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Old 08-06-2014, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Finland
24,268 posts, read 17,656,569 times
Reputation: 11103

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All you all Americans are living in a class society, and it's on a 3rd world level. Gated communities, private schools, trailer parks, abandoned cities like Detroit or Baltimore, the civil rights of the African-Americans until recently...

All this would be completely unacceptable here. It would be a national disaster and a collective shame. Could never happen here. So wipe your ass on your star-strangled banner and die of shame. Paid maternal holidays? Right, you are the only developed country that hasn't those! You are a despicable Darwinist society, so don't go Janteloven on us!
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,198 posts, read 22,519,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
Well, today the Janteloven hasn't got much space. There was a basis for it yesterday, due to the harsh climate people had to stick together, and the solid community only could defy the winter. In any case, Denmark, Sweden (with Finland) and Norway are the oldest countries in the world that have encouraged free will and thought. The literacy rate of Sweden and Finland was 80% when in Italy and Spain it was 20% and in Russia 10% in the beginning of the 19th century. And Sweden, Norway and Finland NEVER adopted serfdom, it was actually banned since the mid 14th century.

The Nordic countries have always cherished individualism, success, and the power of the people. A beggar can be a successful businessman, and we did adopt this mentality waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before any other nation in Europe, except for maybe England and Scotland. The freeman was a self-thinking individual in Scandinavia before Cristoforo Colombo even had plans to sail across the world.

The Janteloven lives on only in the beginning of your life, which can be explained as a strive for equality. Equal schooling, equal opportunities. (BTW, how much do you pay for college if it's not a State one). Everyone has the right to succeed, and if you are "socially unpriviledged", like you like to say in the US, we are helping those on your feet. Success has never been frowned upon in Scandinavia, and if good you're good. The Janteloven lives on that you shouldn't boast on your success, that is considered bad behavior, but if you are successful and retain your sense of grace, fine! Like don't go asking for police escort as you are juuuuuuust so important, is nothing but despicable.

And we still are. After 5000 years cherishing freedom, we are proud to represent the countries with the most social mobility and freedom: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland.

Why are we happy? Because we are. Never mind the climate. Good jobs, good social security, good prospects for the future, good education, working governments, uncorrupted police, working society, safety, stable lifestyle. What other countries can offer all this? NOT A SINGLE ONE! We are the best because we made our countries the best. We, the people did it!

OK, maybe Australia and New Zealand can, but the rest: no.
Settle down. You're turning into the Nordic version of a flag-waving, bible-thumping American. Nobody likes a gloat. Respect the Jante Law and be gracious in your success.

The bit in bold - all developed countries offer this, just some more than others. Either way, I wouldn't get ahead of yourself - Sweden does not fare well in education rankings, and has youth unemployment well above 20% (24% or something?) - and overall unemployment above 8%. Seems like a large segment of the people there are unemployed and not going anywhere. Plus, they have seen a sharp rise in crime, and on the recent OECD Better Life index, they score among the lowest for perception of safety (even below the US). So, no, things are not rosy and perfect. From what I hear, Stockholm is increasingly dirty and dangerous, with muggings, and a sharp increase in the number of beggars. I was even reading an article recently about how people are sh*tting in public in a park in Stockholm. That would never happen here. The problems of Malmo are obviously well documented.

Besides, best is entirely subjective. Sure enough, the Nordic countries have low poverty, high freedom and whatever, but so does every other western European country - and the difference between Scandinavia and other western European countries is that they are comparatively dull, sparse with few major cities or points of interest. Between the ages of 16 and 35, I would say Germany, France or the UK are way better places to live - on the basis that these countries have more things to see and do for a young person whose priority in life is different to that of someone starting a family. Maybe as you get older, your priorities change. As someone in their early 30s, do you really think Turku is a better place to live than London or Paris, providing you had a job?

If I was going to move abroad, then I would settle for France first, providing I had a job, but either way, they have generous benefits for the unemployed, and one of the lowest poverty rates in Europe (lower than Iceland and Germany, even). The only difference between France and Scandinavia I see is that France has more corruption.

So, come on, my Finnish buddy, don't be such a brag. Such an unattractive quality in a person, and looks bad on your part.

(it isn't even like the Nordic countries dominate the top 10 anyway - I see Netherlands and Switzerland in 3rd and 4th place - and it doesn't seem to correlate to success, equality or whatever - otherwise, why is UAE 14th, and Mexico 16th - even though UAE represses its people, and Mexico has sky-high crime and murder?? )

Last edited by dunno what to put here; 08-06-2014 at 04:26 PM..
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:13 PM
 
342 posts, read 377,624 times
Reputation: 498
Are you seriously THAT mad about THAT? Someone is unable to take any mild criticism. I am Canadian and readily admit we arent the top 10 happiest people in the world and that list is BS. I am living in the US and dont see any difference. At least the list got something right: I am definetely happy than you as the list states. I don't feel the need to go on bigoted tirades because I cant handle slight analyzation. In my opinion too that list is some of the saddest countries besdies Canada and Australia. Its no secret that Scandinavians, British, Germans, etc come off as very melancholy people. This isnt a slight against you so no need for a visceral anti-Canadian response. Different people have different ideas of happiness and I think that is all that was being said (correct me if Im wrong). You seem to think that anyone who has a different view than you needs to be shouted down and verbally attacked and criticized and sorry but this is a very narrow minded and closed viewpoint.

I say this because everyone deserves a happy fulfilling life: you obviously have some serious anti-American complex going to have such an adverse reason. Id call it an inferiority complex because these often manifest as prejudice and bigotry. As an outsider living in the US you have a really warped view of the US and are grossly exaggerating the negatives. Instead of making 7000 posts (seriously?) I think you should try to get out more and actually go to these places rather than reading biased and flawed "studies" that tell you what you want to hear. Besides I don't think anyone criticized you so it is totally unnecessary. You really dont sound like a happy person but rather angry. You are only supporting the point that Nordic often people come off as very irritable and unhappy. Dont you think its ironic that you proved those points by making not one but two posts in a row of unwarranted visceral anger? The post wasnt inflammatory but just mild analyzation, good grief. Obviously all these things you claim are making you happy arent working. Maybe it is true that happiness comes from within and you got it wrong? Could someone from Mexico be happier than you without all these things? I know that Mexicans dont come across as angry as you are. So take a deep breath and take a walk or something.

*jaw on the floor*

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Settle down. You're turning into the Nordic version of a flag-waving, bible-thumping American.
He IS the Nordic version of a bigot. I really didnt see anything that warranted that kind of angry response. Sorry but with most of these European posters it is like non-Europeans arent allowed to say analyze anything about Nordic countries or something? If thats a rule I must have missed it. The Europeans on this forum are always talking about Americans nonstop but the second an American says the slightest thing about Europe then all hell breaks loose. I wonder if it ever occurs to some of these people that they are being fed BS about America nonstop in their media and they are nothing better than any other kind of bigot who forms prejudices against entire groups of people. Those "flag waving bible thumpers" are really a stereotype peddled out by the media (I used to believe it before I was forced to come here) in reality those conservative rural Americans are usually really nice, tolerant, and open-minded people....sorry I would say that they are more so than Europeans...but of course they are presented negatively in European and Canadian media when they dare to express different viewpoints. The US is so big and diverse that to hate Americans is to hate humanity itself. I have my pros and cons about the US but sorry they tend to be more easygoing and openminded than Europeans as Ariete has displayed.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Heartland of Murica
3,437 posts, read 5,363,347 times
Reputation: 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
All you all Americans are living in a class society, and it's on a 3rd world level. Gated communities, private schools, trailer parks, abandoned cities like Detroit or Baltimore, the civil rights of the African-Americans until recently...

All this would be completely unacceptable here. It would be a national disaster and a collective shame. Could never happen here. So wipe your ass on your star-strangled banner and die of shame. Paid maternal holidays? Right, you are the only developed country that hasn't those! You are a despicable Darwinist society, so don't go Janteloven on us!
Ariete, I usually agree with your opinions but this was ridiculous. USA is nothing like a 3rd World country, my parents immigrated here from a 3rd world country and I don't think they would have accomplished as much as they did in the last 30 years any other place.

The USA is one of the few countries in the world that accepts immigrants as they are and welcomes them to become Americans. My parents feel very "American", love this country, its flag and all the opportunities it gave them.

I really doubt any immigrant in Finland, Sweden or Norway would ever feel Finnish, Swedish or Norwegian, that simply does not happen!

What is wrong with gated communities? If people want to live in an exclusive place, they CAN. What is wrong with private schools? If people want to pay for a better education, they CAN. This is called freedom.

High taxes is definitely not freedom, banning homeschooling like they did in Sweden is not freedom!

As far as trailer parks go, there is one not too far from my house and let me tell you, most people who live in trailer parks CHOOSE to live there.

The difference between living in a trailer park and a 1 bedroom apt here in my small town in Iowa is less than 100 dollars a month, so yes, as much as you may not understand it, many people CHOOSE to live in a trailer park or an ethnic ghetto.

All these things you mentioned would not be "acceptable" in Finland, Sweden or Norway because Scandinavian societies are based on "groupthink" and collectivism. Homogeneous, conformist societies where most people share the same ideas and values.

The United States is way more complex than that since it absorbs literally people for almost every country in the world and it does not have a homogeneous culture.

I don't understand why you are so outraged about the USA not having paid maternal leave- if a person chooses to have a child or has a child by accident, it is their life and their problem. Why the heck should I have to pay for it?

Last edited by Repubocrat; 08-06-2014 at 06:09 PM..
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,524 posts, read 2,162,022 times
Reputation: 2165
Ariete I sincerely apologize if you feel I offended you, because it truly was not my intention and I was not seeking to anger you. As you can see I included North America in my criticism of the "happiness index" so I don't think the prejudicial anti-American rant or lengthy defense of Jante Law is necessary. If it makes any difference, Baltimore and Detroit are not "abandoned" but have similar populations to Helsinki, and even larger metro areas that are quite affluent; the per capita income (PPP) in the Baltimore metro area is double that of Finland.

I am merely suggesting that things like have money, a job, and a house may not equate to happiness for everyone. It is certainly possible, and I sincerely apologize if this offends you, that focusing on things like how stable the economy is or how many weeks of vacation you get does not produce happiness. I am only advancing the idea that happiness could stem from other things. To argue that "Good jobs, good social security, good prospects for the future, good education, working governments, uncorrupted police, working society, safety, stable lifestyle" creates happiness would be to assert that Nordic society has found the key to happiness. Can we truthfully and honestly make this assertion? I am rather skeptical. After all, Nordic societies are among the top users of anti-depressants in the world, and suicide rates are relatively high. Perhaps this is because none of these assets (stable jobs, good education, etc) addresses basic human needs such as relationships, affection, acceptance, self-worth, identity, creation, and participation (among other things).

After all, I could be dead wrong. Perhaps having a stable job and an extra week of vacation is the source of human happiness. But I remain skeptical. I am convinced that happiness comes from within. I am also convinced that in order for happiness to manifest humans require not these material goods to achieve but subsistence, affection, participation, acceptance, self-worth, identity, and a whole plethora of other things. Is it possible that these things could be of greater importance than material things to making one happy?
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Heartland of Murica
3,437 posts, read 5,363,347 times
Reputation: 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbesdj View Post
Can we truthfully and honestly make this assertion? I am rather skeptical. After all, Nordic societies are among the top users of anti-depressants in the world, and suicide rates are relatively high. Perhaps this is because none of these assets (stable jobs, good education, etc) addresses basic human needs such as relationships, affection, acceptance, self-worth, identity, creation, and participation (among other things).
I have spent sometime in Sweden and Finland and I would never talk crap about these countries because I like them and respect them. I remember waiting for my plane at the Arlanda airport in Stockholm and thinking about the time I spent there.

It is the same thing I feel in places like Germany and the Netherlands- the infrastructure is good, the cities are amazing but they lack the sense of humor, the light heartedness we have here in the USA.

Americans are way more laidback, more light-hearted and humorous, we are more "full of $hit", less serious and not so uptight. I miss that a lot when I go to Europe.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,198 posts, read 22,519,335 times
Reputation: 8560
Personally, I think the OCED quality of life report is the best, since it puts the UK in 10th place, where it rightfully belongs.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Finland
24,268 posts, read 17,656,569 times
Reputation: 11103
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Settle down. You're turning into the Nordic version of a flag-waving, bible-thumping American. Nobody likes a gloat. Respect the Jante Law and be gracious in your success.
Sorry, sorry. I felt hit below the belt and hit back twice as hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
The bit in bold - all developed countries offer this, just some more than others. Either way, I wouldn't get ahead of yourself - Sweden does not fare well in education rankings, and has youth unemployment well above 20% (24% or something?) - and overall unemployment above 8%. Seems like a large segment of the people there are unemployed and not going anywhere. Plus, they have seen a sharp rise in crime, and on the recent OECD Better Life index, they score among the lowest for perception of safety (even below the US). So, no, things are not rosy and perfect. From what I hear, Stockholm is increasingly dirty and dangerous, with muggings, and a sharp increase in the number of beggars. I was even reading an article recently about how people are sh*tting in public in a park in Stockholm. That would never happen here. The problems of Malmo are obviously well documented.

Besides, best is entirely subjective. Sure enough, the Nordic countries have low poverty, high freedom and whatever, but so does every other western European country - and the difference between Scandinavia and other western European countries is that they are comparatively dull, sparse with few major cities or points of interest. Between the ages of 16 and 35, I would say Germany, France or the UK are way better places to live - on the basis that these countries have more things to see and do for a young person whose priority in life is different to that of someone starting a family. Maybe as you get older, your priorities change. As someone in their early 30s, do you really think Turku is a better place to live than London or Paris, providing you had a job?
All is true. And, previously I have been highly critical of our governments and certainly haven't closed my eyes from the problems. Yes, the Swedish education system is down the drain, and youth unemployment levels are unacceptable in every country. Iceland was on the verge of bankruptcy, and the Finnish government has been as effective as the Belgian one (not effective).

The last time I visited Stockholm it was anything but dirty. The beggars too are Romanian/Bulgarian ones, and the numbers have been increasing every year. The truth is still that these are "tourists", a Swede simply doesn't have the need to be a beggar.

Best is subjective, agree to that.

I honestly believe Turku is a better place to live than London and Paris. Simply because of the size. London and Paris have things Turku could never offer, but as for overall life, yes. It's safer, cleaner and less crowded here. Commuting in those places would kill me. And the level of rents and pollution, yuck. For smaller cities, say Leeds, I'm not so sure. Might be better, might be worse. Undecided on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILikeMike91 View Post
You really dont sound like a happy person but rather angry. You are only supporting the point that Nordic often people come off as very irritable and unhappy. Dont you think its ironic that you proved those points by making not one but two posts in a row of unwarranted visceral anger?

He IS the Nordic version of a bigot. I really didnt see anything that warranted that kind of angry response. Sorry but with most of these European posters it is like non-Europeans arent allowed to say analyze anything about Nordic countries or something? If thats a rule I must have missed it. The Europeans on this forum are always talking about Americans nonstop but the second an American says the slightest thing about Europe then all hell breaks loose.
I'm happy now. Irritable, yes. And critisise all you want, people do that all the time here. But for that I would like that the person who critisises at least has visited this part of the world at some point, or at least have some in-depth knowledge, and not only quoting an old proverb. All this "unhappy, all-consuming conformism with depressed robotic people" is something that I don't recognize. And certainly isn't the society I grew up in. A regular poster here even said once that teachers don't even want kids to succeed, because it would make the other kids feel worse. That is so not true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
Ariete, I usually agree with your opinions but this was ridiculous. USA is nothing like a 3rd World country, my parents immigrated here from a 3rd world country and I don't think they would have accomplished as much as they did in the last 30 years any other place.

I really doubt any immigrant in Finland, Sweden or Norway would ever feel Finnish, Swedish or Norwegian, that simply does not happen!

What is wrong with gated communities? If people want to live in an exclusive place, they CAN. What is wrong with private schools? If people want to pay for a better education, they CAN. This is called freedom.

High taxes is definitely not freedom, banning homeschooling like they did in Sweden is not freedom!

As far as trailer parks go, there is one not too far from my house and let me tell you, most people who live in trailer parks CHOOSE to live there.

The difference between living in a trailer park and a 1 bedroom apt here in my small town in Iowa is less than 100 dollars a month, so yes, as much as you may not understand it, many people CHOOSE to live in a trailer park or an ethnic ghetto.

All these things you mentioned would not be "acceptable" in Finland, Sweden or Norway because Scandinavian societies are based on "groupthink" and collectivism. Homogeneous, conformist societies where most people share the same ideas and values.
Ok, 3rd world was uncalled for. Sorry.

I have immigrant friends who feel very much Finnish indeed. They are proud of their heritage, but are Finnish. And despite the Nordic Countries have more a sense of conformism than many other countries, it doesn't mean the societies are excluding the ones that aren't us. We simply don't have the you vs us mentality here. We have a very long tradition also encouraging free will and thought, and the conformism has brought some good things. Like gender equality is undoubtly the best in the world.

Gated communities here would mean the failure of the society. The need for locked communities would be a national disaster. This is conformism, and in this example I think it's good.
We are small nations, always have been, but it doesn't mean we aren't plural societies. Different ideas and lifestyles are very much accepted. Groupthink, no. We are very individualist countries on a global scale. Already the Catholic Church is a hundred time more conformist and collectivist than us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbesdj View Post
Ariete I sincerely apologize if you feel I offended you, because it truly was not my intention and I was not seeking to anger you.

I am rather skeptical. After all, Nordic societies are among the top users of anti-depressants in the world, and suicide rates are relatively high. Perhaps this is because none of these assets (stable jobs, good education, etc) addresses basic human needs such as relationships, affection, acceptance, self-worth, identity, creation, and participation (among other things).
Accepted. Sorry from my part as well.

Anti-depressants aren't really a good indicator. Probably half of Africa would be on them if someone would prescribe them. The reasons for suicide has been studied over and over again. Some themes are encountered frequently: bankruptcy, divorce, alcohol or drug addiction, personal tragedies and so on. The most common month for suicide in Finland is May, when the days are among the longest, so the theory "people are depressed because of the lack of sunlight" goes down the drain.

And as I said earlier, a level of conformism in society DON'T exclude self-worth, idendity, creativity or thinking outside the box. We have them all, it's not that we are Japan or something, where the individual is just a tool for the society and the society means everything. On the contrary, the individual means everything here.

Last edited by Ariete; 08-07-2014 at 01:54 AM..
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Iowa, Heartland of Murica
3,437 posts, read 5,363,347 times
Reputation: 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
And as I said earlier, a level of conformism in society DON'T exclude self-worth, idendity, creativity or thinking outside the box. We have them all, it's not that we are Japan or something, where the individual is just a tool for the society and the society means everything. On the contrary, the individual means everything here.
The thing I dislike the most about Scandinavian societies and even countries like Germany and the Netherlands is this crazy political correctness. It is the same type of mentality of the far Left Liberals here in the USA.

They try to impose their values on everybody else because they have decided that such and such thing is not good for society as a whole. Ridiculous!

In 2005, San Francisco tried to ban the sale and possession of guns within city limits because probably a small group of stupid Liberals decided that this was going to be good for society as a whole. These are people that don't know anything about guns, probably never shot a gun in their lives YET they claim to know what is best for everybody.

They ended up wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of public funds with this stupid idea and guess what? After going through the court system, The Supreme Court found the whole proposition unconstitutional No $hit, Sherlock?

Here in Iowa, where we are about 50% Liberal, 50% Conservative, this type of Liberal insanity would have never even started.

Sorry but trying to impose your values and ideas on everybody else is almost totalitarian-hence the reason why I detest Liberalism and political correctness.

Last edited by Repubocrat; 08-07-2014 at 06:26 AM..
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:04 AM
 
Location: A cold & gloomy place
5,062 posts, read 5,557,174 times
Reputation: 3827
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
...and the difference between Scandinavia and other western European countries is that they are comparatively dull, sparse with few major cities or points of interest. Between the ages of 16 and 35, I would say Germany, France or the UK are way better places to live - on the basis that these countries have more things to see and do for a young person whose priority in life is different to that of someone starting a family. Maybe as you get older, your priorities change. As someone in their early 30s, do you really think Turku is a better place to live than London or Paris, providing you had a job?
So Leeds is like London? Copenhagen or Stockholm are far better cities. Even Oslo can offer much more than Leeds, with the exception of football.
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