EFAM | Escape From America Magazine

The American Dream Is Unrecognizable

Is that really chicken in the pot?

“ Why Do USA Persons Not Consider The Creation of Family Wealth?”

As I sit here, I consider lands that have been developed for hundreds of years, usually by the members of one family. Businesses that have been and are being conducted by members of a family that may have been in this business for generations – and proudly so.  I wonder about USA persons and their failure to comprehend that, in the final analysis – family is what continues. And family should be protected from (to as great an extent as possible) the vagaries of fate.

Don’t misunderstand me, please. USA persons do want their families “taken care of” …but, usually, this involves the fantasy of huge amounts of money and no work; a leisure class, pseudo-aristocracy sort of vision. Not a continuing family business, vineyard, hotel, et alia. A more boring existence I cannot envision.  The sort of wasted life, failure to develop and use talents sort of …drudgery, not a vision I would wish on an enemy. To be reduced to looking for something to break the boredom. Please, gift me with no such life. But, when you speak to USA persons…this is what they envision for their heirs. The pursuit of that most shallow of things – “Fun”, entertainment.

>From these experiences with USA persons I began to examine the current state of “The American Dream”. It isn’t what it once was – believe me, it is unrecognizable.

Once this dream was to be free and with the liberty to pursue any occupation or trade you could educate yourself to; to be self-supporting and dependent upon no one else. To generate an economic and social good/service needed and desired by others at a reasonable profit to yourself and pay a reasonable wage to your employees. Even to consider the welfare of your employees as this affected their usefulness to you and to the economy and the country itself. You’ve heard of it – capitalism. Of even greater import was the concern of having your children follow you in the business or profession. This was part and parcel of the “American Dream”. No more!

Now this “dream” has become a nightmare. Instead of investing and growing the family-fortune one consumes it with spending and get-rich-quick-schemes (forgive me, I consider mutual funds in this category – recent history bears me out, eh?). No thought is given to the creation of a family holding and future – only the immediate, short term “profits” that may be expended to prove ones monetary, and therefore social, worth.

Somewhere, somehow USA became convinced that only by spending could the individual prove their worth and position. While some merchants may adore and whole-heartedly endorse this I cannot and you should not.  This is called consumerism – as opposed to capitalism. Consumerism leads to bankruptcy, as many have found out, and the absence of any meaningful inheritance for your heirs. The Family starts over, each generation.

Even when these persons do plan and acquire assets for their families it is not so that their family members may run the company or continue to amass the fortune. It is so that their heirs will not have to work…at anything. Hmmm.  Ah well, there is the current “American Dream”.

However, is this what must be? No! Emphatically no! To overcome this it will be necessary to re-envision the dream. I commend to your attention the fashion of education used in certain European counties. That being the absolute knowledge and requirement that each person will have to work and produce something of value to the society.

In Switzerland and several other European States this is considered the norm and to ignore this in the education of the young would be a disservice. In USA it is not even considered until the child is in “high school”. Too late, imo.

But, education aside – what of the investments made by USA persons? Do they have lasting value? Few, if any do. They are, like the rest of USA economy, transient, temporary vehicles and not meant to be held for any length of time – tax considerations are the primary concern.

In USA houses and apartment buildings are not designed for permanency – only a few decades, at most, as this is the length of time before they will be demolished and something else erected on the site.

Compare this to the German standard: The base line duration that is to be built in to a house or apartment building is two hundred plus years. This is the sort of building in which one may invest. Is it much more expensive? No. Does such a consideration reduce maintenance and up-keep costs? Yes. But, – big but here – but, the depreciation standards and other tax considerations are vastly different in Europe than in USA.

Even setting aside USA investments and considering only European or 3rd World possibilities. USA persons only consider building or buying single-family dwellings. The uses of multi-family and renting to other Euro-USA persons doesn’t seem to occur to them.  A friend of mine bought an apartment building in Turkey and uses the top-floor for himself and rents (to Europeans and USA persons) the remaining apartments. Did he have to make improvements? Yes, of course. Euro-USA standards are more demanding than Turkish. But, the profits are “improved” as well. By the way, did I mention that the rents are payable in Euro/USA currencies and those to be made to a Swiss corporation?

Could one build a low-rise mixed use facility in the 3rd world and do well? Yes. Especially if one builds using technologies that are earthquake and hurricane resistant (nothing is ‘proof’ against these). Are these technologies affordable? Yes, cheaper than “stick” construction and faster as well. Can 3rd world construction crews use the tools? Yes. In fact they may find it so easy that you will have to start a construction company to provide others with these structures. Ah, a business and a source of family wealth…in another country? Hmmmm, perhaps you’ll be advertising with EFAM before long - interesting, eh?

I may well be adding an article or two on just these techniques in the coming months – if there is interest. Let me know if you would like to see such, hmmm? They, the techniques, are so simple anyone may utilize them.

Remember, build a base of for family wealth where you are – wherever that may be. Never restrict yourself and your fortune to one country or even one continent. Always have places to go if the situation becomes unpleasant. Not just a place – places. This is why apartment buildings are so nice. Keep the “penthouse” for yourself – if needed or desired. After all you are going to build in a beautiful and desirable location for an expat…are you not?

Ah, I hear you out there: “Some countries do not permit non-citizens to own property in certain locales or even in the country at all.” You are quite correct. However, no country, to my knowledge, that permits foreign investment, forbids long-term leases. How long the term is a matter of local law and local counsel should be sought.

Some counties will permit 999 year leases – close enough to “in fee simple absolute” to suit me. I may be long-lived…but, eh? My family can always re-negotiate in 500-600 years, hmmm?

Corporations and nominees are other methods of dealing with the technicalities of ownership and control of real property. Local counsel, local counsel.  Remember, these entities of use can have bank accounts, in fact, for business reasons, must have them. However, they aren’t yours – are they? Ah, the joys of trans-national business and freedom.

Don’t forget the niche’ markets of the USA and how the 3rd world and Europe can answer their needs and you can make a business.

One concern that European and 3rd world business people have in common that USA business persons do not is that of relationship(s). These are built over time and mutual experience(s) of each the other. Most of business in the world is based upon this – relationships. Not, of course, the major businesses but the small and medium businesses.

A small glass manufactory in Florence, or the Slavic Republic, if you are un-known to them and to anyone whom they know…. Ah, there may be concerns and considerations that, after a time will not be a problem. Billing, credit, shipping and even doing business at all – if the factory is at capacity.

Develop relationships and visit, talk, dine …how is it said? “Shmooz”?  Get acquainted with the people and show appreciation for the products – honest appreciation. Recall, these people have , probably, been in these businesses for generations. And, they wonder if you will be in this business next week!

Through out the world USA persons are not considered “stable” in business. A few years and they are in some other, retired, gone. No relationship is possible in the European, 3rd world sense. But, this does not have to be the case – for you. You must only decide.

I give you another example: What businesses can you envision in Siberia or in Russia? Perhaps you know about the beauties of Ivory? Ah, but it is a product on the list of endangered species, is it not? No. Not the ivory from Siberia. It is from Woolly Mammoths and they aren’t endangered – they are extinct. So, objects of this ivory can be imported. Do you know of the writing (those in ignorance of them call it painting) of Icons? How about the nature of and the beauty of Russian paper mache’ and the egg-tempera paintings done on these objects?  Hmmm.

What of Indian wootz steel?  The knives and swords that can be made from it – such beauty. There are those who appreciate this steel and will pay well for it, if available.

Hmmm, there are boxes that have hidden drawers and compartments that would baffle any opener…and they are of exquisite beauty. Businesses abound, if one can and will see them – and investigate them.

In India there are some of the finest gold and silver smiths the world has ever seen. Does the West get a chance to see and enjoy their art? No. Because no one has seen fit to make it available and let it be known and appreciated. Lack of business opportunities? Bah! Lack of desire to engage in business.

More to the point, lack of vision as to how to have businesses in other countries and how not to let them become the end all and be all of your life.

There was once a man named Spinoza, who has become a “great philosopher” in history’s eyes. At the time of his existence he was a lens grinder. It was his contention that one should learn to make ones living with ones left foot. I take this to mean with as little effort as possible and with as great a return ,in satisfaction and in remuneration, as possible. So, if I am going to travel, expat or otherwise, I will be aware of and for business and real property opportunities. My family and my concern for them require it of me. How about you? Will you become a person who is independent of any countries foolishness …or remain one who has fallen into the “have-a-heart-trap” of USA consumerism and the re-invention, every generation, of the family modus vivendi?

Until I return , I remain : Your Swiss Uncle At Large, Timmie Rudizuli

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47 Comments

  1. Adelheid alias Heidi August 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Dear Swiss Uncle Timmie Rudizuli at large:

    First of all, I hope you’ll be back soon, before my oceans of tears will flood the earth.

    Secondly, if you blame the American persons for being responsible for destroying the American Dream, then for certain they would do even worse in Europe or third world countries where people work less and there is less comfort. I think the problem is lack of resources as well as initiative. The homestead pilgrims were given long ago in the WEST are gone. Sure, one can settle in Alaska and build a home on a free land in the middle of nowhere. Since you seem to have a sound background in construction, maybe it would be the thing for you. They have gold too. I agree that there are better investments than mutual funds, but fantasizing about empires around the world is a reality for the rich, not the poor. We used to think that this country is for everyone to make a fortune. Unfortunately, from the minute we are born, we are not born equally. Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and the ones who do, like you say, mostly do not appreciate it. Not everybody knows how to be responsible parents. This is the nature of human kind, to be selfish. Some practice their Darwinian survival by making sure their children will have wealth, but if the children are lazy and ingrate, even that won’t help them. I cannot blame the country for what is happening. I can blame people. This is a very long cycle and strong currents in history. Going abroad sounds like fun, but I’m afraid there is not much security and confidence doing so. What we lack as a nation is confidence, but that is lacked globally. You can always find rich sheiks who sponsor many wives, but how many ordinary people can “invest” in real estate around the world? Real estate in Europe is quite expensive, much more than the USA. The grim truth is that the real citizenship one seeks is in the land of money. Now unfortunately the trend is for “quick money”. Everyone is cutting corner and using the situation for their benefit: cars, corps firing people and make them work extra hours for free and basically beg to keep their jobs. Nothing is fixed anymore, and everything is built to be broken and replaced. Yes, Germany in general offers more quality. It’s a big economy and has helped many countries such as Israel and Greece. However, Germany cannot save the world, nor should it. I’ve heard the benefits there (and in France) are very good. “Owning nothing privately” is good strategy. But even if one has many corporations and trusts, one first needs to have money to “play”. Sadly, this is not a monopoly game. There are people who work two jobs and yet cannot balance their month. There are people who cannot afford a family. Are you meaning to say that the opportunities that existed when our ancestors came here exist now? The point about consumerism is a good one-but there is greed everywhere. People lack what’s really important and try to “replace” it with “stuff”. I am guilty of that too. People feel more entitled today in this infinite selection of goods, but the truth is that for the younger generations the prospects do not look great at all. People will stay the same whether they move or stay. Only at a grave time they learn to stick together and help one another, and make do with their resources and build and invest more in the future. The “fast low quality production” you speak of makes us look more and more like China. A Chinese Dream then? I hope not. Please then, share more ideas with us soon.

    Forget not…Jeremiah 31:29
    “In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 11:47 am

      Dear Heidi, Perhaps if you would permit what was actually said in the article to register on your consciousness instead of just what you have found to excuse the lack of USA success you bemoan, it would change your mind. It would, at least make your comment meaningful to the ideas of the article.
      Of course the “old days and old ways” are gone. Economies evolve and the means of thriving in them do do. Foregive me but I cannot have patience with the idea(s) that revolve around bemoaning changes in economies that have , like a tide in change , left unwary ships aground.
      One must “keep a weather eye peeled” to the changes of tax codes, economic growth areas and those to be abandoned. This is part and parcel of growing and managing wealth.
      Yes, real estate in Europe is more expensive than in USA…but, real estate in other countries ( South America,etc.) isn’t. Germany is a lovely nation,…however, who wishes to be “saved” by them ? I don’t , quite , follow your argument there.
      Be all this as it may be, the article is for and about those who do wish to do something to improve and sustain their family wealth and businesses. Perhaps they will read and understand the points raised. For the others? Well, your USA President will provide a form of socialism that will stave off …starvation, hmmm?
      Uncle Timmie

  2. Ophelia August 4, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Dearest Uncle,

    I wish you were my uncle because maybe then, if you are generous, I would be part of your family and all set/settled. Sadly, nothing is furthest from my current life with my husband. New regulations hit close home. Regulations everywhere. My husband gets so depressed that he wishes he had a different profession. He even picks stale food at the store because of lack of motivation. I know a few people who used to believe the 80s were bad only to discover what we are going through now is much worse. Example: I have never experienced such rudeness in a store as I did tonight when we were grocery shopping at a country place. Some man was ordering pizza on the phone and the employee yelled on the phone, pretended not to hear, and wanted to get rid of him as soon as possible. Then she went to “prepare” his order, not washing hands, not putting gloves on, with her bare dirty hands. The young generation today indeed wants to get, not give. I do firmly believe in small family business and “owning” your own job because you can be let go anytime, such as another gentleman I know who was “laid away” for no good reason, only age discrimination, being denoted from a manager to a low level employee. While your advice is fantastic for multi millionaires and billionaires (who probably already know what to do and how), it is not reachable for us commoners. I read and watch people who rob places because they are threatened with eviction and cannot pay rent. I read and watch about shooting spree at workplaces because of termination or prejudice. Do you think those kinds of people or the average/majority of the US person can afford real esate all around the world? There is nothing wrong with car pulling, room renting, making do and enhancing what one does have, but the mentality today in this society of “more” does not work anymore. It angers me like it angers you, but I do think that most of your guidelines will not help a lot of people, mostly because they don’t have the resources to plan, not because they don’t know how to. Diversify is the name of the game, I agree with you on that. Never put all the eggs in one basket is an old truth. But what if you don’t have any nest egg of any kind? What if one becomes disabled and cannot “produce” anymore? Your articles only stress out how grim we all have it, Americans. But unlike you, I don’t believe there is a place to “Escape”. Sure I believe we all must protest and see the truth for ourselves and try to save ourselves at any price. Sure I admire your dedication and devotion to any family you have. They are lucky to have you. Most men though (and I am not a man hater) cannot do that for their families. I think on some levels the recession has touched us all, thus this very site. When my husband starts nervous coughing because of what is happening, I know things are heading the wrong way. Please forget not people hate strangers everywhere. Maybe it is non verbal but it does exist. I do like your articles, like fantasizing that I have all that money to invest in apartment buildings etc., but with an average salary people can hardly have a dilapidated house here in the US. We, humans, failed. These times are so hostile to businesses and people. Have you heard more identity thieves are taking advantage of children’s socials and Russian gangs are targeting the unemployed? Crime will only rise more in the US the worse it gets, and that’s a consideration. Last, we went to JCPenney the other day to buy a shower curtain. Guess what? The inventory was minimal. No longer the rich 90s with much variety and colors. The stores are afraid of stock that does not sell. We had to go to a different store instead. Alas, what times we live in, just born on in the wrong times. I think this site, your articles and others’ prove the hopelessness Americans but also people around the world face. It’s every man for himself in a cruel unforgiving world. You are right on many accounts but the devil that we know is better than…There is always a devil of some kind. Life, for many, is mere good moments then death. I do hope you will continue posting as I enjoy your post in entirety.

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      Dear Ophelia, “Ah, soft the fair Ophelia. Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered?” I do love the name , so very much – bad end , but lovely name,hmmm? Thank you for your wishes to see more articles – you shall.
      Now, on to your contentions:
      Has it not occurred to you that never have many persons been able, constitutionally (within themselves I mean) to take advantage of their times and the conditions prevailing therein? Always there are more poor and benighted persons than there are wealthy, well-to-do, or even comfortably set . This is the nature of most peoples vision of their possibilities. They continue to try to succeed at a game whose rules have changed. Perhaps you have heard of the dictum of warfare? “Generals are always ready to fight the last war.”? It is the same with most people and economic systems.
      As to not having enough to even try to improve ones conditions:
      This is the greatest and most dangerous of self-deceptions available. To endorse this, no matter what ones conditions, is to give up and accept ones fate – at the uncaring forces of economy. This way …well, economic slavery? economic suicide? Hmmmm, which do you prefer? For myself – no. I have and will continue to seek-out and investigate ways and means of securing my family and myself from such…delights.No amount of capital or desire to succeed is too small , if nourished and cultivated.
      In hope that you and your situation will improve and you will take control thereof yourself, I remain:
      Uncle Timmie

  3. Dr. Allison H. Straumburg August 6, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Sir,
    I have to beg to differ on your opinions. True, America has driven itself into this recession due to capitalism. The fact that the banks lent money to people that were living above their means, has driven our country into the ground. This is true. Your opinions about family are NOT true. You must have met Americans who have no heritage. Well, there are plenty of families rich in tradition here, mine being one of them. My father and brother have grown a huge window and door business that will be carried on through the generations. I am from the South and family is MOST IMPORTANT thing in our lives. So, just wanted to tell you that you are wrong about America. Our country is mostly rural lands with down to earth people, obviously you have only met people dwelling in the city or simply formed your opinion from the media(which is a farce). So, next time you go throwing stones, please do your research or come spend some time here.
    Signed,
    Allison

    • detroitjoe August 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      i hope your not a doctor of economics…. if you think capitalism caused our current problems then you have no idea what capitalism actually is… amerika has not had a capitalist economy for close to 50 years… the word your looking for is “fascism”….

      • detroitjoe August 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        i guess i won’t be winning the spelling bee any time soon…

      • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 12:29 pm

        Dear Detroit Joe, Ha! Your spelling and mine suffer a certain amount of ,…shall we say inventiveness? I must disagree with you about USA capitalism. It has been much longer than 50 years and I do not believe fascism is the form used there currently. Have you familiarity with National Socialism? To my eyes this is what the USA is currently attempting to create. Seems to have all the “ear-marks”. imo.
        Good to hear from you and keep in touch.
        Uncle Timmie

    • Chris Kierst August 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm

      “I have to beg to differ on your opinions. True, America has driven itself into this recession due to capitalism. The fact that the banks lent money to people that were living above their means, has driven our country into the ground.”

      And I must beg to differ with you, Dr. Straumberg. America has not driven itself into this economic mess with capitalism. We haven’t had laissez faire, truly “free market” capitalism in over 150 years, if ever. Since the end if the War between the States we have had increasingly socialistic and elitist mercantilism. The closest we ever came to laissez faire was likely to have been the 20 -30 years prior to that war. The major cause of that war was government intrusion into “free” markets to the enrichment of Northern industry owing to the protective tariffs which were anathema to the Jeffersonians, but the joy of the Hamiltonian Federalists and the 1st Adams administration. Some folks refer to our current system as “crony capitalism,” but I prefer the proper term for this philosophy of political economy. Please note that the banks you slam are operating under the Federal Reserve system, which itself operates with the imprimatur of official US government sanction and oversight. It is government which has enabled this mess and it will take a political solution to end this madness. The politicians will not even permit this fiat currency/credit “ponzi scheme” to be audited. Please note that the Fed is hardly our first foray into central banking, but our third, the first and second “Bank(s) of the United States”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Bank_of_the_United_States) The second central bank was killed by the Jackson administration. It was an affront to free enterprise then and, since 1913, remains so today. So long as it exists we will suffer the depredations of the elitists.

      • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm

        Dear Chris , Nice to hear from someone who has a bit of understanding of economics. For myself, I always enjoyed Hamilton’s “Continental redemption syndicate scheme” – lovely fraud and perpetrated by one of the “Founding Fathers”, hmmm?
        As to the causes of the “War Between The States’, or, “War of Northern Aggression” , as many of my Southern friends call it: different forms and different economies – yes. However, a different form of government was sought by the North and the South was foolish enough to be baited into a war. Ah well, “those were the days, my friends , we thought they’d never end….” as the old song has it,eh?
        Again, very good to hear from a person with economic knowledge.
        Uncle Timmie

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      Dear Dr. Straumberg, May one inquire: Doctor of what? Perhaps you will re-post and inform us?

      Now, to your points:
      First, I am well acquainted with the USA. I have Family who have been here since the 1600′s. Many of my family are “from” the South and , yes, family is most important there. However, this doesn’t mean much for the majority of family-fortunes. Most are dissipated within a few years or , at best , generations.
      Your family business is how old? Not too old if your father and brother began and carry on with it. Postulate it to me as a “success story” after another hundred or so years and several generations of Straumberg owner-managers, hmmmm? The company that makes my shoes has been in business longer than this window and door manufactury.
      As to the “why’s” of the USA economy collapsing: Banks are only one of the actors – only one and not the major one at that. Try trans-national economic pressures and credit balances as real funds. Simplicity is to be sought but not simplistic thinking, hmmm?
      I have too much knowledge of USA rural and urban settings and the businesses, family and otherwise that populate , and populated, them. My friend, my dear “Gone With The Wind” friend, all, in the USA, has changed and the changes are only beginning. Prepare yourself for many hard shocks and hard truths. Skin cancer should not be diagnosed as a skin rash,eh?
      In hope for your family business’s success and your awakening to the actual conditions,
      Uncle Timmie

  4. Seth August 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Uncle Timmie

    Great article. You nailed the essential points. I am interested (very) in learning the techniques you mentioned about constructions in 3rd world countries. Thank you again for your insights.

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      Dear Seth, Thank you. As to the construction techniques article – let the editors know of your desires, they, the editors, determine, by your requests, what will be put forth. This is a reader-run magazine, I’m told.
      Best,
      Uncle Timmie

  5. Sheila August 7, 2010 at 1:46 am

    You are so right about Americans who have a transient view of life and wealth. I brought up my children the Old World way, teaching them to have at least one profession and at least one trade. Unfortunately, my older daughter married an independently wealthy young man and realized his family had very different ideas about life, work, and money.

    The young man’s family had owned a furniture factory for three or four generations, with the young man’s grandfather being the last owner-operator. The grandfather did not believe he could not leave it to a family member as he had only two daughters who could not handle the business. One daughter had given him two granddaughters, and the other had given him the only grandson. Not wanting to wait until the grandson could take over the business, the grandfather sold the furniture company and divided the money among his two daughters, the two granddaughters, and the grandson. Personally, I thought the grandfather should have kept the business and should have given the grandson lessons in woodworking.

    As it turned out, these independently wealthy people spent the grandfather’s hard-earned fortune on frivolous living. My daughter’s mother-in-law, for instance, would take a cruise each season of the year. Whenever she became bored, she would hop onto the next jet and hang out in London or Paris for a few days. She belittled my daughter for being a teacher of English literature and ballet, and she refused to let her son buy a dance studio for my daughter. She also vetoed the historic home they could have bought. In spite of each person’s having a trust fund, my daughter’s husband could not spend a penny without his mother’s approval, and she approved only of foolish choices.

    After five years my daughter dissolved this marriage and became a professor and a dance teacher. The independently wealthy ex-husband latched onto another young woman who, like his mother, continues to spend money foolishly. My daughter is much happier having a profession and earning a living. She enjoys the home she bought for herself, and she now has a gentleman friend who appreciates her talents and her work.

    The motto is “Money is more easily spent than it is earned.”

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      Dear Sheila, Ah well, there you have a typical USA “family wealth” story,eh? A shame. I am in agreement with you as to the course for the Grandfather…but, perhaps, from the evidence, he knew best? Glad your daughter has her own – so few females do. Makes all the difference, don’t you think?
      The Mother-in-law seems a perfect USA new rich, eh?
      I must disagree with you about the moral, however:
      “Money is a wondrous servant and a terrible master”
      Seems that this family went in search of that most ephemeral of things – entertainment. Something I cautioned against in the opening paragraphs of the article.
      Thank you for the comment and do give your daughter and your self my best,
      Uncle Timmie

  6. AmyInNH August 8, 2010 at 9:52 am

    So in a sentence, you’re saying earn a living by becoming a non-stop migrant. You appear to be confused about family wealth painting only half the picture. Family wealth, both the family business owners’ and the rampant consumers, is trashed by cheap imports. The business owners’ market have been decimated by a flood of cheap imports and the consumerism has seen to it that that money is going to China. Furthermore, the flood of inbound labor (illegal and H-1B/L1/etc.) has killed employment here and many family businesses – legal, ethical businesses are at a gross disadvantage fiscally. So yes, migration to other countries appears to be the answer as our government here has sold us out to big businesses’ interests.

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 10:49 am

      Dear Amy, How good of you to respond, and so vehemently too. My goodness, the tears you bring to my eyes with your recounting of the downfall of the USA’s economy. No longer (insert sobs and wailing) does the USA economy tower above the world – hog wash! The USA economy is still so great that these “cheap imports” you complain of are a major source of …someones revenues, hmmmm? Could it be that you want to create a USA based economy and business? If so – do so! It can and ,imo, should be done. But, by those who know and understand the nature of developing economies. Unlike those who complained , in Great Briian during USA colonial /Indian colonial periods, that the textile industry of G.B. would never be the same. Bah! Just as well bemoan the fate of Tyrannosaurus Rex – and to the same effect!
      I can only hope and trust that, upon mature, objective re-consideration you will see the error of your arguments and correct your economic views to encompass economic evolution. If not – say hello to T Rex for me, I shan’t be seeing him myself any time soon.
      By the way: I utilize a number of nation states for my benefit – though I love my country…perhaps the differences are unknown to you?
      Uncle Timmie

  7. James Deutscher August 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Wow, what a totally arrogant and unfounded piece, written by someone who has no clue what he’s talking about as far as US persons go!

    Uncle Timmy obviously hasn’t spent much (or any) time in the American heartland where generational businesses are the norm, and setting one’s family up is not simply a matter of getting a boatload of money so your progeny can sit on their backside for the rest of their lives. I will admit, though, that that way of life is disappearing due to the rise of European Socialism (and its attendant welfare state) in this country, which is creating an anti-business climate and destroying the middle class.

    Oh well, everyone has an opinion.

    As for myself, I’ll be expatriating soon and acquiring some income-producing property that I’ll be able to leave to my children, in a country that still believes in freedom and capitalism. (And where you can start a business without excessive government regulation, litigious opportunists and Utopian Socialist Do-gooders doing everything they can to drive you _out_ of business.)

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 11:03 am

      Dear Mr. Deutscher, You can read and write,… obviously, so, I am forced to ask, why did you not read the whole of the article? The article is not arrogant or unfounded, though to those who , like yourself adopt its points without acknowledging their validity, it might seem so. Family businesses are dropping like fly’s in the USA. Even you admit this. They aren’t being continued. So much for USA Family Wealth, eh? You are going to expat? Start a business in another country you consider to be more compatible with the generation and securing of family wealth? Hmmm. Perhaps you should write an article? May I suggest a title? Ha! Poor fellow. Can you not see that all that you complain of and yet declaim the existence of is what was written of in the article? Perhaps not.
      “Boatloads of money” is hardly the result – continuing business is. It is this which USA Persons forget. Governments and business conditions come and go. The family and family businesses are to continue. If one forgets this…well, then : welcome to wage-slavery and being a piece of flotsam on the current of others passing.
      Best of luck with your coming expat status and learning to read for retention skills.
      Uncle Timmie

  8. clark August 9, 2010 at 3:03 am

    As an older American (Midwesterner) who has been around the USA a bit I’d have to say this is a pretty accurate article. I’d also have to say that Dr. Allison H. Straumburg is wrong. While Straumburg’s type is respectable and admirable, it’s not at all the norm in the USA anymore, perhaps he needs to get out more?
    I’d love to have experienced a free market capitalist economy, but from what I’ve read and experienced the USA hasn’t had one in hundreds of years. From what many say, and the facts seems to bear out, is that the USA has been practicing a corporatist socialist type of economy and what we have now is the result.

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 11:16 am

      Dear Clark, I am afraid you are correct in your estimation of how long it has been since the USA had anything even vaguely resembling a capitalist economic system. Consumerism seems the order of the day,eh?
      Unlike you I would denominate the current USA system as a form of National Socialism…poor form, but one none-the-less, imo.
      Uncle Adolf had the same sort of ideas and the same sort, in many cases exactly the same corporations, of help to achieve his version. Perhaps the USA will, in time, offer the same sorts of social amenities? You know: detention without arrest, disappearance of enemies of the state, special courts, massive networks of informants, confiscatory tax systems , ability to prosecute USA citizens for acts committed outside the USA and not against the local laws, tax debt even when living and earning outside USA and not using USA facilities….oh! Forgive me!! This is already the case, hmmm?
      Best,
      Uncle Timmie

  9. DAW August 9, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I once received training in estate planning and the philosophy of multi-generational planning. Unfortunately, I could not find any clients with both assets and this philosophy. I have come to the conclusion that there are three types with respect to capital, those that can create it, those that preserve it, and those that destroy it. In the US 51% elected a man radically opposed to the creation of capital, and who is trying to destroy capital as fast as he can. This more than anytime describes the current majority view. The point to me of proper planning is to create freedom from the tyranny of the thought police, to allow one’s descendants to say, “take this job and shove it”. Without family capital, properly preserved, all our descendants will have to get their credentials in political correctness and kowtowing to the next rear end up the ladder.

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 11:25 am

      Dear Daw, There are those in the USA who do wish to preserve their capital…but so few have any idea what capital is. Most consider it money-currency. While this is one form it is not the only form.
      Most do not consider their business, should they have one, to be capital – but it is.
      Intellectual capital is , also, a form most don’t see, much less comprehend or consider the using of.
      As to wealth…creating and preserving it are two activities few can combine. “Why God made bankers”, eh? Those of the right sort anyway. Few of them too.
      With reference to your comments on “ladders” and our , current fearless (because unaccountable) leaders: Perhaps you know who said: “Like a baboon, the higher he climbs the more fully he shows his ass.”?
      All the best, your non-p.c. Swiss Uncle,
      Uncle Timmie

  10. Bob August 9, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I would be very interested in learning more about the building techniques you mentioned.

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 11:32 am

      Dear Bob, I would be delighted to put forth an article on them – let the editors know you wish it and , perhaps , it will be forthcoming. If I am to write it there will be a number of “links” in it .
      Please, remember that Uncle Timmie does not, repeat not endorse or recommend any business or endeavor but does state that you must and should do all due diligence and examination of claims , etc. to the best of your ability. With that said: the techniques and tools needful are available and acquirable for less than I had believed. The skills – minimal and the components easy to use.
      If you , and a sufficiency of others, desire such an article – so inform the editors. I’ll be delighted to comply.
      All the best,
      Uncle Timmie

  11. David J. Webb August 9, 2010 at 10:51 am

    The American dream? As near as I can see, it is a bad joke. A person works his entire life for someone else. there is no choice. The big corporations have a virtual monopoly on business in the US. The IRS goes after the small businessman much more than the corporations. The tons of paperwork needed to maintain a business require an accounting firm just to keep it straight. The small business has no chance in this country with the game rules in place.
    American Joe and Jane works 50-60 hours a week for someone else. Saves money. Retires. Then the weasels and leeches come into play. Any health problem is paid for by Medicare to a certain extent. That is after you exhaust all your personal resources. Then Medicaid comes to the rescue. That is the game rules. Leech off all the hard earned money that you have earned your entire life then they pay the bills. Some incentive to accumulate savings… It is possible in as little as a couple of months to go through everything you have earned for an entire lifetime.
    Then there is American Government counterfeiting. In 1969, we owed 400 billion actual dollars in war debts. In 1971 or thereabouts Nixon took us off the gold standard. IN the next 10 years the dollar lost almost 90 percent of its value. That means any dollar earned prior to 1971 in 1981 was worth 10 cents on the dollar. Actually Nixon was not entirely wrong to do this. We paid back our debt at 10 cents on the dollar of actual value. He made a deal with the Chinese to use slave labor to produce goods intended for this country. That actually cushioned the bankrupt dollar so people actually had the illusion of continuing their lifestyle.
    Property values floated up with the devalued currency. Until Reagan came to office and made financing a home difficult if not impossible with 18-20% interest mortgages. This effectively devalued the ability of the average person to buy a home.
    Savings could not possibly keep up with the government leeches and weasels ability to steal real money from the average laboring American.
    History repeats itself over and over again. Bush put us on a wartime economy after 9/11. Trillions of counterfeit dollars have flowed out of this country since then. We are faced with the largest deficit since the end of the Vietnam War. So they are in the printing business again with nothing to back up the counterfeit money. Who does this really hurt? Well if you are a billionaire, you are really only a millionaire after they are done in real value of your money. Unless you had warning and placed your assets somewhere else.
    The average working Joe or Jane is going to lose everything they ever worked for if they depend on savings. That is a real incentive to bust your behind gathering money and working hard for it… NOT!
    I suggest we put all of these government weasels in jail for fraud.

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 8:25 am

      Dear Mr. Webb, Your assessments of the conditions in the USA are correct…if one is a wage-slave. But only under those conditions,imo. Of course the government tries to confiscate or control everything, to devalue all instruments of indebtedness and lower the exchange rate for its currency. Of course! These are the means by which inter-national trade can become trans-national trade, i.e., the means by which companies able to do so can become independent of nation-state governments. Please, my dear friend, smell the coffee – that is Juan Valdez, complete with donkey, passing by your window.
      The tale of woe you recite is neither new nor unusual in world economic affairs. It is the norm. Almost all nation states have gone through it and most simply do so over and over again. Look to Great Britain and Spain for a current model.
      The reasons you recite, above, are the reasons I wrote the article. Read it and consider how you may change the paradigm under which you have been …economically “raped, looted and pillaged”, hmmmm?
      As an aside: You might be interested in an article I am currently writing ( tentatively titled: “The Joys of Mis-quoting George Santana”) it addresses the concept you ,understandably, raise of ‘history repeating itself’. By the bye, it does not. People only refuse to learn from past mistakes and therefore are free to re-make them, eh?
      I hope you will reexamine your position and your options and do something to improve your situation – it is, after all, up to you.
      Uncle Timmie

  12. Deuce August 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Great article, pathetic comments. I have never seen longer, more pathetic victimesque rambling in my life. Not at the homeless shelter, unemployment line or even the VA Hospitol. Look no further than these comments to understand why the American Dream is dead. “Waahhhh, I wasn’t born rich and someone else was”. “Waaahhh, I don’t have anything left to put towards building family wealth after I eat out 4 nights a week and pay $200 a month for my cell phone”. “Waaaahhh, I’m have a massive sense of entitlement and zero sense of empowerment. I’ll never be rich unless someone (Obama) just gives me a bunch of free money”.

    You are looking at what happens when civilization disrupts the mechanisms of evolution. Undesireable human qualities like sloth, ignorance, apathy and gluttony become “human rights”. It seems like, just by virtue of the author suggesting that you earn something through your own efforts, more than half of you have the same knee jerk reaction that results in a 2000 word dissertation on why you cannot and will not have any such expectations for yourselves. Pathetic.

    10 Years ago I was medically discharged from the USAF. I had no job, no home, no money and no insurance and a broken back. Today I have no broken back but everything else. My wife and I are planning a 6 month sabbatical in Costa Rica that will also serve as a scouting mission for expatriation. No silver spoon, no rich parents, nothing. Just the will to live free. You are all so fat on your own excuses you can’t even take one step towards living the life you COULD HAVE. Instead you all have your lives directed by the TV and the government, waste money you don’t have on crap you don’t need, and reflexively cry victim when you are subjected to the simple idea that you have the power to make your life better. Ten years ago, mine was MUCH worse than yours. Today I laugh out loud at how drastically the tables have turned. A testament to what total wastes of space so many of you are. I don’t even agree with the author that it is every persons duty to themselves and society to work their life away. True he touts working smarter not harder, which I agree with, but I don’t feel it is our destiny to just work for work’s sake. But I do agree that you have to put in the effort required to provide yourself the life you want. Facebook has tens of millions of members, many of whom spend hours per day/week posting pictures and giving mundane hourly updates trying to CREATE THE APPEARANCE of having the life they want. Yet these same people fail to spend the same amount of time ACTUALLY PURSUING the real thing. The victim-esque whining of those of you too pathetic to even muster the effort to do improve your own life just makes me sick. You would all have ample time to get rich if you just freed up the time you spend fantasizing in some fake world and making excuses about the real one. So I hope you do all rot here. And for the exact same reasons you claim as your excuses to do nothing. You will get what you asked for. Enjoy it!

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 8:53 am

      Dear Deuce, How nice to hear from someone who has taken their destiny in their own hands. I do , however, find your stance somewhat juvenile. All this “I did it all myself!”, “Losers of the world head for the toilet bowl!” Bah! This sort of attitude should be beneath one capable of doing what you say you have done.
      Of course the USA is filled with “victims”. This has become the status required to succeed. Not just to excuse failure – to succeed. If “success” is qualified as living the middle-class American life. The protestations of those who have “succeeded”, as yourself, state their own “victim status” vehemently, do they not? Hmmmm?
      “Broken backs”,”no home”, “no money”, etc., etc., ad nauseum. How is it you Americans say it? Ah yes, “5 miles to school, barefooted, in the snow, up-hill both ways.” I, long ago, grew tired of such melias gloriosos non-sense. So, someone manages to have success in their endeavors of business – fine, enjoy. But is this reason to behave as though all others were nothing , fools, weak sisters? No.
      Please, please, remember that even Pharaoh needed those only able to tread straw into mud to make bricks, eh? From what business have you made your success? Does it not require “mud-turtles’, treader’s of straw?
      Never forget that without the drive no one accomplishes anything. You had the drive. Grand. Now will you simply sit back, pontificate about your self-worth…or do something with it? Many make money…most lose it or have it taken from them. Be aware that these are your next challenges, eh?
      As to working for its own sake? No, never, . I do not suffer from the Protestant- work- ethic. However, I do recognize the continuing need for capital and that I should endeavor to acquire it with as little effort and discomfort as possible.
      Hmmmm, are you acquainted with that 1960′s – 70′s Television character Archie Bunker? Perhaps a role model? Be well.
      Uncle Timmie

  13. Dean August 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Construction Techniques

    WRT this part of your article:

    “In fact they may find it so easy that you will have to start a construction company to provide others with these structures. Ah, a business and a source of family wealth…in another country? Hmmmm, perhaps you’ll be advertising with EFAM before long – interesting, eh?
    I may well be adding an article or two on just these techniques in the coming months – if there is interest. Let me know if you would like to see such, hmmm? They, the techniques, are so simple anyone may utilize them.”

    Yes, I think there would be a lot of interest in an article on the construction techniques you mention!

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 9:08 am

      Dear Dean, Thank you, so very much, for expressing your interest in the construction techniques referred to. Perhaps ,if enough people express an interest, I shall be asked , by the editors, to submit such a piece. We shall see, eh?
      The techniques are quite simple, the materials readily available and 3rd worlders more than able to apply them. Best I know of for 3rd world use…even 1st world come to that consideration.
      Using them to start a construction company would be simplicity itself – for a person so minded and dedicated to creating a business,imo. I do , myself consider it for the future. Right this minute…I am too busy with other activities, of a different sort. However, let the editors know you wish such an article and I’ll do my utmost for you.
      Until then best wishes,
      Uncle Timmie

  14. David August 9, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Uncle Timmie:

    You have written an excellent article.

    I would point out a couple of additional things.

    There are many reasons why we’ve moved away from this family based multi-generational model. The US tax system penalizes savings and investment. It is specifically designed to encourage consumption. Small business people such as myself are easily caught up in the spending frenzy and justify it because it can be written off as a business expense.

    Government is a great hindrance and obstacle to individuals who wish to pursue occupations and trades. Who or what is the State to say that an individual needs a contractor’s license to paint or build a house? Individuals have a God-given right, duty and obligation to work. This supersedes any authority of the state to regulate or interfere in business.

    A fiat monetary system devalues the purchasing power of the currency and makes the future value of present currency a risk.

    The culture is predominately anti-child. Zero population growth is a death sentence for any country. Building long-term family wealth has been substituted for insolvent government social security schemes. As these become increasingly unstable, pressure to euthanize the aged will grow.

    The list goes on.

    Getting back to a worldview where people think generationally and value family is going to take a long time.

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 10:10 am

      Dear David, Thank you for the kind words. You touch upon the major tool of government for social and economic control… and then – pass right on, as you are desired to. Tax.” The power to tax is the power to destroy”, as a USA Supreme Court Justice once said. The power to tax is , ultimately, the power to control – in my experience. Also in yours?
      Small business-persons are not alone in their desperation with reference to this “taxing dilemma”. All suffer its effects and affects – all. However, it does not have to , completely, destroy your ability to gain and secure wealth. Yes, it will make more difficult your acquisition and retention of capital…but the growing of business and the appreciation of business value/worth? No. Business persons must be aware of how and why business value grows. It is not by profit qua profit, i.e., “net,net,net profit” but by value increased by business worth. The value of the business itself and its cash-flow .
      Considerations of this sort are the stuff of which tax-code-researches are made, hmmm? Never look at something – anything – as anything more than a challenge,a set of circumstances, conditions which can increase your wealth and give more flexibility to your investments…if you will examine it/them correctly.
      I recall when the tax code made investing apartment construction “desirable” and then when it made it not desirable. Such opportunities abound today also.Have you not considered “off-shore” investments? Which and in what ways are they worthwhile?
      Don’t complain that the old ways are useless…what are the new ways? Anyone and everyone can and does complain that they cannot find a vehicle…of course not – they only look to out-moded, previous vehicles. Look to the new and , so far, unexploited modes and means.
      The USA, as a soon to be published article by yours truly will submit, is the easiest and best place to make money – and a great place to shop (!!). I stand behind these assertions without reservation. However, I am cognizant of the ease with which one may over- look opportunity. Look with an investors eye and an entrepreneurial eye. This is the best advice that can be given,imo.
      Family wealth requires dedication and vision as well as the willingness to calculate long term investing strategies. Rare and seldom of interest to most. Consumerism, as we both know, is much more …entertaining, hmmm? One of the major difficulties with creating family wealth is sequestering it from the greedy-hand-of-government. This requires skill and the willingness to invest in/through other nation states and vehicles of use for this end. Skilled specialists and professionals are needful,imo, so as not to contravene laws, regulations and rules such as to make one “a guest” of some government, hmmm?
      Uncle Timmie

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 10:17 am

      Dear David, I almost forgot: Most have never and will never consider the creation of family wealth. No more do dogs and cats consider the consequences of their mindless breeding habits – thus mongrels and plenty of them. Mindless consumerism is much the same,eh?
      It is not, nor was it ever, by me considered, the point of this article to see all people or even most people begin the creation of family wealth. They haven’t what it takes. They do, however, have more excuses ‘why not’ than one may count, hmmm? Ever read “The Conference of the Fowls”? Lovely book, most of the ‘fowls’ had ample, to them, reasons ‘why not’.
      All the best,
      Uncle Timmie

  15. Brian August 9, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I am very much interested in becoming an expat and starting up a business overseas! I even have a Swiss ancestry, although I doubt that my ancestry would be of any use to me since my family left there over 250 years ago.
    My problem is capital. I seriously doubt that I could accomplish much with only the $10K – $25K that I could possibly come up with in the near term.

    • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 11, 2010 at 10:33 am

      Dear Brian, How many Swiss there are around the world! Sometimes I believe immigrants are Switzerland’s major export – ha!
      Your capital is more than adequate – to begin. More than some have had. Success is not, accepted wisdom aside, ensured or precluded by the amount of initial capital one starts with. It is determined by the idea, the individual and the dedication to the process.
      Investors are an answer to this situation – if, I repeat, if you have an idea of sufficient worth. Please recall that John D. Rockefeller did not start with much money. Nor did he make his first (!!) fortune in oil. It was as a bookkeeper with a bad view of the freight-yards that he began. His first fortune was from shipping and freight hauling…using un-used space on the rail cars of the company for which he kept books. Look into it . A value possible because no one else saw or was willing to utilize and make available. Hmmmm.
      You go on to reference “near term”…hmmmm, were you intending to die …”near term”? If not – then do not permit, yes, I say permit, these considerations to restrict your efforts.
      Only you can succeed and only you can fail. You decide,eh?
      Best,
      Uncle Timmie

      • Brian August 12, 2010 at 9:58 pm

        Thank you Uncle Timmie for your reply to my post; and for informing me that I do indeed have adequate funds to begin the process of becoming an expat businessman. I now have much research to do in my scarce free time. :0)
        I fully intend to live for a great many more decades and years! :0) My comment about capital accumulation beyond “near term” was due to my currently planned projects, and the uncertain future financial gain potential within this country. I am a jack of all trades, and I have come up with a fantastic design for affordable integrated and super-insulated home building that includes passive and photovoltaic solar energy, thermal cooling, naturally soft drinking water, and more. I intend to build my own house first. “IF” the real estate market recovers somewhat, then; I’ll sell my house and presently owned land at great profit. Then I will have considerably more money to move out of this country with. I have other less impressive irons in the fire as well.
        Brian

        • Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm

          Dear Brian, So glad to learn you are to be with us for a good while longer. As to the construction plans – marvelous. It is needed today to have better houses and better systems within them. I look foreward to and hope to be included among those whom you notify of this projects development.
          When it comes to housing the up-scale(?) market is always good. Best of luck to you and to your plans. As long as you have your health – the rest is manageable(!). Keep all of your “irons” warm, hmmm?
          Be well,
          Uncle Timmie

  16. Full House August 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    One last comment for you, Mr. Deuce. I hate hypocrisy. I don’t believe you and many others would say NO to free money from Obama. I am apolitical, and independent with my political views, and want what’s best for the US regardless if the President is a Democrat or Republican. I did not like the stimulus package because it only helped the giant crooks that cooked this mess. That said, a lot of state governors who pretended to be against it, are now taking the money with open hands. Likewise, many of the people I know, mostly libertarians and conservatives, would rather the money would have been paid directly to them instead of Wall Street. I understand the thinking behind “putting the fire off” so it does catch up all of us. I am not here to agree or disagree with those decisions. However, to join our dear Uncle in his observations, your comments are not only juvenile but rather gloating. You sound like a real parasite whose luck happened to be in the right place and the right time. But remember, life is a circle…If other people are not as successful or are miserable;-there is nothing to laugh about. Your ballistic approach is simply vehement.

  17. Uncle Timmie Rudizuli August 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Dear Full House,
    Have you , perhaps, heard of mutualism? It is a concept of mutual benefit and mutual detriment as to those in a society – the better you do the better I do …if ewe both seek the best for each other. Requires a very civilized group to undertake it. Much as Wiki-nomics does, hmm?
    The idea that money can be given – without cost- to any one/thing/entity is a fallacy and has a terrible …”bill-of-demand” to come,eh?
    As to the “circle” aspects of thought/belief/actions,…well, when I was in India it was denominated Karma. Best.
    Uncle Timmie

  18. Niece Yehonala August 16, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Dear Timmie,

    I am familiar with mutual credit, bartering etc. Sounds good on paper but in real life? As you so well write, “gift me not” with such a life, which would mean in fact depending on several individuals and their moods, in lieu of one on one with your loved one and in lieu of formal bussinesses with creditors etc.

    Charity and generosity towards poor countries, peole, women, children, orphans do not necessarily teach them ungratefulness. There is more to consider and other factors beyond the motto of “Arbeit Macht Frei”.

  19. Paul August 21, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    The estate tax successfully crushes assets being passed onto to younger generations.

    The American Dream is being destroyed due to the socialist policies inflicted on the producers in society for the last 100 years.

  20. Charles Burgess August 22, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Timmie,
    The correct term for citizens of the USA is “American” and not “USA person.” We earned that name on the battlefield in 1776 when we sent the Brits packing. Other people in the Western Hemisphere can also call themselves that, of course, butit is our birthright. Knock off your silly European nonsense.

  21. TJ August 24, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I, for one, would be interested in the simple building techniques you mentioned.

  22. Jason Blair September 18, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Timmie, I think you watch too much American TV. Have you ever been here? And I don’t mean New York or Miami. Americans are not like the goofs that pollute the airwaves and your description of us is offensive. Many of my friends are business owners. Some are first generation but many are third and fourth. They are builders, farmers, owners of telecom companies, law firms, commercial painters, etc. And I don’t know that a single one of them, especially first generation business owners, that want their children to live in the lap of luxury and not lift a finger. That’s ludicrous.

    As for education, is it the European belief that the education system should be teaching children of 6, 7, and 8 years of age what job they should have as adults? That’s absurd! But I guess that’s part of the socialist system in which you live. In the US we, the parents, teach our children work ethic and guide their desires to a career choice, not the schools. Its called Liberty. If a child wants to follow in the parents footsteps great, if not, that’s their choice. It about being able to choose your profession instead of being forced into a family business that you have no desire to pursue. I do want to point out that I do not believe in the US public school system and when I speak of schooling I am referring to private and/or charter schools.

    And you are wrong again about the dwellings that we purchase. The vast majority of my friends, including myself, bought as our first and sometimes second houses (often keeping the first as an income property), duplexes or 4-plexes. We did this for the very reasons you stated. Where did you get your data?

    As I re-read your article to find more completely incorrect viewpoints of ALL Americans, your contempt for us is palpable. Have you only spent time talking to Americans while they were vacationing in Switzerland? You know what they say; you attract people like yourself. It is obvious that you haven’t spent any real amount of time in the US.

    One last point about the American dream. Its alive and well and you can see it in the Tea Party. If you are not familiar with it, or are only familiar by getting your info from the main stream media, that would again prove my point about not really knowing about who you speak.

    • Julia Ryder September 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      Dear Readers & “Uncle Timmie”,

      I have lived worked and paid TAXES in the USA since 1971. I havent had a living wage since 1999. Despite FOUR attempts at starting service businesses without outside $ (low FICO due to low wages &long hours which prevented me from expanding my education for higher wages), each has been a loss.

      Now I am planning to go back to Australia and taking my grandchildren & my American husband with me. We are too poor to stay hereand will get even poorer if we stay. Cannot save living on moneylender advances and in ever more expensive low quality rentals in ever more dangerous areas.

      There are MILLIONS of workers like us ……………. the former middle class. I know at least 50 families in our immediate vicinity whose lives have been changed by ignorant arrogant bank “clerks” and greedy landlords inept social workers and medical ‘INSURANCE ?’ clerks.

      I havent met ONE stupid,dishonest,or greedy worker but I have worked for at least FIVE people who un derpaid and cheated their employees and/ or went under due to stupidity, greed and dishonesty.

      Sure there are such people like that in Australia and everywhere but with one important difference I can VOTE them OUT OF OFFICE!!!
      USA charges HUNDREDS of $ to become a US/dual citizen… & nowadays I’m just too tired of hearing endlessly about the land of the free ( VISA or Mastercard accepted) and the highest standard of living in tjhe world. Sorry folks to a refugee thats true but I ,m interested in good mates 4weeks paid vacation when I work hard( and I ALWAYS do!!).

      For the same rent as we are forced toay in America’s Finest City I can BUY a 4 bedroom HOME and not be afraid of being evicted when Social Security is denied by your billionaires. (“we want tax cuts ” they whine as 1 in 4 CHILDREN live in poverty in this city!!!!!)

      Bye Bye & dont stop believing ……………..

      I wanted to be able to employ our children & train them to be self sufficient.

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