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  #81  
Old 15.04.2009, 00:21
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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The two weeks is a banking requirement, so that they can see if you are embezzling from them.

My last job in the US was at a financial institution, and they gave us about four weeks off for my job level (not managerial) and length of time there - vacation and sick time were lumped together. So, if you got sick, you didn't get to have any vacation time. And taking either vacation or sick time in any place I've worked in the US was strongly frowned upon.
We had 20 vacation days, 4 floating holidays, 2 personal days per year. A total of 26 (more than I have here) to be used at my leisure. No problems taking all my vacation days every year.

And none of this included sick days. I seem to recall that 6 weeks were included / paid for, longer-term could be self-insured rather cheaply.

See? All experiences are really unique and different ... makes it hard to compare and generalize.

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  #82  
Old 15.04.2009, 08:41
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Ah, but as friendly as they may be, they do get involved in politics and try to change the laws to their way of thinking, rather than for what is best for everyone.

As do atheists, perverts (NAMBLA), gun owners, libertarians, homosexuals...et al. Is this not called democracy? I dont know which one you grew up in, but in that one you have to get off your a** and lobby for lawmakers to get results that you wish. When you have 50 different states, each with their own agenda, nothing would get done if people just waited for government to do what they want.....

Not to mention that for virtually everyone of these hard core Christians, there is an 'American Civil Liberties Union' (ACLU) Lawyer working at a low wage to supress them.

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  #83  
Old 15.04.2009, 09:20
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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I was debating starting a new thread but think this fits (otherwise please move), do people really feel that USA is the same everywhere? I am not picking on BasP72, I saw this in many posts.

The laws are more or less the same and there are common stores, but each city has distinct characteristics. It takes living in those cities to really know them. I have lived in the Philadelphia area and in North Central Florida - the differences are vast.
In fact, they're not! The states have various reciprocity agreements to respect each other's marriage certificates, driver's licenses, handgun carry permits, etc. but the rules for obtaining them vary tremendously - as do tax codes, traffic laws and nearly any other government interaction you can think of.

It's like Switzerland but with bigger cantons.

You're dead on about the vast cultural differences. Phos's regional breakdown is pretty good but could definitely stand further subdivision - Minnesota and Ohio, for instance, are at least as different as New York and Vermont.
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  #84  
Old 15.04.2009, 09:45
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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There are a number of very distinct regions and histories:

-The Northwest (Portand/Seattle)
-Northern California
-Southern California
-The Southwest (Arizona, NM, NV)
-Texas
-The Great Plains
-The Rockies
-Great Lakes
-The Bijous
-New York
-New England
-The South
I would expand on that and add:

East and West Texas
North and South Florida
Eastern Pennsylvania and Western Pennsylvania
Alaska
Hawaii (how cool to have major cities close to Europe and our own exotic island in the pacific?)

Then there are regionals rivalries...
Boston-NY
Philly-Pittsburgh
Texas-rest of the country
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  #85  
Old 15.04.2009, 09:51
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Minnesota and Ohio, for instance, are at least as different as New York and Vermont.
That's true. For example, if you go to Minnesota, it seems everyone turns Swedish, and the word "Yes" goes from "Ye" to "Yea" to "Ya" to "Yah". The prevailing hair color also goes blond.
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  #86  
Old 15.04.2009, 10:10
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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I would expand on that and add:

East and West Texas
...
Texas-rest of the country
Within Texas, don't forget Dallas vs. Fort Worth and Longhorns vs. Aggies.
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  #87  
Old 15.04.2009, 10:20
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

Actually, this thread is kinda useless in that there is no such thing as a single particular USA. There are just way too much variation. Within any given city, you could be living in a $20Million mansion, or renting a $500 apartment. The difference in lifestyles are worlds apart. On top of that, it is constantly changing, so it may be different 5 years from now.
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  #88  
Old 15.04.2009, 10:21
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

Like many others have said, it depends on where you go. My husband and I are both from Oregon. (Portland, OR) He recently finished his PhD in Bio-Chemistry and we moved to CH for a postdoc position. I love Portland... can't say enough about how great it is. Though not as majestic as it is here, Oregon feels a lot like CH. We both had very positive experiences education-wise. I attended OSU for my undergraduate degree and he went to a small, liberal, private college for his. I can't say much about his Masters and PhD experience except that he liked it! I'm sure it's different for everyone, but the lab he worked in was well organized and well funded. Several publications came out of his work there and he made lots of connections which is how we ended up here!

PROS
* The beer. The beer in the Pacific NW is the best in the entire world (in my humble opinion) and I miss it soooooo much. Also, the wine from the Willamette and Umpqua Valley's - beautiful. Maybe not a strong enough reason to re-locate somewhere, but do take it into consideration!!

* The beauty. Oregon (and the Pacific NW) is storybook beautiful. It is also very diverse... Coast, rainforest, desert, mountains, farmland. The seasons are distinct and all wonderful in their own right with farm-fresh growers markets in the summer and great skiing (not nearly as good as CH!) in the winter.

* Liberal. A plus for me, but maybe not everyone! The urban center of Oregon (Portland) is very liberal, but this is not the case state-wide. Portland is also one of the most environmentally progressive cities in the U.S.

* Great public transportation and bike friendly. We had a car which was great for weekend trips, etc., but my husband and I both biked to work every day for 3 years, no problem. Our neighborhood had a beautiful gourmet market and tons of cafe's and bars within walking distance. There was even a movie theatre that served micro-brew down the street.

*Culture. Tons of it... music, art, theater.

All that being said, I love Switzerland and am thoroughly enjoying our time here. Everything works! The healthcare, low-crime, it's beautiful, so central for traveling.........

I don't know... there's a few things for you to consider. I've met a few people here who had awful experiences in the U.S. One fellow went to San Diego for a postdoc. He's from a big city in Spain and moving to the urban sprawl of southern California was a huge culture shock. I wouldn't like it either!
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  #89  
Old 15.04.2009, 10:36
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Within Texas, don't forget Dallas vs. Fort Worth and Longhorns vs. Aggies.
Aggies are naturally better.
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  #90  
Old 15.04.2009, 10:46
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Aggies are naturally better.
What do you call a good-looking woman on the A&M campus?

Right, a visitor.



This Horned Frog doesn't care either way.

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  #91  
Old 15.04.2009, 12:07
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Actually, this thread is kinda useless in that there is no such thing as a single particular USA. There are just way too much variation. Within any given city, you could be living in a $20Million mansion, or renting a $500 apartment. The difference in lifestyles are worlds apart. On top of that, it is constantly changing, so it may be different 5 years from now.
yea, there are huge spaces of combinations of situations and it’s almost impossible to list all, but still this thread reveals some stuff.
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  #92  
Old 15.04.2009, 12:22
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Portland......
PROS
* The beer. The beer in the Pacific NW is the best in the entire world (in my humble opinion) and I miss it soooooo much. Also, the wine from the Willamette and Umpqua Valley's - beautiful. Maybe not a strong enough reason to re-locate somewhere, but do take it into consideration!!

* The beauty. Oregon (and the Pacific NW) is storybook beautiful. It is also very diverse... Coast, rainforest, desert, mountains, farmland. The seasons are distinct and all wonderful in their own right with farm-fresh growers markets in the summer and great skiing (not nearly as good as CH!) in the winter.

* Liberal. A plus for me, but maybe not everyone! The urban center of Oregon (Portland) is very liberal, but this is not the case state-wide. Portland is also one of the most environmentally progressive cities in the U.S.

* Great public transportation and bike friendly. We had a car which was great for weekend trips, etc., but my husband and I both biked to work every day for 3 years, no problem. Our neighborhood had a beautiful gourmet market and tons of cafe's and bars within walking distance. There was even a movie theatre that served micro-brew down the street.

*Culture. Tons of it... music, art, theater.

All that being said, I love Switzerland and am thoroughly enjoying our time here. Everything works! The healthcare, low-crime, it's beautiful, so central for traveling.........

I don't know... there's a few things for you to consider. I've met a few people here who had awful experiences in the U.S. One fellow went to San Diego for a postdoc. He's from a big city in Spain and moving to the urban sprawl of southern California was a huge culture shock. I wouldn't like it either!
I really like Portland too - I've been there loads of times but never had the chance to live there.

The public transport is great. There's been a lot of investment and it's paid off.
The nearby countryside, coast and mountains are stunning.

To be honest, I would say that the great things about Portland are also the great things about Zurich.

I've not met anyone who knows both Portland and Zurich who doesn't have the same sentiments.

It's one city in the U.S. that I would be happy to move to from Europe.
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  #93  
Old 15.04.2009, 13:20
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

There was an informal poll around the US a few months ago
involving people that didn't have health insurance. They
interviewed people and asked why they didn't have health
insurance.

One guy replied, that he would have be able to buy so
many new clothes.

Another guy replied, that he could not go as often to the
bar. Many of these people can afford health insurance but CHOOSE
not to buy it.

The health care in the US is not perfect, but "Sicko" by Michael
Moore is really sensationalist. He does it to make a point, but it
is a bit over the top.
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Old 15.04.2009, 14:32
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

Just out of curiosity I went online to get a quote for health insurance from a company in the US...in Connecticut (generally higher cost of living than avg USA)

Male, 26, non-smoker

USA:
$3,000 deductible, 0% co-insurance....maximum cost liability is $5,000 per year

Cost: $60 month


Last year, I had Swica here and with a 1500 CHF franchise and similar coverage


Cost: >330 CHF per month


Edit: forgot to add...you can cancel your insurance and switch at your convenience.........plus itemized billing!!

Last edited by kiwiguy08; 15.04.2009 at 15:23.
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Old 15.04.2009, 14:47
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Just out of curiosity I went online to get a quote for health insurance from a company in the US...in Connecticut (generally higher cost of living than avg USA)

Male, 26, non-smoker

USA:
$3,000 deductible, 0% co-insurance....maximum cost liability is $5,000 per year

Cost: $60 month


Last year, I had Swica here and with a 1500 CHF franchise and similar coverage

Cost: >330 CHF per month
In Switzerland, you are subsidizing all the older and less healthy people, that is the only way a universal system can work and one of the reasons that many Americans are reluctant to a change.
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  #96  
Old 15.04.2009, 14:50
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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In Switzerland, you are subsidizing all the older and less healthy people, that is the only way a universal system can work and one of the reasons that many Americans are reluctant to a change.

Is this really universal health care? I thought that meant it was free like in Scandinavia.
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Old 15.04.2009, 14:56
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Is this really universal health care? I thought that meant it was free like in Scandinavia.
So health care is free in Scandinavia? Nobody pays through taxes and VAT for it?? I wonder then why they are so heavily taxed.. maybe just to make the politicians rich(er)

Since everybody has to pay for health care here, it kind of levels the field.. only some people pay more than others...
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  #98  
Old 15.04.2009, 15:03
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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So health care is free in Scandinavia? Nobody pays through taxes and VAT for it?? I wonder then why they are so heavily taxed.. maybe just to make the politicians rich(er)

Since everybody has to pay for health care here, it kind of levels the field.. only some people pay more than others...
Of course they pay it through taxes. I meant free as in free from insurance premiums. In your previous post, you insinuated that we have universal health insurance AND pay premiums
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Old 15.04.2009, 15:03
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

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Is this really universal health care? I thought that meant it was free like in Scandinavia.

universal health care means everyone is covered...that is what universal means.

Now, there is single payer health care like they have in the UK and Canada where the government pays everything and takes a good chunk out of your taxes. I prefer the Swiss model over the UK model and hoping that is where the US is heading.

Most Americans and others, I know think universal means the single payer but no it is not the same thing. You can't have universal without subsidies and forcing everyone to participate.
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Old 15.04.2009, 15:36
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Re: Pros and Cons of living in the USA

We have various kinds of health coverage in the US: HMOs, PPOs, POS, PCP, County, Medicare, etc. There are limited coverage plans, and extended coverage plans. There are also optional coverage options.

At the top end of the spectrum, health care in the US is the best. The problem with universal health care is how to offer it to everybody without watering down the top end.
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