EFAM | Escape From America Magazine

America – The Grim Truth

escape from the prison you call home

Americans, I have some bad news for you:

You have the worst quality of life in the developed world – by a wide margin.

If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia, you’d be rioting in the streets calling for a better life. In fact, the average Australian or Singaporean taxi driver has a much better standard of living than the typical American white-collar worker.


I know this because I am an American, and I escaped from the prison you call home.

I have lived all around the world, in wealthy countries and poor ones, and there is only one country I would never consider living in again: The United States of America. The mere thought of it fills me with dread.

Consider this, you are the only people in the developed world without a single-payer health system. Everyone in Western Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand has a single-payer system. If they get sick, they can devote all their energies to getting well. If you get sick, you have to battle two things at once, your illness and the fear of financial ruin. Millions of Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical bills, and tens of thousands die each year because they have no insurance or insufficient insurance. And don’t believe for a second that rot about America having the world’s best medical care or the shortest waiting lists: I’ve been to hospitals in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Singapore, and Thailand, and every one was better than the “good” hospital I used to go to back home. The waits were shorter, the facilities more comfortable, and the doctors just as good.

This is ironic, because you need a good health system more than anyone else in the world. Why? Because your lifestyle is almost designed to make you sick.

Let’s start with your diet: Much of the beef you eat has been exposed to fecal matter in processing. Your chicken is contaminated with salmonella. Your stock animals and poultry are pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics. In most other countries, the government would act to protect consumers from this sort of thing; in the United States, the government is bought off by industry to prevent any effective regulations or inspections. In a few years, the majority of all the produce for sale in the United States will be from genetically modified crops, thanks to the cozy relationship between Monsanto Corporation and the United States government. Worse still, due to the vast quantities of high-fructose corn syrup Americans consume, fully one-third of children born in the United States today will be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives.

Of course, it’s not just the food that’s killing you, it’s the drugs. If you show any sign of life when you’re young, they’ll put you on Ritalin. Then, when you get old enough to take a good look around, you’ll get depressed, so they’ll give you Prozac. If you’re a man, this will render you chemically impotent, so you’ll need Viagra to get it up. Meanwhile, your steady diet of trans-fat-laden food is guaranteed to give you high cholesterol, so you’ll get a prescription for Lipitor. Finally, at the end of the day, you’ll lay awake at night worrying about losing your health plan, so you’ll need Lunesta to go to sleep.

With a diet guaranteed to make you sick and a health system designed to make sure you stay that way, what you really need is a long vacation somewhere. Unfortunately, you probably can’t take one. I’ll let you in on little secret: if you go to the beaches of Thailand, the mountains of Nepal, or the coral reefs of Australia, you’ll probably be the only American in sight. And you’ll be surrounded crowds of happy Germans, French, Italians, Israelis, Scandinavians and wealthy Asians. Why? Because they’re paid well enough to afford to visit these places AND they can take vacations long enough to do so. Even if you could scrape together enough money to go to one of these incredible places, by the time you recovered from your jetlag, it would time to get on a plane and rush back to your job.

If you think I’m making this up, check the stats on average annual vacation days by country:

Finland: 44
Italy: 42
France: 39
Germany: 35
UK: 25
Japan: 18
USA: 12

The fact is, they work you like dogs in the United States. This should come as no surprise: the United States never got away from the plantation/sweat shop labor model and any real labor movement was brutally suppressed. Unless you happen to be a member of the ownership class, your options are pretty much limited to barely surviving on service-sector wages or playing musical chairs for a spot in a cubicle (a spot that will be outsourced to India next week anyway). The very best you can hope for is to get a professional degree and then milk the system for a slice of the middle-class pie. And even those who claw their way into the middle class are but one illness or job loss away from poverty. Your jobs aren’t secure. Your company has no loyalty to you. They’ll play you off against your coworkers for as long as it suits them, then they’ll get rid of you.

Of course, you don’t have any choice in the matter: the system is designed this way. In most countries in the developed world, higher education is either free or heavily subsidized; in the United States, a university degree can set you back over US$100,000. Thus, you enter the working world with a crushing debt. Forget about taking a year off to travel the world and find yourself – you’ve got to start working or watch your credit rating plummet.

If you’re “lucky,” you might even land a job good enough to qualify you for a home loan. And then you’ll spend half your working life just paying the interest on the loan – welcome to the world of American debt slavery. America has the illusion of great wealth because there’s a lot of “stuff” around, but who really owns it? In real terms, the average American is poorer than the poorest ghetto dweller in Manila, because at least they have no debts. If they want to pack up and leave, they can; if you want to leave, you can’t, because you’ve got debts to pay.

All this begs the question: Why would anyone put up with this? Ask any American and you’ll get the same answer: because America is the freest country on earth. If you believe this, I’ve got some more bad news for you: America is actually among the least free countries on earth. Your piss is tested, your emails and phone calls are monitored, your medical records are gathered, and you are never more than one stray comment away from writhing on the ground with two Taser prongs in your ass.

And that’s just physical freedom. Mentally, you are truly imprisoned. You don’t even know the degree to which you are tormented by fears of medical bankruptcy, job loss, homelessness and violent crime because you’ve never lived in a country where there is no need to worry about such things.

But it goes much deeper than mere surveillance and anxiety. The fact is, you are not free because your country has been taken over and occupied by another government. Fully 70% of your tax dollars go to the Pentagon, and the Pentagon is the real government of the United States. You are required under pain of death to pay taxes to this occupying government. If you’re from the less fortunate classes, you are also required to serve and die in their endless wars, or send your sons and daughters to do so. You have no choice in the matter: there is a socio-economic draft system in the United States that provides a steady stream of cannon fodder for the military.

If you call a life of surveillance, anxiety and ceaseless toil in the service of a government you didn’t elect “freedom,” then you and I have a very different idea of what that word means.

If there was some chance that the country could be changed, there might be reason for hope. But can you honestly look around and conclude that anything is going to change? Where would the change come from? The people? Take a good look at your compatriots: the working class in the United States has been brutally propagandized by jackals like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Members of the working class have been taught to lick the boots of their masters and then bend over for another kick in the ass. They’ve got these people so well trained that they’ll take up arms against the other half of the working class as soon as their masters give the word.

If the people cannot make a change, how about the media? Not a chance. From Fox News to the New York Times, the mass media in the United States is nothing but the public relations wing of the corporatocracy, primarily the military industrial complex. At least the citizens of the former Soviet Union knew that their news was bullshit. In America, you grow up thinking you’ve got a free media, which makes the propaganda doubly effective. If you don’t think American media is mere corporate propaganda, ask yourself the following question: have you ever heard a major American news outlet suggest that the country could fund a single-payer health system by cutting military spending?

If change can’t come from the people or the media, the only other potential source of change would be the politicians. Unfortunately, the American political process is among the most corrupt in the world. In every country on earth, one expects politicians to take bribes from the rich. But this generally happens in secret, behind the closed doors of their elite clubs. In the United States, this sort of political corruption is done in broad daylight, as part of legal, accepted, standard operating procedure. In the United States, they merely call these bribes campaign donations, political action committees and lobbyists. One can no more expect the politicians to change this system than one can expect a man to take an axe and chop his own legs out from underneath him.

No, the United States of America is not going to change for the better. The only change will be for the worse. And when I say worse, I mean much worse. As we speak, the economic system that sustained the country during the post-war years is collapsing. The United States maxed out its “credit card” sometime in 2008 and now its lenders, starting with China, are in the process of laying the foundations for a new monetary system to replace the Anglo-American “petro-dollar” system. As soon as there is a viable alternative to the US dollar, the greenback will sink like a stone.

While the United States was running up crushing levels of debt, it was also busy shipping its manufacturing jobs and white-collar jobs overseas, and letting its infrastructure fall to pieces. Meanwhile, Asian and European countries were investing in education, infrastructure and raw materials. Even if the United States tried to rebuild a real economy (as opposed to a service/financial economy) do think American workers would ever be able to compete with the workers of China or Europe? Have you ever seen a Japanese or German factory? Have you ever met a Singaporean or Chinese worker?

There are only two possible futures facing the United States, and neither one is pretty. The best case is a slow but orderly decline – essentially a continuation of what’s been happening for the last two decades. Wages will drop, unemployment will rise, Medicare and Social Security benefits will be slashed, the currency will decline in value, and the disparity of wealth will spiral out of control until the United States starts to resemble Mexico or the Philippines – tiny islands of wealth surrounded by great poverty (the country is already halfway there).

Equally likely is a sudden collapse, perhaps brought about by a rapid flight from the US dollar by creditor nations like China, Japan, Korea and the OPEC nations. A related possibility would be a default by the United States government on its vast debt. One look at the financial balance sheet of the US government should convince you how likely this is: governmental spending is skyrocketing and tax receipts are plummeting – something has to give. If either of these scenarios plays out, the resulting depression will make the present recession look like a walk in the park.

Whether the collapse is gradual or gut-wrenchingly sudden, the results will be chaos, civil strife and fascism. Let’s face it: the United States is like the former Yugoslavia – a collection of mutually antagonistic cultures united in name only. You’ve got your own version of the Taliban: right-wing Christian fundamentalists who actively loathe the idea of secular Constitutional government. You’ve got a vast intellectual underclass that has spent the last few decades soaking up Fox News and talk radio propaganda, eager to blame the collapse on Democrats, gays and immigrants. You’ve got a ruthless ownership class that will use all the means at its disposal to protect its wealth from the starving masses.

On top of all that you’ve got vast factory farms, sprawling suburbs and a truck-based shipping system, all of it entirely dependent on oil that is about to become completely unaffordable. And you’ve got guns. Lots of guns. In short: the United States is about to become a very unwholesome place to be.

Right now, the government is building fences and walls along its northern and southern borders. Right now, the government is working on a national ID system (soon to be fitted with biometric features). Right now, the government is building a surveillance state so extensive that they will be able to follow your every move, online, in the street and across borders. If you think this is just to protect you from “terrorists,” then you’re sadly mistaken. Once the shit really hits the fan, do you really think you’ll just be able to jump into the old station wagon, drive across the Canadian border and spend the rest of your days fishing and drinking Molson? No, the government is going to lock the place down. They don’t want their tax base escaping. They don’t want their “recruits” escaping. They don’t want YOU escaping.

I am not writing this to scare you. I write this to you as a friend. If you are able to read and understand what I’ve written here, then you are a member of a small minority in the United States. You are a minority in a country that has no place for you.

So what should you do?

You should leave the United States of America.

If you’re young, you’ve got plenty of choices. You can teach English in the Middle East, Asia or Europe. Or you can go to university or graduate school abroad and start building skills that will qualify you for a work visa. If you’ve already got some real work skills, you can apply to emigrate to any number of countries as a skilled immigrant. If you are older and you’ve got some savings, you can retire to a place like Costa Rica or the Philippines. If you can’t qualify for a work, student or retirement visa, don’t let that stop you – travel on a tourist visa to a country that appeals to you and talk to the expats you meet there. Whatever you do, go speak to an immigration lawyer as soon as you can. Find out exactly how to get on a path that will lead to permanent residence and eventually citizenship in the country of your choice.

You will not be alone. There are millions of Americans just like me living outside the United States. Living lives much more fulfilling, peaceful, free and abundant than we ever could have attained back home. Some of us happened upon these lives by accident – we tried a year abroad and found that we liked it – others made a conscious decision to pack up and leave for good. You’ll find us in Canada, all over Europe, in many parts of Asia, in Australia and New Zealand, and in most other countries of the globe. Do we miss our friends and family? Yes. Do we occasionally miss aspects of our former country? Yes. Do we plan on ever living again in the United States? Never. And those of us with permanent residence or citizenship can sponsor family members from back home for long-term visas in our adopted countries.

In closing, I want to remind you of something – unless you are an American Indian or a descendant of slaves, at some point your ancestors chose to leave their homeland in search of a better life. They weren’t traitors and they weren’t bad people, they just wanted a better life for themselves and their families. Isn’t it time that you continue their journey?

This article first appeared on Information Clearing House and has been reporoduced with their kind permission

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312 Comments

  1. E.A. Henderson June 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Bravo Bravo Bravo!!!! I am an American who has lived abroad and now must live here again. I’m trying to see the good in the situation, but I absolutely agree with everything you say.

    America is so used to believing its own propaganda that it can only criticize what it thinks life is like in the rest of the world – “civilized” or otherwise. And that’s the way America wants it.

    Thank you for putting it better than I ever could have.

    • Megan March 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Expat living is discouraged in America and one of the ways it is discouraged is by giving us a very limited glimpse of information about other countries and their standard of living. Because of the WWW this is getting to be more and more impossible and this is a beautiful thing.

      I am thankful for this site and thankful for this article, it helps to know there are other people out there who know what’s really going on.

      The part about going to the Middle East is a little dodgy, but if church groups can go tour the Holy Land and that’s someone’s dream and belief system then who am I to stand in their way?

      Otherwise, I really liked the way you put things and as for the appropriateness of the article for a site like this, if not here, then where? If not now, then when? The point of this site is to serve the *entire* expat community and some people are American social/economic/political refugees. What does it take away from the rest of the expat community to have differing reasons to live abroad?

      Thank you for writing the article and thank you for publishing said article, making true democracy possible.

      Vote with your feet!
      Think globally and act locally, Megan

  2. Rich June 4, 2010 at 1:37 am

    I am an American now a resident of Finalnd. I travel pan-Europe for my work.

    You are terribly mis-guided in the your assessment. Single-payor healthcare is not the best option for many. It is in fact very restricting and expensive. I have worked in healthcare for 25 years and I take the US system over this European model any day. There is no freedom in this single-payor plan to see doctors I want to see, when i want to see them. For my kids too. My health insurance premiums paid in the US combined with my taxes were much less expensive than my taxes here. If you are a slacker as a small percent of the population always is, then teh help is there in the US with Medicare and Medicaide which are Social healtcare benifits for those who need it. About 70 million people worth. How many European countries provide 70 million with healthcare? Not many.

    Vacation: The US still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world historically and once the present administration is ousted it will be low again. All social-heavy countries are going broke and bringing down the rest of the world economy along with them. Too many entitlements caused by vacation hungry slackers wanting something for nothing are the demise and reason for much violence in the streets. Demand time off and money for what? My experience is that the people in these high vacation time places do not know how to work under pressure, are lackadasical on returning to work and depressed because they are not on vacation. There is also no real success incentives to advance in your career because of the PROGRESSIVE TAX SYSTEM THAT ROBS YOU OF FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR.

    There is much more I could say. I do see you that you are certainly a Socialist if not more left than that and that you do not belong in the US. Thank you for not living there anymore so I can visit the US and fell better about it.

    Good luck while you wait for proper care when you are old and healthcare is rationed.

    • Rich June 4, 2010 at 1:39 am

      i write this is only because my previous post is sure to be trucated or not shown at all. See what I mean about freedom?

    • Megan March 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      Yeah, you’re absolutely right (no, you aren’t I’m just being facetious!)

      It is all about you Rich, that’s what society and its governance really means, protecting your wallet from those evil slackers. Who cares if your neighbors suffer with health problems, empty bellies, and poor standards of living right? Social services are available in America technically right? Not that you’ve ever used them because you’re a hard worker and the meritocracy worked to your benefit as far as you’re concerned so anyone can do it and if they can’t it’s their own fault, society isn’t responsible for people who have flaws in their financial planning, like lack of insurance. After all, government is there to protect your assets not to use your money to help anyone else right? You can take care of yourself and your family the rest of society is just a bunch of leeches. I hope you never have to redress your beliefs because of personal misfortune.

      Stretch your brain a little Rich and read the Meritocracy Myth- it’s a book. Please stop abusing hyphens also.

      Signed, one of those useless, expendable slackers you hate

    • j mike young July 4, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Why would a star spangled bozo like you even be visiting a website like this? I suspect secretly you wish you werent a close minded tea bagger. Finland!! If you will notice, nobody is touting Finland. Even in that backwater I am sure they can see right thru the materialistic consumer that you sure seem to be. Im sorry your American boss shipped you off as some kind of punishment for not “hitting your numbers.”It appears that all you found to complain about is healthcare. I have to assume you agree with the bulk of letter writers story. Slacker, you like that word. Some people are so uninteresting that all they have is work. Slacker, that is the tag boring, typical, unoriginal work drones use to describe interesting artistic thinking people. Go stick your head in a snowdrift.

  3. Mark McInerney June 4, 2010 at 8:23 am

    You have to be kidding!
    I too have traveled around the world.
    Your supposed “facts’ are so skewed as to be unintelligible.
    You say that waiting lines for health care are short? Check this out–my friend plays rugby in Canada. He hit his head. He needed an MRI. Guess how long the wait was for the MRI? 90 days!!!!! If he had a serious life threatening injury detectable only by MRI he would have been dead!!!! What did he do? He came to the USA and got an MRI the same day. He now tells me everytime that we meet that Canada has shit healthcare. It does.

    My wife and I were in New Zealand. An out of control driver (because all auto accidents are no-fault as declared by the govt. everyone drives like an asshole) smashed into us almost killing us. We were in the hospital, and the x-ray techs there had no idea how to properly x-ray my wife’s chest. Luckily, she is an x-ray tech, and from the table in the x-ray room she directed the techs and the doctors on the proper technique to x-ray her broken sternum when she was unable to move. Dipshits!!!!

    Let’s talk about work. You know in Germany you have to decide what you are going to be for the rest of your life when you are 12 years old? You can’t change it, ever. What if you want to do something different at 30 years? What if you don’t like your choice? Well, its tough shit for you! Your education, as dictated by the government, will be solely for the career choice you made at 12 years of age.

    Let talk about vacation. That’s nice, really nice, to have so many days off. Now, look at the financial state of these countries. They are Bankrupt!!!!! The USA is not bankrupt–no matter what that fool Obama says.
    Why are they bankrupt? Because the socialist programs suck all the money out of their economies due to the fact that their production is so low. Why? Well, 40 days of vacation has something to do with that.
    The socialist countries of the world have been bankrupt for close to 40 years. Since they don’t have the standards of accounting we have in the USA they can hide it. Not anymore. Its over for them.

    Let’s talk about taxes. Do you know that the tax rate in Sweden exceeds70%? That’s just federal. There are also myriads of provincial and local municipality taxes. Swedes have no money!!!!!!

    Oh, let’s talk about security and control by the government. I suggest that you go ot ptshamrock.com and look at their news articles about the control of the individual in the UK. It will make you sick. London has 10,000 public security cameras. By contrast, New Yok City since 9/11 has around 600, prior to that it had virtually zero. Oh, and Brits have to carry a national security card, and be fingerprinted lots of places that they go to. They act like it isn’t a big deal because they haven’t ever had true personal freedom in 1,000 years.

    No, you are wrong, sir. The USA is okay, but what is changing it is the incessant attack on personal freedoms by Liberal Democrats like Obama. These self-righteous idiots will destroy everything for us all.
    I am working on leaving the USA because I distrust the Democrat agenda. Not because the USA is the worst place to live.

    • -Al- November 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      Your point about the Canadian system being worse than the American system leaves out one key factor. Canada has a shortage of doctors due to the fact that once we train them, they head off to the US where they can live off the life savings of millions of Americans. Canadian doctors are paid a fair wage, which one could very comfortably live on, and the Canadian system is less expensive to run. In spite of our wait times, there are no issues of patients dying because they weren’t treated on time, except in cases where an immediate organ transplant is needed and no replacement is available because the US bought up all potential replacements. You don’t see Canadian’s dying because they couldn’t afford treatment. We prioritize according to need, not the size of one’s wallet. Your friend had to wait 90 days, because we don’t allow people to push their way to the front of the line here just because they have the money.

      • Terry December 24, 2010 at 5:14 am

        Not true. There was a case of someone waiting at the emergency room for 9 hours and died in the waiting room. I believe it was in Winnipeg. The waiting times in Canada are horrible! I have heard of waits as long as 14 hours! My wife was at the emergency room about 2 months ago and the doctors realized that the nurses mixed up the order of the people that had arrived first. They saw their arrival times and they had already been treating people that came hours after them!!

    • j mike young July 4, 2012 at 10:09 am

      Never use Britain as a case study for anything! Britain invented the USA. They invented capitalism. Nobody, save some downtrodden muslim immigrant, wants to live in Britain!

    • j mike young July 4, 2012 at 10:36 am

      What personal freedoms are constantly being attacked by this Obama fellow you speak of? “OhOH he is going to come after our guns”!!. That is something the gun lobbies cried out about from every available mountaintop, so that fools would rush out and buy more guns. Yes it worked , gun sales rose substantially after Obama was elected. Did Obama come after your precious guns? NO! What are these freedoms being taken? Blah , Blah, Blah. Same verbal diarrhea! Obama has been doing many of the things the tea bag crew loves: deporting RECORD numbers of illegal immigrants. He kept Guantanamo open. He killed Bin Laden(after your great leader, Bush, allowed him to escape Tora Bora ten years ago). He extended tax breaks for the wealthy investor class. He is at least attempting to change the way health insurance companies monopolize healthcare and send rates up ,up and forever up. That is something your type hates because you have healthcare stock and are sadistic. People that speak as you do, excepting rare cases, are either moneyed in the family way, brainwashed by a lifetime of patriotic hyperbole, or just plain stupid.

  4. Scott June 4, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Good article. A little Michael Moorish in its drama but still a good article.

  5. Ray Medeiros June 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

    What a fantastic article. These are feelings that I have had for some time. Although much of what is stated is true it is practicullay impossible to make some Americans hear it, see it or understand. Because as it is stated most Americans are so brain washed in believing that this is the BEST place on Earth with the most freedoms. I particually liked the closing lines relating to how our immigrant ancestors were not traitors and what they wanted was a better life for their families. Maybe at one time that was the United States, but I agree that many countries offer a far better life than is offered here in the States.

  6. robert June 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Im 20 years old and afraid of being trapped. School is expensive, but everyone demands I go, even though Im not ready. I cant afford it and I don’t know what to do with my life. I want to explore the world, but I dont know how to go about it. Anyone have advice?

    • Terry December 24, 2010 at 5:16 am

      I agree with you. Education is an expensive trap. The government wants you enslaved in debt so that you will work the rest of your life paying taxes and your debts. I would escape America and find your true passion in a foreign country.

    • Megan March 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      Dear Robert,

      You need to be aware that some countries, particularly Europe, will not allow you to work or live there unless you have a bachelors degree or higher, so be aware that if you just go follow your bliss you’ll be at a disadvantage if you find a place you like and can’t stay there because of lack of higher education. I know, this is what happened to me, I had to return to get my degree and try to re-approach the situation.

      The best thing for you to do is decide on a four-year degree program at a school which offers foreign exchange experiences. If a certain part of the world intrigues you, you can do a degree in, for example, Asian Studies.

      You can borrow money through that university to study abroad and once you are there get in contact with major schools who will work for you to provide an exchange program with a student visa and housing allowance. Many foreign schools take American educational loans, but you must have a cosigner in the U.S. If you do not have a cosigner do not give up hope just yet, there are financial scholarships available through the country you wish to visit which are reasonable in GPA 2.5 being minimum. You can research on the internet to find these. Many Masters programs use English as the main language of instruction outside of the U.S. so if you can get into one of these you will be OK.

      If you want to work quickly choose a career like computer networking at a reputable trade school so you can get your degree and certifications fast and precede with a mobile life.

      Don’t let the fear of debt make you afraid to progress with your life. A student loan debt is different than a mortgage for 30 years, it adds to your choices not reduces them.

      If you want to go to Peru (or anywhere) and just bum around that’s cool but be aware that you need to have something special to offer the job market where ever you go. You’ll be competing with other high school graduates who speak the language and know the culture better than you so make it easy on yourself and start school here and finish in the place of your choice. The country you study in will provide you with a social network, a place to live, and a legal status that you can’t get just by fleeing.

      This is my advice to you and it is hard won by experience, having a spouse and child make this alternative tumultuous so if you can start now. There are no shortcuts to this, other countries only want *skilled* workers.
      Once you have a specialty you have a built-in excuse for why you want to live abroad, to import new foreign methods to America it negates the question of “why would you want to live there?”

      Best of luck, Megan

    • Megan March 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      PS: Robert- watch the documentary “College, Inc.” and stay away from those for-profit schools. You can get financial aid through loans and grants once you hit 21 otherwise it’s based off your parent’s income. You can borrow enough to pay for living expenses while you study and if you are thrifty you can afford trips abroad with your school. Be careful of schools which expect a family contribution on top of your borrowed amounts. The first step to any of these processes is to see how much you will have to pay for a contribution. You can do that on the fafsa.gov site then check out financial aid grants and loans at “fastweb scholarships” – you are finding out what resources for college you have- not obligating yourself to anything by doing this. If the school does not offer financial aid *refunds* processing for living expenses stay away from them, they’re “for profit”.

  7. WHAT June 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Teaching in the middle east will give me a better quality of life than the US? Are you insane?

  8. Icoot June 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Great post putting alot of aspects into perspective thats long overdje to the ears of america.

  9. Ray Dios Haque June 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    It sickens me to read something like this … because I find myself agreeing with all of it. It seems that truths like these are met with cynicism from my fellow Americans. They feel that disagreeing with the way things are going is somehow being unpatriotic. They don’t seem to have any compassion for anyone who is “against them”. At one time I had considered picking up my family and moving to Canada. But I have also read many things to the effect of “Canada doesn’t want you”.

    Also, what does someone do when they are raising children? I’m sure my kids would eventually adjust into a new country (preferably one where their common language was spoken) but it would be very rough on them. And when you leave a country, you are more or less abandoning your extended family. I would probably have a much greater life elsewhere, but I wouldn’t have my family to share it with. And this is why I remain an American. I’ve given up being angry, and bitter with my country. I am just *disappointed*.

  10. Jill June 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for articulating so well what I have been thinking since I left the States 6 years ago. After living in Korea for 2 years, I’ve settled in Turkey and couldn’t be happier. I can do what I want (I don’t feel any less “free” than in the US) and I have a great job and affordable health insurance! My friends and family, at least those who have never lived abroad, can’t understand my decision but I don’t regret a thing.

  11. chris June 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    You make it seem like America is a 3rd world country. ;P

  12. matt June 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    This is a difficult decision, for if you wish to work any meaningful job as an expatriate you must renounce your citizenship or pay both US and foreign taxes. So if you leave, you will not be able to reverse the decision. Also obtaining foreign citizenship can be expensive.

  13. Stanley Von Medvey June 4, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    How smug.

    I agree with every point you’ve made regarding our weaknesses and our problems. However I don’t agree with the solution – leaving (and then smugly pointing out the problems from afar).

    You could have grabbed a shovel and helped out. Instead you ran away.

    • Megan March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      Every one of us would like to do our duty and be John Adams or William Wallace in defense of their country but it comes down to self-survival every time. Who are we supposed to stay and fight with? The people who seem to be in the majority and have more money and power than we ever will? History is littered with the writings of those who liberated the human mind through writing while they were expats for instance, Spinoza and Voltaire. Maybe we are fighting the good fight for social justice- we just don’t want to be condemned to hardship and persecution for ourselves and our families while we do it. Even when we leave we can’t stop being American, it’s up to us to define what this cultural identity means to us and how to express it and represent. We can love our nation and ourselves without having to live lives in a spirit of solidarity with the suffering of our countrymen.

      Vote with your feet, think globally and act locally, Megan

  14. zack June 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Good article. While I agree with the ultimate conclusion, I’m not sure that I agree with all of the political sentiments expressed in this piece. For example, I don’t WANT to live in a country where everyone gets 44 days of paid vacation. Paid vacation, as all other job “perks”, must be earned through productivity and value. This is simple economic law. I don’t want to be paying the extra taxes to send janitors for a trip to the Greek isles thanks very much.

    I do agree that the corporations run this country, but the people deserve the government they get and the people are generally ok with the nature of things it seems. They are content to watch American Idol while their homes get foreclosed upon. It’s sad but it’s reality.

    My company http://www.pathtoasia.com helps Americans move to Asia for jobs and prosperity. Sign up for a free consultation and trial.

  15. David June 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I am an American and I am married with children. I am debt free, in good shape and healthy. I have a job that I love and I feel absolutely no stress. My philosophy is that my job revolves around my life and not the other way around. I could care less if I lost my job today. Also, I don’t buy stuff to fill a void in my life which I believe all Americans should follow. I have investments (not stock market) that will support me and my family for many years. There are so many Americans just like me and if you are an American and you are reading this post know that I was raised in a very poor household but I made it with a little hard work and some luck. I believe in you Americans out there, so don’t give up!

  16. Lone Wolf June 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I agree with what you have said. You mention American Indians. I am a member of a north american tribe. I would like to leave the US and even tried to emigrate to Australia, but my application was denied because the US government had me on the terrorist watch list due to my outspoken criticism of US policies. So I am stuck here. My last passport application was also denied, so I can not even leave on foot as passports are now required to leave the US.

  17. Gary Vaughan June 4, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I just got laid off in march from my part-time job. From which I had previously retired as a full time employee. Was hoping to wait out this housing down turn so that I could sell my house. My kid is grown and now married,(very happy,am I),and my wife is loooonnng gone. At age 61 very few job offers are coming my way. Now I don’t agree ith all that you have written,BUUUT,You are making me think.

  18. gary salter June 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I live in canada and I agree 100% with this article, but there are some solutions…the exploding biotech and nanotech fields will provide some solutions eventually…plus applications of open source philosophy when advanced nanotech comes into fruition (open source means everyone shares and develops the tech, its being done in computing circles in hard ware and software t ech.

    But first, see these two movies when they come out later this year:

    First movie: To age or not to age. This movie is about the incredible advances in nanotech and biotech that will change the medical field for the better, ie: eliminating all diseases and cancers through programmable nanobots etc. (essentially eliminating aging and reversing it through fixing and replacing celluar components).

    Second Movie: The singularity is near. This movie explores the exponential growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and the emergence of nanotech in this century and how we will use this tech to improve ourselves and eliminate aging and want of material things through cheap nano ).

    The reason this is good is because the average american will need this just to be able to live and pay off their debt anyway.

    Funding: We do need to reduce military funding world-wide, waging wars have destroyed past civillizations by tying up their wealth and people resources (5% of any given chunk of your population is the thinking class (engineers, scientists, doctors, artists…the creative people that would get killed in the past fighting “grunt” wars like WWll etc., that war created a real shortage of new science in its aftermath. The reason Chamberland did not want WWll is because he new that britain could not endure a new war and that WWl had drained its empire of resources and people and any other wars would essentially finish it as a world power).

    The soviet union fell due to not being able to compete with the US war machine, but that further damaged the US by further creating a bigger military war machine with its establishment of manufacturing and bases in every state so it could not be cut back or stopped. The US expenditure per capita is over 10 times bigger that any other country on earth. Its armies are volunteer armies (like the romans before) are made up mostly, of people who will follow the party line and do what is required and the general population is easily controlled by no news of the conquests on foreign lands etc We now have the situation of rising superpowers like china and india following the uber military model. They would be best to reduce their military spend and invest in advanced nanotech to solve aging etc. (as we will see)

    If you are like me and have followed the development of real life extension research (university funded, in the US) by the scientific charity, the Mprize (founded by Aubre de gray, featured on the show 60min back in 2006), aubre estimates that it would take about 5 to 10 years and cost just 1 to 2 billion to fund real life extension breakthroughs (the world spends over 20 billion per day on its military).

    The US is mired in two wars and now has most of its manufacturing done in china, it has lost generations of manufacturing expertise and infrastructure to these countries, the US defense department is worried that its future high tech needs can only be manufactured in foreign countries. How can you support a high tech culture when everyone works at the local quicki mart?

    Ironically, its the giant US war machine that some solutions emerge as private industry will not usually fund basic research now a days…the research arm, DARPA is a big funder of basic nanotech research..it recently developed a battlefield wound healing tech that using a special purple nanotech compound and green lasers to enable soldiers to close and seal/sterilize wounds quickly.

    A good example of developing nantoech is Craig Venters digitally cad produced bacteria, the bacteria, like the cells that make up you can be expressed as a cad file, a computer program of dna…we are new entering an age of being able to design any cell or to make small remote controlled nanobots able to go into any cell and fix any problem (cancer dna errors, gunk that accumulates inside and outside cells, be
    ing able to grow new cells and organs etc.).

    Its like before and after the personal computer and the internet, if you are old enough to remember the 1970′s, when we had no internet, cell phones, cheap personal computers,..now we do, and these tools are enabling us to go to the next step (like what Venter has done) and control the biological computing dna machinery in our cells

    The costs to develop and employ advanced nanotech to enable low cost manufacturing, clean up and recycle all wastes and reverse the aging process is a fraction of the military budget of an advanced nation, if you want to benefit, you have to divert such funding away from the destructive siren call the the gods of war and invest those funds into productive high technology that can serve the populations instead of destroying them.

  19. Adam June 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    you make some great points about what is wrong with the states. However, you have to understand that the U.S. is the reason why freedom is thriving all over the world. If you can appreciate that then you will understand that this countries freedom is well worth defending. Does major reform need to happen? no question there.

    I really liked this article.

    • GuesssWho May 5, 2014 at 5:35 am

      If by ‘freedom’ you mean ‘dead children,’ then yes. Otherwise, not so much.

  20. Jeff June 4, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    It’s unfortunate that so many people think that the U.S. standard of living is the best in the world. I hope your article is read by as many people as possible. I was an expat for 6 years in Austria and life there for the average citizen was significantly better. I would have stayed if it wasn’t for wanting to be able to visit family more often.

  21. Eric Gates June 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Dear Lance,

    You make some excellent points, and I appluad you for starting a discussion that needs to take place. Thanks!

    With Respect to this: ” Ask any American, and you’ll get the same answer…’u went off the rails, and you never really recovered. A decent higher education is available for MUCH less than $100,000. Taking long vacations is for people who don’t LOVE their work. A poor diet is a choice most educated US citizens do not make.

    Things I agree with:

    1) We are no longer as free. We are heavily monitored (our piss is sometimes tested, as you say), etc..

    2) In general, we have engaged in a pattern of “smart for one, but dumb for all” free market capitalism that has seriously damaged our education, health, food, media, government, and many other aspects of our lives.

    3) The U.S. has today far too many people who don’t know how to work smart (not just hard), take risks, delay gratification for a greater good, are lazy, watch too much Fox News, don’t think about energy conservation, blindly compete for slots in terribly expensive universities they can’t afford (when a good public education will help a lot), drive stupid vehicles, live in overly large homes very far from work, etc…

    4) Buying a home in the US today is a fool’s errand unless you know you want to stay ther forever. Fortunately, rents are quite cheap these days.

    5) The US working classes, citizens of rural areas, etc… have been brutally propagnadized, and they need to wake up for improvements to occur.

    6) We have a lot of guns floating around, and in the aftermath of the great depression part two, things could get rather ugly

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    But all in all, you seem kind of depressed. It may surprise you to know that at age 48, having grown up poor (some of my childhood was spent in public housing, my parents were divorced twice) I am a very happy person who got a good, affordable public education, graduated from college (I paid my own way with Pell grants, loans, and by working 30 plus hours per week) with $3500 in debt, which I quickly settled.

    Today, I have work I absolutely love doing (helping US Universities do a much better job in getting students to succeed in Calculus and General Chemistry), and, after 25 years of hard work, learning, efffort, and sweat, I’ve been able to build a wildy successful and meaningful career with only a bachelor’s degree in the Liberal Arts from a not-terribly highly regarded U.S. University. (Go Vikings!)

    Some of your examples seem over blown, terribly extreme, and overly simple. I have a wonderful wife, healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, have terrific medical care (admittedly, I’ve had to use my wits to lean how to get this) , benefit from great universities, live in Southern California, sail a boat, see whales and dolphins a lot, enjoy sunshine most of the year, live in a small but lovely ocean-view home (rented) in a a safe neighborhood, have fine neighbors, interesting books to read, can still read one great newspaper (The Grey Lady!), enjoy excellent public transportation and clean, safe highways, enjoy baseball, apple pie, the 4th of July, and much more.

    I’ll give you this: I have had to work hard every day and use my wits to achieve what I have achieved. I wake up at 5 AM almost every day and go out and work hard. I don’t take a lot of vacation (but I LOVE my work).

    However, I think you may also be glossing over some problems associated with other countries. I think you and your therapist should discuss why you have all of this anger at the U.S. and you gloss over the problems around the world today in most all countries (many of the countries you cite here are poorly governed, not free, on the verge of bankruptcy, have no great learning institutions, don’t usually get enough food etc…)

    Just think about it. That’s all I’m saying, really. Long term clinical Depression can be a debilitating (but curable!) issue. I think you may be suffering from this terrible condition.

    I suggest reading the Progress Paradox by Gregg Easterbrook.

  22. creatorswhim June 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    What? and you’re saying people in other countries are happy to see Americans ruin their countries too? Aren’t you just a guest acting like you own the mansion? I notice the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  23. James June 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I expected to be able to refute “this idiot” after reading the headline but, sadly, after reading the article he is exactly right.

  24. Joe June 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I agree with some of what is said in this article, but there are way too many generalizations. Every place has it’s plus side and minus side.

    You can eat healthy, stay away from medication, have vacations, and earn a income that is suitable to your lifestyle in America.

  25. Kevin June 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Obviously we are doing something right if “You can teach English in the Middle East, Asia or Europe.” …

    Also, its possible to live in wisdom, good health, conservation, and intelligence and avoid most of the “bad” stuff that you list is plaguing our country and is supposedly unavoidable. When your in a free country, your free to make bad decisions, but your also free to separate yourself from that and live responsibly and successfully.

    And lastly, anyone can pretty much write any article they wish on all the dark sides of any country that exists. Sin, corruption, greed, selfishness, irresponsibility, and immorality doesn’t just reside in the USA. It is everywhere, in every country, and its easy to bring it to light and prove whatever useless point you want.

  26. T Williams June 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Well, you really nailed it. It’s really sad when you see the truth of our situation wrapped up neatly like that, but there it is. Unfotunately, most people won’t give this a second thought for a variety of reasons. Chief among them being denial. Regardless, I’d like to thank you for this eye-opening reminder. I really need to get outta here. These people are driving me crazy as it is. Just wait til TSHTF!

  27. Chris June 4, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    While I agree with much of what you say, your alarmist tone and predictions for the future of the US aren’t realistic. Also, there are increasingly many Americans that see a lot of what you’re pointing out and are doing something about it for themselves, myself included. That said, I don’t see the US turning in the right direction anytime soon. What the US needs is another revolution. Short of that, if things get much worse, I have dual citizenship and may move to Australia if the bottom falls out.

  28. John Gordon June 4, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I’ve read much of this for years and agree with a lot of it.

    However, the vast majority of people supporting this argument don’t realize an important fact:

    - budgets for western Europe’s and Japan’s social programs wouldn’t be rosy if they had to pay their fair share of defense.

    The United States, or rather we, U.S. taxpayers, pay for massive U.S. defense that blankets the western world. U.S. defense contractors love this, but so do governments in western Europe (but not France) and Japan.

    Ignoring the valid U.S. imperialism angle for a moment, the U.S. (U.S. taxpayers, really) subsidizes social programs around the western world by insisting on picking up the west’s defense tab.

    If Japan and Germany (and other NATO countries) paid their fair share of their own defense, a huge burden would be lifted from U.S. taxpayers, though U.S. politicians and voters would then need to overcome crooked defense lobbyists to reduce our defense budget.

    ——

    Also, after traveling in Russia and western Europe, I still very much prefer the United States.

    I don’t like western healthcare anyway and believe the Johns Hopkins study’s stats that iatrogenic deaths (medical mistakes) are the first, second or third leading cause of death in the United States depending on the statistical approach. Even in England and Israel, when doctors went on strike the mortality rate fell.

    I also saw and read about viral fascist intensity in Amsterdam, Russia and other European countries that dwarfed anything I’ve ever seen in the U.S. For example, circa 1995 in Amsterdam during an Ajax soccer match versus Rotterdam (Ajax is considered a “Jewish” team because it had a Jewish owner about 50 years ago) huge sections of Rotterdam fans chanted, “The trains to Auschwitz are waiting!!” and imitated sounds of a trains braking to pick up victims to concentration camps. Not even fans at a college football game in Alabama come close to this or to the Hitler salutes of fans in Italy, or the throwing of bananas onto the field to taunt black players, or the stockpiling of guns in a stadium to actually lead ethnic-cleansing paramilitary missions in former Yugoslavia.

    After Theo Van Gogh’s death in Amsterdam, the Dutch went on a rampage and burned down mosques throughout Holland. Those liberal Dutch! Even after 9/11 people didn’t burn down mosques in the U.S. (btw, I believe Cheney et al conspired to allow 9/11, but I still like the U.S. much more than the rest of the world).

    Racism is much more rampant in Russia than the U.S., though I like Russia and my friends there learned better and aren’t that way anymore. I remember watching an accordion player in Moscow make up a horrible song about a black man walking by in front of a couple of hundred people and everyone laughed (I understand Russian). That’s nothing compared to the beatings many Africans suffer(ed) in and around Moscow (“you have to be in shape to be black in Moscow so you can run and fight” say many African college students there).

    And don’t get me started about shitty European techno music! In Berlin (where my own band played) I heard more techno than I’ve ever heard in the U.S. and even small cafes and clubs in east Berlin rarely had any kind of live music (not even a mariachi, a violinist, a folk singer, a duo, trio etc, just recorded, mostly crappy, music). My own band even offered to play for free in a cool cafe basement after our festival gig there and the cafe just said they don’t have live music.

    A synagogue, or maybe it was a Jewish deli, in Berlin in 2005 had to have two German soldiers guarding in front to thwart fascists from the countryside. We walked by at 2 am and our two German friends explained why two German soldiers stood guard on such a quiet street (the crazies lurk just outside the city they told us).

    I’m not jingoistic, but I greatly prefer the United States, with its hustle and bustle and thriving individuality and crazy new things and ideas. Yes indeed. In the U.S. the crap is much more visible but more likely to ultimately get dealt with.

    Freedom of speech in the United States is probably the best in world. Much better than in Canada, by the way, as a lawyer friend explained to me. And London? No city has so much surveillance. In England the court just ordered a woman to have cancer surgery against her will, even ordering the IV tubes to be attached so she couldn’t tear them off. England SUCKS! In Russia, the police will kick your ass if you mess with them or the state. Only the U.S would Jewish lawyers working for the ACLU fight for Nazis and KKK to be able to march peaceably. The U.S. is awesome! We’re ragtag with huge ups and downs.

    If you can stand peace and quiet on the very thin veneer of the civilized west outside of the U.S. and are able to ignore the cauldron of insane fascism stewing beneath the surface, then Europe or Japan can work for you (how about Japan ignoring their “Rape of Nanking” to this day! I dare you to look at the pictures in the book about that.)

    NOTE:
    Read “How Soccer Explains the World” to sober up and learn about widespread fascism just under the surface in the rest of the west and other parts of the world. The book should really be titled, “How soccer fans reveal fascism throughout the world.”

  29. Rob June 4, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    “Teach English in the Middle East”? aHa ha ha haha!! Enjoy your $4/hr.

  30. steve June 4, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Pretty good article but very loose on the facts in places. It’s not republicans or conservatives ruining the country. It is ALL of the special interests, pacs, lobbyists, republicans and DEMOCRATS. Fox news definitely has a slant to the right but much of our media, msnbc, etc go toward the far left at times and they all tend to mix a personal bias without basis in fact mixed with the so called “news”. that started in the 1960s when news went from independent professionalism to commercials and becoming a financial gold mine for the networks. Complete medical care etc would be wonderful but the lobbyists, pacs , unions etc .block all of this from behind the scenes. A shift of money, power, influence, and overall public attitude to work for the betterment of all(of the people) to produce a true democratic form of government and society. The current shift toward socialism is a major step backward. Government should not be making moves to control society, it is a change of heart and attitude that has to come from the people to change our government. I see little hope on the horizon for people to wake up and get our country headed back in the direction it needs to go but I do know one thing, demonizing conservatives is misleading at best. Ultra liberals, with their “we know what’s best for you”, closet socialism is just as dangerous and just as wrong. Intelligent people in the moderate category and independent intellectuals are what we need (just my own imperfect reasoning and opinion). And for the record, I’m an independent and wouldn’t join either political if you paid me. Both of them disgust me. I don’t think for a second I’m 100% right and realize compromise and true patriotism to do the best that can be done for all, is probably an out of reach goal but I have hope just the same. Just my opinion on part of what we need to see to have progress and a better place to live for all.

  31. pb June 4, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Isn’t it time that you continue their journey?

    Er, no. On behalf of the rest of the world, I’d ask that you all stay home.

  32. Chris June 4, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Your condescending tone and second-person voice (you, you, you) was so off-putting I had a hard time getting through the article. And the claim that the U.S. is not the most free country in the world is absolutely absurd, especially when compared to Europe.

  33. reddit June 4, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    You are right.
    There were toomany muppets shouting “Yes We Can” and sticking “hope” stickers on their cars.
    Cant believe these fools didnt know.
    I knew Obama wouldnt deliver, that why i kept my change.

  34. Ben June 4, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I mostly agree but please be more careful with your facts. There is no way 70% of your income taxes goes to the military. Look It Up. Also, you seem to single out Christains and Fox News watchers by name as a danger. I watch fox news and I go to church when I am in the states. Seems to me the US really started going downhill when people got away from traditional values our grandparents had. At least they paid their bills. That being said I agree overall, Americans work their ass off, pay a fortune for everything and really have little to show for it except bills. and no real security.That is on a personal and governmental level. And the American political system is a classic case of the inmates running the asylum.
    By the way, I live in Malaysia and have been trying to convince my son to move to Australia. the problem is most Americans are so tied to and enslaved to the system they cant hardly go anywhere. And no matter what you hear , its not getting better. I go back often, I still have a small business there and all I can say is the prevailing mood among many is a mixture of fear , desperation and anger. Actually its sad to see.
    And the clowns in the government are only making things worse, a lot worse!

  35. Steven June 4, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I am glad you left the US. You are the type of person who isn’t worthy to be here. You should probably change your website to be hosted elsewhere too. It seems it’s hosted in the US. I guess your web servicing can’t experience the joys of leaving America that you have. What a shame.

  36. Noah June 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Yeah dude, you’re right. But we still have the most power and international clout. That makes it a worthwhile place to transform. It’s backbreaking work no doubt. I love spending time abroad and believe its essential to mental health. But often I feel like expats are just quitters. It takes time and energy to build community and political influence. We’d have a better shot at success if a sizable chuck of cool Americans weren’t always jumping ship so to speak.

  37. Humpa June 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you. I hope this reaches out. The misery has got to end.

  38. senor squeeze June 4, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Well, I was about to argue with you and start a flame war, but you are actually right. Also, I recently converted all my dollars to strategic and precious metals and moved to Mexico, where I have worked and lived off and on for 30+ years.

    I do hope America gets it back together, but I’m pretty sure it will get worse before it gets better. Too bad.

  39. NazalWeazel June 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    You’re completely right. I’m technically an American as well (and half french), yet left the country when I was only five years old. I’ve lived in Cambodia, Singapore, and New Zealand. Visited countless other countries around the world, usually more than once. Although I haven’t had the full experience of living in America, I do go back to visit once in a while. It’s a great place to visit, but I would never like to go back and live there – I’d hate to get sucked into the system and not be able to leave because of debt and mortgages and everything else that has to be payed off. And since I wouldn’t stop traveling, I have to say US airports and airlines are a joke. 50 years ago the US was doing more than fine, but they haven’t grown up or evolved since then. They’re stuck in an archaic mentality of superiority, trying to blend modern technology without upgrading infrastructure nearly enough. Whenever I have the choice to go back to France and Europe or the US, I choose Europe hands-down. It’s not a horrible place, it just has a lot of catch-up to do with the rest of the world.

  40. Bobby June 4, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks for posting this. You changed my life.

  41. Ernie June 4, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I love when people voice my brooding, non-cogent thoughts. Emerson and I salute you. I live in Beijing, by the way, and as a foreigner have far more freedom than I ever did in the States. The Chinese here, not so much.

  42. Kumar Abdali June 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I am well traveled as well. I make a better living driving taxis in San Francisco then any cab drivers in Australia, and I actually have cab driver friends in Syndey. None of this is information you provide is factual. “If you are able to read and understand what I’ve written here, then you are a member of a small minority in the United States. You are a minority in a country that has no place for you.”?? You know the US president is considered a “minority”, right?? This just shows you’re too much of a pussy to live in the center of the world. Don’t ever come back. In fact, if you dislike it so much, try not to depend on our support while you hermit your way around the world, sucking the life out of others, then see how far you can get. I moved here from India when I was a teenager and have never found a another country more suitable. All you are is a critic. Go do something with your life. I hope this message finds you well, I write it as a friend.

  43. Nathan June 4, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Canadian here. That was a great article. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go fishing and drink Molson.

  44. xxx June 4, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    disturbingly accurate.

  45. Varan Haghshenas June 4, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Hello,

    I am currently a medical student at the University of Texas. Even tho America is the best country in the world to be a doctor, I don’t want to make money at the expense of burdening hard-working Americans with enormous debt. It has been in my mind to move to a European country after graduating but I have always been called unpatriotic by my peers. I would like to thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one out there who loves America, but hates what it has become.

    Your fan,
    Varan

  46. Josh June 5, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Quit whining and stay gone. There’s a reason that for the last two hundred years people have been trying to get into the United States. Mexicans are flocking across the border for bad jobs and stressful lives. Don’t tell me how bad America is. Your problem is that you don’t like freedom. You don’t want me to decide how spend my paycheck. Your plan is for the all-mighty government to make all of my decisions for me. I’m glad you left.

  47. hellokevin June 5, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Only sucks if you’re poor bro.
    The weak are to be eaten.

  48. Portugal_Pete June 5, 2010 at 4:12 am

    To any Expat Wannabe…

    One may think they hate where they live… but very often it’s the people and relationships that make a life worth living and bearable…

    Go find paradise if you need to… it’s a wonderful thing, believe me! …but know that a time may (I repeat may!) come when the new and improved life simply can’t make up for old friendships and family ties.

    Part of the journey may mean a return to a familiar neighborhood with a new and improved change in attitudes and habits.

    The author’s ‘Grim Truth’ may be that he “escaped from the prison” that was HIS life.

  49. Jan June 5, 2010 at 6:12 am

    Most inspiring thing I’ve read in a long time. I hail from Finland and I thought we had short vacations, shame on me.

  50. Doug in Jax June 5, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Idiocy. The oft stated “fact” that people go bankrupt because of medical bills is a lie. People go bankrupt because they are too sick to work, and the exact same thing happens in countries with communist care. Of course you do have a greater chance of dying early with communist care, so you won’t have to be seen and suffered by your betters (like the author).

    As for standard of living. I’d be sitting a hell of a lt prettier if I weren’t paying 55% of my income in some form of tax to take care of lazy people in a horribly inneficient manner.

    I’ve lived overseas, and this moron has apparently never gotten outside of the high end neighborhoods abroad. The crushing effects of Big Brother are everywhere.

    The real problem with the U.S. is that we have totally forgotten our original dedication to personal liberty and have tried to emulate these socialist monsters.

  51. Garry June 5, 2010 at 7:00 am

    What a superb article.

  52. Joseph June 5, 2010 at 7:38 am

    WOW! AWESOME! TRUTH FINALLY EXPOSED!!! Thanks for enlightening me but unfortunately I am too
    old and too poor to leave! I wholeheartedly agree and endorse what you write. I wish I was wealthy and
    could leave like you have and enjoy real freedom!!! I wish millions more Americans knew the TRUTH
    but alas I know it is too late and our fate is sealed!!! I would stay the earnest collapse began in 1980
    with Reaganomics which truly sown the seeds of today’s destruction. We went from being the world’s
    largest creditor nation to the world’s largest debtor nation! Workers wages across all classes were
    dishonestly and forcefully suppressed! The Manufacturing base was forcefully replaced with worthless
    service jobs. And of course the decision to go off of the gold standard by the Nixon administration paved
    the way for the declining financial Armageddon we are in! True wealth comes from the ground always
    has always will! The government sided with manufactured fictional paper goods because they can
    easily create them out of air and assign any value they want and of course wall street was all over because
    they have the unlimited supply of paper too! This combined with the creation of the federal reserve has
    surely sealed the fate of America to go the way of the now defunct Roman Empire! We never learn from
    history so we are doomed to repeat it’s mistakes with worse consequences, every time!!!

  53. iloled June 5, 2010 at 9:03 am

    HAHAHHA I LOLed at this, don’t say Europe because the European Union is just a big money scam, every country in europe is different, clearly u haven’t been living in italy… u think u have cancer? good wait from 6 to 36 months for an MRI just in time for your grave, sure you can get it faster but that means YOU PAY for it, jobs? OH BOY crappy contracts month to month of if U get lucky every 6 months but remember you get paid at best 1000 euros a months for 8 hours job, oh sure you say, but that’s for ppl with no education, WRONG many have with University degrees, but can’t find a proper job and must live with their parents till they are 30 or even 40 years old because can’t afford to pay rent, forget a house, well u can try but remember the BANK owns it for the next 40 years. HAHAHAHA I’m not saying that what’s in the article is not true but simply that crappy living standards are the same everywhere… so…

  54. Sara June 5, 2010 at 9:31 am

    The US is a mess right now. It is not, however, because of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh as the simplistic and immature author states here. All the media in the US are working against constitutional contraint and freedom. Both the Left and the Right in this country have sold out to dark impulses and powers.

    There is a movement of a large number of people who are pushing for the third way. That is a return to constitutional government and rights. That means an end to UN, foreign and corporate powers. We do not accept our role of playing the globalist elite’s ideal of serving as their global military force. Let the global corporate and government elite and their followers defend their own crimes around the world. The US needs to take care of the US for a change. The US needs to re-discover it’s own identiy that was born out of the constitution because the globalists have successfuly divided us into identities and agendas of of separate, foreign, hateful tribes. Americans have been culturally cleansed.

    Change is in the air and it has nothing to do with Obama’s and Bush’s Marxist/Fascist governing ideal. Given the media and political establishment’s united screech of horror, I think we are on the right track.

  55. Michael Ainsworth June 5, 2010 at 9:33 am

    So which is it, Americans are worked harder and longer than any other country or America can’t get back it’s manufacturing sector because, “have you seen a Chinese worker”?

    I find this article insulting to the men and women of the United States. The fact that you have the nerve to call yourself an American after you have summarily defined her death boggles my mind. I will stay behind and fight for this country because while she might not be perfect, she is my country, and I will be damned if I’m going to give her over to those that would destroy her. You’re a weak person, one who sees greener pastures and instead of watering his, runs to them.

  56. Nick June 5, 2010 at 9:53 am

    How about some helpful links for those interested in finding work abroad?

  57. Joe June 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

    [So what should you do?

    You should leave the United States of America.]

    now is not the time to quit your America… She needs you now more than ever. To run is easy…. Stay, fight. Many more times she has been there for us and the generations before us. It would be a shame to quit her now. IMHO

  58. Anony June 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Okay, I don’t know how long ago this was written, but I can’t stop myself from leaving this comment after reading something like this.
    I’m glad that you tried to use some factual evidence to support your argument and many of the things you point out are infact pressing problems we face. Higher education shouldn’t be ridiculously expansive, health care needs a major reform, republicans are unbearable, and the list goes on and on.
    But, wait. What? You’re NOT trying to scare us? You’re not trying to use words like “slave” and “dogs” to elicit an emotional response?
    I don’t know if it was just me, but reading your article definitely made me reconsider leaving this comment (because, you know, the feds are gonna look at this shit you know?).
    Not everybody in power is as inhuman and greedy as you make them out to be. There are people with good intentions working actively to solve many of these problems you pointed out. You are also not the only one to have lived outside of the US. Did you know that people who study abroad during college will soon be the majority and and no longer the minority? Did you know college students are generally bright young people, looking for a sense of purpose and identity? They are critical thinkers and they probably realized some problems the US has that other countries don’t. They probably thought carefully about their experiences overseas and compared it to their lives in the states. And, they don’t all share the pessimism you have for the US.
    So, please stop generalizing and say there are millions of Americans living overseas, “living lives much more fulfilling, peaceful, and free.” You can not possibly know the circumstances of all Americans living overseas. Also, maybe you and the other millions of Americans took a particular liking to a certain country. No problem with that. But, you can’t say that b/c the current “system” roll well with you that it’s a oppressive government.
    Any political system is imperfect. There is no perfect solution really and I hope you realized that by now. I probably hate the republican propaganda more than you’ll ever know. I hate the government’s wars and the corporate driven country. But I also think that our history has made this problem inevitable. The wars of the past (whether necessary or not) and the political decisions of the past (whether right or wrong) all lead started the problems we face today. Nobody could have predicted with a 100% accuracy back at that time that it would be such a huge burden. It’s time for a revaluation and reform. The strength of a system is in it’s ability to change. You left no hope for this system to change, but that is the fault of people, not the system. Whenever this country needs a major reform, it’ll come a price. Sacrifices are needed. Before we are willing to sacrifice, a majority of the population has to be pushed beyond their comfort zone. Unfortunately, many people with money and a voice (including the middle class) are either blind to the problems or simply don’t care as it has never affected them. They don’t understand the problem or the pain. The people suffering often don’t have the money and don’t see any actions. They become hopeless. But, once the problem pushes the population past a threshold, these people will unite and will sacrifice and will work for change.
    I don’t know much history, but thats just how it seems like the country changes. You can’t force the people and the system to change by yourself. You can only help it along by spreading the news and calling for action.
    But running away is not the answer.

  59. Alvar June 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    So true. Impressive article.

  60. Philip June 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Lance,

    A most excellent article! I’ve been traveling the globe for over 30 years and couldn’t agree with you any more and therefore have posted a link to your article via twitter.

    Good Day,

    Philip Atkins
    Tacoma, Washington

  61. isain June 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    that’s for U, How much USd paid for this opinion????

    US are the better country to live, is an strong and serious country, not decadent as Europe, that’s for u, the best quality way of life is in USA, other are bad mirrors.

    Bye

  62. Liv June 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    This is just another propaganda agains America. I bet this is just one man’s opinion and you know what opinions are…they are like …everyone has it.

  63. marieta June 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Great words! I just wanted to remind you that in Europe we are losing all our concessions because the corporations are taking advantage of the economical crisis and putting presure on the govermments. In a few months in the case of Spain, we are becoming one more of the States without the more basical rights. Politicians in Madrid have developed laws that finish with our Sanity System entirely paid by the govermment and much more. Just have a look at Greece and then wait a few months and take a look again at Spain.
    You are quite rigth in your article but here we are becoming a bit more like USA every day. And it scares. But I soppouse its just becouse Europe, as USA, is not any more a place in wich citiziens are in power. God save the big corporations.

    Congratulations on article.And good luck.

  64. damned June 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    well the food supply is posioned. The fence is not to keep ” them” out, and the gov is not your friend any where on the globe. Africa is the last place any human would want to be, and china has only recently open travel. so a small out of the way place, with the smallest army is the only good spot to live. But the human has a DNA that makes them think the other guy will fail, and they will win against the odds.

  65. Daniel June 5, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    You are obviously a bitter liberal.

    Btw, American Indians left their homeland and migrated to this continent

  66. Doyle B. June 5, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Article was a good laugh. Reminds me of those crazy doomsday people with the signs you see in the city. But hey, some people buy into sensationalism.

  67. EKM June 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Are you kidding? Teaching English in the Middle East? That third world dessert arid climate where the only thing that is green is the food you vomit after you eat that bacteria ridden unsanitary junk. Or we could live in Costa Rica where the only Law and Order is on TV.
    You should stay out of here. When tragedy strikes your new “residence” don’t call us for help. Call your local sheep herder or Mosque for help.
    What a paradox your name is Freeman. Tell me how free the men are in China. Try speaking out against the government and see what happens.
    Keep your anti-American propaganda to yourself.

  68. sgpean June 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Lance,

    Singaporean checking in here. Thanks for listing out the problems with the American healthcare system, but I don’t think you really understand the problems faced by a Singaporean taxi driver. Have you spoke to one about his/her retirement plans, and healthcare insurance? Let me know when you do.

  69. Drognan Tristram June 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I dunno what the hell you were smoking but enjoy living in a different nation. We’re glad to be rid of idiots like yourself that think just because you only get 12 vacation days that America sucks.

    Make sure to take all your mouth breathing, neck beard wearing relatives with you.

  70. Thomas M. June 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Sorry, I prefer to live in the USA. I’m not buying the BS you are selling with regard to the standard of living in other countries.

  71. Get Out June 5, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Well, if America is so bad… well then… LEAVE..

    Problem solved.

  72. Anjanette June 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    This post blew me AWAY. Amazingly well written and totally right in all aspects. I’m currently learning Norwegian and planning my escape to Norway. I despise America and most of the people who inhabit it because of everything you said in this post.

  73. Jon June 6, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Why not become an owner, break the bonds of slavery. If you have your health thats a start…Have the balls to try something different quit listening to all the other slaves….It really doesn’t matter which country you go to they all are participating in global tracking. Just being on facebook you have given up privacy. Escape the middle class. Theres a book by this title… See it at YourLeverage.com Doug Anderson is the author. Has lots of financial ideas & strategy. Based in Canada.

  74. Cristián Arenas Ulloa June 6, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Wow, I really enjoyed reading this.
    I’m not from the United States, but some of those things apply to my country too…

    I’d love to get citizenship in an european or asian country, I’ll see what I can do when I finish my studies here in Chile :)

  75. Jimbo June 6, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Or, ya know, you could just man up and start participating in making this country a better place through government, community work, etc. instead of being a pussy and running off to another country that’ll “take care of you.”

  76. Mariajo June 6, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Good morning,
    I write from Spain, where the living conditions are tending to the “american way of living”. Of course we have a public (free) medical service, and studying at university it´s almost free (my degree costed arround 6.000€), but things are changing now. We are debt Slaves, our politicians are trying to make our health and education private (that means things like that a post-graduate that two years ago can cost you arround 1500€ per year now cost around 6000€). Much of our goverments think that what we have to do is “follow the US example”.

    It´s great to see that some US people can see trough the medias delusion, thanks you for your post

    (I hope my english is at least understable)

    Regards

    Mariajo

  77. Matthew June 6, 2010 at 2:44 am

    I thought this was hilarious until I realized you were serious.

    Do some research into some actual facts, and maybe you won’t come across as such a stupid asswipe.

    First of all, your entire rant about food and agriculture looks like it’s ripped straight from PETA, and is devoid of any actual facts whatsoever.

    “You’ve got your own version of the Taliban: right-wing Christian fundamentalists who actively loathe the idea of secular Constitutional government.”

    LMAO you cannot be serious. Quit believing what the media wants you to think.

    Put down your bong and return to the real world

  78. Terry Byrne June 6, 2010 at 2:50 am

    I agree with most of what you say, (you missed out on the hormone injected beef which is thankfully banned in Europe);. but why tell all the Americans (most of whom as guests in other countries disturb and impose on others conversation with there loud voices and boing conversations and relate how everything is wrong with the country they are visiting and how great USA is whenever they are in public places). We don’t want them; let them stay in their own little fortress telling each other how great they are and knowing little or nothing about the rest of the world

  79. Richard June 6, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Whew! That’s telling it like it is. I have never read as straight a story on the decline of the US. I finally made my escape 3 years ago, and have never looked back.

  80. Ivan. New Zealand. June 6, 2010 at 5:16 am

    I would suggest that you do not come to NZ. Citizens of any country that tortures prisoners and murders Pakistani children by remote control are not exactly admired here.

  81. Michael Ainsworth June 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

    What is the point of even having a comment section if you are going to censor anyone who comments?

  82. stacy June 6, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I’m not going to believe this till I see some sited sources, this article just seems to be the product of some person who is angry at america and has a computer to release some of that rage. It reads as opinionated from the writers point of view and not from a collaborative ensemble of information gathered.

  83. El June 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Ok then, leave. We don’t want you here anyway. The misguided social policies of other nations only exist because America subsidizes them. Our hard work and sacrifice allows them to live their luxury. It’s easy to criticize when you have no responsibility of your own. Fucking leeches.

    • Ivan,New Zealand. June 7, 2010 at 9:48 pm

      And exactly which social policies in NZ does amerika subsidise? Apart from really downmarket television with whiney accents.

  84. TonyM June 6, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I see that Dr. Freeman is still enjoying his cushy job at Columbia University. Unless he decides to follow his own advice, his advice is pretty worthless. You can’t talk the talk when you don’t walk the walk.

  85. Nick June 7, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Just thought i’d say that historians are debating whether or not the Native Americans came down here from Russia meaning that even they left for a better life. :)

  86. Stacy Porteus June 7, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Interesting article – my family and I are currently living abroad and enjoying life on the island of Bali. We will return home to the U.S. one day when the kids are older only because we’re from Hawaii and it’s probably the best part of the U.S.

    • GI Elron June 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      One good thing about living in the U.S. is that at least we don’t have to worry about being invaded by the U.S. Can’t say that about any other country in the world.

  87. Kathleen Hershner June 7, 2010 at 1:47 am

    I AM AN AMERICAN LIVING IN MADRID. I CONSIDER MYSELF VERY VERY VERY LUCKY TO BE AN AMERICAN. I ENJOY MY LIFE LIVING OVERSEAS (THIS IS MY 3RD COUNTRY) AND AM FORTUNATE TO HOST POPULAR TV AND RADIO SHOWS HERE IN MADRID THAT HAVE MADE ME SOMEWHAT OF A CELEBRITY. I HAVE ENDURED NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT AMERICANS FROM EUROPEANS FOR 7 YEARS, MOST OF THEM FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER LAID FOOT ON US SOIL. IT IRKS ME. I WOULD NOT OPENLY CRITICIZE EUROPEANS – I ONLY DO THIS IN PRIVATE IN COMPANY WITH MY OTHER AMERICAN FRIENDS WHEN WE NEED TO BLOW OFF A LITTLE STEAM. FOR ANOTHER AMERICAN TO LAMBAST THE USA WITH A GLIB DIATRIBE THAT MASQUERADES AS A WELL-WRITTEN ESSAY IS JUST THE KIND OF ILL-INFORMED AMMUNITION EUROPEANS DO NOT NEED TO BE ARMED WITH. FUCK YOU, MR. “FREE”MAN FOR SHAMING US. MAY YOU WALLOW IN YOUR NEGATIVISM UP TO YOUR 10TH-GRADE EDUCATION AND MAY WE HAVE THE GOOD FORTUNE TO NEVER NEED TO EXTEND THE INVITATION OF “BRING ME YOUR POOR, YOUR TIRED, YOUR HUNGRY’ TO SPOILED, SMARMY SMART ASSES LIKE YOU. I’M SORRY TO EVER HAVE READ YOUR PATHETIC ARTICLE IN THIS ‘PUBLICATION”.

    “The fact is, you are not free because your country has been taken over and occupied by another government. Fully 70% of your tax dollars go to the Pentagon, and the Pentagon is the real government of the United States.”

    Not true. The defense budget is 4 percent of GDP (practically nothing compared to the Cold War), and is absolutely _dwarfed_ by the entitlements budget–Social Security, student loan guarantees, anything called welfare, insert GOP target-of-the-week here. Besides, we’re fighting two and a half wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, and Korea to round it out.)

    “You are required under pain of death to pay taxes to this occupying government.”

    Actually, it’s pain of jail time or a shit ton of fines. Besides, 48 percent of Americans pay no taxes at all. Thank you, Earned Income Credit and multiple exemptions for kids!

    “If you’re from the less fortunate classes, you are also required to serve and die in their endless wars, or send your sons and daughters to do so.”

    What the hell is this, the Roman Empire? Did this guy not get the memo on the all-volunteer military?

    “You have no choice in the matter: there is a socio-economic draft system in the United States that provides a steady stream of cannon fodder for the military.”

    All of whom quite willingly signed up for it. In the words of Heinlein: “It’s the first and possibly the last adult decision you will ever make.”

    I would go further, but I have way more important and rewarding stuff to do.

    • The JoeBot June 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      I hear you, Kathleen. How could I not with all of that yelling?

      There is no need to call this cat “spoiled” to get your point across—though you do have a point. Like you, I’ve endured all of the snide remarks about Americans, rude as all get out. Like you—I imagine—I tend to miss home the longer I stay away. And even though our friend’s statistics are a bit overblown—cartoonishly at times—taken as hyperbole his point still stands. We are in the depth of a major crisis in the U.S., and it is so pervasive as to overwhelm the conscience of the general populace.

      We are over-saturated with tragedy here. For some, life will be better in other nations.

      But I am with you, in this sense: There is much to be proud of in our country, and though some of our futures may lie outside its borders, it is certainly not a fool’s errand to stick it out and rebuild.

      If there is anything to take from this globe-trotting curmudgeon, it is this: We, as Americans, do not have the art of living down pat. Does anyone? Of course not, but there is much inspiration to be taken from the various ways of life that have evolved across the world. I’m sure Mr. Freeman, in the throes of honeymoon ecstasy, finds himself quite enamoured with his constantly new surroundings. Throw in some exaggerated statistics, and life overseas looks damn near utopian.

      It isn’t. Foreign nations are certainly better here and there, completely unacceptable in others. Every town… has its ups and downs… Sometimes the ups… out-number the downs… but not in…

      Jesus. Sorry. Does anyone else always have that song in their head? Maybe its the drugs in the US municipal supply.

      I think we can all agree that Lance Freeman’s biggest error was not in speaking his opinion. He is entitled to scream it from the rooftops (unless, of course, it is my rooftop.) His error was in publishing such shoddy, unreferenced statistics. That is a silly—and very American—mistake.

      Let freedom ring, Kathleen. Okay… Now more cow bell!

    • Daniel June 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      Kathleen Hershner writes, “what the hell is this, the Roman Empire? Did this guy not get the memo on the all-volunteer military? ”

      As a veteran of the all-volunteer military who served in Afghanistan, I’d like to respond. Ms. Hershner, I’m delighted at your good fortune that enlistment in the Army wasn’t the only ticket out of crushing poverty you could find, as it was mine. However, the idea that our nation has a de facto economic draft is not a new one, or an incorrect one, and it should not require an unusual or heroic amount of empathy to imagine that many of the men and women currently in harm’s way in theaters overseas are there solely for the chance at a better life offered by the G.I. Bill.

      I shouldn’t ave to ask you to take my word for it. One need only look at the recruitment ads in magazines and on TV to see the economic draft at work. It’s true that service in the armed forces carries a wealth of immaterial benefits – the everyday presence that death has in a soldier’s life had a deep, lasting, and positive effect on my spiritual life, for one – but you’ll never hear that mentioned in the ads. It’s always, ALWAYS, about how service in the military is your ticket out of poverty.

      I have no shame about being an economic draftee.

    • George June 8, 2010 at 6:24 am

      Glad you love America so much.. sorry, where have you chosen to live and make a success of your life again?

    • Wurmhoudt June 10, 2010 at 12:07 am

      Must be nice to live in such a position of prestige and ease of life. Must be nice to never have to worry about where your next meal comes from, or how you are going to pay your bills. Do you like being able to talk on TV?

      If you dont live in America, and if youve been living in so many other countries over the years, how could you professe to know anything about what goes on over here? Your so “offended” but you dont even live here. How can anyone take your opinion seriously?

      Come live like the rest of us, and tell me how much you love life.

      Untill you have had to be a big girl, and really live your life without a safety net to catch you the moment something goes wrong, keep your yuppie ranting to places where it is welcome. OR, if its that important to you, fly your rich ass back here, and become some kind of activist for change you approve of, instead of mouthing off about something which you have, at best little part in.

  88. Terye Myers June 7, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Dear EFAM,

    I must say that I have enjoyed reading the many positive articles published on your online magazines over the years. Positive with respect to the wonderful opportunities and experiences available to Americans that may wish to live abroad.

    However, the publishing of the June 10 article written by Lance Freeman is far from positive and in my opinion, places your online publication in a seriously negative light. Frankly, I don’t know where to begin, but let’s just take the first six paragraphs (three of which were one sentence).

    First, I appreciate the commentary and the freedom to express one’s viewpoint. However Mr. Lance mixes fact, or lack thereof with his views. He writes “Millions of Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical bills”. My quick research shows that in only one year did more than two million (millions = more than one) file for bankruptcy. Therefore, not only is this not factual, but no reference was sited as too how many of those were due to medical bills.

    Secondly, I got a kick out of the line “I escaped from the prison you call home”. Then, two pargraphs later he referes to the hospital he used to go to “back home”……Shouldn’t that have been “to my former home”?

    I could go on and on however the bottom line is this, if EFAM continues to publish “fecal matter” (his reference, not mine) such as Mr. Freeman’s writing then I will unsubscribe immediately.

    Terye Myers
    Dallas, TX

  89. hyto June 7, 2010 at 10:23 am

    If you haven’t visited Uruguay, you have to.
    And we have from 20 to 25 days of vacation depending how many years you have in the company, in those 20 days you doesn’t count half saturday and sunday, so, you may be out of work for one month.

  90. connie June 7, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Okay…so how do you escape? I’ve been trying to find a way for several years. As an American that is sucked into the bad health care system, live to work mentality that can’t afford a proper education or even a vacation…give me the formula to get the heck out of this pit of a country.

  91. eneias June 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Change my shack, a Brazilian living standards included for trailer and under-employment in the United States!

  92. TruthBeTold June 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    As someone who has worked and lived in many parts of the world (Africa, Asia, Europe and now Canada) I fully support the notion of spreading ones wings and seeing what the world is like elsewhere. However, I do not base that decision on denigrating one place over the other. Every nation has its own problems and its own attractions, the goal should be to see the world as it is and learn from that.

    For instance Mr. Freedman cannot understand what his own chart shows that there is a cost somewhere else for all the things he claims are bad with the US and good with the rest of the world. The two most productive nations on the planet, USA and Japan, have the least vacation time according to his chart. Well gee you think that might be related. At the opposite end we find European nations now struggling with their public debt due in part to their overgenerous vacations and other benefits. Nothing is free Mr. Freedman, somebody has to pay for it somewhere, the problem is all these nations that enjoy these benefits you write about are now running out of people to pay for it all given their aging populations and increased public workforce.

    “Right now, the government is building fences and walls along its northern and southern borders.”

    Oh right because the rest of the world allows you to come and go as you please no need for passports or visas? Only the mean old USA wants to stop illegals?

    ” Right now, the government is working on a national ID system (soon to be fitted with biometric features). ”

    Oh the horror a national ID system, I think I will have to burn my passport, drivers licence, etc etc in protest of such ID requirements… oh wait those are also ‘national ID’ systems…whoops more fearmongering over nothing.

    “Right now, the government is building a surveillance state so extensive that they will be able to follow your every move, online, in the street and across borders.”

    Yet they still lag BEHIND Europe in deployment of CCTV cameras, restrictive traffic cameras, speed cameras, you name it cameras.. yet its the mean old USA that is a surveillance state? Did you miss the councils in the UK inspecting peoples garbage to charge them for mixing up the wrong recyclables? No must be the USA that’s the police state.

    “Equally likely is a sudden collapse, perhaps brought about by a rapid flight from the US dollar by creditor nations like China, Japan, Korea and the OPEC nations.”

    Mr. Freedman you are very confused sir, on the one hand you lambast the US for not having enough services like other countries, which leads to massive public debt. Now you are lambasting the US for growing its public debt under the Obama regime, precisely because he is spending like the European powers you so admire…so which is it, make up your mind? Do you want sensible government spending or a wasteful overspending like Europe?

    “And you’ve got guns. Lots of guns”

    Yes, excellent isn’t it, one of the reasons my next stop will be moving TO the USA, as courts rule more in favour of individual rights to self defence, violent crime is dropping year over year in the USA.They are infact closing down some youth jails due to the lack of inmates, guns in the hands of honest citzens works every time. No government has the right to deny me my right to life and self defense, that is why the US constitution is the greatest on the planet because it recognizes that rights do not come from government, rights are in place to protect FROM government overeach.

    I could keep going, but the bottom line is that Mr. Freedman just has an axe to grind against the USA and he’s not going to let anyone stop him, especially facts of any sort. His wild eyed cliche ridden rant is doing a disservice to those who want to explore our world by trying to tie that in to his own hatred for the country of his birth. I say go explore the world DESPITE Mr. Freedman’s hate filled rants, don’t let one sad man stop you.

  93. Joe Schubert June 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    So the best solution is to run away from the problem? I don’t agree with that at all. I want to experience life in other countries, and I would like to live a better and healthier life than what this author considers to be the US citizens’ norm, but I don’t have to leave the country to take personal responsibility and help push social policies in progressive ways to ensure that others can do the same.

  94. Glen Wiggens June 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I enjoyed this.

  95. antimonio June 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    As a European that has worked in the US, I confirm all this.

    Thankfully I had 20 days of vacation, as opposed to the typical 10 days, but I will never regret having fled from the stressful way of living of those days. If I had stayed there, I would have had white hair soon and maybe suffered a heart-attack in less than 5 years.

    American women are also one of a kind. As they are so stressed by the fact that their biology asks for them to have children, and still they want a high quality of life without committing too much to their jobs (because then they couldn’t get pregnant), their strategy is to find the wealthiest man they can get. They don’t have other thoughts.

    Now, Europe is becoming America II, so soon I’ll move to Cuba.

  96. Robert June 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Freeman, you obviously never have lived in this great country, otherwise you would know we are the single most powerful and free nation in the world. We are a beacon of freedom, hence why many Europeans, Latino’s and Asians come to this country in search of a better life.

    We need not wait 2 years for a heart transplant like that of my friend in B.C. Canada. He instead went straight down to Seattle and had it taken care of and back home in 2 weeks. Our health system, is NOT the best in the world but it most certainly isn’t the worst either.

    Our military is strong and powerful. We fear nothing. We shocked the world as well as our own leaders by how fast we captured Baghdad, Iraq in March of 2003. The draft has not been used since Vietnam and anyone who says it has is clearly an uneducated knucklehead or does not live in this country, therefore not knowing anything about how our military works.

    Europe itself is in a storm of financial crisis so I’m not sure what you mean by they are worry free. I mean, come on, have you even been paying attention to Greece?

    In closing Mr. Freeman, I urge you to please get your facts straight before you bash on a nation, person, whatever. You clearly misinterpret or do not understand this nation at all. I realize I have not made an answer for all your slander and I wish I could because I know I would factually destroy you and your slander. I do not however have the energy to spend on someone so idiotic. If you would like to have a formal debate or discussion, do it else were. Stop posting B.S.

    Thank You,
    Robert
    Seattle, Washington

    • Colette June 26, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      Robert…

      “We need not wait 2 years for a heart transplant like that of my friend in B.C. Canada. He instead went straight down to Seattle and had it taken care of and back home in 2 weeks. Our health system, is NOT the best in the world but it most certainly isn’t the worst either.”

      I beg to differ with that statement. I am glad your friend got the heart transplant quickly, but there are lots of people in the USA waiting for transplants. There is a list and you move up on it when the organ becomes available. Since the heart can only live outside the body for a limited amount of time, the heart may or may not be a good match. Your friend must have had a lot of money saved up for the surgery. Avg cost is $148,000 USD (http://www.chfpatients.com/tx/transplant.htm ). “Average waiting time to transplant is more than 7 months. In some parts of the country, as many as 40% of patients die while waiting”. (http://www.chfpatients.com/tx/txfacts.htm) Granted its not 2 years, but when you are waiting for a viable organ, any length of time is a long time. Since he is from BC, he most likely would have gotten preferential treatment because he most likely would have paid in cash, and cash talks. With the way our insurance companies work in the USA, had he private insurance here, he would have had to be on the waiting list for the transplant, then dicker with his insurance company to see how much they will cover for the surgery and after care. Plus the meds he will have to take so his body doesn’t reject the new heart are expensive and will the insurance cover the cost of the meds? Once you need major surgery in the USA, most health insurance plans consider you a liability. I don’t care what the new health care promises say, you are still a liability. But, that is another story.

  97. martin0641 June 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    My wife is from Finland, and while I agree in large that most Americans are vacuous sheeple that are led around by news organizations, there are some things in the article that just don’t sit right. I know some companies are playing games with GM crops, but by and large GM crops are a good thing. America cannot sustain the decline of the masses that has happened in the last 100 years, but it wont have to. The Singularity is near, and the intelligence that comes fourth will pull everyone out of the fire.

  98. Arnie Large June 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    An interesting article but I notice that typically a “media personality” (Kathleen Hershner) doesn’t believe in free speech for others.

    Free speech means free for everyone – *even* if you don’t agree with what they say.

    I think free speech should also imply some respect and tolerance for others words. Politeness is always free (of cost).

    I think that some of the comments to this article lend it more weight with their (also) biased views.

    Surely the media have a responsibility to fairly, freely and openly broadcast balanced content, not hide behind government and corporate agendas.

  99. Mik June 8, 2010 at 3:53 am

    As a scandinavian (finnish) i find this article little bit odd. I don’t have any factsheets to provide but i after living in france for several years, i would not live there, neither in italy or uk. I find their quality of life below what i want. And when it comes to medical care, sure it doesnt cost you money, but it does cost you time; for example dental care waiting line is about 3 months. That’s why many are forced go to a private doctor here which isn’t cheap as they already tax us for this vast broken system poor people are forced to use.
    I would say between usa, same amount of problems but laid out differently.

  100. Mister Goodbytes June 8, 2010 at 3:55 am

    This is a very sobering, informative, and timely article. The only caveat, in my opinion, is that the author presents escape from the U.S. as a far easier task than it actually is. Many people literally can’t leave, even though they may wish otherwise. I am 24, unemployed, have very limited work experience, no college degree, zero work skills, and I have Asperger syndrome and currently stay with relatives. How in the heck would I possibly be able to get by if I lived abroad? I would be begging for scraps on the street.

    Believe me, if I could escape, I would do so without a second thought, but unfortunately, my prospects for survival abroad are negligible, at best.

  101. Nikita June 8, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I live in southern France. The healthcare system is heaven and I have used it frequently. I was terribly ill with a life threatening problem that would have bankrupted me in the USA. When I lived in the USA the doctors couldn’t diagnose my problem – but in France they knew right away. I was operated on and am 100 percent okay now.
    Food is delicious, safe to eat, no corn syrup in my soda, coke with REAL sugar is great.
    And it costs about one third the price here as compared to the USA.
    Real estate tax is rock bottom.
    Racism is nothing here compared to the daily dose of American hatred from all sides.

    And I am proud to say that I pay nothing towards an ENORMOUS military structure.

    To Kathleen Herschner – Anyone who thinks that only 4 percent of our GDP goes to the MilitaryIndustrial Complex is either pulling your leg or is ONE OF THEM. Evil morons like YOU exist everywhere – why do you live in Madrid if life is so great in the USA? And you are LYING when you talk about anti-American comments – I have had NONE in the 10 years I have lived here. You must be as obnoxious in person as you are in your email to get such comments. Go back to the USA. You don’t deserve to be in Spain. Your mind is as foul as your mouth. Get lost somewhere else.

  102. George Tatevosyan June 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I am staying and fighting. You can’t run away far enough from crazed social engineering know-it-alls financed by inbred, ultrarich neo-malthusian fantasists (mostly foreigners btw!). This isn’t the 1930′s – now the global monetary systems are much more tightly integrated. Financial collapse in US will cause the whole damn world to go broke! If US falls, all these countries you mentioned in your article will have to deal with a failed former superpower with the loosest nukes around. It may have a pronounced effect on everyone’s quality of life. In a flash and bang!

  103. Scott Signorino June 8, 2010 at 11:51 am

    instead of encouraging people to expatriate, why not support involvement in grassroots politics? why not try to facilitate people to get more involved in their neighborhoods? this whole article reeks of liberal arts platitude and proposes an “abandon ship” mentality that is a slap in the face to those members of the “less fortunate classes” who sacrificed for the greater good either by choice or necessity.

  104. TS Phillips June 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    This guy suffers from Michael Moore Syndrome – where he has many valid and even compelling facts and truths to impart, but spends so much time mired in faulty logic and leaping to ridiculous, sensationalized conclusions that he ultimately discredits his overall treatise. Long after he is dead and buried the USA will still be imposing its imperfect, hypocritical influence on the world, while at home the richest elite in history will continue to feed off the other 96%, as they throw the majority enough corn syrup, cable TV and soft toilet tissue to keep them lethargic and uncaring about anything but their next day off. Many of us remain here who understand that many of his points are accurate and I am often happy to say I live on an island off the coast of America, but having been overseas many times, I know there is much to say in favor of the quality of life in the US. Some of us feel it better to stay here fighting the good fight to make it better.

  105. Teresa June 8, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I have had the pleasure of living in countries other than the United States. In fact, I am the first person in my family born in the US, and I gave birth to my first child in a well developed country under its system of socialized medicine. I love experiencing the cultural uniqueness of other countries, and yet, I love coming back home to the USA. The medical care here is the best I’ve known. I won’t go into the gory details of my 3 pregnancies and deliveries, but, trust me, this country is the best place for prenatal care and delivery. As a people, we are by far the most generous and giving. Just look at the data concerning our hours of volunteering and our philanthropy dollars. We are also blessed to live in a country where the concepts of freedom and democracy are cherished and constantly defended.

    I will grant you that we are not a perfect nation. And as the years pass, we stray further from our constitutional roots. We have a strong Puritan ethic which makes us too devoted to our work. We work too hard and don’t allow ourselves enough time to relax. The comments made by Mr. Freeman take everything good about our country and make it seem insidious. His article reeks of bitterness. It makes me think that Mr. Freeman was unable to find happiness living in the U.S. and rather than hold himself accountable for his failure, attacks the very country that taught him to be free to ridicule it.

    All that aside, I am also very disappointed in EFAM for publishing this article. It’s one thing to inform your subscribers of the wonderful possibilities existing in other countries, but its quite another thing to encourage your readers to loathe their country of origin. Would you have published an article against any other country that was so biased and insulting? Do we want to speak about the increased crime in Mexico? The lack of healthy conditions in Honduras? I am ashamed of EFAM, I really am.

  106. Ryan M. June 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    I like it, as in support it. Who can actually like staring down some painfully cold truths like this? I’ve gotta say though. Spending a decent amount of time abroad myself, there really is no place like home. We are seriously bred as part of the culture we grew up in. This goes far beyond shopping malls and accents.

    There ARE differences between our culture and other western cultures. If you go try to live in New Zealand, Australia, the UK or anywhere else that is supposed to be a clone of US-esque living, it aint the same. Trying to feel at home in a land that is not one of extreme familiarity ain’t so easy. There IS something distinct about Americans and being raised an American (and no I am not talking about guns, fast food and tv.)

    While living abroad can be extremely rewarding, I will say this, it can also be extremely lonely. There is a certain atmosphere people of your home land exude that goes all the way down to how we tell jokes or hold up the number 3 on our fingers. This is not meant to be a “fuck-yea America” rant, but I feel it is worth perhaps attempting to prevent the absolute soul crushing destitution our country is headed for. At the very least, perhaps some of this “greening America” momentum will at least soften the blow. Perhaps I’m getting old and losing my screw the world edge, but damn it, I really do just like home sometimes.

  107. FreeThinker June 9, 2010 at 1:00 am

    This is a great article except for one fault. The problems happening in the united states were created by a global elite that uses the u.s. government, and other governments around the world to manipulate and control our lives. Leaving the U.S. will only delay the coming battle. Stay here, wake others up and get prepared!!!!

  108. Fred Phelps June 9, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Wood for trees etc?

    Attacking America is all well and good, it clearly has abundant problems on multiple levels.

    Perhaps some other countries are less bad.

    But they all suck.

    I’ve lived in 3 1st world countries and 1 3rd world (the old terms are better than the politically correct new terms).

    They all have distinctly different serious problems which could leave other nations/cultures aghast to think that human beings could possibly tolerate such things from their own society.

    Yeah sure, the article could stand to be more technically accurate in it’s use of stats and the English language. But that’s just borderline irrelevant nit-picking.

    It’s basis for declaring the USA a damned nation is fine.

    Yet the way it assumes other countries are a bed of roses reminds me of the BS that a certain documentary-film maker included in his film about how wonderful the UK NHS is. It’s not. It may not have the same problems as the US health system, but that doesn’t mean it’s great.

    This article seems to follow this formula:

    America = bad therefore not America = good

    I’d say

    America = bad, not Amercia = different kind of bad.

    All that said I’m certainly glad that I am never likely to live in the US again.

    I do, however, prefer America to tales from Jaba’s palace.

  109. Janet Gains June 9, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Hey Lance,

    How many other countries do you know of that need a high tech fence and the National Guard to keep people OUT? Name me another country that has as many people trying to get into it as the US. Maybe your simple minded, shallow left wing,spewing left some things unaddressed. Certainly Escape Artist is desperate for content.

  110. B Insley June 9, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Damn- I thought I was pretty happy; so glad this cheerful author set me straight! …Would I like to see improvement in all these issues? Of course! Do people in other countries live well? I’m sure many do! …I just want to mention, as a 34 yr resident of NYC, born and raised in the US, that I have many— MANY!!!— friends from Britain, Europe, Middle East, Oz & NZ, India, Japan & SE Asia who have left their delightful countries to move here. These people were mostly middle class, or better, back home— and I see the great lengths they go to to get Green Cards, so they can stay here… I think everyone should live someplace that allows them their greatest happiness. Clearly, this author does not belong in the US, but for me, I love my life here! :)

    • B Insley June 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

      Oh— I forgot: Russia, too; I know tons of Russians, who’ve moved here!

  111. Leodatto June 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

    The U.S is a Plutocracy; middle class is fading and only those with monetary influence are there to own everything. Its a horrible nation.

  112. Angelo Yue June 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Very interesting article. Although I am not an American (I am Canadian), I really do not know much about what it is like to live across the border. I’ve always assumed that it was about the same as us. All I know is that, when the American dollar rises, our gas prices sink, which is awesome. I was quite depressed when the recession came along and the American dollar plummeted (causing a huge increase in our Canadian gas/oil prices).

    In any case, in response to Kathleen’s comment, although your points may be valid in some way, it does seem quite biased. It is assumed that you are a patriotic American (as I think most of you are) and I agree with you that this article is also biased in the opinion of the author.

    And it’s great to see both sides of the argument, but it is rather hard to take you seriously when you type with your capslock on. It instantly caused me to question the validity of your self-proclaimed profession, assumed mature age, and thus education.

    • john Stewart June 16, 2010 at 6:46 am

      I presently live in the Philippines, and there are more and more Americans coming here to enjoy the freedo9m you think you have, I am Australian, however my mother lived, with her husband, for 30 years in New York, I can tell for certain, I saw more people sleeping in cardboard boxes in New york than in Manila or any where else I have been, 31 countries, America is the only country I would never live in. It may come as a suprise to most of you, but I have found there are only three countries who actualy love and support America, they are Philippines, America and America. the rest of the world does not.
      Its about time you realised you can not bomb people into freedom, I would have thought Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and afganistan would have taught you that much, but of course, Americans are slow learners, in each of those countries you have ither left with your tail between your legs, or you will in the future I am absolutely tired of the almighty American even here they can only spout how good it is there, Makes me wonder. why are they here then. The answer from most is they cannot afford to live in the USA, so the Philippines is one of the better options.
      John

  113. Edward Marcel June 10, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Well, I for one enjoyed the article. In parts I might question, such as the Pentagon spending, but, y’know, I go along with most of it. I for one am never going to live in the US again for a plethora of reasons, the main one being that I believe the US is indeed a powder keg and I don’t wanna be annnnnnnnywhere near it when it does blow. There is a huge underclass and non-working class, armed to the teeth and looking for a reason to open fire. Screw that, I’ve got a beautiful home, wife and zoo here in the Czech Republic, don’t need nuthin’ else. And Kathleen, I did a google search on you, didn’t see your “celebrity” face, or name, anywhere….

  114. Chris June 10, 2010 at 6:16 am

    It is about time someone tells it how it is. Screw you if you can not take the truth.

  115. Giovanni Garza June 10, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I am a young and impressionable teen, and these types of articles are the kind that inspire other teens like me to want to make a change. For some of us, we like this country and the diversity of cultures and people. I feel that I am lucky to meet so many diverse people and being born here i have always seen many different cultures and races. I see us not as Americans or Germans or any other country you would like to throw in. We are all human just like eachother and nothing makes anyone better than anyone else, I believe that if i would have been raised in any other country my views would be altered but that is only my OPINION for i have never left this country. I have heard that America is the most diverse from teachers and others who have shaped my life.
    One thing i disagreed with was that the people cannot make the change, and the people ARE America!
    If anyone is going to make America a better place its the people! The Government is nothing without its citizens and we need to stop finding differences between us and start realizing that we are one people. Im not sorry to say that the youth is starting to change, and racist views are starting to dimish. We are slowly becoming one. I live in San Antonio, Texas and even I can see that, you can say that we’re racist down here but its becoming less evident to me.

    • Mike June 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      There is no making a change, the systems been set up for the majority to fail. If you think you can make a change, you’ll be lying in a coffin like every other person who’s attempted to make a change and had any amount of luck in doing so.

  116. Gary Heil June 10, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Good article. Too bad he or she doesn’t have the facts straight. As an example, the Defense Department budget took up 23% of the US budget in 2009, not 70% as stated. As for building walls on our northern and southern border, the problem is that we aren’t building a wall on our southern border!!!

  117. T. Brian Nix June 11, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I, like Mr Freeman, have also lived abroad; but in Mexico and Central America. Although there were many things about the US that I missed, most were materialistically based. Based on my experience, the citizens of Mexico and throughtout Central America were happier and more fufilled. Granted, they did not have three TV’s, or I-phones, or new automobiles, but they were living freely. TRY THIS SIMPLE EXPERIMENT: If you are living & working in the US: The next weekday you are traveling to work in traffic…look around you. View the blank stares of all the people around you. The blank look of despair on the faces will tell you all you nee to know about life in America

  118. Scott June 11, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Good points Giovanni. I have lived more of my life outside of the US than in it, and I can speak from experience – that BS that people sling saying “if America sucks so much, why do people all over the world want to come here?” is truly that…BS. people like “things” American, it’s mostly “Americans” that they don’t like.

    Giovanni, you mention change coming from the people. And you are right, any real change has to come from the people. It’s time for a revolution, but today, Americans are asleep at the wheel.

    The US was founded on revolution, in essence, we are the kings of revolution! Yet people sit there, all fat and sassy, with no intention of doing anything but preserve their own little habitat.

    In Europe, many governments are afraid of the people revolting, so you see more compromises made whereas in the US, it’s like people are afraid of the government – the exact opposite.

    I’ve spent a great deal of time living in Japan, and can tell you that even though Japan has their own crisis issues and socio-politcal and economic problems, the standard of life for your average run-of-the-mill Japanese person is waaaay beyond what we have here in the US. Oh yeah, no guns too. Criminal conviction rates are over 70% versus barely 17% here (in Japan criminals know and expect to be caught) as well.

    The US had its time of greatness, but it’s not the only developed country on the planet. Sure, you’re supposed to love your country and support it, but there is grass growing elsewhere. Get out of the country and see for yourself that it’s greener.

  119. stozzel June 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    This is not some “Grim Truth”, it’s one person’s perspective. Worst quality of life is subjective. I’ve lived in western europe and returned to the US. Some stuff I liked better, some worse. I know that people in France get more vacation time, and I’d love to see some of that come to the US, but it also comes at the sacrifice of productivity.
    The Dutch have legal weed and prostitutes (2 things I’m not interested in), but does that make them “freer” when they have no equivalents of the first and 2nd amendments (very strict hate speech laws and no ability to arm and defend yourself)?

    I’m glad Lance Freeman is living in a place that is conducive to his lifestyle and is happy, but to declare this as an objective truth when different priorities and preferences for some make living in the US preferable.

  120. Karla June 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Do you have a Twitter address? This question is for the author, magazine, or anybody who agrees with this article. Thanks.

  121. Gypsy King June 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I’m completely conflicted by this article.
    On one hand, this should be every ex-pat’s manifesto and it certainly is mine and I’m sending a copy to everyone on my email list. It does generalize some of the details but the main points are cogent, fascinating, disheartening, and the inevitable results can be seen 24/7 in what some idiots still refer to as the greatest country in the world. Ha! They obviously have not been keeping up with the American rat race – cause’ the rats are winning.
    Anyone who has lived overseas, I just got back from a year teaching English to high school kids over in China right outside of Shanghai, will already have an open mind and their perspective on the joys of living and thriving in different countries is already awakened and growing. But most American’s don’t travel to other countries for the exploration of culture; they travel to escape their mundane lives here in the USA. i.e., getting drunk and sunburned on the beaches of the Caribbean, Jamaica, Cancun..etc., etc.
    But on the other hand, I don’t want more Americans realizing how badly their lives really are in the first place because like a virus, they will soon begin spreading themselves throughout the rest of the world and bringing their special brand of horror to the very pristine opportunities I am preparing for right now!
    A year teaching children and learning how to surf in Costa Rica, another year helping deformed kids get their eyesight and mouth troubles healed by caring, generous doctors while traveling all over India by train, the next year taking pictures for my book on the pleasures of living in Europe while I teach college to adults and live in Prague, and I’m still debating whether to work on a vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina or go seriously rustic and live with a family while teaching English in Peru. And that’s all before I’m 50.
    The only reason I’m still here is one of the best points the article makes – our culture is designed to enslave us in debt. But I can see light at the end of that money tunnel and it looks like a sunrise in Bali, not the proverbial train that I’ve been dreading most of my last fifteen years. I will be debt free in less than a year and then it’s on to, well, I’ll have to wrestle with that decision but it won’t be painful in the least.
    Thank you for confirming what most of us know already here at EFAM. There’s a sucker born every minute in the USA but due to arrogance, self absorption, crippling habits supported with drugs, drink, desire for more sex, and the thrill of violence in all forms, most American’s never figure it out.
    And I’m fine with that, but keep these great articles coming!
    Cheers!

  122. VNormth June 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Total nonsense. Single-payor health care means that the taxpayers pay more and get less…in fact, why does every government attack monopolies as being bad for consumers unless it itself is the monopoly.

    And when that government-run clinic says no to a treatment or a test, where do you then go?

    The financial process for health care in merica is indeed disgraceful, but making the government hide its true costs (and inflating them to support its bureaucrcy) is exactly the wrong direction.

    So then this weak-kneed article’s primary remaining point is only that there are people wth unghealthy lifestyles here…so what? Don’t be among them.

    I’m glad he’s not only out of the country but won’t be back.

  123. Elizabeth June 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I plan to leave the country because our money and freedom is being stolen at breakneck speed. It’s the current government who are not only destructive but incompetent. The author was wise to leave the country but ironically the things he complains about have only expanded and metastasized under the current administration. We are now in a death spiral thanks to massively increased spending and a lack of leadership.
    I do agree it’s time to flee.

  124. Gypsy June 17, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Sickeningly funny, but also from a man’s pov (maybe that’s why ;) American women living in many of the countries mentioned wouldn’t agree that they are better off than in America. Especially for the Singaporean or Chinese “workers” that are indeed slave labor that aren’t afforded breaks and many other benefits. Conveniently, their vaction days weren’t included in this article. Also the Chinese are only allowed to have one child. This and other human rights abuses that occur in many foriegn countries are something that obviously wasn’t a concern to this author in his choice to leave America. Yet it is the main reason many want to be Americans!

    Lance, you are no longer an American when you refer to US as “you Americans”. Don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out. You won’t be missed!

  125. JD June 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Wow, I’ve never read so much drivel in one article. Did Barack get you to write this crap?

    I’m proud of this country, the one that’ll let ANYONE rise about the rest because of the opportunities it provides. I’ve owned and run several businesses over the last few decades. Not all of them made it, but I was able to learn from mistakes, not ask the government for a handout because of misfortunes. My current business allows me to work my ass off for about a hundred days, work normal hours for a month on each end of that, and take 6 months off while living on the income I created. That will translate into trying out places on my list for second homes (Panama is on top of it). The only thing wrong with that situation is the government’s intrusion into more of our lives (at least the author got that part of it right, but it’s the liberals/progressives that want more government).

    Our train wreck of a president is taking us towards socialism faster than any other far-left liberal, and thankfully our population is having buyer’s remorse about electing him. We’re getting so far away from our Constitution that the founding fathers would hardly recognize us anymore. It was designed to keep our government in check, instead of allowing it to grow to its current size (and larger if the Progressives keep at it). That’s why we have the freedom to bear arms and say pretty much anything we want, even if we disagree with something.

    I can’t wait until we get a president that will not apologize for the country that gives more away than most countries GDP, provides the military backing all over the world to keep it safe and welcomes those legally to come here, regardless of race or creed.

    Those that trade freedom for security deserve neither. Read up on the founding fathers, what they stood for and what they gave to put together this unique country.

  126. JC June 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    This article pretty much sums up my feelings of disgust about this country, I was not born here, and I have enjoyed every opportunity to attain ” the american dream” .. And I did it, 10 years of running my own small business only to watch it all be taken away , partly because of the crash of recent times, but mostly by an IRS audit that basically put me out of business.. I owe $100,000 more for my house that I could sell it for… So, at 34, freshly out of bankruptcy, I am OUT OF HERE…. I can not for see anything or anyone who will be able stop me, and I also do not see that anything could possibly make me come back…

    American Dream…..

    You can have it back !!

  127. Sabina June 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Hi
    I am a European and came here 9 years ago with my husband who is American.
    I hate it here and whenever I go home I want to stay.America made me not only physically sick because of the constant stress,emotionally too.
    Out of the reasons mentioned in the sooooo true article I go back home in September and this time for good.I am now 50 years old and I feel like I wasted the last 9 years of my life and NOW I want to start living the rest of it with family,friends who actually have time and good food.
    Nothing and I repeat NOTHING good came out for me in the last 9 years.In my country which is Germany, I have a wonderful health system,I can say aloud what I think and nobody works me 15 hrs a day like a horse threatening to be replaced if you do not obey.

    I can only say : Thumbs up for you being so blunt and honest

    Sabina

  128. Elaine June 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Brilliant! You have hit the nail on the head. I am a Black American whose ancestors, as you stated, did not come here by choice. For that reason alone, I am convinced all the more that leaving the country is the best thing to do. I decided to leave 12 years ago after spending time in Europe, and having the wonderful experience of being treated like a human being instead of a “threat” or a “problem”. My ancestors had to work against their will for people who reaped all the benefits of that work, so why in the year 2010 should I do the same? Most Amercans have been hoodwinked into thinking that this is the greatest countyry in the world, and that everyone else in the world aspires to be “like us” – nonsense. I am making my plans to immigrate, and will be gone within the next year, sooner is I can help it. Thanks for a wonderful essay.

  129. Wade June 18, 2010 at 12:04 am

    There’s just enough truth to make it plausible, but truth is that entitlement spending is the biggest portion of federal spending, not the military. Truth is that socialist countries in Europe are suddenly finding it very difficult to fund all their entitlements like very long vacations, single payer health care. Yes, people work hard in the States. and yes, wealth is being concentrated into fewer hands. Truth is that we’ve got serious problems in the States, just like elsewhere. We need real leadership that produces real jobs. Otherwise we may some day look like Mexico or the Philippines. But the tone, and the misleading statements, of this article suggests hatred for the States. We aren’t the extreme he claims, and there are still billions who would take what we have over a shack in Manila any day. Don’t kid yourself, wherever there are humans there are problems. The United States came along well after the world had serious problems. But, like the many great inventions by Americans, we will in in the forefront of solving many problems in the world today.

  130. Craig June 18, 2010 at 1:36 am

    I am an American living in a foreign country…Thailand. Some parts of this article are true, but many are not. One area is medical. I have significant experience in the medical field and know for sure that the docs in the USA are some of the best in the world.

    Sure, you get great service from the nurses here in Thailand…at least at some of the hospitals…but many of my friends have to return home for more delicate operations. I have a friend who just had a procedure done in the US due to the fact there is not one certified doc in Thailand for this procedure.

    Fences on the borders? Why not? You need to protect your borders…nothing wrong with that.

    National ID? Many countries have this…including where I live. No big deal…so don’t make a big deal out of it.

    Surveillance state? Nowhere near what it is in other countries….

    People can’t change the system? Absolutely wrong. We can and we do.

    Is America perfect? NO! But this article goes too far to one side. I don’t wear a flag on my lapel, but I sure don’t like misinformation like this….

  131. Nicodemus June 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

    This article has a lot of fine rhetoric, but I’d like a shred of evidence about it’s claims. I’m not saying there isn’t any, but I’m at a disadvantage because I thought it was normal for nothing to be perfect.

    I know I’m reading this on a website called “escape america”, but come on. Am I really expected to believe things are that bad? Has anyone else been to Cambodia recently? They don’t have health care either. What happens to a girl who falls into a fire when she is young and becomes horribly disfigured? In the US, it seems like something can be done.

    I don’t know what happened to her in Cambodia. I gave her some bananas, and she acted like no one had spoken to her in a long time. She made a kind of moaning sound at me, which I supposed was a thank you.
    (Actually, I don’t know it was a fire, but she had scars on her arms too so it seemed to fit.)

    No place is perfect, sure. The Roman Empire fell, sure. But I’ve seen some bad things in Asia. It’s not all rainbows and pandas here. 16 of the 20 most polluted cities are in China. I know it seems mystical when you hear about it, but I live in Guangzhou and I can actually taste the car exhaust some days.

    “There are only two possible futures facing the United States”

    I personally would have been embarrassed if I wrote such an obviously fabricated sentence. Obviously, I can’t see the future, so for me to know all possible futures to such an extent that I can definitively say there are only two for the US would, of course, make me look a little less credible than I’d want to.

    Let me posit another future. Everything will be fine. Many people will continue to not get what they want. Some will complain, some will accept it, some will try to change it. Bad things will continue to happen in every country. On occasion, people with lots of money will watch their children die tragically young. Some poor people will gain educations and get better jobs. Some people will have everything, some will have nothing, and many will be somewhere in between. And through all this, people can be happy if they try to be.

    Nothing will continue to be perfect, and this will be okay.

    I like living in China. I’m thinking of staying. I’m also thinking of going somewhere else and I’m thinking of going back to the US. I’ve never met anyone who really had everything figured out, only people who thought they did. And I pity them.

  132. FabianSwinger June 19, 2010 at 1:08 am

    I would gladly exchange my uruguayan citizenship for a Green Card

    I want to go to USA and escape from the low salarys of the 3rd world

    Here, the national minimun monthly wage is about 200 dollars, and the new cars cost twice the price of the U.S. price

    Many people here, even middle class, could never in their life buy a new car, not even an ultra small car like the chinese Chery QQ with engine of 800 cc (Compare it to a Harley Davidson motorcycle, the smallest one has 883 cc)

    Many lower middle classes cant even afford a used car in their whole lfe

    When you compare prices of thing in man hours, like a chicken,a hamburger,food and rent, here is a lot more expensive than in USA

  133. Mitchelle June 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    These are a lot of valid points about America as a nation, but i can honestly say that most Americans are well aware of all the issues we have. Were not blind and ignorant, we here about all the things in this article every day. But we live here this is our home, who would want to leave their loved ones, the people they grew up with, friends and family memories. I’m a haitian American and after the earth quake their are tons of Haitians that won’t leave there country despite the fact that their homes and streets are in ruins…because its their home. Their are more Haitians in America that want to go their homes in Haiti to help because its love for were they are from. So if America is that bad then just don’t come here!

  134. Joy June 20, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Well, I have lived (albeit briefly) in two countries other than the USA, and have travelled a great deal in Canada; and while every place has good point and bad points, I think those who have expressed such vitriol against the USA are better off somewhere else – DUH!! After all, we have only one life to live, so it’s up to us to try to maximize our existence on Earth – to the best of our abilities, etc.

    BTW, I live on a fixed income, plus what I make from clients of my modest business service and part-time or temporary jobs; but it’s always a struggle financially – it’s just that I know how to maximize the dollar and am happy now with less exotic pleasures (a much quieter life in my senior years than in my youth – that’s for sure!!).

    An observation: Of course, there are other wonderful places to live in so many other countries! What in heavens name would the world be like if the ONLY livable place were the USA?!!? There is much variety in the world – and this is obviously appreciated by millions of people around the globe!! So, all you America-bashers, stay away and be grateful that you’ve found “a better” place to live!

  135. Alexander June 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Giovanni, congratulations on falling for propaganda. You presuppose that the government is nothing without its citizens; it could not be farther from the truth. The citizens whom the government is nothing without happen to be the goons in the military. That said, a diverse cesspit is still a cesspit.

    Lenin said that the middle class will be screwed via taxation and (price) inflation, and both are occurring writ large.

  136. Rachel June 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Sigh….this pretty much sums up how I feel about America. I just have to figure out how I’m going to get out!

  137. Bear June 20, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    The global economic system is so intertwined that if the US dollar completely and utterly crashes, then we’re taking everyone else down with us. Running away to another country isn’t going to save you from economic destruction.

    • rext June 26, 2010 at 3:43 am

      as an expat of 25 years I can easily assist you to get out and get a nice lifestyle with very little money…
      It is quite easy. (Really!)
      Peace.
      LMF

    • rext June 26, 2010 at 3:47 am

      very worng, America will take itself out and the new superpowers are ready to teka over and have already taken over to a large extent. No one listens to teh American gov’t anymore, not for peace talk intervention or for supplemental sanctions agianst Iran, etc…
      America has been living above its means for the past 30 years and it the country which is totally responsible for the economic meltdown, and it is only going to get WORSE fr Americans, while Europe, Asia and the rest of the world are already out of the recession!
      The grim truth is really grim, but true….I am not afraid to say it either.
      I live in China and will NEVER return to the chaos of the USA. I prefer “FREEDOM” (from) drugs, guns, violence, prescription drugs, stupidity and arrogance!!!

    • rext June 26, 2010 at 3:49 am

      America will never take anyone down with them, That is totally absurd. America deserves what it is getting now, after years of greed, arrogance and stupidity. I am ashamed of America and will never live there again, as millions of other Americans have figured out as well.

    • james June 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      You are 100% wrong.

  138. Mike M June 24, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Excellent article and spot on. Only thing not touched upon is the fact it is the American people and their inept attitudes and beliefs that has led to what will become the ultimate downfall of the country.

    None of the current mess is the result of just Obama and his administration as many would contend. It has been going on for years and under and multitude of different administrations, both Democrats and Republicans. Bottom line is the bad apples got in and took control a long time ago and you can’t vote them out and fix things by replacing one incompetent/corrupt regime with another.

    To adequately list exactly what is wrong and why the USA will eventually fail (I firmly believe it will be sooner than later), would take a book to cover and not just an article. I like the author Lance Freeman think the only recourse is to leave the sinking ship rather than waiting to go down with it. Unfortunately for many this is not an option and for those they have my deepest regret. For othersm the window of opportunity is quickly closing. You can stay and fight what is a losing battle or find that the grass IS often greener on the other side. You just need to face the reality that is in front of you and accept the facts for what they are.

    Good luck!

  139. Dean June 25, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Meat, Monsanto..incredible that the writer blames impotence on government dispensation of Prozak. The figure millions go bankrupt from medical costs every year, is not true.

    The anywhere but America tone suggests to me that somebody was mean to the writer as a child, and as a result, grew up as a socialist. I would suggest that US medical corporatism is no more the best answer than his “government should do everything, form of Socialism. See “Ron Paul”.

  140. Victor Maria June 25, 2010 at 5:03 am

    This article has no business being published on this site. It is simply bitching, moaning, bashing, and contains the types of opinions that should be expressed in a different forum and not what I have come to expect from this site. I beleive that people from all nations should be free to move around and live anywhere in the world that they choose in the pursuit of thier own form of inner peace and traquility. Further I believe that if you choose to live outside your country of birth you should consider yourself a guest and act accordingly and not expect your host country to adopt your particular lifestyle or your ingrained culture. The author of this article appears to harbour a great deal of anger much like a jilted lover. Again I fault the editors of EFAM for allowing this editorial to be printed and I hope that they will be more consistent in the futre with the true intent of the newsletter. Thanks, Vic~

  141. Suprise Enterprises June 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Amen Rachel

  142. amy jenner June 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Yes America is not perfect but it is a good country. My mother’s rent has been subsidized by the government for 18 years..she pays 60.00 per month and the housing authority pays the remaining balance of 820.00. My sister after 30 years of being a hard core alcholic collapsed and was diagnosed with multiple organ failure..she recovered after 2 months in a fantastic hospital receiving great care. She survived and being unemployed the hospital settled on her paying just 1200.00 of an enormous bill. My sister now works for the IRS. My two children were welfare babies and we lived on food stamps, housing and a monthly check for 8 years while I went to college. My tuition was free plus I was given extra money in the form of a grant. Right now 30% of my income is taxed..not to to bad. I have a decent job and live within my means with some savings.

    My son is going to college and he is awarded PELL grants, state grants and some loans to cover the cost. My other son is in the military and loves his job. The NAVY is paying for his college and he will be an electrical engineer in a few years. He is in an Asian country so I am sure I would feel differently if he were stationed in Afghanistan or Iraq.

    I have travelled all over the world and would still rather live in the USA. People in Turkey and places like Morocco feel very hopeless. The young people want to leave as soon as they get the chance.

    I think America will overcome its current financial difficulties and get back on the road to good fortune.

    People have woken up..look at the rise of politicians like Ron Paul, Alan Grayson and Jim Webb.

  143. J B June 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    The “Christian fundamentalists” that Lance bitches about are the same ones that founded the US leading it to prosperity. They are not the Taliban. Every day we should bow down and kiss the ground in the US that the fundies such as the Puritans led our country in a moral manner, and the result (up to the past 30 years), has been marvelous.

    But I agree that in the past 30 years we are heading in a wrong direction.

    By the way, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, virtually all were started by “fundies” as schools to train/educate pastors & theologians. They still are among the best institutions in the world.

    Unfortunately, the recent jacked-up administrations (esp Obama flooding the market with dollars), sexual revolutions of the 60′s-70′s, and all out greed of the 80-90′s led to a Godless society in the US. People underestimate the demise of the culture as it stems from immorality. Not just sexual. Financial. The debt situation in the US is a result of all-out greed legitimized from nearly every aspect of American society.

    Living in Brazil, I can tell you that the majority of Brazilians living in the slums would love to live in the US and the freedoms it offers, especially related to the quality of life. At the same time, form a character perspective, they would probably be worse off.

  144. marcel June 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Very well stated, and so true. Just look at the “signing orders” of obama for a peek into his own pernicious deceptions. Orson Wells would be intrigued. Get out get out whereever you are.

  145. Hellowools June 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I would love to see every us citizen have the opportunity to Pick another nation that holds some interest for them and live OUTSIDE of the united slaves’ subliminal programming for a minimum of 6 months….. Direct experience of an alternate “reality” may be the only way to break the chains of the mental servitude in which we are imprisoned and the vast majority don’t even realize. As long as we are lead to sit in front of the “tel-lie-vision” a few hours each week with our super-sized big macs and fries droning out to survivor, dancing with the stars, american idol, or any of the countless other mind numbing PROGRAMS that are keeping the average man/woman asleep and continuing the propogation of the larger PROGRAM…we are in trouble.

  146. Perplexed June 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I am concerned for your sanity. I was born in another country, and moved to the US with my family while a teen in high school. I would like to return to my former country, but am not currently able because of family obligations. However, what you seem to be ignorant of is the fact that in almost every country in the world, two out of three people who would like to leave their own country wish to move here. All over the world (I have traveled extensively) people know that the USA is the greatest country in the world. Why do heads of state from all over the world come to the USA for medical treatment? Because there is no better medical care in the world than here. There are problems here, but there are problems everywhere, and on balance it is obvious that this is the best country in the world. So, why do I wish to return to my home country? I miss the warm weather, I miss extended family, and due the wealth and education I have earned here, I can be a member of the upper class in my home country.

    • JK July 1, 2010 at 1:19 am

      I moved the west coast (south cali) 3 years ago in search for my self (studying).
      What i found was hard work and people struggling to survive with their credit card. Little vacation and time for them self. Media driven life style and a culture that makes no sense.

      Where i come from all the basic needs are already filled. Like, Healthcare, security, free school, we dont have to worrie about losing your job if you get a kid( we have 6 months of dad leave if you get a kid). etc etc. The society isnt driven by money ( some, but not like what i saw in the USA). You still have your two cars and 2 houses if you want. But not in an insane way.

      I liked my friends that i got there, felt bad leaving them behind when i decided to move back to Europe.

    • Frank Edwards July 2, 2010 at 2:58 am

      People from other countries want to live here because of the educational programming they have received (much of it on American cable TV which gets delivered everywhere these days) which teaches them that they need material wealth to be happy. The premise of the Western advertising machine is that humans are base animals that may be manipulated through slick, subliminal messaging to obtain corporate profits. And it works, as evidenced by the large number of people who wish to exist in the most materialistic country in the world.

      Contrast this with Nepal, one of the poorest countries on Earth. The general population there lives in spiritual bliss, as compared to most Americans.

    • jason July 8, 2010 at 9:52 am

      “However, what you seem to be ignorant of is the fact that in almost every country in the world, two out of three people who would like to leave their own country wish to move here. All over the world (I have traveled extensively) people know that the USA is the greatest country in the world.”

      almost every country in the world is second or third world. the rest of the first world is shaking their head at how bad america is.

      “So, why do I wish to return to my home country? I miss the warm weather, I miss extended family, and due the wealth and education I have earned here, I can be a member of the upper class in my home country.”

      you’re probably from the 2nd or 3rd world, in which case your opinion is invalid. this is white people talk.

  147. Todd Harrington June 30, 2010 at 12:49 am

    “It is no sign of good health to be well-adjusted to a sick society.”

    ~Krishnamurti

    The USA is just fine. We just need to get rid of the international central banking interests who manipulate our politics, economy, our education, and our media — to satiate their own personal addiction to power. Once that’s done, we’ll have a wonderful country to live in, again.

    • Frank Edwards July 2, 2010 at 3:06 am

      Considering that the international central bankers you speak of own 99% of the central banks in 190+ countries worldwide, escaping the political agenda of these individuals seems next to impossible. Perhaps by moving to another country one is able to delay or remove, by a generation or two, the loss of their personal freedom.

      Add on top of this such programs as the United Nations Agenda 21 charter, which works at the very local level (your city council is likely already on board with Agenda 21 and likely gets audited to ensure compliance) in countries worldwide, to help establish “sustainable” communities in preparation for the IMF/central banker-instilled “austerity” measures that are designed to ensure the wealth and power stay in their hands for the long-term.

      Escaping to other countries is simply a method of delaying the inevitable.

  148. Lisa July 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Great informative article.

    America is the Sink or Swim capital of the world

  149. Jeff July 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I spent some time living in the United Kingdom. That may not exactly be Europe, but I’ve also spent some time living in France, and Germany. Everywhere I’ve been to in Europe I have found to have a number of problems. Outside of Germany, the working environment and education system I have found to be severely inferior to that in the United States. Yes, the US does have its problems, and yes, we are increasing our levels of censorship. But do our censorship levels even begin to match the censorship that have been existent in the United Kingdom? Not by a long shot? What about Germany?

    If you’re looking to escape the US and want to go to Europe, good luck trying to find reasonable employment in France or Italy, and the English society tends to combine the bad things about the US with the bad things of Europe. So that won’t be a very good place for you either.

    Do you honestly feel that Europe is in a better spot than the US? Maybe some countries are, but the collapse of the Euro is likely, especially as most of the European nations do not have the work ethic or service industry to maintain the Euro (look at Greece). If the US ends up failing, Europe definitely won’t be a better place to be.

  150. Henry July 9, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    This website is for expatriate information — not for your political diatribes.

  151. Jeff July 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Well, this is depressing. I would argue in defense of my country except that I’m finding out that much of what this article says is true. I’ve had the opportunity to know some foriegn exchange students in recent years and I’ve had many long conversations about life in America vs. life in other countries. I’m beginning to feel that much of the developed world has moved into the 21st century and America has been left behind.

    Far from being a “socialist” nation as some people claim, the United States has long been on a path to corporatism. Our government is run by and for the big corporations. And Obama is only a small bump in the road.

  152. birkenbihl July 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    having lived in the USA for 7 years and having followed the development of this great nation ever since i would very much like to see the 82 comments. where are they? how can i get (to) them? why can i only see one (without a link)? please, share? i would greatly appreciate it. thank you.
    vfb

  153. chris July 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Couldn’t disagree with you more about America. Far more people are trying to get in than get out. Most tax dollars go to socialist programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. You can have your nanny state living. You sound like you enjoy living the life of a socialist. I’ll take liberty all day long over government intrusion. Nobody forces anyone to eat beef or take drugs. It’s a choice. The very thing that socialists in this country want to curtail. If I was to leave this country I would do so to get out from under the oppressive taxes coming our way and the statists taking over the country. I certainly wouldn’t run to another socialist country.

    • Erik July 24, 2010 at 7:38 pm

      Wow Chris! Can you tell me what socialism is? And no looking at wikipedia or any other encyclopedia.

      Your reply was directly from the propaganda machine that you americans get fed with every day of your life.

      1. The rest of the world has done just fine with the so called evil socialism.

      2. Most countries are head of the US. The fact that it took you so long to get free healthcare and a black president is despicable.

      I will stick to Sweden. Where i can go to the doctor for free and not risk bankruptcy if i lose my job. Call the rest of the world nanny states if you want. It will just further prove your ignorance. America works like this.

      Heaven for the rich and Hell for the poor. GO CORPORATE AMERICA! Inb4 you call me a filthy freedom hating communist.

  154. Evan July 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Being a Canadian, i can easly say these documents are correct. Its not that the avrage american is a bad person who deserve such hardship. Its the fact that americans are forced into ignorence, they can’t help but to be ignorent and brain washed as this is what their raised to belive

  155. J. Milli July 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    You could have significantly strengthened your argument if you didn’t try to fit every liberal rant about the U.S. into one post. To your point, yes Europeans who are employed tend to receive more non-pecuniary benefits than the average American (although you provide little in the way of comprehensive evidence on this point, just a few handpicked statistics). However, those benefits come at a cost. Most of Western Europe has consistently higher unemployment rates than the U.S (precisely because employers are expected to provide a great deal of benefits, and are hamstrung by a great deal of regulation in labor markets). Furthermore, if you compare economic growth differentials (which hovers around 1.3% if I remember correctly), the average American will have an income twice that of the average European in roughly 50 years (one would need a simple compound interest formula to prove this). In case that wasn’t clear, let me restate; the rate of increase in average incomes in the U.S. is large enough to lead to a doubling of American incomes relative to European incomes. Moreover, Europe is much more fiscally exposed to the challenges of an aging population. Current events make this clear; European nations face much greater pressure to seek out austerity measures in the short and long-term because of their extensive entitlements. Put simply, Europe can afford the many benefits you mention currently, but it is uncertain that they will able to maintain their welfare states in the long-term due to an aging population and less than stellar economic growth. Also, your point on America being less free is more or less entirely subjective/not based in hard evidence. The Freedom index ratings put the U.S. on par if not above most of Western Europe. In terms of economic freedom the U.S. is generally more free than Western Europe.

    • LOL August 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      “In terms of economic freedom the U.S. is generally more free than Western Europe.” Only problem is, if you’re poor, you’re not going anywhere. I don’t see these increasing incomes either. Our college educated are leaving because there are no jobs here for them. People are abandoning this sinking ship. Keep watching Fox News. Everything will be fine.

  156. Jack July 31, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    While the US has many problems, other countries have their own set of problems or much of the same problems. For example the diet in New Zealand, where I live, isn’t any better and NZ has the 2nd highest per capita of obesity in the industrialized world at 26.5%, just behind the US. Another problem of NZ is the low pay rate and low value of the NZ dollar when compared to the rest of the industrialized world. The average wage in NZ is $21,100 US (and that’s before taxes) while in the US it’s $37,500. Which helps to explain why 1/5th of all New Zealanders actually don’t live in NZ but in Australia, the UK, and the US. There’s heaps of other problems in NZ as well and I’d advise any American, Brit, or anyone else to really investigate NZ before making the choice to move here. See: http://www.expatexposed.com/

  157. Freedom? September 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Everything mentioned in this article that is spouted as a “freedom” for europeans is a terrible definition. When you talk of “fear” of illness/ physical mistreatment etc. you are talking about the very nature of true liberty, it is scary. For those who enjoy the comforts of a lap dog (fed everyday, cared for when sick, etc) freedom is a frightening concept. Every definition of “freedom” that Europeans have and that Americans do not is SECURITY. It is really very simple, the more security you ask of your government the more freedom you must render so they can provide that service (use airports as an example as our nations are fraught with many more just look). Anytime people demand freedom it is a very difficult road. Not only do the people have to pry the power to control their own lives out of the hands of their masters, but they also have an internal battle to win. That battle is the willingness to surrender your “peace of mind” for lack of a better term. True security is a myth, it only helps us “feel” safe. When you wake up and realize the quote by Gerald Ford (often attributed toThomas Jefferson) is as true in his time as now you will understand, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

  158. Ana September 10, 2010 at 8:38 am

    This was without a doubt one of the best treatises I’ve read in a long time. It states plainly, without subtlety and without fear the facts of life in the U.S. today. Of course, when the author lists the different disparate groups that make up this western Yugoslavia, he left out a large one: poor and working-class Americans who are indeed educated (either formally or otherwise), well aware of their plight, who do not follow Fox News … and who sadly will never be able to leave. Those glued to Fox News don’t want to leave, but many in this group definitely do.

    They — we — are a growing class. In former eras people who were educated (formally so, anyway) were not poor; that has changed. Unfortunately it does take money to leave whether you go on a tourist visa or not, and Americans struggling on or near our pathetic idea of a minimum wage will simply never, ever be able to save enough to make the move. That is doubly so for the tens of thousands who’d love to leave but are saddled — and imprisoned — by debt that will literally take a lifetime to settle.

  159. Mark Combs September 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    The funny thing is that you are obviously a left wing kind of guy….and I’m about as right wing as you can get; and I agree with you on about 90% of everything you said (minus the comments about Christians and Bill Oreilly)

    Very good article though – Actually I’m trying to work rapidly to make my life and business remote so that a move to another country is easily do-able.

    • Laura October 14, 2010 at 7:30 pm

      You forgot to mention the real Taliban danger growing in the U.S, the Muslim population. These are the people having 5-7 kids, they have taken the Oath of Allegiance, but don’t mean it, as their faith demands true allegiance goes to Allah. As the Muslim population grows in the U.S, so to does the demands for Sha’Riah law, Islamic law, it allows under its codices easy divorces for men, women are treated as having half the value of men and under age (pedophilia) marriages are permitted, as it was done by the mass murdering founder of Islam.

      The article though did make a lot of good points. Yes, the U.S is being balkanized, but there are far more dangerous elements than mere Christian Taliban. That noted, try not to give up on your country. If you want change, than help educate the next generation of leadership. The U.S can have another Theodore Roosevelt, the trust buster, the U.S can have another real new deal as came from F.D.R, but it does take work.

      • TitsMcgee November 30, 2010 at 8:55 pm

        Dude FDR wasn’t the “trust buster”, Taft was.
        He only helped regulate trusts, he wasn’t anti big business just corrupt business.

  160. Julian October 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Fantastic article. I live in Canada, and very happily, by the way. To anybody reading this who agrees with the article, including the author, I recommend the movies “The Zeitgeist” and “The Zeitgeist: Addendum” which can be found on YouTube, if you haven’t seen them already. They’re concerned with the lies surrounding religion, 9/11, the economy, wars, and the future. I going to share this page. Thanks for posting.

  161. Gordon October 26, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I am a Canadian living in the Cayman Islands. This article says nothing that can’t be said about most western nations that are hell-bent on escalating coercive redistribution, including Canada.

  162. JOhan October 27, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Talk about a severe “grass is greener” blog article.

    Part of the reason why Americans aren’t seen outside of America are manyfold:

    1) The USA is a HUGE place! The continental USA has roughly equivalent land area to the whole of Europe, including Russia, up to the Urals. Thus, it is HUGELY EXPENSIVE to travel anywhere else.

    2) The USA has many options of enjoyment and entertainment. If it didn’t, you’d see more vacationing elsewhere.

    3) The wages bit I can argue with. The author of this article has one of the most slanted and biased viewpoints I can think of. White collar workers getting a less quality of life than the blue collar workers elsewhere? LAUGHABLE AND TOTALLY WRONG. Let’s take a look at a few of the “rich” countries he says are superior to us lowly and godforsaken Americans:

    China: have you been under a rock for the past two years? There have been RIOTS AND STRIKES at companies in China as workers demand higher pay. Further, at one company that employs a staggering 310,000, living conditions are so poor in the campus that hundreds commit suicide every year. Slave labor/plantation mentality? Wake up and smell the f*cking oolong tea buddy. Go to ANY of the countryside cities and see what life is REALLY like in China (i.e. NOT Shanghai or Beijing). These people cannot take vacations. They are NOT the wealthy elite. Just because you see a lot of Chinese people abroad now is that with a 1.3 BILLION (as in, 1,300 million) people, assuming just 0.1% of that population is wealthy enough to travel, you still got ****ing 1.3 MILLION Chinese tourists. Wow. You’re just stupid.

    Japan: People really are a slave to their jobs here. I should know, my in-laws are Japanese. Their dad goes to work at 8 AM and doesn’t come back till ****ing 11 at night. And he does this 5 days a week, 6 every other week. The culture is such that if you avoid being sociable with the coworkers and bosses, people will think something’s up and/or you hate them. A cursory review of internet articles and Youtube videos of Australian and American expats in Japan will confirm this.

    Western Europe: There is a reason most European countries do not approach the replacement population birthrate of 2.2 children: IT’S TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE!

    France: I personally would hate to live in a country where raising the retirement age for a fat check in welfare from 60-62 basically shuts down the country. Even in the smoothest of times, people in France have to live with basic services being interrupted due to some strike.

    England: I don’t know where to begin. You think the US is in shambles, take a look at the UK. They’re rated lower in most standard of life polls than the US.

    Germany: Probably the best-off of the lot. I could see myself living in Germany. Gotta love export-driven democratic economies

    Italy: This country is called the “sick old man” of Europe. They have a contracting economy and a contracting populace. It’s laughable if you think they got it better.

    Spain: Their economy is in the ****ter and have 20% unemployment. Nuff said. Next.

    Scandanavian Countries: They’re pretty well off for one reason: Oil. Take that away and there’s little else.

    So there you have it – for all its foibles and tribulations, the USA is still the best country to live in in my own opinion. In the words of countless British, Irish, Italian, German, Japanese, Chinese, and all sorts of other immigrants who I have BEFRIENDED RIGHT HERE IN THE GOOD OL USA … when I ask why they came here, I get nearly always the SAME REPLY:

    “MORE OPPORTUNITY, MORE JOBS.”

    • Mary Christine November 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      Johan – thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to say what I would have said. That article was so slanted as to be laughable. I wanted a true discussion of the cultures outside of the USA compared to here, but I knew – when he bashed only the “right” side of the political spectrum for our problems – that I was not going to get what the article should have given me. I know from personal experience that what he says about the medical system in Europe is simply not true – that in their wonderful one-payer system, if you have anything other than an urgent problem, you will wait, and wait and wait and wait for an appointment, usually so long that the problem resolves itself – or it becomes urgent! And much much much money comes from out of pocket so there is an entire black market of medical services – please – don’t insult our intelligence!! You lost your credibility early on, but I finished the article just to see how ridiculous it got – and I wasn’t disappointed! Johan, again thank you for writing such a good response – I’m happy there are still people like you out there to defend this battered country.

    • Jason November 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm

      JOhans got it totally wrong about the UK. Its fantastic here. Why do you think everyone wants to claim asylum here? Thousands pass through Germany and France just to get to England. That includes thousands of French who come here to work and never return to France. As for Germany… Ever been? Its another country with brainwashed workaholics. Not as nice as you may believe. Crap beaches too! (what they have of them)
      The UK really is a beautiful country. Diverse scenery, great health service and once here very few leave.
      Britain is the best country in the world.

    • Lauri November 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      Excuse me, but… what the fuck? Scandinavian countries are well off because of oil? Pardon me, but only Norway has oil, and Norway doesn’t share. I myself and from Finland, and we’ve built our economy on timber and electronics, not oil. And the quality of life here is superb.

      Same goes for Sweden and Denmark, neither of which have any oil.

    • Ted November 8, 2010 at 6:01 am

      You make some good points. I live in China, after a brief stint in Kiev. I don’t know the whole world, but I do have some observations based on 3 years as an expat.
      You cannot compare my lifestyle to an average Chinese. I make more and don’t work very hard in doing so.
      I have a much better career here than I would back home. Lots of job offers. In the USA at age 50, I would most likely be a cab driver. Here I am an assistant professor.
      I save more than I ever did in America.
      I have substantially younger women to date or marry. :)
      The USA is not a happy place. I went back 9 months ago, and it was very sad; so much economic misery.
      There is an energy in Asia that is truly exciting. It is caused by all the investment capital flowing into the region. Money that is NOT being invested in America. This has been going on for 25 years now.
      America is vastly overrated. I had no idea. My American friends write and ask me what it is like. I tell them that it is clean, modern and a lot of fun. I never hear from them again. They were expecting me to tell them how no place is as good as the Usa. Most of them still think “If it ain’t in America, it ain’t S**t.” Poor deluded fools.
      Do I plan on going back? No way. Life is too good here.

    • -Al- November 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      “More opportunity, more jobs”

      Yeah right… That’s the US propaganda talking. Sure there are more jobs. If you want to work shift work in retail for a minimal wage. There are a plethora of low paying jobs in the US. That’s the reality.

      Sure there is more opportunity as well. However, the saying that it takes money to make money holds true in the US moreso than anywhere else. Sure there is more opportunity in the US. If you can afford it.

    • Noah Clemens November 23, 2010 at 2:22 am

      I’d like to weigh in a bit. I’m a 21 year old American student who has lived in Germany for over a year. I am now back in the states starting my Masters degree in philosophy.

      I certainly worry about my future here in the United States. I believe it is rational to worry in the presence of uncertainty, especially nowadays where society’s development has so much momentum. Our course as a whole depends on our rationality as a whole. Luckily nowadays, we have mass open communication to promote critical thought. In my opinion, we have the capacity to decide our course effectively, if only people were more educated.

      The average quality of life for a US citizen is much higher than the average Earth citizen in many important aspects. Most people have access to a wealth of information at no cost. Most people feel safe at almost all times. A variety of foods from around the world are available to those who work. Of course we really ought to improve the standards even more, since we have the capability.

      The problem is, people are too distracted. I sympathize with Freeman’s portrait of American political and social class perspectives. They frighten me. Especially now when our society is facing tough challenges (namely with natural resources and new environmental concerns). We need to unify as a nation through open communication and democracy, and agree on what the best possible future of America looks like for the immediate and foreseeable future. If we maintain a healthy dialogue, we can merge the rational conclusions from the major perspectives to decide the best course of action towards that ideal future.

      In that light, I’d like to oppose Freeman’s demand that “You should Leave the United States of America.” We owe (morally) to our fellow people and for the sake of this land to ensure its safe future. If you run away from this time of turmoil, you are a selfish coward. Every person who understands Freeman’s letter has the duty to use his/her capacity to work towards the ideal future of the United States.

      That being said, fast travel and widespread communication is slowly erasing the boarders (mostly culturally, bust also geographically). The US’s position is no longer isolated; almost all nations nowadays depend on the well being of other nations. The U.S. citizen’s duties to the U.S. are no stronger than to other nations around the world. And that stands true for citizens of every country.

      I appreciate the article, I hope more people read it and think about it critically.

      • Holden3125 December 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm

        Your idealism will likely fade when you realize that we don’t actually live in a democracy, but rather a plutocracy (a nation whose government is controlled by its sources of wealth) and that unfortunately people in this country (as you will learn when you finish school) don’t have the luxury of being able to buck the system or inflict real change because they’re all indebted to that next days 9-5. We have here the illusion of freedom. What we really have is the freedom to want what we can’t afford. Television is our carrot danging on a stick, badgering us with this fantastic illusion and imploring us to keep pushing for what we’ll never have the real freedom to experience.

    • FinnishBloke December 3, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Hey, just wanted to point out that Norway is the only scandinavian country with oil. It has NOTHING to do with how well the Nordic countries are doing.
      I’d praise the Nordic Welfare State for that more than anything. Many Americans are all too quick to cry “Communism!” without paying attention to how well this system really works. Why else would we be at the top in education, living standards, etc. etc. ? “Oil money” really can’t account for it, especially considering that most of us don’t have any (Finland, for instance, has none whatsoever and we’re still #1 in the world when it comes to education).

      I don’t expect a reply, but I would hope you at least read this and take it into consideration.

    • Jasper Lawrence December 10, 2010 at 10:58 pm

      Any of you folks calling him slanted ever lived outside the US?

      How many of you have a passport?

      I agree wholeheartedly with the article and if you do travel abroad you would be shocked at how many US citizens have left, never to return.

      Quality of life is not about income, one of the basic errors US citizens frequently make. Nor has the US anything to brag about in that respect.

      To whit: Your tax rate is very similar to western europe, but you pay medical expenses out of pocket, at the rate of over 16% of GDP. The cost of health care, not out of pocket, in Europe, about 9% on average.

      So deduct that 16% plus from your household budget, and see how your bank account stacks up with those in Europe.

      But, you have never lived abroad, so you don’t know what you are talking about.

      I am a US citizen, I left, good riddance. Free? Don’t make me laugh? Great? At what? Fucking its citizens royally? I’ll give you that.

      The person commenting on UK health care, ever lived here and experienced it? I have, and it is far superior to that in the us, not even close.

      Try having some experiences instead of parroting FOX, please.

  163. Tim Glaim November 17, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Great article. I’m definitely leaning toward never living in America again if I can avoid it. I hate it when empty-headed jack-asses like Sean Hannity insist that “America is the greatest country in the world.”. By what standard is America the greatest country in the world? Health care? Nope. Education? Uh-uh. Standard of living? Please. Y’know what America’s number one at? Divorce. Obesity. Gun ownership. Good job, America.

    Don’t get me wrong; there’s plenty of countries that’re far worse than America. There’re way more worse countries than there are better ones, but the fact is we’re not the best country in the world.

    • mitek November 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      And what is wrong with gun ownership ? Why is it cited along divorce and obesity ? Gun ownership is actually one of the good things that America has — too bad it’s probably won’t be the case for too long.

      • Jae December 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

        What’s bad with gun ownership? Here’s just a theory, I might be wrong. When I lived in the UK (before coming here to China, I left the US 10 years ago) I was many times engaged in debates where I felt like I could freely and openly express my true opinions about well, anything – many things that, in the US, I would feel afraid to express for fear of having a gun pulled on me. And these things were not/are not entirely threatening at all. And when I stated these opinions, they were met openly out fo respect for a debate. American freedom of speech my ass. Freedom to have to look down a barrel if you say something someone does not agree with.

    • Zack December 12, 2010 at 8:46 pm

      The fact that you’re basing the entirety of America on the messages of media figurehead Sean Hannity shows me that you’re not a very deep thinker… At least not for yourself. I think the true problem of America is that it’s intellectuals associate pride, guts, and patriotism with weakness. As if it’s a faux pa that doesn’t have a place in overall humanity… Well, in a utopian world you’d be correct, but the world is far from the likeness of that delusion of graduer…. So, grab your soapboxes, the one’s your daddy earned in the thick of war, and speak atop them as if you have a pair like him… This doesn’t mean you sacrifice your message, you just have a louder voice.

    • Claudius Maximus December 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

      Noah I agree with you. With an educational system that taught you contractions such as “that’re” and “there’re” you should find the next available plane, train or automobile and leave forever. A side benefit for the US will be that we would have one less illiterate to drag our ranking down.

    • Claudius Maximus December 13, 2010 at 10:27 am

      Tim I agree with you. With an educational system that taught you contractions such as “that’re” and “there’re” you should find the next available plane, train or automobile and leave forever. A side benefit for the US will be that we would have one less illiterate to drag our ranking down.

  164. Alex November 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Haha. I got a good laugh from this article, as I am an American who lives outside of the US. Unlike this very misinformed writer though, I try to spread the very ideals he or she is attempting to understand. America is not a terrible place to live at all. Just because the author has the mental capacity to realize that he or she shouldn’t eat meat and sugar everyday, get a dead-end job and not exercise everyday doesn’t mean all Americans act as such or that the government wants that.

    The irony of this article is that the author is still a misinformed stupid American, just on the other end of the spectrum.

    Good stuff.

  165. Lucia November 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Allow me a comment, please. I have lived, studied, made local friends, used the health care system, raised kids and worked for years in different countries. All of you including the author of the article are correct. There are advantages and disadvantages in every country. What makes a person think that a country is mostly good or bad is one’s economic, social and professional position within that country. In other words, each of you will find that the best country to live in the world is where you are most content with your own daily life.

  166. JohnnyCypher December 10, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I made the mistake of moving from Sweden back to the USA 4 years ago and I curse the decision I made each day. I lived in Denmark and Sweden for 11 years. Now I bear witness to the cesspool of ignorance and stupidity this country has become.

  167. Randy December 10, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Sure, the USA is a tougher place these days … however, consider this, in most Asian societies, one is not allowed dual citizenship. Thus, an American living in Singapore, Thailand, Japan, or wherever, is always a permanent outsider. Yes, some day, you may be evicted. No American citizen, aside from the former Nazis who lied about their death camp experiences, have ever been asked to leave America.

    Next, today, both Australia and Canada, both export commodities based economies, have major housing bubbles. How’s that different from the USA circa 2005? When those bubbles collapse, who’s going to restore the above citizen’s balance sheet? Bingo, the other Anglo-like economies aren’t any more solvent than the US one, long term. They’ll be colonies for Chinese mineral guilds.

    All and all, the best thing an American can do is to not buy real estate, when it’s greater that 3:1 (cost:income) for the income of the local job market and live a sparse life, while one spouse tries to work either in the govt or healthcare. Then, try to get one’s kids into local politics and thus, try to insure that every member of your clan has a shot of getting a job at Town Hall.

  168. Expat December 10, 2010 at 2:55 am

    I’ve lived in the UK, France, and Singapore. I believe I was much better off in each of those places than in the US. Each has its problems but overall, I believe they are better than the US.

    The article is a bit exaggerated and overtly provocative, but it reflects a broader truth that most Americans are unable or unwilling to see. American’s believe they are universally loved and respected abroad because of their Freedoms and Free Market Economy. In reality, America is feared, disliked, hated, disdained, and mocked in many places. Americans will, of course, claim that anyone who has a disparaging thought about the USA is a commie, a fascist, a terrorist, a Muslim, or a Frenchman. That is because Americans are ignorant and insular. Additionally their military might permits them to believe anything they want…or else!

    You can’t argue about these things with Fox presenters or your average US citizen. They don’t have the objectivity or experience to enter into a debate. But, provoking them with an article like this, while fun, is self-defeating. You just get comments like JOhan saying Americans don’t travel abroad because America is so big that it costs too much money to fly anywhere.

    Frankly, I would be happier if Americans just stayed home, and that includes the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the CIA, the NSA, the DHS, the DIA, and the FBI.

  169. Kimberly December 10, 2010 at 6:47 am

    I loved this article. I am an American from Los Angeles, California working in marketing in the GCC. I am engaged to a man who is getting his phd in engineering. We are moving to Australia. Los Angeles is where all the Hispanics agitate and terrorize white and black Americans. You cannot even get a job if you don’t speak Spanish. LA RAZA which means “the superior race” in regard to Mexicans in particular is a very powerful political force. We are being gunned down in the streets (especially black Americans tragically). We are literally living in Tijuana. The bleeding heart liberals give everyything to the illegals. It is not a civilized city. When you land at the airport (LAX) from an international flight, the police are very cruel and rude to everyone. The airport is crumbling and the toilet facilities are from the 1960′s and never cleaned (thanks to the unions who don’t work). It looks like a subsaharan African airport. Now, the Hispanics have taken over the government (in LA and other cities in California). We are putting them in jail finally for theft and graft and corruption. Los Angeles gives me nightmares. My mother lives there so, I have to visit. But, I get sick whenever I go. It is so depressing.

    Where I am living now, I do not have to lock my doors of windows. There is very little crime, although it does occur of course. There are no protesters stopping an entire days work by blocking off streets, demanding right they don’t deserve as they are not legal. There is no begging. It’s illegal to beg or harrass people. There are no activists harrassing you to sign your name to support causes you don’t agree with or even understand (tricky wording).

    I will tell you one good thing about LA. There are loads of excellent doctors there. My health insurance company is a sadistic horrible company. They are evil and will not cover anything for me even though I am paying $6000 per year. But, out of pocket I have seen the world’s best doctors. They don’t really have good doctors globally. Pretty soon these doctors will all be in private practice and everyone will have to pay out of pocket to see them because our health care system is in the toilet.

    By the year 2050, half of Americans will be minority. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. I believe that the Democrats will continue to keep the monorities down, not educate them and support the teachers unions against the interests of the students. I believe there will be millions upon millions of uneducated and poor people demanding handouts (like Los Angeles is today anyway but on a National scale). Crime will go up and it will not be safe on the streets. It already isn’t anyway though. Then there will be millions upon millions of elderly people, all needed financial support and medical care. Who will pay for all this? Not me !!!!!

    I am out of the US for good. Anyone with a brain who does the research should leave too.

    • Delilah September 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      With your multiple biases and prejudices,you are one of the very type of ignorant people the article was referring to.

  170. chris December 10, 2010 at 8:34 am

    In America (A) if you work for the govt. most of the above doesn’t apply.G workers get everything and cant get fired. In A if you are upper middle or higher, it doesn’t really apply.Its the middle and lower that are really suffering from the Military Industrial Complex , corporate control of govt. and the fiat money system.

    Most expats Ive met the world over are p*ssy hounds, running some kinda shady “business”,trying to mooch off the newest expats, running from the law, and otherwise sociatal screw ups. The 1% that have something to offer world wide know the article is a quasi joke.
    Any trade or profession you have a local can do faster cheaper and better.
    Teach English? Still pushing that? Laughs. Poverty level wages, immense competition, an industry set up to take advantage of people “teaching english.
    The people that can benefit are the rich who want to avoid US tax laws. They already know abou this.

    More , I want to see if they post this.

  171. Doug Hess December 10, 2010 at 9:57 am

    The article makes some good points and some very bad ones. To begin with, FOX News is the only one that constantly provides both sides of issues. They always have left wing contributors on their shows, check it out and you’ll see. Hannity & Beck are a little out there but Bill O’Reilly, Greta Van Susteren, Bret Baer, and Shepard Smith are very balanced. Yes, we are building walls..to keep people OUT, not in. We have more immigrants coming to this country than any country on earth, are they all stupid? True, we do have a lot of “stuff” and many people are in debt but whose fault is that?..THEIR OWN. Most Americans are spoiled rotten. You want to work less hours?… LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS and stop buying “stuff”. Does your 5 year old really need that iPod? And by the way, American Indians migrated here from other parts of the globe and black slaves were given the oportunity to return to Africa but wisely chose not to and now they have the highest standard of living of blacks anywhere else on the planet. Of course we have our problems but it’s not our government or our country, it’s us.

    • B January 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm

      FOX present’s both sides of the story? Are you joking? Are you so blinded by your own ignorance that you can’t begin to see that you are in fact part of the success this propaganda machine is having? Open your eyes, your United States of America is not yours anymore. The top 1% of your country control 90% of the wealth. They control you, your education and every other aspect of your life. Think for once in your life about what is being shoveled down your throat everyday. Maybe then you’ll realise the poignancy this article has. The wolves are directing the sheep now, not the shepherds.

  172. nedm December 10, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Um to say that Canada and Europe have the same health plans is totally wrong.

    There’s HUGE differences between the Canadian system which is a hybrid and NHS which is single payer and Germany which is an employer mandate and Japan where you have to buy it yourself.

    I spent some time in China in ’08 and used their health care system…it’s all cash. You pay for what you want and it worked great.

    Subsidising demand for things for the poor doesn’t help. Cash for clunkers didn’t help, FAFSA leads to higher rates of tuition, mortage deduction doesn’t help…

    Heck I know some in Croatia and how long did it take Europe to respond to that?…just like that myth that we saved europe during ww 2..meanwhile Salazar ruled Portugal from the late 20′s to early 60′s and franco from the late 30′s to mid 70′s.

    If you really want to know about europe then watch european journal on Deutche Welle it airs on PBS World stations.

    Unless an article like this has actual data to back up its claims then it’s invalid.

  173. ed December 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    This whole article presupposes that these issues are local. That the grab for power and the exploitation of people for resources/money is locked into a border. These “issues” have no single link to a part of the earth, they are tied to people. Unless more people understand and change habits then a physical move just passes the issue, it is short-sighted, it is based on the same self-preservation selfishness. Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun for a lifetime, but again thinking of this in a another boundary such as a lifetime is nonsense. Go off, have kids, watch your kids have kids, die, have your kids die and have their kids be engulfed by the leftover sludge of a global system of greed and selfishness. Great, you got two generations out of it, but it won’t just go away unless we all act and make it go away. Sure some aspects of this system will die off because they need to make way for adaptations, what is going on is as organic as it gets and it won’t really change until all the intentions of our actions change – like making more big picture shifts in how we value all life.
    The best case scenario for this is that we find more places to go, another planet to move to and get away from all the bad people that ruined our last planet and way of life. Then it only happens again unless their is a larger shift in consciousness
    Come on.
    -e

    • Leonard January 29, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      Re: America – The Grim Truth

      Makes me think of a friend of mine, long since deceased, that visited the USSR before the collapse. After his return he was raving about their society and how much better it was than America. He’d developed a light pneumonia and they took him to the hospital and treated him completely free of charge. One of our mutual friends that had made the trip with him explained that the hospital had no antibiotics at all, and all they had to treat his pneumonia was mustard plasters. Free isn’t always the best criteria.

      It’s obvious from reading this piece the author is a screaming liberal, finds life more to his liking when big brother takes control of most of his life and provides for his non-productive hide. I presume he was a bit spoiled by daddy’s money or such because he says he has lived all around the world. I didn’t see anything about working his way around the world. He never once mentions being productive, contributing to society, taking responsibility for himself, or any such thing. Only what the country can do for him.

      He doesn’t mind doing like most other liberals, and that is inventing any facts he wants. He talks about other nations having better health care, but statistics don’t show that. He says the Pentagon takes a full 70% of our annual budget when the government’s own figures say 23%.

      Personally, I think the United States is better off if he never does return to this country. Nothing about this piece suggests he’s a contributor to the betterment of a country, but just another leach looking for what he can get from someone else’s labors.

  174. Lizzie January 29, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    This article made me smile from ear to ear. I could not have summed up my own feelings any better. I lived abroad for a short period of time and then was exiled back here. Once I left the US, for the first time in my life, I felt true I freedom. The food was better, the people were kinder and life was great. Now, back in the States, I am paranoid that everyone is out to hurt me, I am consumed with the media, I am in shock at some the the uneducated comments I have to witness day after day. I said to a friend that I am not even sure how this is a first world nation as it can be painful just existing, once you have witnessed real living in another nation. I have been back for nine months…

  175. future expat January 29, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    There is no saying that a neighborhood is bad or a certain part of a city is bad without automatically saying the people there are bad. The only reason any neighborhood is bad is because the people living there make it so. In america the people are bad. The american lower socio-economic class isn’t just monetarily poor but poor in ethics, morals, intelligence and basic humanity.

    The united states is a crime ridden nation full of disgusting gang members and junkies who all too often get away with most anything. The middle socio-economic class is just as bad in it’s own special way. Apathetic and generally clueless, these sick, sadistic amerisheeple will never care about anything going on around them unless it directly affects them in one way or another.

    The song lyrics to “Piggies” by the Beatles are perfectly applicable to present day america. Much more so now in fact than when it first came out. It’s a nation full of sick, sadistic, selfish, apathetic, barbaric and most of all deviant, derelict, degenerate, depraved CRIMINAL mindless sheeple dirt bags. The americans make me sick (for one reason among many others) because they are so TOTALLY phony and deceptive!

    They’re a bunch of clicky (as in clique) conformist pig sheep who conduct themselves in a manner that is anything BUT what their goodfella politicians say that they are. All of these pigs put their hands on their miniscule rotten hearts and mumble the words “with liberty and justice for all” and will NEVER in their destructive and wicked lives live up to those words for even one day.

    They can’t even keep their pledge to this country and what it means and yet are still so idiotic that they expect one another to be able to keep their wedding vows. They idolize criminals and mafia members and they are perpetually fascinated with serial killers and abominable fiends. They have turned
    this place into a giant “bad neighborhood” where anything goes which then enables the “bigger piggies”
    to turn this place into a giant prison where anything still goes.

    Their elected politicians and senators who themselves are nothing more than a bunch of mafia members group of all of them together as “the american people” saying what good little silent lambs they are. How much they care about freedom and justice and liberty and rrraaaalph. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t even know these creeple anymore. They’ve become nothing more than a bunch of corrupt and evil frauds who are perfectly comfortable with being as phony as you can possibly imagine and constantly living a lie and perpetrating lies.

    I realized that I’m not the real or true american here but that they are. That they’ve always been the real and true americans here. Lie, steal, kill, rob, cheat, swindle, violate, harass, trespass, intrude, destroy, wreck, ruin, defraud, vandalize, alienate, isolate, subtract, divide, raid, pillage, decimate. That’s a real american right there. This country is bad because it’s full of very bad people. The americans are total phonies and they make me sick.

    The article was very good and presented a real understanding of what is going on here. This place is full of degenerate derelict sewage whose lives are anything except for what the founding documents of this country say they’re SUPPOSED to be. “a collection of mutually antagonistic cultures united in name only.” Eloquently put!

    They’re all so fake and they’re all comfortable somehow with posing as something other than that. Standing together with fake moronic smiles and with their filthy pig hooves held over their rotten, demonic, plastic chicken hearts while a song plays that half of them don’t even know the words to anyways. Not that it would matter if they did for they will never be able to live up to what this country was SUPPOSED to be about or stand for.

    In India they have a saying in regards to americans. “35=10″ Meaning that if an american is thirty five years old that he will have the mentality of a ten year old. In my experience this is absolutely true. This is how they keep their tempers with americans when they get berated and yelled at over the telephone. By being mindful of the fact that they’re being mistreated by a spoiled rotten overgrown infant.

    PROVING that the majority of them don’t really care about this country at all but they will lie and say they do from behind their phony red, white and blue masks. I think that americans are total scum bags both figuratively and literally. It’s never the place it’s the people. These people here are apathetic, barbaric, low class, sick, sadistic, criminal dirt bags.

    • infomaven February 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      It sounds like you really hate America.
      I think it’s time for you to leave.

      NOW.

      We don’t need your ilk here to make things better.

      • Kevin June 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm

        Lets give the above poster some slack, that is one of our problems as Americans, we are so quick to jump on anyone that has a negative view of our country and want them to just get the hell out and yet we sopoused to stand for freedom and liberty, that includes one to freely express their opinion.

        • Charles Dunbar August 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm

          Anyone who uses the word “sheeple” is a moron. Even worse is the asshole who wrote the term, “amerisheeple,” and doubtlessly considers himself especially clever. Words can’t express my hate for this person.

    • Deborah Dills March 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      Lance,

      In response to your article, we are feeling the same way as you. My husband and I served in the US military and stayed for over 20 years to earn a retirement income. We feel that now IS the time to leave America, not because we hate it, but because we don’t like the way the US is conducting business. It is a war against the middle class and the poor. It is a war against the unions. it is a war against getting a decent education-without going bankrupt to do so We are leaving so we can save ourselves and save what little we have left to survive.

      We are very active in trying to prevent a total downslide in this country, but our elected officials have other ideas and are not listening to the voice of the people. They continue to bail out the “too big to fail”, starting so called “wars on terrorism”, a huge military industrial war machine that just won’t stop, destroying and busting up unions, not helping public schools and not really teaching our kids anything but to take standardized tests, our infrastrusture is collapsing, and much, much more.
      Read the book: Third World America by Arianna Huffington-awesome and true.

      Most people in this country have no idea about how our monetary system works, nor do they know that the Federal Reserve is not part of our government. The Board of Govenors to the Fed is appointed by the president of the US but the Federal Reserve is a private banking cartel. They answer to no one and that is a huge problem. The people of the US are paying back interest only on the money our government is borrowing and we will never be out of debt-ever.Until we, the people, take back our monetary system just like JFK tried to do, we will be stuck,
      http://www.endthefed.com

      As the saying goes-”He who has the gold–RULES” and the eltie have all the power in this country. Our elected officials are very beholding to the corperations that donated to their campaigns, and that includes Obama. My husband and I figured out that it doesn’t matter which party is in power, Republican or Democrats, our country is being run by the bankers, corperations, and the elite. Period.

      We are moveing to either Panama or Ecuador, but are leaning towards Panama since they have a very good infrastructure, great health care facilities, affordable homes for rent (furnished) for $500 a month, cheap food, public transportation that allows you not to have a car, and the weather is paradise. Why not?
      We are leaving in August or Sept. 2011 from Fort Worth,TX. We plan to sell all our things and go.
      Maybe one day, I hope, the US will be better for all peoples, but we feel that we have done all we can, except fight in a revolution, which will come some day, soon we hope.

        • Willie April 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm

          Hope you will have a better life there Debbie.I am from Belgium, but I follow the ugly US-banksters politics on their heels,and I don’t like it what I see coming on us all,people of the world.Have a good life-Willie

      • Chuck April 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm

        A stunning reality of life in America!

    • Tommo April 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Being a Brit married to an American and being a regular visitor to family and people that actually live there I can see some of the points you are making, but please do not go down the route of a National Health Service like here in Britain because it’s quite frankly crap, you need health insurance as WELL to make sure you get a good standard of care. I don’t know about other systems in the other parts of the world, but don’t let it be run by government please.

      I think you should look up John James Cowperthwaite, a British civlil servant sent to run HonKong back in the 60′s who is now a hero for most of China and Asia in the way he did things. This is the way the US, UK and all the west should be heading, not your ‘workers revolutions’ and such nonsense, let all people have all their own money and decide their own lives. Please google him and research and stop moaning as you still have a much freer country than anywhere in Europe with the eu trying to control everything.

      SO STOP MOANING AND DO SOME RESEARCH AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    • diddy bop June 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      future expat,

      you’re right. we have been living a bullshit lie for decades.

      I remember what a british lady visiting here in virginia told me one time. she said, “why do americans all look so sad”? this was so telling, because we are. why? because we are living a lie.

      lance freeman, the writier of this article, is correct. you go to places across the world, and you won’t see americans in the happy resorts of the world. how ironic…….

      i lived in germany for two years in the military, and was happier than ever. i didn’t want to go back to the states. it was like having to go back into a gang, and when you do, they kill you for leaving.

      we are the most brainwashed people in the world. i’ve always thought that, and i was right…..

    • Laura Rice June 11, 2011 at 9:09 am

      I agree with much of what you say except for the part about education. In countries with free university education you only go to college if you are selected to do so. By the teenage years you will be tracked into either college bound or be destined for the trades. This leaves a lot of late bloomers out in the cold. In the US you can go to college at any age. So if you don’t get your act together and figure out what you want to do until you are 30 or even later you can still have a professional career. My ex is in law school at 59!

      • Skenner August 15, 2011 at 3:09 am

        Good luck. IF your husband can get a decent job in law and IF he didn’t have to rely on student loans, good luck in going for the lost American Dream. But if — like many in middle class America who were trying to better themselves and our society — he had to rely on student loans for that education, you may find yourself considering the only options available for those who cannot pay: suicide or leaving the country. I’m going for the latter. I’m going where my mind and my contributions are valued … and rewarded. Sadly, that is not in the U.S. any longer.

  176. David Ortman February 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Leaving is a good idea. However, why leave when what this country truly needs is a second Revolution?

    • Kevin June 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      They the elite controllers are way ahead of you on that idea my friend, a revolution (if you are talking about taking up arms) will not work this time, you will be out gunned, and it would be the perfect excuse for the elite to wipe you folks off the map, lock this nation down even tighter. The American people as a whole dont have any fight in them, best thing to do is save yourself and those that are willing to be saved. Chow my friend.

  177. Lola37 June 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Obama and his bankster masters have put the US on the fast track to destruction. What’s next? A “crisis created’ Enabling Act to give the executive branch & co complete control? Doesn’t look good for anyone who wants independence. Panama here we come.

    • JC June 22, 2011 at 11:38 am

      Lance,

      I’m 33 and an American. I’ve perceived the hypocrisies of America for most of my adult life and know that it is an empire on the brink of collapse.

      However, I don’t understand why you advise young people to relocate to other countries when skyrocketing oil prices, a plummeting dollar, and uncontrollable debt will bring down the entire industrial economy, not just that of the US.

      I have little money saved, mainly because I’ve chosen not to participate in the global industrial economy, which is killing the planet at staggering rates.

      That said, I have a superb liberal-arts education and a sound mathematical education. I want to move abroad, but won’t the chaos that forms the death knell to the US spread rapidly to other Western countries, all of which are closely tied to the US economically?

      If anyone else has insight, please let me know. I am actively looking for a way to live peacefully and frugally abroad. Buying property is probably not an option. If your suggestion is to teach English, please say why you think the country you recommend won’t be pulled into the abyss into which the US is forging headlong.

  178. SQuade June 23, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Without a doubt, the US has enormous problems. With the value of assets owned by the US populace being siphoned off by banking interests who climb on the shoulders of US citizens in order to hold their thieving noses above water, no one can deny that the standard of living in the US has not only taken a hit but is likely to be lower for decades to come. But let’s be clear — Europe East and West and all other developed economies are takiing — or will take — a hit too. And the amenities you describe such as one-payer health care systems, must be paid for by someone. In economies other than the US, who is it that pays? The Rich. I doubt it. The Poor. Nope. The Middle Class? If countries other than the US have healthy economies, I’ll chew off my own right hand. Someone has to pay for all those amenities, joker. I don’t know where the money’s coming from, but I’ll bet things aren’t very rosy right now in Europe or anywhere else people who read this article are heading or have headed. There are no panaceas for anyone that devolve from the swindle(s) that have been going on and apparenly are going to continue.

    It might be better to be someplace less populated that offers opportunities to grow one’s own food year round or gather what’s supplied by nature, but all places not only have their problems right now but likely will develop more problems as the slow-motion train wreck continues to unwind. Until the fiat currency problem is solved that’s the way it’s going to be: debt everywhere, menial AND professional jobs disappearing, and the possibility of sovereign nations’ foundations collapsing. The fiat-currency-backed party’s over, and so are its “benefits”. Now come the inevitable consequences. It’s a very big shit sandwich; eat up.

  179. michael passe June 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I agree with most of what you say 100 percent. But getting out of here is difficult, especially if, like me, you’ve been laid off three times in the past two years due to corporate downsizing and outsourcing, and can barely meet your expenses. Most countries require you to have a good chunk of change saved to emigrate in. In addition there is anti-immigration sentiment throughout much of the world right now that is making it harder and harder to re-locate. As I’ve investigated getting out, I find it is very difficult unless you are, 1. at least relatively wealthy, and/or 2. young, and/or 3. a computer expert, which is where most of the jobs for foreigners seem to be. I’d get out of this right-wing prison in a heart beat if I could, but it’s very hard, and the last thing I want to do is move someplace improperly and wind up in legal trouble in a foreign country.
    What EFA needs is practical, nuts-and-bolts information for the many of us readers who aren’t wealthy execs just looking to avoid taxes. Where are there ex-pat communities that will help working-class Americans get on their feet? How do we find jobs? (Most of the ones listed on this newsletter are either bogus or just sales pitches for some investment scheme). Maybe ex-pat organizations exist which, for a small fee, will help you get re-located, offer temporary housing for instance and support. If not, there should be. My kids and I dream of escaping from corporate America. I’m 54 but I can still work and I’m willing to work my tail off if I can just get something to show for it, which will never happen here. But I fear I will die a pauper in cut-throat America unless one of us wins the lottery. When your job keeps getting eliminated, how do you come up with the funds to go anywhere?

    • Mr. mister August 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      I hear so much hate directed towards us Americans, but to categorize all Americans based of the Sheeple masses is not only ignorant but betrays the values your trying to hold dear. Saying were all crap because so many are bad is funny, because it makes you sound like one of the sheepled Americans. Like Michel above I have been beating my head against the wall, trying to figure a logical and legal way out of the country. I love what this country should of stood for, and what it used to stand for, but when i look around, no one gives a rats ass about anything going on around them unless it directly intervenes with there shiny plastic bubble of an existence.
      There is a minority that cares, you’ve seen them. They usually have dreds and sing songs and get harassed by others based merely of appearances, and others who have conformed to the sheeple to provide for their family, but are all aware of whats really happening around us. How the elites are ruling everything and how our voices in such small numbers are not being heard. But that’s the game. Don’t any of you realize they want you to feel defeated? They want you to think there’s nothing you could possibly do to make a difference? what could one person do? what did one person ever do? Forget Rosa parks, Martin Luther King, or any of the other true heroes in history, in our country or even heroes around the world, that against so many, stood against the wave of tyranny.
      A simple Landslide starts with but one pebble.

    • Ana September 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      I’ve read several treatises similar to this one, but Lance’s analysis, bland and bluntly direct, is one of the best because I found myself not just reading it, but internalizing it as one directly affected by the dire news he presents which is all too true.

      But the most timely information came from one of the responders. Most of you recognize all too well the predicaments we are in as Americans. Some seem to still be in the docile fog the ruling classes want to keep you in. Laura Rice is indeed right in her assertion about free university education in European countries (I don’t know about Canada, Australia or New Zealand). In their systems, only the elite can go or at least only the brilliant. It no longer takes much intellectual bravado to go to uni in the States. It just takes money. And Skenner was right about in questioning how your husband is managing the costs. Sure, it’s great that he can go to law school at 59, but who’s paying for it? If he is, great. If he’s on student loans … how many years does he have left to get a return on that investment? In any case, good luck getting a good job past 60.

      JC, we can already see from examples in England, Greece and Spain what may happen if/when the rest of the developed world sinks as low as we have. They won’t end up living in slavery as we do because the people won’t let it happen. They’ll be out in the streets by the tens of thousands, possibly the millions by the time the shit really hits the fan. In other countries, people get out in the streets when they’re kicked; Americans do not — or at least don’t anymore. The working classes in other countries fight directly with the powerful who kick them; the American working classes (the disappearing middle class included) fight only each other or those below them. As other responders said, they have been very well taught by their masters who to blame.

      As for the first responder, I don’t have anything to say except to reiterate what Kevin said about freedom of expression. We’re losing that, too, remember. And Charles Dunbar, hate is exactly what our masters want us to do — with each other. That way we won’t point our fingers toward them.

      But the response that resonated with me was the one that actually had an idea. Michael Passe, how many more working-class Americans are there like you who would dearly love to leave this country and settle elsewhere, legally, and be able to earn a living? I’ll hazard the number is close to a million and quite possibly many more. But you are the first one I’ve read about who suggests not only that EFA try to find information for us and not just those with assets, but that there be an expat organization designed to help us.

      It could be along the lines of our settlement houses of old, where new immigrants came when they arrived for shelter, food, contacts and job assistance. They don’t exist anymore here, of course (or I don’t know of them), but somehow they managed to exist then. Who funded them, I wonder? Who could possibly fund something similar now for American immigrants to other developed countries? Everyone thinks all American immigrants abroad are people of assets. Not so. There are so many more of us than them, people who would dearly love to go, properly and legally, but who just lack the start-up funds. Perhaps some of those with assets would find this a worthwhile cause to contribute to, in addition to any other causes they may assist.

      I can’t even go back to California where I lived before I moved abroad 11 years ago. I can’t afford to. I was hospitalized during my last Japan teaching stint last year (yes, I was able to pay for it there, I couldn’t have here), but the illness cost me my job, as it was brand new and the company didn’t want to absorb the cost of a new employee’s illness. After I recovered, I ran out of money before I was able to find a new job, and had to return “home” to the States — where after a harrowing year of job hunting and imposing on my sister’s already overcrowded house, this 57-year-old degreed woman with years of professional experience and bad knees ended up toiling in a factory for close to minimum. There’s nothing else out there anymore. What there is requires background I just don’t have and can’t afford to obtain. I’m $25,000 in debt. Forget paying it off. I can’t even afford to go bankrupt! I’m not in work today because the brakes on my car went out. I can’t afford to replace them. The car is old and was bought shortly after I arrived here with the last of my credit. There is no public transportation in this area and I work at night. If I do not find someone to help me pay for this car repair, I will be homeless within a month. Not would be. Will be.

      I’m breathless with it all. The stress is absolutely killing me. The loss of hope is the worst.

      A “vast intellectual underclass”? You bet. Lance couldn’t have described it better. For all the emails I get from splinter organizations (most of them extremely respectable and headed by well-meaning, compassionate people) wanting to get out there and change things, the majority of Americans are too brainwashed, and these groups will remain on the fringes. It doesn’t matter what they do — organize rallies where hundreds may show up (a drop in the population bucket for us), get together for little “house parties” where intelligent people throw around ideas but it will never change anything because they’re nowhere near the majority. It will take nothing short of absolute collapse, where the ruling class is also affected, for our system to change.

      Especially in the case of us older folks, we need to be looking out for ourselves and any loved ones willing to follow us. I want very badly to get back abroad asap. I also want to see my California friends again after eight years of not seeing them, but I must get back abroad. Soon. Before it’s too late and I’m really locked in.

      So if there’s no expat settlement organization currently existing, Michael, perhaps we should start one. We have no money but others do. How many other expats feel as we do, KNOW as we do, and have something to contribute? Perhaps we should communicate privately and find out …

      All the best,
      Ana

      • jerry adler October 11, 2011 at 6:45 pm

        The amusing thing about the Lance type haters is that he thinks other countries are better. Show me country full of (good) people. I have traveled the world extensively and lived in Latin America for 8. The crime and political problems are much worse there. I guess its tough being a perfect person like Lance in such cruel world. Hey Lance I understand the North Koreans are nice, why dont you move there ?

  180. Shon October 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I enjoyed the article, it was funny and true at times. It’s also sensationalist but then that’s what get’s page views right?

    I’ve lived in Wyoming, California (SF and LA), Utah, Arizona and Buenos Aries, worked in Hawaii, Singapore, London, parts of France, and vacationed to many more places in Europe and Asia. You should travel and you should consider escape. However, I’ve been part of these expat communities and what I’ve found is it’s a tradeoff. There are upsides and downsides to every place. Also America is a massive place and your experience will vary a TON if you live in LA vs. Wyoming vs. Hawaii.

    For example, In Singapore you cannot buy gum in the country. No gum in the entire country because they like to keep it clean. If you somehow get some gum and dispose of it improperly, you will likely be physically beaten for spitting out your gum. This is reality. I’ve been there. And considering all of this I’ve still considered moving there. It’s very very clean, beautiful, and safe. The tradeoff is that you’re not allowed to do a lot of things and the punishment for non-compliance is harsh. It’s a tradeoff. I like Singapore, I’d still consider living there. But It’s silly for the author to hold it up as a shining example of a place that is better than America for the reasons he lists.

    The apocalyptic “Mad Max” vision that the author paints of the IS is fine. However, it doesn’t take into account the world-wide cascade effect that such a massive failure represents. Many EU companies economies have failed recently or are close to faling. The author’s view on world economics is a bit too simplified. US debt crisis is over rated for one simple reason: it’s a world economy. If the US fails what happens the the rest of the world? Too big to fail is the US in a nutshell. If the US fails, and you think your life won’t change in your cozy costal fishing village in the South of France or Vietnam? You are dead wrong. It’s a world economy. Also, one benefit the world enjoys from the US’s massive military presence is protection. Shipping lanes are protected by the US Navy. Piracy would run rampant if that happened.

    Think about escape. No place is good for everyone or forever. But don’t think the US is all bad and these other places are all good. Don’t think moving solves all of your problems. The problems are just different. Most of the places the author lists have had bad times. The US has had a rough few decades but it’s a living system like everything else. It will always change, that’s a constant. Just like everywhere else.

    • marcela November 20, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      Agree with you in some of your statements, but life is to short to wait until America wakes up from there illusion of wealth. I never tough I will say this, but yes.. Panama was way better.. at least I have a good job that gave me 11 hours every pay period for vacation and sick days.. I didn’t appreciated then.. I was a fool..

    • Ace November 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

      I am Singaporean. Nobody is going to beat you up for spitting out your gum. Stop being melodramatic. We couldn’t care less. You may get a fine but that’s the same most places in the world.

  181. Jae December 7, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Yep, you pretty much nailed it. Many acquaintances of mine felt the same way 10 years ago when I left the US, but the majority had obligations which kept them there.

    From the comments I’m … pleased, I suppose, to see how many other Americans feel the same way I do regarding their country. The culture sucks (or the cultural psychology) – it’s Social Darwinism at it’s ugliest. I visited the US for a month this past Summer, and on the plane flying back here to Asia it felt like someone took a gigantic gorilla off my back – a huge sigh and shudder of relief.

  182. Will January 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I have LIVED on three continents and one island chain in the Oceanic… Not just VISITED for a week or two…. There is a huge difference between living and visiting. There are some very laughable statements on this post about the healthcare in other countries… Lies I’m sure or at least embelished upon intently… Besides being in Afghanistan, the healthcare in all of the countries were state of the art, especially in France, Great Britain and Germany. The costs were not exorbitant, not were the wait times. They were very competent and knew how to x -ray. I even got an MRI immediately in Fiji after being brained by a falling tree limb.

    America is what it is and won’t change because sonay believe in the rhetoric on the news channels. So let those sheep live and die in this miserable stock yard while the rest of us live life!

  183. Travis February 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    If you want to live in a stagnant financial environment where everything is done for you and your freedoms are taken away, live somewhere else.

    If you want to live in a country where we grow financially (when we aren’t in a recession, of course) and we enjoy freedoms of ALL kinds, you live here.

    They both have their positives and negatives. It sounds to me like the author probably got laid off or had a hard time making it on his own so he decided to move to a country where he doesn’t have to make his own day-to-day decisions. I think there is nothing wrong with that at all. The sad part is, for every person you want to say is miserable in the US, I can bet you anything that you will find 100 that are happy and have had a good life. You, like the media, just wants to sensationalize the negatives which is awesome because you don’t live here anymore and we need your kind to move away. Then this country can truly start to heal again.

    • Stephen February 7, 2012 at 12:07 am

      The United States (a rich-man’s country now), like other countries, in a nutshell, has its negatives and positives (and the list is endless on both sides), but I suggest this – anyone NOT wishing to pay into (directly via IRS taxes) into the Pentagon War Machine better leave and arrange to NEVER pay the stinking “monster” of the US-IRS again.

      Secondly, the redneck/gun-bunny problem in the USA is totally real (they shoot up EVERYTHING HERE!) – the #1 reason to “escape” (#2 surveillance state., #3 lack of single-payer healthcare) making half the country seem like, worse than many segments within so-called third-world countries – but remember there is NO UTOPIA ANYWHERE – wake up to that at least… But do be aware that the US economy is in a permanent slow-melt-down and was always unsustainable anyway.

      But do be careful: Some idiot in a motor-vehicle (the scourge of the planet) could toast you ANYWHERE in your wee-paradise…!

      Steve

    • Jane February 13, 2012 at 2:54 am

      Travis, what you wrote is total nonsense. I’m a Fox News watching conservative–and even I can honestly say the country is going down the tubes: there are no morals or values left in the country, our economy is shattered, our public education system is a mess, the government too big and too intrusive, and our freedoms are being taken away every day from us–by politicians of both parties! The country is basically a corporatist run police state and it’s very sad to see…

  184. Matt February 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I would have to say I agree with with article and the comments. I agree with alot of the statements in the article that deal with government intervention that is not needed, a declining medical system, and the US Patriot Act being taken way to far. If you don’t believe that then just look up the TSA video on YouTube about then stopping random people on the highway in TN.

    I also agree that the author is sensationalizing his article to get view and it has worked. I also agree with the comments that anyplace is what you make of it. Everyplace has its good and bad. That is life – you cannot escape that no matter where you are.

    As far as other place being financial stagnant and the US being a country where we grow financially – Seriously. Have you been smoking something. I can say honestly and from experience that the U.S is the most financially prohibitive country I have ever worked in and I am born and breed here. When I lived in Europe, I had friends (Europeans) describe to me how they view the working work and Americans. Americans live to work everyone else works to live. Having the experience that I have had – I know this to be true. When I worked in Europe I got paid for 13 months. My company gave me an extra months pay to take a vacation and gave me the paid time off to do it – 45 days BTW.

    So please don’t fool yourself into thinking this is the best country on the planet to make money because that is completely not true. You also don’t have to give up your personal liberties to do it

  185. William D. Webster February 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Due to the corrupt judicial system in AmeriKa, I had to flee to less corrupt Cambodia. I am writing a book about corrupt Amerika called: None Call It Corruption, Shoot The Judges.” AmeriKa is run by corrupt attorneys/judges/bar associations. Most politicians are attrorneys. The last judge I faced was a convicteed criminal with an outstanding arrest warrant and was arrested for dangerous weapons while a member of the communist party. (google Judge Frank Cuthbertson) I have enough evidence to send 6 judges to jail and 12 attorneys, but since they run the system. it will never happen.
    In four years I faced 17 attorneys, almost all of which were paid for by the federal government, the exception being a homosexual/feminest/transvestite law firm (Legal Voice of Seattle) sponsered by Bill Gates and Microsoft and Bill Gate’s father’s law firm K&L Gates. I and my property have been surrounded by corrupt police with machine guns twice (witness’s so they couldn’t shoot me and put a gun in my hand.) I’ve had corrupt police steal 12 vintage firearms and the BATF/FBI won’t investigate. I’ve caught attorneys in perjury, partying with the judge during trial, lying in court, using federal funds for a vendeta, and much more.
    In the 1980s and ’90s the radicals and homosexuials learned they couldn’t take over by force so they went to law school and became attorneys and judges and now run ameriKa. Look at Obama-Iben-Lying and his wife, both attorneys, both past political radicals with ties to the corrrupt Chicago political machine. Clinton and his co-pres/wife are also criminal based attorneys. Can you say Whitewater/Rose law firm and the strange death of Vince Foster?
    Flee AmeriKa while you can. AmeriKa is Nazi Germany 1938.

    • frank May 10, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      great article, i gleaned a great deal of info from it.

      I created my own web site dedicated to helping others create a plan of action for their future. the title of the site is “the survival bag”, which will be a one stop shop for learning survival skills.

      Future plans is to teach others how to incorporate an escape plan. For some this is a plan A, and for others a plan B.

      Thanks again for the great info.

    • UnhappilyAntipodean June 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Don’t flee to New Zealand without reading the downside. Caveat emptor. And making sure that you meet the conditions to be a successful migrant. Not everyone makes a happy jump to a foreign country! America is still a great place to live when you compare the conditions to the problems other countries have. With wages half what they are in the States and housing multiple times more expensive, you might find AmeriKa is more livable than New Zealand. I used to think like this person until I moved down here – after about a year and a half we realized we had made a terrible mistake. Life’s a struggle here. Americans have NO clue how good they have it, STILL.

  186. Reed Larry July 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

    A great view of whats happening to the U.S. I plan to to leave the U.S. in a few years for many of the reasons you provided in your article. I, Howevwer, disagree with some of the things in your article. First, the U.S. not having a single payer healthcare system similar to some of the countries you presented. Well, the U.S. does have a single payer healthcare system, i.e., medicade and medicare. Many Americans don’t want the govenement involed in their healthcare decisions. All you have to do is look how medicare is run by the govenement. I have employment related health coverage where I pay about $400.00 per month for what I beleive is excellent coverage. I know Canadians (Snow birds) that say Canadian health care is good until you need something done quickly. They are mazed that we can get an MRI scheduled in a day or two. So, you healhcare reasonng does not hold water. Next, the Pentagon taking uo 70 percent of the tax dollars. Not true, healthcare, and education has a larger buget than the Pentagon. Your insights on media is somewhat true, you, however, left out MSNBC, CNN, ADC, CBS and many others. I simply choose to read news from other countries. Your artcle would have a lot more meaning if it were not so biased and left leaning. Yes, the U.S. is falling, but it is not because of its people, rather because of very corrupt government, form the executive, courts, and congress. It will be up to the people to change things or allow our govenment to continue do what it is doing. I believe, however, that it is too late. Our path is set. I choose to leave because i want a better life for my remainimng days after retirement. I suggest that if you write another article, don’t place blame on one side. The democrats, republicans, and the people are responsible for what has happned to our once great country.

    • mommy July 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Some good points you bring up. The article was a little lopsided true, but hit on some true aspects about debt and the diminishing quality of life. Crime, coporatocracy, suburbia, worked to death, education scam and housing crisis

  187. Socialism July 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Escape the Fascism in the USA. America is Nazi America.Leave the USA and renounce your USA citizenship.

    • Willie October 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      @socialist:man, most of Amerikans are too stupid to see what you are saying
      Too much fluoride in the tap water I presume???I have send this main article to an AZ friend, he wrote me back : ”except a few good friends I have, I must agree with that article ”
      They are all thinking they can win with a law suit,hell no, all those ”law” people are corrupt and payed by the creepy government
      In my opinion too :better to leave as fast you can !And while you still can,there’s coming a moment they go to close borders and change it in an BIG prison
      Better live poor and free than stay in the garbage there while cops are beat and shoot you for their amusement.

  188. Kevin July 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Allow me to address what the paragraph said (or actually didn’t say) regarding having plenty of choices working overseas and, perhaps, renouncing your citizenship and become a citizen elsewhere.

    Oh, yes, you can leave, but the federal government is making it more difficult every year to work abroad or, ultimately, renounce your citizenship.

    So you decide to work abroad where the grass is greener, well, the feds will do anything they can to prevent that. Via the Foreign Account Compliance Act the government can and does require any foreign employer to open their books to the IRS so they can scrutinize what you get paid, how you get paid, and where the money goes. You stick your earnings in investment accounts overseas, and you better keep a CPA on year-round retainer to read and comprehend all 388 pages of that act/law.

    Now back to your foreign job. Think that you’ve worked hard and a promotion is soon to follow? Think again because more and more overseas companies that have hired Americans seldom promote them because of the onerous requirements of FACA. Why you may ask do foreign countries knuckle under to Uncle Sam? Because many countries have signed information sharing agreements with the U.S.

    The ultimate proof that you are a serf, or perhaps a better description is an indentured servant to the federal government, is the fact that if you have the audacity to renounce your citizenship you first have to file with the IRS to declare the value of your entire estate. Once the IRS has verified it, you’re hit with a 20% tax which, IMO, is properly called a penalty, ie., payment to your owner from the indentured servant they’re graciously allowing to leave the fold. That’s a 20% “tax” on money you’ve already paid tax upon tax for. If you think you’re free as an American you’re either grossly misinformed or you’re delusional.

  189. Intellegens July 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Europe’s single payer health systems are funded by unsustainable debt. As such, instead of bankrupting individuals with high health care bills, entire nations are being bankrupted as they struggle to pay for their ever increasing financial burdens for public benefits.

    In summary, your view is a snapshot of a moment in time when that time period is funded by tremendous debt, thus, lots of cash flow into the public benefit systems. Once that funding stream collapses, Europe’s heavy indebted societies will collapse and people will be left to fend for themselves.

    The US is not far behind, borrowing 60 cents of every dollar spent in the federal budget.

    • Josh September 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      I’m 30 years old now, and I made more money 10 years ago then I’m making today! I openly admit that some things with that are my fault, but I can’t take full responsibly for my actions when most other things are falling apart around me. The concept of working hard and getting smarter in the process is not the ticket to success like it once was. More things in regards to that are much more out of your control than you can ever imagine in the United States. The one thing I can be very proud of, is that I don’t owe a dime of student loans and I would like to be able to take advantage of that by going to university in a foreign country elsewhere.

      I never would of imagined this, but I think also that illegal immigration and big businesses that are too big too fail expedited many things getting worse too. On top of that, the top 2% of income earners own a majority of the wealth and assets in America and our buying all of the seats in Congress, Senate, Presidency, etc..

      I’m willing to bet that Canada is a major upgrade over the United States. Goods/services cost a little bit more there, but unions are still very prevalent in the labor market, jobs are more secure, healthcare is very good, education is considerably less expensive, infrastructure is very sound, and the financial/banking sector is among the world’s strongest. The average Canadian is now richer than the average American and that will continue going forward.

      I heard of parts of Central America and South America being good places; particularly Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Costa Rica. Things are cheaper, health care is more affordable, food is healthier/safer, and things are really progressing. However, I would have to say that Australia and New Zealand are very expensive and are probably not as desireable compared to some other countries. I’d take Canada over either of those two countries.

      My dad immigrated from Iran in the mid 70′s on a student visa and he even says that things are worse here today than they were back home right before he left. People at that time had jobs,savings and had somewhat of a sustainable living they can rely upon. People worked in jobs for decades and could afford to travel to Europe, Australia, etc. None of those things resemble modern-day America. I guess that the bullshit is much more transparent when you have close relatives that have came from other countries that do not closely resemble America by any stretch.

    • Thomas September 8, 2012 at 8:13 am

      Europe Spends 50% less on Healthcare vs America and gets better results while covering all Citizens…They spend 10% of GDP while America Almost 20% of GDP while many millions have no healthcare coverage, many millions more are only partly covered with Healthcare Insurance.

  190. Samantha September 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Australia is my home. I was born here. If the public hospitals are better here than the US, then they must be so terrible over there!

    • dena moore September 30, 2012 at 4:48 am

      Hi Samantha,

      I would like to communicate with you regarding aspects of your country, if of course your interested. I am thinking of moving to your country next year to finish Masters in Sustainable design.

      Thanks Dena

  191. rubin pham September 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    i agree TOTALLY with the author of this article.

  192. Happy You are gone! November 2, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Well it appears our plan is working. We are slowly convincing all the progressive liberals to LEAVE the United States of America. We the People don’t want you American hating assholes here anyway. Please keep doing what you are doing so I can have a hope that MORE like you will leave the greatest country in human history.

    Dumb ass

    • Ramiel I’llumiel Lerrei November 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      OK here it goes! I reeallllyy agree with this author. Man I grew up poor and black! I had to join the military to make something out myself. All the american people are demonically possessed, I get no peace around my own people! I get looked down on because I don’t drank and party, I offend people by keeping yo myself. They get angry at little stupid things that don’t even freaking matter.
      This nations is straight up going to hell as it is. I am leaving! I see the Africans in other countries other than this one and they are making a good living does what they should: be Successful! Matter of a fact it don’t even matter what race you are because of the Red Shield (Rothschild) and uncle Sam is going to hold down the common man either way…..I have been there fat and over worked! I am sick of all this malarchy! I’m out of this country!

  193. marvin nubwaxer November 5, 2012 at 11:25 am

    when i was very young scientists funded by public donations cured polio. it took 17 years of faith that was not betrayed and dedicated research to find the cure. then that cure was available for all at very low cost. Those were america’s finest days.
    a few years later kennedy was killed and we never recovered emotionally. now, regardless of what appears to be great wealth all around us, we (our empire) is in steady decline and usually the “good old days” are only a myth, but i not only believe, i know things were much better in the 50s and 60s.

  194. Luront November 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I lived in South Korea for 3 years and a lot of the things discussed in this article are 100% true. One of my biggest questions is about education. Why is it South Korea offered me (a foreigner) a free higher education and the US does not if you dont serve in the military or are lucky enough to get a scholarship? The bar has been raised so a High School Diploma or GED just doesn’t cut it anymore. In America, you NEED higher education so why do we all have to go into debt for it? Same thing with transportation. Why is it America has the absolute worst public transportation in the world? Third world countries have better public transportation than we do. Again, if you want a car you will most likely have to go into debt to buy it or maintain it later on if you have no real mechanical skills. It’s to the point no where America thrives on credit so much that everyone is required to become and indentured servant to live a basic life.

  195. De November 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Yup, we have a lot of guns and we should keep it that way. Otherwise, I agree the US is in trouble.

    • Keith November 29, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      @De – Absolutely. I am constantly amazed at the morons that can’t look at the basic stats and figure out that guns are not “evil”. As a matter of fact, it’s easy to see that, as a general rule, the more lenient gun control laws are, the less violent crime there is. The liberal paranoia about guns is just pathetic.

      Other than that, we are definitely in trouble. The fact that 47% of the country wanted to put a maniacal religiot that is intent on turning this country into a theocratic corporatocracy for the most part just to try to keep the “nigger” out of the white house and strip civil rights away from a large section of the country in the name of some imaginary, contrived concept of “marriage”. It’s so sad that people still think this way in this day and age.

      • Joelicus Westernus December 23, 2012 at 11:35 pm

        I generally agree with what you’ve said, I’m just curious as to where you are seeing the correlation between lax gun laws and less violence? Or rather what have you read or observed that makes you say this? Just seems counter-intuitive, I guess.

    • Sharon December 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      I haven’t read anything this factual and concise in a long time. Even Mexico has better care medically then we do.

      Not to mention the student loan hassle – people in their 50′s & 60′s still hassled continually by student loan debts they couldn’t pay after they were laid off numerous times. Why aren’t these loans dismissed? Because bad debt sells for BILLIONS on Wall Street. That’s why.

      Yes, if I ever get the $, I’m outta here. Bang. Game over, man.

  196. joejmz November 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    This must be why Americans are risking their lives walking through the desert, sneaking into shipping containers, swimming shark-infested waters, forging passports, and all sorts of other things to get out of the country… oh wait. That’s not right. It’s actually people from all over the world doing that to come here!

    • densel December 8, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      You can’t be that ignorant can you?

      Propaganda you fool, the American Dream. The poor and the desperate cling to dreams that America has spent generation constructing.

      On the outside America looks like the pinnacle of success it has Hollywood, wealth and opportunity

      Stop blinding yourself with fucking patriotism, America is a shit hole that’s clawed it’s way to the top on immigrants and those less fortunate.

      Why does the general populace not care or the working class not reach for their guns?

      We all think we’re impoverished millionaires.

    • Sharon December 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      I have quite a few friends from Mexico that came over. Now they want to go back. They can’t afford health care, not making enough to survive – some can’t even afford a phone. And they can’t afford to go back home. Very sad.

      Won’t be long til the wall will be to keep Americans out of Mexico. Si?

    • Mackdown December 26, 2012 at 2:33 am

      People from all over the world are doing that? You sure about that? More like people from destitute third world hellholes. Nobody in the rest of the industrialized world has any desire to live in America. Trust me, you have nothing we desire.

  197. Mackdown December 26, 2012 at 2:31 am

    I moved to Thailand 5 years ago. Sometimes I miss some of the scenic beauty and outdoor activity of the states, but I absolutely do not miss the lifestyle, the people, the awful heathcare situation there and the even worse housing situation. I don’t have as many career opportunities here but me and my wife do alright. I have a house triple the size of the where I lived in California and I can go to the doctor anytime I want here. There are definitely certain individual things I miss about the states but overall my quality of life is far better here. The people here are a zillion times more friendly than people in the states as well, but thats not saying much considering America has probably the most rude, unfriendly people anywhere in the world.

  198. Chris December 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    You know your country is in trouble when people doing consumer product studies are illegally injected wirh microchips and then harassed by Firefighters, Police Officers and Union members and no one in the government or FBI cares. Its not the land of the free anymore. How about 1880′s wild west where anything goes or maybe 1930′s Nazi germany where people were experimented on. America is about as close to a giant cesspool as you can get. Lets all pretend we really have civil rights. Don’t anyone speak up or speak out.

  199. Dave Bond January 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Very sad to hear this, as a Brit we all owe a good deal to US guys many long gone and Aus NZBC boys also, they refuse to look after the people’s Health but wast Billions Trillions on this stupid War OF Terror with UK backup, I wish all ordinary Americans can change their system and make things better for you all, we in UK also having problems but our kids Health is looked after at least. Dave.

  200. Nick Robson January 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    This article is on point and brutally honest. It’s frustrating to listen to Americans drone on and on about how their country is #1 and everyone else sucks without having any actual first hand experience living abroad. It’s almost as though they need to repeat it to themselves to believe its true.

    Americans see themselves as separate from the world. It’s not necessarily that Americans mean to behave this way, It’s just that they are so isolated from outside influences and cultures its easy for them to believe anything their told. This works especially well when you need to convince them of some abstract enemy just to justify going to war.

    Throw in a healthy dose of failing education systems, propaganda, addictive fast foods and drugs and hey presto you’ve engineered a mass of doped up, unquestioning, self righteous, materialistic saps who will do and believe anything their told.

    Don’t get me wrong, I dont want to generalize. America is full of intelligent well intentioned people who wish to do good and live honest lives. Its easy to judge from the outside but its hard to do something about it when your actually born into the system.

    This is not to say that the rest of the world isn’t far behind. As the American way of life spreads around the world we are all becoming increasingly materialistic and detached from reality. We are all (some more than other) playing a part in destroying what is ultimately a living breathing single organism: planet earth.

    The points I’ve brought up are oversimplified and represent only one fraction of the story. I could go on and on but Ill stop now. Just my two cents, for what thats worth.

    • Rich Hale January 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      I do like the article, and I think it states a lot of poignant things, that need to be looked at, and in many cases improved here in America. Especially this vacation thing. Actually you left one “survival” mechanism out – get a Government job (which includes any public teaching job).

      OK – now let me ask:
      1. Why is the USA the most desired emigration destination in the world, if all of this is so true? E.g. more people want to come here than to any other single country in the world.

      • Mark January 25, 2013 at 8:48 am

        ….. because, as the beginning of the article states:

        “You have the worst quality of life in the DEVELOPED world – by a wide margin”. Not the worst in the WHOLE world.

        The answer to your question is probably best explained by first adding adding that the US is by far the best marketer (read: bullshit, illusionist and liar) on the planet.

        I lived there for many years and ended up concluding that I had been sold a Bill of Goods in how the US is presented and the reality of living there. Whilst I did make a shitload of money during my stay, I had/have never been unhappier than during my time there. ‘Fake’ doesn’t even begin to describe the illusion that is now the USA and many of the people who live there.

        I don’t believe that it was always like this. I truly believe that it once was the greatest place to live and is probably still at the top ‘geographically’. It is breathtakingly beautiful.

        The majority of the planet lives in hellholes and it is THESE people who desire to be in the US. They are usually under-nourished, under-capitalised, under-educated and/or under-fire (Usually from the US – either militarily, financially or both). Therefore they are either extremely motivated to ignore the bullshit through hunger or too ignorant of its all-encompassing presence and virulence.

        If they knew how much better the many alternatives are, the US wouldn’t be ‘the most desired emigration destination’. I’m not sure if it’s poor marketing by the rest of the world who don’t seek to swell with the unskilled and exploit the poor as much as the US does. Maybe it’s deliberate.

      • Jim January 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm

        Most of those that want to come to the US are from third world countries, or politically or religiously oppressed. Those that emigrate to the US from G8 countries are looking at the lower taxes and the lower cost of housing in the US.

      • R.Ross October 14, 2013 at 7:08 am

        The US is not the most desired destination – only Americans believe that because it is propaganda they are fed to maintain the illusion their country is the best there is.

        The US might attract a lot of Third World immigrants but it doesn’t attract many from the rest of the developed world. The only reason people who live in other developed nations would move to the US is marriage or a job they want. And it doesn’t mean they stay.

        Immigrants are attracted to numerous developed nations and the US is just one of them.

  201. dennis January 29, 2013 at 5:10 am

    some tips for those who are serious about leaving..

    - choose a country where you speak the languge.. or can adapt to most western Europen countries ( even France ) speak good English, and have high standards of living.

    - get as much documentation as you can on your skills! Easiest jobs to get overseas are
    hotel/pub jobs, English teaching/training at a language school, and IT jobs to name a few,
    DONT expect to get a great job just because you are from the US and speak English.

    -be willing to LEARN the language of the county you are in! YOU have to adapt to them, not them adapting to you!! about 18 months is of daily school is a good measure,,

    -if you have debts, add to them what you can if you shake some cash out of them, max out all your debit cards, stop paying rent and get as much cash on hand as you can.. When leaving pay for your ticket in cash.to a 3rd country ( for example-Mexico- there buy another ticket to London lets say) Collection agents will have a hard time finding you, and have to go thru the Countrys court system to garnish wages. After 13 years you can declare bankruptcy, and the debts are voided.

    - Get an international drivers license ( AAA ) The US license is normally good only for the 3 month toursit visa,, the international may extend it a year.. In Germany & France you can exchange your US license for a EU one for a fee and a test. This is great because they have NO expiration date! And when back in the US you are valid to use it.

    -use social networks to build up a base before leaving such as Facebook, meet.org and http://www.couchsurfing.org & http://www.cyberfriends.com This is the best way to get a foot in the door

    -Most people overseas like Americans.. but disagree with American politics and shallow lifestyle and culture.. Be openminded, and humble. Blend in with the people and surrounding
    and be yourself…..

    -if a High school loser & small town dud like me can do it, anyone else can as well..

    If you want the leave the USA on a trail basis to see if it works…. try….

    Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa

    you dont need a visa or language skils.. Guam is on my list if I ever screw up my life in Europe and need to head off to another place,,,

    • Terry Foster October 29, 2013 at 2:26 am

      Man, you are one toxic individual!!!

      Stay the hell out of my country, your attitude is despicable, I hope I never have to interact with you in any way..

  202. Alex February 5, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I agree with most of this. I know there are good and bad things about every country, but I’m honestly sick of it here. I think there’s an unwritten rule that goes like this, “America is the best country in the world. If you don’t like it you can get out, but why would you want to leave? You should be grateful that you were born here.” We live in a state of isolation and sheltering from outside cultures. Sure Europe is nice to visit for a week, but live there? This is the best country in the world. I’ll give you an example of this arrogance. Last year, I participated in an exchange program with a student from Italy. He came to America for two weeks and I visited him in Italy the following February. As he had done the exchange the previous year, he wished to visit the family he had previously stayed with. Well, after the general “how have you been?” questions, the mother (and I’m sure she meant well), asked my student if he was planning to move to the US or come to school here. When he said he had no intention of coming here, she responded, “Oh, well, you have family there. That makes sense.” It was as if this could be the only legitimate reason for not blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars on an American eduction. I also found out when I went to Italy that the same woman (again, I’m sure she was well meaning) decided to send as a gift a box of “Italian American” items such as jarred pasta sauce and a large coffee mug with the name of an Italian neighborhood here. It just seems…baffling to me.

  203. James Smith April 16, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    The article is exactly on target. I have lived in 8 US Sates, Quebec, Holland, and now Brazil. In addition, I have toured many European and other countries in Central and South America. There is absolutely nothing that could induce me to even visit the USA again.

    The health care system is a disaster. I have had better care here in Brazil at far lower cost than I have ever had in the USA. As a result, I am healthier today, at 70 than I have been in over 20 years.

    Freedom is another issue. The USA is no longer a free country, if it ever was. The government bleats about “freedom” and “Liberty and justice for all” but it’s a lie. The USA has a greater proportion of its population incarcerated than any country in history, even the Nazis and the USSR at their worst.

    With the new incursions on freedom, anyone can be arrested as a “terrorist” and “illegal combatant” and held indefinitely without charges. They can undergo “rendition” to a country with fewer qualms about “intensive interrogation” (torture). In fact, a child taking a toy gun to school could be charged with terrorism and its parents also arrested for “aiding and abetting” that terrorist. Think it can’t happen? Check with the inmates in Guantanamo Bay.

    Get out while you still can. Remember, the fence that keeps them out today, can be used to keep you in tomorrow.

    • Christopher Cox May 9, 2014 at 2:44 am

      LUV the emphasis on guns, but u lost me @ ” if u get sick in America, u have to fight two things @ once: ur illness, & financial ruin.”

      Regardless of what kind of government we live under, it boils down to choices about spending &/or saving.

      I chose to elect “Cadillac” short-term & long-term disability policies.

      I have no idea how well my current employer’s carrier pays or how many stupid-hoops u gotta jump thru to get claims service – but I do know for a fact that I filed a major disability claim @ a previous employer back in 2000, & I never had a problem.

      I was off work for nine months; for the first two months, I didn’t get a dime due to not being in the “pipeline.”

      However, once everything was authenticated to the insurance company’s satisfaction, they approved my claim, retroactive to the date of injury, & my first check was $2,000!!!

      For the next seven months, checks arrived every week, like clockwork.

      Of course, this was waaay before Obama Care, so insurance companies had major competition w/each other, so it behooved them to deliver quality service.

      Now, the government picks winners & losers in the insurance game, so it’s no longer about claims service, as it is, who can cut the fattest checks to the ruling party, du jour – but my experience under completely privatized health care, was two, enthusiastic thumbs up!

  204. Expat Philippines October 26, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    For the most part I agree with what you said about the US. What I disagree with is government funded health care just ask any VET that is covered by this type of system or better yet any family member of the dead 25 plus per day due to accidental OD of the narcotics they like to give away instead of solving our issues. Google this ABC news did a story about it.
    You have obviously never lived in Costa Rica or the Philippines. I live in PI and friends in CR. Both just as corrupt as the other. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I’ve been lied to or taken advantage of because we r “rich”. Who is r friend just 4 friendship or just wants money to include family. You think its cheaper to live here? If u live in a grass hut and eat like the locals. If u want to live the American standard you WILL pay 25 to 100% more for quality things due to up to 100% import taxes. Otherwise u buy cheap china shit that breaks within a few days.

  205. Kiwi888 November 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    The comment about showing “any signs of life” and ending up on Ritalin was hilarious. But what’s going on here isn’t funny. I live in a decent neighborhood and twice within 30 days, we had tanks and grenades bust into 2 homes. Seems like they’re practicing for the day Americans do wake up without food, money and lose their sanity (it’s already begun). A cop or judge with an personality defect can ruin your entire life (see Civil Asset Forfeiture by Sarah Stillman or Policing for Profit on youtube).

    I go to my gyn doctor, and I hear a conversation about the wealthy area he lived in. As I waited in the next exam room, I wondered how big is his debt? Was the Jaguar out there his? Does he gamble? Will he come in and tell me a 42yr old woman needs a hysterectomy, after I’d read about 5 other options that could be used instead? I also overheard the 2 male doctors speaking of the Essure (sp?) implant that was devastating women’s reproductive organs and worse. It didn’t seem to be a big deal. So guess what procedure he hyped up the most for taking care of my fibroids???? Yeah, right.

    There can be no trust in this type of money system. Our gov can just print up money and pass the debt onto us. To answer Rich’s question, people desire to come here because they’re in dangerous situations, of course. They also watch our TV shows, where even the worst houses seem nice.

    They don’t know the reality of how many people are struggling and losing (while getting blamed for not working hard enough). The hamster wheel mentality has never gone away. Neither has the witch hunting and propaganda. It has only changed. The boxed food with sugar, msg, sodium, etc keeps people pacified, and they have NO clue how it affects their thinking. They DO know it affects their health, but most Americans can’t see that they are addicts and would kill if comfort or convenience were suddenly gone. Many are waking up due to what they’ve lost, despite all their efforts of going to college, jumping through a pompous professor’s hoops for the right grade, and getting ‘the’ job. They went to school, but don’t know what a plutocracy is. They are also doped up on things that have long disclaimers in commercials, (men may grow breasts, you may have a fatal ‘even’, or your d!ck may explode) instead of having access to safer alternatives. Things that grow out of the earth are outlawed, unless a pharmaceutical company possesses it, of course. Propaganda has us believing plants are drugs and that Big Pharma’s Drugs are Cures.

    And just like the fearful jittery Americans of the 50s, 60s, etc (burning Elvis records, comics, Nixon’s new War on Drugs…really being a war on non whites, jews, and hippies, as proven in his own words on the Nixon tapes), Americans use words like ‘Socialist’ in the same tone as they did “Commie” when it comes to whistleblowers and people who are still demanding true freedom, or just to be left the f*ck alone. I tend to feel like much of the planet is cognitively damaged by letting ‘authorities’ dictate to them what is true. It’s about control. Americans are given comforts in exchange for a hamster wheel job and warehousing their kids in schools so that you get to see them at dinner time, only to put them to bed and do it again day after day. Until recently, watching tv and eating these sedating foods was enough for everyone to go along with it. Janitors are down there because they’re dumb and don’t try hard, accountants and bankers are up there because they keep America #1. Yeah, right, whatever.

    Americans should be the control freaks here, not the government. Americans should demand all laws be written in a way that can be understood by most. No lawyer jargon that keeps us unaware of how many of our rights have truly been mowed down. When it affects enough people who weren’t ever oppressed by rogue cops, judges, agencies, corporations, and all the nastiness they pretend isn’t real (or worse, that it must be deserved somehow), that is when a true revolution speeds up. A few well placed meteors, floods, storms, etc is all nature would need to do to make all your green pieces of papers and buyables meaningless. Survival is thought of as something you do here by exchanging the few hours of your life for money. True survival is having the knowledge to identify plants, grow food, build shelter. Notice when disaster struck Japan recently, they were quiet and orderly, immediately trying to get it together and solve things. Americans of ALL colors would be panicking, fighting, looting, blaming, and nitpicking. This place is full of people who seem proud to call themselves first world and others 3rd world, based on what again? Based on the fact that we know how to create things that aren’t necessary, put them in plastic and cardboard, sell them to people who work in junk production….only to see it break or get tired and bored and then throw it into a big stinky pile with bulldozers trying to cover it up, the stench smelled for miles??? And we want the rest of the world to catch up to this? Keeping oil when we have the smarts not to? All for profit.

    Some of it seems to go back to certain people’s relentless desire to conquer and erase other identities through assimilation. Free slave labor had to be an addiction itself. The cutting of Native people’s hair and taking of their clothing. The straightening of kinky hair (how my school told a woman she had to conform to their hair habits). The erasure of Africans’ religions and replacement with Christianity (causing unrealized identity conflicts to this day). Those people that ran from their oppressors, only to turn this place into the very same thing boggles the mind even still. And it’s not like when they lost their right to slavery, they suddenly became these peaceful, equality minded humans. Their descendents were taught the same mindset, and slavery simply morphed with industrialization and low paying jobs. There’s no way someone can tell me a person with a degree deserves complete comfort, while factory and nursing home laborers deserve to live check to check, panicking about where they will live next!

    Many still want to insist the past has nothing to do with now. But the past IS the present. Our DEA still cuts down hemp (no to the idiots, you can’t get high on hemp) every year at harvest time on Native reservations. The hemp would be used to replace their substandard housing. First Nations in CA are being told to join the money system Now. And before some idiot talks about the wonderful profit of casinos or how easy life is on welfare, know that money means little to people close to the earth. It hasn’t changed the pain, loss, confusion, despair, addictions, and violence. The ones in control made it a point to separate the conquered from the earth (plants animals land). They believe they can own the earth. We believe we are just part of it. That we can’t really own land. We live in it or the land owns Us. Money makes up for none of what’s been taken. The people closer to the 1% who abuse their fellow Americans have no emotional connection to any of this. They don’t have relatives who have recounted the genocides and how it disorients and traumatizes even now. How can you feel safe here? Or anywhere they have reached. If some a$$holes didn’t want the last effing piece of ivory to show off, or more diamonds, or some other resource, there wouldn’t be piles of elephants or bodies as a result of that greed, that constant wanting! We’ll research a monkey fart in space, but not spend a dime on the effects of genocide and forced assimilation. It’s more than some little underlying factor.

    So keep on thinking it could never be you next. Now anyone speaking the truth can quickly find themselves labeled a terrorist, a radical, a ‘threat’, are run out of their jobs, homes, and bankrupted by a cop, judge, or an agency. If Monsanto, Pfizer, Exxxxon, etc can all write down laws with exemptions and immunity for themselves, hand it over to politicians with a donation (aka bribe) and see it become reality……. do you really think You, the People can financially compete with that????

    Thumbs up to anyone who chooses to fight this ‘system’. Thumbs up to whistleblowers and people in the 1% who expose truths (Jamie Johnson’s documentaries were a jolt). If you still don’t get it, still don’t see what’s going on……look at “We’re not Broke”. If you’re not mad or frustrated after that, I suspect lost cause…….. you’ll become a dangerous tool of that Matrix! G’day and good luck!

  206. Vincent Santiago II April 30, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    There Has Been Always A Hell to Pay For Being And Doing The Right Thing In America. Thank You For Your Honesty Sir.

  207. GuesssWho May 5, 2014 at 5:43 am

    The whole world is going downhill these days, I’m afraid. America is just the most obvious example.

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