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If Not America, Then Where? 2349 2349

Wellington Grey asks: "Often during our heated political discussions on slashdot, several people will mention their desire to leave the country. As an American living in England, which sees much the same problems as the US, I often wonder where these Americans would go. So, I pose two questions for the restless: 1) Where would you live, if not in America and 2) What's stopping you from going?"
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If Not America, Then Where?

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  • The Netherlands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sinryc (834433) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:47AM (#16572684)
    The Netherlands. The fact that I couldn't become a citizen and I can't speak the language stops me. Oh yeah, plus I like America still. :-)
  • The future (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A nonymous Coward (7548) * on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:48AM (#16572698)
    I always kinda liked the idea that I get to live in the future just by staying alive.
  • by Dr Reducto (665121) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:50AM (#16572720) Journal
    It's obviously best to simply give up and leave, rather than actually stand up and do something about changing your country.
  • by Peter Cooper (660482) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:51AM (#16572732) Homepage Journal
    In almost every case it comes down to visas and border controls that stop humans freely moving around their planet. On the surface it looks like a good idea, but it's absolutely ridiculous that a human shouldn't be able to freely roam the public spaces of their own planet!

    I'd rather go live out in the nowhereness of Canada or Australia or something and get out of the way, but there's no hope for any of that in the near future as countries have lots of quirky requirements, laws, and rules for gaining entry :)
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:52AM (#16572734) Homepage Journal
    Well, not really, but by the time I was 25 I have had tech jobs in both Japan and Germany(I'm currently in the fatherland). While there certainly are some good aspects to living abroad, being away from home can kind of suck. My mom was hit by a car recently, she is ok but the feeling that you are so far away never helps the situation.

    My advice to Americans is to learn another language and to not rule anything out. Though I would suggest Asia, because that seems to be where the future is headed. I plan on going back to the states for a few years to get my PhD then heading out somewhere in Asia(probably not Japan because although they have had some nice growth recently, the sun is setting. Plus white fanboys give foreigners a bad name there).
  • Welll..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) <dylan@nosPAM.dylanbrams.com> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:57AM (#16572766) Homepage Journal
    If it were not for the money, language, and responsibility issues, I'd move to a Scandanavian country in a heartbeat.

    As it is, I believe that America is exporting its culture at an incredible rate, and the best way to stop what I see as an unbelievably bad world situation is by attempting to modify it from within the States. I'm not doing a great job, but just being here and dissenting my little piece has more of an impact than living outside the country and bitching to other people that aren't there about how much my country sucks.

    I lived overseas, and found that there were a few things true about me personally - 1) wherever I went, I was the same person. Ergo, I was pissed off and unhappy because that's what I started out as. I've attempted to change that. 2) wherever I went, I was followed by the influence of the things I had left the country to avoid, one way or another. Thus I am back here to attempt to modify the things about both me and the world around me that irked me so much when I was not living in the States. I don't know if I'll manage to change the world enough to make any sort of difference should I leave again, but by the time I can afford to leave again for any extended period of time, I will be able to say that I'm at least trying to alleviate certain negative influential factors that result from our social structure.
  • Hows about... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:59AM (#16572776)
    * a country where the media and the politicians don't do their best to induce fear and unrest from relatively minor threats (lightning, I believe is still a bigger threat to the average american, than terrorism)
    * a country where the most popular news feeds are actually independent
    * a country that wouldn't embarras me with a completely selfish and brutally violent foreign policy
  • by caitsith01 (606117) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:05AM (#16572824) Journal
    We do everything America does, only we do a worse job, less efficiently, and with none of the individual rights in our Constitution* that you enjoy in the United States which allow the courts to pull the executive and congress back into line every now and then.** Although we have no president or equivalent, our parliament is a virtual dictatorship at present and crossing the floor on the basis of principle is almost entirely unheard of and considered to be little better than treason. We lack media diversity, and general awareness of political and human rights issues is virtually non-existent in the wider populace even by US standards.

    In addition we are extremely poorly placed in relation to the most likely theatre of any future world war, and we have large quantities of uranium and natural gas which makes us an important strategic target.

    * disclaimer, before someone who knows about Australian law attacks - we arguably have freedom of religion and a right to vote, and a limited right to freedom of 'political' speech, but all can be infringed on by federal laws with a legitimate other purpose

    ** yeah yeah, I know how politicised the courts are, but every now and then you DO get a decision like Hamdan in which the Supreme Court clobbers the executive for overstepping the line
  • Austria (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bhima (46039) <Bhima@Pandava.gmail@com> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:12AM (#16572874) Journal
    I moved to Austria.

    I'll admit that the problems in the US weren't the only reason but they were a big motivating factor.
  • by stony3k (709718) <stony3k@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:17AM (#16572920) Homepage
    What you do need to remember is that in some countries, staying back and trying to fix the system in an easy way to land up in jail or even dead. Be thankful that you live in America or any other civilized country - you could have been living in much worse places.
  • by dafoomie (521507) <dafoomie AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:27AM (#16573008) Homepage
    Mexicans do it all the time. But if I dare criticize them, I'm a racist.

    I fully agree with your statement, by the way. Mexico would be a far better place if more stayed and tried to make it a better place. By leaving, they only ensure that their corrupt government stays in power, this is why they encourage it so much (not to mention remittances). Not that I can blame them, leaving is certainly the path of least resistance.
  • by Infernal Device (865066) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:48AM (#16573138)
    I've thought about that, but it all boils down to: the more things change, the more things stay the same.

    The advantage of moving to a foreign country is context. You live somewhere else, you can be someone else. You practically have no choice.

    Would I bail - sure. I'm only going to live another 40-50 years. Why not enjoy it someplace where I'm discovering new things daily, rather than stuck here where I'm pretty sure of my surroundings.

    Why do I stay - same as everyone else. Money. Inertia.

  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:55AM (#16573180)

    In almost every case it comes down to visas and border controls that stop humans freely moving around their planet. On the surface it looks like a good idea, but it's absolutely ridiculous that a human shouldn't be able to freely roam the public spaces of their own planet!

    No more ridiculous than you not being allowed to walk into someone's home, eat their food and sleep in their bed without their permission...

  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chi-RAV (541181) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:55AM (#16573184)
    If only your hypothesis would be correct (i'd be sitting in the park smoking pot daily). However, most of those taxes go towards creating social constructions to make sure the weakest links in society dont fall through the cracks. These weakest links aren't the young people (in fact in the netherlands its impossible to apply for social security under 24 atm, and it will be raised to 27 within 2-4 years). They are the elderly people (your grandma!) and physically and mentally handicapped people.

    Yes, you pay a SHITLOAD of money to the gov't for the purposes of make sure you never fall very low, BUT if done right, you can have a lot of benefits as well.
    (now if only it were done right)
  • by remembertomorrow (959064) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:59AM (#16573208)
    Finland: Land of metal, IRC, and hot chicks speaking a really strange language
  • Re:Obvious (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IANAAC (692242) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:01AM (#16573222)
    So you're a Brit in the south of Spain. Great. And I suppose since you can't speak the language, you'll just create your own bars/restaurants and only hang out there. You realize you're every bit as bad as us Americans, right?

    I'm only half joking.

  • by RationalRoot (746945) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:09AM (#16573300) Homepage
    If you are going to mess up your own country, and then leave, what makes you think we want you to come to ours and mess it up to.

    This applies to pretty much anyone who

    a) Wants to come here and change things to make here more like the place they just left.

    b) Wants to come here and moan about why it's not like home.

    c) Wants to come here and try to create a little bit of home, only talk to / socialise with / work with expats from their old country.

    And especially

    d) Wants to tell us that the way we live is ungodly and imoral, and change our laws to the way they think.

    If you actually like the way we live, and you want to come here, learn our languages, go to our schools, live our lifestyles, and in short become one of us, then we'll pick you up at the airport.

    Have a nice day all y'all.

    D
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Negatyfus (602326) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:09AM (#16573302) Journal
    I think it's fascinating how many Americans measure happiness in wealth. The key to success is having enough money to support yourself, not making enough money to live a life of luxury and frivolous spending. We do pay a lot of tax in The Netherlands, but there are benefits that you will not find in the US. I also work a government job that allows me to have more free days rather than the big money that I would be able to get in a commercial institution-- I wouldn't trade that in for a higher salary unless I actually needed that money.
  • by zCyl (14362) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:19AM (#16573362)
    In almost every case it comes down to visas and border controls that stop humans freely moving around their planet. On the surface it looks like a good idea, but it's absolutely ridiculous that a human shouldn't be able to freely roam the public spaces of their own planet!

    No more ridiculous than you not being allowed to walk into someone's home, eat their food and sleep in their bed without their permission...

    A better analogy would perhaps be being unable to buy a new house or move into the neighboring town without the people in that town deciding as a whole that they will permit you to live near them. It sounds silly, exclusionary, and backwards when we think of it in terms of a town, but most people still find it reasonable in terms of nations. In reality, the difference is only in the distance of our worldview and the scope of our self-identity, and in time and with increased communications, these are both broadening. Therefore it is likely that there will come a time when restricted migration across national borders will be largely regarded as backward, restrictive, and even oppressive.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:19AM (#16573366)
    It's worth noting that the majority of the time, it isn't people who say that their country sucks and they want to leave, it's the patriotic goosesteppers who yell at anyone with any criticism and tell them "America, love it or leave it!"

    Just thought I'd point that out. Frankly, one answer to this question could be: (1) Anywhere but here. (2) American psychopaths who pass themselves off as patriots.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pienjo (10175) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:24AM (#16573398) Homepage
    Newsflash: Newcomers need to, no matter what language they speak, no matter where they come from. Yes, this has been differently in the past, but my American girlfriend-soon-to-be-wife has got to to learn the language and whole shebang when she comes here (I'm Dutch). And, quite frankly, I think it's a reasonable demand. If I were to come to the US, people would expect me to speak English too. What's not quite reasonable IMHO is the "You need to do most of this naturalisation thing in the country of origin" thing, but she's exempt from that, being American and all. We found it rather difficult to find Dutch language courses in a civilised (ahem) country like the USA, in mundane (cough) areas like SLC - and learning the language is only part of it. How will this be any different in Botswana?

    On the brigher side, one of my colleagues is from Guatamala. When he came here, he spoke English, but hardly any Dutch. He spoke it fluently, after just a few months. It's doable.

    And before you ask: She moving here isn't a political statement. It's simply the most convenient thing to do, right now, for a lot of reasons - including (But not limited to) immigration laws.
  • Re:Relevance? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jazir1979 (637570) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:24AM (#16573400)
    News for Nerds != Nerdy News

    Politics can be, and should be, news for nerds.
  • The Ringer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tempest69 (572798) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:29AM (#16573444) Journal
    So Really if you want to go and smoke pot daily, you need to get citizenship, then have "traumatic brain injury" so that you are mentally handicapped, then you can smoke pot all day. As long as you share with your sitter. So sure it's the best of both worlds, lots of pot smoking time, and low taxes.

    Really though, even faking mentally challenged would be a total drain on my life.

    Storm

  • EU (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:29AM (#16573448)

    That's easy,

    Europe! I know it's not a country, but if you actually want to live abroad (forever, or for a few years to get a taste of a different lifestyle), then the obvious answer is somewhere in Europe.

    Why? Because after a couple of years (it varies country to country), you can grab a passport and become an instant protected member of the EU. Now you don't have a choice of one country, but 25, (27 in a few years, and hopefully 28 with Turkey in a few more years).

    And you get a choice of countries like Sweden or Denmark (consistently ranked as the most well educated, crime free, peaceful utopias on the planet), liberal countries like Germany or Amsterdam (there is no city in the WORLD like Berlin, it is just the most alive, party party, drug liberal place on Earth, no question), economic tigers like Ireland or the newer Eastern european countries (where jobs are easy to come by and the cost of living is low), or just places where you could live off a few grand and take it easy, like Portugal or Greece.

    25 countries, most of them not requiring a second language (For sure, if you move to Scandinavia it'll be you that has the lower standard of English, I moved here 3 years ago and it's embarrassing to have an inferior grasp of my mother-tongue than do the locals). In some countries like Sweden, if you have a girlfriend here you can pick up a passport in 3 years.

    And of course, Countries that are not in the EU (such as Switzerland or Norway or Iceland), will still be open to you because of the Schengen agreement.

    Good luck! And wherever you decide to move to, just DO IT. It doesn't mean that you never have to go home, it doesn't mean you are running away from America's problems (you can retain your American citizenship and vote from abroad), it just means at a minimum that you are exploring how life in a much more liberal society would be like, and if many more people in the USA decided to live abroad in Europe for a few years of their youth, I very much doubt the country would be experiencing the problems it is having at the moment.
  • where to, why not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by l3v1 (787564) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:30AM (#16573450)
    1) Where would you live, if not in America and 2) What's stopping you from going?

    Easy. 1) New Zealand, 2) Money (or the lack thereof).

    If you think hard, probably two things are keeping people to go where they think (or know) their lives would be better (for them, since this is as much subjective as objective):
    - people: family, friends, neighbors, you name it, people can become very attached to others,
    - financial resources: if you have to work 10-16 hours a day for living, paying mortages, etc., schooling your kids, its not that easy to just stand up and leave.

    Until the average level of living throughout the planet won't reach a certain level, most people will just be stuck to places, all their lives long, give or take a few travels.

  • Re:I don't run (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iogan (943605) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:30AM (#16573452) Homepage
    [...]Only cowards emmigrate.[...]
    Dude don't say that, it's really kind of offensive to people who at some point or another HAD to leave their country. Even if you're not being tortured, or anything really bad like that, who wants to have the police hassle them on a regular basis, not be able to work in their chosen profession, etc. Just little things which make your life suck, when it really shouldn't have to.

    I support everyones right to emigrate if they feel like they need to. Emigrés have also often been the deciding factor in overthrowing an oppressive government, in fact I'd say it's almost a prerequisite to have a strong expat community if you need to overthrow the government. These people need their freedom and ability to work, in order to help raise awareness about what is wrong with the way things are being run, and make changes. Someone being in jail for political reasons cannot really do much to change anything.

  • by Zo0ok (209803) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:33AM (#16573478) Homepage
    As a Scandinavian who just visit USA occationally I guess I can tell why I hesitate to move there... From the European horizon USA looks really cool. You have the greatest companies, the greatest sports champs (except in soccer), you are the center of entertainment, modern culture and research. You have... so very much.

    However, when in USA I feel that I am so far away from everything. Manhattan is the exception. In LA I have an hour in a car to anything. In Las Vegas it takes a day to get anywhere else.

    So even if I am closer to many things when in USA, there are fewer things that I am really close to (walking distance). If it takes 5h or more to get there by car, the Atlantic ocean doesnt make a huge difference anyway.
  • Re:Welll..... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iogan (943605) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:37AM (#16573532) Homepage
    How many kebab stores do you find in Paris? How many McDonalds, KFC and Burger King (combined) do you find in Paris?
    Not to feed an obvious troll, but the reason people hate McDonalds is not that they're American. It's because of what they and corporations like them are doing to the workforce, the environment, and our health. That's why people burn them down. Kebab shops, are not owned by multinational companies. They are locally owned, locally managed small businesses, and help the local economy by proving jobs etc. And the food is not that unhealthy either.

    So that's probably why.
  • by kavandje (629704) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:52AM (#16573652) Homepage

    Disclaimer: not actually American, though I did live there from 1981 until 1988.

    Not always the easiest place to live, but rewarding a lot of the time: Southern Africa. And I am not referring to "We'd like to be State 51 please, if only you'll bring back the 1980s" South Africa, I am referring to southern sub-saharan Africa.

    Whether you're here on a volunteer basis or you have a 'proper job' (like myself), there is a definite need for clued-up tech people to share their knowledge, and to help pull this place out of its rut. No need to be a charity: I get a salary and everything...

    And do your research: not all sub-saharan countries are corruption-plagued dictatorships. Well, no more than the US anyway ...

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:56AM (#16573688)
    Would I bail - sure. I'm only going to live another 40-50 years. Why not enjoy it someplace where I'm discovering new things daily, rather than stuck here where I'm pretty sure of my surroundings.

    I am almost sure you are not really so "sure of your surroundings" as you think.

    I have been overseas, and also driven or at least visited much of the US. There is as much mystery within a fifty mile radious of your house as there is whole continents away.

    If you want to discover new things daily, all you need do is seek out one new poerson daily - for it is from other people that we truly learn things, here or abroad.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:57AM (#16573702)
    I just thought you should know that the parent was talking about Italy, not the Netherlands. If you have visited Italy, you would be aware that these social services are not quite as well executed there as in other places. If Italy's tax rates are comparable to the Netherlands, it is no suprise that the parent poster was disappointed.

    If things got done in Italy, the Roman Empire would not have collapsed.
  • Re:California (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ocelotbob (173602) <ocelot@nOSpAM.ocelotbob.org> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:00AM (#16573724) Homepage
    Absolutely. Great weather year round, good people, good activity, and if you don't like the culture of a place, move 5-10 miles and it's completely different. Plus some of the most scenic spots on the planet. Watching a sunrise in owens valley is quite possibly one of the best ways to begin a lazy morning.
  • by McDutchie (151611) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:02AM (#16573736) Homepage
    You're able to say all that you wrote in Australia without risking arrest for political subversion? Yes? Can't be that bad, then. Count your blessings.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nebosuke (1012041) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:16AM (#16573846)

    Most Americans that I know, myself included, don't measure happiness in wealth. However, wealth is, to a large degree, a measure of your freedom.

    In basically any of the situations in which you find yourself during your life, the amount of wealth you have at your disposal determines what options are available to you. You can be perfectly happy living off of the land in a subsistence society, but make no mistake here, choosing to be happy with your circumstances and choosing circumstances that you'll be happy with are two entirely different things. A penniless environmentalist might feel self-righteous waving a cardboard sign at the one annual rally he can afford to drive to, but a rich one can finance a wind farm and perhaps actually make a difference.

    How much wealth you want to have is basically a measure of how much you care to tolerate the circumstances of your life being dictated to you.

  • by Rakishi (759894) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:20AM (#16573872)
    First of all I'm a dual US-EU citizen and lack much nationalism for any country.

    Honestly, I don't see any country which is better than the US for an intelligent, sometimes driven individual in terms of opportunities. While there has been some erosion of personal freedoms and various systems are fucked (patent system, copyright, social security, etc.) I keep reading similar problems in other countries. England is going big brother on its people, France and Germany has a screwed over society in term of work, Eastern Europe is just a cluster fuck.

    At worst I'll make my money and wait till the shit is flying at the fan and then leave, the joy of having dual citizenship.
  • by ocelotbob (173602) <ocelot@nOSpAM.ocelotbob.org> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:22AM (#16573892) Homepage

    It really depends on where you live in the US regarding the feeling of proximity. My thoughts here are going to be pretty southern California specific, because that is where I have the greatest experience, so YMMV. And especially within the LA area, 5-10 miles makes a huge difference regarding culture and accessibility. North Orange county is perhaps one of the best kept secrets for walking distance accessibility. There are a lot of neighborhoods that are built really close to shopping centers, so you can get most major goods by walking -- within two blocks of me, there's everything but a grocery store, and that's about a 5 minute bus ride in near any direction, or I can just have all my food delivered, save the hassle of even going out. I'm also on a pretty major transit corridor, so getting around without a car is pretty viable; I am within a few minutes of an all night bus line that'll get me to sporting venues, amusement parks, and the train station, and from there, pretty much anywhere else. I personally love my current apartment for that very reason; I don't need to go out to have a good time, things are already right here.

    I will cede the point regarding Las Vegas, though. It's like a lot of desert towns, in order to get to anywhere else, you have to go through a whole lot of nada. A lot of this is by design, though. As it's a lot harder to manage resources in the desert, it's only natural for people to live closer together to better pool their resources. Cities like Phoenix and Albuquerque are very similar in that aspect. However, that relative isolation offers a lot of opportunities for outdoors activies. If you enjoy hiking, etc, it is damn convenient to have nature on your doorstep. It's a trade off, really. Figuring what you like to do, and where you like to go.

  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cool_number_9 (825274) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:23AM (#16573906)

    Just like the other guy who replied, I have to say that I'm afraid that the whole immigration policy picture painted in the parent post is quite accurate. All we can hope for is that with the coming elections, this government will be different and change its attitude to foreign people who want to live and work in the Netherlands.

    Having said that, there a lot of western countries with these kind of strict or even stricter policies... there seems to be a general policy of only accepting intelligent, high paying people and families.

    However, a lot of the students I've met visiting this university have had a good time over here. So... the Netherlands is a place worth visiting, if only because of its very relaxed attitude and its rich history. Just come quick before conservative right-wing and conservative christian political forces will change that! ;-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:27AM (#16573930)
    What's with the fixation on the English speakers? Is it not quite obvious (and let alone respectful) to learn the language of the country of your residence? English is not mandatory everywhere around the world and besides, where there are enough speakers of the local language, people often do not bother to learn others. Enough people to talk to, you know.

    I started frequenting in Hungary in 1998. I was blindly hoping people would speak English there. Well, it was quite an arrogant hope, granted, and not too many did. It has indeed changed recently and many Hungarian people under the age of 40 speak English on a palatable level. What's also changed is that I started learning Hungarian and believe me you, it is SO MUCH easier to be part of the "own" people. See, in a room full of locals, you'll just not be participating in the conversation. You'll always be an outsider. I am slowly getting "in" and it's cosier there.

    Now, off to learn Latvian. That would make my sixth language that I can order beer in.
  • by mgblst (80109) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:34AM (#16573988) Homepage
    We do everything America does, only we do a worse job, less efficiently,
     
    Wow, I hate the Australian government just as much as the next true blue Aussie, but the fact they do a worse job enforcing their stupid laws is a bonus, and we are way more efficient than the Americans - you have obviously never been to the US, or read an article on the US federal government wasting money.

    I can't wait to get back to OZ, there are so many good things, most of the time you can forget that the so called Liberals (who are really the conservatives) are in power, and hope that they won't be for much longer.
  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:39AM (#16574042)
    Actually, the amount of wealth relative to others is what determines your freedom. Poverty is generally measured, not by how little you have, but by how much less you have than average.

    It's no good having low taxes and a moderate salary, if everyone else has low taxes and a moderate salary. That way, you just get lots of people working, and spending selfishly to compete with each other. In a more socialist system, by contrast, higher taxes and moderate salaries means that everyone is working for each other, contributing to a community. They still have the same average spending power, which means that no one is "poorer" for their lack of resources. But they're happy, and together, they've built something: a society, where people feel wanted and protected and cared for, so that they don't feel the need to sleep with guns in the drawer, or shoot their classmates.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MAHartman (1017522) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:47AM (#16574098)
    I live in the Netherlands as well and I am quite shocked and ashamed by your experience. Unfortunately, the general public in Holland is relatively unaware of the horrible circumstances immigrants are facing in our country. Government policy and media coverage only address the 'benefits' of this draconic system. The concept of a global 'terrorist threat' acts like a catalyst in the hardening and closing of Dutch society. And the immigrants that eventually do manage to gain Dutch citizenship face harsh discrimination when honestly trying to integrate. There are a lot of genuine refugees and immigrants, highly educated, that find themselves in a position impossible to get a decent job. I recently had a conversation with an Iranian who was delivering newspapers; the best job he could find in the Netherlands, despite being a qualified doctor. I admit, medical standards are probably lower in Iran, but this man deserved something better than delivering newspapers... Well, elections coming up in november... let's see what happens!
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LilGuy (150110) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:01AM (#16574218)
    Which is exactly why the "war on drugs" is bullshit.
  • by nebosuke (1012041) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:04AM (#16574236)

    Most of what you say is true, but none of it really addresses my post. I'm well aware that socialism provides better average economic circumstances in return for less economic freedom. That is really the whole point of socialism, because it stems from a philosophy that tips the valuation scale towards socioeconomic safety as opposed to socioeconomic freedom.

    My point was that many Americans do not value wealth so much as they place much more value on socioeconomic freedom as opposed to socioeconomic safety than the ggp and apparently you do. It's true that there are higher rates of violent crimes in many areas on the US (not where I grew up, even though it was a very poor area where everyone owned guns (all hunters)), but it's also true that, if I so choose, I can exercise far greater control over my socioeconomic standing than someone from a more socialist country.

  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dilaudid (574715) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:07AM (#16574262)
    It stops it being a relevant issue. If people can get addicted to line-dancing, grand theft auto, sashimi then it takes all of the relevance away from the term addiction. That's why marijuana is not considered addictive. This doesn't change the fact that medical research does show it has harmful effects.
  • by Propaganda13 (312548) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:15AM (#16574328)
    People tend to forget that America is the 3rd largest country in area with the 3rd largest population. This means that there's a wide variety of different areas to live within the country. Sure, not everything is different, but there are huge cities and small towns, a vast countryside, jerks, nice people, places with no sales tax and some with really high sales tax. You can pay over $2K a month for a one room studio or under $10K to own a house(I have a coworker who bought a couple of them). There's lots of variety.

    Most people don't move because they've never lived in another country(or even another state) for a year or more to see if they like it or because of family ties. Sure I could move to another country, but everyone I ever knew won't be in that country that includes parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. Hell, whole families never move out of certain parts of a city because that's where the family is.
  • by CmdrGravy (645153) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:25AM (#16574408) Homepage
    Muppet, so far as I have been taught in history lessons America was colonised by people from Europe who were seeking a better life for themselves in "The New World". They sailed over there and set up a small colony which then exploited the local environment to send back profitable goods to their backers in Europe.

    I think it's fair to say that these colonies mixed far more with themselves than they did with the native population and would have seemed very insular to any native on lookers.

    Time passes and the colonies grow in size annexing more and more land which was once the property of the native people.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by teal_ (53392) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:27AM (#16574418)
    The trouble with all of the semi-socialist countries in Europe is that all of the social services that have made them so attractive for so long are now buckling under the strain of un-restrained immigration, forcing the state to cut services and people to turn to privatized businesses. Welfare states where 70% of your income goes to taxes only works if it's a closed system.

    A common strategy among people is to somehow refer to that very sane and logical conclusion as "racist". Uhhhh, ok.
  • by ex-geek (847495) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:28AM (#16574430)
    As somebody from Vienna, Austria, I must say that your observations astonished me.

    hands-off governement in Austria? This has probably to do with sloppy/pragmatic enforcement of laws in comparison to Germany. We do have many laws, but are not crazy enough to actually implement them.

    Cleanliness? We don't think of ourselves that way, since we are not as obsessed with cleanliness as the Germans are.

    There are many god reasons to move to another country: climate, women, food, jobs, etc.
    It is however not a good idea to move to a country because you are feed up with the politics of your own. People are feed up with their governements and politicians, because of the many bad experiences they had. Since they had mostly exciting and good memories from vacations and business trips to outher countries, they can get the wrong impression that everything is better everywhere else.

    But some actually do move for that reason. There are Germans who come to Austria, because they hate german politics. Some Austrians move to Greece, because they hate ours and so on. These kinds of expatriates then continue to obsess with their native country and never stop badmouthing it.
  • by Sqwubbsy (723014) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:31AM (#16574456) Homepage Journal
    I call bullshit. Poverty is not "generally measured, not by how little you have, but by how much less you have than average." Poverty is the inability to sustain a way of life.
    What my neighbor makes has no bearing on how free I am. We use the same tax schedule but there are boatloads of folks in the U.S. who make more than me but who manage it poorly. Thus, they pay more to the common weal, may have more in the bank, but are constrained about what they can do in terms of family trips/home improvements.
    You sound like a socialist in terms of everyone being on a level playing field and no one being '"poorer" for their lack of resources. But they're happy...' Christ, you sound like a Communist.
    People are happy when they have political and economic self determination - regardless of how much they earn or who their President is.
    I hated Clinton and I'm not enamored of Bush, but I'm not going anywhere because I get a say. My ancestors did not have that luxury.
    True story: My great-grandfather went back to Italy that he left when he was 16. He was in his 80's. He was supposed to be their two weeks. They were so excited to show him their new toilet. First one the family ever had. He left after two days. All his kids, including my grandmom, glamorized Italy (and I know it's got some great stuff and having studied Latin, I know the deep heritage) but not everyone has it great and no place is all it's cracked up to be.
    Finally, as for keeping guns in drawers - the primary reason for this right in the US is to kill government types who overstep their bounds. It's less about neighbors and hunting and more about preventing idiocy in the ruling class. The risk, of course, is that unsupervised children are going to harm themselves or others which is on the adults who facilitated their gun acquisition.
  • Re:Yes, and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killjoe (766577) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:37AM (#16574492)
    Do you really pay lower taxes? By the time you add up federal, social security, unemployment, state and local taxes you are probably paying close to 50% if not more. Add to that things like health insurance, tolls, and thousands of fees that you pay for services that other countries provide for free and you may actually be worse off.

    Oh I forgot to add the extra weeks of paid vacation to that mix too.

  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:41AM (#16574522)
    You can exercise greater control over your socioeconomic standing? Honestly? (no, really, I want to know). It seems to me that, if people have less taxes to pay, then people who don't value their social security or health cover will work for less, because they don't factor those things into their living expenses. As such, the average person is probably paid an effectively lower wage. Almost by definition, add-ons like health care would seem to be expensive "extras" to most workers. So... with an average (mode, not mean) salary, how much can you HONESTLY change your lifestyle? Are you saying that people can lift themselves up, into better neighbourhoods and lifestyles, just by giving up their healthcare for a while? I doubt it. Even if they could, I'm not sure that's a fair way to judge, when some people may have illnesses that require healthcare, and those individuals should not be dismissed, but rather treated as equals in every way.
  • by pdxdada (684092) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:51AM (#16574596) Homepage
    Well I currently live in Germany, I have lived on 4 different continents so I can say with some experience that this magical utopia of which I hear doesn't exist. Possibly due to a lack of actually ever having traveled or learned another language, when I was last in America I used to hear a lot of liberals talking about leaving the country as though the rest of the world was a bastian of free thought, moderation and reason. Guess what, you'll make some hefty compramises anywhere you live. Germany for example has some of the worst customer service and burocracy on earth. On the other hand it has good health care and the people are ver straight forward (yes I came here for that world famous German charm). My advise to everyone would be take some time and see the world, every country has at least a few good ideas.
  • by dk.r*nger (460754) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:57AM (#16574636)
    Actually, the amount of wealth relative to others is what determines your freedom. Poverty is generally measured, not by how little you have, but by how much less you have than average.

    Yeah, and that's wrong. That is a totally corrupted perception of freedom.

    If you ride a bike to work, live in a small house, feed your family and are happy, and I drive one of my BMWs to work, live in a big house, feed my family and am happy, does that make you less free that me?

    Only if you tie your happiness to materialism. Ironically, leftists seem to claim that capitalists are only concerned about money, while when it comes to defining relative freedom, the only valid measure is monetary wealth.

    What if you have a wife that loves you, and I don't? Doesn't that make us un-equal, and you more free than me? What if I'm a idiot with no friends, and you are a great guy with bunches?
    Happyness comes form so many other factors than money, and I said that, me, the (economic-)freedom loving, high-tax hating capitalist.

    I live in Denmark, with one of the most ridiculously high taxation rates in the world, so I'm not just talking from theory, this is everyday life for me.

    In my family there is a guy, an academic, whom today is unhappy with his work, because he over the years declined career advances because the extra responsibilities would in no way be compensated by the exra money earned in 60+% top tax bracket. No, he is not exceedingly rich for being in the top taxbracket, about halft of everybody with a fulltime job is in it.

    In a more socialist system, by contrast, higher taxes and moderate salaries means that everyone is working for each other, contributing to a community. They still have the same average spending power, which means that no one is "poorer" for their lack of resources. But they're happy, and together, they've built something: a society, where people feel wanted and protected and cared for, so that they don't feel the need to sleep with guns in the drawer, or shoot their classmates.

    Cue violins. This is bullshit. That is how Marx imagined it on paper, but it never happened in real life. A recent study in Denmark showed that the average citizen is not working for the common good, but has become a spoiled welfare junkie, always expecting more and better from the government, a vicious circle..

    I don't have a problem paying taxes (I'm not an anarchist), but I do have a problem with the government spending my taxes to keep 1/5 of the workforce out of the labormarket.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by huge colin (528073) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @06:08AM (#16574704) Journal
    Which is exactly why the "war on drugs" is bullshit.
    Um. Correlation does not prove causality.
  • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @06:33AM (#16574898) Homepage
    Canada doesn't hate the states.

    There is a habit of saying "at least we're not like the states" but in fact in many regards we have the same bad habits as they have [e.g. polution, right wing movements, etc]. I think if Canadians hated the americans so much we wouldn't be visiting them so much.

    That said, I wouldn't mind a big influx of Americans to Canada. Two words: "Melting Pot".

    Canada prides itself on the pluralism and "mixed salad" style of immigration. You know what that gives you? Places like Toronto. Where none of the residents share any common values and the quality of life takes a sharp nose dive. I lived there for a while and honestly it's like you moved to another country. I'm all for respecting other cultures, but this is Canada, not a gathering place for everyone and their brother who want to change the land from under me.

    Tom
  • by PenguinBoyDave (806137) <david.davidmeyer@org> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @06:56AM (#16575074)
    Having been all over the world in each direction, my family and I have adapted well to the European lifestyle, and if you were to come to our home, you'd see we adopted the best of everything -

    * Daily exercise (a good portion of Europe values daily exercise)
    * Lunch is our main meal (taken from the French)
    * Red Wine with Lunch and / or dinner
    * Use of the Sauna & hot tub several times per week
    * Lack of bathing suit when we swim

    What we discovered in our travels, and through our friendship with many Europeans, is that our lives were filled with so much stress that when we did it the European way, the stress level really went WAY down. Europeans are relaxed about simple nudity whereas Americans are so hung up about it. Europeans take time and enjoy their food (as does a large portion of the rest of the world) and Europeans have long discovered the health benefits of the sauna several times per week.

    Now...that doesn't answer the original question, so I'll answer it this way. If I was moving to Europe to work, I'd probably go to Austria, Germany or France. If I was going to retire, I'd go to Croatia. Since it is MUCH harder for an American to move to Europe than for a European to move to the US...I'll probably be here until I can get my company to transfer me.
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @07:02AM (#16575108) Homepage Journal
    When we "said we were sorry" (see parent), we didn't know just how sorry we would become.

    And sorrier still if you fat techie douchebags don't get up and vote two weeks from now.
  • by mollymoo (202721) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @07:17AM (#16575208) Journal
    Our ancestors came here legally and created a melting pot.

    I thought a melting pot in this sense was when cultures mixed. The white Europeans who invaded America killed and opressed the locals and imported slaves to do their work, there wasn't much in the way of cultural exchange. The US may be culturally diverse now, but that's a recent thing. For most of its history the US was entirely dominated by white people; there wasn't a whole lot of mixing going on unless you count plantation owners raping their slaves.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @07:26AM (#16575282) Journal
    I'm not so sure you're correct. The average federal income tax rate is, indeed, around 12%, though for working professionals it is likely closer to 14-16%, and for executives (those making 200k or more per year) it is around 25% (check the tax returns of politicians...they bounce between 21% and 26%, depending on their deductions). What isn't mentioned is that there's a 15% tax for social security and medicare. If you're a wage slave, you only see half of it, but your employer is paying the other half, and that affects your salary. Health care and other benefits do too. If you lose 30% of your "income" to taxes and benefits before the first line on your paycheck, is it really part of your taxes/salary?

    Anyway, I'm not giving up on the US. It's filled with idiots, and there are "better" social support systems elsewhere, but if you're willing to take responsibility for your own future, it's the place to be. I plan on never seeing a dime from Social Security, so I invest for my retirement. I pay for my own healthcare, so I get to choose what level of care I get. I don't think the general human population can handle being on their own, or perhaps it's simply that having large social nets to fall back on makes standing by yourself seem too hard.
  • by jabster (198058) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @07:41AM (#16575374)
    What's with the fixation on the English speakers? Is it not quite obvious (and let alone respectful) to learn the language of the country of your residence?

    I am curious...what is your take on illegal Mexicans coming into the US and not learning English? What do you think about US schools teaching kids who don't speak English in Spanish (as they do in CA)?

    I'm hoping you will say, they should learn English....but, this being slashdot, I'm not holding my breath.

    -john
  • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @08:16AM (#16575650)
    Remember, though, we want congress split - so don't go voting all one-party! In America, a divided legislature is a good legislature... they only get things done that have broad support. I can't be the only one that loved the government shutdowns during the Clinton administration. Oh, we should decide which house needs to go Democratic. I guess even if both go, you still have a Republican president... so go vote straight Democrat if you must.
  • by rohan972 (880586) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @08:20AM (#16575698)
    You can exercise greater control over your socioeconomic standing? Honestly? (no, really, I want to know).

    Yes. Most of America's millionaires are first-generation rich. [nytimes.com]
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrogers (85392) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @08:26AM (#16575750)
    How many people have been killed by trams since Theo van Gogh was murdered? There's no denying that it was a despicable crime, but one murder shouldn't be the basis (or pretext) for a national policy.
  • by Megaport (42937) * on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @08:33AM (#16575826)
    I'm an oz boy, Irish/catholic heritage. I lived (and raised my children) in the US for about four years and by coincidence my daughter is going to visit our friends in Texas in just a few days time. My family's links to the US are strong but we don't have a doubt about our choice to live here in Australia.

    Every single thing the parent post said is correct. My only criticism is that the parent was not harsh enough on the topic of Vegemite. The American government seems hell bent on creating terrorists out of even the fun loving aussies. Give me vegemite, or give me death. You don't want to piss us off this way. Make nice with the Vegemite and we'll stop whinging so much about Iraq, OK? Keep the ban and we'll stop making our stupid fscking excuses for you on the world stage and start fingerprinting your citizens when they arrive in the country like you do to us instead.

    You are forcing a generation of young Australians to have to smuggle vegemite illegally into your country in order to fulfill their cultural and culinary needs. You might as well ban musilm women from wearing a scarf or force the amish to use ipods. We will resist your government, and we'll be aided by your people who love freedom of breakfast spread as much as we do. This tyranny will end.

    And you know the French will side with us too, right? You guys are screwed.

    -M
  • by Rivabem (312224) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @08:36AM (#16575874)
    Brazilians dont hate America, neither americans.

    We just think the average ones are a little stupid and paranoid.

    But if you're willing to leave USA, you're far batter the average one! Congratulations!
  • by 14CharUsername (972311) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @08:38AM (#16575892)
    Many third world countries are de facto provinces of the American Empire. To be able to make any change in the American Empire you have to change America. And its hard to change America from one of its minor colonies.
  • Re:EU (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tehcyder (746570) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @08:49AM (#16576002) Journal
    In some countries like Sweden, if you have a girlfriend here you can pick up a passport in 3 years.
    You must be new here.
  • Non-correlation does not necessarily disprove causality, but it is a strong argument. (Stronger than correlation implying causality.) For numerous examples, consider the book "Why Things Bite Back". Here's a hypothetical: assume that helmets save lives. Specifically, if you're in an accident the helmet will "cause" you to live 90% of the time. Also assume that otherwise you live 0% of the time. (These numbers are completely made up, so just accept them for the sake of this example.) Now, also assume that people only wear a helmet when they're driving on certain roads, and that these roads have a 50% chance of resulting in an accident. Other roads have a 5% chance of resulting in an accident. So, in this purely made up example, every time you drive you have a 5% chance of death when you wear a helmet, and a 5% chance of death when you don't wear a helmet. No correlation, even on the assumption of causation.

    Now, I want to repeat that non-correlation is a strong argument against causation. It just doesn't disprove it.

  • by abdulwahid (214915) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @08:56AM (#16576078) Homepage

    What ever problems there are in Darfur - they are not religious. In fact, the problems are to do with nomadic tribes taking their livestock onto lands which are owned by non-nomadic farming tribes. The conflict has been going on for generations - with both sides claiming right to the land. Both sides are Muslim so there it has nothing to do with religion or religious freedom. The situation is also greatly exagerated by the West for political purpose (mainly oil, gold and uranium which are all present in Darfur). I am not saying there is not a problem - just that living here and knowing many people from Darfur - the problem isn't the one portrayed in the West and is defintely nothing to do with religion as you claim.

    In fact, if you visit Sudan you will see there are many churches with a large Christian popuplation. There is also generally repect amongst the Muslim and Christian communities - especially in Khartoum. There are a number of Christians working in our company and many have attested their peaceful co-existance with Muslims to me.

  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Knuckles (8964) <knuckles@dantia n . o rg> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @09:17AM (#16576422)
    all of the social services that have made them so attractive for so long are now buckling under the strain of un-restrained immigration

    Common disinformation. In fact however they are buckling because due to globalization the companies "opt out" [icftu.org] of paying taxes at all, leaving the whole system on the shoulders of their employees.
  • by kiwimate (458274) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @09:29AM (#16576592) Journal
    In almost every case it comes down to visas and border controls that stop humans freely moving around their planet. On the surface it looks like a good idea, but it's absolutely ridiculous that a human shouldn't be able to freely roam the public spaces of their own planet!

    Actually, by and large if you have a passport you can "freely roam". You just can't arbitrarily decide you're going to move there permanently, taking up residence and enjoying the good fortune of benefits attached to that country.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elchuppa (602031) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @09:29AM (#16576594)
    If you'd sent them to some suburb in Virginia or Ohio, or just about any where else in the country apart from the cultural islands of San Francisco and New York, perhaps they would have felt differently about how wonderful the USA was. Essentially San Francisco and New York are the anti-americas.
  • by Knuckles (8964) <knuckles@dantia n . o rg> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @09:30AM (#16576620)
    Why should the dutch have 50% africans / arabs in their country? It wasnt like that in the past, why now?

    Sucks not to have stayed home [wikipedia.org] in the first place, huh?
  • by topical_surfactant (906185) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @09:31AM (#16576636)
    Vote out incumbents. If we keep shifting out the hatemongering idiots every two years, perhaps some of them will get a clue.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @09:32AM (#16576668) Journal

    *You* wanted to move to this country, so *you* should make an effort of blending into society.

    Funny how when Americans say that about Hispanic immigrants we are called racists and bigots.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @09:45AM (#16576924)
    That might be what YOU want, but I pretty much want a paralyzed government - a la the Clinton administration. It seems to be the only way to keep the idiots from spending more money. I really don't see where the Bush administration has usurped much power from the legislature. He mostly gets what he wants because of the alignment he has with the legislature. Watch Bush's "power" melt away without a co-operative legislature.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @09:46AM (#16576950)
    I have been told by Muslims that as a Muslim, one of your fundamental beliefs is that killing infidels is condoned. I'm sorry, but I simply can't agree with any religion whose basic beliefs include condoning the killing others for their non-belief. As a Christian, this is purely unholy, ungodly thinking. Christians teach to love and pray for those who do not believe, not to kill them.

    Oh, and don't lump me in with the "Crusaders" bunch, because as an Independent Baptist, I draw my church lineage from original, New Testament, apostolic churches who were persecuted and martyred, not from the corrupted Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches.
  • Re:Yes, and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @10:08AM (#16577312)
    You can't possibly be serious. I live in Texas. There is NO state tax, ALL related federal withdrawals amount to 19% out of every paycheck, tolls are fairly cheap AND can be avoided most of the time.

    As far as health insurance, unless you live in Scandinavia, free health coverage by definition cannot be better than the one you pay for. Besides, in the US there's a flexible system of payment for health - employer matching, etc. You can trust me on the superiority of "bought" social services over the "provided free" ones - as an immigrant from Eastern Europe, I should know.


    I spent a considerable amount of time in Europe and I would gladly pay 15% more tax than I do now to have all the services and care the government provides. I don't know about Eastern Europe, but I do know a bit about Belgium and the Netherlands.

    Even the most conservative of Americans stand by a common definition. When the economy can't provide services, Government MUST. This seems to fall on deaf ears of the modern conservatives.

    BTW the quality of health care in the US in not even in the top 10 in the world.. Go look it up. We have horrible infant mortality rates and many other things because of people NOT having ANY access to health care.

    There also is NO flexible system of health - employer matching available in the US. Hillary Clinton proposed one in 1993, but before the public even took time to read the system, the Republicans had it discredited on false arguments. Incidentally, her system was very close to the Beligum health care system that actually is a 'flexible system of payment for health that is truly employer matching' and works quite well.

    I can understand your love of America, as there are some really good things, the whole melting pot of people and ideas, etc. But in social terms there are many things in America that are on the level of 3rd word countries, and Health Care is one of them, not only in terms of accessiblility, but in terms in the quality of medicine.
  • by Gruneun (261463) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @10:12AM (#16577382)
    I can't fathom where you get off with this assessment, so I have to assume you're not very well-travelled and you base your entire opinion on what you see on CNN. I think it's quite asinine, not to mention insulting to Europeans, to assume that every non-American is incapable of recognizing that politicians don't always lead as expected or represent the will of the vast majority. Do you think their politicians have a 100% approval rating?

    I have yet to visit a European country where the people weren't open and inviting, even after learning I was an American. In fact, most Europeans are quite the opposite of what you described. When we lived in Italy, most of the locals were excited to talk about everything (With French and Spanish being so popular in US schools, I think Italians are especially excited and supportive when we attempt their language). When my father visited relatives in Bavaria and mentioned to a local that he was born in a nearby, small town, he couldn't have paid for drinks that night if he wanted to. A few years ago, my brother spent a week in Norway, skiing, drinking, and hanging out with complete strangers. A co-worker went on several, recent trips to Germany, Austria, France, and Switzerland. The only political conversation she had was with a couple Canadians who were only asking if her nationality had been an issue. Obviously, it isn't.

    I think even the Middle East assessment isn't completely fair. Ask some of the US soldiers and they'll tell you a large portion of the people are happy to have them, even if they won't yell that fact from a street corner. At the same time, I have friends in Jordan who have told us that it's really not a good time to visit, so I'll take them at their word.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @10:23AM (#16577582) Homepage Journal
    That's why marijuana is not considered addictive. This doesn't change the fact that medical research does show it has harmful effects.

    While true, there's a bit of misdirection in such a statement. It's not marijuana itself that's particularly harmful. Rather, it's the fact that people usually consume it in the form of smoke, and breathing smoke of any sort has harmful effects. You'd get similar harm from smoking dried oregano or grass clippings or business records or $20 bills (especially now that they contain RFID chips ;-). And larger quantities of smoke is more harmful than smaller quantities.

    The overuse of the term "addiction" is sorta funny, though. I especially like the concept of people being addicted to sex. All "addicted" really means these days is that you enjoy something. Being against addiction now just means you're opposed to anything that's fun.

    But, at least here in America, we've always had a strong Puritanical faction. This isn't really anything new; we've just found a new way to frame it (as the political crowd likes to say).

  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms@infamouBALDWINs.net minus author> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @10:28AM (#16577666) Homepage
    Well, depends which drugs that this "war on drugs" is aimed at, no?

    No, it doesn't. A person's right to control their own body is absolute.

    If you want to use drugs in a dangerous way, like injecting heroin into your eyeballs, it's just and reasonable for the state to dissuade you with (accurate) anti-drug education, to put a reasonable "sin tax" on heroin, to regulate heroin for purity and strength, and to ban you from driving under its influence.

    But the sovereignty of the state ends at your skin. Your body, your choice.

    Not only is drug probibition immoral, it's also impractical. It doesn't work. Review the history [lycaeum.org].

  • Re:The Past (Score:2, Insightful)

    by coastwalker (307620) <acoastwalker@hotm a i l . com> on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @10:32AM (#16577746) Homepage
    I spent a few years working in Sweden recently and enjoyed every minute of it.

    However the future is grim I can tell you, I used to look forward to it but bitter experience has taught me that its rubbish.

    Here in the UK every year the state demands more of you, especially money. Its not just money they want, they want you to fill in a form for everything you used to be able to do without interference. They want you to eat particular things, they want you to give up your sports, they stop you from smoking, they want you to carry an id card, they charge you for parking outside your house, they give you a criminal record if you put the wrong thing in a recycling bin, They use speed cameras as a source of revenue and don't spend any money on making the roads safer. they have building planning committees that tell you what is tasteful and make you pay for it. All the roads have lower speed limits to reduce the death statistics, none of the hazards that cause the crashes have been fixed. Every road has roundabouts on it, all the roundabouts now have traffic lights. Gasoline taxation is the highest in Europe but theres no tax break for fuel efficient diesel engines. I didn't mind being afraid of my teachers either, at least stealing sweets was the worst thing that the yobs in my school would do, rather than todays arson, gun crime, knifing and happy slapping. The lodger I took on so I could buy food when I was unemployed (and you don't get any state benefits until you have sold all your assets) quit his teaching job because it was too stressful and now lives comfortably on state benefits with apparently no interest in working ever again.

    Sweden wasn't much better mind you, I realized that it wasn't for me when my girlfriend explained that you had to get permission from the state for the names you wanted to use if you had children.

    I prefer the past myself when I was free to live my own life free of busybodies and people wasting my money - I could have spent the money on something useful like a decent pension for example.

    I like a decent society with libraries sports halls etc, but the slobs in power today want to charge extra to collect the rubbish - which I had always thought was the primary reason for their existence. I do hope that the soul sucking irritation and misery they have dealt other people will be their fate to endure in hell.

     
  • Answered (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eclectic4 (665330) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @10:34AM (#16577772)
    "1) Where would you live, if not in America"

    In any of the more free countries. Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Netherlands, etc...

    and 2) What's stopping you from going?"

    I'm sorry, but that's the dumbest question evah. Friends? Family? The notion that we still live in a country with the greatest "potential" to do the most good and would like to help in that endeavor? The very idea of people leaving in frustration is quite sad, especially in a country where the collective ideas from a wide range of perspectives is what should be the avenue for change (in our pseudo "democracy"), which this country needs. Maybe it's a sign of complete apathy due to special interest groups with the most money (corporations, etc...) gain the most influence, or maybe it's the want of a xenophobic state. Both are worth leaving, but we should just attempt to change it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @10:47AM (#16578004)
    The attitude to Muslims is worse in Australia compared to US.

    Well they do tend to not intergrate and rape Australian girls. That might have something to do with it.
  • by cvmiller (981209) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @11:31AM (#16578736)
    As an American living in Canada, this listing of tax rates is still not an apples to apples comparison. For example the US and Canada top rates:
    Canada 46.4%
    United States 42.7%

    for less that 4%, I get free healthcare in Canada.

    And don't forget, for all the American's who do want to leave the US, there are still US taxes to pay (unless you renounce one's US citizenship) as the US taxes its citizens regardless of where they live (which in the end just increases one's tax burden).
  • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @11:50AM (#16579082)
    So this is what it has come to, has it?

    You quit.

    That's it?

    It's over?

    You're going to let your country expire because you're too lazy to get up off your asses and take it back? The US is (or was) the perfect example of a country. You were oppressed by some ruling class that wanted to tax you with representing you, take away your rights, and treat you like the lousy commoners you are. Instead of leaving to go to other countries, your ancestors said, "Hey, that's not right. We can do a better job." You overthrew the government and made the biggest, roughest, smartest country that the world has ever known. You invented electric lights, developed flight, split the atom, and you walked on the fucking moon. You showed the world, "This is what we are capable of as human beings when we work together. Man and woman, rich and poor, white and black, side by side."

    Yeah, you've had some rough times. A few dickheads have metagamed and bent the rules towards their own sociopathic ends. It's hard to stage a revolt and take back your country when there are laws preventing you from doing so.

    But you know what? There were laws against revolting from England, too. I'm sure that your founding fathers would have been hanged (lethal injection not being around at the time) or sent to The Tower (Gitmo not being around at the time either). Yeah, you might die. You might have to go to war. You've done that before - twice, and internally! - so that the side of freedom would prevail.

    I am not an American. I think that for the most part, you're a bunch of arrogant assholes. But you know what? You deserve to be arrogant. A large part of the hostility you get from foreigners is jealousy. Yes, jealousy. You're a young country. You're less than 300 years old. How does that make a 3000 year old country look when you completely surpass their technology, human rights, and standard of living? Yeah, they'd look stupid for just sitting around in the desert when they could have been using the tools that were just lying around. You are the most powerful nation in the history of the planet. There is nothing in this universe that you cannot do. All you require is the will to do it.

    If you leave, if you give up, that jealousy will turn to hatred - hatred that you threw out one of the best things that's happened to the world. And you are. Yeah, sometimes the US is a belligerent force. You've made some mistakes - and we all know what they are. But when there are earthquakes, the US is there. When there is starvation, the US is there. When there are floods, tsunamis, or hurricanes the US is there. Sometimes you go to the wrong places or have misguided or corrupt leaders. For the most part, you are a force for good. At least, you try to be.

    We all make mistakes. Mistakes can be forgiven.

    Don't give up.

    If you don't like what's happening to your country, then don't quit it. Fight it. Fight to keep your country safe and secure. The only threat to your country comes from within.

    Be strong. Stay and fight.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:30PM (#16581126)
    See here's the problem: You seem to want a country that enforces YOUR viewpoint on everyone. When you say you are interested in a country that has Shari'a Law, you seem to mean that you want it as you understand and would choose to practise it. That's understandable, but the problem is that barring you running the show, you aren't going to find a place that everyone agrees with your views. I'm not an Islamic scholar and I can't claim to understand all the intricate differences but even my cursory level of research has revealed some major differences in opinion as to what Shari'a Law ought to encompass and how it ought to be enforced.

    So, if you want to live your life according to the beliefs you have, the best bet for that is a nation that is tolerant of all beliefs. While they won't force others to conform to what you believe is right, they won't tend for force you to conform to what they think is right.

    There's really no paradox here. If you go to a country like Iran that's run by Ayatollah, well you get THEIR version of Islam which might not mesh with your own. You also tend to run in to the whole "All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely," thing. If you go to a country like this US that's very free you are going to see all kinds of people doing all kinds of things you don't like, but they aren't going to tell you that you have to join in for the most part.
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) * on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:46PM (#16581402) Homepage Journal
    ....certainly not helpful to their lives.

    That's not for others to judge. What you do on your own time with your own money should be your business, not mine. Arguments about what you may do to your financial standing are specious. You can wreck yourself simply by using a credit card in specific ways, or re-financing your house without understanding what you're doing or even by doing all the right things in unfortunate circumstances.

    As for "addiction", some people get into compulsive behaviors, some get out again, some don't, some don't get into compulsive behaviors. And I'm not talking about gambling -- I'm talking about everything. There is no underlying rationale that can sensibly be used to erode the liberties of everyone based upon the shortcomings of the few. Of course, using the term "sensibly" along with the concept of legislation is a bit of a cognitive disconnect, for which I apologize.

    Liberty is what we are really talking about here, and liberty is on a steep, steep decline in America, subsumed by the "mommy" government's continual attempt to pre-empt anything it wants to one or more levels from it actually occurring, because the underlying rationale these days is that you, an un-indited, non-felon, stand-up citizen, can't be trusted with: guns | votes | free speech | habeus corpus | glassware | drugs | motorcycles | cars | your sexuality | disciplining your children | etc...

    Well, as one wag famously put it, you're getting the government you deserve. Good and hard.

  • by Halvy (748070) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:08PM (#16581824) Journal
    Be strong. Stay and fight.


    You sound JUST like a polititian.

    Always nice things to say.. but all lies.

    First of ALL the accomplishments by *Americans* were either done by original immigrants (ya know-- those people who leave their own countries!) or with the help of foreigners.

    You also assume that America will be here for people to: "stay and fight" for..

    Did it ever cross your over-psychological-book-read mind that many if not most Americans feel this country is not going to be around very much longer?

    WHY would anyone want to stay in a land that they believe is totally evil and dieing quickly?

    The ONLY reason people are still comming to America (mostly Blacks & other non-whites) is because the White Man has given his woman over to any non-white who would have her.

    However the pool of available white woman who are going along with this is quickly running dry..and it ain't gunna be pretty when these last fumes fueling our economic & social engine run out.

    What YOU say is straight Goddless 'Jewish' propaganda that is taught to all children in the USA-- until they are old enough to search and speak their own minds instead of 'everyone elses'.

    All the 'good' things you list.. are JUST NOT TRUE-- and whenever they were-- they were done with ill intent.

    You simply fluffed over how America, right from the beginning, was nothing but a bunch of murderous and arrogant bullies (including the 'un-civil' war) who did whatever they could get away with.. until stopped (sound familiar)?

    I sympathize with those who want to leave this HELL.. because no other country wants us.. nor will believe that we hate America and want no part of it any more..

    Countries like Canada have governments that are arse kissers to the USA.. so I suppose the citizens there are just as frozen as 'good' Americans.. when it comes to 'doing something' about all the problems.

    EVERYONE in America agrees on one thing though..

    It will ONLY take severe violence, or massive migration..to end both the current strangle hold that the Jewish Mafia has on America.. and to prevent the forthcomming horror of horrors that lie in way for this ultimate cespool of humanity.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:13PM (#16581904)
    Then why the FUCK do so many Muslims kill Jews and Christians in the name if Allah? I have yet to hear mainstream Muslim leaders come out and condemn the acts of the "fringe". Sorry to say it, but until then, I'll have to view ALL Muslims as the maniacal killers that they are.
  • Re:Too cold (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shadarr (11622) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:27PM (#16582166) Homepage
    We could use another wave of American left-winger immigrants. Stephen Harper got elected, ffs.
  • by jasko (684642) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:34PM (#16582284)
    You've gotta be kidding. We need a Democratic Congress _now_ if you want any sort of oversight on the last two lame-duck years of the Bush administration. We can worry about splitting Congress again in '08 or '10. Geez. We're on the freaking Titanic and you're encouraging everyone to tidy up his cabin before filing out to the lifeboats.
  • by cartman (18204) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @02:59PM (#16582682)
    In a more socialist system, by contrast, higher taxes and moderate salaries means that everyone is working for each other, contributing to a community. They still have the same average spending power, which means that no one is "poorer" for their lack of resources.

    But the problem is, in the socialist countries of Europe, they don't still have the same average spending power. Quite the opposite, the average salary is higher in the U.S. and the difference has grown steadily over the past 25 years.

    For example, in the late 1970s the German average salary was rapidly approaching U.S. levels; but now, the average U.S. salary is ~35% higher and the gap continuously widens.

    In fact, the U.S. economy grows about 2%/capita/year faster than the economies of W. Europe. At that rate, in ~25 years the average income in the U.S. will be double that of W. Europe. At that point, the European countries will be unable to provide their poorest members with a lifestyle anywhere near equivalent to the poorest Americans.

    But they're happy, and together, they've built something: a society, where people feel wanted and protected and cared for

    It's not clear that people in socialist countries are happier on average.

    In fact, it's not clear that the socialist interventions of European economies have benefitted even the lowest strata of those societies. The minimum wage may be higher than in the U.S., but the chances of employment are much lower (chronic unemployment among the poor is extremely high in W. Europe). Health care may be free, but that is accompanied by long lines and denial of health care to people who aren't imminently dying (at least in the UK and Canada). People may have job protection, but nevertheless they feel only slightly more secure in their jobs than in the U.S. (according to surveys) and much less certain of finding another job should they lose their current one. There may be less wealth inequality, but that has been accomplished primarily by reducing high wages, rather than raising low ones. Higher education may be free, but neverhteless, higher education is far more common in the U.S. than in Europe.

    It appears that the socialist interventions have accomplished very little, other than to reduce the growth rate by a few percentage points, increase unemployment significantly, and reduce the salaries of top wage earners. The reduction in salary for top wage earners may reduce the sense of envy and of relative deprivation, but it does not increase anyone's well-being absolutely.

    ...All of that said, I will grant that the transportation infrastructure is superior in Europe, which clearly is a function of government spending. And I will also grant that Europeans work fewer hours per week and take 2 more weeks of vacation per year, which accounts for part of the salary reduction compared to Americans.

    so that they don't feel the need to sleep with guns in the drawer, or shoot their classmates.

    On the other hand, Americans don't feel the need to light on fire 100 cars on an average night in their capital city, out of protest over poor treatment.

    Probably gun ownership is more dependent on cultural factors than economic ones. The right to own a gun is guaranteed by the U.S. constitution, which is a document that is almost considered divinely inspired by Americans.

    In fact, there are a few rural towns in the U.S. which require gun ownership. In towns like those, guns are often given to children as gifts (although not out of economic protest).

  • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:13PM (#16582872)
    Violence is not the answer. It's not possible to physically overthrow a government that has nuclear weapons and a standing army. It's not physically possible. That assumes that you'd have no support from sympathetic branches of your government, which is a valid assumption for a worst-case analysis.

    Even assassination would be pointless. (Let me be clear - I am not advocating the following.) Let's assume you assassinate, say, Bush. (Even though he's no longer legally able to be president any more.) He's dead. The control would pass to his VP until another election. That VP would appoint another VP to take his place, and apart from a few days of turmoil and the footage being shown nonstop on CNN, there would be almost no difference to the running of the country. The same is true of any building. Destroying a building would have roughly the same effect - a few days of turmoil, a few new hastily passed laws, and nonstop footage on CNN.

    What can possibly be done? Well, the easiest thing to do is vote. Currently, 60% of the American population is so disillusioned with the electoral process that they don't get off their asses. Those people are throwing away something that most of the world doesn't get to do. Through complete apathy, they are allowing the small minority to control their actions. Now, that's because to most people, there's no difference in their lives no matter who is in office. Politicians lie, so it doesn't matter which set of liars gets elected. For the most part, that's true. No matter what rhetoric you may have seen spewed, 9/11 would probably have still happened if Gore had been in the white house. It wasn't Clinton's fault - what happened was a culmination of many, many factors - far too numerous to list here. The cold fact is, you guys got sandbagged. We all did.

    You can also restrict who gets to run. We've seen this before in scores of novels, internet sites, and movies. We could say that only veterans get to run, or only people with an IQ greater than 190,
    or left-handed acrobats, etc. The fault with all of these systems is that they place restrictions, and the people that want power more than anything else will find a way around those restrictions. Bush and Kerry are both veterans. Look at the difference in record, and look at how each side will justify their guy's experience and discount the other guy's.

    The hard part is that the people who get to make the laws are the people who are regulated by these laws. (A raise for us? Well, first it has to pass the acid test of being voted on by us!)

    Take back the media. That's supposed to be what regulates the government. You should find it embarrassing that The Daily Show is a better source of news than the news. Expose all the lies that they've told, in the same way TDS does.

    Start a new party. If you can get just one in three Americans to get off their asses and vote for you, then you'll get elected. It's going to be next to impossible, but remember that there is no reward without effort. Your prize is nothing less than the recovery of America.

    Hell, if half the /. readers vote for you, you'd win.
  • Re:Too cold (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @03:31PM (#16583178) Homepage
    Well, the flip side is that it's a minority government. Really, that's the people saying "you know what, all you parties suck", and in the end, that's probably true.

    Frankly, I think this is the best government we've had in a long time... so paralyzed, they don't have the opportunity to screw anything up! And anything they *do* manage to pass must be built on consensus, meaning more Canadians end up represented.

    Sure, that means they also can't do anything controversial (eg, decriminalize marijuana), but I still rather that than a solid liberal or conservative majority, capable of passing anything they like.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:08PM (#16583742)
    You're going to let your country expire because you're too lazy to get up off your asses and take it back?

    I protested the illegal invasion of Iraq before it happened. All that was accomplished was that Bush emasculated the UN.

    The US is (or was) the perfect example of a country. You were oppressed by some ruling class that wanted to tax you with representing you, take away your rights, and treat you like the lousy commoners you are. Instead of leaving to go to other countries, your ancestors said, "Hey, that's not right. We can do a better job." You overthrew the government and made the biggest, roughest, smartest country that the world has ever known. You invented electric lights, developed flight, split the atom, and you walked on the fucking moon. You showed the world, "This is what we are capable of as human beings when we work together. Man and woman, rich and poor, white and black, side by side."

    None of this is true. What actually occurred was that wealthy white Americans wanted to get wealthier faster and decided to break away from England. The rest of the inspirational patriotic junk was a cover.

    We annihilated the natives. 200 million dead during our drive to extend from "sea to shining sea". We were one of the LAST industrialized nations to eliminate slavery. We dragged our feet on giving women the vote. We traded with Hitler while knowing full well what he was doing to the Jews. We invaded the USSR in 1918 and lied about it in our history books for the next 70 years.

    I am not an American. I think that for the most part, you're a bunch of arrogant assholes. But you know what? You deserve to be arrogant. A large part of the hostility you get from foreigners is jealousy. Yes, jealousy. You're a young country. You're less than 300 years old. How does that make a 3000 year old country look when you completely surpass their technology, human rights, and standard of living? Yeah, they'd look stupid for just sitting around in the desert when they could have been using the tools that were just lying around. You are the most powerful nation in the history of the planet. There is nothing in this universe that you cannot do. All you require is the will to do it.

    I am American, and living in the South. Frankly, you don't know what you're talking about. If other countries envy us, it's merely because they don't know us. Y'all think we're great just because we survived WWII? Look at Russia which beat back THREE TIMES the best armies in the world, once in the middle of their own revolution! Yes, we have freedom of speech, but that doesn't do much good when 95% of us believe that the world is going to end because the Bible says so.

    If you leave, if you give up, that jealousy will turn to hatred - hatred that you threw out one of the best things that's happened to the world. And you are. Yeah, sometimes the US is a belligerent force. You've made some mistakes - and we all know what they are. But when there are earthquakes, the US is there. When there is starvation, the US is there. When there are floods, tsunamis, or hurricanes the US is there. Sometimes you go to the wrong places or have misguided or corrupt leaders. For the most part, you are a force for good. At least, you try to be.

    Read your history again. Hurricances and tsunamis you say? New Orleans is still uninhabitable in the poorest areas and much of that tsunami money hasn't materialized.

    We held out a powerful dream to the world, especially during the Cold War, a dream of individual freedom combined with collective strength. But it was just a dream. If you are angry to find out that it was a fabrication from start to finish then you have only yourselves to blame for falling for it. The French said in 1789 that they would be a shining democracy and they begat the Reign of Terror followed by Napolean; USSR said it would create a laborers paradise and begat Stalin and the gulags.

    We all make mistakes. Mistakes can be forgiven.

    As
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HuguesT (84078) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @04:35PM (#16584180)
    According to the article you link to, a grand total of 5 Americans have sought asylum this year. This is hardly a deluge, and I don't particularly believe the Sun when it says "they freely admit it's for the free stuff".
  • Re:The Netherlands (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) * on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @05:24PM (#16584874) Homepage Journal

    This is true, but legalizing drugs doesn't just effect the people that are going to use them. It will effect(sic) society as a whole.

    Certainly it will; because the law being in place has raised the crime level hugely, removing it will drop the crime level the same degree, if not more. Because the law has raised the prices, drug users spend more on drugs than they would otherwise, and those of limited funds tend to steal, which they would have to do less if drugs were priced like any other commodity. Cops would lose a lot of justification for their jobs and have to do real work, like patrolling the neighborhood, the DEA and several other TLA's would have to be disbanded, taxpayers would save billions of dollars in taxes (and drug prices), jails would be relieved of a huge burden of inmates... yes, legalizing drugs will certainly have an effect on society, I agree. :/

    On the other hand, responding to the argument that society should have the right to regulate drug use, I would say that it does not as a clear matter of personal liberty. However, should I stipulate that this was a reasonable thing to regulate (I reiterate, it is not), this does not produce any possible rationale that it is also reasonable to regulate glassware that has other uses besides drug use, even if the only other uses might be artistic. If drug use is to be banned, then ban it. Don't ban speech about drugs, don't ban bags that could carry drugs, glassware that could prepare or route drugs, don't ban research into drugs. These things are perversions of liberty brought about by... irrationality. Today, drug use is already illegal. That's enough (it's too flipping much, in point of fact.) There is no need to go on a rampage and make peripheral law. If someone uses drugs, bust them. Done. End of story. You've already trampled on their liberties, punished them for their pursuit of happiness, why not be satisfied with that? Why go and litter the legal landscape with ridiculous peripheral activities that are not punishment for drug use?

    If anyone can start taking something like cocaine or heroine (even in small doses), addiction will climb and so will the care of the people addicted, which will mean higher prices for health care for us.

    Anyone can start taking heroin. Which completely destroys your argument. I'm about 3 minutes from a dealer I know I can get heroin from. It isn't the law that prevents me from going there; it is a personal choice.

    Additionally: Drug laws don't (can't!) stop such behaviors. They punish them, which is something else entirely. Regardless, the taking of heroin is no reason to outlaw the use of needles, the purchase of spoons, matches, plastic tubing, and band-aids. Taking heroin is already illegal. Be satisfied with that. You can punish the poor sap for exercising his pursuit of happiness. That's what you wanted, and you surely do have it. Leave the rest of society alone, would you?

    As for the "higher prices for health care for the rest of us", if you elect to pay for said poor sap's addiction, then you are a fool, frankly. I would never, ever support such an idea.

    Self-inflicted injuries are clearly one's own responsibility. If you stab yourself with a rusty nail, cut your finger off by hacking at it repeatedly with a knife, or dive into an empty swimming pool, I would simply laugh and let you expire, or otherwise suffer. If you can pay for your care, that's fine. But I would not attempt to legislate knives, pools, or nails out of the realm of legal to possess items just because you are an idiot. Again, we're back to the problems with a mommy government. If mommy insists on fixing every injury, no matter how it is acquired, by stealing our allowance, as it were (taxes) then she is forcing us to either glue everyone to a backboard so they cannot under exercise of free will injure themselves or even take a chance of

  • Re:EU (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gronnsak (228090) on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @06:30PM (#16585646)
    GP is living in Europe and is enthusiatically praising it and you have to critizise him for one slip-up. Thanks for giving us other europeans a bad name and confirming the "snooty european" stereotype. Asshole.

"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity." - David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"

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