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MarcosZeitola wrote:Thankfully I won't have to choose anytime soon - the Philippines offers me the option of living my life as I please, and will continue to do so unless China continues to expand it's territory the way it seems to be doing right now. I am glad for the existence of both America and China, as they create some sort of balance. I would, however, not wish to live in either country.
Quite similar to my own situation actually, I am neither interested in living in China nor in USA.
All members of my extended family (my younger daughter, her Japanese/Canadian husband and his Japanese/USA father and Japanese/Canadian wife decided to leave Canada/USA (Hawaii) for good and return to Japan.
Also my older daughter and Japanese husband decided to leave HongKong for good and return to Japan.
We do not have any relationship with Chinese in mainland China, the Chinese friends we know are from Malaysia or are holding resident permit in Japan.
About myself and wife, we prefer to live in Japan, while spending a few months during cold winter season in Thailand in our second home or in Philippines, where my Filipina foster daughter is living.
Our escape route is clear, in case of very serious problems we could leave Asia anytime. - I am holding EU-citizenship and still keep some money in Europe in my native country Austria (EU) - better be prepared for the worst and better safe than sorry.
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One thing I'd like to say is USA lacks freedom regarding little things? I look at pictures of Vietnam, and all the houses and buildings are all painted bright and crazy colors. If I decided to say, paint the outside of my house bright orange, I could, but then my homeowner's association would tell me I need to repaint it, and if I didn't, they could fine me, then take me to court to collect the fine, then if I didn't pay the fine, put a lien on my house. In Vietnam I could just paint my house bright orange and if people didn't like it, oh well.
Then small things like, can't drink a beer on a park bench or at the beach, can't go fishing with a pole in the river without a license, if I catch a fish too small I must throw it back.
Me and my dad. His truck was leaking gasoline out of the tank and we didn't know. Obviously this is a somewhat dangerous thing. But what made it worse was that we both knew technically, for leaking gasoline like that, there's a possibility of being fined, and there was a police officer across the street eying us. We eventually decided to drive it back the short distance, while leaking, but we were very scared, due to the possible environmental act fines and whatnot. It was an accident, though, we didn't know. So the problem too is things that are sort of minor inconveniences or little things in other countries in USA can be a big deal just due to the laws and regulations?
USA is very weird with "freedom." Theoretically with enough paperwork and licensing and money, I could own a machine gun and a fighter jet. But I can't paint my house orange.
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In America there is only freedom for the upper-class, more for the rich, and the most freedoms for the elites. The peasants are brainwashed into believing there is freedom.
In every country on Earth there is a limited amount of freedom. Some countries with a dictator or a more authoritarian government can offer better lifestyles and more basic, lesser freedoms than America.
Even in America a person has to be careful what they say about certain groups, people, or issues. It's the same way in a dictatorship, except in most countries people aren't blacklisted for having traditional views or saying something against the Zionists/Jews or other minorities or against homosexuality. In most countries people can't say anything negative against the government, their dictators, or the favored party and sometimes the dominant religion. But it's better than America where saying one wrong thing gets a person blacklisted and destroyed.
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For the record, I'm not saying that China is some sort of ideal - it certainly is not a free society in its own right - but to compare it to the U.S. In my article, I come to the conclusion that China has a lot of everyday freedom that the U.S. no longer has, though I also include its downsides, such as not being allowed to own firearms and having no right to protest, etc. The overall point is that although they may not quite be even in terms of freedom, the gap is really not that big anymore.
Typically, the poorer the country, the more freedom it has. Poor countries typically have inept governments that are so corrupt they probably couldn't organize enough to take away freedom. This is more or less what the world has become - Police state countries vs. Wild, wild West countries.
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There are some ways in which the US is less free than Indonesian. In Indonesia, if you are poor, but you can get a couple of bicycle tires, wooden box, a full gas tank, a hose, a pot, and a few other things, you can put together a noodle cart and push it through a neighborhood. Probably, no one will harass you unless there is some kind of two-bit mafia that demands a cut. I doubt the noodle cart people have to worry about that.
In the US, if you want to sell food, depending on where you live, you'd have to prepare the food in a commercial kitchen, get some kind of license to sell, maybe for each day you sell, and there may be health inspectors impinging on your freedom from time to time. You'd also have to comply with the legal requirements enforced by the fire department.
Back during the Soeharto era, if you said something publically about Soeharto that was negative, who knows what might happen to you. But other than that, you had a lot of freedom about what you could say.
In Singapore, if you want to get a taxi, you have to stand in line behind a bunch of other people, and you have to catch it at a certain place. You can't just go on any part of the street, at least in some parts of town. But in Indonesia, you have more freedom. In Jakarta, just waive at a taxi, and it doesn't matter where you are on the street, he'll probably pick you up if his car isn't full, and you aren't black or really scary looking.
I don't understand why people say that soldiers went over to fight in Iraq to defend our freedom. Iraq wasn't attacking us to take away our freedom. We, a country with nuclear weapons, were just toppling a relatively stable government because we thought it might have a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. I didn't get it, really. Saddam Hussein probably wasn't the nicest guy, but I think he gave even religious and ethnic minorities relative protection for their human rights compared to a lot of other places in that part of the world, suppressed radical Islamicists, and served as a counter-balance to Iran in the region. Surely, the analysts had to realize that if you removed him that there was a chance some radical element would take over, especially if we didn't keep a long term presence there-- something hard to do if the presidency changed hands, which it does in our country.
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Yes, death tax is the inheritance tax but it's a double tax. Why?
Let say your dad owns a business . In his life time he paid off the taxes . Your dad pass away. If the business has some valued at some price range you might have to pay HALF for tax . Guess what? You as the son would have no choice but either mortgage a home or hang up the business but you know what the problem is. Many Americans that own small businesses get negatively hit hard by this.
The govt. thinks that the death tax is way to not develop an aristocratic class..BUT people who belong in the 1% they find ways to work around the death tax or that they have sooo much asset and money that death tax won't hit the 1% at all. It's the rest of small business owners like farmers that get hit hard.
Taxes..I understand..we need taxes to funds for social services or military or to maintain infrastructure BUT the Govt is poor at managing and there is too much waste.
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chanta76: Yeah, there's been taxes on the business as someone's going along- then a tax on the grand total? AND someone's paying taxes while they live in other countries? AND they are getting these taxes used against them? It gets spent on government activities that f**k things up domestically & abroad, plus on all this general police antagonism that's been going on (seriously, they act like domestic terrorists more & more- it's like it's coordinated, but it might just be similar minds in similar situations). I don't like the idea that they'll be too arrogant to catch their own mistakes & will just "keep on truckin'" when they're wrong.
For instance: If they start pulling the trigger on the wrong person & they don't stop something when they start it, the wrong people get shot. Not the only concern for people, of course- but it's there. There's this false mentality that they're the good guys in terms of the esteem they are held in & that means that they are the good guys in practice, since the esteem they are held in would change if that weren't true. The thing is that a lot of people hold them in that esteem as a counterphobic reaction- it just matches what bothers them less.
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