This I Believe

Glenn - Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Entered on April 1, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I believe in: American Exceptionalism

Along with the statement, “America is the greatest country in the world”, you often hear that America has unique and exceptional qualities. This belief is most often held by people with the most strikingly limited knowledge of the other the countries of the world. I believe that “American exceptionalism” is the unique inability to learn from others.

The developing countries of Asia are acquiring western technology and practices at an alarming rate. Consider the fact that the most advanced automotive manufacturing facility in the world is right here in Alabama. The problem is that it is owned by Hundai, a Korean company. Korea has been quietly adopting western practices since the Korean War of the fifties. Supercritical and nuclear power plants, high speed rails, and the largest scale of marine construction on the planet, are all indicators of their ability to learn from others.

American car makers and other manufacturers yield to the will of foreign companies without any acknowledgement of the fundamental problem; their inability to recognize what the other manufacturers have learned.

Can you name another western nation with this same reluctance to adopt the good ideas of others? It coincides with those nations that have failed to adopt metric standards. This happened only in the U. S. of A.