I'm not sure Americans are uniquely selfish in the traditional sense of that word. Americans are known to give freely to all manner of charitable causes(domestic and otherwise), disaser relief and the like, nevermind the coerced largesse of obscene taxation. In fact, given the amount of money doled out to the collective underclasses of America, some might suggest we are too damned generous for our own good. What I think we are more so, is entirely self-absorbed. Perhaps this is just a weak semantic distinction, but I see a difference. Most folks I know are almost pathologically caught-up in their own little pscychodrama they call life. Even when they pay lip-service to "the issues" of the day, they rarely have a real connection to the problems - or any real desire to get involved to remedy or address the situation personally. There seems to be no sense of responsibility to anything larger than one's immediate family...and in some cases, even that devotion is questionable. It could only be in a time of such terminal self-absorption that scores of individuals would resist even the natural urge to procreate, favoring instead lives of liesure, instant gratification, and a sort of perpetual, overgrown adolescence.