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Old 12-31-2012, 11:19 AM
 
584 posts, read 1,076,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre View Post
That's because you share an enormous land border with Mexico.

Believe it or not, most foreigners from equally developed countries are not screaming to get into the US. Most British people choose Australia, Canada or Spain when it comes to emigrating.
Thats because for immigrants from the third world, whether it be somewhere in Latin America, Africa or Asia, America is a huge step up. Immigrants from Mexico or elsewhere in Central America will live in single bedroom apartments with twenty other men and work multiple hard-labor jobs getting paid less than minimum wage under the table for a shot at the America dream. Many of these immigrants don't stay poor forever and end up opening highly successful labor businesses like junk hauling services or hugely successful private landscaping or home improvement enterprises.

But at the same time, America has the largest icome inequality gap in the developed world despite being the richest nation on the planet. Because of this, we have pretty bad crime here in America in and around our major cities. The level of gun violence we have here in America does not exist in Japan, Spain, England or Australia. There is no large major city like Detroit, Baltimore or New Orleans in France. Yes, war-torn Liberia in Africa, Ciudad Juarez and the slums of Rio De Janeiro are much poorer and overall more dangerous than most places in America. I have heard and read stories of Liberians stepping over dozens of dead bodies and living in trees during their civil war. But America is extremely segregated and has a tremendous amount of crime concentrated into small relatively impoverished areas. But poverty does not always directly correlate with violence here in America or abroad. But there is no denying that urban poverty and violence go hand-in-hand in America. Detroit and New Orleans have both made the world's top ten most dangerous cities list based on a statistical analysis of major cities across the world :

The World's 10 Most Dangerous Cities: Detroit and New Orleans Make List

The average Western European person would not be accustomed to navigating a ghetto American city; but neither is the average White American suburban resident. Really, even many people who live in ghetto neighborhoods in America are often afraid to leave their homes.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,401 posts, read 9,546,743 times
Reputation: 7421
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCobb View Post
OP, you make some excellent points. When I reflect on the state of modern America, I'm reminded me of an old Jewish legend of a land where everyone prospered. Food was plenty; the weather was always pleasant; soft and pleasing music always played from the heavens. Yet, the people were ungrateful and miserable, constantly complaining about their lot in life. Americans lack the historical and sociological perspective to realize just how good we have it. If we truly understood how privileged we are, we would be walking around with a stupid s***-eating grin 24/7 reflecting on our wonderful luck.
We are lucky to a point. And some do have that grin. lol If you travel you don't have the same view of America as you do when you just watch the news though. A lot of wonderful countries that have happy people out there now. They also have a feeling of unity America will never attain simply from dynamics. That said, we have our up sides as well, we just are't the best out of everybody and everywhere and that should be ok. IMO, of course.

That said, we have higher rates of depression than many other countries because we are a spiritually impoverished people. The thing that truly fosters happiness -- quality relationships to others -- is neglected. Modern America life encourages people to maintain weak bonds to family and friends. It's a shame. If more people would realize that taking care of their families, friends and neighbors was essential for good health and well being, the happiness quotient in America would easily triple or quadruple.

America is raised on a capitalistic ideal. It's raised on competition, not family and friendly bonds. We compete to afford basic needs here unlike most other countries. It's hard to expect people raised on those ideals to encompass what you wish for. People in more social conscious countries do have those ideals but their country runs on the same. Some of us have them here but lets face it, money is the bottom line, not family or friends. You can't help out family or friends without money. We are greedy, but we were raised to be. Regardless of being spoiled. These are our ideals. The great American dream doesn't sell social responsibility. It sells competition and reward for climbing over friends and family when needed to succeed.

Individually we do help, I know a lot of volunteers. Some people hold those values regardless of their bad luck in our competitive society. Basic needs aren't a social affair here. Socialism is a bad word here. So, we are capitalist, even if we don't like the people we become from it. Fat, lazy, depressed. When I travel I can definitely see a difference in how a countries ideals play into how the people act day to day. We seem more desperate and we complain a lot, but that would fit our populations ideals. I can see clearly why we act this way.

Our country as a whole helps those countries in need, even without money for it, but we do gain something from it. That's a whole different thread though.
This is of course my own opinion.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 12-31-2012 at 11:58 AM.. Reason: Edited for clarity
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,528,823 times
Reputation: 3962
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre View Post
That's because you share an enormous land border with Mexico.

Believe it or not, most foreigners from equally developed countries are not screaming to get into the US. Most British people choose Australia, Canada or Spain when it comes to emigrating.
Not at all. Have you seen the number of ex-pat Brits there are in the US? Its staggering. The only reason some of them go to Australia and Canada, is as a commonwealth country, its easier to get in. Spain is because its closer; not that it is better then the US.

And, like it or not, there are thousands upon millions of people trying to get into the United States legally. Take the illegal border issue out of it. There are so many people trying to get into the US from around the world, the system is clogged and backed up for years.

http://www.immigrationforum.org/imag...ckgrounder.pdf

Now, do yourself a favor. Google "british expats in the usa." You will find hundreds of hits, with social media sites, etc. Here in California, I cannot walk into my local Safeway without running into Brits, Scots, and Irish. There are thousands of them here, just in this little area.

No, I standby my statement. The lines at the immigration offices are long. ALL wanting to come to this screwed up country, with no healthcare and nut cases with guns.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Central Jersey
386 posts, read 545,770 times
Reputation: 962
I agree that many Americans take things for granted. But we have to admit that there are some pockets of abysmal poverty and misery here, as well. (I remember taking a train through North Philly once, and thinking, "How hard would it be for a kid to grow up with the idea that he/she would someday be a law-abiding, productive, successful human being if this was their everyday environment?" It looked like a war zone.)

Having said that, it seems to me that many middle-class Americans imagine that their life circumstances are more dire than they are. Unless you've lived abroad, it's hard to appreciate, for example, how cheap food and clothing are here. Some of that dissatisfaction might come from the media, which seems to encourage the idea that "everyone is wealthier than you".

I've noticed that being considered poor by others (or considering yourself "poor") is a heavy psychological burden for a lot of Americans. There's a negative stigma attached to poverty here which frequently ties it to lack of ambition and ethical laxity. I found it easier to be (relatively) poor when I lived abroad. It wasn't seen as a moral failure, and not as many people felt obligated to strive to keep climbing the ladder of success.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Aventura FL
868 posts, read 929,597 times
Reputation: 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil306 View Post
Not at all. Have you seen the number of ex-pat Brits there are in the US? Its staggering. The only reason some of them go to Australia and Canada, is as a commonwealth country, its easier to get in. Spain is because its closer; not that it is better then the US.

And, like it or not, there are thousands upon millions of people trying to get into the United States legally. Take the illegal border issue out of it. There are so many people trying to get into the US from around the world, the system is clogged and backed up for years.

http://www.immigrationforum.org/imag...ckgrounder.pdf

Now, do yourself a favor. Google "british expats in the usa." You will find hundreds of hits, with social media sites, etc. Here in California, I cannot walk into my local Safeway without running into Brits, Scots, and Irish. There are thousands of them here, just in this little area.

No, I standby my statement. The lines at the immigration offices are long. ALL wanting to come to this screwed up country, with no healthcare and nut cases with guns.
Let's do some maths here.

The UK's population is approximately 63 million
There are approximately 189,000 Americans living in the UK
189,000 / 63,000,000 = 0.3% of the population of the UK are American

The USA's population is approximately 315 million
There are approximately 678,000 Britons living in the USA
678,000 / 315,000 = 0.2% of the population of the USA are British

So basically, there are actually more Americans per capita in the UK than British people in the USA...incredible! You were saying?

As you can see from the map (if you scroll down), the USA is way, way behind Australia, Spain, France and New Zealand for destinations of choice for British migrants:

BBC NEWS | UK | Record number of people leave UK
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:41 PM
 
Location: now nyc
1,458 posts, read 3,517,612 times
Reputation: 1244
I agree, Americans do tend to be extremely spoiled.

I even know of many low-income households that have Xbox's, Flatscreen TV's, a Car, nice furniture, kids w/nice shoes, Laptops/Computers, air conditioning, smartphones/ipods while the middle class in many developing countries don't even have those luxuries.

Last edited by LongIslandPerson; 12-31-2012 at 08:10 PM..
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Gettysburg, PA
1,562 posts, read 1,509,764 times
Reputation: 2750
Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaticVillage View Post
I agree that America is an incredibly spiritually impoverished country. In America, we substitute the ideas of God, family and community with the worship of celebrities, the obsession with money, status and material goods and keeping up with joneses, a hedonistic lifestyle where the often dangerous activities of excessive drinking, drug abuse and promiscuity are glamorized amongst our youth, a lack of trust of our own neighbors, rampant prejudice, segregation and thinly veiled racism etc. God has been outlawed from our schools and deemed to be politically incorrect. Pretentious nerds, who are no more than mere mortals like you and I, relentlessly push the idea that God does not exist through faulty scientific research which is a dangerous prospect because the belief in God fosters beautiful unconditional charity, love and compassion of your fellow man.
I love the point you make here, and agree with how sickening the spiritual impoverishment of this place has become; I really feel it has much to do with widespread unhappiness which seems to be upon many.

I highlighted the sentence because I was once very secular and concurred very readily that God must not exist. Yet, the more I learned, the more I found out that there is so much that we do not know, and really have such a far, far way to go in understanding. It is really uncomprehendable to me that other people can feel they know so much when they really know hardly anything; such a pretentious lot it seems. The fact is, the existence of God can neither be proven or disproven (in a philosophy thread, someone posted in response to another person's question involving something about what God intended or something similar, and they stated something along the lines of, "well, God doesn't exist so that negates any point of the last statement you made..." I didn't bother to comment, nor will I ever, for with such people I feel it would be much as though I were talking to a brick wall).

My thoughts on the basic idea of the thread is that I agree with much of it and just wish, as many have already stated, that people will become less obsessed with material things (and oh how necessary it is and will become moreso as the years progress I feel, to live within one's means; this is something which cannot be stressed enough).

Last edited by Basiliximab; 12-31-2012 at 08:01 PM..
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Aventura FL
868 posts, read 929,597 times
Reputation: 1163
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongIslandPerson View Post
I agree, Americans do tend to be extremely spoiled.

I even know of many low-income households here that have Xbox's, Flatscreen TV's, a Car, nice furniture, kids w/nice shoes, Laptops/Computers, air conditioning, smartphones/ipods while the middle class in many developing countries don't even have those luxuries.
And perhaps they're also hopelessly in debt, without healthcare? Ever considered that perhaps other nations do not place such importance on acquiring material crap that will most likely be worthless in the space of 3 years anyway? America is such a rat race that many people define themselves by their possessions. That notion isn't anywhere near as extreme elsewhere. More important is access to healthcare, rights for workers and consumers, income equality and leisure time. America ranks poorly in that regard, so the very notion of "quality of life" is up for debate. Perhaps ordinary people in many developing countries are actually happier than ordinary people in the US? Food for thought.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: now nyc
1,458 posts, read 3,517,612 times
Reputation: 1244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre View Post
And perhaps they're also hopelessly in debt, without healthcare? Ever considered that perhaps other nations do not place such importance on acquiring material crap that will most likely be worthless in the space of 3 years anyway? America is such a rat race that many people define themselves by their possessions. That notion isn't anywhere near as extreme elsewhere. More important is access to healthcare, rights for workers and consumers, income equality and leisure time. America ranks poorly in that regard, so the very notion of "quality of life" is up for debate. Perhaps ordinary people in many developing countries are actually happier than ordinary people in the US? Food for thought.
I agree 100%.

But regardless, when it comes to fitting the criteria of "spoiled"; Americans kids definitely come out #1.

And many people of all income groups oftentimes have major debt issues. People should learn their boundaries.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:43 AM
 
584 posts, read 1,076,501 times
Reputation: 1355
Quote:
That said, we have higher rates of depression than many other countries because we are a spiritually impoverished people. The thing that truly fosters happiness -- quality relationships to others -- is neglected. Modern America life encourages people to maintain weak bonds to family and friends. It's a shame. If more people would realize that taking care of their families, friends and neighbors was essential for good health and well being, the happiness quotient in America would easily triple or quadruple.

America is raised on a capitalistic ideal. It's raised on competition, not family and friendly bonds. We compete to afford basic needs here unlike most other countries. It's hard to expect people raised on those ideals to encompass what you wish for. People in more social conscious countries do have those ideals but their country runs on the same. Some of us have them here but lets face it, money is the bottom line, not family or friends. You can't help out family or friends without money. We are greedy, but we were raised to be. Regardless of being spoiled. These are our ideals. The great American dream doesn't sell social responsibility. It sells competition and reward for climbing over friends and family when needed to succeed.
This.

In America, the losers of capitalism are numerous. Massive swaths of our large cities, like Baltimore and Detroit, are neglected wastelands of poverty full to the brim with a seething resentful underclass of ethnic minorities. There is no reason to gentrify places like Baltimore, Detroit or New Orleans. These areas became like this because of the systematic dismantling of America's industrial base.

American capitalism lacks anything resembling ethics or morality when it comes down to it. American-based global corporations like Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart and McDonald's got insanely wealthy, and will continue to stay wealthy, doing some pretty downright evil things on a massive scale. Coca-Cola privatizes water sources in third world countries, which is the reason why some entire nations of people lack clean drinking water in the third world. Nike uses sweatshop slave labor in China to assemble limited quantities of Air Jordans that are sold at 300% mark up price for $185. Of course the shoes always sell out within minutes of their exclusive release causing mayhem. Nike is also irresponsible in marketing these products to self-esteemed deprived inner city minority youth. The fall-out is robberies and murders that occur over a $200 shoe that costs $5 make in China. McDonald's is insanely inhealthy, but ubiquitous, convenient and affordable. The list goes on...

Quote:
(I remember taking a train through North Philly once, and thinking, "How hard would it be for a kid to grow up with the idea that he/she would someday be a law-abiding, productive, successful human being if this was their everyday environment?" It looked like a war zone.)

Having said that, it seems to me that many middle-class Americans imagine that their life circumstances are more dire than they are. Unless you've lived abroad, it's hard to appreciate, for example, how cheap food and clothing are here. Some of that dissatisfaction might come from the media, which seems to encourage the idea that "everyone is wealthier than you".
I grew up in the inner city in a poorly publicized high-crime pocket of San Francisco. My old neighborhood accounted for a huge to the dominant chunk of the homicide rate for the entire city in the late 80's and early 90's when I was a kid. I never saw anything too crazy growing up there because we literally didn't have the freedom to walk down the block because idiots were shooting up the place every night.

OCEAN VIEW / Neighborhood reclaims its mean streets - SFGate

It was a very Boyz 'N The Hood type of existence of living in a seemingly safe, quiet middle class looking predominantly Black area in the big city in California that was actually tremendously dangerous and murderous. But even the "poverty" in my old neighborhood didn't look that bad from the outside looking in. In San Francisco, and many ghetto areas in California, the hood consisted mostly of well-maintained single family homes with attached garages and backyards. Some houses were rather large. It is something else seeing a crackhouse with a two car garage. It is no surprise today that houses in my old neighborhood sell for $700K because the hood has since gentrified as it is no longer Black majority like it was from the 60's through the mid 90's.

I agree that everyone who isn't on Rich Kids of Instagram thinks they are poor here in America. If you don't drive a Bentley or have a private jet in America, some doom-and-gloom recession columnist will tell you how poor you are through skewed statistics.
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