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(Written by an American expat living in the European Union.)

The truth is I just couldn't take being lied to by the American plutocrat owned corporate media anymore knowing that there are an estimated 59 million medically uninsured fellow Americans out there. It just became too painful for me to take anymore. By contrast everyone you look at it in the European Union has access to medical from cradle-to-grave by right of law. It's considered to be a human right. Why isn't it a human right in America?

Have we in America lost our humanity? As the American plutocrat owned media works at desensitizing us at the plight of 59 million fellow Americans who are medically uninsured that we should step over them, just like when media desensitizes us to step over our fellow Americans who are homeless. But one of the things that really did it for me was understanding that in America there are schools for homeless children. This gives new meaning to the word, only in America, for no other major industrialized advanced nation has schools set aside especially for homeless children.

School caters to homeless children

By Maggie Rodriguez and Lisa Weiss, Special for USA TODAY

SACRAMENTO — Justin Bisher, 11, attends one of the few schools in the country dedicated to homeless children, and that's where he met Lazarus the cat.

"If we're feeling sad at school, Lazarus hops up on our desks and cuddles with us," says Justin, one of an estimated 1.5 million homeless children in the U.S., according to the National Center on Family
Homelessness.

Justin is a fifth-grader at the Mustard Seed School, a free, private school for homeless 3- to 15-year-olds funded by grants and donations.

http://www.usatoday.com/...

I am greatly relieved to know that America no longer executes inmates who are believed to be mentally disabled. Although some advocates who believe that America should ban the death penalty say that developed mentally disabled people are still on death row in America. Why is this allowed to happen and why has this been allowed to happen?

US Supreme Court bans execution of mentally retarded

 By Andrew Buncombe in Washington

The US Supreme Court made a landmark decision yesterday when it ruled that the execution of the mentally retarded was unconstitutional. Its decision that the punishment was "cruel and unusual" will have a huge and immediate effect in more than 30 US states that still put to death prisoners with an IQ of below 70.

http://www.independent.co.uk/...

Is this the America that I grew up in? The country that I pledged allegiance to the flag everyday at school and the country whose military I served. When exactly was it that America was allowed to lose its way? Was it when the Fairness doctrine was axed? Was it when the prison population in the mid 70s was increased from 200,000 to 300,000 to now over 2 million nearly 40 years later thanks to minimum sentencing guidelines that took discretion away from the judges? Speaking of judges, they've become politicians raising money to win political campaigns so that they can buy media ads and further enrich the American plutocrat owned media whose ability to lie to the American people knows no end.

I became exhausted at the idea for paying for tax breaks for America's rich by increasing the national deficit on working people. I tell you it's enough to make you want to leave the country and stick the fine folks at Fox Nation with the bill for the national deficit.

Like many of you out there I gave it my all, phone banked, I door knocked and gave money to progressive politicians, only to find as soon as they're elected they were bought by the K Street lobbyists. I felt betrayed, disgusted, exhausted. I felt ready to leave America for good, wherein my next vote would be with my feet!

Guardian.co.uk , Monday 6 June 2011
Decline and fall of the American empire
by Larry Elliott, Economics editor

The economic powerhouse of the 20th century emerged stronger from the Depression. But faced with cultural decay, structural weaknesses and reliance on finance, can the US do it again?

America clocked up a record last week. The latest drop in house prices meant that the cost of real estate has fallen by 33% since the peak – even bigger than the 31% slide seen when John Steinbeck was writing The Grapes of Wrath.

Unemployment has not returned to Great Depression levels but at 9.1% of the workforce it is still at levels that will have nerves jangling in the White House. The last president to be re-elected with unemployment above 7.2% was Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The US is a country with serious problems. Getting on for one in six depend on government food stamps to ensure they have enough to eat. The budget, which was in surplus little more than a decade ago, now has a deficit of Greek-style proportions. There is policy paralysis in Washington.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

Der Spiegel - Rise of the Rupee, Real and Renminbi
Rival Currencies Take Aim at Dollar's Dominance

By Christian Reiermann  -  05/10/2011

There are many reasons, both short-term and long-term, for the decline of the greenback, a currency once coveted around the world. The fiscal policies of US President Barack Obama and his predecessors cast doubt over whether the US will ever be able to repay its debts. The rating agency Standard & Poor's has already threatened to downgrade the credit rating of the only remaining superpower.

http://www.spiegel.de/...

For time in America, I stopped listening to the American media altogether. I turned instead to the international media only to find that I couldn't get any local news. So it is that I am quite grateful for the Daily Kos to be able to read citizen journalist's accounts from state and regional groups. In order to support local news, some friends and I have launched the Virtual America group project. But the truth is that isn't enough, we need to encourage local news diaries from our fellow kossacks. You see because unlike in the European Union, there is no state owned media in America. There is no equivalent of the BBC in our United States. That is why the blogosphere is so important because it isn't owned wholly by the corporatists yet.  

We will never be able to fix what ails America because we can never find out about it because the corporatists are killing local news. So we can't really organize around local issues to win local elections as Americans have in the past.

Interestingly enough in the European Union, this problem doesn't exist because here the corporatist media has competition from state owned media through out all countries in the great social democracies of Western Europe who regularly report on the shocking deficit in the American social safety net that allows millions of Americans to go hungry to the point of qualifying for food stamps, that allows 59 million Americans to go without medical insurance, that allows 132 million to go without dental insurance, that allows 60 million to go without paid sick leave.

study finds 45,000 deaths annually linked to lack of health coverage

Uninsured, working-age Americans have 40 percent higher death risk than privately insured counterparts

http://news.harvard.edu/...

Why is it that the for-profit plutocrat American corporate media will not report that the things that I just listed do not exist in any country in the European Union where everyone is medically insured, everyone has paid sick leave, everyone has paid maternity leave, everyone has paid annual leave, everyone has access to some sort of a dental plan and prescription medication plan.

While we can all be proud Americans, surely we do not have to be proud of the broken American social safety net. There we could, should and must do better. One way to start is for local people to publish their accounts so we can actually find out what is happening in America, instead of being told about the latest excesses of Paris Hilton and Linsey Lohan or fallen sport stars like Barry Bonds, all of whom are millionaires as are half of all the people in the US Congress. Where does that leave the rest of us? When is it enough?

There are 5 million American expats living abroad, every one of which have their own story. I have just told you my story. As a member of Global Expats at the Daily Kos I know there are many of our fellow kossacks living outside the United States. Yet we are also part of the American story. We are also America because modern America can no longer be defined by the Rio Grande river in the south and in the 49th parallel to the north. Modern day America cannot be defined merely by geography but rather by it's people and I mean all of them. That includes the 5 million American expats living all around the world (1.2 million living in Europe). We need to hear from you. We need to hear your American story of how it is that socialized medicine works for you and your American family in order to combat the lies and deception of the Tea Party.

Tell us how your dental plan works and how you receive subsidized child care and subsidized elder care and how your college tuition in the EU is almost free of charge. Tell us about what it's like to receive double the amount of paid leave that you do in the States. Tell us what it's like not to worry about paid sick leave or not having access to dental care. Tell us what it's like to look around and know that everyone you see is fully medically insured. Tell us what it's like to not to have to go to sleep at night and worry about losing your house to medical bankruptcy and having the corporatists steal your life savings by ripping off your pension plan.  Tell us what's like to have escaped from the plutocrat owned American media. Tell us about your American dream in the European Union, in Asia, in Canada, in Australia, in South America, in Africa, on Pacific islands or on the Indian sub-continent.  Tell us what its like to receive local political reports from state owned media about the lives of real people who were able to politically organize and tell us about how you worry about the folks back home, family and friends. Tell us how guilty you feel living under a secure social safety net while folks that you care about back home are being economically hurt by the American plutocracy whose intent is on breaking unions and hurting working class Americans. Tell us what its like to live in countries that have low crime, clean streets, good public transport and no American style national debt created by tax breaks for the rich because their citizens believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch and they are prepared therefore to pay their fair share of taxes because that's what you have to do if you want good infrastructure, good schools, a good medical system, a strong social safety net and hope for the future (both for yourself and your children).
-------------------------------------------------

The new America is no longer just an issue of geography but therefore cannot be defined to the Rio Grande River to the south and the 49th parallel to the north. America instead has to be defined by its people, over 5 million of whom choose to live abroad. American expats represent the American pioneer spirit that won the West. We love home, family and friends, we vote absentee and some are even members of the Daily Kos community.  To that end, I invite you to join Global Expats at the Daily kos and share with us what your expat experience has been. Thank you for supporting this diary.

Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 05:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Global Expats, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Progressive Hippie.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (178+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scooter in brooklyn, Dom9000, roseeriter, Gemina13, DRo, DarkestHour, Azazello, tardis10, Broke And Unemployed, One Pissed Off Liberal, SeaTurtle, truong son traveler, Zinman, Deward Hastings, dark daze, SpecialKinFlag, Matt Z, HeartlandLiberal, Lupin, arizonablue, pullbackthecurtain, a small quiet voice, DailyDrew, rhubarb, Wendys Wink, madtowntj, big annie, ssmt, GeorgeXVIII, supercereal, lunachickie, Shockwave, surelyujest, statsone, Lepanto, ohmyheck, penguins4peace, Deejay Lyn, DixieDishrag, Jimdotz, senilebiker, psnyder, Eddie C, tgypsy, Orinoco, snowshoeblue, Mnemosyne, avsp, bibble, ActivistGuy, Joe Bob, donnamarie, zerelda, SoulCatcher, Snud, kumaneko, Timaeus, Chun Yang, wader, Trendar, Lisa Lockwood, DawnN, Its a New Day, emal, Sanctimonious, bronte17, SoLeftImRight, Sun Tzu, Lefty Coaster, historys mysteries, esquimaux, PBen, Miggles, Jaimas, ask, wdrath, Russgirl, kevinpdx, grannysally, Floja Roja, tiponeill, expatjourno, high uintas, Swill to Power, Habitat Vic, TuvanDrone, FlyingToaster, bozepravde15, drnononono, radarlady, koNko, OllieGarkey, lol chikinburd, marleycat, doingbusinessas, Diana in NoVa, flowerfarmer, Keone Michaels, kafkananda, Son of a Cat, LamontCranston, where4art, gooderservice, tdub901, coldwynn, gatorcog, Dreaming of Better Days, camlbacker, jazzbuff, NBBooks, adrianrf, rasbobbo, dotsright, arlene, chuckvw, cpresley, No one gets out alive, prfb, banjolele, pawtucketpat, BMarshall, Pinto Pony, smileycreek, Daily Activist, Lujane, Brooke In Seattle, Churchill, Jake Williams, Lorikeet, snazzzybird, fritzrth, Brecht, boran2, CanyonWren, Renee, Lucy2009, Detlef, Rogneid, RagingGurrl, Mr Robert, reflectionsv37, MrJayTee, NearlyNormal, Strange New World, ZAPatty, mofembot, tegrat, whyvee, Desolations Angel, dash888, Flaming Liberal for Jesus, h bridges, pengiep, Unitary Moonbat, legendmn, Williston Barrett, elziax, beforedawn, Louise, Born in NOLA, BlueDragon, fhcec, Involuntary Exile, agincour, deben, teknospaz, Mudderway, Tookish, ZhenRen, Unbozo, big spoiled baby, dirtfarmer, Lawrence, OHdog, Larsstephens, ceebee7, slatsg, NoMoreLies

    sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

    by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 05:33:32 AM PDT

  •  Wait while I pack my bag. I'll be right over. (9+ / 0-)

    Live for friendship, live for love, For truth's and harmony's behoof; The state may follow how it can

    by SpamNunn on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 05:35:40 AM PDT

  •  husband and i (39+ / 0-)

    have been actively considering a departure in about 5 more years when he can retire. we've been marching in the wrong direction for 30 years.

    not another dime to the dnc, dscc, dccc until i have my civil rights.

    by scooter in brooklyn on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 05:42:15 AM PDT

  •  Even though your new continent... (12+ / 0-)

    ...produced Torquemada, Hitler, Himmler and Tony Blair, I do understand there are positive things going on there.  So best of luck.

    The only exercise I take is walking behind the coffins of friends who took exercise. -- Peter O'Toole

    by dov12348 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 05:49:52 AM PDT

  •  Not only has Corporatism taken control of our (25+ / 0-)

    government and most politicians on both sides, we, Americans have been subject to so much 'democracy propaganda' and I didn't realize this until last night after watching a documentary "A State of Mind" about two North Korean gymnastic girls. (google doc title)

    The BBC film company was allowed to film the progress of two girls practicing to perform in North Korea's Mass Games. The film showed the propaganda sqwak/propoganda box radio that all families must have turned on at all times (1984 anyone?) And how all people are brainwashed into total worship of Leader Jong etc. Hating the Imperialist Americans is also part of their propaganda.. anyways after watching the magnificence of the synchronicity (lock-step movement/control/discipline) Mass Games which was AWESOME! I started wondering why we didn't, as a people, know much about N. Korea other than they are an isolated communist country with nuclear power.

    The individual people were wonderful human beings. It then dawned on me how as Americans with our controlled media and consumer labeled citizenry weren't much different and this wasn't just happestance. Only difference is we have more shiny objects to distract us from our rule ridden, xtian/corporate controlled society.

    Much of my awakening has occurred this year at 59! I was aware of much of it but didn't really pay too much attention until books like The Shock Doctrine shook my soul and I realized we are only PRETEND PLAYING POLITICS.

    How we can change any of it since its been going on for decades is where I'm stuck at. I do know that our real utopia is within each of us and although the thought of moving to some place new sounds cool, it's not logically financially doable and probably not really necessary.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    by roseeriter on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 05:59:50 AM PDT

  •  been contemplating leaving for (10+ / 0-)

    quite awhile now, but it's just too expensive.

    but not for Europe.

    "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" -Prof. Farnsworth

    by terrypinder on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 06:05:48 AM PDT

  •  Sigh. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, bozepravde15, sweettp2063

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 06:07:23 AM PDT

  •  Us SE Asian ex-pats are underfinanced horndogs (3+ / 0-)

    who split the USA for the local dirt-cheap booze, smokes, & nightlife with the added benefit of no rules to follow. There are a handful of exceptions, but this describes most of us. Even worse, some of us are scum who watch FOX instead of BBC. In fact, the USA improved with our departure.

    If any of you doubt this, Google Gary Glitter (born Paul Francis Gadd) and David Carradine and their SE Asian sexcapades.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 06:11:07 AM PDT

  •  Sad. The ultimate "give up" diary. I guess (11+ / 0-)

    its a matter of personal life choice, but I won't sit around toasting you and act like you're some sort of progressive hero for doing it.  You gave up and you walked off from us.  Bully.  I don't begrudge you your life choices - but I'm not sure how giving up has helped us.

    5 million ex-pats, huh?  I wonder how different this country would be with 5 million more helping hands and 5 million more positive voters.

    Join us at the Amateur Radio Group. Serving the Left Side of the Dial since 2011.

    by briefer on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 06:39:22 AM PDT

  •  you can't lose something you never had... (8+ / 0-)
    Have we in America lost our humanity? As the American plutocrat owned media works at desensitizing us at the plight of 59 million fellow Americans who are medically uninsured that we should step over them, just like when media desensitizes us to step over our fellow Americans who are homeless.

    IMO there have always been pockets of humanity scattered throughout America, but never has it been a consensus.

    The rich and greedy will always want the poor to have less so they get more.

  •  been toying with the idea myself (8+ / 0-)

    I'm slowly preparing things for a potential switch but I'm unsure of how hard it will be to stay.  Let me explain:

    I'm learning French in my spare time.  I know one of the biggest hurdles to citizenship is command of the language.  I have a long way to go before I can claim even competency in the language but at this point I would be able to communicate on a basic level with people.  Most things I needed or questions I had I could communicate if needed, although it would probably be painful for a native french speaker to listen to me butcher their language.

    I've also been keeping an eye open for internships available in France.  I've started applying to 1, 2, and 3 year internships as a way to get a foot in the door.  The problem is, after the internship is done I would have to return to the US.  This is where I'm confused.  What is the process in becoming a permanent ex pat?  Do I need citizenship?  How hard is it to get that during a temporary work visa while on internship?  

    I don't doubt any committee's concern over my potential value as a French citizen.  I have a high level of education and I work in medical research so I certainly won't be mooching off the government.  I know I have plenty to contribute.  With that and a stronger command of the language (which I have yet to obtain) what would my chances be at getting a semi-permanent 'Bienvenue!'?

    "All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour." -Julia, 1984

    by pullbackthecurtain on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:03:06 AM PDT

  •  Is this a new version of "Left Behind"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Mariken

    In my humble opinion, even those places that seem to have their act together, have many challenges.  Also things change quickly if people are not diligent.  Anyway, I moved to a US state that, from a progressive view, doesn't have its act together and have decided to stay.  I feel my experiences here are part me learning to appreciate that I don't have all the answers for other people and coming to know that I can accomplish being myself, true to my understandings, even in an environment that is not particularly reinforcing.

  •  Husband is first-gen Swede (11+ / 0-)

    His parents came from Sweden and a Swedish community in Finland, 100 years ago. I keep thinking that this is a gossamer lifeline (perhaps it isn't).  Plus we are professionals, teacher and nurse. A lifeline not to the "good life" on the dole, but one to pull us out of harm's way when things fall to pieces over here, as they inevitably must.

    Sometimes a .sig is just a .sig.

    by rhubarb on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:16:01 AM PDT

    •  thank you (15+ / 0-)
      A lifeline not to the "good life" on the dole, but one to pull us out of harm's way when things fall to pieces over here

      It kills me to see people refer to this as being selfish. What do they think all the millions of immigrants who moved to the US initially came here for? They came here for a better life.

      Why the HELL should people who can do so NOT go somewhere else and try to make a better life for themselves, now that there's not a lot of hope for America to have a good life at all?

      Stay and fight? With what? Everything is compromised. You want to plan a revolution? I damn well do too, but the ability for us to pull a Greece is pretty well screwed, unless we do something spontaneous real soon.

      Because, you know that warrantless wiretapping thing that everyone tut-tuts about and wrings their hands over and hasn't stopped yet? You think that was just about catching "terrorists"? NO. It is also about having the most thorough ability available to keep over 300 million citizens from mounting an effective revolt against this now-compromised government.

       

      REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

      by lunachickie on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:49:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been considering Canada (7+ / 0-)

    For over a year now I've been strongly considering Canada.  With each passing day I'm leaning towards it more and more.  Even with the right-wing party ruling there it's a vastly superior situation to live in than here.

    •  To ChadmanFL - Interesting post (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChadmanFL

      Congratulations on making a good choice. They have a great medical system in Canada. All the best on your coming Canadian adventure.

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:24:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I lived in Canada for 3 years (7+ / 0-)

      It's moving towards corporatism and more US styled business climate than ever before.  It's not a panacea.  They have their own Fox styled "news" channel in place and are chipping away at Canadian safety nets as well.  

      I loved living in BC and miss it a lot, but between the immigration hassles and the fact they're sliding down the same political path as the US (without the freakish fascist Christian aspect) means you'd be best off staying in the US and fighting for a good political cause.  

      •  The grass is always greener or the other side... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OLinda, Floja Roja, Loge, killjoy, Cardinal96

        They think it's some wonderland in Canada where everything is FREE and everyone loves each other.

        What a joke.

        I've lived here for going on 15 years.  I lived through the immigration hassles.  And, I've lived through the inability to find gainful employment because of anti-Americanism and other bullshit.  

        Gasoline is 4x more expensive here.  Taxes are fucking outrageous.  Healthcare is in no way free and good luck finding a health care provider.  The only one I've ever been able to find is PRIVATE and she charges 100 bucks a visit.

        If I could get a job offer in the US, I would come back in a heartbeat.

        But, people can still pretend it's so wonderful to live in 6 months of snow and ice and a 4 week summer all for the joys of paying crushing taxes and being marginalized economically because you were not born in Canada.

        •  the cold (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Floja Roja

          is the main thing that always occurs to me. I just couldn't do it.

          America is so not like her hype.

          by OLinda on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 08:37:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Neither is Canada... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deejay Lyn, aggieric, Pozzo, Loge

            Neither is Europe.

            The biggest obstacle that most forget is that wherever you go, you will be an IMMIGRANT and you will find yourself rootless and socially disoriented.  People think that because they are AMERICANS they will  be treated in some special way.  The only way you will be treated SPECIAL is in the discrimination you're going to suffer.

            No matter where you go, people take care of their OWN first.

            •  Well if I do move there (0+ / 0-)

              Believe me... I won't be waving an American flag and talking about how great the U.S. is.  I'd do my best to assimilate to the culture of the country.  I've been there several times and NEVER experienced any of the issues you seem to have had, outside of a few obnoxious French Canadians.

        •  Not much accuracy here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fiendish thingy

          Gas is not 4x more expensive, our unemployment rate is below 8%.  My wife just changed her primary care physician and it took her 2 days to get a new one.  Private physicians are not legal under the Canada Health Act so you are being ripped off.  
          You haven't been able to gain employment because of "Anti Americanism"?  My wife is American and has never had trouble getting employment.  
          Do you think it's maybe your attitude

          •  What an ass.... (0+ / 0-)

            Maybe it's because I live in Quebec an as an ENglish-speaking person I'm a fucking second class citizen of Canada.

            Don,t tell me what my experiences are.  They are real and no fucking exaggeration...MR. TRUDEAU.

            •  That explains it (0+ / 0-)

              If youi're talking about Quebec I can see your point.  I've had some bad experiences with French Canadians.  Though if I were to move to Canada it wouldn't be Quebec.  Quebec was always an outlier in attitudes towards Americans from my experience.

        •  No offense David (0+ / 0-)

          But are you even a progressive?  You sure seem to complain about taxes a lot.  It seems you just generally have a bad animosity towards Canada.  I've visited Canada several times and always came away with a very good impression.  

          And as far as gas prices go, soon enough those will be sky high everywhere given the remaining oil supply left in the world and growing demand.  Not sure how it's 4x higher in Canada.  If it's 4x higher there are you telling me you pay $14+ per gallon?

      •  that alone (10+ / 0-)
        without the freakish fascist Christian aspect
        could make the effort of moving worthwhile. Every time I see a statistic on how many of the American population believes that nonsense, it seems to be a slightly higher number. Depressing and terrifying, all at once.

        Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

        by Mnemosyne on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 08:15:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Uh.. (2+ / 0-)

        Review panel denied the fox news channel, last I heard..

        Ontario's not bad.  As you go midwest, it gets a bit more right wing, I hear.

      •  Not true (2+ / 0-)

        The Harper government has been very careful not to touch the social safety net and is adding additional funding to the medical system.  There is no "Citizens United" and campaign contributions are strictly limited.  As for Fox news clones, not really, where is it?
        Americans need to understand that Conservative in Canada does not mean the same thing as in the US

    •  come on up. (3+ / 0-)

      glad to have you.

      "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

      by statsone on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:29:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can understand the people who leave the USA (9+ / 0-)

    Not everyone wants to live their life fighting every election and getting so little progress. Most people just want to live a peaceful, fulfilling life in a country with people (and a government) that shares your values.

    I've thought about leaving the US too (I really like Denmark, Sweden, and Germany) but I've decided against it. I'm too competitive to let the teabaggers win. I'm going to stay to kick their ass and shove single-payer healthcare down their throats.

  •  The American Dream is now (21+ / 0-)

    a life-support system for a bloated military waging endless wars for the big multinationals

    and everyone alse (except for the top 1% superrich) is in deep shit

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:34:10 AM PDT

  •  My girlfriend was born in Poland and still retains (12+ / 0-)

    citizenship.  Needless to say, I'm learning Polish.  I do worry that I don't really have any transferrable skills as I work for the gov't.  Not sure how I could market that.  Teach English perhaps.

    My opinion is that America is a society in decline.  It is unraveling.  All the signs of a failing empire are there: increasing political divide, ineffectual government, rapidly weakening currency, multiple needless military entanglements, etc.

    I don't see that it can survive more than perhaps 20 years or so.  My prediction is that it will eventually dissolve into 5 or 6 loosely affiliated federations.  Hopefully that happens peacefully.

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:37:36 AM PDT

  •  My 5-year plan (18+ / 0-)

    is to sell my house, take my inherited investments, buy the largest sailboat/catamaran I can handle (crew of 2) and set sail.

    The Pacific Ocean is plenty big enough to keep us busy, fed and happy for quite a while.  I also like the fact that if the county I am in has big problems, or wants me gone, I can leave for safer shores just by lifting anchor.

    Ya, greenhouse, chickens, solar everything, nothin' fancy, all for function.  I call it "Going WaterWorld".  ;-)

    "Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor." Soren Kierkegaard

    by ohmyheck on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:41:30 AM PDT

  •  How do you go about expatriating? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, Pluto

    I've had my eyes on Canada, Scotland, or England for a while, and was wondering.. How one actually goes through the process of leaving this wretched country behind?

    I'm a college age married man, both myself and my wife were born and raised in this country. I currently have an Associates degree and am still quite the distance from my Bachelor's, due to the Corporate College Loan Scam system this horrible country has in place. I do have work experience in my field, though, so that's good, I guess.

    Bottom line is that I'm treading water in my school debt, have that shitty Republican HSA bullshit where I have to pay 5500 dollars of my own money BEFORE I get a penny of health insurance coverage, in addition to paying 200 dollars a month in premiums, and want to live somewhere that isn't full of Republican Mouthbreathers.

    Those fuckers can have this country. I want to leave. Any advice as to how?

    "A man chooses, a slave obeys." "We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us." - Andrew Ryan - Bioshock

    by Valdearg on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:50:41 AM PDT

  •  Isn't this all kind of old news for the Dem Party? (0+ / 0-)

    We're a country struggling for Next Steps in a media mired in copies of 200n - A Year In Review.

    The economic powerhouse of the 20th century emerged stronger from the Depression. But faced with cultural decay, structural weaknesses and reliance on finance, can the US do it again?
    Well, sort of, some of a much smaller US "emerged"... We're hoping all of us emerge healthier and happier than in 1939.
    American Cultural History 1930 - 1939FACTS about this decade.
    Population: 123,188,000 in 48 states
    Life Expectancy: Male, 58.1; Female, 61.6
    Average salary: $1,368
    Unemployment rises to 25%
    Huey Long proposes a guaranteed annual income of $2,500
    Car Sales: 2,787,400
    Food Prices: Milk, 14 cents a qt.; Bread, 9 cents a loaf; Round Steak, 42 cents a pound
    Lynchings: 21
    Today in the US poverty standards are much higher, the country is more than twice as populated, the middle class has expanded, health care handles more people with far more services and better outcomes. It simply needs to be delivered to all Americans cradle-to-grave and control costs. And lynchings have been reduced. Gunshots increased.  

    The US has serious, complex problems metastasizing amidst a global transformation and realignment of power and trade and within a government captured by domestic AND FOREIGN investors.

    I wish we had a better handle on actual metrics, a firm factual foundation, one upon which many can make actionable, measurable plans. Instead we seem to be stuck in the "there's a problem" series of headlines to which we append our shared bromides and demagoguery. I hope the netroots awesome knowledge potential is marshaled to provide timely knowledge. Then we'll have a better chance at all of the US emerging from our current set of challenges and finally on to some new ones.

    Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

    by kck on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:55:25 AM PDT

  •  In America (5+ / 0-)
    being told about the latest excesses of Paris Hilton and Linsey Lohan or fallen sport stars like Barry Bonds, all of whom are millionaires as are half of all the people in the US Congress. Where does that leave the rest of us?

    In the US, if you're not a millionaire, then you simply do. not. matter.

    "Tu vida es ahora" ~graffiti in Madrid's Puerta del Sol, May, 2011.

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:58:59 AM PDT

  •  There are times I grow weary of fighting the Pugs (13+ / 0-)

    Which, I guess, is to their "credit"... they can sure wear me down sometimes because they just don't let up.

    I understand those who leave (my sister's been in the UK for about forty years now) and I understand those who stay to keep up the good fight.

    But if America falls too much farther to the right, it's going to be the world's problem and not just confined to here because the far-right ideologues are not in any way encumbered by reality, let alone ethics. I suspect they won't worry about geographical borders, either.

    I'm not a religious person but God help us all if the right-wingers in America keep winning elections and Supreme Court appointments.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 08:24:23 AM PDT

  •  Within just a few days of the Republican (5+ / 0-)

    theft of the presidential election in 2004, my wife and I were in Canada looking at properties.  We hired a Canadian immigration lawyer. We had plans for moving our business there.

    We even put down a deposit on an incredible property in the beautiful Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, not far from Wolfville.  But the house turned out to be infested with asbestos, and we punted and moved instead to a rural part of Maryland.

    I frequently regret that we didn't go through with that.  That was our highwater year economically.  It has been steadily downhill ever since.  I keep thinking we'd be better off if we had expatriated.

    Now, I think we may be a bit too old to pull it off.

    It is a calling...to do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

    by Timaeus on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 08:47:25 AM PDT

  •  My mom is 87, and a bedridden amputee. (6+ / 0-)

    When she passes away, I will be leaving the US forever to head to Canada.  I have dual-citizenship so unlike most Americans, I can just move to another country w/o red tape or getting accepted to imigrate to another country.

    Oops I should have said, unless matters change drastically, I will be moving.  (And the odds are not very good for dramatic change, soooo...)

    Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

    by Quicklund on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 08:49:06 AM PDT

  •  I don't live in the EU but I have a story (12+ / 0-)

    A few weeks ago I was in Poland - a country that has socialized medicine - and I got what I was sure was strep throat.  I told the organizers of the conference that I was at, and within an hour they got me an appointment with an English speaking doctor.  I went straight over there, saw the doctor almost immediately, and she gave me a perscription for antibiotics which I walked down the hall and filled.  

    The whole thing took 2 hours and cost me $30.  There is no way I would have been in and out that fast and with so little money spent in the US - even with my relatively good health insurance.

    That is what happens in a socialized medicine system.

    If Poland, a country with a smaller GDP per capita than the US, can have quality universal health care, then why can't we.

  •  there's something wrong with the soul of (16+ / 0-)

    this nation.

    when a "preacher" (huckabee) can go in TV in a commercial and fkatly say that healthcare for everyone (which is really a misnomer in this case as he's talking about "obamacare") is wrong...

    when teachers, cops and firefighters are suddenly enemies...

    when NOBODY and I mean NOBODY is screaming mad about the desperation of normal american families and 25 million kids are living in poverty (did you see 60 minutes this weekend?)..

    when the supreme court says unlimited money in elections is A OK and that class action lawsuits that have too many claimants are "troublesome"

    we are off the rails and on a fast train to oligarchy.

    I'm leaving too. Although I will continue to fight, I believe the foundations of anything that could change it have been destroyed: the media, the courts, elections. This is the foundation and all of them have been corrupted significantly by corporations and their money.  If we don't have free and fair elections, and we don't have a scrutinous media, and we don't have impartial courts, we have no foundation for change.

    When you add to that defunding education (so people can't think and will "vote" even against their own interests), and making health something only the rich enjoy (so that people are desperate and will take any job or they will die and not be a burden we have to bear as a society)... it makes change nearly impossible and yet, this is what we have now.

    One day the wool will fall from the eyes of the populace and hopefully they will rise up like the French did so few centuries ago. We're not there yet. But it's coming. I don't know if I'll be alive to see it, but I care about my life enough to leave now while I can. I wish i could take more with me.

    •  well said (7+ / 0-)

      I fear that America may have already crossed the point of no return.

      Since Reagan, I have watched this country and our freedom erode so that now

      someone like Bachmann is seriously considered a mainstream presidential candidate

      elected representatives with their insatiable obsession with turning back the clock on women's reproductive rights talk openly and with moral authority of forcing women to birth rapist's children

      the disregard for science is acceptable

      we engage in endless wars that profit corporations

      I could go on and on. The bottom line, I see America in decline and it could get very ugly.

      •  it will get uglier. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        big annie, Apost8, Russgirl, adrianrf

        you are right and there is nothing wrong with reading the writing on the wall.

        frankly i believe it's a matter of life and death. If i stay here, I resign myself to a likely early death because frankly i am not ever going to be a king of industry. so im fodder.

        there's nothing wrong with seeing the writing on the wall. there were a quarter million (and more who wanted to) jews who fled Germany and austria before kristallnacht happened in 1938 and it was more than a few years before that that jews were legally being denied the right to live and work freely, denied educational opportunities, citizenship and the freedom to marry whomever they chose.

        there's nothing wrong about reading the writing on the wall.
        Our system is not better, but it's much more insidiously disguised. our courts, including our highest, is compromised. our media is compromised because they need viewers to make ad revenue. this means sensationalistic reporting get the bills paid. our elections and subsequent legislation is ruled by donations from large entities so that unless you can pay for a "representative" to vote for your cause, you're fucked.

        there is nothing wrong with seeing the writing on the wall.

        where would change begin?

        with the current structure, it's not really possible, IMO.  and people aren't angry enough to revolt in the streets and start burning shit down. We haven't reached a "Tunisia" moment or a "Egypt" moment. We're not angry enough. Yet.

        It will happen. But I'm not waiting around for it.

        If it happens in my lifetime, I'll gladly come back and march in the streets and throw bottles or do whatever is being done to take the whole thing, throw it out and start fresh. I'm no coward. I'm more than happy to risk my life in an actual revolution. But that may not happen before I die. So I'm making alternate plans to live out may days in a sane society where i can live and die with some modicum of dignity.

  •  Since (3+ / 0-)

    I was 12 years old, I've wanted to leave the US.

    The racism,sexism, hatred of intelligence, etc.
    I just knew, even at that tender age, that there was nothing for me here.

    Peace Shopper- Saving more than pennies :-)

    by Maori on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 09:11:51 AM PDT

  •  Seriously, why all of the 'doomsday" speak folks? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skwege101, Pozzo, ctexrep, Cardinal96

    This country has flourished for a better part of 200+ years. This great nation may have its share of ups and downs but you most certainly can't (and shouldn't) count us out.

    Quite frankly, I love a good political fight. It's what keeps things interesting. Kinda like my 28-year marriage. You just gotta know when to spice it up.

    I'm a woman of color, who grew up in the north (Detroit, Michigan)

    by Boris Badenov on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 09:12:22 AM PDT

    •  It's more sound and fury (0+ / 0-)

      than action, for one thing.  It's rather few people relative to the total number of regular commenters on DKos.  

      I stay because I've been in Europe, particularly, and that's not the life I chose to live.  The safe bourgeois Western middle class life that the EU is built around is better than what many have, but it's not perfect.  It has its own sorts of desperations and despairs, its particular forms of failure of creativity and ennui.

      Its system was set up to be therapeutic for the populations that survived WW2 originally, and now it serves the populations that suffered Communism (in the east) and has ameliorated very grim historical poverty and fascisms (in the far north and south).  But it is therapeutic, and if you ask yourself what all these average people in the EU are working for, it is to build the EU/themselves up and overcome the many problem legacies of the European past.

      Europe is the place where they've gotten things to work, where the things known to work have mostly gotten well organized, optimized mostly, and gross economic inefficiencies are rarely tolerated.   There is much ingenuity and excellent development and execution of things.  But little that is really radical and new, that falls under 'breakthrough'.    Europe could be the place where nuclear fusion, cancer, or mental illness are figured out and solved.  But somehow it's not terribly likely.

  •  I've lived in Europe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Cardinal96


    and frankly, I don't get how you can say that you have left the United States, still vote on an absentee ballot, and claim that you have 'stopped financing' the plutocracy.  Don't you pay American income taxes?  If you don't, there is a law stating that Americans are responsible for payment of their income tax for their world income.  So unless you are tax-evading, you are still 'paying the plutocracy' the same way you're paying it here.  I lived in Germany for five years, paid income tax for every minute I lived there.  Minus a tax-exclusion of course.  But I was in no way out of the US tax system.  And neither are you.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 09:12:50 AM PDT

  •  Since the move to DK4, I have been (9+ / 0-)

    disinclined to join any group, but I'll be happy to write a diary for you about how my choice was my relationship or "my" country, the decision to move to the Netherlands, and what it has cost me - financially, emotionally, etc.

    Drop me a note if you're interested.

  •  Why we left... (13+ / 0-)

    ...in 2004 in random order:

    -- the quality of life in LA really sucked (unlike in the 70s and 80s)

    -- we hit the age 50 milestone; our health insurance premium rocketed to $1400/month

    -- we felt generally unsafe; if something bad happened (à la Katrina), we had no faith anymore in the CA or Federal governments to help us (unlike what they did after the Northridge earthquake)

    -- we felt pangs of conscience supporting a regime of war criminals, torturers and profiteers (tho we still pay taxes to Uncle Sam); in fact we started to feel "anti-Americans

    -- we anticipated real estate crash and we wanted to cash in while we still could (small mortgage)

    -- we wanted to get rid of all debt & have a smaller carbon footprint & move closer to small food production in the countryside

    -- we felt the USA was entering its Gorbachev period before a tectonic shift and not being very rich, we thought we might be bulldozed in the process

    In the end chose the South of France because: we had dual citizenship; we spoke the language; we had one friend in the region; the region was stunningly beautiful; real estate prices were incredibly low; French health care system is great; we were ready for a move.

    We now live more modestly than before; yet we have a much better life.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 09:15:48 AM PDT

    •  You'r words touch my heart (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffersonian Democrat, Lupin

      I love the South of France.  I lived in Belgium and travelled all over France long aga.  I learned the language and married a Belgian.  We honeymooned in St. Raphael and Monaco.  I remember driving through Aix-en-Provence.  What a heavenly little town.  I am over 60.  I have been stuk in Florida for a long time.  I don't like it here.  I wish I had the courage and the motivation to do what you have done.

      I honor you for your wisdom and your pursuit of grace and beauty and the good life.  The Sout of France is heavenly.

      PEACE

    •  A much better life... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lupin

      ...indeed! Even the Dutch have more "joie de vivre" than your average American. I know, having lived there for 13 years and now have Dutch citizenship. Plus these more generous societies leave you more time and money to enjoy life, albeit in simple ways, and there is much more to enjoy: good food, great culture, wonderful history, etc etc etc. And no fundamentalist Christians, and no neo-Puritansim!!!!!!!

  •  And you found.... (5+ / 0-)

    A virtual heaven on earth, no racism, no injustice, social equality and freedom for all... If so I'd sure like to know what country it is because from everything I can tell every country in europe and the rest of the world is just as screwed up as we are if not worse. It may be in a different way, but screwed up none the less. There is a reason people stand in line for years for chance to come here. The US is imperfect to be sure, but about as good as it gets.

    •  Not anymore, I'm afraid. (7+ / 0-)

      In Germany for example, it's not hard for a worker to get a living wage. In most European countries, you can reasonably expect to be able to get healthcare once you acquire citizenship. In Europe, someone might reasonably hope for advancement out of their station after years of hard work.

      People here in the US are ground down, desperate, and, for those at the bottom, utterly without hope of any improvements, whatsoever, in their lives. Trust me when I say that people would go to any length to have the kind of opportunities those outside the US do.

      •  Your incorrect - numbers don't lie (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pozzo
        As of 2006, the United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all other countries in the world combined.

        If the US was such a hopeless shithole, why do more people want to come here than any other place on earth?

        BTW - here's the link becasue I have a feeling you may ask.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:40:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  but nobody does war like the U.S. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf
    •  Don't know what to say (0+ / 0-)

      ...other than LOL LOL LOL LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

      In your dreams, buster!

      Must be a troll....

      •  So... (0+ / 0-)

        You don't read the stories about anti-muslim sentiment in Belgium.. neo-nazism in England, economic meltdown in Greece , riots in immigrant ghettos in France, etc.. etc... etc....

        •  Of course... (0+ / 0-)

          I'm aware of such stuff. It's not an absolute Paradise. It is just oh soooooooooooooooooooo much better than the life in the states. Look, I've lived both sides, evidently your judging from afar.

          •  As someone who has lived in both (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pozzo

            continents but prefers the USA and would take Canada over both, I think you two are playing tennis batting things back and forth. There are positives to both continents, and things both continents lack.

            I know a great many expats who prefer the USA to Germany, the UK, Italy, etc., and vice versa I know many Americans who are more comfortable in Europe.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 05:01:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thoughtful, well-written diary, DR (4+ / 0-)

    And I know how you feel.  I'm marching straight toward 70 years of age, and I also feel like giving up.

    For YEARS, I spent my time, my money, and my passion working for women's rights--marched, donated, phonebanked, knocked on doors, all that stuff--only to see the right to safe, legal abortion eroded almost to the point of nonexistence, the right to contraception threatened, and 38 years later, the Equal Rights Amendment still unpassed.

    And what do I see when I look around?  I see women still starving themselves to look "beautiful," spending their money on shoes because that's supposed to make them look desirable, and still serving as prey for predators.  No one teaches girls and women to fight back when threatened.  And how far can a woman run from danger in four-inch-high Jimmy Choo shoes?

    So, yes, I understand the feeling of that one has done everything one can and now one has had it.  However, although my husband is still a British subject and even has family over there, we won't move now.  We're just too old.

    But believe me, we are quite aware that we are living in the sunset of the American dream in the sense that we are retired and living in our own house.  We know our children are unlikely to receive Social Security benefits when their time comes to retire.  I'd urge my sons, who are also British subjects (it seems that Brits never lose their citizenship) to move over there, except it would be too wrenching to be separated from them.

    Dem. Ramshields, I think a group that would discuss the topics you mentioned would be fascinating.  I'd enjoy it as much as I enjoyed watching Sicko.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:08:59 AM PDT

  •  Like the old saying goes... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Cardinal96

    The grass is always greener on the other side.

    ....and I add, be careful you don't step in what makes the grass so green.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:12:10 AM PDT

  •  I have posted this so often on Kos (4+ / 0-)

    If I were younger (I'm over 60) I would leave this mess of a country and not look back.  I would move to France, where a true social safety net and a true modern Democratic society exists, and where the citizens are empowered and protected by their government.  Costa Rica is another option.

    Democrats Ramshield has written eloquently about this situation for a long time.  I agree with him and honor him for showing hard truths and thoughtful personal self-examination and sharing all of that here on Kos.  And no one need think I am anything but a good citizen.  I served in Vietnam in the USAF.  I served honorably and received great GI Bill benefits and other benefits (i yr leave w/pay for college- Operation Bootstratp, as well as 1 yr leave w/pay as a state of Florida employee to complete my Master's).  The US has gone to hell.  Almost everything I cherished in this country has deteriorated or has been destroyed by the know-nothing Teabaggers and thei funding sources, th Koch bros., Dick Armey and Karl Rove.  They have literally attacked and nearly devoured the social safety net in the US.  It is the saddest thing I have ever seen in my lifetime.  The whole country has been harmed immensely.  I doubt the US will recover for many decades, if ever.  I cannot write the words to describe how I feel about Rove,Bush, Armey & the Koch bros and their brothers and sisters in crime.  Whenever they speak I have a gut feeling that is almost like wanting to vomit.  I am not using hyperbole.

  •  Every time I read your posts... (0+ / 0-)

    I wanna pack my crap and get the hell out of Dodge.  Maybe one day, if some country decides that they need ad producers.  If only.

  •  For anyone who wants to start that path.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superpole, adrianrf, Russgirl, OLinda

    or wants to dream, as well:

    http://www.escapeartist.com/

    Hey Boehner and the Republicans: WHERE ARE THOSE JOBS YOU PROMISED????

    by LamontCranston on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:20:34 AM PDT

  •  What Really makes no sense (0+ / 0-)

    Is that many of those high fiving each other about how America is "Teh sukz" and they are leaving or will be leaving if they can afford it want to make it easier for others to come here. What's the point of that if you really believe that this country is so bad, or is done or that there's no opportunity here?

    •  when i travel, (0+ / 0-)

      i try to avoid other americans.  mostly because i can talk to americans here.  anectodally, I've found that the British are happy to make fun of you for being American, or anything else.  They don't really care about making a particular point, they just like insulting people.  French are more interested in lecturing me about our cutlural failings (le Macdo) than politics. Germans got more political (they take ideas seriously).  Italians I've found to be the most curious -- more questions than answers.  The Greeks and Japanese seemed generally uninterested in anything not involving Greece or Japan.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:43:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not far behind you.... (0+ / 0-)

    Looking to Brazil... 7% annual growth rate, incredible weather, etc., etc....

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:01:28 AM PDT

  •  This is like saying, "ha ha, I got to leave". (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, mallyroyal, Cardinal96, royce

    Zero thought has been given to the millions who do not have the resources to leave. Theoretically, we all can leave, just like theoretically we all can get rich.

    I would also add that many countries are wonderful if one is in a position to take advantage of the best those countries can or will offer certain people. Not all Europeans have the same quality of life you enjoy bringing to our attention.

    I'm happy that the diarist is doing well, I believe everyone should be able to do well, but I really don't see the point in these Europe-Is-Great-Wish-You-Were-Here diaries? Perhaps we should take up a collection so that all that want to leave can do so and find contentment elsewhere?

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:02:55 AM PDT

    •  exactly (3+ / 0-)
      would also add that many countries are wonderful if one is in a position to take advantage of the best those countries can or will offer certain people. Not all Europeans have the same quality of life you enjoy bringing to our attention

      And it's not just Europe. I see a lot of pining for other places, like Thailand. Millions of Thais don't have it well at all there. Same thing with Brazil. Sure if you have money it's great, if you are poor, it's much worse than being poor here. It's like the hipsters who move to a poor neighbood in a city because it's "up and coming." They can afford to leave should things not work out. Many in those countries cannot.
      •  I have nothing aginst Europe or the diarist, but.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pozzo

        ...Europe has some issues it must deal with both in the short-term and long-term, ironically, this includes immigration and assimilation.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 02:25:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't really understand the point of this diary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pozzo, Cardinal96, sebastianguy99

      either.  Its weird.  I can't leave.  And I've known for a long time that Western Europe and Scandanavia contain many social programs that are the envy of liberals in this country.   But we are here working to change things for the better.  So they have near free college education in much of Europe.  Okay, there are reasons we don't have such things here, which I would find much more thought provoking that a compare and contrast between Europe and the US.  

      •  They only want some of us anyway (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        royce

        That is one thing that strikes me as odd about these types of diaries.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 02:21:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A good point everyone ignores. Too many people (0+ / 0-)

          don't realize that Americans can't just fly to a new country and move in. Yes, they can get Holiday Visas for most countries, but a Resident Visa is a completely different matter. Even here in 3rd World SE Asia, most Western ex-pats get their residency through marriage and a few put the US$25,000 in the government bank for a Retirement Visa. The rest just renew Vacation Visas, even as Thailand and Malaysia are starting to outlaw this practice.

          From everything I hear, Europe is infinitely harder to legally move to. Yep, most people can't legally change countries.

          I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

          by shann on Mon Jul 04, 2011 at 08:45:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Best Students Leaving Germany (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Loge, burlydee, Cardinal96, royce

    The grass is always greener.  Sorry, I don't have time to translate this article that appeared today on Telepolis:

    Eine aktuelle Studie des Reemtsma Begabtenförderungswerkes, die unter 2.968 Studenten durchgeführt wurde, zeigt auf, dass gerade die besten Studenten ihre Zukunft oft im Ausland sehen. 64% aller Studenten ziehen eine Tätigkeit im Ausland in Betracht. Gut 20% sind fest entschlossen, Deutschland nach ihrem Studium zu verlassen. Als Gründe werden häufig günstigere Karrieremöglichkeiten (40%) und besserer Verdienst (39%) angegeben. Dabei ist auffällig, dass gerade die Höchstqualifizierten gehen wollen. Von den angehenden Doktoranden sind es 22% und bei den Stipendiaten sogar 25%. Weitere 50-54% dieser Gruppe geben an, dass ein Wegzug ins Ausland für sie ebenfalls in Frage kommen könnte.

    One of the top destinations? The hated, awful United States!

    The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

    by DowneastDem on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:09:05 AM PDT

  •  I've traveled, and will travel more... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Loge, Cardinal96, royce

    I consider myself a world citizen.  but home is home.  I love it, warts and all.  

    from what I've learned in my travels, for every positive a nation or area has, it also carries negatives.  its about what fits for you.

    and yes I'll say the hated words:  I'm proud to be an American.  especially nowadays.  Michelle Obama spoke for me a couple years ago, when she angered so many by saying basically that.

    I'm a lifelong Philadelphian who hopes to retire (in about 30 years) to Martha's Vineyard.  I get that even having that as a reachable goal makes me incredibly fortunate among people on this planet.

    "I be the first to set off sh*t, last to run." ~Clifford Smith

    by mallyroyal on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:11:43 AM PDT

  •  Get over yourself (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, jgkojak, methylin, Cardinal96, royce

    You like living in Germany, that's great.  The whole  "i couldn't take it anymore" line is just self-serving crap.  You think people who stay are happy about it?  No?  Then tell us your real reasons.  Probably much more mundane, a combination of circumstance and opportunity.  Instead you present yourself as a self-righteous prat to lecture the rest of us on failings we largely have nothing to do with, but if you're somehow being honest, then you are definitely a self-righteous prat.  Either way, your opinion is noted and ignored.

    And I've lived abroad, so I'm not saying the U.S. is necessarily better than anyplace else.  I'm just saying human beings don't decide where to live based on which governments satisfy their political standards.  Perhaps it's as a rule of exclusion, only.  I speak French, but I'd be open to living France though not Cote d'Ivoire.  Maybe I should take your advice and move to Quebec.

    I presume you're not Turkish (or Jewish).

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:12:02 AM PDT

  •  Left nearly two years ago... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl, big annie, Lawrence

    to New Zealand, and we've never been happier. I found a decent job, applied from the states and fortunate enough to be selected. Went over for three months without family to see if it was a good fit, loved it, negotiated a 3-year contract and my family's moving expenses and brought them over three months later.
    Now, things have gone so well, they have given me a 6-year contract and we'll be residents in several months. We're actually in the states now on holiday, and I receive 6 weeks-plus a year. Health care is a dream. We haven't yet bought private coverage, but we do not need to. It just gets you to the head of the line a little more quickly.

    I follow everything going on in America religiously. I don't pretend that a right-wing USA is not a threat to the rest of the world; it is. But I spent so much time working on elections and progressive causes that I was hurting my family's quality of life, and we were going nowhere fast. I needed to get away and build some semblance of a career and see the world again. I'm a bit nomadic, though, so this isn't a new direction for me. When younger, I lived in London, Amsterdam, Budapest, Tokyo...and a little later Guam and Palau. I've travelled to 90-plus nations and territories through work or on a frugal backpacker's budget. I am far more fascinated by various parts of the world than I am parts of America.

    I am American, through and through. It's deep within me, and though I have a love-hate relationship with my homeland, I always care. But I go where the 'climate suits my clothes.' I'm happy where I'm working and making enough money to live comfortably and take care of my wife and children so that they can live as happily as humanly possible.

    Politically I've put my money where my mouth if for years. Moving to New Zealand, the job was a perfect fit, and we may live there forever. We'll scurry across the border from time to time to see family, but we've adjusted well and our life is grand. I wish that for all of the progressives on this site, no matter where you find it.

  •  Don't let the door hit you on the way out... (4+ / 0-)

    Seriously...

    It was "too painful for you to take being lied to"... so the rest of us are suckers?

    How about sticking around and working for change and not bailing so you can get yours.

    I understand when people with serious medical conditions (or loved ones with such) (i.e. HIV) leave and need to get treatment elsewhere due to health care inequities.

    But if you're healthy, why the hell are you over there when we need you over here?  

    My dad's in a nursing home HERE.  He ain't leaving and he needs his family around him.

    My kid has autism.  Other than in the UK, there's actually not a lot in Europe for kids with Autism better than in the states.

    So... you decided to abandon this country because you are too lazy to put up with some rightwing news outlets and fight for real change?

    See ya.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:36:25 AM PDT

  •  So you decided to... (5+ / 0-)

    ..express your patriotism by not remaining in America & fighting the uphill battle, but by leaving America like a defeatist coward.

    Personally, I am sick of reading diaries where all you narcissistic cowards come here & brag about how you proved to America who is boss by fleeing America.

    And I don't give a shit if you troll rate the hell out of this comment.

    This website is dedicated to state-side Americans fighting against a gargantuan pile of right wing bullshit.

    To all you clever expatriates who have fled the country because your liberal Utopia hasn't been achieved in accordance with your navel-gazing timetable, you can go fuck yourselves.

    And to everybody here invested in remaining in America,  dedicated to engaging right wing evil because you love America...you should be ashamed when you recommend diaries written by these wealthy, narcissistic cowards who can afford to live out their expensive, mid-life crisis by fleeing the country.

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:40:40 AM PDT

    •  It's a different OPINION + sharing experiences (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence

      that are very personal and real - not manfactured in the corporate owned press to "say" what the owners want them to say.

      The world is what we make it - if on the shores of the USA or otherwise.  We can certainly learn a lot about other cultures and other expat experiences.  What is so threatening about that?

      FREEDOM of expression is a right - to be utilized and shared with those that are curious, no?

      I appreciate this diary and other points of view.

      •  No, it's a cop out... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Trial Lawyer Richard, royce

        ..if you get sent overseas via your job or via the military, then that's understandable.

        But if you bail on America because America doesn't fit your version of a liberal Utopia, then, in my mind, that's akin to going AWOL in the army.

        What gets me is how liberals constantly bash right wingers for being fantasy-based,  pie-in-the-sky dreamers who avoid reality at all costs, but if somebody comes here & brags about how their refusal to accept the American reality lead to them leaving the country, then they are treated like a hero & get their diary recommended.

         

        When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

        by wyvern on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 12:02:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Spare me. ONLY the rich can inhabit the world (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          big annie

          ........while the rest stay in the USA?

          ONLY corporations can move jobs overseas for tax breaks...

          ....then turn around and BEG the US govt to give them even more tax breaks to bring their "cheap labor cash" back into this Country?

          Bashing liberals is a cheap shot.

          People have the right to choose where to live - simple.

          •  well, only the rich (or upperclass) can inhabit (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pozzo, Trial Lawyer Richard

            the world.  There aren't too many lower class ex-patriots.  I know for a fact that countries like England limit the number of persons under a certain income who can move to their country.  In most countries you can't move unless you have a work visa.  I would have like  more honest discussion in the diary about how the diarists personal chacteristics enabled him to move from the U.S to Germany.  

            •  It's really up to the individual (0+ / 0-)

              about where and how.  

              If determined enough - I have discovered people can always find a way to make things work before and after you arrive somewhere different than what you are used to.

              Relocating is never easy - but it is a choice each can make, despite having less cash.    

              Check out past diaries from DRamshield - he may just give you basic info that you are looking for?  Or as suggested upthread - google around a bit?

              •  This isn't a "google it" issue (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                royce

                The UK only accepts a certain number of skilled workers who make less than 200k lbs per year into the country.  They also have a English proficiency test.   There is however, unlimited immigration for persons who make over 200k lbs in a year.  

                Where there is a will, there is a way is frankly bullshit.  There are going to be a great number of people, both educated and uneducated, middle class and poor, who simply cannot migrate to the EU because the opportunities for work are not there; they are not skilled enough, they can't find the employment they want, they can't speak the language.   When a skilled laborer is hired to work in the UK, the company he works for must submit a document showing why a local worker could not fill that position.  There are a number of hoops you have to jump through and I would just like to know some of the hoops he jumped through.  Not to mention many people have family obstacles and/or commitments which may prevent them from going.  Does Ramshfieild have kids?  Children from a previous marriage? Sick parents?  Adult family members in need of care?  Its simply not a matter of packing up your bags and moving to Kansas.  

                I'm not taking issue with Dem Ramshfield per se - he has every right to leave the country and resettle somewhere else if he is able.  I just wish that in a diary about relocating to a foreign country that he would have included the personal and legal factors that allowed him to move across the Atlantic - immigration is not as simple as being upset with the political climate of the nation in which you live and than deciding to leave.  

                •  You want to move to the UK? Check it out yourself (0+ / 0-)

                  Perhaps you are in a job field that they are looking for and will offer you a work visa to start.  Gotta start somewhere.

                  If your background and skill set don't work for the UK or EU ... try another country.  There are immigration lawyers who specilize in each country whose job is to educate and assist people as to how things work.

                  I absolutly understand and agree with you that people have family responsibilities... it is your choice to make a change - and your choice to find a place that will work for you.

            •  That's just plain not true. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tardis10

              I know lots of American expats here in Berlin, Germany who are not anywhere close to being rich.

              Musicians, cooks, english teachers..

              Alot of former soldiers, as well.

              Definitely not wealthy.

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 03:51:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They aren't poor, though. I'll wager (0+ / 0-)

                The point is that most of the people here pining for places other than the US have more money that the poor in those places. There's a lot of talk about Brazil, for example. It's got poverty that most Americans, even poor Americans, would be shocked by. Yet people here have this mistaken belief that it's Shangri La.

                •  Well, there definitely are some amongst (0+ / 0-)

                  them who don't earn very much.  They'd be considered lower middle class in terms of income.

                  I know that Brazil is very different.  I was just pointing out here, in response to that comment above, that foreigners don't have to be rich in order to permanently come and live in Germany.

                  "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                  by Lawrence on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 11:11:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Were your ancestors defeatists? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 10:40:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How did you leave? (0+ / 0-)

    Are you wealthy?  Did you get a job visa?  Are you of german heritage?   I am applying for a job in London (not for the purpose of leaving the country, just for work) and there were all types of restrictions based on the amount of money I earned and my ability to speak the language (apparently if you are set to earn over 200k pounds per year, there are no restrictions on your ability to move to london, less, restrictions may apply).  Even still, my visa would be dependent on my job and only for a term of 2 years.  It would not be simple for most of us to leave the US, even if we wanted.  

  •  I may get hiderated (4+ / 0-)

    I don't get this series.  You left America.  Good for you.  Frankly, I am more interested in hearing from people who are staying in America and fighting to make it a better place.

  •  A little cold water from an ex-ex-pat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Trial Lawyer Richard, royce

    A nice diary, and I agree with many of your points, particularly about the moral issues of taking care of people. I worked in Australia for a few years. Living overseas was a great experience, but despite our economic decline and foolish choices about wars, etc, I did find that I missed some of the material things I could afford in the US that I could not afford in Australia--air conditioning, more living space, dishwashers, a newish car, and a decent bike. Of course, it was also a long way from friends and family. It was obvious in my experience that America invests more in higher education than Australia, which affected me. Most Americans I know who worked there returned. Yes, the medical care system is better, but I'm pretty healthy, so that hardly affected my situation--more moral to cover everyone, to be sure.

    So for people seriously thinking about leaving the US, I wouldn't sell everything. I would plan to try staying more than two years (everyone loves the first year) which is when I started missing home. You may like it, but don't assume the standard of living will be comparable. Or that you won't miss friends and family.

    •  you raise good points about the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence

      differences from place to place, and how some of them only become more apparent over time.  And the strain of being away from friends and family can definitely wear, particularly as family members age, or needs change, or, children grow up and move back to the US to go to university.

      For me though, I always find the first year in a new place the hardest, and the more different and difficult it is, the harder that adjustment.  I hate, hate, hate, feeling incompetent about how to get a plumber, where on earth to buy decent materials to make curtains, or whatever the challenge of the day is, leaving aside more serious concerns about health/safety.

      We've decided to stay overseas for the foreseeable future, but honestly it's more about what is good for our kids still at home, and about our own desire to be able to keep making the kinds of professional contributions that we find so fulfilling, and, from an even more selfish standpoint, benefit from the more balanced, more appreciative, more in touch with other people and our environment, way of life that we seem to have found in the various places we've lived in the last couple of decades.  

      It's hard to take yourself too seriously when you are humbled all the time by your inability to do simple stuff well.  And it's hard to blow the small stuff out of all proportion when you see the daily struggles to survive all around you.  Instead you find yourself touched constantly by people's courage and generosity and offers of friendship, often at the most unexpected times.  Meanwhile your kids learn that happy doesn't equal having stuff.  That family is family and friends are worth more than a fortune.  That taking care of each other is often all there really is, and all that really matters, but when you have friends like that, you really have something precious. That life is fragile and hard, and often cruel, but it's also beautiful and sacred, and should never be taken for granted, and that laughter and bonds between people make it all just so sweet.

      And these are the reasons we stay outside the US - not because you can't learn those lessons or live that life there, but because we personally aren't strong enough to keep that sort of focus there, and we find it too easy to slip back into old patterns of thinking and being.

      Now, American in Chiang Mai :)

      by American in Kathmandu on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 03:59:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope to become a Patriot-In-Exile this summer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl

    I prefer the term Patriot-In-Exile to Ex-pat...

    We have landed immigrant status in Canada, and as soon as I can find a full time job, we will move to BC. We sold our house last year, and I want to end my support to this war mongering, torturing, wiretapping, bankster run plutocracy so badly I can taste it.

    I'm not brave enough to go to jail for tax evasion, so Canada is the next best option. I know Canada is no Utopia, but It will be a tremendous load off my conscience to not support this obscene corporatism anymore.

    As it gets closer, it becomes more difficult; my parents are in frail health, and at least one of my two adult kids will be staying in the US to finish school.

    We still have a year left before things become desparate (you have to live in Canada for 2 out of every 5 years to maintain residency), so I've only been applying for jobs that really excite me, and not just anything I'm qualified for (I'm a marriage and family therapist). Someone mentioned some anti-American sentiment; I wonder if that's why I haven't gotten any callbacks yet?

    We applied at just the right time in 2007; 6 months after landing in late 2009, the CIC changed the rules to restrict skilled worker visa to certain job categories unless you already had a job offer from a Canadian employer.

    Good luck to those who choose to seek a better life beyond the US borders, and all the best to those who choose to stay and fight.

  •  My expat experience is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna

    "wish I were there." Provence, I mean, or perhaps Umbria (I can speak those languages well enough to get started). I have a good life, for sure, and I have been able to purchase a reasonable safety net so far, but the anxiety of getting old is creeping up on me. But my question is never why one moves to Europe - it's HOW?? What on earth would I eat? From where I sit, it looks like it's only a rather privileged few who can do it legally, and another sneaky bunch who don't care about doing it legally. You don't just up and decide to get a job in Avignon and hop on the plane...

    Pollan's Rule: Cook! What two people eat for dinner: My 365 Dinners 2011

    by pixxer on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 12:54:32 PM PDT

  •  Diarist: You live where? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Mariken, royce

    Where exactly is there this corporate-free, good economy, non-discriminatory, transparent, panacea in the European Union?  Don't get me wrong, as a Progressive, I have a boatload of things I want to change about my country, the USA, but I wonder if you're ignoring some things where you're at to justify leaving?

  •  I left for lots of reasons... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, Russgirl, big annie

    ...but mostly because i could foresee that nothing was going to change soon and things were only going to get a whole lot worse. We're talking 1989 when I realized I had to get out. Lots of frustration, but mostly the combination of ignorance and ambivalence to what was going: ignorance on the part of the right-voting average Joe, ambivalence on the part of educated liberals. Granted, both groups are starting to rouse themselves from their self-imposed slumber as of late, but frankly, I realized life is short and I just didn't care to spend a good part of it banging my head against the wall. This does not come without a cost, mind you. Distance from family. Distance from favorite haunts (Yosemite Valley, where I spent many a weekend as a teenager). The automatic ease of daily existence in your own language.

    But I was also absolutely blown away when I came to Europe and saw how life here was. Best way to sum it up is taxes (just having paid my 2010 taxes bill today). Yes, I pay higher taxes here than I did in the states, but not much. What I get for them is world of difference. Good public transport. High-speed rail. Health care. Libraries. Schools. Parks and recreation areas. Yes, all this is now under threat, thanks to the rapacious capitalists merrily singing the Kurt Weil chorus of "Oh show us the way to next little dollar, for if we don't find the next little dollar, I tell you we must die!" But at least here there is MASSIVE awareness of what's going on, and equally massive awareness that something must be done, though nobody know what just yet. It is precisely this awareness that causes people to say No Fuckin' Way far far sooner than Americans ever will.

  •  any expats who actually work in Europe? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Trial Lawyer Richard, Mariken, royce

    The expat route is easy if you're retired or independently wealthy and maybe if you have the option of telecommuting, but getting a job seems to me like it'd be a whole different ballgame. Especially if you want a job that'll actually pay well enough to enjoy living in Europe.  They'll welcome you if you're very highly skilled and accomplished in a field with great demand, but Europe has plenty of homegrown average joes, not to mention a black and brown underclass.

  •  So you're here to... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Trial Lawyer Richard, royce

    ... tell us to give up like you did?  No thank you sir.

  •  I plan on moving too. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl, big annie

    A lot of reasons, no health care etc...Also if you go to other countries it's quieter and there is a different energy, less materialism than here.

    I'm very tired of hearing my sister tell me all the countries are broke, and they found out they couldn't afford all the health care and programs for people Greece).  And the US too.  I'm tired of hearing everything except what's really occurring.  I'm tired of the global warming deniers.  I tell her too what I know, but it's like me against a hundred.  I'm tired and at some point just want to be happy.

  •  I wish the US and the EU (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna

    had a common labor market (free flow of labor).

    I suspect more Europeans would head for the US than vice versa, though.

  •  Hi, Democratic Ramshield (0+ / 0-)

    this is another one of your heartfelt diaries. You put great passion into it.

    May I ask a personal question? Of course, you don't have to answer at all. But I would be interested to know when you actually left the US? When did you start thinking about your own country in the way you express in your diaries?

    As you know I am the opposite, I am a German expat living in the US since a long time. And I haven't left yet. I also have a lot of thirty something family members who came into the US and didn't return home yet. And because I agree pretty much with what you criticize the US for, I sometimes wonder, why so many Germans would privately agree about the conditions you describe about the US, but still stay in the US despite all the "bad stuff".

    I came up with three different answers to my own question.

    1. People immigrate into the US with the "famous dream" about the US. Then they either happen to get lucky and their dream is realized, so they stay. (Which basically means they have good enough jobs to be able to get themselves through and raise their kids in the US despite the mother*** ing high tuition costs.

    2. The other group came because of the "famous dream" and then some day they woke up, realized the dream is a nightmare, but they darn well won't admit that they made a mistake in judgement and will pretend all is well and stay on in the US.

    3 The third group came more or less as accompanying baggage and unintentionally they ended up in the US.
    Then they either married into the country, or raised their kids in the US and they stay, no matter what, to raise their kids here.

    So, why I can answer myself the question, why so many of the immigrants from Europe don't leave the US despite the fact they know that conditions are truly the way you describe them, I can't answer myself when you started to think about your own country so critically.

  •  I left the U.S. because the conservatism was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10

    getting to me.  There were other reasons, but that was the main one.  Plus I felt that alot of things were just too superficial for my taste.

    Plus I'm a bit of a vagabond, with family ties in multiple countries.

    I had planned on returning to the U.S. at some point, but then Bush was selected in 2000.  After the gamed election of 2004 and the preceding invasion of Iraq, along with all the nationalism that it entailed, I didn't feel like returning.

    But mainly I stay because the general quality of life in the city where I live, Berlin, Germany, is far beyond anything I could experience in the U.S., unless I were rich.

    Plus this city is just my cup of tea.  In fact, I think it's the coolest city in the world right now.

    The things I like the most here are:

    The city is very international
    Great public transport, ie. no need to drive
    Low violent crime rate for a metropolis
    Great cultural offerings
    Excellent, affordable nightlife, bars, cafes, restaurants
    Low cost of living
    Good city for biking, with lots of bike lanes
    Not as materialistic as many other cities
    Pristine nature that is not far away from city and is easily reachable by public transport
    High level of environmental awareness
    A very green city, ie. lots of trees and parks
    Very few people have guns
    Police are far more relaxed than in the U.S.
    Cannabis is defacto decriminalized
    Quality health care
    Lots of museums and art
    Short traveling distance to other countries
    High quality, affordable food
    High level of general education
    Lots of artists and other interesting people live here
    Public space is not nearly as commodified as in U.S. cities

    One big negative for me are the winters.  Without the winter, it would be my prefect city.

    But I obviously still care about the U.S., as can be seen in the diaries that I write and in the fact that I volunteer to do phonebanking from abroad for Democratic candidates during elections.

    One thing that bothers me about some of the comments that I see in the thread is accusation of "cutting and running".  People have the right to live where they want and I see myself as a global citizen.  I'm glad to give Americans in the U.S. back-up from abroad by always voting from abroad and participating in the political process from abroad.  I am, however, for damn sure going to live where I like it best, if I have that possibility.

     

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 04:18:15 AM PDT

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