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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 23rd 2015, 10:57 pm
  #226  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Substitute 'class system' for glass social walls and glass social ceilings and you have the USA, as I have experienced it, in a nutshell.

I live both in rural areas very near the mountains and in the suburbs of Washington DC.

In the rural areas, people take you totally for who and what you are, I have never experienced anything judgemental there.

In the suburbs though, the non verbal judging of what your garden is like, what car you have, the quality of your Halloween sweets, is alive and well.

The judging of others is much, much stronger here in the USA than anything I have experienced in the UK or Europe generally.

It's not so much a class system here but more like a $ race to see who can get the most visible material assets or pretend to have them. Others study you intently to see how you are doing in the race.

Last edited by YouWantFriesWithThat; Jan 23rd 2015 at 11:11 pm.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 11:01 pm
  #227  
 
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
So, your first concern when meeting other people is what economic class they belong to? You judge them on the basis of their clothing, car, watch, etc. This is how you assess their character?

We visit friends in the US at least once per year. Not just one set of friends in one place, but very different people of different economic status, in different states, and sorry, but I have never experienced that character in the US, and I have never met an American who exhibits it. I've seen it in Hollywood movies, but I just haven't seen it in real life so far. ....
Americans are generally very friendly, open people, but there is often the complaint raised here on BE is that they are superficial. They might offer an invitation, or say something like "you must all come over", but they never follow through. It might look like all smiles and nicey-nice, but it can be very hard to break through to true friendship. If you're only visiting you probably never realise that.

Also living in Spain you are in a very different situation, thrown together in as fellow English speakers in a non English-speaking country. I would suggestion that if you had met your American friends on their home turf your experience might have been very different.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 11:09 pm
  #228  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
So, your first concern when meeting other people is what economic class they belong to? You judge them on the basis of their clothing, car, watch, etc. This is how you assess their character?

We visit friends in the US at least once per year. Not just one set of friends in one place, but very different people of different economic status, in different states, and sorry, but I have never experienced that character in the US, and I have never met an American who exhibits it. I've seen it in Hollywood movies, but I just haven't seen it in real life so far.

Interesting.
Where did I say that was the way I thought? You were referring to the prevailing atmosphere in the US, and I responded in kind. One visit a year, over however many years, does not give a thorough experience of a country.
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Old Jan 23rd 2015, 11:11 pm
  #229  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Americans are generally very friendly, open people, but there is often the complaint raised here on BE is that they are superficial. They might offer an invitation, or say something like "you must all come over", but they never follow through.
My wife just loves the idea of dinner parties, sharing good food, conversation, wine etc but even her friends had to be cajoled into coming the once.

She gets peeved at me when I tell her that her idea of regular dinner parties is a romantic notion but impractical with differing schedules/priorities/flights of fancy etc
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Old Jan 24th 2015, 12:06 am
  #230  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

I think I've been really lucky with my neighbours...
On the weekends and sometimes during the week we all get together out on the street and drink beer/wine in the evenings. They are a lovely bunch of people from all parts of Texas, the USA and further afield (Australia, India, France and then us Brits). Our street is known for being superfriendly and when I 've mentioned where I live to people who live a few streets away they all say how lucky we are.
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Old Jan 24th 2015, 2:48 am
  #231  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by YouWantFriesWithThat View Post
Substitute 'class system' for glass social walls and glass social ceilings and you have the USA, as I have experienced it, in a nutshell.

I live both in rural areas very near the mountains and in the suburbs of Washington DC.

In the rural areas, people take you totally for who and what you are, I have never experienced anything judgemental there.

In the suburbs though, the non verbal judging of what your garden is like, what car you have, the quality of your Halloween sweets, is alive and well.

The judging of others is much, much stronger here in the USA than anything I have experienced in the UK or Europe generally.

It's not so much a class system here but more like a $ race to see who can get the most visible material assets or pretend to have them. Others study you intently to see how you are doing in the race.
There's rich and poor but there is no institutional class system in the United States. The only true social division in the U.S. is between black and white. The people in Suburban U.S. don't think alot different than the rural folks.
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Old Jan 24th 2015, 2:59 am
  #232  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by YouWantFriesWithThat View Post
Substitute 'class system' for glass social walls and glass social ceilings and you have the USA, as I have experienced it, in a nutshell.

I live both in rural areas very near the mountains and in the suburbs of Washington DC.

In the rural areas, people take you totally for who and what you are, I have never experienced anything judgemental there.

In the suburbs though, the non verbal judging of what your garden is like, what car you have, the quality of your Halloween sweets, is alive and well.

The judging of others is much, much stronger here in the USA than anything I have experienced in the UK or Europe generally.

It's not so much a class system here but more like a $ race to see who can get the most visible material assets or pretend to have them. Others study you intently to see how you are doing in the race.
I wonder if you are in one of the worst parts of the country for that kind of thing (D.C. area). Full of people who are both ambitious and hierarchically minded. The opposite of "down to earth" basically.
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Old Jan 24th 2015, 9:02 am
  #233  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by phodg View Post
I'm from Blackburn. I've lived in Chicago for the past 23 years.

I wouldn't dream of moving back to where I come from. Not a chance.
Interesting. I lived in Blackburn for 2 years from the ages 7 to 9 (and its where I broke my leg). I revisited the place for the first time since living there, during our annual UK trip last summer, and swung by the house we used to live in.
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Old Jan 24th 2015, 2:39 pm
  #234  
 
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
There's rich and poor but there is no institutional class system in the United States. The only true social division in the U.S. is between black and white. ......
I disagree. There is probably a greater division in the US between trailer dwellers and non-trailer dwellers than between black and white.
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Old Jan 24th 2015, 2:49 pm
  #235  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I disagree. There is probably a greater division in the US between trailer dwellers and non-trailer dwellers than between black and white.
I agree with you. The gated community is a good example of that -- the folks that live in one of those would have a conniption if the folks from the projects tried to take a dip in their community pool!
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Old Jan 24th 2015, 3:08 pm
  #236  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Socioeconomic class in the US is inextricably tied in with race, though not just AAs. Particularly in some states, Hispanics, especially Mexicans are far poorer and disadvantaged than AAs, IMO.
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Old Jan 24th 2015, 10:38 pm
  #237  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Most Brits who emigrate want to stress how much better they've done than the ones left behind. It is only natural to want to do so.

They are not interested in the difficulties of minorities, effects of gun culture or unequal health provision because it generally doesn't affect them.

That's fine as long as we bear in mind this is subjective, and don't extrapolate with things like, "There is no class system in America because everyone's nice to me."
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Old Jan 24th 2015, 11:12 pm
  #238  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

I look at it this way. How would I know if I am better off here because I really can't tell how our life would have panned out if we had stayed.

Being moderately comfortable, having jobs that do not consume our lives and having time to enjoy our down time is our life now.

I do worry a bit about medical problems and insurance once we retire but I am sure if we were back in the UK I would worry about having to wait for medical treatment.
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Old Jan 25th 2015, 12:25 am
  #239  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post
I look at it this way. How would I know if I am better off here because I really can't tell how our life would have panned out if we had stayed.
Being moderately comfortable, having jobs that do not consume our lives and having time to enjoy our down time is our life now.

I do worry a bit about medical problems and insurance once we retire but I am sure if we were back in the UK I would worry about having to wait for medical treatment.
That is a very good point. I often find myself wondering how different my life would be if I had stayed in England or Northern Ireland (although I left there a long time ago). Of course I don't know - it could have been better than my life here or worse. Unfortunately my marriage broke up here (ex husband was a Brit - we moved here with his job), but then that might have happened if I had stayed in England. I have no way of knowing. That said, there's a lot of things I like about living here, but also a lot of things that I don't like - and strange as this might sound - the longer I live here, I find more things to dislike!! Why do I stay - my 2 adult children and my 3 adorable little grand-children
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Old Jan 25th 2015, 12:58 am
  #240  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post
I look at it this way. How would I know if I am better off here because I really can't tell how our life would have panned out if we had stayed.

Being moderately comfortable, having jobs that do not consume our lives and having time to enjoy our down time is our life now.

I do worry a bit about medical problems and insurance once we retire but I am sure if we were back in the UK I would worry about having to wait for medical treatment.
Small point of order, the waits for NHS medical treatment are exaggerated. Urgent matters are dealt with on a fast track anyway. Non-urgent, they are using private hospitals to deal with excess demand. I am seeing a specialist at a private hospital next week, got that appointment 9 days from day of booking (you choose your own appointment now). Any treatment required comes under an 18-week limit.
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