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Old 06-15-2009, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Can I ask if all of the visitors went to big cities or did some of you try small towns and suburbia?
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
GermanCiticen...America is a class society? America has always prided itself on being classless. ).
Well, there is one place in America that's a class society and that's the Hollywood actors workplace where actors are catagorized as A, B, etc. and rarely given a chance to work outside of the workplace station Hollywood assigns to them. For example, B list actors don't get A List actor scripts to read.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
I'm aware of the equating of irreligion=smart and religion=stupid. There is a correlation between education levels and lowered religion, but it's not exact and doesn't work with all religions. When it comes to reading scores Belgium does poorer than Ireland or Poland on the PISA test. Although they do better than those two on math and science. Highly irreligious Norway does worse than Poland and Ireland in all things they measured.

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/15/13/39725224.pdf

Although the most educated states are the more irreligious ones in New England, there are states with above average religiosity (like Virginia and Nebraska) that do pretty well.

Best Educated Index statistics - states compared - StateMaster

Now if you just mean a Fundamentalist Christian orientation I might agree, but I got the sense you were slamming religiousness in general. Although even then there are highly intelligent people even among the Southern Baptists.
And there's the home schooled kids that kill in testing compared to public schooled kids.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
Can I ask if all of the visitors went to big cities or did some of you try small towns and suburbia?
Both.

Arrived in LA because that's the way we come from Oz and caught up with some friends. I stayed in Santa Monica and a friend drove me from one end of LA to the other. I wasn't there long though, only a few days and then on to Seattle. Stayed in the city but went out to Payullup for the fair and Auburn for a concert and spent time in both towns aside from the main reason for the visit. We also went on a road trip for a week or so heading to Mt Rainier and then across to the coast and Westport then all in and out the little towns of the Olympics. A couple of nights in Port Angeles and then back to Seattle for more exploring of the city AND surrounding areas, including Tacoma and the Glass Museum.

When I head over to the East Coast later this year I intend to do exactly the same thing. See the big cities and the tourist spots AND then head out and do and live same as the locals.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:12 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,257,058 times
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Originally Posted by GermanCiticen View Post
This is because america is a class society ...

Desperate poor people don´t loose all their pride in their hearts, but they don´t care much about civil duties and aesthetics. It doesn´t manner if they´re living in a self- made shack (maybe this is even better for their pride and responsibility), a housing project or a run down rural wooden house, it doens´t matter if their living room is big or small.

It all depends on social integration

As Individuals they are to blame, because everybody is responsible for his life, but structurally the elites and the highr classes in general are to blame, because they want to make money with cheap employees, outsourcing, avoiding and stigmatization the underclass and try to keep and enlarge their privileges and luxury.
If America is a class society... much of it must be self-imposed.

There is nothing stopping someone with the drive to succeed to open a business and forget about being someone else's employee. Much, much harder to do in my European experience where you must have studied and completed a certain level of training to even open your own Flower Shop.

I have met many that have come to the SF Bay Area with nothing... refugees from Cambodia, Vietnam and immigrants from India, Korea and other countries... they came with nothing and are living their American Dream... sons and daughters that are Doctors, Engineers and entrepreneurs...

My Grandmother always said Class comes from within... you can be so poor that you only have rags to wear... but those rags can still be clean... just like your car can be on it's last legs and not a mobile garbage can with windows you can hardly see through because it hasn't been washed since the last time it rained.

People do reinvent themselves in America... it can be as simple as pulling up stakes and moving West for a fresh start or vice-versa...

Many of our Presidents are self-made men with humble or modest backgrounds... as are many Judges.

I really believe a person's station in Life has more to do with what you make of your life than based on what side of the tracks you were born...

I know it's different now in Europe... there was a time, not that long ago, where women lived truly as second class citizens there and those that came to America and for the first time felt freedom unknown across the sea.

Even recently, a person I know was looking into EU Citizenship in Austria... she was astounded to learn she had less of a chance simply because her mother was Austrian by birth and not her Father

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 04-04-2011 at 03:31 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:27 AM
 
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When I first went to the States as a child, what shocked me was how big everything is. Cars are BIG, burgers are BIG, ads, voices, people, flowers and houses, everything seemed to be so much bigger than over here (Europe).

When in NY and Virginia later on, I was surprised by the getthoisation of society, how you'd be advised not to venture in such and such area, given data on crime rates, or found yourself, as a white person, being stared by a full room of blacks just because you dared to catch the bus.

When I started working for Americans I was shocked that their first question would always be: what do you do? (who cares?) and that they would happily accept going without holidays (well, what we in Europe consider holidays and weekends in any event) for the rest of their lifes.

And I never fail to be amazed, and awed, by Amerícan's frequent shows of optimism and can-do attitude.

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Old 06-16-2009, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
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Originally Posted by fromdust View Post
i think im gettin ya. mothers here that work part time arent considered losers. at least not that ive ever heard, thats just weird. theyre just trying to support their baby.
so what if you work full time and are a mother? does that make you more of a loser, i wonder? i knew plenty of moms that i used to work with at DHL putting in 60+ hrs a wk. they didnt seem like losers.
Moms working 60+ hours per week!
The moms can be admired for effort, but if a mom has to work 60+ hours per week to support her children is a national disgrace. How can anyone raise children being gone most of the time? In this case, it's the system that is the loser. Other modern countries have a different system for mothers.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Ro cha cha, NY
3,015 posts, read 4,188,937 times
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Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
I would like to hear some interesting stories from people who grew up abroad...What shocked you the most about the US, its culture and people? Please include which country you are from and what you expected the US to be like. I love hearing these stories from people. Thank you very much.
How good looking we are in the U.S. And how unusually white and nice are teeth are.
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:02 PM
 
3,277 posts, read 4,613,972 times
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Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
I know it's different now in Europe... there was a time, not that long ago, where women lived truly as second class citizens there and those that came to America and for the first time felt freedom unknown across the sea.
And when was this time that women in America were treated so much better than women in Europe?

I know Europe is a patriarchal society, but so is America with the exception of African Americans and certain immigrant groups. A number of European nations have had female heads of state and America has not...American women prior to the women's rights movement weren't even thought of as worthy of being heard outside of home related issues. American women still face glass ceilings...
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:03 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,129,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
GermanCiticen...America is a class society? America has always prided itself on being classless. We have no history of an aristocracy and most Americans are the descendants of poor immigrants. Yes, there is more divisions in American society, I am really concerned about the shrinking middle class. However, looking at the big picture, this certainly isn't someplace like Saudi Arabia or an extremely corrupt African country.

The issue of social integration...I fear much of this deals with issues of culture and race. Take the divisions in Washington DC. We can see the ethnic divisions most clearly between the haves and have-nots in this city. I shouldn't have to say more but I am afraid we are seeing social status on racial lines (with many exceptions of course). The correlation between higher socio-economic status and ethnicity is too great to ignore. But that leaves me with the question...Is this a racial issue or a class issue or both? How should we diffine these divisions. (Sorry if I am being too indirect, but it can be a touchy subject)

Fashionguy...First, it may appear that our infrastructure is deteriorating. Yes, many areas do have an unsatisfactory infrastructure system in this country. Compared to Japan or places in Western Europe it does appear that way. However, I have also traveled to a couple of countries in Africa that have almost a complete lack of any paved roads what-so-ever. I noticed a few paved roads in many cities...that's it. Most are dirt. Therefore, we need to put into perspective where our infrastructure is by international standards. I should say our infrastructure is "well developed" but not "very well-developed." Like others have said before, these standards vary by community. I live in a well-off exosuburb in which our infrastructure is quite good. However in other areas, I know it could be better. Buildings 100 years old are often falling apart, our passenger rail service is not impressive, too much graaffiti exists even in nice areas, etc. I believe too much is spent on the best infrastructure for our armed forces...but this is only part of the problem. Much of the rest has to do with the "excluded from mainstream" communities feelings of isolation from the rest of the country. (I will not debate why this is, just that it doesn't help with civic responsibility).

Backdrifter...You said that Americans tend to be workaholics...true, but only for the adults. There was a good recent article on how much schooling and homework our youths have versus our European counter-parts...You may want to look into the effects of this (just a suggestion).
The US was formed out of rebellion against the Monarchy. All well and good. But somehow, there came to exist this strange notion that although we are of Anglo Saxon roots, culturally, that to overtly name this as our cultural norm was taboo. Very strange when you think about it, for the first hundred plus years after the War for Independence it was an unspoken de facto thing that our culture was Anglo Saxon. But when it came time to integrate freed slaves and later groups of immigrants, there was not a plain statement of the expectation that there would be norming on an Anglo Saxon base line.

In the 20 Century, the Civil Rights movement overtly attacked the notion of norming on Anglo Saxon culture as discriminatory. After the social upheavals of the post WW2 era this morphed into the notion of diversity (which some including me would criticize as a notion which made balkanization acceptable).

So, here we are.
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