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Why move to the US?

Why move to the US?

Old Oct 3rd 2012, 12:22 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
I think some people come for an adventure. If the opportunity of a move falls into your lap, like it did for us, if you don't give it a go, you would always think "what if?" We always said we would give it 1 year and go back if we didn't like it, at least we would have given it a go and if we had returned, been happy knowing that we had tried something different.
+1....

My wife and I were happy where we were. Both had professional jobs, a home, 2 cars, great friends and were loving Sydney.

We were travelling in 2010 and passed along my resume and landed a job i just could not refuse.

Honestly...everyone has their reasons to move. My view on this is, no matter where you are you will have issues with the lifestyle. You have to adjust. Constant comparisions will not help.

If you are mentally prepared then you wll be fine. Of course you need to take an informed decision ... and understand the differences between where you are and what you are getting into.
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 1:18 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

I'm not in the category of "wanted to come to America".
I had/have friends who regularly came/come to NY/Orlando and other touristy destinations. I always declined to go with. I just didn't fancy it.

Then I randomly met a US lady. She was not going to emigrate to UK. Period. So on my first trip to see her in US it was time to decide. Me emigrate, or call it a day. I didn't want to call it a day, so I emigrated (K1- was the only viable option). I don't love it here especially, but when the marriage broke down, I made the choice to stay anyway.

I suppose I value the journey, rather than the destination. (I probably nicked that thought from some philosopher type!).
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by RICH View Post

I suppose I value the journey, rather than the destination. (I probably nicked that thought from some philosopher type!).
We came, we saw, we conquered (someone else said that as well)


Ours was an adventure because "we could" and it's been one hell of an adventure
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 3:38 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

I often wonder why people wonder 'why?'

I have since I was a young adult and even my early teens had the 'anything is possible belief'
so I always counteract those kind of 'why?' questions with a 'Why not?'

theres a huge BIG WIDE WORLD out there and just because it suits some folks to stay cozy or 'play safe' with what they know for their rest of their lives. It doesnt suit others.

Depending on where you live, (we live in southern california) and are an extremely outgoing young family (im 35) with young children and the joy of being able to plan weekends ahead and barbeques instead of 'sorry kids we cant go outside again today because its raining is an absolute god send. So is being able to park in a parking lot here instead of having to drive round and round and round and round to find a spare parking space, because every where you go, whether its to your local store or supermarket (in England) it is so packed with people you literally cant park! or even move for that matter.

P.S I think also people hear a lot more about america (as you say through media) so thats probably another reason why people choose america, we have a lot of family who live in Aussie but for us its in the middle of nowhere I certainly didnt want Spain, Greece or Portugal!!

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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 4:06 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
I have to say I always wonder why people are so keen on moving to the US.

I have a friend who lives in a developed country far away and she is all excited because it looks as though her visa is going to be approved and she'll be able to move to Los Angeles.

My response being, why? You have plenty of money, you earned it where you are, the place you live has decent weather - what's the point? How are you better off? "Oooh, the shops are better."

So you can live in a country with massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, epic debt levels, an overpriced healthcare "system" that is a mess, a lowly ranked education system, a dysfunctional government etc.

Heard of mail order?

Are people still naive enough to think it's going to be like Baywatch?

I can kind of understand it if you have friends or family there (which I do) or you've been offered some fantastic job but there seem to be an awful lot of people who just want to live there for an unspecific or rather trivial reason.

I blame American media for brainwashing everyone. I suppose living in Canada we get all the US national and local news too which puts the US in a more realistic light. But there is this thing called: "the web" nowadays.

Grass is greener on the other side syndrome.
1. Propaganda. Hollywood movies and TV shows and sitcoms are a powerful advertisement for the US. Sadly, they focus on tanned young people with lots of money and cool loft apartments, and not soup kitchens and piss poor healthcare.

2. Legacy. Despite the shocking, abominable healthcare in the US, its standard of living was very high compared to most countries through most of the 20th century. While this is no longer the case at all, the legacy continues to draw people towards the US.

3. Greed. People tend to think very highly of themselves - so while all the other people can't earn enough to get decent healthcare and a big house, I will be able to do so, so none of the downsides to US life will affect me. I don't care about anyone else, I just want US consumer prices and a convertible and low tax.
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 4:20 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by Zen10 View Post
1. Propaganda. Hollywood movies and TV shows and sitcoms are a powerful advertisement for the US. Sadly, they focus on tanned young people with lots of money and cool loft apartments, and not soup kitchens and piss poor healthcare.

2. Legacy. Despite the shocking, abominable healthcare in the US, its standard of living was very high compared to most countries through most of the 20th century. While this is no longer the case at all, the legacy continues to draw people towards the US.

3. Greed. People tend to think very highly of themselves - so while all the other people can't earn enough to get decent healthcare and a big house, I will be able to do so, so none of the downsides to US life will affect me. I don't care about anyone else, I just want US consumer prices and a convertible and low tax.
Yes. The positive image presented is unparalleled. Yet (or thus) it is actually one of the harder developed countries to get into (at least for UKC's)
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 4:27 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by RICH View Post
Yes. The positive image presented is unparalleled. Yet (or thus) it is actually one of the harder developed countries to get into (at least for UKC's)
It's at once the hardest and the easiest. If one works in a company that can transfer, has a specialist skill, a sibling or marries a USC then it's very easy indeed - easier than Australia where having family there counts for very little.

If one wants to get in without family or a pre-arranged job then it is very hard indeed. Typical US - land of extremes and polarity.
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 6:01 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by Zen10 View Post
1. Propaganda. Hollywood movies and TV shows and sitcoms are a powerful advertisement for the US. Sadly, they focus on tanned young people with lots of money and cool loft apartments, and not soup kitchens and piss poor healthcare.
I find that bit amusing, almost every TV program seems to have normal people living in houses/apartments that would be millionaire pads.
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Moving for point 2. Have to say though prior to meeting my wife I have no real desire to move anywhere premenantly, although had always wanted to see parts of the US - I personally had no desire to live there - then again I think Im fairly realistic about the potential it offers. My younger sister on the other hand has visited florida (and no where else) about 4 or 5 times and believes its the best place ever....she also is of the impression that the UK on its last legs! Have tried to convince her that 1. Florida is a old folks retirement home + mickey mouse (no offence any floridians...Ive not been myself,but you can not have a view on the states based soley on one state!) and that 2. going to work every day still involves going to work every day. She will not listen. So she will have to wait 15years or so until she can potentially get a visa on the basis of her relationship to me to find out! Maybe she'll have reappraised by then!

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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 11:34 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
I have to say I always wonder why people are so keen on moving to the US....
I can think of plenty of reasons why I like the US but they would be reasons to visit rather than actually live in the country. Bottom line is that I'm here because my wife is from here, not because I am chasing the American dream or anything like that. I wouldn't have left the UK for any other reason - someone who is born in a particular country absorbs the culture and customs of that nation. As a result moving to a different country is a difficult process - you can feel very torn between your adopted home and 'the old country' where your roots are. It's not - in my opinion something to be undertaken lightly and especially not because you think the weather is better or the shops have flashier stuff in them.

That said:

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
So you can live in a country with massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, epic debt levels, an overpriced healthcare "system" that is a mess, a lowly ranked education system, a dysfunctional government etc.
Massive unemployment - Depends what you mean by 'massive' & I think you have to put it into context. These are obviously the worst economic times since the Great Depression and certain countries are doing better than others. Canada has an unemployment rate of around 7.2% and the UK's is 8.1% which is marginally better than the US on 8.3% (although there is significant regional variation - here in MA it's 6.1%). This is significant unemployment but look at what is happening in Europe. The Spanish unemployment rate is now 25.1% of the workforce and rising, France is 10.3%, Greece 24.4%; across the Eurozone it's 11.4%. All these figures are obviously fudged and tend to under-report but they help put matters into context - you can use different measures (e.g OECD) and get similar results.

Epic debt levels - The debt is massive and Canada's finances are in better shape. It exploded because we had a crisis that required large fiscal support for the economy. What does a basket case debter country look like though ? The two key measures are going to be debt to gdp levels and what the interest is like on the debt (also what the term of maturity is on that debt). The U.S now has a debt to GDP ratio of about 70% however the interest paid on that debt is at historically low levels. The UK's ratio is at a similar level (something like 80%) but again, our cost of borrowing is at an all time low. Spain is also at a similar level but it qualifies as a basket case because its banking sector and economy are still in serious trouble - as a result the borrowing costs are through the roof. Italy and Portugal are in a similar situation and Greece is screwed.

So yes the debt is a problem but it isn't as much of a problem as people make out. That is why the GOP have positioned themselves as 'deficit hawks' - yet their economic strategy will massively increase the debt & deficit; in other words they don't really care about the debt - as in the UK it just makes for a nice excuse to bash the public sector.

Overpriced healthcare system - yep can't argue with that one!. Dis-functional government - yep - though Canada - although a very well run country - has it's issues there too Quebec separatism appears to be resurgent.

Education - The idea that the US education system is total disaster is a myth concocted for political purposes. Liberals push it because it justifies self-aggrandizing reforms and tinkering. Conservative push it for union bashing and because they are keen on things like Charter schools.

As far as I can tell there is only one reputable measure for comparing school systems worldwide and that is the OECD PISA survey. Obviously the fact that it's one limited survey should be cause for skepticism - sampling bias etc... In any event the OECD figures show the States in at 14th or 17th in the rankings depending on what measures you are comparing. Is that lowly? No, it's above the OECD average and although it's below Canada, Iceland, Finland, Korea etc, it's above such 'lowly' systems as Germany, Ireland, France and the UK. Furthermore the scores awarded are actually pretty close so there isn't a vast difference between the top ranked countries.

Crumbling infrastructure - Most people will tell you the country is falling apart and is essentially third world. The infrastructure of the country now ranks behind Barbados and Malaysia. However, the infrastructure of the US covers 3.1 million square miles and takes an absolute pounding from the weather. A fair comparison has to be with the larger countries and when you do that the US ranks only behind Canada (which is more lightly populated).
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 11:56 am
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

For me personally it wasn't a difficult decision.

Worked for a company in the uk, made myself indispensable, the company closed as the us parent wanted to re-align overseas investments.

I was made an offer 3 times what I used to earn in the uk and offered promotion. There's no way I'd earn anywhere near that if I stayed. I'm 30 now so I'm just pushing into management positions, in my field it's not easy to get to the management level.

This gave me that opportunity, will make me much better off financially, and give me a new experience, plus I already know and like the people i'll be working with, in my opinion they have really looked after me well.

It was a fluid situation that I decided to go with, not sure I'd ever plan to move anywhere like some people seem to based on ideals and hearsay.

Worst case is we hate it and I book some flights back to the uk!
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by HumphreyC View Post
Massive unemployment - Depends what you mean by 'massive' & I think you have to put it into context. These are obviously the worst economic times since the Great Depression and certain countries are doing better than others. Canada has an unemployment rate of around 7.2% and the UK's is 8.1% which is marginally better than the US on 8.3%
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/...ks-up-to-14-9/

Really it's more like 15% because the 8% figure doesn't include those who are not looking for work but say they have recently looked, which is straight unemployed by anyone's definition. Part of the problem is that the neoliberal economics which gave us deregulated banking and massive offshoring of jobs has meant that the US has lost 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since 2001 when China joined the WTO.

The unemployment will continue to rise and nothing can stop it except what stopped it in the 1930s.
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
I have to say I always wonder why people are so keen on moving to the US.

I have a friend who lives in a developed country far away and she is all excited because it looks as though her visa is going to be approved and she'll be able to move to Los Angeles.

My response being, why? You have plenty of money, you earned it where you are, the place you live has decent weather - what's the point? How are you better off? "Oooh, the shops are better."

So you can live in a country with massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, epic debt levels, an overpriced healthcare "system" that is a mess, a lowly ranked education system, a dysfunctional government etc.

Heard of mail order?

Are people still naive enough to think it's going to be like Baywatch?

I can kind of understand it if you have friends or family there (which I do) or you've been offered some fantastic job but there seem to be an awful lot of people who just want to live there for an unspecific or rather trivial reason.

I blame American media for brainwashing everyone. I suppose living in Canada we get all the US national and local news too which puts the US in a more realistic light. But there is this thing called: "the web" nowadays.

Grass is greener on the other side syndrome.
You live in Canada so let's compare that to the US for the sake of argument.

I lived in Canada for 7 years and have lived in the US for the last 14 years. I travel between the 2 countries frequently. There are pros and cons to both. - a subjective list that will vary from person to person. Even the views of the same person can vary as they age and/or their circumstances change.

Cost of living - both are big countries and there are regional variations but in general I have found the cost of living to be higher in Canada. Higher prices (even before tax), higher sales taxes, higher income taxes. In my field at least, salaries in Canada are also lower which just exacerbates the cost of living issue.

Healthcare - Yes, Canada has universal healthcare (not free - remember it's paid for by those higher taxes) but access is often an issue (e.g. shortage of family doctors, referrals, waiting lists, etc.) Healthcare in the US is great IF you have access to it - it's the health INSURANCE mess that is the biggest problem (red tape, no coverage, etc).

Immigration - I think Canada has done a better job of creating a "melting pot". I don't see the same level of integration within the US. Canada also has done a better job of making sure that immigration is mostly skills-based. In the US, most immigration is still family-based (unifying family members who don't necessarily have the skills the economy needs.) I think this along with massive levels of illegal immigration has helped create the larger gap we see between rich and poor in the US.

Education - don't see much of a difference here. Canada has been ranked higher by the OECD on the performance of 15 year olds in math, science and reading but it's hardly a massive difference overall. The US has higher ranked universities.

Other - there's a long list of others reasons why someone who have a preference for a particular country e.g. weather, geography, politics, interests (not many surfers would prefer Canada over the US), etc. The US does have a much more varied climate and geography.

Last edited by MarylandNed; Oct 3rd 2012 at 1:44 pm.
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Because they liked Disneyworld
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Old Oct 3rd 2012, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Why move to the US?

Originally Posted by Zen10 View Post
1. Propaganda. Hollywood movies and TV shows and sitcoms are a powerful advertisement for the US. Sadly, they focus on tanned young people with lots of money and cool loft apartments, and not soup kitchens and piss poor healthcare.
I don't agree. I think a lot of US TV and movies have shown the grim side of life in the US - gangs, guns, violence, drugs, poverty, crime, etc. In fact, many have magnified reality and glorified it just to gain an audience.

Originally Posted by Zen10 View Post
2. Legacy. Despite the shocking, abominable healthcare in the US, its standard of living was very high compared to most countries through most of the 20th century. While this is no longer the case at all, the legacy continues to draw people towards the US.
US healthcare is great if you have access to it. It's health INSURANCE that is the real issue - billions wasted in red tape and inefficiency and still there are people without any coverage at all. I happen to be lucky enough to have a decent health insurance plan and I can see top doctors at very short notice which is better than anything I experienced in the UK or Canada. Of course someone without coverage won't think the US system is better than the one in the UK or Canada. More of that polarity you mentioned elsewhere.

Originally Posted by Zen10 View Post
3. Greed. People tend to think very highly of themselves - so while all the other people can't earn enough to get decent healthcare and a big house, I will be able to do so, so none of the downsides to US life will affect me. I don't care about anyone else, I just want US consumer prices and a convertible and low tax.
I pretty much agree with this. Those people are called Republicans and will be voting for Mitt The Twit!

Last edited by MarylandNed; Oct 3rd 2012 at 1:57 pm.
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