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What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Old Jun 11th 2012, 12:39 pm
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Default What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

I have lived here for 14 years now. I generally like it but I've heard people complain about many different issues. Here are some of the things that irk me:

- dealing with health insurance and health coverage issues
- totally broken immigration system (too many illegal immigrants, too much family class immigration, not enough skilled worker immigration, etc.)
- a relative lack of culture (too many homogeneous cities and suburbs)
- the political system (total gridlock where nothing gets done; especially with a 2 party system)
- the absence of a social safety net (lose your job and you're likely weeks from living on the street)
- "at will" employment
- poor public transportation
- pedestrian unfriendly
- relatively high crime and murder rates (guns, gangs, etc)
- urban blight and poverty on a scale rarely seen in other developed countries
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

I agree with most of yours, mine are coloured by where I live, the northeast. Could be argued that if I went to live on the west coast or the southwest, most of these wouldn't be issues.
  • Horribly cold winters
  • Disgustingly hot summers
  • Humid summers
  • Mosquitoes
  • Deer flies
  • Blackflies
  • Folks who believe the US Creation Mythology without subjecting it to rudimentary historical rigour
  • People who think it was wrong of the British to sack & burn Washington DC during the War of 1812
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

The degree to which people here are self absorbed.

People are in their own little bubbles, and anything outside the bubble is simply not considered. Hence the poor standard of driving I see daily.

In almost every encounter I have had, once that person's bubble is pricked, they're genuinely helpful, interested, interesting people.

It's not that these behaviours are specifically American, just the extent to which I have encountered it is highest here, by a lot.

Prices that don't include sales tax, or operations where tipping is expected. Paying somebody below minimum wage and expecting them to make it up on tips is just shit for them and sours the relation with the customer, in my mind.

So I guess I'd add the view that business has a god-given right to screw you over. If you don't like it go to court. If you can afford it. In the land of the free.

The TV experience is just utter utter utter crap, thanks to the way the ads are shown, and their quality. Many US shows are shit but there are some real gems. Just like back home. It's just that here, there seems to be more of them.

The policing approach. I know it's tough, dangerous, and easy to have a go at from the safety of my arm chair, but using firearms & tazers 'willy nilly' doesn't help anybody in the end.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
  • People who think it was wrong of the British to sack & burn Washington DC during the War of 1812
I know. I remember visiting a museum in the UK with OH, either the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich or the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth, and pointing out that the city on fire in the background of a portrait of an early 19th century naval officer was indeed her nation's capital, which said officer had had a hand in burning. For some reason she thought that was in very poor taste.

And she's not even from DC...
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
The degree to which people here are self absorbed.

People are in their own little bubbles, and anything outside the bubble is simply not considered. Hence the poor standard of driving I see daily.

In almost every encounter I have had, once that person's bubble is pricked, they're genuinely helpful, interested, interesting people.

It's not that these behaviours are specifically American, just the extent to which I have encountered it is highest here, by a lot.
Just this morning I was dropping my daughter off at work and someone in an SUV came roaring up behind me and was sitting on my rear bumper. When this happens, I just take my foot off the gas and slow down to a crawl. They usually get the message. As you say, I'm not sure how much US driving differs from elsewhere. I drive a lot in Canada (mostly southern Ontario) and it's just as bad there.

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
Prices that don't include sales tax, or operations where tipping is expected. Paying somebody below minimum wage and expecting them to make it up on tips is just shit for them and sours the relation with the customer, in my mind.
I guess I've become used to this but it still trips up visitors from the UK. They hate it.

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
So I guess I'd add the view that business has a god-given right to screw you over. If you don't like it go to court. If you can afford it. In the land of the free.
If you're talking about insurance companies, I totally agree.

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
The TV experience is just utter utter utter crap, thanks to the way the ads are shown, and their quality. Many US shows are shit but there are some real gems. Just like back home. It's just that here, there seems to be more of them.
Yeah - American TV is generally appalling. The amount of TV I actually watch has dropped off dramatically which is probably a good thing anyway.

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
The policing approach. I know it's tough, dangerous, and easy to have a go at from the safety of my arm chair, but using firearms & tazers 'willy nilly' doesn't help anybody in the end.
I guess this doesn't stand out for me as much - maybe because I grew up dealing with the police in Northern Ireland during "The Troubles". There's over zealous policing everywhere. There were issues with the G20 protests in Canada and the UK in recent years. Also, I think police in the US are dealing with a more heavily armed population.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
[*]Folks who believe the US Creation Mythology without subjecting it to rudimentary historical rigour[*]People who think it was wrong of the British to sack & burn Washington DC during the War of 1812[/LIST]
This is my main source of frustration - it amazes me how prevalent it is too. That and the fact it's often found alongside the assumption that 1776 is the most important year in British history and that we must treat each 4th July as a day or mourning.

Though that said, I'm sure Germans find life in Britain obnoxious at times for similar reasons.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

I wish the sun didn't shine every day, and that it would be grey and gloomy more often. Grey brightens my mood.

I wish that petrol was more expensive, so that I would have to ride the bus more often. I then would be able to stand outside in the cold, wind and rain, getting splashed while waiting for an overdue bus.

I wish I couldn't turn right on red - it would give me more time to be in my own little bubble.

I wish surgery wouldn't be scheduled quite as quickly. I would rather put off an operation for about 18 months - to give me time to get worse, then I could stay in hospital longer.

I wish the police were slower in reaction time. If I'm going to loot a shop, I enjoy knowing that I have time to pick and choose.

I wish they wouldn't wrap bread and baked goods in cellophane. If they leave them unwrapped on the counter. you can pick it up and smell it, squeeze it, and put it back down again if you don't want it.

I wish windows didn't have screens on them. I have a big fly swatter, and I would enjoy chasing flies and wasps around the house.

I wish there wasn't ample parking outside places of business, doctor's, dentist, etc. I would prefer to park in a car park at a high fee for a few hours.

I wish the beaches were more crowded. It's boring when someone's else's kids aren't screaming in your ear, and throwing sand on you.

I wish there was more dog poo around. I could do with the exercise from jumping over it.

I wish people wouldn't smile so much, and be so friendly. It confuses me. They should complain more.

I wish there more threads on BE about what is wrong with the US, and how the UK is better in every aspect. I could buy myself a one-way ticket to the UK to savour utopia. Then I could kick myself for not buying a return ticket!
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish the sun didn't shine every day, and that it would be grey and gloomy more often. Grey brightens my mood.

I wish that petrol was more expensive, so that I would have to ride the bus more often. I then would be able to stand outside in the cold, wind and rain, getting splashed while waiting for an overdue bus.

I wish I couldn't turn right on red - it would give me more time to be in my own little bubble.

I wish surgery wouldn't be scheduled quite as quickly. I would rather put off an operation for about 18 months - to give me time to get worse, then I could stay in hospital longer.

I wish the police were slower in reaction time. If I'm going to loot a shop, I enjoy knowing that I have time to pick and choose.

I wish they wouldn't wrap bread and baked goods in cellophane. If they leave them unwrapped on the counter. you can pick it up and smell it, squeeze it, and put it back down again if you don't want it.

I wish windows didn't have screens on them. I have a big fly swatter, and I would enjoy chasing flies and wasps around the house.

I wish there wasn't ample parking outside places of business, doctor's, dentist, etc. I would prefer to park in a car park at a high fee for a few hours.

I wish the beaches were more crowded. It's boring when someone's else's kids aren't screaming in your ear, and throwing sand on you.

I wish there was more dog poo around. I could do with the exercise from jumping over it.

I wish people wouldn't smile so much, and be so friendly. It confuses me. They should complain more.

I wish there more threads on BE about what is wrong with the US, and how the UK is better in every aspect. I could buy myself a one-way ticket to the UK to savour utopia. Then I could kick myself for not buying a return ticket!
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

The fact that they drive on he wrong side of the road


Jim.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
I know. I remember visiting a museum in the UK with OH, either the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich or the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth, and pointing out that the city on fire in the background of a portrait of an early 19th century naval officer was indeed her nation's capital, which said officer had had a hand in burning. For some reason she thought that was in very poor taste.

And she's not even from DC...
I am finding fewer and fewer people having an issue with that, perhaps a repeat on the Bicentennial?
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
I have lived here for 14 years now. I generally like it but I've heard people complain about many different issues. Here are some of the things that irk me:

- dealing with health insurance and health coverage issues
- totally broken immigration system (too many illegal immigrants, too much family class immigration, not enough skilled worker immigration, etc.)
- a relative lack of culture (too many homogeneous cities and suburbs)
- the political system (total gridlock where nothing gets done; especially with a 2 party system)
- the absence of a social safety net (lose your job and you're likely weeks from living on the street)
- "at will" employment
- poor public transportation
- pedestrian unfriendly
- relatively high crime and murder rates (guns, gangs, etc)
- urban blight and poverty on a scale rarely seen in other developed countries
The politics, the health system, TV and bad driving. That being said, I'd still far rather be here than there.

On the other side there is the lovely weather, the outdoor life style, proximity to so many things to do and so on. Yes, there are problems here, just like in every other country in the world. The grass isn't any greener, it's just a slightly different shade.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish the sun didn't shine every day, and that it would be grey and gloomy more often. Grey brightens my mood.
The sun doesn't shine every day. At least not where I live.

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish that petrol was more expensive, so that I would have to ride the bus more often. I then would be able to stand outside in the cold, wind and rain, getting splashed while waiting for an overdue bus.
Yep - and we'd also have a better chance of leaving a healthy planet for our grandchildren. Someone somewhere is going to pay - you just don't want it to be you.

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish I couldn't turn right on red - it would give me more time to be in my own little bubble.
I like this - but only if they stop first to make sure they're not running over pedestrians or pulling out into oncoming traffic.

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish surgery wouldn't be scheduled quite as quickly. I would rather put off an operation for about 18 months - to give me time to get worse, then I could stay in hospital longer.
Yeah but that's not true for everyone. Some don't have it scheduled AT ALL. Good health insurance is great - if you have it.

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish the police were slower in reaction time. If I'm going to loot a shop, I enjoy knowing that I have time to pick and choose.
Actually budget cuts in this economy are causing the police and other emergency services to respond slower - so I guess you're getting your wish!

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish they wouldn't wrap bread and baked goods in cellophane. If they leave them unwrapped on the counter. you can pick it up and smell it, squeeze it, and put it back down again if you don't want it.
LOL!

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish windows didn't have screens on them. I have a big fly swatter, and I would enjoy chasing flies and wasps around the house.
I also wish I hadn't contract Lyme Disease!

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish there wasn't ample parking outside places of business, doctor's, dentist, etc. I would prefer to park in a car park at a high fee for a few hours.
There are now quite a few places near me that have parking meters. This will become a more common occurrence as the number of cars continues to increase and the public transportation system continues to suck.

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish the beaches were more crowded. It's boring when someone's else's kids aren't screaming in your ear, and throwing sand on you.
OK - you got me on that one!

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish there was more dog poo around. I could do with the exercise from jumping over it.
I see it in the US but I certainly see more of it in the UK.

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish people wouldn't smile so much, and be so friendly. It confuses me. They should complain more.
Problem is you can't tell the fake from the real. And not all Americans are friendly. Have you ever worked in a job dealing with the general public?

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish there more threads on BE about what is wrong with the US, and how the UK is better in every aspect. I could buy myself a one-way ticket to the UK to savour utopia. Then I could kick myself for not buying a return ticket!
No-one said the UK was better. But the US does have problems like anywhere else.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Hershey's chocolate.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I wish the sun didn't shine every day, and that it would be grey and gloomy more often. Grey brightens my mood.
I agree with this 100%. I love grey skies and temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Blue skies & hot temperatures get old quickly.
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: What's your LEAST favorite thing about the US?

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
... using firearms & tazers 'willy nilly' doesn't help anybody in the end.
Generally speaking, that's not where they're aiming!

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