You can choose which company you work for, and you can found your own company. Both of those are a lot easier in the US than in Europe.
Exactly how difficult do you think it is to found your own company in Europe? In my country all that you need is a bit of starting cash (a few thousand Euros) and you're up and running in a day.
And as for choosing a company to work for, I can assure you it's like pretty much anywhere else. If you're qualified, you'll get a job pretty quickly. How good a job that will be will depend on the current economic situation, but that's also like anywhere else.
I know all about, and I'm all for, the concept of innocent until proven guilty. But ask yourself this: how would your immediate surroundings react if you were charged with kiddie porn charges? Chances are you would be in trial process for months, maybe years.
How would your boss react? School or kindergarten your kids go to? Your friends, acquaintances? Even spouse.
While child exploitation is extremely vile, the prejudice surrounding any suspect that is potentially involved, may be just as bad. And potentially is an important word here.
Analogously, cell phones are a throwback to old crank phones because you have to charge them before you use them. We used to have perfectly good powered land lines. Cell phones with their short battery lives and constant attention are for eclectic hobbyists I'm sure.
Not quite. You cannot carry landline phones around with you. And also your example is not correct. cranking was not used to power the phone, but to make the ringer ring. And I don't think you will find many people that are actually happy with current battery capabilities of todays' smarphones and that a lot of people would say that cell phones of 10 years ago were much, much better in that regard.
Idea that we live together in groups, is that group offers benefits to a person, to which they otherwise wouldn't have access. Even in feudal times peasants paid certain amount of their income the benefits that they gained. Such as protection.
And to say that the principle, by which groups take care of individuals that are unable to do so by themselves, exists only for the last 100 years is in the very least extremely narrow in definition.
"Older" orders, such as even today in Africa, place a premium on society, usually in more narrow circles, taking care of individuals, such as elderly. The only difference is that today this kind of approach is referenced in taxes and social security that provides support to everyone. It's a simple extrapolation of the old concept, applied to larger societies.
Granted, the actual implementation doesn't always work as it's supposed to. There are countries where such systems are either inefficient, corrupt or both. But where it does work, it works great for everyone and not just for people that have money.
And I have to say that so far I have only ever heard people complain about these systems when they were healthy. Pretty much never, when they had to go into a complicated surgery.
There is no "copay" or "insurance you choose to buy into".
I'm sorry, but you also don't know what you're talking about. Even though I wish it wasn't true, such system does exist in more than one country, besides the US. I live in one such country. We had it since the abolition of socialism (20+ years ago) and currently there are a lot of discussions going on that it should be abolished.
One of the things of a civil society is and has to be the fact that it will take care of those who cannot care for themselves. Otherwise we can go back to living in our own individual caves.
And before you say something snippy, not that i said "those who cannot" and not those who will not take care of themselves.
That's not a valid argument/question.
The point is that mentalities in the two countries are very different. One country is focusing on "everyone has a chance to be king of the world." which leads to people trampling one over another to reach that coveted position. At the same time pretty much no one gets there. On the other hand in Sweden community based (or government, if you prefer) approach, with healthy dose of transparency and oversight, offers better infrastructure and overall experience for the people who then use said infrastructure.
It is true that taxes in Sweden are much higher than they are in the US. But people there enjoy greater quality of life, with less stress than they do in the US.
Disclaimer: I'm not from either of the two countries, but I've visited both frequently.
I am one of (maybe rare) customers for these solutions.
I'm in my late 30's now and have been and still am a gamer. My work requires me to travel around a lot internationally and I decided several years ago that I won't have a desktop PC anymore. So, whenever I'm purchasing a new laptop, I'm always looking for a best performance-to-weight ratio. 6 years ago that didn't go well at all and I ended up with a 17" monster that worked nicely, but was a bitch to carry around. Three years ago I scaled down to a 15" laptop that had decent performance, was much lighter than what I had before, but kept overheating and shutting down if I was running anything a bit more demanding.
Half a year ago it was time for me to switch over again. Now I was actively looking at ultrabooks. But at the time I still didn't find anything that would quite persuade me. Form factor was extremely attractive, but performance was not quite up to what I wanted and needed. I was especially turned off by the lack of RAM that I could fit into most of them. So i went for a next generation of my 15" laptop, which in itself slimmed down over the years and is now a quite attractive thing (in my opinion).
I especially like the concept of switchable graphics, which in theory allows for long hours of work on the go and good gaming experience when power is available. I say in theory, because I had countless issues with Intel graphics drivers and problems that they caused with sleep mode.
In any case, these developments keep convincing me, that desktop is something that I most likely won't be using anymore. And will be more than happy to have a very decent, if not the slimmest, laptop to carry around.