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American the Grim Truth
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kindredspirit Offline
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American the Grim Truth
http://americathegrimtruth.wordpress.com/

Quite a depressing blog post. I'd agree with most of it though -- with the only addendum that escaping from the mental prison and invisible shackles of American serfdom is --

Location-independent entrepreneurship

and

the US still offers this opportunity for the select few who can look through its artificial matrix of subservience to the corporate machine

Precisely because our peers have been so ingrained to buy buy buy.
(This post was last modified: 06-28-2010 03:16 PM by kindredspirit.)
06-28-2010 03:15 PM
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kindredspirit Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
Years ago, I would send out emails to a few friends from college. Tales of foreign women in exotic locations, dating European heiresses, midnight trains to Vienna to meet a lover followed by a flight back to Berlin to see a girlfriend...

Most of them thought I was bullshitting them and eventually stopped talking to me.

Those that actually believed me didn't want to hear it anymore because it made them feel bad.

Only when I started talking about the NFL Superbowl, US politics, American television shows like "Lost" or "The Sopranos", job life in the US, and other such topics that I no longer cared about, did they feel more comfortable and want to talk to me again.
06-28-2010 04:33 PM
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thekiller Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
While I will agree with a lot of that blog I think he's smoking crack that our major problem is lack of socialized medicine. I still find it incredible that people think there is a free lunch to be had (unless your an illegal here or on welfare, then your lunch is free thanks to the middle class). The shit going down in Greece and soon to be Spain and then the rest of the EU is precisely because of their lack of work ethic and "freebies". France nearly had a riot on its hands when it was discovered they had to raise the retirement age to 62.

Also I think the average American can travel if they want, they just waste their money on stupid shit. We buy houses we can't afford, cars we don't need, clothing and accessories TV tells us too. I haven't had cable in 10 years and I refuse to pay for the brainwashing. I watch lots of movies and TV on DVD but it's what I choose to let into my mind.

I think every American Consumer should read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It's good info for pickup too.
06-28-2010 04:58 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
There are some good points in the blog, but a lot of it is pure bullshit. He's hammering on U.S. debt and the falling dollar, yet debt is astronomical in Europe as well and look at the tanking Euro. I think he's got an axe to grind and he's way too much fallacious "grass in greener" thinking for me.

He sites countries like Thailand as having excellent medical care, but does he think an AVERAGE Thai can afford it? Of course not. They are cheap by Western standards, but if you live on a dollar a day in some rural village, then that medical care is astronomically priced for you. I'm not going to go down the line point by point, but saying the U.S. is one of the worse places in the world to live is so bombastic it's hardly even worth discussing. I think a fair measure of how your country rates is how many people are trying to immigrate versus how many are trying to emigrate.
(This post was last modified: 06-28-2010 05:43 PM by speakeasy.)
06-28-2010 05:13 PM
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thegmanifesto Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
kindredspirit,

"Most of them thought I was bullshitting them and eventually stopped talking to me.

Those that actually believed me didn't want to hear it anymore because it made them feel bad."

I have noticed that as well.

From the article:

"I’ll let you in on little secret: if you go to the beaches of Thailand, the mountains of Nepal, or the coral reefs of Australia, you’ll probably be the only American in sight."

That is a pretty interesting point. Of the travels I have done this year, Americans were in the vast, vast minority.

"I’ve got some more bad news for you: America is actually among the least free countries on earth. Your piss is tested, your emails and phone calls are monitored, your medical records are gathered, and you are never more than one stray comment away from writhing on the ground with two Taser prongs in your ass."

Great point. We can't even have a drink and a cigarette at the same time in this country anymore.

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(This post was last modified: 06-28-2010 05:39 PM by thegmanifesto.)
06-28-2010 05:38 PM
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InternationPlayboy Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
I didn't even finish reading but I thought a lot of it was nonsense. Of corse our schools are expensive, they are the best in the world. I don't take any perscription drugs. Yeah, maybe a little about the food, but I eat healthy.
06-28-2010 07:29 PM
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Badstuber Away
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RE: American the Grim Truth
(06-28-2010 07:29 PM)Brandon E Wrote:  Of corse our schools are expensive, they are the best in the world. I don't take

LOL!
06-28-2010 08:38 PM
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thegmanifesto Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
"Of corse our schools are expensive, they are the best in the world."

They are a scam to get people into debt.

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06-28-2010 09:11 PM
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hydrogonian Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
(06-28-2010 08:38 PM)Badstuber Wrote:  [quote='Brandon E' pid='22252' dateline='1277771380']
Of corse our schools are expensive, they are the best in the world. I don't take

School quality varies widely in the USA... It pretty much boils down to "you get what you pay for" here. In socialist countries, educational quality tends to be better standardized across the board (France, for example). Our best may be better than their best, or their average, but its hard to compare unless you isolate certain schools for comparison in the USA.

I thought that his essay had a lot of merit in terms of the middle-lower class struggle in the USA. Although how much 'better' a lot of other societies are needs to be judged on an individual basis.

There are many countries where the middle class quality of life is much less stressful, and less tenuous than here in the USA. You really have to stay on top of things here, as there is much less of a social net (inclusive of protection against exploitative labor practices) than in other countries. For a working class guy, your arguing against your own class if you aren't for more power put in the hands of labor, pure and simple. Its the very rare laborer who has the competitive skill to truly out-compete the market to become middle class, without some type of labor protection. And to make broad sweeping statements about how its "at a cost" and "theres no free lunch" is meaningless without intimate knowledge about how those countries function and what the quality of life is there as a resident.

All debt, in terms of how much is excessive, is relative to GDP. Exactly analogous to your debt to income ratio when you apply for a loan. A lot of countries carry better ratios than us, but a lot carry worse. Total debt is pretty meaningless without this context.

We are probably the most 'convenient' country on the planet, as a result of our consumer culture. If you have the cash, than life can be very easy here.

But, in terms of the hyper-competitive environment, whats the cost to the mass psychology of the country as a whole?

What it comes down to is happiness, right?

http://www.gallup.com/poll/126977/global...apart.aspx
(This post was last modified: 06-28-2010 09:41 PM by hydrogonian.)
06-28-2010 09:14 PM
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IshGibbor Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
The post is hyperbolic as hell and if anything sounds like someone trying to justify his distaste for America in a prophesy of its eventual downfall therby achieving vindication for his feelings of antagonism.

This just in, America is not going down.

I know it may sound a bit strange but last I checked if America goes down everyone else does too. Also, even though we are in bad shape economically the rest of the world is in a lot worse shape. I am just now starting to read about economics but I do have a friend who is the smartest guy I know with a degree in economics that explained to me quite clearly why America was not going down (if I can remember the points I will be sure to post them here).


I like his critique of the American health care system and our consumer culture. I agree with that and think it is the essays strong points. However, this guy is no economist (change the dollar to what yen? (lol) euro (lol)?) We have the biggest market on the face of the earth (in terms of sheer consumption). We make the most money therefore we can spend the most and why would countries not want in on our business or want our currency to go down the tubes?

I think America will lose its status as a first rate empire eventually (Watch the HBO series titled "The Wire" for a great visual presentation of that assertion) and I do think we will arrive at a time where rich people and middle class people will be living in gated communities and the poor will be left to fend for themselves (the gap will grow a lot bigger) but our economic engine won't go down for a while, especially since we have the biggest credit line on the face of the earth (which is where the true money is, not in dollars,pound, rupies,yen, euro, etc).
06-28-2010 09:58 PM
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IshGibbor Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
(06-28-2010 09:11 PM)thegmanifesto Wrote:  "Of corse our schools are expensive, they are the best in the world."

They are a scam to get people into debt.

Not unless you are rich...
06-28-2010 10:00 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
(06-28-2010 08:38 PM)Badstuber Wrote:  
(06-28-2010 07:29 PM)Brandon E Wrote:  Of corse our schools are expensive, they are the best in the world. I don't take

LOL!

Why is that laughable? The Ivy League schools are the best in the world. Why do you have students from all over planet clamoring to get into M.I.T. a school that has alone produced 75 Nobel laureates?
(This post was last modified: 06-28-2010 10:38 PM by speakeasy.)
06-28-2010 10:36 PM
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thegmanifesto Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
I think the point about the schools is in the past a kid could work a job and graduate college with zero debt.

Today, that is nearly impossible.

Unless you and your crew control the college drug trade.

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06-28-2010 11:13 PM
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kindredspirit Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
I think all the stuff about the US economy is impossible to predict. You can say "You never bet against America" or "America is doomed to an orderly decline" or "America is going to have a currency crisis" all you want -- but no one really knows. If you knew when and how it would all shake down, you'd be richer than George Soros.

As an example, YEARS ago, when gold was trading in the $600s, I thought the price of bullion was going to go through the roof. But instead of buying the metal, I decided to get "leverage" by buying gold mining stocks. Big mistake and now with gold trading at more than double what it was, my stocks are still lagging and some are underwater. I guessed the right trend and picked the wrong ponies. Live and learn.

Having said that, the only thing I can do is compare my "extracurricular" life when I lived in the US vs my life outside the US.

Just no comparison really.
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2010 01:02 AM by kindredspirit.)
06-29-2010 12:59 AM
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thekiller Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
This a great article about how Obama is blindly pushing for the US Welfare State as it collapses in Europe.
As Europe laments Welfare State, US turns to it.

here's an excerpt:

•France: The poster-child for euro-socialism is facing a national debt of 1.49 trillion euro, about 77% of its GDP. That doesn't count the unfunded liabilities of the country's state pension system, which may exceed 200% of GDP by themselves. Reforming the French welfare system has long been seen as politically impossible, but the fiscal facts have forced the French government to finally propose an increase in the retirement age. The French government is also selling off government-owned land and other property. And the French health care system has gradually been increasing co-payments and other forms of consumer cost-sharing.
06-29-2010 11:28 AM
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hydrogonian Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
(06-29-2010 11:28 AM)thekiller Wrote:  This a great article about how Obama is blindly pushing for the US Welfare State as it collapses in Europe.
As Europe laments Welfare State, US turns to it.

here's an excerpt:

•France: The poster-child for euro-socialism is facing a national debt of 1.49 trillion euro, about 77% of its GDP. That doesn't count the unfunded liabilities of the country's state pension system, which may exceed 200% of GDP by themselves. Reforming the French welfare system has long been seen as politically impossible, but the fiscal facts have forced the French government to finally propose an increase in the retirement age. The French government is also selling off government-owned land and other property. And the French health care system has gradually been increasing co-payments and other forms of consumer cost-sharing.


Although you could NEVER get me to put any credence into an article by USA Today, Americas favorite News Lite publication, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt about your points about France.

But why don't you make your point by comparing to the most successful socialist countries on the planet, in Scandinavia?

What makes them the most successful?

Its people have the highest degree of well being in the world,
and its countries can boast to have the highest degree of effective democracy in the world. Imagine that, socialist countries with better effective democracies than in the USA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index
http://www.worldaudit.org/democracy.htm

http://www.gallup.com/poll/126977/global...apart.aspx

At some point Republicans and Democrats alike need to stop swallowing the bullshit shoveled to them through the oligarch controlled media (remember, the people who benefit the most from the system control the media), about all the reasons why the current system shouldn't be changed. Until then, your fucked.
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2010 12:53 PM by hydrogonian.)
06-29-2010 12:50 PM
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thekiller Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
(06-29-2010 12:50 PM)hydrogonian Wrote:  Although you could NEVER get me to put any credence into an article by USA Today, Americas favorite News Lite publication, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt about your points about France.

Are you actually paying ANY attention with what's going on in Greece and Europe right now? Anyway I agree USA Today is mostly crap but here's a similar article from The New York Times:
Safety Net Frays in Spain, as Elsewhere in Europe.

"For Ms. Díaz and her partner, Robert García, also 34, Spain’s austerity measures — which include salary cuts for civil servants, pension freezes and the elimination of a $3,300 baby bonus — have been profoundly unsettling.

Only two years ago, the couple believed that they had made all the right choices, well on their way to a comfortable middle-class existence, with benefits that included subsidized child care and an interest-free mortgage available to municipal workers.

They were able to afford a large flat-screen television and vacations in Russia and China. They retiled the kitchen and bathroom. When their first child, Anders, was born 22 months ago, they used their baby bonus to buy a bigger car.

Now, Ms. Díaz wishes she could take back those purchases. She is already budgeting for the 5 percent cut to her $2,000-a-month salary and bracing for more. The bare energy-saving light bulbs hanging from the ceiling in her living room will not get fixtures soon. There will be no more evenings out. And the indoor parking space will have to go."

The article goes on to say how these losers have no savings because they thought all their taxes WERE their safety net.

Problem is Hydro, socialism is based on the premise that people are too weak and stupid to take care of themselves, that Government always knows best, that we can't be trusted with our own money. Socialism doesn't foster exceptionalness or productivity. Frankly I don't care if or how it works in Scandinavia. Aside from Blondes and Vodka what do they offer the World?

If socialism should work anywhere it should be Europe, because they'd had the pleasure of being under our Military Umbrella for some time, and not having to pay near as much to defend themselves, while having the gall to always lambaste us for our military. Same with the UN and IMF, American taxpayers are going to help bail out Europe right as this administration leads us down the same road.

I'm not saying America doesn't have tons of room for improvement, but I feel blessed to have been born here.
06-29-2010 05:13 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
One thing I really like about America(and maybe this is true for some other places too) is just how hassle free everything is. I'm in the middle of moving from one apartment to another. It's great to be able to just go online, change your mailing address, disconnect your phone, transfer your gas and electricity, and all this stuff with the click of a few buttons. I hear in places like Italy, you could spend weeks waiting for utilities to show up and turn your phone on. Here you can do damn near everything from your computer. Pay your bills, renew your drivers license, do taxes, print postage, etc etc. I doubt Argentina and Brazil make things so hassle free. If you buy a $3,000 computer then decide a week later you don't like, you just take it right back to the store and they give you your money back with a smile. Try that in most countries. The generous return policies for goods is reason enough to love living here. Hell, there are some countries where you STILL can't buy plane tickets online.
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2010 06:11 PM by speakeasy.)
06-29-2010 06:07 PM
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RE: American the Grim Truth
I have seen a lot of similar posts recently, and they all follow the same pattern of someone who does not make enough money to live comfortably in US, but makes enough to live comfortably in Thailand or Brazil. Quite easy to see how someone who makes 40K a year household income would be better in Thailand. This, however, does not mean Thailand is a better country to live, as an average Thai doesn't make 40K a year.

Now, regarding some details. Basically the main problem he (and similar posters) have is a choice. United States of America is set up on a principle that you have multiple choices, and you decide for yourself. A lot of countries (especially those he listed) are set up differently - the government there basically makes choices for you, limiting what you can do. This works better for some people, but it is not necessary better for everyone.

1. Health care. Despite lack of single payer, I heard some people from UK, Europe and Canada go to get medical treatment in U.S. I know some of them personally. I also heard that there are more MRI machines in the state of Illinois alone than in whole Canada. How come? Again, a choice: you can purchase health insurance and skip going out once a week, or you can take a risk and go without it. Yes, one can bankrupt from medical expenses, but if one is in such state that they cannot afford health insurance, bankruptcy shouldn't a big deal for them anyway. It also worth pointing out that in some countries (Russia, for example) there is no such thing as "personal bankruptcy" - i.e. you're liable for your debts for life, no matter what.

2. Diet. The USA has one of the best (if not best) food price/availability, and this is something I believe everyone who lived abroad would agree with me. It is possible to buy crappy food, and it is possible to buy super-organic-whatever food. In most countries he listed you have much less choice, and it typically is more expensive. Regarding your diet - it is again a choice, do not blame the country because you're too fucking lazy to cook for yourself and prefer KFC.

3. Drugs. This is just lame. Nobody forces him to take Prozak, and if he does, it is up to him. I haven't yet seen a person in USA who was forced to take drugs - something like it happened in good old times in Soviet Union. And doctors here _give_ you a choice - if you're depressed, you can start working out, go hiking and eat healthy - or you can still be a couch potato, eat a "diet" of trans-fat-laden food and take Prozak. Again, the choice is yours.

4. Vacation. "I’ll let you in on little secret: if you go to the beaches of Thailand, the mountains of Nepal, or the coral reefs of Australia, you’ll probably be the only American in sight". My guess is that one of the reasons is that this is a fucking long (and expensive) flight, and not everyone wants to start (and end) their vacation spending 18 hours or so in an airplane. Consequently when you go to Caribbean islands, you'll see much less Germans, French, Italians, Israelis, Scandinavians and wealthy Asians there. And vacation time is negotiable(mine is 28 days) unlike the countries he listed, when the time is mandated by government, and the company cannot legally give you a longer vacation.

Another point here is that information about vacations is not accurate. Here is the data. US has 25 days total, which is not a lot but definitely more than 12.

5. Education. "in the United States, a university degree can set you back over US$100,000". As far as I know, this is only true for MD degrees, and maybe top law schools - which are money-makers, and similar degrees in other countries are quite expensive too. While the education in those developing countries is technically free (i.e. you're not paying tuition), you still have to pay for textbooks, housing and - in some countries - bribes to pass exams.

6. Home loans. "If you're "lucky," you might even land a job good enough to qualify you for a home loan." We bought a home in Silicon Valley - not a really cheap place to live - during the third year living in USA, having a relatively small credit history, and got like 5% interest. In Russia the interest would be like 15%. And the mortgage interest in USA is tax-deductible without upper limits - which means roughly 45% of my mortgage payment is subsidized by the government in form of tax reduction. I do not know any other country where the mortgage interest is tax-deductible, and this makes huge difference.

7. "In real terms, the average American is poorer than the poorest ghetto dweller in Manila, because at least they have no debts." - this is a strawman, and I bet my last quarter that a ghetto dweller in Manila would switch with the average American without no doubt. Not sure about the other way.

8. Freedom. The most obvious indicator that there is freedom in USA is his post. Just to compare how many such posts have you read about China or North Korea? What happens with anti-government demonstrations there (and in Latin America), I heard it really sucks there. And your medical records are gathered by the government in every country which has socialized medicine. Nice try.

9. Taxes. It is funny that he doesn't mention how much taxes you pay in those countries he listed. Europe taxes are quite high (generally over 50%, VAT excluded), and I'm pretty sure that I'd pay significantly more in taxes in Europe from my income comparing to here.

And finally, the economy. The author somehow thinks that "real" economy (it is not clear what he meant, but I assume something like assembling TVs for $2/hour or selling oil) is better than "service/financial economy". This is obviously not the case for anyone who heard about Switzerland - they're doing very well while having pretty much no "real" economy. Post-industrial economy should be based on skilled workers, not on easily replaceable conveyor monkeys. This already happened in past.

So the article is full of shit.
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2010 08:38 PM by oldnemesis.)
06-29-2010 08:35 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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RE: American the Grim Truth
Old Nemesis, that was beautifully put. I didn't have the patience to go line by line and debunk the article, but you said everything I was thinking.

The U.S. is not a horrible place to live. It can be as good or as bad as you make it to be. It's better to live than all but a few countries out there. People like the author actually WANT the USA to tank. It's as if the thought brings them some sort of cathartic glee. He probably cheered when the twin towers fell.
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2010 08:54 PM by speakeasy.)
06-29-2010 08:52 PM
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RE: American the Grim Truth
I think that the USA is one of the better places to live on the planet. I also think there is a lot of room for improvement, and the societal improvement is very often kept from happening due to private profit interests. Other first world countries do many things better, and some do many things worse.

I don't mind if someone thinks that the USA is the best place to live. I don't mind if they don't. What is like nails on a chalkboard to me is when points of argument are made on pure conjecture, incomplete information, false correlation, and plain old repetition of learned propaganda.

Many of the men on this board have direct experience living abroad for extended periods of time. They can better attest to what other countries do better and less well than someone who gets their opinions from mass media outlets here in the states.

After all, its about quality of life. Are you really going to suffer with a lower quality of life just because you think that your country has given more to the world? If so, your a better soldier than I. Its bullshit. No one would if they truly had a choice.

If anyone has an opinion as to what the quality of life is like in other countries vs here, the opinion should probably be because they were there. Not because the news told them what the score is, or what they have been led to believe. I'm not pointing fingers, I'm just saying that it insults the intelligence of people here to speak on countries to which you haven't experienced. You'd be shocked as to the disparity between what your taught is the truth and what the actual truth is.

I'm not saying that the USA is better or worse, and Ive already stated that its the most convenient country on the planet, but the conjecture about other countries is ridiculous, especially when citing what the downfalls are to living in any specific country that you haven't experienced in depth. Many of these factoids about the quality of life in other countries are snippets of a larger picture at best, and untruths at worst.
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2010 09:33 PM by hydrogonian.)
06-29-2010 09:30 PM
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Post: #22
RE: American the Grim Truth
(06-28-2010 09:14 PM)hydrogonian Wrote:  
(06-28-2010 08:38 PM)Badstuber Wrote:  [quote='Brandon E' pid='22252' dateline='1277771380']
Of corse our schools are expensive, they are the best in the world. I don't take

School quality varies widely in the USA... It pretty much boils down to "you get what you pay for" here. In socialist countries, educational quality tends to be better standardized across the board (France, for example). Our best may be better than their best, or their average, but its hard to compare unless you isolate certain schools for comparison in the USA.

I thought that his essay had a lot of merit in terms of the middle-lower class struggle in the USA. Although how much 'better' a lot of other societies are needs to be judged on an individual basis.

There are many countries where the middle class quality of life is much less stressful, and less tenuous than here in the USA. You really have to stay on top of things here, as there is much less of a social net (inclusive of protection against exploitative labor practices) than in other countries. For a working class guy, your arguing against your own class if you aren't for more power put in the hands of labor, pure and simple. Its the very rare laborer who has the competitive skill to truly out-compete the market to become middle class, without some type of labor protection. And to make broad sweeping statements about how its "at a cost" and "theres no free lunch" is meaningless without intimate knowledge about how those countries function and what the quality of life is there as a resident.

All debt, in terms of how much is excessive, is relative to GDP. Exactly analogous to your debt to income ratio when you apply for a loan. A lot of countries carry better ratios than us, but a lot carry worse. Total debt is pretty meaningless without this context.

We are probably the most 'convenient' country on the planet, as a result of our consumer culture. If you have the cash, than life can be very easy here.

But, in terms of the hyper-competitive environment, whats the cost to the mass psychology of the country as a whole?

What it comes down to is happiness, right?

http://www.gallup.com/poll/126977/global...apart.aspx

There are ways around all these things though. I have friends who get paid to go to school because of the scholarships they've earned. Most of the things on this list are avoidable or there is some way around it. Anyone who was laughing about the United States having the best schools in the world, name anywhere with better schools. Why do you think people come from all over the world to go to school in the US? If you have an American education, you can get a job almost anywhere in the world.
06-29-2010 09:57 PM
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thekiller Offline
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Post: #23
RE: American the Grim Truth
I didn't realize the riots in Greece or the massive debt in Europe leading to the near collapse of the EU was "conjecture".

Every country has advantages and things to recommend it. I'll admit I've only been to 2 other countries, Canada and The Philippines. Even in the Philippines you have to admire their easy going attitude and the kind of Wild West vibe of their daily life. But what makes that enjoyable for me is coming from a country where my dollar equals 45 of theirs and I can enjoy luxuries most residents there can't.

As for the quality of life in those other 1st World nations your so fond of, I don't doubt they have great things to recommend them. I would also say as an American we can have just as high a quality of life here IF WE SO CHOOSE. We're not even saddled with American Women anymore if we don't want, it's so easy to score overseas.

I also think some of those other 1st World Nations are going to be heading into some very rough times. I don't think it's conjecture or learned propaganda to believe you can't get something for nothing. Those nations have gotten for a very long time, and now the bill is due. Same thing happening in the US, they just have a 40 year head start on it.
06-29-2010 10:04 PM
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thegmanifesto Offline
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Post: #24
RE: American the Grim Truth
oldnemisis,

"4. Vacation. "I’ll let you in on little secret: if you go to the beaches of Thailand, the mountains of Nepal, or the coral reefs of Australia, you’ll probably be the only American in sight". My guess is that one of the reasons is that this is a fucking long (and expensive) flight, and not everyone wants to start (and end) their vacation spending 18 hours or so in an airplane."

Have you really seen more american tourists anywhere you have been lately?

I am not doubting you, but I have seen other countries represented way more than americans in DR, Colombia, Spain this year.

""in the United States, a university degree can set you back over US$100,000". As far as I know, this is only true for MD degrees, and maybe top law schools"

My undergrad is over $120,000 now for 4 years.

"The USA has one of the best (if not best) food price/availability, and this is something I believe everyone who lived abroad would agree with me."

Head to head, Spanish produce dominates organic-farmers market-Southern California produce.

And you have the freedom to have a drink and a smoke at the same time.

Not trying to argue, just give a different perspective.

- MPM
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Grew up with gorillas, you grew up on Twitter, don’t care if you follow me.

"Can't be like the rest", is the most I'll confess.
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2010 11:42 PM by thegmanifesto.)
06-29-2010 11:36 PM
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Jim Kirk Offline
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Post: #25
RE: American the Grim Truth
The comparison between ‘the rest of the world’ and the United States is something I will get around to publishing a small book about from personal experience and being friendly with very educated ‘gone there done that’ types of people – I have been collecting material and anecdotes on this for years – I’ll will be very long winded but Some thoughts –

Part of why I read Roosh even though I am a married father of two with another on the way who does not screw around, mostly, is because I think ‘Roosh’ is skating to where the puck is going to be and his observations of the way people act and Americans behave is spot on – but that’s another story,

As a general principle – beware of any blog post or article which debases other countries vis-à-vis the United States across the board or vice versa as the original poster’s cited article holds –

First – with respect to even discussing social and economic conditions in other countries – forget it. The redheaded Welsh lady that hosted ‘The Weakest Link’ several years ago; when she went back to England she gave a scathing interview making fun of how stupid Americans were – she made the comment that 10% of US Citizens had passports. In fact its’ probably less – consider

If 10% of Americans have been to Europe – that’s 27 million - what portion of those that have ‘gone on their own’ instead of on an organized bus/school tour. If you have to go on your own to really see anything – we can half the 27 million number – 14 million – maybe? You cannot convince Americans of anything about anyone - anywhere else in the world. On my first trip to Paris in college with my girlfriend – her mother told her not to drink the water. Most white Americans views of Europe or Japan are based on their father’s and their grandfather’s stories of WW2 and how ‘smelly’ or poor the French all are – or how brutal the Germans were, stuff like that. That continued through the 1950’s and 1960’s because so many drafted American servicemen rotated over to Europe and at that time Americans had a much better lifestyle in general than Europeans in terms of a new car every 3 years and a little house in the suburbs – particularly if you were white.

This general ‘Republican’ attitude has its ‘Democratic’ flipside - which is like the OP’s blogger which has it that America sucks – its so much better everywhere else. The truth as they say – is usually in the middle but this whole question is so subjective there is no ‘truth’ per se. You also cannot ‘blanket’ the continent and say ‘Europe’ in one breath. England is a complete mess on almost all counts and general conditions are far worse there than in the United States while Germany and France are generally better in many categories and You also cannot compare for instance – France’s tax system with the U.S.’ tax code because they are based on very different ideas.

Some categories to compare with an explanation – (I have a lot of these)

1. Food. In general the level of produce, meat and bread and far superior to anything sold in the USA outside of a gourmet shop you can get in a place like Manhattan. Also – when comparing the average store bought food in France to its quality counterpart at say, a Citorella’s in Manhattan, the food and meat are about 20% of the cost. Why? You do not see that much organic food in France but because agricultural laws are very strong in France and agriculture is practiced throughout the country and shipping time is short – the amount of chemical poured on the food there - is much much less than anywhere in the USA. It simply is not shipped a great distance and the food is not sprayed while its in the field, on the truck, in the warehouse, and in the supermarket. The best proof of this besides the superior taste – a friend of mine bought a 4000$ fridge in New York that could and did keep fruit and vegetables ‘fresh’ for a week. He bought the same fridge in France and the stuff starts going bad at the end of the second day. He was an amateur, but serious, chef. The other thing is that the gross traditional edibles that I love like pates, fois gras, and snails are available in dozens of varieties – almost everywhere. Everywhere I have been in France I have been able to get a decent loaf of fresh bread – even where I am in New York it can be difficult to find that. So if you like to eat good food and cook your own meals – you are far better off in France or Italy – and I would reckon Spain and Germany would be the same way. (Food in Ireland is tasty but aside from Fresh Salmon, it will kill you).


2. Hunting and weapons – another thing I like. In New York – for 40$ I get a license to take two deer, one bear and two turkey. I can hunt all over the State and in some of the most magnificent forests in North America (the dak’s). As far as weapons = I have a civilian legal MP-5, I can carry a loaded handgun legally in about 40 states. I have a .300 Winchester Magnum for hunting, etc. I have several hundred hours of instructed trigger time behind a FAL. I cannot get any of this in Japan. To hunt in Germany - I would need almost an Associates degree in wildlife/forestry before I can draw a Jaeger license and hunt deer. I need certificates to own anything. There is no open carry of sidearms. Even with my license, hunting rights are usually owned by the landowner which makes hunting very expensive. A boar hunt in Austria for 3 days from a tree stand can cost 3000 euro. (The flip side is that I have seen hunting videos from Austria where women in leather riding boots and 25k fur coats are shooting wild boar) – You can’t get any .30 caliber gun or handgun in Ireland, etc. If you like arms and hunting – aside from small game in parts of France or Italy – you are out of luck unless you drive into Eastern Europe and risk life and limb. In Arizona I can take a 10 day sniper course taught by ex-military – there is nothing like that anywhere else than the USA.

3. Free speech. Few people realize that both France, Spain (which may have recently been overruled) and Germany have thought crimes laws which criminalize ‘hate speech’ and for other ridiculous activity like defaming the memory of the dead. Internet monitoring in Germany is very common and computer seizures of computers to be searched go on all the time. When Brigette Bardot complained about Muslims in France sacrificing animals and church bells falling silent for want of Priests – she got a fine of several thousand Euro. When a bunch of skeptical Germans, in effect, gassed themselves with high concentrations of Zyclon B to see if it ‘worked’ (they lived) – they had to hide their faces because you cannot ask questions about certain historical ‘truths.’ England and Ireland do not have these laws. The United States generally permits hate speech explicitly by Court ruling. – if you really like to print and write inconvenient history or ask the really tough questions – good luck in Germany with that one. Canada is the same way by the way – although not as bad.

I’ll post more on this later – but like a lot of things - some is good some is bad and vice versa -
06-30-2010 12:17 AM
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