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  #41  
Old 14.04.2009, 12:52
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

I can speak for Texas:

Pro's
1. Housing prices are affordable.
2. Jeans don't cost $150
3. Lots of parking space
4. You have to BUY health insurance just
like here.
5. Sunshine 320 days per year
6. Easier to fit in

Cons
1. Public transport.
2. Two weeks vacation per year for most people
3. Crime in big cities
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  #42  
Old 14.04.2009, 13:29
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Interesting how different experiences can be.

I had more vacation days per year in the U.S. than I have here now. Both times my employer was/is a large financial services company. And I always took all my vacation days, we even had a rule in the U.S. that you had to take a 2-week leave once a year.

I also found the U.S. health care system to be more affordable and of higher quality than the Swiss system.
I have to agree here - considering my employer in the US paid all my health care premiums, both my wife and I have found our Swiss insurance to be insanely expensive and the quality to be of lower quality and greater frustration.
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  #43  
Old 14.04.2009, 13:30
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

I have lived 26 years in the USA: Mainly California (North and South), Hawaii, and the deep south. I have now lived in Switzerland for 22 years (German part). I have done frequent travels to the US (and many other parts of the world) during this time, and I have also experienced how places change - Switzerland today is not the same place as 20 yrs. ago, neither is California. Anyway, in my humble, yet long experience, here is my list of pros and cons for either place (I will place my US frame of reference in N. Cali as I lived there 20 yrs, but my list applies to many other US areas):

California Pros:
- Great weather (usually)
- Fantastic ethnic food, good value for money
- Great wine, produce, meat, fish, etc.
- Beautiful nature (but you have to drive there)
- Diversity of people and lifestyles
- The ocean / beaches / diving / sailing
- The Sierras / skiing / hiking, can be somewhere and see only nature in every direction
- Center of innovation in many areas (not only tech)
- English everywhere, almost no communication problems whereever you go
- Mobility: you can go anywhere and still be in a familiar culture


California cons (many apply to the USA in general)
- Rate race mentality, little vacation, thin separation of work and personal life
- Arrogant, we-are-the-center-of-the-world mentality
- Ridiculous house prices, low quality construction
- Poor urban planning: you have to drive everywhere for anything
- Lousy public transporatation
- Isolating culture and lifestyle (home-car-office-mall-home) little chance to interact with people outside of your social circle
- Horrendous traffic, car-dependant culture, air pollution
- Transcient mobile culture, people come and go often, rootlessness, superficiality (let me tell you my life story...what was your name again?)
- Ugly architecture: fastfood, gas stations, strip malls, parking lots
- Violent crime, and getting worse
- American brain-rotting television (Bill O'reilly, American Idol...the list is endless)
- Huge drug problem
- Gentrification of once-interesting places like SF used to be
- Air pollution, drought, fires, illegal immigrants
- Homelessness
- Money is everything mentality; you are what you own and what your earn
- Lousy health services
- Higher tax, and getting higher all the time
- Bigger is better mentility: big cars, big houses, requiring way more energy than necessary
- Epidemic of obesity
- Indirect democracy, unfair electoral college: the majority vote does not necessarily win
- Ridiculously expense University tuition
- All other places are far, far away
- Difficult to raise kids properly in the unavoidable presence of poisonous media influence

Switzerland Pros:
- Beautiful and clean country, mountains, lakes, scenerary, cities
- Beautiful and distinct seasons
- In the middle of Europe, close to many fascinating places
- Generous holidays and benefits
- Fantastic skiing, close by
- Good urban planning: patches of forest are preserved everywhere, walk to the corner shop, to green areas, farms
- Beautiful preserved architecture with charming walkable old towns
- Great produce, meat, bread, cheese, milk
- Crystal clean water everywhere, literally pouring out of fountains on every other corner
- Clean air
- Excellent health services
- A connection to the place where you are from
- A most walkable lifestlye due to great public transporatation, bike paths, well marked walking trails
- pretty low tax
- direct democracy: the majority vote wins
- Great public school system
- Virtually free University for those who qualify
- Anti-smoker mentality
- Great place to raise kids based on traditional values
- Incredibly well built houses

Switzerland cons:
- A very inward looking paranoid society
- Very closed-minded mentality, suspicious of foreigners, reluctance to reveal personal details
- Cold winters, esp. Jan-Feb
- Unlearnable language (esp. Swiss-German) keeps foreigners on the outside
- Very expensive, esp. real estate
- Poor quality overpriced ethnic food
- Bizarre, almost child-like sense of humour
- Way too many smokers, cigarette vending machines on streetcorners
- Limited number of established ethnic groups keeps discrimination alive and well
- Very limited areas of pure nature: very few places outside of deep alpine regions where you cannot see a manmade structure

So, that is what I could come up with off the top of my head. I am still here, so I guess I voted with my feet.
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  #44  
Old 14.04.2009, 13:33
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Tnx all. One other thing is that most of you moved from US to here, so you had your own reasons depending on your situation. But I like to also hear from anyone who is thinking to move to US.
I moved here after 8 years in the U.S. (Texas, to be somewhat more exact).

I have been here for 2 years. My family and I would move back to the U.S. in a heartbeat, even accepting a pay cut or "lateral career move" just to get out of Swissieland.
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  #45  
Old 14.04.2009, 14:10
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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I moved here after 8 years in the U.S. (Texas, to be somewhat more exact).

I have been here for 2 years. My family and I would move back to the U.S. in a heartbeat, even accepting a pay cut or "lateral career move" just to get out of Swissieland.
where are you from originally?

I have been here 15 months and I would live in either the US or New Zealand/Australia.
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  #46  
Old 14.04.2009, 14:38
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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where are you from originally?

I have been here 15 months and I would live in either the US or New Zealand/Australia.
Originaly ... Germany. Wife Austria. Kids 3 passports each.

Never been "down under" (do people actually say that?) or in NZ, but would consider it.
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  #47  
Old 14.04.2009, 14:50
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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I think any of the expats on this board can tell you that transitioning to a different culture is not always painless. You'll need to learn a new culture, while you unlearn your old one.

If you want to learn more about life and the world at large, California is a microcosm of the whole world. They have people from every part of the globe with all kinds of personalities and cultural baggages... I mean backgrounds. Generally, Californians are quite accepting of others, and very open in terms of exchanging information and knowledge. There is a lot that can be learned there.

To survive well in California, you'll need to develop a sixth sense in terms of people. You'll need to learn how to read people, as well as how to interact well with them. Unlike Switzerland, where you can forego social skills as long as you do your part very well, merit in California is largely based on personal-social skills. I know of a number of talented people who could not make it there because they were too self-sufficient at what they do. They simply never developed a community network to deal with more complicated problems.

There are already too many people in California. The place is quite dense. There is not enough water, and there are too many cars. The air quality is awful, and there is a high crime rate. There are also lots and lots of criminally insane people lurking around.

If you are Swiss, I bet you would go through a culture shock. I think you'll have to undergo a transformation to live in California. Some are able to do it, some are not. Those who have would probably tell you it is well worth it. But if your first concern is to live your life in safety, familiarity and comfort until the day you stop breathing, then I think you are better off staying here.
Land of the fruits und nut`s
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  #48  
Old 14.04.2009, 14:55
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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There is this sense that what happens in California reverberates throughout the whole world.
Could I get an example of one item of Californian activity that has caused a global reverberation please ?
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Old 14.04.2009, 15:02
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Land of the fruits und nut`s
Like... OMG! That is like so totally true. Like... before the Internet.... we were already living it.
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  #50  
Old 14.04.2009, 15:07
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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I moved here after 8 years in the U.S. (Texas, to be somewhat more exact).

I have been here for 2 years. My family and I would move back to the U.S. in a heartbeat, even accepting a pay cut or "lateral career move" just to get out of Swissieland.
Need help with packing ??
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  #51  
Old 14.04.2009, 15:07
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Originaly ... Germany. Wife Austria. Kids 3 passports each.

Never been "down under" (do people actually say that?) or in NZ, but would consider it.
I hear it quite often and often say it when talking to my ex boss in NZ. So far i havent been corrected.
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Old 14.04.2009, 15:12
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Could I get an example of one item of Californian activity that has caused a global reverberation please ?
In which aspect of life would you like to hear about?

Steve Jobs, a street hustler, and Steve Wozniak, a guy who made whistles that can be used to make free long distance phone calls, team up to market a personal computer. Or how Sequoia funded Google? Or how the waitress at the coffee shop turns into a superstar? Or how that guy with the austrian accent who has been harrassing pretty women on the Ocean Blvd. turns into a major politician? Or how the conservatives elect a movie star as governor, who turns US President and wins the Cold War? Or that black dude at Tommy's burger in Eagle Rock turns into the U.S. President?

There are LOTS of things that occur there.
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Old 14.04.2009, 15:35
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Or how the conservatives elect a movie star as governor, who turns US President and wins the Cold War?
citation needed
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Old 14.04.2009, 15:40
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citation needed

It's off-topic, but here he is nursing George Dubya.


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Old 14.04.2009, 16:05
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

This is in regards to the U.S. health care system:

I also come from the U.S. of A. (Texas) but before moving here I lived in Indiana. I also have a so-called pre-existing condition (Diabeties) which I have had for over 20 years. I got crap health care in my home country! At that time in my life (9 years ago), I did not work for a company which provided health care for all of its employees so I had to pay for EVERYTHING up front. It was not good by any stretch of the imagination. Just because of my good health care in Switzerland (I have lived in Lausanne, Zürich and now Basel), among many other things, I would remain here in Switzerland. Plus I hear about all the crap HMO's deal out to individuals. So, be careful. I have heard other horror stories from other American's still living in the U.S.
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  #56  
Old 14.04.2009, 16:05
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Need help with packing ??
No, thanks, I think I am quite capable of handling that myself.



Why? Looking for a job in Swissieland?
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  #57  
Old 14.04.2009, 17:03
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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In which aspect of life would you like to hear about?

Steve Jobs, a street hustler, and Steve Wozniak, a guy who made whistles that can be used to make free long distance phone calls, team up to market a personal computer. Or how Sequoia funded Google? Or how the waitress at the coffee shop turns into a superstar? Or how that guy with the austrian accent who has been harrassing pretty women on the Ocean Blvd. turns into a major politician? Or how the conservatives elect a movie star as governor, who turns US President and wins the Cold War? Or that black dude at Tommy's burger in Eagle Rock turns into the U.S. President?

There are LOTS of things that occur there.
Ok Phos I take your point there are some people who have become famous who are from California, but that is something of a different statement to saying "what happens in california reverberates around the world" otherwise the whole world would be one reverberating mess because just about any developed country has a subset of individuals who have made it in business. Because Apple formed it didnt "reverberate around the world" - or if it did it would have hit the reverberations from Bill Gates, Tim Berners Lee, Xerox PARC and so on and so on.

Anyway I didnt mean to put the thread off topic. Its for another discussion...
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Old 14.04.2009, 19:13
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Since when did California become USA? I think someone needs to represent the East Coast....any volunteers? Ok, I'll give it a try.

I can best vouch for New England. It has some very European towns and cities, the weather is more extreme than here. (hotter summers, colder winters) But the best universities in the world are concentrated here. (though you will need to pay quite a bit for them) There are ridiculously many research opportunities, especially in science and engineering. Internships are also quite plentiful. There is also plenty of unspoiled nature to go and visit, beautiful foliage in the autumn, good skiing opportunities and some great beaches in the summer. New York City and Boston are both reachable and possible day trips.

Further south, there are other nice states. I personally like Virginia, the Carolinas and central to south Florida. The latter especially due to the weather and the lower taxes.
word! i am from new york! i have lived in NY, Philly, Dallas, DC and many other fine US cities...

i am from america....i can't say it doesn't have its faults....i was happy to come to switz to get health care....as it is mandatory...it's expensive and privatized but still....i didn't have health care in the US.....i was denied self health care by blue cross because i stupidly put down that i had been in therapy at one point...jeesh....so they are free to decline for just about any reason.

if you're young and want to be in school then go there and experience life outside of where you are from. i recommend this to anyone anywhere in the world if they can manage it.

see the world from a different perspective!
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Old 14.04.2009, 19:28
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Ok Phos I take your point there are some people who have become famous who are from California, but that is something of a different statement to saying "what happens in california reverberates around the world" otherwise the whole world would be one reverberating mess because just about any developed country has a subset of individuals who have made it in business. Because Apple formed it didnt "reverberate around the world" - or if it did it would have hit the reverberations from Bill Gates, Tim Berners Lee, Xerox PARC and so on and so on.

Anyway I didnt mean to put the thread off topic. Its for another discussion...

Well, you see, the cultural impact of California is humungous. We set a lot of the trends the world follows. We create and invent trends. Even the bloods and crips street gangs reverberate through places like Luzern. It was so stupid to see a lot of the grafitti in Europe state "Tupac Lives. F' the LAPD!". I also think lot of germans seek to move to California because of Baywatch.
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Old 14.04.2009, 19:58
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Could I get an example of one item of Californian activity that has caused a global reverberation please ?
GOOGLE......it.
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