Discuss and talk about any general topic.
Not sure if this has been said before, but I know a few guys worry about a wave of American men going overseas, but has anybody even looked at the stats as to how many Americans actually have passports?
The figure is LOW! From what I was looking at online only about 30-35% of Americans have a passport, then from that you figure a large percentage of that 30% only use it to go to Canada and Mexico.
Guys, it's really nothing to worry about. 70% of the population still think America is the greatest place on earth (even as they get raked over the coals by their government).
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninsca ... ercent.php
The numbers tell the story: Of the 308 million-plus citizens in the United States, 30% have passports.
That's just too low for such an affluent country, said Bruce Bommarito, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the U.S. Travel Association.
"Americans are comfortable in their own environment,
http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-04/trav ... =PM:TRAVEL
http://blog.cgpgrey.com/how-many-americ ... -by-state/
http://www.gyford.com/phil/writing/2003 ... merica.php
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stori ... port-myth/
See guys, this is why you stay UNMARRIED and have NO KIDS:
"Let's pretend you're the average American whose traveling habits Patterson, et. al. so detest. You, Jo(e) the plumber, and your spouse have two kids. Your income, the median income for all American households, as determined by the U.S. Census, is $50,233. Your housing, according to the Consumer Price Index, will cost you 32.6% of your income; you're left with $33,857. MSN Money reckons that your 4 and 6 year-old children will cost you $11,280 and $11,130 respectively; you're left with $11,448. The Environmental Protection Agency tells you just buying gas for your 2005 Dodge Neon will cost you $2,088, and it will cost at least $1,400 to insure two people in your house to drive, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average annual premium for an employer health plan covering a family of four, as determined by the National Coalition for Health Care, will cost you another $3,300. You're left with $4,659.
Using the lowest price option on Orbitz.com, you'll find that the flights from Springfield, Missouri (a nice, average American locale) to Paris and a six night stay at a hotel will cost your family about $4,000â€”if you go in the off-season.
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stori ... port-myth/
See stats here:
http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppi/st ... s_890.html
I've read that as of Jan 2011, there were 114,464,041 active US passports, out of a population of 307,006,550. That's roughly 37%, compared to 71% in UK and 1.5% in China. According to AAA estimates, every summer (June-July-Aug) approx. 25 million Americans travel overseas and spend ~$30 billion dollars. Out of the estimated 25 million, an estimated 1.6 million goes to Italy, 1.1 million goes to France, 337,000 goes to Ireland, 573,000 goes to China, 227,000 goes to India, 5 million goes to Canada, and 5.8 million goes to Mexico.
If you're age 18-35, you can check Contiki packages:
And if you're 25 or under, you can get very good discount price on Eurorail passes. In Paris, if you're under 18 you can get into many museums for free, and if you're an EU national, you can visit many museums for free if you're 25 or under.
Paris is expensive, and the Euro exchange rate sucks for US dollar -- there's nothing you can do about it if you're spending in dollars. Being old also means age discrimination where you have to pay more for tours, train tickets, and museum passes -- there's nothing you can do about it if you're old. In America we give discounts for old people, in Europe they give discounts for young adults.
If you're married with a family and own your own home in a desirable area, there are home exchange programs that may save you a LOT of $ on hotel expenses:
For singles, you can look into hospitality exchange, the largest being Couch Surfer:
Frankly, I'm stunned that China gets half the number of visitors from the US as France does...could they all be businessfolks?
Also, keep in mind that in Eastern Europe there tends to be a 2-tier pricing system: prices for locals and prices for everyone else. If you don't speak their language, you automatically pay much higher prices at tourist venues than the locals, which sucks. When I lived there and worked on their economy and had practically no money, I was constantly getting asked to pay "western prices". They couldn't believe that I wasn't a tourist. Still pisses me off 20 years later...
Here's the tourism statistics for China:
I'll do a quick translation:
http://www.cnta.gov.cn/html/2011-4/2011 ... 88703.html
2011 Jan-March statistics
Total visits (10,000's): 585.77
Visiting relatives: 2.83
Service sector employees: 60.37
Note that Chinese use 10,000's (wan) in counting system versus Americans use 1,000's. So 100,000 in Chinese would be "ten wan" or "ten of 10,000".
In 2010 it was estimated that China received approx. 55.5 to 56 million oversea tourists/visitors. The estimated 573,000 American tourists that went to China in post above is for the 2008 Summer season only (June-Sept, data from AAA). In 2010 approx. 2 million American citizens visited China. Both US and China draws about the same number of tourists every year, but France has them beat. Here's the world tourist (or "visitation") rankings by nation:
http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/ ... rview.html
http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/ ... rofile.pdf
From above link, they estimated 802,000 visitors from China in 2010 to the US. Also, the AARO estimates that over 5 million Americans (excluding military service) reside/work aborad. I was one of them when I worked in SG, but I have no means to verify their 5 million number claim:
The AARO also estimate 755,000 Americans living in Asia region (excluding South Asia), 1.2 million Americans living in Europe, and 2.2 million Americans living in North & South America outside of US.
There are many great opportunities to live, work, volunteer, and study abroad:
http://internationalcenter.umich.edu/sw ... dmain.html
I think if you were to offer a free round trip + paid vacation to France, most people would be happy to take the offer and run to the post office to get a passport. There are very, very few die-hard American patriots who refuse to take vacations abroad because they believe that money earned in America should only be spent in America. I've only meet a few old white men with that mentality, they tend to be frugal, hard-working, and saved a high % of their income. One of them passed away a few years ago and left his life savings of couple million dollars in assets as donation to the local college. Though I encourage everyone to go abroad for the experience, I have nothing against such men of good character.
If millions of Americans suddenly started dating overseas women, I wouldn't care.
The guys you mention who worry about this shit are idiots or keyboard jockeys in the least.
Its the Safety In Numbers theme.
Some people feel if you have a coalition of people to push back against the establishment, it will easier to change things, which is true.
So you're making the case not to have children and not get married so you can keep all your 50K? You just proved what that article in 2005 said about certain men and why they aren't married. You believe you have too much to loose. That marriage and children are some sort of scam to take your money from you. The fact is, $50K isn't shit and if its combined income, its likely in this day and age you're the one that makes less than your wife does.
Let's flip it in the other direction...
If you go on two sex vacations a year, once on your regular vacation time (2 weeks) and another during the Christmas/New Years holiday period (10 days). This would include taking about 5 days off UNPAID.
Its very likely you would spend $2-3K min in SE Asia, South America or Europe. So that would run between $4K and $6K a year (20 years) = $80,000-$120,000
Its also likely depending on your income, the place you call home is likely going to be a long term lease or rental. For a nice place in any of the major cities that would allow you to take advantage of discounted plane flights will cost $1,200-$1,500 a month or about $15,000 a year (20 years) = $300,000
Judging by the Saleen Mustang you use for an avatar if you made enough you would buy a new one, SMS 302 V4 (Non Supercharged) is $64,000 or about $700 in monthly payments.
That's a ton of money to stay a confirmed bachelor. So unless you live like a hermit and reject all forums of materialism, you'll spend just as much money being single, sexless and companion-less most of that 20 years than most couples would be raising children in the same time span.
Look, its okay if you don't want to get married and don't want to have children, but using economics as a reason not to do it is really disturbing and has elements of greed.
So its okay to be a curmudgeon?? As the saying goes MEAN PEOPLE SUCK. Money is meant to be spent not hoarded. Colleges don't need it, have you forgotten to notice that Universities that not too long ago were once Free and now cost in the 6 digits for advance degrees? This didn't happen by accident. In California this was apart of the backlash against taxes that culminated in Prop 13. Curmudgeons are usually Conservatives as well and they didn't like Angela Davis, Huey Newton and the rest of the EDUCATED Black Panthers that questioned the "Establishment". So to keep Uppity Blacks out of college, you bar them financially. When the Federal Government stepped in and said People of Color will go to school and WE'LL pay for it, there wasn't much they can do about it.
So I don't like people that like, mad at other people, yet cheap bastards, drive a Buick and still has 7 digits in the bank at the time of death. They didn't live LIFE, they were just Angry, Cheap-Ass White Men.
Rest assured that such "cheap white men" are a dying breed today in face of consumerism.
I still drive my 1996 Honda Accord with almost 300,000 miles on the odo. I'm a "cheap ass Asian".
That's cool and you don't see the point of cars, its an appliance to you. I am a car nut, I watch racing, I drag race, I tune cars, I help build cars, build engines, helped on magazine projects, play racing games. There plenty of cheap Asians but they generally aren't mad at the world...
I agree cheap angry white men are a dying breed which is likely a good thing. Consumerism will die when automation takes over in about 10-15 years.... At least Consumerism as you currently know it.
Figured you chime in being that you WANT children and you WANT to get married.
I only have time to address the Saleen Mustang. As for myself, I would never buy a new Saleen as I don't like them. The 1995-1996 Saleens are where it's at, and they are still all around the best cars Saleen has ever build other then the S7. Used 95 Saleens go for around 20 to 30k.
As far as myself, I'm still undecided as to what I'm going to buy because I know I can build my own 11 sec road race car for about 15k!
A clean used 95 GT can be had for 3-4k
T-56 tranny can be had for 2k
351W Dart block stroked to confidential displacement with supercharger will set me back about 5-6 grand
Basic Maximum motorsports suspension package will set me back about 3g
This is why Mustangs became so famous, it a poor mans race car.
I've owned two Mustangs; 1967 Coupe with a 351C Swap and a '79 Cobra Hatchback with a '85 GT Swap. A friend of mine is putting some AFR Heads on his '92 Convertible, very familiar with Fords as a whole I'm a Ford Man first, but disappointed with the cars they have pushed out since the late 80's honestly and when I tried to buy a Focus from them, they wouldn't finance it and they wanted it back. I ended up with a few more Neons and then a Neon SRT-4, ran low 12's on the stock turbo before I made the swap to Stage 3R Turbo.
Back on Topic -
As I've said before people can choose to have children or not, but its a choice. If you choose to not have children or a wife, great that doesn't make you smarter or better looking and its likely you'll die sooner.
If your in America, then P4P is illegal and how many Western Women are going tolerate just being a companion without tying the knot? I am not making the case for being married or having children, I just know my father died alone in his bed at 68 years old. After suffering a stroke when he was in his mid to late 50's and before that developing diabetes, my friend this is just reality and he partied with the best of them. He traveled to Europe, went to Reno often and played the Ponies in his final years.
In the end, I doubt that's how he wanted to go out, alone and WAY TOO SOON.
If you come from this direction being the victim of a divorce in your childhood, I highly suggest picking up some really good books on Divorce and how Adult Children deal with it.
My mother has been divorced twice and I don't see a problem with being married.
I'd say that P4P is illegal but somewhat tolerated in US and Canada. I traveled a lot for work -- usually on 6 different airplanes in a week, flying to Little Rock AK today for my last assignment before new job next month. In many cities there are female entertainment services that cater to local and visiting businessmen. I'm pretty sure massage parlors that do happy ending are illegal, but the local government just require all the girls to be licensed and take sexual health and safety classes, but don't bust them. Here's one example:
Here in South OC we used to have a cabaret where they import girls from Eastern Europe. When the economy was in a bubble, many local companies entertained visiting businessmen there, and it was a standing joke that you got here to find a warm bun to warp around your hotdog. As long as the house is paid, they can care less if you take the girl back to your hotel. But after 2008 business nosedived in recession, and they finally closed earlier this year.
Sometimes when places like these get busted, there are hidden reasons such as someone didn't get paid under the table, or the owner pushed it too far. In Louisville KY area there was one erotic massage place that was in business for years, they hired only pretty young girls in the 18-21 range. Well, the owner turned out to be an as*hole and when a girl wants to quit, he'd threaten her and threaten to send nude photos and letters of her to her parents if she didn't stay and work. Needless to say they got shut down shortly afterwards.
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