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How is your life in the US better than the UK?

How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Old Jan 22nd 2015, 5:19 pm
  #151  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by rebs
That's astonishing that you were paying that much!

I'm in a band E property in East Dorset which is in the top 10 for the most expensive council tax bills in the UK and I pay around £2k per annum. How is it even possible that you were paying 5 times that amount
Exactly. Even the Russians in London don't pay that amount of money for their council tax.
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Old Jan 22nd 2015, 5:57 pm
  #152  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by WEBlue
Back in Blighty when we left, ours was 10K per annum, & that's pounds sterling, not dollars.....
Oops, my poor numerical memory strikes again--1K Bpounds, not 10K.
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Old Jan 22nd 2015, 5:59 pm
  #153  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by WEBlue
Oops, my poor numerical memory strikes again--1K Bpounds, not 10K.
That makes loads more sense
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Old Jan 22nd 2015, 6:05 pm
  #154  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by WEBlue
Oops, my poor numerical memory strikes again--1K Bpounds, not 10K.
Right. Now compare that to the $5.5k I pay in property tax here on a half mill home, compared to $2k in the south east of England.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 12:01 am
  #155  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by YouWantFriesWithThat
Where I live, $600k - $900k would get you a renovated 4 bed detached house with probably about 20 - 30 acres of land.

Nearer Washington DC, that money would get you a large detached (4-6 bed) house with about an acre of land.
In my corner of San Diego that money will get you a 3-4 bed house on a piece of land that is bigger than the house, but not by much... And now I'm sure someone from Silicon Valley will chime in how that money barely buys a garden shed.

On the original question: Financially better, weather no comparison. Beer is hoppier, cars faster, and there's a taco shop around every corner!
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 9:03 am
  #156  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

I think I paid about 1,200 GBP per annum in council tax when I was living in the UK - so roughly $1,900. Back in the day council tax used to be included in the rent but it became standard to not include it sometime in the early naughties. In the states renters don't have to pay property tax (although I'm sure it's passed on in the rental fee).

I now own a house in Massachusetts and pay 3k. That's higher than my old council tax bill but the two aren't quite equivalent because schools tend to be funded much more at the local level in the US. In the next state (NH) the taxes are much higher because the towns there have to compensate for the lack of funding from income or sales taxes (the services still have to be provided somehow).
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Hotscot
I see all kinds everywhere.
People are people.
Yep.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 12:14 pm
  #158  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by amideislas
But in the US, people seem to embrace prosperity, and don't see it as something "threatening". Niether do they seem to overtly look down their nose or refuse to associate with you if you wear a cheap watch or drive a cheap car. I like that.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Hotscot
I see all kinds everywhere.
People are people.
Yes, there are all kinds of people everywhere and that's a lovely sentiment.

But every culture has a different set of history, views, interests and priorities, which inevitably result in different behaviours.

For example, would you claim Americans to be just like Brits? Not many would.

I can confidently declare that the Spanish are collectively, very different than Brits, have very different behaviours, and it's much more than just language.

That's an observation, not a criticism (although some might argue that's a plus in favour of the Spanish).

Nice sentiment, though.

Oh, and Mrs, Danvers, you obviously haven't ever lived in Europe, where the division of classes are much more defined.

Last edited by amideislas; Jan 23rd 2015 at 12:42 pm.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 1:15 pm
  #160  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by amideislas
...Niether do they seem to overtly look down their nose or refuse to associate with you if you wear a cheap watch or drive a cheap car. I like that.


Funniest thing in the thread.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 1:17 pm
  #161  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by HumphreyC
I now own a house in Massachusetts and pay 3k. That's higher than my old council tax bill but the two aren't quite equivalent because schools tend to be funded much more at the local level in the US. In the next state (NH) the taxes are much higher because the towns there have to compensate for the lack of funding from income or sales taxes (the services still have to be provided somehow).
It's odd, we pay around the same in US property taxes as we paid in council tax back in Blighty. But the price of our American house (rural coastal New England) is so much lower than a comparable house in our preferred part of the UK (Cambridge area) that even including PT we're paying a good deal less for our housing here.

But the costs of both houses and property tax do vary wildly here in the US, so it behooves every househunter to do some careful number-crunching. We were aghast at how high PT could be in some not-very-nice US towns....
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 1:18 pm
  #162  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by amideislas
Oh, and Mrs, Danvers, you obviously haven't ever lived in Europe, where the division of classes are much more defined.
And again
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by amideislas
....". Neither do they seem to overtly look down their nose or refuse to associate with you if you wear a cheap watch or drive a cheap car. I like that.
What!?!? I don't know of any social division in any country, apart from the caste system in India, that is more clearly defined than the US division between those that live in trailers and those that don't. I don't know of anyone who has a good word to say about trailer dwellers.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 2:04 pm
  #164  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by amideislas
Oh, and Mrs, Danvers, you obviously haven't ever lived in Europe, where the division of classes are much more defined.
The division of classes can be found anywhere. How many people live in gated communities in the US?

I can confidently declare that the Spanish are collectively, very different than Brits, have very different behaviours, and it's much more than just language.

Go to the US and you'll find different behaviours too.
Some people like baseball and listen to country music. The others like basketball and listen to hip hop. Some people go to church and others don't.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 2:06 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Bob
And again
OK, well, it's not exactly a secret. The Germans even have a special word for it, "schadenfreude", which doesn't have a direct-translation to English, but the closest technical translation is "Harm-Joy" or the "Joy of others' misfortunes".

But that's only the technical translation. The word is equally used in the context of "jealousy", or "Neidisch" or "Neidischkeit" (a sort of slang variation).

But in the context of this discussion, the word equally applies to both "looking down the nose at those with less", and "despise for those with more". In fact, that connotation is probably the primary "meaning".

Both are rather common German stereotypes (that the Germans openly acknowledge), but it's not limited to Germans - most Europeans intuitively identify both those of lesser economic class, and those of greater economic class with some degree of segregation or even discomfort. The intensity of those emotions varies with the local culture and character, but it's more prevalent in larger cities and suburbs. For example, Munich and Hamburg cultures are well-known for exhibiting schadenfreude.

Your watch, your car, and your shoes are amongst the first impressions that people will judge you by. If you don't appear to be in the 'right' income bracket, many may keep their distance - on that basis alone. Politely, but distant.

If you show up at a middle-class gathering with a Porsche and a Rolex, don't expect a warm reception, regardless of your personal character. Drive the Volkswagen and wear your Timex. The same applies if you're a salesperson. Showing up in a new Mercedes doesn't mean you're successful, it means you're a "shark", and should be avoided. Because, well, "success" is often associated with something dubious.

In contrast, if you're having a little get together with your middle-class friends, it's best not to invite your struggling divorced single mother colleague at work, or your wealthy boss. Associating with people of another class is a little questionable. The classes are well-defined. Best not to step too far into a zone you don't belong. And associating with people of a higher class can be perceived as "pretentious".

Now, I'm not suggesting that's some fixed set of rules, but only that Europeans in particular, are quite conscious of class differentiators right from the start, and socially, it's important to be aware of how you may be perceived in that context. Whether they like you or avoid you on that basis varies depending on the character of the beholder.

But foreigners usually aren't judged in the same way. It applies more to those of the social "circle" than to "outsiders".

Now, having said all that, I find the same social stigmas are far less defined in America, nor that a person's character is first identified by their perceived economic class, and I simply find that refreshing. That's all I was commenting on.

Last edited by amideislas; Jan 23rd 2015 at 2:31 pm.
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