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Old Jan 10, 2014, 02:08 AM   #76
astrorider
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When one of the highest standards of living in the world "feels like a 3rd world country", "lacking a proper standard of living", I gotta wonder if I took a wrong turn and somehow ended up in the ivory tower.
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 02:19 AM   #77
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When one of the highest standards of living in the world "feels like a 3rd world country", "lacking a proper standard of living", I gotta wonder if I took a wrong turn and somehow ended up in the ivory tower.
I said it feels like a 3rd world country in comparison to western Europe, or Japan for example. It's not an actual 3rd world country. America doesn't even have a nationwide mass transit system.

Have you ever actually spent time outside the US? Sure it beats a real 3rd country of course. And have you ever traveled the country and seen some of the ****ed up poverty in areas of the deep south, or states like Detroit?

But to say its as good to live in as Westren Europe? I don't know what your on about. Unless you hate things like better healthcare, better roads, better public transit, more affordable schools, and better food, cleaner streets, and nicer people,

And I still don't know where you think this American " culture " ( outside of the cities ) comes from.

Added to all the insane things about America, like money and corporate worship.

Last edited by G51989; Jan 10, 2014 at 02:56 AM.
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 08:18 AM   #78
astrorider
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Have you ever actually spent time outside the US? Sure it beats a real 3rd country of course. And have you ever traveled the country and seen some of the ****ed up poverty in areas of the deep south, or states like Detroit?
Why compare anecdotal evidence when there are actual studies on standard of living like the UN report I already linked to, where only 2 countries have a higher standard of living than the US (both with populations less than 25 million)?

Unsurprisingly, among those looking to emigrate from their own country the US is "the world's most desired destination".

Of course, none of this means the US is perfect, but from the perspective of standard of living or those looking for opportunity it's among the very best. It also doesn't mean some people like yourself won't consider other countries "better" based on your own values.
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 08:25 AM   #79
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Interesting paper: Why Skilled Immigrants Are Leaving the U.S.

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Returnees said they were generally making less money in absolute terms, but they also said they enjoyed a higher quality of life.
Obviously, "quality of life" is subjective - but what isn't?
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 10:27 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by astrorider View Post
Why compare anecdotal evidence when there are actual studies on standard of living like the UN report I already linked to, where only 2 countries have a higher standard of living than the US (both with populations less than 25 million)?

Unsurprisingly, among those looking to emigrate from their own country the US is "the world's most desired destination".

Of course, none of this means the US is perfect, but from the perspective of standard of living or those looking for opportunity it's among the very best. It also doesn't mean some people like yourself won't consider other countries "better" based on your own values.
I think one of the big factors of America still being the "most desired destination" has to do with the fact that many countries are far more restrictive on their immigration, and many people outside the US might still have the view of the US from 50 years ago.

Also notice where the vast majority of those in the survey would be coming from: China, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, The Philippines, and a few lower numbers from more developed countries. It's not surprising that those from third-world areas would want to move to place that has been perceived as number one for so long.

Still, G51989's list of things that other countries have that the US doesn't is pretty substantial. The US is perfect if your desire is to work hard and get rich. It's not that great if your desire is to live a normal life.
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 09:05 PM   #81
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I think one of the big factors of America still being the "most desired destination" has to do with the fact that many countries are far more restrictive on their immigration, and many people outside the US might still have the view of the US from 50 years ago.
There's no need to search for obscure reasons why, if you were considering emigrating from your homeland why the US should be near or at the top of your list. If you're searching for opportunity and employment, it's a bit of a no brainer to seriously consider a country whose economy is twice as large as any other country in the world, with the 3rd highest standard of living (and more than an order of magnitude larger population than the #1 and 2 countries). The US is also generally considered very tolerant of different cultures and ethnicities, and they're likely to find established populations with similar backgrounds in major cities in the US and elsewhere.

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Also notice where the vast majority of those in the survey would be coming from: China, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, The Philippines, and a few lower numbers from more developed countries. It's not surprising that those from third-world areas would want to move to place that has been perceived as number one for so long.
Again, there's no need to assume any misperceptions on their part; it can rightly be considered an educated decision. As far as their countries of origin, it does make sense that highly populous and/or lower standards of living countries are going to have the highest numbers of people willing to make such a move.

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Still, G51989's list of things that other countries have that the US doesn't is pretty substantial.
I'm not sure which list you're referring to but the lists I'm thinking of weren't necessarily facts, but opinions and based on his personal experiences.

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The US is perfect if your desire is to work hard and get rich. It's not that great if your desire is to live a normal life.
What you consider normal is living the dream to many who are willing to migrate from the only homes they've ever known, leave behind family and friends for the chance at a better life. "Normal" for them is exactly what they're trying to get away from. I don't see them shying away from working hard, and you yourself are surely already rich in many of their eyes...so you're right, the US may be perfect for them.
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Old Jan 11, 2014, 11:24 AM   #82
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\What you consider normal is living the dream to many who are willing to migrate from the only homes they've ever known, leave behind family and friends for the chance at a better life. "Normal" for them is exactly what they're trying to get away from. I don't see them shying away from working hard, and you yourself are surely already rich in many of their eyes...so you're right, the US may be perfect for them.
I will concede that the US is much better than third world squalor.
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Old Jan 11, 2014, 01:35 PM   #83
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It's too bad Henry Ford understood what people cannot seem to grasp now:

"It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either 'lost time' or a class privilege."

Yes, we need time off. No, I don't believe the government should have to tell companies that.
If companies behave reasonably they won't be affected by such a law.

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I will concede that the US is much better than third world squalor.
Increasingly few people live in third world squalor.

That said the reason people are picking the US, UK, Australia and Canada so highly is because they are English speaking not because they are necessarily better places to live than other developed countries. The US and UK also produce a lot more cultural output than the other countries.

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Old Jan 11, 2014, 02:44 PM   #84
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I will concede that the US is much better than third world squalor.
I will concede that the US is causing some of that third World squalor.
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Old Jan 12, 2014, 01:28 PM   #85
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Increasingly few people live in third world squalor.

That said the reason people are picking the US, UK, Australia and Canada so highly is because they are English speaking not because they are necessarily better places to live than other developed countries. The US and UK also produce a lot more cultural output than the other countries.
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Old Jan 12, 2014, 02:26 PM   #86
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I'm not sure which list you're referring to but the lists I'm thinking of weren't necessarily facts, but opinions and based on his personal experiences.
Well, a UN fact sheet is nice, and yes America does have a high standard of living ( which is rapidly slipping away ), and I never straight up called it a 3rd world country, to suggest that it is, is rather silly. However, spend nearly a year in western Europe and you might feel the same way I did, it " feels " much worse on lots of levels. This does not APPLY to all western European countries. I spent the most time in France. ( to the point where I go back all the time, married into a French family, and am married to a somewhat stereotypical French women, its fun stuff )

Here are some differences I've noticed in, France for example compared to the US.

They have a cheaper healthcare system that covers everything, and covers every single citizen. And this healthcare system is considered one of the best in the world. The US system does not cover every citizen, costs nearly twice as much. And doesn't even rank in the top 20.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0910064

Ranking 37th, and the study this is based on took place in 2000, things have gotten even more expensive since then, and there has been no improvement.

France has a national high speed public transit system, that is not only profitable to the taxpayer, but provides affordable long distance travel to nearly every citizen. This system connects to other systems in other countries, which are just as affordable. The US has no such system, making long distance travel nearly unaffordable to the working class. Who normally can't afford to drive across the country, or a plane ticket to do so.

Nearly every city and town in France has some kind of decent public transit system, the same cannot be said about the US. Some cities in the US have great public transit, but most do not.

France has a fairly large network ( compared to its population ) of public colleges that are very affordable to nearly anyone, and in lots of cases, totally free. My wifes little sister started at university , about a year ago. Her total out of pocket costs are to be around 550EU per year. ( there are private schools with comparable rates to the US of course ). So pretty much anyone can afford to go, and if you can't. The state just spots you. In America, we have skyrocketing tuition rates, which show no sign of slowing down, leaving students with crippling debt for years. and the French and American educations systems rank about the same.

There is a strong labor movement in France, which leads to better benefits and working conditions, no such movement exists in America.

A good example of this, at least the way I see it. In France you get 5 weeks of paid days off/vacation time. Which is mandatory. And the 10 national holidays as well. You'll also notice that almost everything is closed by 8, and almost nothing is open on Sundays. Lots of Americans hardly get any vacation days, I think our average is 12. And lots of American's don't even get any paid time off, considering half the country works McJobs these days and lives at the poverty line.

These above are well known facts, my opinions vary on the, some other opinions I have are

There is a large population of Americans that worship the dollar, and worship big business ( see the Tea Party movement ).

America doesn't really have any culture outside of what big business tells Americans to like. Hence the huge brand loyalty, rampant chains and fast food.

And Speaking of food, the food most Americans eat is total garbage to what you see in Europe.

Just my personal opinion, I don't think America is really up to par in lots of areas, though it could be.

Another thing, that I start to realize about America that I never noticed in Europe. Blind patriotism and military worship. Most Americans are blindly loyal to their political party of choice without really questioning what it does, and lots of them are blindly loyal to the military, and freak out at anyone who wants to cut the military back and calls them freedom hating communists. Not to say that doesn't exist in Europe, but its not nearly as rampant.

The other thing I really notice is that lots of Americans are very generous people, but lots of them are not, I feel the healthcare debate has really brought that out. At least to everyone I know in France, the idea that your tax money should go to a nationalized healthcare system that takes care of every citizen is just common thought. In America, I've heard LOTS of " They can't take my tax money to help those lazy moochers! ", " Stop stealing my money! if they want healthcare they sh ould get a JOB! ", really says A LOT about people who claimed to be so compassionate.

The other thing which is starting to go away in America, but is still very strong. Is making policy based on religion, this was huge during the Bush years, and I can't say I've never noticed that in France.





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Originally Posted by iJohnHenry View Post
I will concede that the US is causing some of that third World squalor.
Don't worry, its freedomz!

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Originally Posted by samiwas View Post
I will concede that the US is much better than third world squalor.
Aboustly, but I would not call it the best place in the world to live by any stretch. Its very good, but I say it has room for improvement.

Last edited by G51989; Jan 12, 2014 at 02:25 PM.
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Old Jan 12, 2014, 03:43 PM   #87
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"I'll take close-minded for 100, Alex"
I was more thinking about why the UK is #2 over many other at worst equally nice European countries such as the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Germany.
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Old Jan 12, 2014, 09:08 PM   #88
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I was more thinking about why the UK is #2 over many other at worst equally nice European countries such as the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Germany.
The "increasingly less people" comment is silly.
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Old Jan 12, 2014, 09:23 PM   #89
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That said the reason people are picking the US, UK, Australia and Canada so highly is because they are English speaking not because they are necessarily better places to live than other developed countries. The US and UK also produce a lot more cultural output than the other countries.
I would assume this is true to, also. I think the vast majority of people coming to the US come from 3rd world or developing countries.

I can't think of anyone I've ever met in Europe who has any urge to live in America, when the conversation came up anyway. It's mostly greeted with things like " mass shootings? No healthcare? No train? I'm good ". Or something along those lines.

I also suspect that the US ranking is so high due to the huge amount of wealth the US posses, most of which never goes to normal people. And it might be due to the wealthy urban centers and wealthy suburbs.

The story in Rural America is VERYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY different.
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Old Jan 13, 2014, 04:13 AM   #90
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The "increasingly less people" comment is silly.
Increasingly few people do live in third world squalor. About a billion people have been lifted out if absolute poverty over the past 30 years. See the progress on the millennium goals for example.

I know a lot of the progress has been made by China. And China is bad as it is communist, but still...
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