U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-13-2009, 07:36 PM
 
26,132 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by greyUK View Post
Hello, this is my first post although I have been reading around for a while with a view to emigrating although this is looking very very unlikely.

One thing I can understand is how Americans can be dissatisfied with their standard of living.

Compared to the UK the advantages are many with few drawbacks. I know one big thing that is always brought up is the welfare system with free healthcare. Yes this is an advantage but the amount of taxation for this is unjustified IMO.

Some points I have realised:

practically any suburban house is a mansion compared to our surburbia.

Everything is A LOT cheaper in US espacially gas

Although taxes vary from state to state even california's taxes are not on par with ours and the 17.5% (reduced to 15% for a year) sales tax we have drastically increases the prices of all goods.

Also salaries in US dwarf UK ones in like-for-like jobs. (Just looking at the average expected earnings of class of 2009 on MSN made me feel a little light headed)

So with all this money, low taxes, very very cheap property in most states (as a multiple of income and deffinatly when compared to UK), whats the problem?

Maybe its a case taking all this for granted as that's just the standard there.

I dont want this to be seen as an attack on anyone or anything, its just something I wanted to get the opinion of real americans on. (As I intend to stay here a while maybe set up a camp-bed, please dont be offended by this, first impressions count!)
I'll tell you the problem. In a nutshell, Americans don't know how good they have it. They also believe the BS propaganda that is contantly fed to them by liberal politicians and the media that we can tax the rich by a few extra percentage points to pay for "free" health care.

They have no idea how high the true cost of socialism is and are under the fantasy that they can have "something for nothing" or at least "something for very little". Ultimately, the price for "free" health care and other social programs falls on wage and salary earners, not on the truly rich. But you won't convince Americans who vote for the Democratic party of this.

It also seems to be the human condition to want "more" no matter how much you have. "Enough" doesn't seem to be in our vocabulary.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-13-2009, 07:40 PM
 
26,132 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, and the opportunity to accumulate wealth. My BIL said flatly that the tax structure in Europe is making it almost impossible for middle-class people to ever enjoy financial independence.
This is true. Unfortunately, the tools are there, but most people don't take advantage of them. Most Americans believe there is no alternative but to work until age 65 and then live of Social Security and acummulate only 100K or so in retirement accounts by their 60s.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2009, 07:55 PM
 
26,132 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844
Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguy19125 View Post
Of the 30 richest countries comprising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. has the greatest proportion of children living in poverty. Despite spending more money per capita on health care than any other country on the planet, the U.S. ranks 42nd globally in life expectancy.

U.S. infant mortality ranks 34th globally, according to the OECD report. If the U.S. were able to achieve an infant mortality rate as low as top-ranked Sweden, 20,000 more babies would survive here each year.
You bring up some good points in your post. The US medical system is bloated and inefficient. However, if we had a TRUE free market health care system with REAL choice and REAL competition, we would have decent health care at reasonable prices. The quasi-socialist health care system we have now will not be made better or cheaper by making it more socialist. At best, it will merely do a better job of "spreading the pain" of high costs around more evenly, thus, hiding them better).

As far as children living in poverty goes....that could easly be cut in half if 40% of our kids were not born out of wedlock and if our divorce rate went down by even a modest amount. We need to learn to cooperate more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2009, 07:57 PM
 
26,132 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoarfrost View Post
Which would be relevant if your opinion were based on empirical fact and not what seem to be the blatherings of a 12 year old.



Observe. First: Blue, Second: Red, Third: Green. Even a child should be able to discern colour.
I think calling Turkey a 1st world country, as indicated on the map, is definitely a stretch.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 06-13-2009 at 08:29 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2009, 08:01 PM
 
26,132 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844
Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguy19125 View Post
The majority of European public schools require at least three years of each of the following academic subjects: native language and literature, mathematics, two foreign languages, history, geography, physics, chemistry, and biology. Subjects such as logic and psychology, art, music, physical education, and vocational training are also mandatory for graduation,

We're superb?
This is true. But it's also true that Europeans don't put up with as much BS from their kids and will not make excuses for not living up to educational standards like Americans do. The media and the Teachers unions like to pretend spending more money on education will solve all the problems. In fact, as a % of GDP, America spends as much on education as Europeans do. We just get less for it.

We don't do socialism well. Our educational system and quasi-socialist health care system demonstrate this.

But I do agree with you, Americans don't always expect the best standards for things, especially education. But I do suspect we would disagree on the remedy.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 06-13-2009 at 08:30 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2009, 08:02 PM
 
26,132 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844
Quote:
Originally Posted by niceguy19125 View Post
Bad food? Are you serious? This from the country with the worst quality of food in the industrialized world. You should probably stop typing now, or better yet keep going...the ignorance is hysterical.
Yeah, you are right about that. Our food is crap. That is why we have the highest % of obese people.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2009, 08:07 PM
 
26,132 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
One thing is that for the past 70 years the US really hasn't had any "grounding" experiences that have shaken the country to the core. Of course we had 9-11, but it personally affected a very small portion of the US, and while it brought us together at the time, it didn't really change any of our choices as far as lifestyle, etc.

The USA hasn't had anything that's shown its people that just because they want everything, doesn't actually mean they CAN have it. We came out of WWII the only even remotely powerful nation that wasn't bombed to hell or devasted in many ways.

The dust settled and when everyone looked around we were the only ones standing completely intact and holding all the guns and money. We capitalized on that and never looked back. Got so far ahead of the pack, especially after the false front of the USSR collapsed in chaos and bankruptcy, that we've never been contested until now.

We rode high through the 1990's, but it's finally gotten to the point where our thirst for "things" is FAR FAR above what we can rationally afford. That's why our trade balance is hundreds of billions of dollars in the red, and our personal, state and federal finances are tens of trillions of dollars in debt.

We just keep borrowing from other countries to feed our needs, but obviously at some point in the next 10 or 15 years I'd say the party will have to end, and it's going to end VERY bad for our standards of living compared to how we're doing at the moment.

We obviously need a wakeup call that our current standard of living is completely fabricated on many levels, and we're only funding it through needing constant growth that feeds off itself and mostly debt.
Amen! You nailed it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2009, 08:12 PM
 
26,132 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844
Quote:
Originally Posted by sxrckr View Post
You make a lot of great points.
Forgot to mention that while our health care isn't cheap, it's high quality and you don't have to wait for the government to tell you yes or no or where you can or can't go.

You want your answer? The sense of entitlement that many Americans of today have. The founding fathers would be appalled.
Neither is really true. Most of us are stuck in employer sponsored plans and buying your own plan on the open market is not a realistic option.

Our health care is overpriced and inefficient. I'm not saying I want complete socialized medicine. I think we actually need to go the opposite way and have a truly competetive health care system with real choices and true competition and not be herded into a limited number of employer sponsored plans.

The HMOs that Americans belong to often find ways to stop people from getting care. It's well documented.

But to say our health care in the US is good, is BS. Sure, we excel in some areas.

But we're terrible in prevention...and that is the area where being good counts most.

Read Who Killed Health Care?: America's $2 Trillion Medical Problem - and the Consumer-Driven Cure by Harvard health care economist Regina Herzlinger for details.

http://www.amazon.com/Who-Killed-Hea...4946738&sr=8-1

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 06-13-2009 at 08:33 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2009, 08:24 PM
 
26,132 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsw View Post
But to OP's point: US suburbs, esp newer regions like Silicon Valley and Dallas, indeed have world's highest SOL for any hard-working, upwardly mobile person....the product of efficiency, innovation, capitalism, entrepreneurial ethos, great engineering schools (in case of SV's Stanford), etc etc
SV, a higher standard of living? Maybe Dallas. But I live in SV. Even higher income professionals here have to accept they are going to get much less house and pay a lot more in taxes to live here than other parts of the US. And public services in CA are worse than average.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-16-2009, 08:15 AM
 
11,177 posts, read 22,388,331 times
Reputation: 10924
Standard of living is quite relative.

Do I have a massive house, three cars and a pool out back because I'm sitting with a $600K mortgage on all of it and working 60 hours a week, 50 weeks a year stressing?

Or am I living within my rational standards that I can afford and truely, comfortably and happily falling in the upper eshelon of lifetyles?

That's what my original post pointed at - yes Americans do have a very high standard of living for the most part, but how solid is the foundation supporting all that weight?


I know people who make $400,000 a year and have massive houses with tons of toys, etc, but when I look at their stability, workload and general stress to keep that machine running, it seems to be really rough on them. Some people have two kids and only see them an hour a night because they're literally working their asses off 18 hours a day.

Likewise my parents make $100,000 a year, have a really nice yet compact 3 bedroom house with 2 bathrooms, a nice deck, two cars, take 2-3 vacations a year and generally have the time of their lives with their friends and doing "plain jane" type things for the most part.

From the outside one is big and flashy and one is "boring" (although normal) - but I'd be willing to bet my parents are a lot happier than many of the more high profile people of the community who seem to be constantly working stressful jobs, juggling mortgages and finances to support their extremely high level of daily living. It's a rush when you are doing it, and you do get a lot of nice things - but a lot of people seem to get to age 60 and suddenly go - where the hell did my life go?

I dunno, just my take. I've never really been obsessed with money. Give me a nice house I like and good friends, food and vodka and I'll be totally content.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top