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The American Dream Still Alive?

The American Dream Still Alive?

Old Dec 25th 2007, 3:39 am
  #31  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

As a Brit who's been married to an American for a looong time now (ok 10 years) during which we lived in Britain and all I heard was how wonderful America was, how much better life was over there, what a terrible place England was etc, etc. Well now we've been here almost 6 months,and the DH hates it! Well he feels more at home here, but here's the thing.....we always thought the USA was the country that led the world. We got here to discover that in many ways, England is the one that is miles ahead. It may depend on what part of the States you are in, but honestly....cell phones and phone coverage in general is antiquated! Shopping may be a shopaholics dream, but if you actually want to buy something and get home within the hour, it's a nightmare. You have to drive at least 10 minutes to get anywhere, (unless you're in NYC ), and then you have to get in your car to drive around the corner because the stores are just too far apart to walk. I never thought I'd miss my local high street with everything on it. You can go to Walmart for the "one-stop shop" but it's not quite the same thing. And tracking down proper stores means a trip of an hour, and that's just one store. I'm still finding shopping a nightmare! Healthcare may be better, but you sure pay for it. I just got a bill for a blood test that says my insurance hasn't paid so please put a check in the mail. I have to call them (after the holidays) to explain it was a re-test due to the labs mistake....I bet I have to pay $40 anyway! Oh and did I mention the driving? My DH hates driving here, he really misses good old England, even the M1!!! Here you can easily miss an exit off the highway becoz no one will let you over no matter how early you signal!
it totally depends on the individual, and also on what part of the US you go to, some are more advanced than others. I think we ended up in hicksville it's so bad we're considering going back to being in debt in London as a better alternative! Good luck with your choice. I think it's important to remember nothing is forever, you can always try it for a few years and then go back. Even with kids, we are!
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 3:42 am
  #32  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by another bloody yank View Post
Why don't you fill me in?
I'd like to hear this too.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 3:45 am
  #33  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by Redlippie View Post
That's the thing though isn't it? If you're from some godforsaken third world hellhole, the US will seem like paradise to you. But move from a first world nation, and it soon becomes obvious how much of a con it really is. Pity is that the natives don't see/understand how much of a con it really is.
You are so right!
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 3:48 am
  #34  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by Dan725 View Post
Not entirely sure how you figure this one. Loafing around as a student, maybe.

Reality is that working here is generally far more shitty and ruthless than the UK. Hence high levels of stress. 2 weeks off a year = mucho stress (for European minded people who work to live, not live to work).

Not to mention if you should find yourself out of a job, chances are you'll likely lose your medical cover too if you can't pay your own way. Which again causes stress.

Also many other components of US life (especially regarding being ripped off/sued etc) which could stress the unwary. And plenty of other things besides.

Silly Sods comment about working 70+ year olds (becoming the norm) and close to being on your arse is bob on.

There simply ain't no societal safety net in the US.
Yep. If I knew that Iwould never of come here,.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 3:48 am
  #35  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by Silly Sod View Post
The whole concept is and always was a con IMHO. I have mentioned it before but everybody here UK and USC's alike, should read The Jungle by Upton Sinclaire. The silly sod rambles on a bit about socialism toward the end but other than that it is an eye opener. You finish and think to yourself -how much has really changed?
Well - I'd like to think we've advanced beyond "The Jungle" a smidge, though I'm sure a slaughterhouse is still a nasty, nasty, nasty place to work. Keep in mind that was set in a time period where people had few, if any options ... a bit different from today when many seem to quit their jobs on a whim as others lay just around the corner. At least we have OSHA today.

I do think the American Dream is alive and well. It's not going to be handed to anyone on a silver platter ... but I do think it exists for those who apply themselves. For instance, a good friend of mine came to the US from Vietnam as a little girl with her brother and parents. They were sponsored by a US group I believe, and arrived with only one bag. They are smart people and worked hard, and in just under 30 years have gone from nothing to owning a business, making a lot of $$ in real estate, and they now live in a large home in California. This is still a country where if one works hard, rewards can be had. That's not exclusive to the US of course, I would expect that it would be true of many western countries.

But it's still pretty damn cool imho.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 5:25 am
  #36  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by KJ2007 View Post
For instance, a good friend of mine came to the US from Vietnam as a little girl with her brother and parents. They were sponsored by a US group I believe, and arrived with only one bag. They are smart people and worked hard, and in just under 30 years have gone from nothing to owning a business, making a lot of $$ in real estate, and they now live in a large home in California. This is still a country where if one works hard, rewards can be had.
Yes, if you work your fingers to the bone, then you might succeed. However note the theme -- people came here from very very poor countries, worked themselves like crazy, and caught a break. But 1,000 other people try the same thing and end up anywhere from impoverished to middle class.

What if you simply want to work a sane amount of time and receive a modest but fair wage?

My MIL was appalled that my husband had to work today (Christmas eve). And we'll both be back to work on Boxing Day. Two weeks off is simply ludicrous when one has to cover one's kids' illnesses and summer holidays and Spring Break and Winter Break and then one wants to visit relatives overseas....

I'm being sandwiched between the needs of my kids (who are expensive now and who'll be *really* expensive in four years when the eldest starts uni), and my parents (their health and the fact that they've never really had any money). I don't feel that I have enough time to breathe, I worry about money like crazy, despite having worked hard to get high grades at a top university, go into a field in demand (electrical engineering/computing), and continuing to work despite having young children. I now find myself vulnerable to having my job outsourced.

This is the American dream? It's not my idea of a dream. A Western socialist-capitalist hybrid is my dream, not this sink-or-swim stuff where many people spend a lot of time in terror, treading water.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 5:47 am
  #37  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

No.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 4:04 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Yes the American dream is still alive. I came here in my mid 20s, OH had been in the Air Force for 4 years, and we had a 5-month-old baby. We have done well for ourselves, always had excellent medical care, have had great vacations, brought my mum over many many times (until the NHS finished her off). OH job with large telephone company, and I worked in a State job for many years. Both of us went to college at night. OH with 5 weeks vacation, and I had 4 weeks with the state (2 weeks to start, 3 weeks after 5years, and 4 weeks after 10 years). Had 2 kids, built a house, 2 cars, boat, traveled, ate good, good medical care, happy and content.

Course we could be in the UK, with all the latest gadgetry, high tech electronics, fabulous TV, fancy OTT mobile phones, trendy fashionable clothes, drinking culture, Indian food, German cars, cheap wine and hols in Benidorm. But oh well, such is life, we will make do with what we have in the USA, we like it.

I hope when Redlippie gets to Manchester that she will have found her Sangri-La. Florida to Manc will be quite life altering!
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Not entirely sure how you figure this one. Loafing around as a student, maybe. -Dan227

Hardly. I'm not at all a rich kid, I need to work in order to pay my tuition fees and yes that does mean doing 12 hour shifts a few days a week.

What I meant by stressful is that I get on London Underground everyday in the morning and see people rushing to work and then in the evening half asleep on the train. I feel as though people here in the UK work to live and not live to work.

I also find the whole idea of living in the UK extremely expensive (not as expensive as Ireland though thank god). The price of houses for example, I have no idea as a 21 year old how I'll ever get on the property ladder in the future.

Yes we have NHS, but look at the state of it. An experience last year in which I had a tooth abscess left me waiting 4 hours just to be giving pain killers. I recently watched Sicko by Michael Moore and how he portrayed the NHS is a joke, as if it was amazing.

Of course there are people out there who will immigrate to America for their own reasons. Reasons of which I'd like to know more about. For example people like Anthony Hopkins, Pierce Brosnan and Christopher Hitchens. Is it because the quality of life is better in the US?

Mumof4 - Thank you for your reply, interesting what you had to say.

Thank you all for your replies. It's very nice to hear all of your opinions.

Last edited by Jackal5; Dec 25th 2007 at 6:11 pm.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 9:11 pm
  #40  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
Yes the American dream is still alive. I came here in my mid 20s, OH had been in the Air Force for 4 years, and we had a 5-month-old baby. We have done well for ourselves, always had excellent medical care, have had great vacations, brought my mum over many many times (until the NHS finished her off). OH job with large telephone company, and I worked in a State job for many years. Both of us went to college at night. OH with 5 weeks vacation, and I had 4 weeks with the state (2 weeks to start, 3 weeks after 5years, and 4 weeks after 10 years). Had 2 kids, built a house, 2 cars, boat, traveled, ate good, good medical care, happy and content.

Course we could be in the UK, with all the latest gadgetry, high tech electronics, fabulous TV, fancy OTT mobile phones, trendy fashionable clothes, drinking culture, Indian food, German cars, cheap wine and hols in Benidorm. But oh well, such is life, we will make do with what we have in the USA, we like it.

I hope when Redlippie gets to Manchester that she will have found her Sangri-La. Florida to Manc will be quite life altering!
Well said, I was starting to think I was alone.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 9:40 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by Redlippie View Post
Pity is that the natives don't see/understand how much of a con it really is.
I do wish you would explain the above comment.

As an American I don't know if you are speaking of me or of those that want to come to America.

As an American, there is a lot wrong with my country and lots of room for improvement. But that improvement does not necessarily mean that it should duplicate or imitate the UK or any other nation.

I don't feel that I am being conned by my government as I know exactly how criminal, greedy and self-serving some of its officials are and its policies. However, I do know, as an American, that we have the ability to change it, if we banded together for change.

The fault lies not with the government or its officials but with its constitutents that do not take an active participation in its or the officials actions. After all, we elect them and we pay their salaries. They work for us and us alone. If we wanted them out, we have the wherewithal to remove them from office and to change the laws.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 9:44 pm
  #42  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
I do wish you would explain the above comment.

As an American I don't know if you are speaking of me or of those that want to come to America.

As an American, there is a lot wrong with my country and lots of room for improvement. But that improvement does not necessarily mean that it should duplicate or imitate the UK or any other nation.

I don't feel that I am being conned by my government as I know exactly how criminal, greedy and self-serving some of its officials are and its policies. However, I do know, as an American, that we have the ability to change it, if we banded together for change.

The fault lies not with the government or its officials but with its constitutents that do not take an active participation in its or the officials actions. After all, we elect them and we pay their salaries. They work for us and us alone. If we wanted them out, we have the wherewithal to remove them from office and to change the laws.
Rete.
The USA is a great country, honestly, it really is. In fact I'd say it may probably in the top 5 in the world in which to live.

But.........
it's not the be all and end all either. I think too much hype is believed on both sides of the pond as to how great it is.
When you get here and work here and live here, it's just an anticlimax.

It's Britain with Rockie mountains.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 9:47 pm
  #43  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by Manc View Post
Rete.
The USA is .........Britain with Rockie mountains.
I wish...



.
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 9:47 pm
  #44  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by Manc View Post
but on the other hand, I am sure glad I am here and not in Sudan......

so it depends on your perspective.
well said.

I do wonder why so may come here from the UK, Germany etc, get married then divorced and continue to stay here...all the while bemoaning how bad it is here. I do not question that Spain, UK or other countries may have some/many things better...but why stay here if that is so?
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Old Dec 25th 2007, 9:52 pm
  #45  
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Default Re: The American Dream Still Alive?

Originally Posted by ironporer View Post
well said.

I do wonder why so may come here from the UK, Germany etc, get married then divorced and continue to stay here...all the while bemoaning how bad it is here. I do not question that Spain, UK or other countries may have some/many things better...but why stay here if that is so?
Children?
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