Want to go home to UK

Old Dec 9th 2010, 2:05 am
  #106  
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

My husband is in denial. He's so in love with the USA that it's beyond his comprehension that I don't feel the same way. I can understand that you feel you've wasted your life as that's what I feel I'm doing too, what keeps me going is knowing that everyday that goes by is a day closer to my leaving here. I try to keep looking forward, even though the future scares the living daylights out of me, but I draw strength and comfort in the knowledge that one day this whole sorry episode will be over.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 2:12 am
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by sallysimmons
Thanks for the answer windsong - I hear everything you say. When I came here, I believed in the American dream. Ha!

I have been very fortunate so far - touch wood - but your story is exactly the reason I can't feel at home here. It is just wrong for a country to treat people the way the US does. I don't mind paying higher taxes if it means we're all taken care of when we fall on hard times. I really don't. And I don't get the selfishness that is inherent in the American way of thinking ("I've got mine and I don't want to help anyone else").

I had an epiphany a few years ago when I realized that the US is one giant money-making machine. Every single thing is set up so that someone can make a profit - usually at the expense of the majority of Americans. And that majority doesn't vote or watch the news, so they have no idea what is being done to them. It's sad and depressing. I want out.
I agree with you Sally. It sickens me to my stomach when I hear people over here going on about how all benefits should be scrapped and people should be left to sink or swim.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 2:13 am
  #108  
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by beachgal21
My husband is in denial. He's so in love with the USA that it's beyond his comprehension that I don't feel the same way. I can understand that you feel you've wasted your life as that's what I feel I'm doing too, what keeps me going is knowing that everyday that goes by is a day closer to my leaving here. I try to keep looking forward, even though the future scares the living daylights out of me, but I draw strength and comfort in the knowledge that one day this whole sorry episode will be over.
Beach, please feel free to write to me any time. I will try to help all I can. I know it is not easy and some days are worse than others.

You mention the future scares you. I think it should scare everyone. Nothing is going to change in this country unless there is a huge uprising of the people. I don't see that happening for quite a few years yet. I can't believe the denial that is here - denial about the truth and what is really going on. The good news is that there is a very, very small number of people who DO see what is going on and they are trying their best to educate others. They were wise and took all their money outside the U.S. as early as eight years ago. They no longer have financial ties to this country. Things are going to get MUCH worse - and wait for the devaluation of the dollar.

Life here is similar to fighting a war - a war for mere survival.

It is the "MUCH worse" that scares me since I will be depending on my social security income when I live in the UK. Toss in devaluation and exchange rate fluctuations and the result might not be too pretty.

It is scary.

By the way, I laugh when people tell me this is a free country. I say, "FREE???" lol!

Last edited by windsong; Dec 9th 2010 at 2:16 am.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 2:18 am
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by beachgal21
I agree with you Sally. It sickens me to my stomach when I hear people over here going on about how all benefits should be scrapped and people should be left to sink or swim.
Isn't it pathetic? And then there are those who would deny their neighbor health benefits!!! It's REALLY sickening!

I personally believe health care should be the right of all, working or not. this is 2010 not 1810.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 2:32 am
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by beachgal21
I agree with you Sally. It sickens me to my stomach when I hear people over here going on about how all benefits should be scrapped and people should be left to sink or swim.
And half the time, the people saying that are collecting SS and on Medicare! They don't want benefits scrapped for themselves - just for everyone else.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 2:51 am
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by sallysimmons
Thanks for the answer windsong - I hear everything you say. When I came here, I believed in the American dream. Ha!

I have been very fortunate so far - touch wood - but your story is exactly the reason I can't feel at home here. It is just wrong for a country to treat people the way the US does. I don't mind paying higher taxes if it means we're all taken care of when we fall on hard times. I really don't. And I don't get the selfishness that is inherent in the American way of thinking ("I've got mine and I don't want to help anyone else").

I had an epiphany a few years ago when I realized that the US is one giant money-making machine. Every single thing is set up so that someone can make a profit - usually at the expense of the majority of Americans. And that majority doesn't vote or watch the news, so they have no idea what is being done to them. It's sad and depressing. I want out.
Originally Posted by windsong
Beach, please feel free to write to me any time. I will try to help all I can. I know it is not easy and some days are worse than others.

You mention the future scares you. I think it should scare everyone. Nothing is going to change in this country unless there is a huge uprising of the people. I don't see that happening for quite a few years yet. I can't believe the denial that is here - denial about the truth and what is really going on. The good news is that there is a very, very small number of people who DO see what is going on and they are trying their best to educate others. They were wise and took all their money outside the U.S. as early as eight years ago. They no longer have financial ties to this country. Things are going to get MUCH worse - and wait for the devaluation of the dollar.

Life here is similar to fighting a war - a war for mere survival.

It is the "MUCH worse" that scares me since I will be depending on my social security income when I live in the UK. Toss in devaluation and exchange rate fluctuations and the result might not be too pretty.

It is scary.

By the way, I laugh when people tell me this is a free country. I say, "FREE???" lol!
Yes it makes me laugh too when I hear Americans banging on about having more freedoms than any other country on earth. I think Britain is much more free.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 2:58 am
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by sallysimmons
And half the time, the people saying that are collecting SS and on Medicare! They don't want benefits scrapped for themselves - just for everyone else.
I listened to part of a radio program today where some extreme right wingers were saying that no education should be paid for by the public sector. In other words if you have kids you're responsible for paying for their education. I guess that would be all fine and dandy in an ideal world where everyone lived in a nice 4 bedroom house with a white picket fence. I swear if some of these crazies had their way we'd be living in Dickensian times.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 3:17 am
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by beachgal21
Yes it makes me laugh too when I hear Americans banging on about having more freedoms than any other country on earth. I think Britain is much more free.
SO true ,some Americans truly believe the US is the only free country lol ..lol but more .

I am very active on another message board( I am the only Brit and 'known' )
I questioned how many members read or watched news from abroad ?

I got about 6 replies ,2 of them did !

My DH is an American ,he has travelled all over the world -he wanted to give his birth country one last shot ...he knows now he can not live here .

But ...I know many wonderful Americans also ....just saying
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 3:36 am
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by Gabgoeshome
SO true ,some Americans truly believe the US is the only free country lol ..lol but more .

I am very active on another message board( I am the only Brit and 'known' )
I questioned how many members read or watched news from abroad ?

I got about 6 replies ,2 of them did !

My DH is an American ,he has travelled all over the world -he wanted to give his birth country one last shot ...he knows now he can not live here .

But ...I know many wonderful Americans also ....just saying
I happened upon a forum a while back where they were discussing which country was more free, the UK or the USA. The American made the point that they were more free because they weren't forced to pay into a government run health scheme like the NHS. The person from the UK agreed with the point, but then countered by saying that although it was true that they couldn't opt out of paying for the NHS, they were able to live their life Free of any worry that at anytime during their life they would have to worry about not being able to afford health care. I know which freedom I would rather have
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 9:21 am
  #115  
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

At the risk of getting slammed, I have to inject my own experience and perspective here.

First off, I agree that the dumping of destitute people into the wastebasket of life is not an attractive aspect of the US. Witness the labelling and ridicule of the British NHS "socialist" system during discussions of Obama's health care reform. And yes, there are too many gullible and politically uneducated voters in the States (but we have a few here too - the cult of personality arrived with Tony Blair, I'm afraid).

However, the other extreme is simply not tenable. The idea of the government (i.e., taxes of working people) paying for all and every need of anyone who can't or doesn't want to work or take care of their own health by eating properly, not smoking, and being physically active is lovely in theory but there just isn't enough money to do this. There isn't a big bottomless money pit to draw from.

I'm absolutely not a Daily Mail reader, but we need to introduce a little more accountability into the benefits and health system in the UK. Differentiatng between the "genuinely needy" and the "simply greedy" is a challenge, but we can't continue ploughing millions into treating self-inflicted illlnesses (A&E Departments are full of drunk, injured people on Friday nights, for example), or paying people to sit on their backsides for decades watching daytime TV and earning a bit of undeclared tax-free on the side every now and then (I'm talking about those who wouldn't accept a job if it were offered to them). Why can't we ask people on unemployment benefits to spend time every week on community service, for example (not interested? Lose your benefits).

I think as you get older (and/or sicker), the limitations of life in the US begin to sink in. I don't recognize the "falseness" of Americans described in this thread - I spend more time talking with my friends in the US than I do socializing with people here, even after 4 years of being back. I was in my attic last week and came across a stack of Thank You cards from my former (US) students - here, the sense of entitlement that comes with completely free, state-paid higher education for 50% of high school graduates (I work in Scotland) means that "Thank you" is an expression you almost never hear.

OK, that's my piece. I sympathise(-ize) with all you guys who are trying to escape the US, and I understand where you are coming from in some respects, but the UK is far from being perfect.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 12:01 pm
  #116  
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

The hard thing about growing older is that you realize nothing is perfect. I doubt most people here are wearing rose-colored glasses about Britain.

But I ask myself would I rather live in a country that errs on the side of taking care of its people too much, or that errs on the side of taking care of them too little. For me, it's a no-brainer.

I don't know any of the people sitting on their backsides doing nothing. But I do know three family members who in the last few years have received free care and attention that an American could not even imagine and for which I am eternally grateful. Yes it would be great if the government could do a better job of filtering out the scroungers, but we all know that any time you try to do that you also hurt a lot of innocent bystanders. The US is the prime example of that.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 12:19 pm
  #117  
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

I'm just watching the coverage of the whole student tuition/fees vote and demonstration. Of course, Ed (Wallace and Gromit) Milliband is jumping on the whole "government wants to stop decent, hardworking people from getting ahead in life" bandwagon. What a dope - who does he think got us in this mess in the first place?

Where the heck do people think the money for free/cheap higher education is going to come from? Thin air? I feel for the Lib Dems, who campaigned on a promise of keeping Higher Ed costs down - now they are getting slammed for "broken promises". Well guess what? The Lib dems didn't win the election ... they are just not in a position to keep every pre-election promise.

One of the positive sides of the US higher education system is that it is subsidized, but not free. If students don't pass a class, they have to re-take (and therefore pay for) the class. That's quite an incentive to work hard. Here, students just get another do-over of the assessment (even if they didn't bother turning up for a single class).

From being at the coal face, I have to say there are too many UK students essentially wasting the taxpayer's money, and Tony Blair's disingenuous and looney goal to get 50% of high school graduates in university is now coming home to roost ... it was just a ruse to keep people out of the "unemployed" head count.

Sally, I agree with you regarding there being people on the dole who would rather not be - hopefully my post made it clear I wasn't tarring everyone with the "sitting on their backsides" brush. But as someone who in the past has cleaned toilets, made beds, and washed dishes in a hotel kitchen so I would not have to sign on (and who paid dearly for a postgraduate education), I'm more than a little tired of working my backside off, and seeing a huge lump of my salary subsidizing people who are too lazy to take any work, or unwilling to take responsibility of keeping themselves healthy. There are two sides to every "fairness" argument and while I wouldn't want the UK to turn into the "I'm all right Jack" US society, I also think we have gone too far in the opposite diirection.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by dunroving
I'm just watching the coverage of the whole student tuition/fees vote and demonstration. Of course, Ed (Wallace and Gromit) Milliband is jumping on the whole "government wants to stop decent, hardworking people from getting ahead in life" bandwagon. What a dope - who does he think got us in this mess in the first place?

Where the heck do people think the money for free/cheap higher education is going to come from? Thin air? I feel for the Lib Dems, who campaigned on a promise of keeping Higher Ed costs down - now they are getting slammed for "broken promises". Well guess what? The Lib dems didn't win the election ... they are just not in a position to keep every pre-election promise.

One of the positive sides of the US higher education system is that it is subsidized, but not free. If students don't pass a class, they have to re-take (and therefore pay for) the class. That's quite an incentive to work hard. Here, students just get another do-over of the assessment (even if they didn't bother turning up for a single class).

From being at the coal face, I have to say there are too many UK students essentially wasting the taxpayer's money, and Tony Blair's disingenuous and looney goal to get 50% of high school graduates in university is now coming home to roost ... it was just a ruse to keep people out of the "unemployed" head count.

Sally, I agree with you regarding there being people on the dole who would rather not be - hopefully my post made it clear I wasn't tarring everyone with the "sitting on their backsides" brush. But as someone who in the past has cleaned toilets, made beds, and washed dishes in a hotel kitchen so I would not have to sign on (and who paid dearly for a postgraduate education), I'm more than a little tired of working my backside off, and seeing a huge lump of my salary subsidizing people who are too lazy to take any work, or unwilling to take responsibility of keeping themselves healthy. There are two sides to every "fairness" argument and while I wouldn't want the UK to turn into the "I'm all right Jack" US society, I also think we have gone too far in the opposite diirection.
Dunroving, I agree with you, Britain does need to tighten up the benefit laws. I was 40 before I left to come to the USA so the majority of my working life has been in England. I know of people that work the benefits system, and only go and get a job just before Xmas or to save up for 2 weeks on the Costa. Aside from the scroungers, there are always going to be people that just can't cope, or people that through no fault of their own need the safety net that the benefit system offers. I'm happy to work and pay into a system for those people, God forbid it could be me one day.

In the US there's a growing faction of people that would like the benefits system scrapped totally. They believe that they should pay only enough tax to cover the cost of the military and infrastructure (roads etc). In their way of thinking people either work or rely on charity, and that includes those people that are physically unable to work. The very thought of a society like this makes me shudder.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by beachgal21
Dunroving, I agree with you, Britain does need to tighten up the benefit laws. I was 40 before I left to come to the USA so the majority of my working life has been in England. I know of people that work the benefits system, and only go and get a job just before Xmas or to save up for 2 weeks on the Costa. Aside from the scroungers, there are always going to be people that just can't cope, or people that through no fault of their own need the safety net that the benefit system offers. I'm happy to work and pay into a system for those people, God forbid it could be me one day.

In the US there's a growing faction of people that would like the benefits system scrapped totally. They believe that they should pay only enough tax to cover the cost of the military and infrastructure (roads etc). In their way of thinking people either work or rely on charity, and that includes those people that are physically unable to work. The very thought of a society like this makes me shudder.
Sounds positively Victorian, doesn't it?

If Bush had just kept out of Afghanistan and Iraq, there would be plenty of public money to go around - I saw a "Billion dollar-o-gram" (a diagram with boxes that show comparative size of amounts of money) on TV last week and the comparative size of the cost of the Iraq War was astounding.
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Old Dec 9th 2010, 4:24 pm
  #120  
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Default Re: Want to go home to UK

Originally Posted by dunroving
I'm just watching the coverage of the whole student tuition/fees vote and demonstration. Of course, Ed (Wallace and Gromit) Milliband is jumping on the whole "government wants to stop decent, hardworking people from getting ahead in life" bandwagon. What a dope - who does he think got us in this mess in the first place?

Where the heck do people think the money for free/cheap higher education is going to come from? Thin air? I feel for the Lib Dems, who campaigned on a promise of keeping Higher Ed costs down - now they are getting slammed for "broken promises". Well guess what? The Lib dems didn't win the election ... they are just not in a position to keep every pre-election promise.

One of the positive sides of the US higher education system is that it is subsidized, but not free. If students don't pass a class, they have to re-take (and therefore pay for) the class. That's quite an incentive to work hard. Here, students just get another do-over of the assessment (even if they didn't bother turning up for a single class).

From being at the coal face, I have to say there are too many UK students essentially wasting the taxpayer's money, and Tony Blair's disingenuous and looney goal to get 50% of high school graduates in university is now coming home to roost ... it was just a ruse to keep people out of the "unemployed" head count.

Sally, I agree with you regarding there being people on the dole who would rather not be - hopefully my post made it clear I wasn't tarring everyone with the "sitting on their backsides" brush. But as someone who in the past has cleaned toilets, made beds, and washed dishes in a hotel kitchen so I would not have to sign on (and who paid dearly for a postgraduate education), I'm more than a little tired of working my backside off, and seeing a huge lump of my salary subsidizing people who are too lazy to take any work, or unwilling to take responsibility of keeping themselves healthy. There are two sides to every "fairness" argument and while I wouldn't want the UK to turn into the "I'm all right Jack" US society, I also think we have gone too far in the opposite diirection.
I have to agree with you about the University education system, there are so many who shouldn't even be there, and so many don't appreciate it.
I think they need to pay more and also go back to basics and get rid of some of the silly degrees and classes we hear about. Go back the normal useful degrees and make them pass everything or pay to do the class over next term. University is hard work, it's supposed to be. Not everyone is or should be Uni material.
I also agree it isn't too much to ask people on the dole to turn up for local work to help out the community, they are getting paid to look for work not sit on their bums. Work as hard at finding a job as you do at the job once you find it.
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