there. Some do, and some don't, and for the ones that don't, it's up to Congress to decide whether to extend them to the territories. The situation of Puerto Rico today is a completely different situation from the situation that, say, Alaska had in 1958, where it was an incorporated territory and fully considered part of the United States. john k (talk) 18:04, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Additional source: 18 USC § 2340 - DEFINITIONS:
"(3) “United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States."[15] Rklawton (talk) 18:10, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

You cite the Factbook, but what about the fact that it does not include the territories' population and area in the country's? The territories are also listed there as "dependent areas". They are dependent on the U.S., not part of it. There is a difference between incorporated territories like Arizona Territory and Palmyra Atoll, and unincorporated territories like the Virgin Islands and the Philippines. Man and Jersey and Gibraltar are not part of the UK, and Puerto Rico and Guam are not part of the U.S. That the U.S. code supplies a definition for the United States is presumably because most of the laws made in Washington apply to the territories, but obviously not all, nor do all constitutional provisions automatically apply like they would for an incorporated territory. It's easier to specify the laws that do not apply to the territories than the ones that do.

Finally, quoting from Political status of Puerto Rico: "... according to the U.S. Supreme Court's Insular Cases [Puerto Rico] is "a territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a part of the United States."" --Golbez (talk) 21:43, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Your link to the US legal code only defines what the term "United States" means within the context of Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113C. It does not apply to any other chapters, let alone serve as a legal definition of the term or the status of possessions. Essentially, the writers of that law decided to use shorthand and say "United States" when they meant "anywhere within US jurisdiction," and so defined it as such for their purposes. To state this another way, there is a difference between owning something (or possessing it, as in a possession) and it being a actual part of you. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 22:06, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposed changes to "Transportation"

Wikih101 recently made some provisional changes to the Transportation section. While a couple were useful, several made improper use of the presented sources and introduced poor grammar. Here's a summary of the ones that have been reverted or substantially altered:

  • The editor wished to alter the statement "Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles" to "Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles but during the [sic] recent years, this has significantly shifted to public transportation." The source brought in establishes nothing of the kind, only that "Public transportation ridership in the third quarter of 2011 increased 2 percent over 2010." It says not a word about any supposed shift away from automobiles to mass transit. The change has been reverted.
  • The properly styled phrase "drivers and nondrivers" was changed to the poorly styled "drivers and non drivers." The change has been reverted.
  • The well-sourced passage "Mass transit accounts for 9% of total U.S. work trips, ranking last in a survey of 17 countries" was cut without discussion. The change has been reverted.
  • The editor wished to alter the statement "While transport of goods by rail is extensive, relatively few people use rail to travel" to "While Rail transportation in the United States is extensive, the railway system is mostly used for transporting cargo, with increasing ridership on passenger trains like Amtrak." This introduced the unnecessary and ungainly repetition of "transportation"/"transporting", made the last clause a grammatical non sequitur, and brought in an unsupported (and ungrammatical) claim about trains "like" Amtrak. The passage has been revised and corrected to focus on the verifiable growth in Amtrak ridership.
  • The editor wished to alter the statement "Light rail development has increased in recent years but, like high speed rail, is below European levels" to "Light rail development has increased in recent years but like high speed rail, it is below some European nations." The change was unwarranted (the source refers to "Europe", not some portion of it) and, again, introduced bad grammar. The change has been reverted.—DCGeist (talk) 15:50, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

left wing dribble

Does the blatant anti-American left leaning tone to this article (lifted from Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States) need be mentioned? I often wonder, why is there no mention of Canadians or Mexicans displacing natives under their articles? Were those countries not settled by the same europeans? Wiki has enervated itself with such nonsensical political posturing. It's a joke now.--MarioSmario (talk) 17:14, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Have you read Canada or Mexico? Both cover the "displacement" of natives in significant detail, similar to this article. --Daniel 17:19, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, but they mention it was taking place in the United States, too. Why not mention Canada and Mexico (and Australian and New Zealand) in the United States article? Why must Canada's crimes against humanity be somehow lessened by the reference the same thing occurred in the US? Keep trying, comrade.--MarioSmario (talk) 22:01, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Sounds like your problem is with the Canada article, not this one. Unless your real problem is with the truth...—DCGeist (talk) 22:45, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
I gotta say, the criticism doesn't make much sense. I thought this article is pretty balanced on treatment of Native Americans. If anything, it doesn't go into enough detail. Have you looked at the Mexico article? It devotes a good chunk to the Conquest, and there are several related articles devoted to the Conquest and subsequent holocaust. Likewise, Australia has loads of articles devoted to the various massacres of the aborigines. Perhaps if you point out a specific line or section? Boneyard90 (talk) 23:23, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
"Comrade?" Is this a bad thing? Carptrash (talk) 03:18, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
If they dribble, then yes. HiLo48 (talk) 05:07, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Our blocked colleague presumably meant "drivel". I note this because I'm part of the vast anti-U.S. conspiracy that seeks to discredit the true American patriots at any cost. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a black helicopter to catch, mate. —David Levy 05:15, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
This page sure gets some strange comments.Boneyard90 (talk) 06:44, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Folks who characterize Howard Zinn as " blatant anti-American" and then toss around "comrades" lose credibility with me quickly. As do those who dribble. Well, except some. Carptrash (talk) 16:29, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Update on education

The article reads:

Of Americans twenty-five and older, 84.6% graduated from high school, 52.6% attended some college, 27.2% earned a bachelor's degree, and 9.6% earned graduate degrees

but the data is from 2003.

It must be updated: here is a link to 2011 data: [16]

Skydeepblue (talk) 09:34, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Anyone have more information/better explanation/sources?

I was just reading the article and I came across this sentence in the Cold War section:

"Resisting leftist land and income redistribution projects around the world, the United States often supported authoritarian governments."

I get the second part of the sentence but what in the world is the first part about? There's no explanation, links, or sources. What projects? Whose? In what way were they resisted? It's just a generally unhelpful sentence. Can anyone fill it out or provide a link to a more explanatory page? Or a book? Something? (talk) 21:50, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Problems with Revolutionary War section

War went from 1775-1783, not 1781. Battles near my house in Charleston, SC occured in late 1782. Thanks :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

The Map

Last year it appears that someone proposed adding Puerto Rico to the green area of the map on this page (it appears in gray). looks like there was a consensus but no one had the technical know how to make the changes. Anyone want to change it (or oppose the change?)MonteMiz (talk) 03:20, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Puerto Rico is not part of the United States. If we added it as a third color signifying possessions, we would also have to add the USVI, Guam, etc. I don't think it should be added; its stats aren't included in the infobox, it shouldn't be included in the map. --Golbez (talk) 05:41, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
I concur with Golbez's analysis and conclusion.—DCGeist (talk) 19:43, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

United stes of America must be used in the title?

These pages are not made for domestic use mainly, they know what USA is. The expression united states are a non clear expression and the complete name must be used, United states of America. There are a large number of united states around the world. The problem is that in the case of USA there is no other name that are recognised for the country, like Germany, France, Italy or India, the word America means for most people a continent of south and north America. There are indeed a lot of sloppy or highly domestic expressions and could be refered to in links and in the beginning of the article, in also known as statements. If governments or the congress is supporting local expressions by law, it makes no difference, it is still domestic expressions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

"There are a large number of United States around the world." Incorrect. Name one. --Golbez (talk) 00:33, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
United States! CMD (talk) 00:57, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Lets not be mistaken or misinform. Many countries have in the past /or use it now in many cases even though its not official - but only the USA is commonly referred to as such on a daily non academic way.Moxy (talk) 01:06, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Many countries in the past, yes. We shouldn't really care about those unless they were equally notable, they aren't. No country, so far as I know, uses, either officially or unofficially, the phrasing "United States" or "United States of X". The closest you'll get is United Mexican States. --Golbez (talk) 16:44, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
I think this issue is cleared up by United States (disambiguation). There's also a convienient little link at the top of the article... Hucklebur (talk) 06:47, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
And the fact that none of the above are extant. They are all past-tense. --Golbez (talk) 16:44, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
The Mexico one is current, but also wrong. The proper English translation is "United Mexican States," not "United States of Mexico." --OuroborosCobra (talk) 17:45, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
I too think that the name we record here should be the officially adopted name for this country under it's current government. Namely as adopted by the Second Continental Congress article 1 of the Articles of Confederation , specifically, "The Style of this confederacy shall be "The United States of America." That is our name we adopted.
The reason we do not do that is really just one, it offends people in Latin America who hear the English word "America" and in their head add an o at the end. The word "Americano" in Spanish refers to everyone born on the American continent (singular). It is an applicaiton of their cultural and linguistic understanding of an English word that sounds the same that causes offence when we use the word American to refer to our country. They feel that we are claiming the whole continent. Which is simply not the case at all. Using America in our name was not a claim of the whole continent. It was the claim to not being British. At the time USA was chosen as a name most 90% of the population of this country lived within 50 miles of the ocean or a navigable river connected to the ocean. The USA was weak as a kitten in the 1790's. Yet in discussions over this I have had people here talk like the USA kept them colonized instead of Spain!
My frank advice to anyone who wants to correct this articles name is to drop it. The people who are eternally po'ed that we won the war against Santa Anna and his dictatorial government are simply more motivated. They call our countries heartland Azatlan Aztlán#Use_by_the_Chicano_movement and want to reclaim it. Let them have this small victory. --Hfarmer (talk) 22:48, 10 April 2012 (UTC) Edited to correct some spelling. --Hfarmer (talk) 23:00, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The reason we do not do that is really just one, it offends people in Latin America who hear the English word "America" and in their head add an o at the end.
No. The reason — as discussed many, many times — is that "United States" is the country's common short-form name in the English language (and refers to nothing else with a significant degree of commonness).
For the same reason, we lack articles titled Federal Republic of Germany, French Republic, Italian Republic, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Mexican States, et cetera.
As someone who claims to "have read the archives on this issue going back as far as 2005", you surely are aware of this. —David Levy 23:44, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Human rights

[[17]] {{Quotation|

Since I had asked this question 5 months ago and no one replied, I am proceeding with adding "Human rights" - status and violations, in the article. Anyone who wants to add to it or have any issues with my edits, are requested to put their arguments here. Aravind V R (talk) 06:45, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

United states and support for regimes

I think USA and its support for regimes in south america and Middle east as well as Africa need to be discussed in the foreign relations section Ruffruder0 (talk) 09:40, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 16 April 2012

On the demographic section it is stated that "Fertility is also a factor; the average Hispanic woman gives birth to 3.0 children in her lifetime, compared to 2.2 for non-Hispanic black women and 1.8 for non-Hispanic white women (below the replacement rate of 2.1)." this was the case a few years ago,but as of 2010 the fertility rates for all racial groups have seen declines. For hispanics especially the rate has dropped from 3.0 children per women to 2.3 per woman.Furthermore from the year of 2009-2010 hispanics have seen a 0.2 reduction in total fertility.

The statement that "fertility is also a factor" may be true,but the statistics that are cited are not.

As of 2010 the fertility rates of the United States by race:

Whole United States: 1,932.0

Non-Hispanic white: 1,791.0

Non-Hispanic black: 1,971.5

American Indian or Alaska Native: 1,404.0

Asian or Pacific Islander: 1,689.5

Hispanic: 2,352.5

Helloagain56 (talk) 21:31, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this to our attention and, especially, for your citation of a high-quality source. The passage has been brought up to date.—DCGeist (talk) 22:29, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

US and U.S.

I'll just note this here since pages this major attract rollbacks and edit-warring. Yes, U.S. with the two periods is quite common, especially among older writers and sources. However, both uses have become standard and the only real factor to consider is consistency. If we're writing US and not U.S.A. and GDP and not G.D.P., we should use US rather than U.S.

I personally feel the page looks less cluttered now, but have no preference for whether we go the all-period route or the no-period one. Just let's pick one and use it throughout. Thank y'kindly. — LlywelynII 09:24, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Not that it's decisive, but editor David Levy helpfully linked to WP:MOS#US which – while noting that U.S. is more common domestically – points out that the Wiki convention is to avoid the periods where other abbreviations are employed without them and particularly where other country names are given (PRC, UK, &c) as they are in this article.
So if y'all decide to establish a new consensus about this, we can edit it there, too. — LlywelynII 09:37, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing this to the talk page, but you should have completed the discussion before reverting the revert [[see WP:BRD]]. Furthermore, you were a bit too rabid in at least one point - our article is located at Washington, D.C., so there's no reason whatsoever not to respect that. However, according to WP:MOS#US you may have a point with the rest, though since there were many intervening edits it's difficult to undo it anyway. --Golbez (talk) 14:16, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
The titles of cited works also were altered.
I've gone to the trouble of reverting (while preserving the other changes). —David Levy 15:42, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Posh. US is not a different word from U.S. — LlywelynII 04:31, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
That section pertains to "purely typographical elements of quoted text [that] should be adapted to English Wikipedia's conventions". 'U.S.' already reflects our conventions (and is covered neither specifically nor in a broader context). —David Levy 05:04, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
The reason to emend DC is the precise same reason as emending the US. We should maintain a consistent style throughout this page. What they do at that page is their business. (We could say that it's better for Wikipedia to maintain a consistent house style throughout, but obviously there are regional differences. If it's absolutely necessary to maintain U.S. and D.C., so be it. But then we should be talking about G.D.P., O.P.E.C., and N.A.S.C.A.R.) — LlywelynII 04:36, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
That opinion has no basis in Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, nor have I ever seen it expressed until now.
Some abbreviations are commonly written with periods. Others aren't. When the relevant subjects belong to different categories (e.g. a country and a motorsport league), there's no expectation of stylistic uniformity. —David Levy 05:04, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Our longstanding practice is to favor "U.S." in articles about American topics. As United States is our article about the country itself, a departure should from this convention should not be taken lightly (let alone performed unilaterally, let alone unilaterally reinstated following a reversion).
We generally don't use "USA" (apart from direct quotations, proper nouns and documentation of the abbreviation itself), but at one time, the MoS actually advised us to write either "U.S." or "USA" (reflecting a difference in common usage).
Your claim that WP:MOS#US "points out that the Wiki convention is to avoid the periods where other abbreviations are employed without them and particularly where other country names are given" is misleading. Only country names are mentioned (and a less radical harmonization approach is to simply eliminate these abbreviations). Our styling of "GDP" (and other unrelated terms) is irrelevant.
Please refrain from performing this major change without consensus. —David Levy 15:42, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Can you provide a link that demonstrates this longstanding practice? - SudoGhost 15:58, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
The aforementioned WP:MOS#US currently states that "In American English, U.S. (with periods) is more common as the standard abbreviation for United States" and "US (without periods) is generally accepted in most other national forms of English."
The addition of the wording "more common as" and subsequent reference to The Chicago Manual of Style's change reflect a relaxation of the convention's once-stricter application, but they don't justify the unilateral replacement of a longstanding (and correct) usage, particularly in a large-scale, high-profile context such as this one. —David Levy 17:06, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
My claim was not misleading at all. Being pointy (or invoking the royal "we") doesn't do you any favors. The obvious intent is to reduce such eyesores as "the U.S., the USA" and whether we're talking about the UK, NATO, GNI, or NASCAR we should harmonize the use of periods within the article. It's fine to use too many, just be consistent. — LlywelynII 04:17, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
My claim was not misleading at all.
Yes, it was. You stated that the guideline advises us "to avoid the periods where other abbreviations are employed without them and particularly where other country names are given", which implied that abbreviations other than country names are covered on a secondary basis. They aren't.
Being pointy doesn't do you any favors.
I assure you that I'm not being pointy. If you disagree with my interpretation, okay, but I've been sincere in conveying it.
The obvious intent is to reduce such eyesores as "the U.S., the USA" and whether we're talking about the UK, NATO, GNI, or NASCAR we should harmonize the use of periods within the article.
That's not what the guideline says or means, nor have I ever encountered such a claim until now. 'U.S.' is commonly styled with periods. 'NASCAR' is not. As the two are disparate entities, there's no expectation that they be "harmonized". If there were (and this applied to acronyms and initialisms in general), 'U.S.' would be purged from Wikipedia to a large extent. —David Levy 05:04, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
edit: Further metawiki discussion here. Style guides discussed here, although it obviously is incorrect in some particulars: the AP doesn't punctuate US in heds and does aim to maintain consistency dealing with other abbreviations: it also uses U.S.A. and U.N. — LlywelynII 04:50, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand why we need to harmonize period usage within the same article. We should merely follow WP:ENGVAR, not individual users' ideas of what constitutes an "eyesore" and what doesn't. Example of "UK" being used on the same page as "U.S.":,0,7474519.story --Jiang (talk) 05:24, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Basically, "U.S." is proper style, idiomatic to the pertinent national version of the language, long used in this article, and consistently applied herein. It is common in many publications to use periods for abbreviations of two letters and not use them for abbreviations of three letters or more. There is no compelling reason at all to change the article's long-standing style. Let's move on.—DCGeist (talk) 05:51, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

NPOV in the contemporary era section

Seems to be lacking. Subsequent recounts verify that Bush won Florida regardless (based on Gore's preferred recount approach), but the current wording makes it sound as though the Supreme Court handed him the election rather than ruled on a matter of election law. Similarly, the second Iraq war did in fact have UN resolutions in their support (however questionably attained) and calling the COTW "so-called" is snarkier and POVier than simply calling it "a coalition" even if you don't want to give them their own name for themselves. The health care reforms haven't been enacted and won't be until 2014. &c.

I'll throw up my suggestions, but even if they're removed, this is something we should work on improving rather than allow the article to be used as propaganda for team Red or team Blue. — LlywelynII 09:24, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I honestly don't see a POV issue with the election bit. The election was not technically over (recounts underway, or being called for, etc). The Supreme Court decision ended the election process. The sentence doesn't draw a value judgement either way. Whether Bush would have actually won the endless series of recounts isn't really relevant, as it's after the fact. The formal end to the election process was the Supreme Court decision. I agree with "so-called" because it can be taken incorrectly. Though I think some modifier is necessary. To call it a Coalition of the willing, without indicating that this is the term applied by some and not all, is equally POV. The easier way would just be to remove it all together and say it was a coalition (small c) of nations in which the US played the dominant role. It gets around potentially thorny questions of a statement mired in propaganda for both camps. The health care legislation was enacted. Some reforms have gone into effect already, some won't until 2014, but it's already enacted. I think you're confusing implementation of the legislation with enactment of the legislation.Jbower47 (talk) 22:37, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Paragraph revision

This paragraph:

"Indigenous peoples descended from forebears who migrated from Asia have inhabited what is now the mainland United States for many thousands of years. This Native American population was greatly reduced by disease and warfare after European contact. The United States was founded by thirteen British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. On July 4, 1776, they issued the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed their right to self-determination and their establishment of a cooperative union. The rebellious states defeated the British Empire in the American Revolution, the first successful colonial war of independence.[8] The current United States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787; its ratification the following year made the states part of a single republic with a stronger central government. The Bill of Rights, comprising ten constitutional amendments guaranteeing many fundamental civil rights and freedoms, was ratified in 1791."

Should read: "Indigenous peoples, descended from forebears who migrated from Asia, have inhabited what is now the mainland United States for many thousands of years. This Native American population was greatly reduced by disease and warfare after European contact. The British established thirteen colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. On July 4, 1776, a convention of the British colonies issued the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed their right to self-governance and their establishment of a cooperative federation. The rebellious colonies defeated the British Empire in the American Revolution, the first successful colonial war of independence.[8] The current United States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787; its ratification the following year made the states part of a federal republic with a permanent central government. The Bill of Rights, comprising ten constitutional amendments guaranteeing many fundamental civil rights and freedoms, was ratified in 1791." (talk) 01:50, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

While these changes might be valid, you haven't said why they're more valid than what is there. (Though I agree with the commas) Also, the British established more than 13 colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, there were as many as 24 by my count, but only 13 declared independence, so that sentence doesn't work at all. --Golbez (talk) 13:26, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
I would have to dissagree with "Indigenous peoples descended from forebears who migrated from Asia" Why?

Based on a few artilces:

Evidence grows N. America's first colonizers were European

The traditional view of American prehistory was that Clovis people travelled by land from Asia.

This version was so accepted that few archaeologists even bothered to look for artefacts from periods before 10,000BC. But when Jim Adavasio continued to dig below the Clovis layer at his dig near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he found blades and blade cores dating back to 16,000BC. His findings were dismissed as erroneous; too astonishing to be credible. The Clovis consensus had too many reputations behind it to evaporate easily. Some archaeologists who backed Adavasio's conclusions with other similar data were accused of making radiocarbon dating errors or even of planting finds.

Of course there are others. Maybe deleted out the Asian part, or modify it? Trentc (talk) 17:36, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 17 May 2012

In the Geography section, the current line, "the United States is third in size behind Russia and China, just ahead of Canada" should read "the United States is third in size behind Russia and CANADA, just ahead of CHINA" Thanks! (talk) 21:31, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Nope. You neglected to read the whole sentence, where it says Including only land area. A good portion of Canada's size comes from the fact that it has many very large lakes. Honestly, it's right there before the words you copied, how could you miss it? --Golbez (talk) 21:40, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

National language

De facto the "American English" is most spoken(not English, read all). And if You really want to write, the Spanish should be also listed there. Why? Firstly - the Spanish is also used by most of the govt. agencies and it is really way of contacting them. To add this, the USA was made by immigrants, and current spoken English is basically one of the many. Even it won with other by just some minimal advance. Of course currently the most govt. use it is. But if You want to show the national(not official, which is not listed anywhere as official) You should include at least other(for short list only Spanish, for longer - others). Probably the most wrong things, when people say "In USA we speak English" is that they don't known about immigration, and because of problems with legal battles the millions are not listed. Secondly most English works are made by "more knowledge" USA citizens, but average USA born don't speak English well, even if he is not "Spanglish". Just look at USA - based forums, talk with (most people) low paid workers, and see that this look more like "Simple English", with local accents/words that in ever other part of word may be considered for e.g. like the Welsh in UK, or Irish. Don't saying of course about lot of (especially older people) communities which speak only their born/parents language like Italian, Irish, Poles, Russians, French and many others.
If You want to compare - just go to US states, especially deep/south, poor homes. You will see that more English speaking people(even as second language) You will find in some non native English countries.

Your syntax is so incoherent that I can only guess at what you are trying to say. It looks like English is most definitely a second langauge for you! --Coolcaesar (talk) 04:36, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template. Mdann52 (talk) 10:11, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Made of "immigrants"?? Nobody in my family for ancestors ever "immigrated" to the US, thus it is NOT a country of immigrants.

Paragraph revision

In the final paragraph of the introduction to the article, there exists the following sentence: "The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union left the United States as the sole superpower".

The grammar is incorrect. A possible corrected version would be "The ending of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union had left the United States as the sole superpower".

The original sentence had ambiguous tense, which leaves doubt as to whether the sentence intends to claim that the US is still the world's sole superpower, or that it was left as the sole superpower at the conclusion of the cold war. I believe that if the sentence intends to claim that the US is still a superpower, then it should be noted that it is a highly disputed claim. Alternately, if the sentence merely intends to state that the US was the sole superpower at the end of the cold war, then my correction to the sentence will make this view clear.

In either case, the original sentence needs editing to make the verb tense correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:16, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

I don't feel that "if the sentence intends to claim that the US is still a superpower, then it should be noted that it is a highly disputed claim".
The economic standing of the United States in comparison to other nations is unrivaled. The Eurozone's GDP measures up to that of the United States, but is a confederation made up of 27 member nations. Assuming you mean to propose China as a potential superpower, while they undoubtedly hold economic potential (perhaps even that to upset the US's economic lead in the future,) you cannot introduce speculation of the future.
On the geopolitical side of things, it is much harder to judge. The advent of the United Nations placed all the member nations on near equal footing, and all candidates for 'superpower' are member nations. One could argue that being a permanent member of the UN Security Council sways a member nation's power, but not all permanent member nations of the Security Council can be deemed as 'superpowers', and as such it is invalid criteria. Economic standing undoubtedly has an effect on geopolitical standing, but I've already covered that. Given the circumstances, I feel it is nigh impossible to judge based on the political standing of a nation whether that nation is a superpower or not, however other information supports the current wording. Thus it is most logical left as it is written. The tense does not need changed if it is not meant to imply that the US is no longer a 'superpower'. --Medevila (talk) 06:30, 14 June 2012 (UTC)


I reverted DCGeist for two reasons. Fistly, per WP:ALT, text in images should accurately describe the picture. Secondly, the sentence he deleted was sourced. Pass a Method talk 19:21, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

(1) I've restored the caption. You've confused caption text, which can be for more than simple visual description, with alt-text.
(2) The pertinent issue is not whether material is sourced, but whether it is significant enough to include in an article that many say is too long as it is. Does this line about under-30s' doubts about God pass the bar? It's a close call either way. We'll leave it in for the moment and see what the response is.—DCGeist (talk) 19:53, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Lede/lead synonyms, names, abbreviations, "the States"

This section is for editors to air any concerns with recent edits in lede and Etymology, without resorting to summary reverts without explanation. All edits were rolled back by one editor. The edits included these changes:

  • The definite article the, being semantically necessary in the colloquial synonym the States, is bolded with States, and was fully supported.[11][12][13][14] Earlier discussion in Talk Archive 40.
  • This following change was not supported with citations, but can be, with State Department[18] or CIA sources. The ordering of the lede synonyms as follows (as it seemed somewhat silly to read United States and America referred to as abbreviations like USA and U.S.):
The United States of America (short form: United States, abbreviated USA and U.S., also known as America, and the States)
  • Related edits in Etymology, consistent with the lede changes.
  • In Etymology, expanded note on America and organized in a manner for readability, following the existing historical note of Columbia:
The short form "United States" is also standard. Abbreviations include "USA" and "U.S." Colloquial forms include the "U.S. of A." and, internationally, "the States".[11][12][13][14] "Columbia", a once popular name for the United States, derives from Christopher Columbus; it appears in the name "District of Columbia". Today, in the English-speaking world, "America" is generally used to refer to the United States exclusively.

I don't know what the one editor's issue was, so I cannot address it. – RVJ (talk) 22:10, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Old Data

It still claims Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House, yet John Boehner has been for quite some time. Somebody want to fix that?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:54, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Bomb Dropped Due to its Development?

Under ' World War I, Great Depression, and World War II ' in paragraph 2, the sentence reading "The United States, having developed the first nuclear weapons, used them on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August. Japan surrendered on September 2, ending the war." makes it sound as if the atomic bombs were used due to their development.

While the motivation can be contested behind the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in order to maintain a more neutral (and less nonsensical) stance the sentence should probably be modified. Removing the commas aids in that, but risks making it more of a run-on.

Another option for neutrality would be "The United States had recently developed the first nuclear weapons, and in August, used them on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on September 2, ending the war."

The other option is editing to reflect a more accurate point of view. Harry Truman made the final decision to drop the bomb, quoted as saying it was done to "end the war". [15]

The argument could then be made to edit the sentence to read, "The United States had recently developed the first nuclear weapons, and in August, President Harry Truman authorized the use of them on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on September 2, ending the war."

Medevila (talk) 05:45, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

This doesn't need to be changed. The current wording doesn't imply that "the bomb was dropped due to its development," nor does it make any statement as to why the bomb was dropped. The phrase "having developed the first nuclear weapons" simply describes the state of the United States. (talk) 03:45, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Serious Neutrality Issues

I know this is a long entry but I lumped these together to show the larger pattern, and could have added a lot more. The “Health” section in particular reads like an agenda driven, one sided hit job on the state of healthcare in the US. Since some have complained the article is too long it might be better just to delete some or all of the offending the lines (especially the first two Health segments I list), but if they remain then additions are required. You can’t just post a bunch of left wing talking points and refuse to tolerate any counterpoints if you want Wikipedia to retain any credibility. I’m open minded and willing to listen to rational counter proposals, including alternatives or rewrites of the additions I suggest. I can envision various compromises, but these points need to be addressed.

Some concerns in Health and elsewhere:

  • Health #1

    The World Health Organization ranked the U.S. health care system in 2000 as first in responsiveness, but 37th in overall performance.

The footnote is an opinion piece advocating for a single payer health care system, but it correctly cites the 2000 WHO rankings. The problem is that WHO itself is a policy advocacy outfit that also favors a much larger government role in healthcare, explicitly praising the “Nordic” model as a template for other nations to follow ( The 2000 report itself devotes an entire chapter to the notion that the government is ultimately responsible for a population’s healthcare.

Its “rankings” are from a subjectively constructed index slanted by ideology that heavily weights factors like “Financial Fairness” and “inequality” rather than actual healthcare quality, despite often being falsely reported as the latter in the media, and simply described as “performance” in this article. To the extent results are ostensibly counted, it’s through factors like life expectancy, where the slight differences among first world nations are largely determined by genetics, racial differences, car accidents, crime, culture, stress, and lifestyle choices (like obesity) rather than the healthcare system per se. Lest there be any doubt about the politics involved, the first report author listed is Philip Musgrove, who also argued that the US should adopt a European style healthcare system in a Health Affairs article, at one point asking, “Where should the blame be placed in the chaos that we jokingly refer to as the U.S. health care system?”

In short, who cares about the WHO rankings? They’re meaningless. Anyone can construct an index that results in the “rankings” they want, and in this case it blatantly transcends healthcare quality (to the extent it even notices it) to include ideological concerns. You might as well post Al Gore or Obama’s opinion. The WHO “rankings” were popularized as a left wing talking point by Michael Moore’s propaganda flick Sicko, but it’s become rarer to see them cited in intelligent circles in recent years.

To ensure the alternative view is heard, here’s a proposed counterpoint to follow the sentence (references unformatted for visibility):

"Those rankings have been criticized by (among others) the CATO Institute, a libertarian think tank, for ideological bias, heavily weighting subjective factors like “financial fairness”, grading on a controversial curve that punishes high end spending, high margins of error in sampling, and measuring results with vague metrics such as life expectancy that are strongly influenced by factors other than the healthcare system (genetics, diet, stress, crime, accidents, life style choices, etc.)."

  • Health #2

A 2009 study estimated that lack of insurance is associated with nearly 45,000 deaths a year.

Though billed as a “Harvard” study, it was conducted and released by members of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), a lobbying group dedicated to pushing for a single payer system. A guy often shown in the picture at the top (it rotates with each visit)... is “co-founder” David Himmelstein. He was cited in the CNN article footnoting the “study” (though CNN neglected to mention PNHP, Reuters and some other outlets did). Study co-author and fellow PNHP founding member Steffie Woolhandler authored a public letter addressed to Obama demanding a single payer system. A third author, Andrew P. Wilper, has repeatedly spoken out to attack the for-profit healthcare system and has co-authored multiple studies with the two PNHP co-founders. Here’s one example:

The “45k” study has been torn apart by critics for many reasons, including the facts that it didn’t look at a single cause of death, it took a snapshot of insurance status years before death without ever following up or even checking insurance status at the time of death (most uninsured regain coverage within a year), and because it didn’t reflect the major causes of being uninsured in real life (rich, didn’t need it, young and healthy, too poor, eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled, illegal alien, etc.). The heavily extrapolated “45,000” number is fiction (we don’t know whether those who died were insured or not) and they don’t come close to establishing causality. Obviously they failed to consider possible negative consequences to the US healthcare system in terms of quality, innovation, or availability if the reforms they want are passed. The study is garbage, and was released for headline impact as the 2009 healthcare debate was heating up.

A proposed addition:

The study was released by Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), a group dedicated to lobbying for a single payer healthcare system, and at least two of its authors are co-founders. Conservatives have criticized the study for (among other things) failing to look at a single cause of death and for taking a snapshot of insurance status years before death without checking to see if that status ever changed, important given that being uninsured is frequently temporary.

  • Health #3

The infant mortality rate of 6.06 per thousand places the United States 176th out of 222 countries, higher than all of Western Europe

The CIA source linked to (possibly updated) puts the US rate at 5.98 and 173rd, but the prose should make clear that the ranking is from worst to best, or reverse it to place the US "47th lowest out of 222 countries." (or "50th" if updated).

When juxtaposed with the healthcare system comments that follow, the implication is that the relatively high mortality rate is due to deficiencies in US healthcare, especially given the explicit comparison with ”Western Europe”. The reality is that the US premature baby survival rate is better than Europe’s (indicating high quality healthcare), but that the US has a much higher premature birth incidence, which is responsible for the skewed mortality rate. The high incidence rate is heavily impacted by racial differences (which those comparing the US with Europe in general should always keep in mind) and a much higher teen pregnancy rate. So, as with life expectancy earlier, the infant mortality differences speak more to lifestyle choices, genetics, and subcultural factors than healthcare. It can also be impacted by differences in the ways nations count infant mortality. This stuff deserves a mention.

A proposed addition:

According to the CDC, the relatively high US infant mortality rate is mostly due to a higher incidence of premature births, though premature babies survive at a significantly higher rate in the US than in Europe. Teenage pregnancy is a major cause of pre-term births, and the US has a substantially higher teenage pregnancy rate than other western nations. Infant mortality rates can be distorted by differences in the ways nations report infant mortality and skewed by racial differences.

At the very least the first sentence should be added and the existing sentence should be updated.

To add further balance and show the US does have a first rate healthcare system, here’s another proposal referencing a study that’s actually scientific and focuses on survival rates, a better indication of healthcare system quality than vague demographic stats are:

A 2007 study by European doctors found the five year cancer survival rate was significantly higher in the US than in all 21 European nations studied, 66.3% versus the European mean of 47.3% for men and 62.9% versus 52.8% for women.

  • Foreign Relations and Military #1

Total U.S. military spending in 2010, almost $700 billion, was 43% of global military spending and greater than the next fourteen largest national military expenditures combined. At 4.8% of GDP, the rate was the second-highest among the top fifteen military spenders, after Saudi Arabia.[73]

My problem is with the second sentence. Who cares about spending as a percentage of GDP of only the “top fifteen” spenders in absolute terms? It’s a convoluted and cherry-picked way to treat the issue, and is sourced by SIPRI, an anti-US military Swedish think tank/policy advocacy group. I deleted nothing, but posted this addition giving the latest CIA numbers for global percentage of GDP rankings (not just the top 15), and adding the even more relevant apples to apples historical information that US defense spending has largely declined over the last several decades as a percentage of GDP and the federal budget, but my contribution was reversed twice:

Globally the US ranks 23rd in defense spending as a percentage of GDP according to the most recent CIA World Factbook data, and has seen military spending dramatically decline both as a percentage of GDP and federal spending over the past several decades.

The first reverser only claimed Heritage isn’t reliable (as though SIPRI is any less agenda driven), but the claim being supported is undeniably true. I could add a link to the historical tables from Obama’s OMB or any number of other government sources to confirm it, though the Heritage page conveniently gathers the (sourced) data together and adds easy to read charts, and I refuse to concede that conservative think tanks somehow aren’t legitimate sources when left wing think tanks are considered such (SIPRI’s numbers have been criticized , though neither source I posted contradicts them as they make different points). I could also change it to cite specific numbers over time, though that might result in a longer contribution.

The second reverser's reasoning wasn’t clear, as he/she edited different sections at once. The CIA page ranking the US 23rd uses material that’s several years old, but I don’t know of any more recent global rankings, and there are numerous older sources sprinkled throughout this article (including the aforementioned subjective WHO rankings from 2000). SIPRI has more up to date figures on separate pages for each country, but I haven’t seen them gather them into a comprehensive list and I’m not sure they do every nation. Up to date rankings would still obviously have the US much lower than 2nd in military spending as a percentage of GDP, so even a slightly dated list provides valuable context to the contrived SIPRI list, blunting its apparently intended psychological impact.

BTW, the whole notion of judging the appropriateness of military spending through such international dollar to dollar comparisons (SIPRI’s motive) is infantile to begin with, as this Washington Post fact check piece lays out:

So just deleting the existing segment instead might be a good way to save article space.

  • Crime and Punishment #1

Though it has been abolished in most Western nations, capital punishment is sanctioned in the United States for certain federal and military crimes, and in thirty-four states.

“Though” indicates the US should be expected to go along with the rest of the west (which here means most of Europe and the British commonwealth; funny how on GDP the US gets compared to the entire EU but on stuff like capital punishment and healthcare suddenly each European nation gets a distinct, equal vote and America looks marginalized), and seems like advocacy.

I’d just delete the opening clause, but if the comparison must remain, I propose changing it to the more neutral:

"Unlike most Western nations, capital punishment is sanctioned in…”.

Which also has the advantage of being shorter. BTW, where are the comparisons with “most Western nations” on topics like loser pay tort laws, k-12 school choice, and territorial tax systems? Rhetorical question, but something to ponder when considering the problem of subtle bias. VictorD7 (talk) 10:31, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Update - If no one has any rational objections, I'm going to start making these changes soon.VictorD7 (talk) 22:34, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree make the changes people have had a week to express concerns. (talk)
I've reverted most of these. The "balancing" responses are completely inappropriate for a summary overview article whose topic is the United States. In addition, there is a serious and widely held concern about length in this article, to which most of the preceding proposals are entirely blind.
Not entirely blind, since I mentioned deleting the offending lines as an alternative.VictorD7 (talk) 20:41, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
That point was lost in the extravagantly lengthy entry above. I concur with the cuts. Briefly:
(1) The Western Europe comparison added little to the infant mortality rate sentence.
(2) The WHO rankings were very outdated.
(3) The association of lack of insurance with deaths is an important but very complex matter and requires the sort of detailed treatment not suitable for this summary overview article.
VictorD7, please focus on content, not contributors. Your gratuitous commentary about whose "kingdom" this article is does not serve the effort to maintain and improve the quality of the article; further, such comments are completely inappropriate in an edit summary.—DCGeist (talk) 21:21, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Alright, but I've seen you chastise posters by name there, complete with threats of being blocked. My rebuke was milder than that. In the future please respond on the Talk Page to proposals that you intend to revert wholesale. Even after receiving encouragement to make the changes I waited a few more days for contrary input, receiving none.VictorD7 (talk) 21:56, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
(1) The process you followed was exemplary, except for launching it with an unreadably long Talk-page entry.
(2) On occasion, when confronted with a persistent single-issue advocate who is violating our policy that prohibits edit warring, a stern edit summary warning appears to be effective. Outside of such extreme (though, sadly, not uncommon) cases, edit summaries should be reserved for summarizing edits. And yes, that applies to me as much as it does anyone else.—DCGeist (talk) 22:11, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure calling him/her out by name was necessary to post a policy warning, but I am sure that two weeks was plenty of time to read the above entry, especially given how sparse this talk page is.VictorD7 (talk) 22:26, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree that, given the information in the remainder of the paragraph, the introductory comparison of U.S. capital punishment with other Western nations is not particularly enlightening and its elimination is appropriate.—DCGeist (talk) 18:53, 6 July 2012 (UTC)