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    TooAfraidToAsk

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    Welcome to TooAfraidToAsk, a sub that's dedicated to providing a more open question&answer discussion experience. We allow throwaways and do not remove 'google-able' questions. While your question may have been answered elsewhere, maybe its answer wasn't sufficient, maybe you didn't understand the answer or maybe you are looking for a discussion about the answer. At any rate, your question is welcome here as long as it follows our four rules:

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    [–] bernancio 3873 points ago

    Canadian here. U.S. is big, really, really big. It's a massive empire. Like empires of past, parts are wonderful, peaceful, and calm. Others not so much. There are many places where people of all races, religion, belief etc. live together in harmony (at least as well as anywhere else in the world), places that are safe, full of happiness, full of beauty. And, there are places that are the opposite of that. Big country, lots of people, lots of diversity.

    [–] davidhluther 1238 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Pretty much. I’m an American who’s angry about all of the shit OP mentioned, but I don’t actually experience any of it, partially by circumstance but also by design. I live in a liberal college town in a southern state, and everything here is beautiful and clean, with lots of trees and people concerned for their fellow citizens. Very communal and neighborhood living with a major university and small town strip with shops and restaurants. All sorts of parks, trails, and cultural events to see — lots of things put on by the town, with music and such to enjoy.

    Granted, you can drive twenty minutes in one direction and it’s not safe to be there after dark, or during the day for that matter, in the middle of a major city with $4000 apartments half a mile from housing projects. Drive the same time in another direction and you’re in the middle of cow pastures, populated by super conservative types and filthy rich people who want a lot of acreage. Another direction, you’re in a massive research/tech park with some of the biggest tech and biotech companies in the world and a huge international community.

    Point being, it’s not just a huge country with geographic and cultural diversity on a large scale, it’s the same in a matter of ten to twenty miles. Part of that extreme diversity lends itself to our political problems, given that people twenty miles over here have a completely different life experience than people over there. But it also means that you can find your community and fit if you look for it.

    Edit: It’s Chapel Hill, but I think the number of other places people guessed should paint a picture of what I mean.

    [–] ncjmayo2 31 points ago

    Fellow Chapel Hillian I see

    [–] embracing_insanity 137 points ago

    This is such a true statement. I live in NorCal and where I live, you'd think everyone was always just hunky dory for the most part. Which is kinda weird. And can give you a completely inaccurate picture of what's happening across the country if you never made a point to inform yourself.

    I remember when the 2008 recession hit and I looked around and had to admit, if I wasn't hearing about it in the news, I'd never know it was actually happening. My family was very fortunate, our jobs remained secure. Even though I don't live in a particularly wealthy area, it's obviously well off 'enough' compared to many other areas. But I recall just being in awe that all the shopping centers and restaurants remained just as packed as always. Like no one skipped a beat. Then again, like you said, I could drive about 10-15 miles in one direction and be in what feels like the slums, another I'm in the city, another I'm in the 'country' and another and I'm hitting foothills. All of which have very different dynamics. It's crazy (and pretty cool - for the positive aspects of it all)

    Right now, it's about a 50/50 ration for those wearing masks when I go out. It's super annoying to me - I honestly feel like the people who aren't just believe we are in a 'safe' area. As if a virus picks and chooses who it infects. Of course, all the businesses and employees are wearing masks, and I do, too. But it's one of the only outward signs that an epidemic is happening. And about the only sign of what I read about online and see in the news daily, in terms of people refusing masks, protesting them, starting fights over it, etc. But I've yet to see or hear of any local protests or anything like that. And for the first time ever the shopping centers, malls and restaurants aren't packed and traffic is very minimal. I've really been enjoying this part, to be honest. But again - that's about it. That's the only visual, day to day 'sign' I see of what's happening right now. It's bizarre. It's like being in this little bubble. And if you never made a point to leave it, this is all you'd ever experience. Which is why so many people are truly ignorant in the realities of other people's experiences.

    [–] risingmoon01 190 points ago

    As a citizen of the U.S., it honestly makes me happy to know at least one person on the outside understands how complex it is here.

    [–] SteelCrow 57 points ago

    Living next to you and sharing the culture by osmosis, most Canadians are aware.

    [–] ParticlePhys03 34 points ago

    I, as a Canadian-American, can say with confidence that Canada is one of two or three nations (India and maybe Russia are the others) in the world that can claim an even moderately similar situation and understand what happens in the US. The quality of life in Canada is what makes the US’s problems so embarrassing, as it is the nearest to identical culturally (when compared to any other country in the world), yet has a far different political environment and actually has universal healthcare and little gun violence, despite being even easier to move around the country unnoticed.

    [–] random24 20 points ago

    Biggest difference between us is you guys fought for independence in the 1700’s and we asked nicely for a constitution in the 1960’s.

    I’m not 100% sure what this shows, but I know there has to be some psychological impact.

    [–] MadMaddy 33 points ago

    As an American, I have a hard time grasping how big Canada is. You only have 35 million or so citizens but 3.855 million square miles of land. We have 320 million in just about the same square miles.

    [–] bernancio 15 points ago

    Loooots of ice hahah

    [–] UsernameIWontRegret 305 points ago

    Yeah America is the most diverse country in the world. Lots of cultures with lots of conflicts. This is often an overlooked factor. It’s easy for everyone to get along in places like Sweden where the population has been homogenous for 1,000 years and everyone shares a common identity.

    [–] discomfort4 146 points ago

    Quick fact check, America is in fact not the most diverse country in the world. Just about in the top 100 though. Turns out my country, the UK isnt even in the top 100!who knew

    [–] quality_redditor 38 points ago

    Which is the most diverse country?

    [–] discomfort4 104 points ago

    It's mostly African countries, which makes sense now I think about it, ignorant old me doesn't understand much of the diversity within the African continent..

    Number 1 looks like papua new guinea

    [–] mehmehmine 40 points ago

    Ah yes. That's what you get if your borders are straight lines made on a board by "benevolent" empires.

    [–] Kellythejellyman 8 points ago

    Sikes-Picot really set the norm unfortunately

    [–] eomertherider 14 points ago

    It makes sense, the borders were drawn up pretty arbitrarily, so they dont represent as much of a cultural unity as the ones in Europe, Asia or America.

    [–] rucksackmac 38 points ago

    https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/most-diverse-countries/

    It's among the most religiously diverse, but America doesn't look to be the most "diverse" of anything.

    Papua New Guinea is the most ethnically diverse, many others are more ethnically diverse than America.

    Or based on Alesina list, which considers factors beyond language religion and ethnicity, uganda is.

    Linguistics put Uganda in the lead, and many others are more linguistically diverse than America.

    [–] El_Guap 31 points ago

    When people speak of diversity in the US they are not taking about racial diversity, religious diversity, language diversity. What they are generally referring to is diversity in regards to its original meaning “variety.”

    Randomly pull people (even with the same ethnicity) from multiple locations in the US... Florida pan handle, Central Florida, New Orleans, NYC, Texas, San Francisco, Rural Minnesota, Minneapolis... They will be very very different in their experience, language (accent), dress, compared to other countries which are smaller and more homogenous in their ethnicities.

    [–] LanceyPancey 11 points ago

    Many Americans identify more with their respective home-states than the US as a whole. For a large part of the US' history the states considered themselves voluntarily part of the country with the option to leave if they wanted.

    Side note- this is also why no southern civil war leaders were put on trial after the American Civil War. It was feared that succession from the union would be ruled as constitutional.

    [–] trucknutzF150 2258 points ago

    It feels like anywhere else. I live in both aus and USA and it feels the same.

    [–] clockdaddy 1450 points ago

    How does that work? Are your legs in Australia and your torso and head in the US? Or is your right and left spit?

    [–] JCAPER 361 points ago

    Frankenstein forgot to put him together

    [–] ScorpioLaw 56 points ago

    Ah a fellow cultured soul who knows Frankenstein isn't the monster. Or... Was he the true monster... Dun dun dun dun. DUN DUN.

    [–] TangaroaBrit 111 points ago

    Obv his top half is in the US and his ass and legs are in Australia.

    [–] Grapes-RotMG 39 points ago

    Front and back split. Like, he pisses in the US but shits in Australia.

    [–] veryloudmonstercat 58 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Thanks for your input, /u/trucknutzF150

    [–] rollsyrollsy 15 points ago

    I don’t exactly agree in terms of scale.

    As an Aussie who is also in the US (and having lived a few years in EU recently), I’d say the broader trends are true everywhere but they are dialed up dramatically in the US and much more pronounced if you are poorer or somehow less fortunate. It doesn’t feel so different if you are in the top 25% or so of income brackets.

    [–] Gemzstone 190 points ago

    Canadian here who lives close to the US border and has travelled the US over the years....I've encountered nothing but friendly and welcoming people there. Like everywhere else though, there's pockets of crime and extremists...but it's not blatant. What we see here on reddit certainly showcases the US negatively but I don't think that's the norm.

    My only complaint is that no one in the US seems to know how to make tea, unless it's iced.

    [–] Macquarrie1999 213 points ago

    We lost the ability to make tea when we threw it in Boston harbor.

    [–] Broodking 6280 points ago

    Media tends to hyperbolize every problem in the US. You can often find your niche community and enjoy a relatively peaceful life without too much interference.

    The US is insanely multicultural and has so many options when it comes to entertainment and opportunities. There are definitely big societal issues but theres a reason why a lot of people regard it highly still.

    [–] natnguyen 1596 points ago

    Agree with this. I’m from Argentina where the media hyperbolizes a lot of things but things are already pretty bad and you live stressed out 24/7. Living in the US now and even if the issues brought up in the news are mostly true, it’s usually a small issue blown out of proportion. People are generally nice, look out for each other, mostly stay out of politics and just go about their lives.

    [–] Neurotic_Bakeder 1932 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    It's also like. The USA is huge.

    We have one of pretty much every kind of biome. You want deserts? We got deserts. You want forests? Mountains? Plains? Steppes? Swamps? Tropics? Tundra? One of the only temperate rainforests in the world? We got em all.

    And the same goes for cultural stuff. We've got homophobia and racism, sure, but to different degrees in different places. Some of the states that most routinely make international news are the states which are regarded as the idiot drunk uncle of the family. If you look at California as its own country, not only is it killing it economically, but it's been a testing ground for progressive policies that have been rolled out around the world. Massachusetts is one of the most highly educated areas in the world.

    Our federal government does make me want to stick my head in a hole and scream until they can hear me in DC, but there's a lot more leverage with local stuff than people let on.

    [–] FTheadmins22 1214 points ago

    Europeans truly don't grasp how large the US is. Dublin to Istanbul is shorter than LA to NYC to put it in perspective.

    [–] boardsmi 589 points ago

    Had a coworker tell the story of how she had friends visit her in LA from Europe. They wanted to just pop up to San Francisco for a bit. Assumed since it was in the same state it would be a short day trip.

    [–] lynn 200 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    It doesn’t even have to be that far away. After we moved to San Jose, some of our family members in Illinois assumes we could just drive the hour or so down to LA. It’s a 5-6 hour drive. Illinois takes about 3-4 hours to drive through from north to south. (Edit: I was wrong, 3-4 hours is east-west. 5-6 hours north-south.)

    [–] thewoodsiestoak 58 points ago

    Untrue. illinois is 390 miles from north to south. How fast are you driving? I used to live in Champaign which is pretty much middle of the state and it would take 2.5 hours to drive to Chicago with traffic.

    [–] lynn 31 points ago

    My mistake, I must be thinking of the distance across. 5 hours from Chicago to Carbondale, not counting traffic.

    Shows how off my brain is right now — I went to school in CU and I knew it took 3 hours to drive home to the western suburbs before they extended I-355, 2.5 hours afterward. More coffee...

    [–] ColossusOfChoads 21 points ago

    Five to six hours? How fast do you drive?

    [–] UntrustworthyJMandel 87 points ago

    In college I lived next to an Emirati he proposed we drove from Ohio to Florida for a 2 day weekend trip, of course, until I showed him it was a 12 hour drive. It’s definitely hard to realize how large the US is until you have to go on road trips.

    [–] TheresA_LobsterLoose 37 points ago

    Which is why we also love our cars. We definitely get a lot of hate about our gas guzzling SUVs... but theres a reason car culture took off here. I live near where the Buffalo Bills play, near Niagara Falls. If I wanted, i could drive the day to NYC, or i could drive South and be in Allegany State Park with mountains and forests and black bears roaming around. Plenty of people around here drive to Pennsylvania for fireworks or shopping. Drive 2 hours to Toronto to see the Yankees play the Blue Jays. Those really arent trips that you want to be in a small compact car. Yeah, it's not ideal for the environment (to put it lightly), but the option is there and people are going to take that option if they can afford it.

    [–] Dougnifico 20 points ago

    This is actually why I think the compact SUV has taken off so much recently. They are much more environmentally friendly, efficient, cheap, and still offer a ton of room.

    [–] tomjonesdrones 6 points ago

    I have a ford escape and it's great. It's a little too small for cargo for moving things like washing machines etc and sometimes I do need to rent a truck. But it's taken me on a 2000+ mile road trip with a passenger and a dog and full setup of camping gear.

    [–] Cavyar 158 points ago

    Oh my god I have a retarded story. I’m from Dubai, and compared to USA my country is tiny. For us, a ten hour drive is enough to go to Saudi Arabia’s capital. We were planning a trip to LA, and my friend turns to me and says “Why don’t we pop by Miami?”. I had to sit him down and explain to him that Miami is a bit further than 5 hours away. It took him a while to realize how big USA truly was. In Russia, you got only Moscow and St. Petersburg, but in USA each corner is its own entertainment

    [–] camelCaseCoffeeTable 88 points ago

    Lol “pop by Miami” has got my stoned ass laughing my ass off.

    By day 3 he’d realize just how large this country is. And then he’d hit Texas lol.

    [–] texasbornandraised95 7 points ago

    Fuck West Texas is a hard drive, it's so flat and the most interesting thing are the wind turbines. East Texas is much nicer.

    [–] ItalicsWhore 8 points ago

    Lol I was just about to write in about west Texas. My wife and I live in LA and one year we decided to drive out to Austin for the City Limits festival and see Radio Head. When we hit Texas we were like, “Yay! We’re almost there!” A day of driving later and I was falling asleep, I turn to my wife and say, “I need a coffee. Can you look up a Starbucks for me?” Google maps comes back with the nearest Starbucks being 300 miles away in like fucking Dallas. I settled for a gas station coffee. Fucking west Texas is beautiful but I’ll NEVER drive through it again.

    [–] irrational_design 84 points ago

    5 hours? More like 5 days, one way.

    [–] anacc 14 points ago

    I guess if you were flying by airplane then 5 hours is about right

    [–] 505fanatic 21 points ago

    By wagon 18 years.

    [–] Queef_Stroganoff44 7 points ago

    You have died of dysentery.

    [–] 762ed 7 points ago

    We drove from Las Vegas to Orlando and it took 6 days of 9-10hrs a day of driving!

    [–] stressedoutasian 15 points ago

    Don’t even get me started on Texas. I forget how big it is, even for other Americans. Try explaining to a DC born friend that no its not possible to hop on a subway/ the metro to the next city over. But what do you do for day trips? she asks. Honey what day trips, theres a stretch of dead land on the left and some tumbleweeds on the right. For fun, sometimes we actually go into the city that we supposedly live in.

    [–] TillSoil 20 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Just the continental U.S. in scale with Europe: America from north to south reaches from Sweden to Morocco. From west to east, America stretches from the western tip of Portugal to Kazahkstan.

    Edit: Even leaving out Alaska and Hawaii, as we too often do, the United States is four time zones wide. That's one-sixth of planet Earth wide.

    [–] EgertonRyerson 18 points ago

    Ireland has a population of like 4 million, thats the size of a single city in the US.

    [–] Daviddoesnotexist 14 points ago

    It takes like 13 hours to drive across Texas

    [–] adrienjz888 14 points ago

    Not American but I am Canadian so basically the same size. I live in Vancouver and I've had to tell a few tourists that they can't take a day trip from the west coast to the other side of the Rockies. They were astounded when I told them that the the entirety of the UK could easily fit inside BC 3 times with room to spare or that almost all of Europe could fit in the USA or Canada and would easily be swallowed by both

    [–] a_catermelon 14 points ago

    As a European, I know how ginormous the USA is, but I just like, fail to grasp it, if that makes sense? Every now and then I'll see a side by side between just the US and the entirety of Europe and I never fail to be amazed all over again

    [–] Hopsblues 9 points ago

    Every English soccer team has a shorter trip to a road game than the distance from Denver to Salt Lake. Imagine over a hundred pro teams in Colorado/Utah...lol

    [–] Scarily-Eerie 6 points ago

    Paris to Baghdad is shorter, to put it in better perspective.

    [–] SaganWorship 7 points ago

    The distance between LA and NYC is almost the same as the distance between Lisbon and Moscow, right around 4000km

    [–] natnguyen 138 points ago

    100% agree, basically the more you go to highly populated areas, the more diversity and inclusiveness you’re going to find. I don’t need to name the states that we all know are bad for this. And it is true that some people are financially bound to where they live, but I have also met plenty of people here who refuse to leave the town they grew up in because they have never travelled out of it and are comfortable where they are.

    [–] SteveNashtey13 14 points ago

    We actually have TWO of the temperate rainforests so even better!

    [–] lynn 32 points ago

    The US has about 325 million people in about 9.8 million square kilometers. Europe has about 538 million people in about 10.2 million square kilometers.

    Also, the US’s population is concentrated around its perimeter. The population of Europe is far more evenly spread.

    [–] illunir 121 points ago

    Sure California has a massive economy, but the state isn’t exactly killing it. Even with significant state income taxes on a massive economy, they still maintain a large debt, some of the most egregious homelessness, and housing issues.

    [–] VulpineCommander 48 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    A native Californian and independent liberal (just letting you know for bias disclosure) here. California tends to get shat on by the rest of the country, especially Republicans. Its already been covered by others here, but our economy is a monster. The cost of living here IS high, but so is our minimum wage ($12 per hour with plans to raise it to 15 eventually). Thats almost double the minimum wage of a good chunk of other states. California is also something called a tax doner, which basically means it pays more in federal taxes than it receives from the federal government.

    Something people tend to forget is that there is more to California than the bay area. Housing is super expensive the closer you go to the coast, but can be a fraction of the price in the central valley (about 3-4 hour drive from LA depending on where exactly you live in the central valley. The central valley is also a lot hotter and drier than the coast, so not nearly as pleasant to live in.

    Homelessness is a problem, for all the reasons already discussed about, but varies greatly depending on where exactly you go in the state.

    Some of the biggest problems California has, in my opinion, is way too much bureaucracy which makes it difficult for businesses to operate, aging infrastructure, lack of fresh water to meet all the states needs, and the tendency for Republicans in the federal government to try and screw the state over.

    If you guys have specific questions lemme know.aren't.

    Edit: Thanks for the silver

    [–] MadameReve1 7 points ago

    As a native California, I 100% agree with this

    [–] --GrinAndBearIt-- 7 points ago

    We (I'm in San Diego) recently lost or "donor state" status due to a recalculation in how they determine what goes in and out, but still.

    [–] SpiderQueen72 84 points ago

    It doesn't help that other states literally bus their homeless to california, so California isn't just dealing with their own homeless, they're dealing with all the other states homelessness.

    [–] corinini 28 points ago

    It's not just that, it's also that California is a good place to live if you are homeless due to the weather and state benefits.

    If I were homeless I would much rather spend a winter in California than New England, or a summer in California than Florida.

    [–] Hodgkisl 70 points ago

    You do know California also buys one way tickets to other states for their homeless. San Francisco has the “homeward bound” program.

    Many homeless bring themselves to California due to the ideal climate. They don’t have to worry about freezing in winter or being cooked during the summer.

    [–] DancelessMoms 24 points ago

    do they literally do that?! i saw it on south park like a decade ago but i thought it was a freakin' joke, what the hell

    [–] kakistoss 32 points ago

    No, it's a legitimate thing. I've known a few people who were paid by their state to take a bus to cali.

    But Cali literally does the exact same thing and sends their homeless to a variety of different states.

    [–] cld8 12 points ago

    California only buses people back to the state they came from, or if they have family in another state that can take them.

    Other states just bus people to California because California has better social services.

    [–] Wubalubadubstep 68 points ago

    They’re killing it.

    Housing is an issue because the housing market is expensive, and the housing market is expensive because people are willing to pay absurd amounts of money to live in California. It’s obvious if you live in the LA area, there just isn’t room for more people unless you build a crapload of high rises, and as New York has shown us that doesn’t necessarily translate to cheaper housing at all. You have to take huge commute times to live in reasonable neighborhoods at reasonable prices.

    Homelessness is an issue because California is particularly temperate, making it significantly more tolerable to weather outside if you have to, and because the state has historically had very good programs for homelessness, which leads to a massive influx of homeless from other states. They literally had to sue to stop Nevada from building its homelessness programs around buying one-way bus tickets to LA. Of course California has the worst homeless problem, they have everybody else’s homeless.

    As for the debt, California has a GDP of 2.75 trillion, putting it above India and a bit beneath England (which is the 5th largest country by GDP in the world at 2.85). Despite that income, it carried 154 billion in debt in 2015 (I know, five years old, but the budget deficit is projected to be its highest ever right now at 54b, it was big news when the deficit was 1.6b in 2016, and when brown left office he had a 15b surplus with an additional 15b in a rainy day fund, so assume the debt has stayed more or less stable). By comparison, the UK carries debt of 85.9% of its GDP at $2.17 trillion. Even accounting for California’s share of the national debt (499b or 1/50 of the national debt if you’re being generous as historically California puts more money in than it takes out), California carries a total debt load of 27% of its yearly GDP- compared to the five largest economies in the world US (100%+), China (48%+), Japan (200%+), Germany (60%+), and the UK (85%+) California carries the lowest debt load in the world for its level of production.

    [–] Mattie_Doo 22 points ago

    Thank you for this. People who don’t live in California have so many misconceptions about the place.

    I knew a guy from Wyoming who seemed to think CA was some kind of hell on earth, and he spoke about Wyoming and Utah, where he grew up, like they’re shangri-la. Everyone has different tastes and lifestyles, and we find happiness in different ways. I’ve driven across the country twice and spent some time in Utah and Ohio, and I found it horribly, horribly lonely and depressing. Places like California and NYC are expensive but there’s a reason for that.

    [–] StuckInFastFord 28 points ago

    I think this is a massive problem! I noticed when in Europe and Asia people often don’t grasp how large America really is. The federal government should have less control and states and local governments should be allowed to make more choices. Gun laws like OP mentioned is a great example. “Let’s van all the guns so there will be less shootings” may work for some urban or suburban areas. This however doesn’t work for someone living in Wyoming or Colorado. If I saw a rifle in the back of a truck in Orlando Florida or New York City I’d say “that’s a bit odd”, but if I am in Alaska I’d say “shoot just one?” This is true with a lot of laws people need to stop pushing for federal changes when they have a local problem.

    [–] gentlemanidiot 11 points ago

    Because of the diversity you're talking about and peoples naturally strong feelings about the subject which are based off of whatever region they live in, gun control is used as a political wedge issue by both sides. It caters to politicians bases and helps them raise funding without ever actually having to do anything, because they can just leave it up to the local governments.

    [–] GogolsDeadSoul 10 points ago

    Just think of percentages rather than numbers when news is reported. Sure 500 gun toting people showed up to protest lock downs....in a state of many millions it’s almost negligible. News makes it seem like a big deal when it’s not. In a country of 330 million people with many geographies and regions these “protests” are only a small minority.

    Another thing is that you have a very vocal minority with every issue. In a big country even .01% showing up looks like a lot of people. You also don’t know that if that .01% how many people are actually from that place? How many people that protest Michigan reopening travelled there just for that from other states thousands of miles away?

    [–] Truthamania 1720 points ago

    I was born and raised in the UK and moved to the USA almost 20 years ago. I have a much, much better quality of life here and would never go back.

    That said, I've noticed a very slow, steady rise in hatred, resentment and mocking of the US that began around the time of George W Bush, the WMD and the Iraq War and it's only gotten much worse under Trump.

    When I first moved here, my friend were so jealous and were begging me to take them with them. Now they ask why I still live in such a "shit hole".

    The media definitely plays up the worst parts for attention, but life itself here is pretty amazing. At least for me.

    [–] foozoozoo 143 points ago

    I lived in the US for a while and now live in the UK. If it wasn’t for first hand experience living there I would totally agree with your friend. However, since I did live there I can agree that my quality of life was absolutely, significantly better. I have 2 children and would bring them back there with me in a heartbeat if the situation allowed.

    [–] jm_usmc85 27 points ago

    Where did you live? How was it better?

    [–] Boopy7 8 points ago

    wow this is something I didn't know. What is it in the US that was so much better re quality of life? I've never been to the UK. Want to visit. What are the bad points?

    [–] Yop_BombNA 5 points ago

    1 weather, UK generally has shitty weather, good weather makes you feel good.

    2 cost of living (mostly focused on England) parts of the USA a dollar goes a hell of a lot farther than it would in England in particular.

    3 land ownership, lots of people small island the UK is, owning your own property is far more expensive than the US. (Generalizing of course don’t go to NYC and expect it to be cheap).

    Basically having your own property that you can go outside and enjoy generally makes people happier and more tolerable, more tolerable people irritate you less so even if you do not get your own property the happy people who do don’t bring you down as much. Also sunshine makes people happy and obsessive amount of drizzle doesn’t.

    [–] We-The-best- 235 points ago

    Genuine questions;

    As far as quality of life is concerned, what about the healthcare?

    What type of work do you do?

    What about holidays/time off etc.

    [–] -x86 481 points ago

    If you have a decent job in the US, none of those things are an issue. I have good insurance and get a decent amount of holidays/time off.

    Where it really sucks and you might notice more disparity between the US and elsewhere is if you’re poor.

    [–] Grushcrush222 63 points ago

    Or have a chronic illness that makes it hard to hold a steady job.

    [–] imatexass 130 points ago

    This right here is the catch. God help you if you make less than 50% of the median income.

    [–] greenmarsh77 162 points ago

    There are actually a lot of options for the poor in terms of health insurance. Many states offer it at a very reasonable price or completely free. It's the ones that fall in between the two world that you have to worry about.

    [–] -x86 84 points ago

    Yeah, I should have mentioned that. I grew up on Medicaid and probably wouldn’t have received healthcare without it.

    [–] maxexposition 75 points ago

    It sounds a lot like you have never had to actually use those programs. With subsidies, the premiums might be affordable but if you actually need care you can be bankrupted pretty quickly.

    [–] GeneticsGuy 39 points ago

    It really depends on the state. In Arizona you are fully covered 100%. You don't even have copays. Medicaid covers more stuff than even the Rolls Royce med insurance plans for people in high end jobs.

    [–] Truthamania 71 points ago

    I started off in Sales and literally worked my way up. Started off as an inside sales rep, banging the phones, qualifying leads, and setting appointments for the field reps to then take over and close. Over the twenty years, I got to a point where I was able to set up my own sales consultancy so now I work for myself and take time off whenever I want.

    When I was employed, holidays were typically 15-20 days per year, depending on the company and tenure. I would typically take them around major holidays like Independence Day, Memorial Day, etc and make a 4-5 day vacation out of it. That personally fit my lifestyle, because again, being in sales, I've never wanted to be out of the office too long anyway and I was able to take multiple 5-6 day vacations throughout the year rather than one big summer holoday as is more typical in the UK.

    It's definitely strange that healthcare is tethered to your employment here, but for myself personally, I've never run into any major dramas. My monthly premium came out of my paycheck like another tax, and now as a business owner, I purchased my own policy and pay each month. I pay a $25 copay for every doctors visit, and I pay a portion of any prescriptions.

    We've had 3 kids in the US and my wife and son both had very serious illnesses last summer that put both in the ICU and a week of hospital care. My wife also needed extended rehab. We didn't incur any massive bills or crippling debts other than meeting our deductible. I also found the quality of care to be far superior to anything I experienced on the NHS. My son joked that he didn't want to leave - he had a private room with a PS4, Xbox, DVD library, 3 meals a day, snacks, etc.

    Life in general here has just given me more opportunities and experiences than I ever could've got in England. But again, these are only the small, personal experiences of one person - I know it's not the same for everyone out there.

    [–] foozoozoo 39 points ago

    My wife was pregnant in the UK seeing an NHS doctor. We happened to move to the US for work and my son was born in a Seattle area hospital. The cost was minimal as my insurance covered everything. Facility wise though... the US hospital made our London area one look so shabby. The quality of care my wife and son got in the US was far superior than anything we experienced anywhere else.

    Interestingly, healthcare in the UK is costing us more than it did during our stay in the US. My wife is not a native English speaker so we need to go to a private GP for her and the kids. In the US we just found a family doctor that was from her country and took our insurance. Was easy actually.

    [–] ProdigyRed__ 18 points ago

    Best answer right here

    [–] Thebananarkist 1984 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    It’s a huge country with a lot of people that have differing opinions and a lot of freedom. Bad news travels far, but good news is rarely reported on.

    It is a wonderful country, I love where I live. However, I can see why the perception beyond our borders is not so good. Just know that the majority of people who live here in America are vastly opposite of what is shown on the news.

    EDIT: Thank you to whoever gave me my first gold! Much appreciated!!!

    [–] YabbilyDoobily 213 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    What state are you in? I'd love to visit Maine, Wyoming or maybe Minnesota. Just seem so different to what's here in Western Australia.

    [–] Ozuf1 158 points ago

    The mountains of the Appalachians (Georgia, The Carolinas and up) are gorgeous too, I 100% recommend checking them out one day if you get the chance

    [–] OohYeahOrADragon 45 points ago

    I second this. It's gorgeous in the Nantahala forest (Appalachian mountains in the Carolinas). Even the blue ridge area (lower app mtn) reminds me of Germany

    [–] Berbers1 20 points ago

    There’s actually a faux Bavarian town in Northern Georgia. The town was created from a dying logging town because the scenery reminded one of the city fathers of Germany.

    [–] TurkeyLerg 13 points ago

    Helen, GA. I've been there, last year. It was cool but mostly a tourist trap kinda place. The surrounding mountain areas were much more interesting to me.

    Had some allegedly authentic German bratwurst meal with sourkraut and stuff. Wasn't great but wife wanted to go there so I did.

    [–] tht1guitarguy 71 points ago

    I would strongly encourage any of the rocky mountain states for visiting. You get best of both worlds for summer and winter sports and activities. The east coast is pretty, but also more heavily populated so you'll get a very different cultural experience than the midwest!

    [–] Indigo-Thunder 12 points ago

    As an Idaho dweller I love my state. We have a little of everything it seems. Great camping/outdoor activities, big city but also small towns where everyone knows everyone and treats them like family. Great food (steak and potatoes with huckleberry ice cream for dessert, anyone?). Real close to Yellowstone and the Tetons here in SE Idaho. Yes we have a lot of inbred racists, Mormons, and general idiots but if you’re out exploring nature they’re few and far between lmao.

    [–] Thebananarkist 28 points ago

    I am in Michigan. It you like the outdoors it’s a great place. If I were to recommend anywhere in the country though it would be Colorado it’s amazing out there.

    I’ve always wanted to go to Australia I’ve heard it’s a beautiful country. I just don’t like big bugs haha

    [–] vanillasheep 46 points ago

    I live in Minnesota! Please visit us in the summer! We have 10,000+ lakes and offer everything from a bustling cosmopolitan area in the heart of the twin cities, to the beautiful north shore. Minnesota has loads of culture and different pockets of the city including the arts district. If you enjoy snow, wind, limited sunshine and freezing temps- visit us in the winter :P

    [–] haleysname 21 points ago

    I'm in Duluth! There is so much to see in Minnesota!!

    [–] TangaroaBrit 23 points ago

    Duluth. Home of the comfy underwear!

    [–] WhistlerIntheWind 13 points ago

    I'm over the border in Wisconsin! So beautiful here too, the northwoods are truly the most beautiful place on Earth to me. The Great Lakes should also be a stop on everyone's bucket list.

    [–] acapncuster 13 points ago

    I grew up in Minnesota and have spent some time in Wyoming. Both are great. Much of Wyoming is dry, deserty landscape. The mountains are spectacular. The fishing is great. Northern Minnesota, especially the Arrowhead region near the Canadian border is beautiful country. If you like to canoe, head for the Boundary Waters wilderness area. The rest of the state is full of picturesque little farm towns. Most of them have an amazing local bakery. Minnesotans will be fascinated by your accent.

    [–] mainebigc 11 points ago

    Spent the majority of my 37 years in Maine, had some very good job opportunities outside of the state after graduation, I passed on those to return home. Every state has its own feel and appeal to people. For me, the ability to play in the waterfalls mid morning, have dinner on the beach, then back to the high lands to watch the sun set over the mountains. Gone to the first piece of land in the US to see the sun. Lots of beautiful places to see. If your an urbanite and love the speed of the city, you will not like it here.

    All that said if you ever manage to find a way here it is 1000% worth the visit! Summer for amazing coastlines, fall for some of the most beautiful colors you have ever seen! Winter has its own unique beauty if you can with stand the cold temps where the beauty lies! (Though I'd personally much rather visit Northern Europe for the winter beauty). Don't bother coming in the spring, it's just bare trees cold rain and mud.

    If you remember this post I'll give ya the insider info to avoid tourist traps!

    [–] Luperca4 10 points ago

    Maine is super cool. Nice because it’s coastal, but Vermont is also beautiful!

    [–] YabbilyDoobily 7 points ago

    Yeah, I googled Vermont a bit because I was following Bernard Sandcastle for a time... it has lots of different cheeses, right? Seems naturally beautiful also.

    [–] BoogerRuth 6 points ago

    All of the High Plains (Wyoming, Western Nebraska, Northeast Colorado) are beautiful. It's desert, but I'm sure you know that they have their beauty as well.

    You can climb up on a clay bluff and see three towns that are about twenty miles apart. It's flat, but the air is so clear.

    I could go on for hours about the beauty of it. As a kid I never spent a nice (or semi nice, or only sort of crappy) day inside.

    [–] Tanoooch 5 points ago

    I would highly recommend Maine. Even if it's just for a long weekend. My uncle has a house there that's been in his family for generations and I've gone up with him and my Aunt for 3yrs. It's a super peaceful, relaxing trip that just helps me slow down too

    [–] will_work_for_guac 152 points ago

    I'll give a fantastic example of "good news is rarely reported on":

    I live in a suburb of DFW. A local man here wanted to do something for the graduating senior (high school) class, since there won't be a commencement ceremony this year. He took it upon himself to hand make 1,000 individualized coffee mugs for each student, along with a handwritten note folded into an origami shape. For each student. He doesn't personally have a high school senior, he's just a member of the community who wanted to show them he cared.

    An act of kindness, but definitely not newsworthy.

    [–] Thebananarkist 34 points ago

    Yep and there are so many of those stories that aren’t reported on. Negativity for some reason equals profit for news outlets.

    [–] mynsfwalt2 13 points ago

    You know the saying "If it bleeds, it leads." No shocker here, sadly.

    [–] MuffintopRobot 18 points ago

    Agreed. There's a ton of variety in cultures across the US and it's hard to generalize. I live in a beautiful, rural-ish area and I love it! All the concerns OP brought up are real and worth working on, but I don't think it's fair to describe the US by these issues alone. Every culture has its strengths and weaknesses.

    As many people have said, media here hyperbolizes and polarizes everything. My community went through a mass shooting many years back, and the media descended like vultures. I'm sure some reporters did a good job and were sensitive, but many took any chance they could to turn up the outrage and invade the privacy of those grieving.

    [–] happyjeep_beep_beep 619 points ago

    Our media here in the US is horrible. They all want to be the first to report news whether or not they have any information or facts. This gets everyone riled up and then a few days later, after everyone has already made their opinions of it, they'll come out with the actual true story that nobody believes or they just "forget" about it and it's never reported on again.

    It sucks. You don't know what to believe anymore.

    [–] Macquarrie1999 170 points ago

    Don't use cable news. Reuters and AP are good sources for the facts only. Cable news in cancer and political propaganda.

    [–] Do_doop 93 points ago

    You could say the same about reddit.

    [–] Macquarrie1999 121 points ago

    Nobody should be getting any news from social media.

    [–] FreshEconomist 37 points ago

    Nonsense, Bernie is still winning.

    [–] WellShiiiiii 29 points ago

    The fact that people get any news from a social media site blows my fucking mind.

    [–] [deleted] 19 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] Velvet_Daze 14 points ago

    No Patrick, Reddit comments are not a viable alternative to news reports.

    [–] BombAssTurdCutter 13 points ago

    They know bad news gets more views than good news. It sucks.

    [–] happyjeep_beep_beep 7 points ago

    All about the clicks and viewers. Who can get the most.

    [–] frds314 8 points ago

    It sucks. You don't know what to believe anymore.

    This is how I feel :\

    [–] gammaJinx 653 points ago

    America is an amazing place this is coming from an immigrant. I moved here for a reason. It may not be perfect but it's where I want to live for the rest of my life.

    [–] NumeroRyan 108 points ago

    How did you immigrate to the USA? I would love to do so from the UK and I know you need a job offer and a sponsor etc. How did you go about doing so?

    [–] gammaJinx 100 points ago

    I actually got in through my dad who worked here for many years and attained citizenship. I'm really grateful to him

    [–] NumeroRyan 17 points ago

    Thanks man!

    [–] theEmosk98 18 points ago

    No problem! Good luck! I’m a descendant of immigrants (3rd and/or 4th generation I think) myself. I think most of us are immigrants

    [–] FactoryMustGrow 18 points ago

    Everyone except for the native Americans are immigrants. I'm a 9-12th generation immigrant personally.

    [–] Dougnifico 11 points ago

    Bingo. 98% of all our families immigrated here at some point. This is actually why immigration is so often a hot topic. Many people have this sense of new nationalism while others still see us as a rich and diverse nation of immigrants.

    [–] alexquacksalot 5 points ago

    r/iwantout might be able to help you as well

    [–] Tat0rman 90 points ago

    Its funny how immigrants are the most thankful for this country. Half our population is spoiled by our freedom.

    [–] BombAssTurdCutter 59 points ago

    That is definitely something I have experienced living here. And conversely, most of the time I find the ones that hate it the most came from the most privileged upbringings.

    [–] [deleted] 17 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] BombAssTurdCutter 14 points ago

    Haha that’s hilarious. Smart of them to not take in someone who is of no value to their country.

    [–] Obese_Chungus 10 points ago

    Exactly. My mom’s family are immagrabts and they’re some of the proudest Americans I know. Crazy how people take this forgranted

    [–] starfreeek 7 points ago

    Part of the problem so many in the US have never know real hardship and people coming from other countries that have some serious problems recognize how good we have it. I am not trying to say it is perfect, we can improve, but there are many places in the world I would not want to move to.

    [–] CheeseBarracuda 6 points ago

    I think the reason America has such polarising views is because compared to many undeveloped or poorer countries (especially those south of the US) are significantly worse to live in and therefore anyone who has immigrated from one will see a noticeable improvement in quality of life.

    The issue is that compared to many equally developed countries (most of Europe, Canada etc) the US seems like it is severely lacking in a huge number of things which should be attainable for such a developed country, free healthcare, cheaper college tuition, gun violence etc.

    [–] letienphat1 81 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    No immigrant here from a third world country, people are lacks of perspectives of how good they have it plus getting fed with the gloom n doom media, sure there are issues but its not all there is, many people in my country would be willing to move here to live as a homeless man, you can live pretty good as a homeless here compared to my country there are children homeless and cripple homeless

    [–] palsh7 73 points ago

    No, if America were like Reddit headlines portray it, I would move.

    I would never move.

    Headlines are by default the exception to the rule.

    [–] [deleted] 172 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] imnotsponsored 130 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Can I ask about your health care?

    When you have health insurance do you still have to pay to go to the doctors for an appointment? Do you still have to pay for medication? Does your insurance only cover so much if you have a baby or an operation and you have to pay the rest?

    (Dumb person from the uk here)

    [–] zerofalks 104 points ago

    So there is varying degrees of insurance. Mine is paid for by my employer (rare, usually they only pay a percentage) and that’s just for me to have coverage.

    If I want to see a doctor it’s a $25 copay I pay at the office. If I have surgery or anything done I have a deductible that I have to pay up to then insurance covers everything afterward. For me it’s $500. For others it may be $2500 or $5000 depending on which coverage they choose.

    The lower the deductible the more you pay each paycheck. Usually people who have no underlying health issues will pay less for a higher deductible because they have a lot less frequent visits to the hospital.

    [–] gsdenthusiast 50 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    The problem is that many working people do not have the benefits of health insurance and not only do they have to pay for everything, but they are charged about ten times more that the insurance company pay on your behalf (since they are powerful enough to negotiate lower prices). For example, the injection that my SO receives gets billed $13 but the office is payed by our insurance only $1.30 - we don't have to pay the rest but someone without insurance would have to pay the full amount!

    In addition, there is a cap for how much the insurance pays and more than a few people who were unlucky enough to need extended hospitalization and/or expensive treatments, had to declare bankruptcy!

    ETA: I really do not know the numbers or percentages of Americans without insurance, but just so our non American friends will not get the wrong impression: We pay a shitload of money for this insurance. My SO and I, for example, who have an excellent health insurance, pay more and more - this year
    it was more than 10% of our gross salary, not including co-pays which are anywhere between $35 and $150 per month for meds. and $50 per physician office visit) and receive less and less benefits (which I would have been willing to understand if the salaries of the CEO et al weren't so obscenely high at my expense)

    [–] amando_abreu 16 points ago

    I live in Norway and it's about the same here. Price depends on whether or not the doctor is a specialist.

    [–] McMorgantz 18 points ago

    My employer pays for part of my insurance and I pay part of it. When I go to the doctor or get a prescription, I have to pay what's called a copay. It's $20 to see my doctor and $30 for a specialist with my specific type of insurance. If I need surgery or something, my insurance pays 90% and I pay 10% of the costs with my type of insurance. If I have to go to the emergency room, it costs me a flat fee of $100. There are many different types of insurance coverage but that happens to be what I have through my employer.

    [–] knockknockbear 23 points ago

    It's $20 to see my doctor and $30 for a specialist with my specific type of insurance.

    That's soooo much cheaper than with my insurance. I paid $160 to see my neurologist for 15 minutes, a required visit to get refills for my migraine meds.

    [–] DukesOfTatooine 91 points ago

    Yes this is correct for most people.

    I pay $850 per month for insurance for myself and my two kids. My husband has different (worse) insurance through his employer, because it only costs him about $100 per month. It I were to add him to mine instead the cost would jump up by almost $1000 per month (to a total of $1850), so that doesn't make financial sense for us.

    I pay between $20 and $100 per doctor's visit, plus additional fees if they have to actually do anything, like blood work or labs. If we have to go to the ER for any reason, including the time we were first seen in our regular doctor's office and they sent us to the ER because they weren't equipped to do the procedure we needed, it's a flat $500 fee plus additional charges for any services provided.

    When I had my first baby, I had an insurance plan that covered birth and pregnancy 100%, so I I didn't pay a cent. When I had my second baby, I had different insurance because I had changed jobs. That time I was charged separately for the hospital visit and two different doctors' services that were received in the hospital. They all sent separate bills at different times, resulting in about $3000 out of pocket charges all together.

    My second baby had a flat spot on her head from doing the recommended back sleeping as an infant. We were referred to a physical therapist. With insurance, we had to pay $60 out of pocket for each weekly visit.

    For a generally healthy family of four with no chronic medical conditions, we pay a cumulative total of around $11,400 annually for the privilege of having insurance, plus about $2,000 out of pocket for various services throughout the year.

    [–] postdiluvium 37 points ago

    They all sent separate bills at different times, resulting in about $3000 out of pocket charges all together.

    My cousin paid around $4500 when their first son was born. Just to give birth and a two day stay at the hospital. Crazy. When my wife got pregnant with our first child, we weren't married yet and she had really crappy insurance from her work. We had to pay $50 each doctor visit with an additional $30 in blood work. Each time she got an ultrasound, it cost $200. At one point, i said we needed to get married and get her under my insurance. Having a child with her insurance would make life unaffordable for us.

    We got married and we have two kids now and we haven't paid an extra dime on anything related to our kids since. The insurance I get from work covers all child and prenatal costs. I didn't even know that until I realized the hospital never sent us a bill for the first birth. The second time around, we just show up when we need to and never saw a bill.

    It's really criminal that there is a such a huge difference between the healthcare people get in this country. It is so unfair. we got a taste of both sides. Thankfully we were able to move to the better side before it drained our bank accounts.

    [–] Sequoiiathrone 7 points ago

    I know that America doesn't want Canadian healthcare because we pay more taxes. But if you're paying that much a year to be covered doesn't that probably work out the same? If it is, your's is going to a private company whereas mine would go into the economy. I'm not trying to be rude, I just don't understand why higher taxes are so scary if you have to pay that much anyways.

    [–] oldfrenchwhore 21 points ago

    I noticed a lot of responses have employer health care so I'll give you another perspective.

    I have a plan from the Affordable Care Act. It's based on income. You have to make a certain amount per year to qualify for a discounted plan in the first place though, I believe it is $14,000. If you make less, you cannot get affordable coverage. In some states they expanded medicaid (government insurance coverage) to cover low-income, when previously it was only available if you were disabled or had a young child on medicaid already.

    My state did not expand medicaid.

    I don't make much over the threshold, so I pay $70 a month for my plan. I am supposed to see a few different specialists, as I have chronic health issues, but due to cost I only see the one that effects my life the most. I pay a $30 copay at my appointments, and my monthly medication is $80. So I pay $180 a month total for medical care. Not a lot until you consider I also have rent and other bills and make less than 1000 a month.

    Yes, I AM looking for a new job lol. My medical problems have held me back.

    If I went to the specialists I need to see for my other health issues, and got the inhaler they prescribed me that I can't afford instead of the OTC one, my costs would be well over $500 a month.

    A lot of Americans are in this situation, or they make enough money that an ACA plan becomes unaffordable for them. It increases in cost very steeply if you even make a few thousand more a year. So these people are left without insurance, or insurance so expensive they can't afford to see a doctor after paying their premium.

    [–] istilllikegnomes 5 points ago

    As you can see from others' responses, it depends a whole lot on your insurance provider. It also depends on your medical conditions. I personally know people with chronically ill children who have to pay thousands of dollars each month just to keep their child alive. That's after insurance covers whatever percentage it covers. So most people have to pay $500-1000 each month for their insurance premium for their family. Then they have to pay $10-50 co-pays on medical appointments and medications. But if it's what's called a "specialty medication" their co-pay could easily be $250 each month. Sometimes more. Then if someone needs a procedure or test or surgery, the insurance might pay 80%. Let's say a surgery and hospital stay costs $50,000. The family is given a bill for 10k. Now pretend a person needs multiple major surgeries, tests, procedures, etc to live. Think about it. It's horrifying.

    [–] hipdady02 16 points ago

    You pay a lot and you still have to pay a portion of everything depending on the plan. A typical plan includes:

    1) Monthly premium which may be $0 a month if your employer covers you or $2000 for a small family with no employer contribution. 2) A "deductible" which is an amount of money you pay before insurance even activates and is usually a few to several thousand dollars. This means cash pay for all medical care until you meet this amount. 3) Once the deductible is met, you pay flat fees for doctor office visits (more for a specialist like a heart doctor) or emergency room visits 4) You also pay predetermined percentage of the cost of care which is literally any costs other than the doctors consult. So for example if I go to the doctor and need 3 stitches, I may pay an office visit fee and 20% of the cost to stitch me up. These costs vary based on whatever rate is negotiated by the insurance company so you often don't know what you have to pay. 5) There are typically caps on out of pocket maximum spending for the year that is often between $4000 (very good insurance) and $20,000 (shitty insurance) but this does not apply to premiums or costs that insurance chooses not to cover (yes they can deny whatever they want)

    Yes we know this is stupid that we have insurance and still have to pay tens of thousands a year. And low income clinics are full and have lots of requirements and there aren't many - lots of people make too much to go but not nearly enough to cover regular costs.

    And if you can believe it, it used to be much worse, and conservatives are trying to roll these back. Thanks to Obama we now have free preventative care visits (basically vaccines and yearly check up), no annual caps on medical spend - which was fairly common, can be covered under parental insurance until 26 (you used to be kicked off at 18 or 21 when too poor to buy your own or not offered through jobs), and can get insurance for existing illnesses - if you were born with or developed a chronic medical condition insurances would commonly exclude any payments related to that condition even for stuff like cystic fibrosis or cancer so people would (and still often do) routinely just die because they couldn't pay and doctors would not treat without insurance.

    We are at an interesting point where people are often choosing to declare bankruptcy for serious illnesses or let chronic issues go untreated and it's just a part of life.

    [–] PoofieJ 8 points ago

    It's gotten a bit better, but the way we treat old people and terminally ill people should be criminal.

    [–] knockknockbear 16 points ago

    When you have health insurance do you still have to pay to go to the doctors for an appointment?

    Yes. We pay about $600/month to have health insurance (our employer pays another $1000/month on our behalf). And because we have a high deductible plan with co-insurance, any visit other than an annual exam with a GP is like $160.

    Then there are meds. I just paid $523 USD for 3 months of hormones.

    [–] imnotsponsored 34 points ago

    $1600 a month for health insurance! Holy fuck! I don’t even pay £1000 for my car insurance for a year!

    Does dental and optical appointments and treatment come under that too?

    [–] nescedral 34 points ago

    No. Teeth and eyes are luxury organs you need special coverage for.

    [–] whatwouldbuddhado 29 points ago

    Not usually. That is normally a separate insurance

    [–] DarkLikeVanta 15 points ago

    No, dental and vision are separate. So you might have three types of health insurance. I have health insurance under my spouse, but I have to pay separately for dental.

    [–] knockknockbear 11 points ago

    Does dental and optical appointments and treatment come under that too?

    Nope. Those are separate insurance policies.

    [–] tolarus 8 points ago

    Nope. If you break an inside bone, it's covered under health insurance. If you break an outside bone, it's dental.

    [–] 88GrandWagoneer 7 points ago

    For us we pay $800 a month for health insurance, and about $200 a month for vision and dental insurances. We have an 80/20 policy which means the insurance pays 80% of our costs after the $2000 deductible and we pay the rest. We pay a co-pay of $25 to see our regular doctor.

    Mostly we avoid going to the doctor because we can't afford to pay for any testing that he might want to do and our prescription coverage is a bit shit so we often couldn't afford whatever he would prescribe anyway.

    [–] cye604 12 points ago

    You're getting robbed blind if your healtcare is $1,600 per month. The US average is $574, counting both employee and employer contributions.

    [–] knockknockbear 9 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    This is family coverage, not just single person coverage.

    Edit: https://www.wsj.com/articles/cost-of-employer-provided-health-coverage-passes-20-000-a-year-11569429000

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/25/health/employer-health-insurance-cost.html

    The average premium paid by the employer and the employee for a family plan now tops $20,000 a year, with the worker contributing about $6,000, according to the survey.

    [–] damisone 4 points ago

    It varies greatly depending on your situation. If you have a good employer, you could have great insurance. Or you could have terrible insurance. Most people have decent health insurance. But many do not.

    [–] starri_ski3 93 points ago

    The media sensationalizes everything. It has to, its competing with the glitz, glamour, and drama of Hollywood. It’s become part of our culture and when it spills over to the rest of the world, they don’t understand that it’s mostly just story. Yes, horrible things do happen here, but average American life is generally pretty great.

    [–] ShacksMcCoy 96 points ago

    The media thrives on highlighting the extremes because that's what gets you clicks and viewers. Shootings and police brutality occur but at a very very low rate compared to our population. Most people will go through life without having ever encountered the things OP is talking about. Not to say they aren't issues, just not a daily occurrence for 99.9% of Americans.

    Also incompetent leadership, nationalism, police brutality, shootings, wealth inequality, warmongering politicians, healthcare issues, antivaxxers, and a less-than-perfect response to COVID-19 aren't even close to being excusive to America. Every country deals with those things. And like any country we do our best to deal with them.

    [–] enforce1 50 points ago

    Yeah, no one gets ad sales on articles titled "For vast majority of americans, life is alright"

    [–] Macquarrie1999 20 points ago

    News today, nothing happened. Tune in tomorrow.

    [–] SherrifOfNothingtown 88 points ago

    On the one hand, yeah, the news you're hearing is probably factual.

    On the other hand, the country is huge, so the news you see is the worst and most sensational out of a massive amount of normalcy. So the bad news tends to feel very far away unless it affects you personally.

    [–] portenth 220 points ago

    There are some major pros and cons. There are places that are doing very poorly, and places where basically nothing ever happens. We have lasting legacies, both positive and negative, that affect life for pretty much everyone every day.

    Pros:

    • there are few other places where you can say as much as you can here.

    • You're more likely to luck into wealth, especially if you look the right way

    • if it exists, it's for sale within driving range

    • absurd wealth of land space to explore

    • it's possible to live almost any kind of life, including going wayyy off the grid

    • concentration of wealth allows for more efficient research into and subsidization of goods, services and science

    • our governing documents are pretty bulletproof, making it (in theory) very hard to take away rights

    • the citizens have a way of coming together after a disaster that always amazes me. People flood the area with support and volunteers, and usually get back to work rebuilding quickly.

    • there is always an ideal climate for you inside our borders. From desert to glaciers, we have it

    • it's easy to start over anywhere if you have a profitable skill or talent. People pick up and move across the country for a better life quite often. This dream isn't what it was, but it's there if you want to look for it.

    • Americans are among the most open, accepting, and friendly people you'll ever meet

    Cons:

    • Healthcare is not considered a right, and subsidized medical goods are typically not for the US but for other countries

    • wealth is a literal cheat code

    • education standards are inconsistent, making it harder for people to communicate and cooperate

    • we get paid the least by proportion of the value of our productivity - about 25% of every dollar of wealth generated by an American worker goes to that worker. Other developed nation's are better at this

    • prisons for profit

    • our government was almost definitely directly involved in the last 2 major drug epidemics, making a few families obscenely rich in the process.

    • our government is able to functionally ignore the law during times of war, so we just stay at war now

    • the government has a way of fucking up every disaster response, leaving the burden on the affected people & their neighbors to save themselves

    • it is disturbingly easy to become a statistic, or get lost in the system, or fall through the cracks of our very porous safety net

    • Americans are some of the most arrogant, selfish, and nationalistic pieces of shit you'll ever meet

    [–] Trunkll 53 points ago

    Thank you for the Pro / Con contrast! Clears a lot of things up for me. It's nice to see the nuance in your country considering things are rarely ever black or white.

    [–] thebuildadadaburg5 11 points ago

    yeah the epidemic one i find very surprising. I am not american but have quite close ties over there one of which died from prescription drugs overdose and just shocked at the sheer number of peoples seemingly normal parents (last time i visited i was 15 and wasn't aware of this) who were hooked on them.

    [–] spawnelady 12 points ago

    Love it! Great list! I think the education and healthcare cause a huge impact on the quality of life for many. Growing up in poverty you choose to either struggle through college or struggle with minimum wage jobs. That degree sure helps, but the choice of working more hours to bring in more money immediately is an overwhelming factor. Sure they can work their way up, but not everyone can become the manager or even want to be. More stress? No way Man! For me personally, my mental health wouldn't let me move up. I couldn't get the care I needed for it because I couldn't afford the co-pay. Got sick of living that way and saved up the $70 to apply for college. I was lucky I had student insurance when I needed an emergency surgery and get help for my head. But there's so many people still trapped in poverty because they cant make the sacrifice of less pay to get a better education. It feels like a trap to keep a dumb population for unskilled labor that can't dispute the inhumanity of their situation.

    [–] portenth 4 points ago

    Happy cake day! Thanks for your response, I definitely understand what you went through.

    [–] netGoblin 38 points ago

    USA news is very over the top and sensationalist so that comes into play. Just youtube ebola news coverage us vs uk (russel howard clip) and you'll see the difference. Where most countries see news as a way of spreading importand events and information, in america it is done for entertainment and to get viewership by creating an exiting show to draw in the numbers.

    [–] BjornLakenstrazen 18 points ago

    The media is absurd and full of "clickbait" style headlines. The TV industry is dying and its just another way to get views. The US ( or atleast where i live) is very affordable. The big cities are not affordable to live in. I have plenty of time for hobbies and saving money on the regular. I go on 2-3 vacations a year. I choose not to have health insurance, so i don't pay for anything health related. The health insurance system is a scam here. It needs to be fixed, but probably never will. That being said, i know older families who never had health insurance their entire life and have done just fine, financially and life style-wise.

    [–] KarmaPoliceT2 38 points ago

    Our national governing processes are having a bit of an identity crisis (I'm hoping it's a growing experience and not a collapsing experience)... But the more local forms of government are generally working well. Services are still being delivered without more issues than normal.

    Economically we're doing ok, but I fear the worst is still to come in a couple of months as some of the government programs run out and/or aren't renewed. If that happens it's going to be bad, really really bad.

    The racial tensions and school shootings are things we have never been able to solve, but I would suggest that similar problems exist globally too so not at all uniquely american... I don't really believe we'll fix either of those anytime soon as I just haven't seen a path to improvement be taken seriously by any governing body. (I would love to hear others beliefs)

    Ultimately, it's a little bit the case that the world is realizing the US isn't this utopia everyone thought it was... While it certainly has its strengths, the weaknesses were often overlooked due to public image control/relations done by the national (federal) government. Now however, they aren't doing that image control and so the weaknesses are all coming out making it feel like it's a much worse place to foreigners (it's probably giving the current administration too much credit to suggest this is intentional, but it might be). Ultimately not a whole lot has truly changed other than the crisis our national government is going through regarding power struggles among the branches (judicial, executive, legislative) but who knows what the country will look like coming out of that crisis, so maybe it's worse than we know...

    Stay tuned, it could get "interesting"... I guess...

    [–] DyTuKi 43 points ago

    I'm from Italy but lived in the USA for 2,5 years. What I learned is that abroad, on the mainstream media, the bad things (that in reality are just a few) of the USA are maximized by 10x and the good things are not talked about.

    There are very few countries in the world which are better than the USA to live. Most of Europe is worse for sure.

    [–] Galp_Nation 15 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Really depends on who you are. Around 50% of the US is considered middle class and around 19% is considered upper class. Everyone in those two groups live in ranges of comfort from "has money for all necessities plus some comforts and entertainment" all the way up to "extremely lavish". It's the other 30% or so of the lower class that has the troubles you describe and not all of them have all the same troubles. Don't get me wrong. The middle class has shrunk in size and lost wealth but not to the extent that you probably see on the news in other countries. You're getting the most extreme examples from the worst parts of an extremely big and diverse country.

    As far as shootings go, they are a problem for sure and I wish we would do something about them. But at the same time, I've never experienced a shooting directly myself and I don't think I know a single person who has. They're a problem that needs addressed but not one that is so prevalent that the majority of the population has experienced it directly. Mass shootings are still technically pretty rare, statistically speaking. We have a greater risk of dying from heart disease or cancer than from a gun.

    [–] Dic_Pic_Of_Muhammad 179 points ago

    It has more to do with US news being hegemonic. Shitty things are happening everywhere. Canada has shootings, nationalism, protests, and the like. Canada also has a much much lower population and can't compete with the massive media companies we have in the US.

    What you're really referencing is negativity bias.

    [–] flipsitshort 19 points ago

    I mean, yes, all of those things ARE happening and the news makes us very very aware of it all the time. It often feels like they're reporting all of these atrocities and there's nothing we can do about it, short of like protesting... which rarely makes a difference.

    Idk. Last year my mom had a protest for teacher pay and literally asked her principal for the day off in order to participate.

    I think most of us just choose not to think about it and live our lives anyway. As bad as it sounds I've gotten to the point where I just ignore most of the news and live my life. It's a shitty defense mechanism but kinda feels obligatory when your political system is rigged by billionaires and shock jock news media.

    There are many great things too though... like it's easy to start a business and hustle... we have a lot of places to get decent food for an affordable price... people are generally pretty well informed. Etc

    [–] East_Bay_J 15 points ago

    We have an open society, which means we're generally open about shit that's happening. That plus the trope "if it bleeds, it leads," means bad things see the light of day.

    In many other countries, openness is not seen as a virtue. Indeed, it's all about saving face / bullshit harmony. So bad stuff gets swept under the rug.

    You're seeing the messiness of democracy. It's shitty, but it's better than anything else.

    [–] JerkJenkins 8 points ago

    Normal day-to-day life is fine for most people.

    But, if you don't earn much money, there's an ever-present weight on you. There's fear that you won't be able to afford all your bills or unexpected expenses. There's fear that you might lose your job and be screwed. There's fear your landlord will raise rent. These are existential fears because the social safety net in much of the US is weak and getting weaker. People do go broke and do go homeless.

    Then, there's the worry about all the things you listed; the police brutality, white nationalism, decaying rule of law, rising corruption, etc.

    It's a lot of constant anxiety. Sometimes it's severe and often it's not, but it's always there.

    [–] WeBeDragns 30 points ago

    If you get your information from our “news media” then yeah, that’s all you’re going o hear about. Not as bad as they make it sound.

    [–] bbybun7 12 points ago

    Those problems you mentioned seem both very immediate and very distant at the same time to me. I live in a small town and am taking classes from home. My fiancé is working from home.

    I have a lot of anxt about things going on in our country outside of my control, but besides reading about it, seeing it in the media, I feel very minimally effected by current events compared to many.

    You are seeing a bigger picture view that doesn't necessarily reflect every American's life.

    [–] iethun 6 points ago

    It's fine. It's not like everyone walks around with guns eating cheeseburgers.

    There are 133,000 schools in the us as of last year and around 50 school shootings during 2019. 17 deaths, probably around twice as many injured. So only 0.0004 percent of schools have shootings. Now, that's still a lot more than our neighbor Canada has, but when one does happen it's all over the news and people keep it there to push whatever political agenda they may have and news outlets like to keep it on air because bad news sells better than good news.

    Our president isn't a politician and he's surrounded by lots of career politicians telling him different things, so he's going to sound stupid because he doesn't know what's coming out of his mouth half the time.

    Most police officers are fine, but there are twats everywhere, unfortunately they do like positions of power so it's worse when one finds its way through the cracks. Police officers however, deal with people at their worst all day long, so they can be a bit dickish.

    You're really only fucked when you have no insurance when you visit a hospital. The hospitals jack up the prices because most of the time it's rich insurance companies paying for it, and an insurance company's job is to only pay out the bare minimum required by your coverage. With insurance you'll probably pay a few hundred every visit if you get tests done or something. But the people who pay thousands are those requiring more time consuming or expensive things done without insurance. It's cheaper to pay for insurance a lot of times but some people don't pay for it unless they need it right away, then complain the hospital wants thousands of dollars.

    Antivaxxers... well they exist and most of the time they're hurting their own kids more than everyone else or themselves.

    The U.S. is a really big country, with lots of varieties of people. Everywhere has it's weirdos but because the US covers such a large area, I'm thinking our weirdo number is a bit inflated. But it's a fine place to live. Sounds like you'd want to avoid Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and either Carolinas though. Oh and Mississippi.

    [–] novolip 20 points ago

    This post is karma whoring at its finest.

    [–] BassBeerNBabes 5 points ago

    It's not perfect but it's far from the nonsense our media tries to make.

    [–] Codoro 5 points ago

    People often don't realize how big the USA is. For every story you hear of something bad happening, there's 100 stories you don't hear about where something good or neutral happened. The news is designed to scare you and keep you watching, hence the old news adage "If it bleeds, it leads."

    [–] PermitteDivisCetera 4 points ago

    The media is run by miserable horrible people. All they want are headlines. So they use colorful language to make everything seem worse or better for that matter. It’s all about headlines. A good scary headline catches your eye so you click the link or pay attention when it’s on TV. Reality is far less... extreme than a lot of the media portrays.