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  •  Considering that the average wage in the US is (0+ / 0-)

    the highest in the world, I'm not sure it's just propaganda.

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 10:44:50 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  your understanding of averages (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karl Rover

      is flawed.  The average is a just a little bit skewed by the people at the top, and with economic disparity in this country being what it is, your use of the the average to describe the wages an immigrant can expect upon arrival is doubly so.

      Back to lurking.

      •  yes, it is skewed (0+ / 0-)

        But it is skewed in other countries as well, although in most cases to a smaller degree. Maybe median income is a better measure, but even in that case, the US ranks second. My point was that the expectation of higher wages in this country relative to the wages of many other countries has some basis in reality.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 10:40:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Karl Rover

          It's not how much money you make, it's what you can buy with it.  I'm pretty sure that you're not going to argue that the median household income (31000) is enough to "live the American dream".  Fifty years ago (adjusted down for inflation), it was, and you could build a half-decent savings alongside it.  That's no longer the case, as every expense has gone up in the last 30 years, while the median wage has really stayed the same, or decreased.

          So, yes, it's propaganda... which was the original point.

          But just for fun, look at all of the other countries surrounding us on that list.  Every other country in the top ten has a state-sponsored health care system.  Subtract what the average* American pays for in health care, and you'll find the US is no longer in the top ten.

          *Here, the average is a pretty good estimate, since unlike incomes, health care costs are distributed.

          •  My point wasn't really to compare the US (0+ / 0-)

            to places like Norway and Luxembourg. My comment was not expressed well. What I was trying to say was that workers from places like China who are trying to come here for work may not be simply be falling for propaganda. I think most workers in this country are still quite a bit better off economically than most workers in China. I also think that given the enormous overall wealth of this country, that we still have the potential for improving the standard of living of most people.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 07:25:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your point is still somewhat problematic (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AaronInSanDiego

              I agree with the idea that we can do better.  Of course,  that can be said about countries like China as well, which has incredible untapped potential for wealth.  There are still much better choices than the US for an immigrant: we Americans are far from the top in terms of GDP per capita, and again, subtracting off health care costs and other necessary costs of living here, we're not even the top ten (we barely scrape 10 as it is).  As we said above, median wealth is much worse, and an unskilled immigrant making minimum wage, and then shelling out 8,000 a year for health insurance (required for residency) is only barely above the GDP per capita of China: a number which grossly overstates the actual wages of a chinese citizen looking for a better life, and completely ignores the actual costs of relocation, not to mention the idea that an unskilled  immigrant making federal minimum wage is something that would almost never happen.

              But given the ease with which one can emmigrate to the Yurpean countries vs. emigration to the U.S. (particularly for unskilled workers), one would do much better going to a place like Germany--or even Australia or Iceland.  At least there are jobs there that pay a living wage, even for unskilled workers--any country (like China!) that still has factories would be ideal.  There sure aren't any here, and that is why the concept of emigrating to the US for a better life is still mostly propaganda.  For highly skilled workers, it is less so, but in ten years of working in the sciences, I've seen many more U.S. students leave the US to find work elsewhere than I have seen foreign students begin to live the American Dream.

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