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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to North America. For those looking to relocate within the US or Canada, discuss your experiences and pros/cons of each domestic region.
For every lazy druggie, there are maybe 20 cancer patients who will die because they have no insurance or their insurance is flawed. There are 30-40 accident victims through no fault of their own who will now be 100,000 in debt or so. Plus, medical costs in the US are simply astronomical because of all these malpractice lawsuits and an army of shyster lawyers who are out there to get quick buck.
All this needs to be reformed and the costs need to come down.
Libertarianism is fine provided things are free market and affordable but in the US the costs have been artificially inflated to Everestian proportions by all these HMOs and lawyers and other big corporations. The US is no longer what it used to be back in the old days when it was all free entreprise and all had the same opportnuity
A lousy 2 nights in a hospital with a blood transfusion is $5000? In the Philippines it would be $30.
I would take the risk and accept the idea that, yes, sometimes, and only sometimes my tax money will help cure a wretched junkie but in 90% of cases it would be some honest, hardworking, poor American family who cannot afford legitimate medical care and are therefore suffering, dying or heading towards total bankruptcy. It is not fair to have a system that is 3d world in this so called "Richest Country in the World" or even worse than 3d world- because at least in the 3d world it is not so expensive.
And yes, I know, things are not all rosy in other such countries with their
free medical systems, but hey, at least they do not have people who are dying like flies because they can't afford medical care.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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The Russian community, and Ukrainian community I grew up knowing was not so racist. They made politically incorrect jokes and were open about their opinions on various groups of people, but not hateful or xenophobic. In fact the Russians were always very cosmopolitan, sophisticated and high fashion. The Ukrainians .. not so cosmopolitan or fashionable, ... a bit more collectivist and country, but warm, open and comely. However, since I have been living in Northern California, I have encountered a Western Ukrainian community of a completely different character, and it's just another example of how varied a culture can be when you go from place to place, or to different communities. There are so many variables to consider that it can get convoluted, when we try to define such large countries in terms of behavior/culture etc...
The same is true of American communities. For example, I have virtually no exposure to the W.A.S.P./Anglo Saxon communities that I see people talk about on this forum. I grew up in the Cleveland metro area, lived in L.A. and currently live in Sacramento (most diverse city in America according to Time magazine). Honestly, I do not know anglo-saxon people, I am not an anglo-saxon person and seriously, cannot think of any place I have ever been, with the exception of a suburb in Chicago and a few New England communities that seemed W.A.S.P. like to me. That does not mean that there is not a strong Anglo-Saxon presence in America; it just means that it's not been part of my experience living in America.
I can seriously say, in the rust-belt town, where I grew up, it is NOTHING like what I see described as America on this forum. The people I grew up with are very inclusive, not career-oriented at all, nor are they materialistic and not religious either. In fact, they find career oriented or educated people to be pretentious, and they usually have a crappy job to pay the bills/buy beer, or work odd jobs to get by. Nobody spends big money on anything except beer and cars. Despite the lack of career ambition, people often have gorgeous brick homes, and this might be because the men are strong laborers and can build strong houses. Many of these people are huge drinkers, and love to get together to bowl, play pool or just simply get hammered at a strip club or at someone else's house. Lots of drugs and prostitution too. The ethnic composition is pretty interesting: most people are black, slavic, irish, italian or greek, and there are a good number of koreans, and a growing latino population (never met an anglo-saxon, though). The city I grew up had a huge greek community, and there is a huge greek influence in my family. My best friend is Greek, my father's godfather is Greek ... There are a few towns/incorporated areas that are around 60% black, and Cleveland has more Hungarians than most cities in Hungary. People tend to be obsessed with football, beer and cars. Also, I don't know if it's environmental or the all the microbrew, but most people are hella tall. Six foot is not even really tall for a man, and 5'6" is rather short for a woman. Contrary to popular belief, people aren't so fat there ... mostly healthy and athletic looking, maybe the start of a beer belly at age 40+. You have to go south towards the appalachians before you really start noticing a fat trend. Despite growing up in this area, I turned out to be very petite and fragile looking, I don't like beer or football, I don't drive a car, I am educated with career ambition, and shamelessly vain and materialistic ...
go figure ... individuals do exist everywhere, and people have the existentialist right to self-create and be who they want no matter where they are born and raised. There may be some limitations beyond our control that we may have to accept, but usually these are things that don't matter so much. I believe that most people can create who they are, and do not need to be born, raised or accepted in a particular country to do that. Then again I may talk this way because I am from an individualistic culture. I am not sure how well I'd fare after being too long in a collectivist culture .. If I'd been born in the Soviet union, I'd probably disappear ... lol
Last edited by KristineTheStrawberryGirl on October 23rd, 2007, 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." -Ludwig Wittgenstein
I have to agree that the medical system is bad here. The physicians are also losing their passion, in part because HMO's have reduced them to a lower status. I lost both of my parents recently, at a young age, not because my parents have no insurance, but because of neglect. A long story ... not sure if I want to go too much deeper into it, but you get the point.
"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." -Ludwig Wittgenstein
Yes, the reason the health care system is expensive solely the result of 'shyster lawyers who are out there to get quick buck.' If you could channel your experiences without resorting to an appeal to emotion they would certainly read more credibly.
I have discussed the matter of the health industry ad nauseam with various individuals in the medical field, lawyers and politicians as well as individuals across the US. Having been involved with lobbying I would like to say, while I am no means an authority on the subject, the matter is FAR MORE COMPLEX than lawyers and lawsuits. It is a common misconception of the public to pin the problem on one group or individual. This is verging on bigotry.
I have no great love for many of the lawyers I've worked with, but the same goes for doctors, stock brokers, clergy or a to a large degree people. However, I will keep in check when I see a gross generalization building in my line of thought that verges on prejudice.
Besides weren't we here to " ...find good places where we can find girls and make friends..."?
The US Health Care system doesn't seem to fit into that.
But since the topic has strayed..
I actively trade several currencies so I have to keep a close watch on the fundamentals of various countries. High prices on medicines aside, it will cost me nearly seven US Dollars if I wish to buy a coke in the UK, that is free market ridiculous as it is. Because OPEC is a petroleum cartel, it is able to artificially adjust the prices on oil and thereby keep it at the cheapest rates in the world for participating nations, THAT is intervention in the free market. The US currently has the cheapest housing of all the industrialized nations barring perhaps Japan. A US citizen struggling with payments on a quarter million dollar house would balk at the cost of a flat in Stockholm or worse Berlin, where prices for condos are now at or near (I could be wrong I haven't checked recently) seven hundred and fifty thousand Euros.
If the statement "...back in the old days..." is in reference to the earlier part of the century when 12 year olds were dying of tuberculosis in factories and a fiat currency had not yet been been established so just the shoe leather costs of buying goods between states was outrageous, then I guess I would disagree with the 'good old days,' comment.
The US is considered the second richest country in the world, but I'm not sure what the reference was in regards to,,,personal savings, GDP, the current account. I was attempting to sort through the generalizations about the causes of inflation in the US with all it's lazy druggies and wretched junkies, so it got confusing.
With all your alleged travels, it appears it's done little to refine your ability to think critically. In fact, much of what you've posted has reflected the very narrow mindedness this board has been created to counter, or at least side step. I'm not sure where you get your statistics from but I would certainly check the sources again.
Flying off about various groups when used in conjunction with inflammatory comments to it's members be it the legal field or the drug addicted doesn't even make it to sophomoric. No need to keep going back to the places you've visited but I doubt anyone will hear any end of it soon. It's just too bad you couldn't bring back a more insightful line of thought with it. Your comments are full of emotive language and few facts, and you don't seem to be able to objectify your experience from the the world around you. And whether or not you've traveled or lived anywhere, does not make you knowledgeable or an authority on anything more than your own experience.
Last edited by Frankly006 on October 25th, 2007, 8:13 am, edited 8 times in total.
Your experience is several deviations off the norm from those written on this forum. I personally would like to hear more. You seem to have managed to have lived and continue to live in cultural aberrations within the US, at least by when put alongside my own experiences. Strangely though, it does sound like one of the towns near where I was raised.
When someone speaks of rights however, I have to step back. Rights can only exist in a nation with sovereignty, and sovereignty generally espouses the need for strong military. I feel rights are a human contrivance that exist under ideal conditions. Anyone who has looked down the deciding end of a loaded weapon knows that rights are privileges. But existentially perhaps, I agree.
Aside from this retort being filled with logical fallacies and assumptions, there is a veiled defensiveness within it that denies dialog.
The original post was about the friendliness of the various parts of the US, it was not explicitly geared in any way to dating or finding friends, that would be inferring meaning to the statement. It did ask if women were friendly so I guess that could be misconstrued as dating, on a stretch.
There is no need to tell me so many times to go places and then come back and discuss the matter, when what I've been doing is engaging in a discussion about the US and nowhere else. There is no need to make an Appeal to Authority in regards to travel. In that reasoning, everyone needs to have visited everywhere you've been before their statements are relevant.
There is no need to ask rhetorically:
"are you going to tell me that Anglo-Canadians in Vancouver or Toronto are somehow more communal? Are you kidding?"
when I never made mention of the communal nature of the area(s) or Canada.
Once again, read the original post.
The 'anecdotal' comment was in reference to my post but for the record, your post was entirely anecdotal as well.
It's important to learn the difference between subjective experience and objective observations. By what you've written it would seem you have no idea where your opinions end and the world begins.
I live next to Vancouver so there is no need to give any more flawed views of Canada, and if you state your views as absolute as you so often appear to then they are flawed. Every experience I have had in Canada and with Canadians shows me you are simply wrong. Including when I was in Montreal speaking French with the French. Stop assuming, it is truly making you an ass. You're making assumptions without knowing anything about the person you're addressing. I've spent a great deal of time in New York as well as Virginia, Georgia, the Carolinas and New Jersey as well. I had no problems meeting people and making friends in NY, but I can see where someone who looks at the world as you do would. I'm wondering how many people you've duped into thinking you're an authority on anything by over generalizing, over simplifying and sensationalizing into emotionally agreeing with your world.
BASED ON YOUR WRITINGS it seems you know little of the US, less of Canada, virtually nothing of law, politics or economics much less anthropology. Stop putting words into other peoples mouths just to disagree with them. Your experiences are just that, YOUR experiences. Mine differ in nearly every way, but I will not refer to them as fact. Your muses on segregation are your opinion on the matter, can you recognize that? An opinion. And from the sounds of it a very one sided one that allows little room for divergence.
Hint: Understand Straw Man Fallacies.
Most countries that claim to have government-paid health care, don't actually pay 100%. It's more like 70%-85% of the medical costs after you add everything up. Brunei probably pays a higher %, but only if you're citizen and not an immigrant worker.
In the US, the government at various levels pay approx. 44%-45% of total health care costs in the country. Private insurance pays 36% and patients paid 15% out of pocket, the rest from misc. sources (charity?). The amount that the US government pay in health care costs is roughly equal to 15% of national GDP, and expected to rise to 20% in 10 years.
I am not against social programs like government paid health care and welfare for those who needs it, but only if we institute ways to reduce costs and set some reasonable limits. The government is not an unlimited source of funds and the money is needed elsewhere as well.
We need to find ways to reduce health care costs and pay for our own medical care, instead of asking the government for a hand-out. I'd like to see US/Canada approve foreign medical degrees and let more doctors in, set limits on medical liability claims, reduce FDA requirements to import new drugs, etc.
Health care in the US is very affordable.
All you have to do is get catastrophic insurance , for $500 to $1000 a year. It covers you for a million to 2 million in claims. The deductible is btween 2,000--- 5,000. Oh and it is tax deductible, so the government is subsidizing a large portion of it. If you're in a 50% Tax bracket you pay only half of that $500-$1000!
But catastrophic doesn't cover you for every sniffle you get ( anything under the deductible). You have to pay that out of pocket, but since most of you are healthy that doesn't amount to much. But more,since you will be paying out of pocket, you'll go out and compare prices! With every consumer doing that , rather than not caring becuase an insurance company is paying for it, the price of medicine will come down.
Check it out. It's a myth that health care is unaffordable. The democrats promote this belief so that they can get you to vote for them.
YOU ARE BEING MANIPULATED.
This is very true. I remember a lot of Russian stories as I grew up in Manchuria, the area of China borders Russia. I still have lots of Soviet stamps from my youth. I remember learning about soviet history in elementary school in China and Russian literature. I am still fascinated by Russian history. For some reason, I was always aware of life in Russia. I thought when I go to Canada, social life in the country will share a great deal of similarities with Russia. Boy, I was wrong. So many people here do not seem to knowledge others' existence. People don't talk to each other, many don't return phone calls, neighbors don't talk to each other and you can be friend with someone and weeks later he doesn't recognize you etc. It was just plain weird and strange. I never understood.
For some reason, I never felt dating and having girls like me is such a big issue in China, even given the country has lot more men than women. It was just never in my head space. It wasn't easy but not hard either.
When I moved to Canada. Things changed. I was able to do so much better in school. I loved the North American education system. My social life changed in the opposite direction. I am good-looking and was quite popular with girls in China, had girlfriend without any "social skills" but I became a nobody in Toronto. It was tough. I thought it was supposed to be like this. I never understood. The only girls that approach me and talk to me naturally are many of the Russian and iranian girls. We seem to have something in common that I don't feel from Canadian girls. They ignore you. Asian students hang out together. Again, I thought it supposed to be like that.
Until I moved to a smaller region of Ontario, my social life changed a little bit for the better. When I was in Montreal last summer, it felt even better. I went to W. Europe this summer, my social life sky-rocked.
see? I didn't change, but I'm getting different results.