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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate? 999

Posted by timothy
from the offworld-colonies-are-nice-this-time-of-year dept.
New submitter tsakas writes: "I am an IT researcher from southern Europe looking for a good place to relocate. Markets are pulling the teeth out of the strong European countries by destroying the south. The U.S. is in debt and there is no way of telling how long this can go on. China and India are on the rise. Brazil and Australia are looking good. The question: Which city would you choose to go and start a family if you were to stay there for a) 5, b) 10 and c) 20 years?"
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate?

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  • Oh Canada! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:07PM (#40986867)

    Canada is the place to be IMHO. With the stable economy, the speedy rise of the IT sector and easy Permanent Residence options, it should be your best bet, both in the short and the long run.

  • Stay where you are (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:07PM (#40986869)
    Stay where you are. "I believe I have the nondisprovable ability to predict worldwide economic trends" is a terrible reason to move.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:08PM (#40986883)

    As a person who was born in one country, brought up in a second, did college in a third, married a woman in a fourth, and when back to live in the country I did college in, I do not belong anywhere. I would move to any country that provided me with an opportunity I was interested in. There are stupid immigration hurdles and such you have to deal with, and those are artificial constructs that we have created to slow the movement of people like me.

    There is a saying in my parent's tongue. I am a pigeon, I fly wherever the seeds are. You should do that too.

     

  • Too little info (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:08PM (#40986889)

    China and India are on the rise. Brazil and Australia are looking good.

    Can you speak the language? What are the immigration policies of these countries?

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:08PM (#40986893) Journal

    What benefits would that provide to the submitter?

  • by mooingyak (720677) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:09PM (#40986895)

    It depends on what you value. You're from "Southern Europe". That's semi-specific. What sort of place are you looking for? Good schools? What kind of community do you want? What kind of language skills do you have and/or are willing to acquire? What sort of culture are you looking for?

    Plus, your economic analysis is overly simplistic:

    The U.S. is in debt and there is no way of telling how long this can go on.

    If the US experiences a major economic collapse, there is no place in the world where you won't feel the effects of that. Or at least, no place in the world where you can hold a job as an "IT researcher".

  • Re:US (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:09PM (#40986897)

    yes, they are simply going to print more money. no problem involved...they are doing it from a long time now...

  • Only 20 years? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davidwr (791652) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:09PM (#40986903) Homepage Journal

    But you said raising a family.

    This means "where would you go so your kids will have the best opportunities in their lifetimes."

    Unless money to travel and attend college abroad is no object, this requires a much longer time horizon than 20 years.

    Unfortunately, any reasonably precise prediction of where the world - or any part of it - will be politically and socially 20+ years from now has a high margin of uncertainty.

  • The US. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:09PM (#40986905) Homepage Journal

    I don't think you actual understand the economic issue.
    I suspect you don't understand the EU's issue on a big scale either.

  • A true American (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:09PM (#40986917)

    Spoken like a true American: one who hasn't ever been outside the country, yet speaks as if he has.

  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:10PM (#40986933)

    Umm.. no. If you are going to North America, go to Canada. Specifically Western Canada. Crime is very very low compared to the US, the economy is very strong compared to everywhere else in the world, and we don't expect you to shed your culture.

  • Re:US (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jhoegl (638955) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:10PM (#40986935)
    Politically motivated "Ask Slashdot" is politically motivated.
    FYI, signs of China's economy slowing down since last year.
    Also FYI, be good at what you do and no financial crisis can hurt you.
  • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:11PM (#40986953)

    No matter where you look, each location will have its own fair share of problems. Rather then picking a location based on economics and political issues, pick a location where you will be happy.

    Now obviously, being happy is contingent on being employed and being able to live where you choose, but I guarantee you one thing, following the money does not always work.

  • Minnesota, USA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:11PM (#40986959)

    Twin Cities (Minneapolis & Saint Paul) Minnesota. Hands down. Big IT market that is growing, middle of the continent, near the Canadian border, more fresh water lakes than any other place on the planet. Very progressive populace with excellent education and employment opportunities. Only real problem is a terrible fucking transportation system but we are trying to fix that.

    Please tell NO ONE. ;)

  • "On the rise" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:15PM (#40987029) Journal

    One thing you have to keep in mind that China and India "on the rise" are still far worse off than US and Europe. There's no guarantee they'll be better in 20 years even if they sustain that rise, which they won't necessarily do - China in particular has a pretty nasty bubble ready to burst.

    I'd stick to developed countries for the simple reason that you get some basic guarantees there that you don't in the third world should things go very wrong. For the same reasons I'd avoid US long-term - it's a good place to earn money during the productive period of your career, but not so good to retire in. If you're already in Europe, it's probably easier to go for one of the better developed countries there as they're more likely to weather the storms - Germany or France are two obvious destinations. Then there's Scandinavia - Finland looks surprisingly decent on many counts if you're willing to live with the weather.

    If you are really bent on seeking something outside of Europe, consider Canada - a saner version of US on so many counts, especially economy wise. And you still have US nearby, which is convenient for shopping and some other things. Very easy to immigrate to, as well. Australia is also a very decent option, and if you're a believer in China long-term, you should consider them for the simple reason that it's in the same region and China is their major trade partner.

  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spire3661 (1038968) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:15PM (#40987039) Journal
    Sounds like someone who has never set foot inside the U.S. Our civil War settled this issue long ago, there is no getting out of the Union. If anything you will see solidarity and calls for war if our creditors decide to get uppity.
  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metrometro (1092237) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:22PM (#40987157)

    The US's major creditor is also its biggest trading partner. China can't wreck the US economy without destroying their own. And if you think the US needs Chinese stuff, China needs US markets more. The debt is not a big deal other than as a political flamebait; if it was, institutional money wouldn't still be using dollars as a reserve currency and running up US equity markets.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:23PM (#40987185)

    Time consuming"? This isn't the ocean liner era, this is the jet age! Leave Heathrow and 13 hours later you're in San Francisco.

    You seem to have skipped the part where you wait years for a residency visa/green card and then years more for citizenship so you can't be kicked out at any time. Some of my friends went to California on work permits in the late 90s and were back a few weeks later when their new employer laid them off.

  • Re:US (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:24PM (#40987205)

    Choose US if you are ambitious and good at what you do. There is no country on Earth that will offer you the same opportunity to succeed and the same liberty to pursue your goals without excessive interference from the government, while at the same time offering strong rule of law and minimum corruption. Ignore the impression you might have from Hollywood movies. Apart from some inner city ghettos, the quality of life in the US is amazing. Chose Canada or Scandinavia if you are insecure about your ability to maintain employment, have no ambition to start a business and need the reassurance of a strong safety net. China and India are still third world countries with extreme poverty and an enormous amount of corruption. Australia may be a good middle ground between the collectivist nanny states of Europe or Canada, with zero energy and innovation, and the US. Also, as far as I know, the immigration policy is relatively welcoming (like in Canada) compared to the US and Europe.

  • Re:US (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:24PM (#40987213) Homepage Journal

    yes, they are simply going to print more money. no problem involved...they are doing it from a long time now...

    But still...so far, we're still doing better than much of the EU which is going down the tubes...

    And I can't imagine wanting to live in India or China...from the images I've seen of the general living conditions in each of those countries, I don't think I'd care to live there!! If nothing else, recent articles about India's problems with energy infrastructure.

    I kinda go back to an old saying I hears..."...sure the US sucks, but it sucks a whole lot less than it sucks everywhere else in the world.

    I'm quite pessimistic these days about the US economy...the printing of money and all as you've alluded to, but hell...I can't imagine it will be a lot better anywhere else in the world at the point in time.

    I'm worried about the current administrations spending like a drunken sailor on shore leave....I hope it gets better next year, but I'm not sure of that. It would likely take a bunch of the politicians that cared about the US...to get in there, and not worry about re-election, and vote and do what has to be done.

    Those steps would be unpopular with many, but to save the US economy in the long run, we're gonna have to cut a LOT of spending, and a lot of that is social programs, there's just no two ways about it. Medicare will likely go bankrupt in the near future if nothing is done.

    And likely any thing seriously done to fix it...will not get you re-elected, but man...someone....actually a large group of folks need to get into office by whatever means....and sacrifice their political careers and fix things.

    But, even with that diatribe....I can't see it being any better outside the US. Quality of life and all is still great here, better than what I've seen when I've been outside the country.

  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:27PM (#40987271) Homepage Journal

    Living in a foreign place can be pretty lonely. It's no surprise that people are of the opinion that their own country is one of the best places to live. It's not a uniquely American phenomena. The handful of Frenchmen I know hold the same view of their homeland (save one, who actually like the US better than France).

    I think it takes a certain personality to enjoy travel and new places. Some of us are homebodies, and I think it is unreasonable to view us as backwards or ignorant of the world.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:30PM (#40987327)
    Why does your "right" to deny me trump my "right" to travel anywhere I like on this planet? I was born here, same as you. As the GP said - artificial constructs. While I'm in another place the deal is reciprocal: you get my taxes from working, and the benefit of my helping the local economy, etc. And I get the "generous" use of that countries resources. If you're American or Canadian (or most "Countries" I suppose), your ancestors simply went and took this land for themselves, and then wish to deny others the same opportunity.
  • Re:Oh Canada! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dthx1138 (833363) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:30PM (#40987331)
    Is this a unit conversion joke?
  • by Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:30PM (#40987333) Homepage

    His nic is "Tsakas". Now think, which semi-bankrupt Southern European country could he be from. Given that he is looking to exit one country which was living beyond its means and was called on it, the US looks too familiar. One day China is going to call in the debts. From here it looks as though the US is trying to reduce immigration anyway, not the best option.

  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jackjumper (307961) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:33PM (#40987355)
    Right now 10 year treasury bonds are selling at rates that mean investors *lose* money, accounting for inflation. Tell me again how our debt makes us in trouble?
  • by scorp1us (235526) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:38PM (#40987449) Journal

    Well then as an American, I would say he should go to Greece.

    (Because I don't want him coming here and bankrupting my country. We don't need any more help!)
    (But even if he came here, he's not like it, you actually have to work 50 weeks out of the year)

  • Re:A true American (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:40PM (#40987485)

    Speaking as a naturalized American who spent 20 years living abroad, mostly in western Europe, there is nothing better than traveling abroad to convince even the most anti-American American (yes there are many, mostly of the 'grass is always greener on the other side' type) just how great the USA really is.

  • Re:A true American (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZonkerWilliam (953437) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:41PM (#40987493) Journal
    Well I'm from Canada, been to the UK and Italy as well as Switzerland and Holland, also been on missions to Kenya and Haiti, i can safely say that the U.S by far is the best place to be (even if they are printing money). Will that do for non-biased or will only the answer you want to hear be sufficient for you?
  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mooingyak (720677) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:42PM (#40987497)

    1. Eliminate the mortgage interest deduction

    That sounds like a cure that's worse than the disease. Unless there's a very careful plan to phase that in gradually, that'll produce a fat pile of foreclosures.

  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m.ducharme (1082683) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:43PM (#40987535)

    Er, there's a rather large country with lots of open spaces right next door, that someone might consider as a viable option to the US or Europe. You know, Canada, that place where we've weathered the downturn better, are on track (in 2-3 years or so, unless Europe implodes) to eliminate the temporary deficits we ran up to keep our heads above water during the financial crisis and go back to running surpluses, have universal, single payor health care (at half the price per capita of US health care), similar standard of living, stable democracy, and politicians who are saner than the US ones, even if I don't like anything our current government is doing.

    Just sayin'.

    (We've got our own problems here, no question, but we're in better shape than the US, for the foreseeable future)

  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:44PM (#40987549)

    US Bond Rates (US Debt) is currently under inflation. Really that means countries are buying US dollars at a loss to them. In a global recession like this, the whole world is screwed. The US is strong enough to endure this. The idea of China is going to cash in all at once is ludicrous because if the US economy is killed so is China's.

    What people don't seem to realize, we are in a global recession, during these recessions most of the normal rules of economics are messed up.

    Recession isn't a lack of money but the lack of moving it around. So...
    1. The Rich will hoard all their money they make. They will not start investing it out (trickle down) until the economy improves, right now many investments are too risky so they will hold on to their profits, vs using it towards growth.

    2. Putting money in Low Yield but Safe investments. (High US debt,) US Bonds are the safest place to put your money... Yes at the rates you will loose money, but you will loose it at a slower rate then other investments.

    3. Increased Crime, People who do not have an income will get what they want at any costs, also the rich who do have what they want will try every trick in the book to prevent too much loss. So more crime happens and the victims (sometimes poor, sometime rich) loose what is theirs, thus making life harder for them.

    4. Radical Political Stance. Things have gone wrong. the guys in charge seem to be moderates and doing too little too slowly. Lets try to get someone who will make the trains run on time, and punish the opposition who possibly caused the problem in the first time.

    5. Less funding on infrastructure. Things go in disrepair and we cannot benefit as much from it.

    What happened with this recession (A very basic explanation/my opinion) is that it was building up for a long time (I would say from the mid 90's) Because between the mid-late 90's-mid 2000's we had a decade of bubbles (false economic success) First we had the y2k fix/internet tech bubble, we had a need to upgrade or redo our infrastructure to handle Y2K, being that a lot of it is just get new stuff, we started to take advantage of the new stuff (Aka Internet) so we had a bubble there, with young kids with Economy 2.0 and sell at a loss and make it up by selling a lot of it. After 2001/2 the infrastructure had been upgraded, and the stupid business models couldn't hold on for that long. So the Tech bubble popped. But at the same time, of the tech bubble popped we got the housing bubble. Like the tech bubble, we got a lot of bad (illegal) business ideas accepted by well known companies. Democrats and Republicans didn't do much to stop it, because citizens are getting the American dream of their own home, and the growth seemed endless. We saw signs of trouble but were ignorant of it because the bubble was keeping us going. After the housing bubble popped, we didn't have a strong bubble to go onto the next step. Thus a Huge recession.

    It is a perfect storm that causes a downward spiral, that feeds itself. Unfortunately the only thing that will really fix it, is time. At some point there will some new invention or idea that will spur more innovation. The rich will want to expand again, and things will improve. Having this recovery be slow, although it is very painful for a lot of people, is probably a good thing over all. We are building strong fundamentals (which Bush was incorrect when he said that) again, our core values are returning, get rich quick isn't the mantra anymore. So things will slowly get better.

    The United States has actually weathered the recession over all a lot better then most other countries.

  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m.ducharme (1082683) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:45PM (#40987559)

    And not start from the bottom of the pile in the first place.

  • Better question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxrubyNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:46PM (#40987583)

    The better question is where can I relocate and survive outsourcing? Outsourcing is the number one threat to job stability no matter what country you are in. When I was younger I thought it was a problem with job being outsourced from more expensive northern states to cheaper southern states - it was. As I grew older I learned that was just the tip of the iceberg and that outsourcing meant you were competing against people all over the world. Outsourcing means that your job can be sent all over the world.

    It doesn't matter where you go, you will face the same problems. Not only that you will also face all of the challenges of being an immigrant. Over the years I have talked with IT people from places like India and even there they outsource their jobs to other firms.

    The bottom line is that you have to find a job that is difficult to outsource. There are ways to do this, for example find a job that can't be outsourced out of the country for national security reasons. Find a job that involves working directly with people and requires face to face interaction as a consultant. Find a job that requires your presence and not your skills.

    You can be replaced, and companies will spend a fortune to do do it because in the long run they /perceive/ that they will save an even larger fortune by doing so.

  • by AtlanticCarbon (760109) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:53PM (#40987673)

    I think I've read stories about people from just about anywhere feeling the need to move in order to escape bad economic conditions. You hear a lot about people bringing up Australia or Germany. I don't see any long-term scenario in which other countries of the world are flailing but Germany and Australia are thriving. Economies are too interdependent these days.

    One should choose a city where they have the strongest base of support from family and friends. If thinks get worse, you will need to rely on those people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:58PM (#40987749)

    I actually agree right now. A few years back I'd have said move to somewhere like Australia, or Canada, or similar. But frankly, both these countries have taken political turns for the worse. Honestly, if the problems in southern Europe are really problematic for you, just move further North in Europe for now - Germany, France, the UK, or one of the Scandinavian nations.

    Canada needs to kick the Conservatives back into the long grass with a massive electoral defeat that means they'll be un-electable for at least another 15 years before it becomes a reasonable option again, and Australia just needs to ditch Murdoch's complete ownership of nearly the entirety of it's media and simultaneously ditch all the current mainstream parties for some that are slightly more rational.

    There is a lot of wisdom in what you say, it's easy to listen to the miserable press bitching about their own country/politicians, but you get that everywhere, and right now I'm not convinced the grass is greener anywhere much really and hence IMO it's the wrong time to move. Things need to settle first before anyone can give advice as to what the best 5, 10, 20 year bets are. It wasn't much more than 20 years ago that the Berlin wall was still standing and the USSR was dominant across Eastern Europe, so judging what anywhere will be like in 20 years will be tough anyway.

  • Re:US (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhamNguyen (2695929) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:09PM (#40987915)
    You don't understand the definition of "insolvent". US GDP is approx $15 Trillion. The total output of the US economy in 1 year would be sufficient to pay back all Federal debt. This is like having in income of $80,000 a year and owing $85,000 dollars. Insolvency would be more like if federal debt was 10x GDP.
  • Re:Too little info (Score:4, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:15PM (#40987989)

    Note that Australia is pretty hostile to immigration and it can be tough even for white people to get in.

    Confirmed - if you don't find an employer to sponsor you [immi.gov.au], the wait period is forever-and-a-day.

    Some other things: most livable cities [wikipedia.org] + Melbourne still on top [abc.net.au]

    However, don't forget most expensive cities for expats [wikipedia.org]

    If you have kids, no matter where you immigrate, good chances to be a nightmare for a period of 1-4 years - a no-no if your kids are past the primary school age.

    Southern Europe may mean: Italy, Spain, Greece - Italian and Greek expats communities are pretty common, Spaniards not that much in English speaking countries.
    Anyway, European countries have rather high population densities and good public transport coverage. US, Australia (and Canada??) are countries with huge suburban sprawls, owning a car is almost survival level (don't expect a shopping centre just as you exist your place and don't expect frequent buses in suburbs). Of course, if you are lucky (and find a good paid job) you may be able to afford to rent in central areas, but don't bet on it.

    India - hmmmm... if you can think of a very busy market day (or a festival day) but forget about the fun, you'd have a pretty good idea on how the everyday streets in India look like (at least the case in major IT centres).
    The car traffic is insane, a continuous rush hours except 4-5 hours during the night. Nobody seems to follow any other rule but "I want to go where I need" and nobody seems to care about incessant honking - I was under continuous stress my week in India, my brain interpreted the honking as "you are in immediate danger" (until I get adjusted to the idea they are using it just to signal their presence). Frequently, cars and motorcycles will even use footpaths to overtake. Malaria is a risk; one may (or may not) get adjusted with the food.
    Power outages (of smaller scale than the recent major ones) are frequent - my experience: almost daily, of 3-15 minutes duration. If you have kids, I would strongly advice you against... otherwise, if you have a big adventurous spirit, why not?

    China? Do you speak mandarin (for the mainland China)? What about Cantonese (for Honk Kong)? If neither, maybe it's not such a good idea

  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:25PM (#40988139)

    Hmmm. I disagree, as someone who left the US and moved to Canada to start a business.

    The process is actually exactly as easy here, overall, my taxes are comparable- maybe slightly lower (Washington vs Alberta), and the crime rate in this city is substantially lower, despite it being a very close approximation of the same place in the US (Seattle vs Calgary).

    Canada's economy has a stronger growth outlook for the 5 year horizon than the US, the dollar is stronger than the greenback (though that's bad if you're exporting) and the housing market has been much more stable. Plus, I don't have to shell out $900 per month per employee for health coverage. I'm not sure I could afford to do that, I'd probably just go without... And that sucks, but it's the price of being an entrepreneur in the US, and that's pretty fuckin' lame if you ask me.

    If you look at studies, the US has a lower economic mobility and a higher prevalance of "social class" being an indicator of future success than almost any country in the world (it rivals Russia in this way).

    Having seriously lived in both places and having moved to Canada to start a business, I'm going to tell you that you have been fed a line of patriotic froth and while you're free to blather on with your opinion, it's pretty funny to watch from here.

  • Re:US (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aristotle-dude (626586) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:44PM (#40988445)

    Nah, the Canuks are shitting the bed as fast as the other western nations. They just have further to fall, so they look better right now.

    They've let a bunch of ultra-conservative wingnuts get hold that are trying their damn hardest to turn the place in to the 52nd state. If you want to see Canada in 10 years, see Australia.

    Let me guess, you are either a teenaged Canadian who never lived under an NDP government and you get your news from American liberal media or you are an American Obama supporter who is completely clueless about Canadian politics.

    The Canadian conservative party is "fiscally" conservative. Our prime minister is a boring economist with a masters degree and that is the way we like it. Americans have no clue what the conservative party stands for. Our economy is still doing better than the American and European countries and our Canadian dollar is currently on cent above the US dollar.

  • by ZonkerWilliam (953437) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:01PM (#40988719) Journal
    Well the difference between the 'have's' and 'have-nots' in the US is really how many houses,cars,TV's, one has. The poor here are pretty wealthy compared to most of the world.
  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flaming error (1041742) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:02PM (#40988735) Journal

    He knows exactly what exponential [youtube.com] means.

  • Re:Too little info (Score:4, Insightful)

    by oldmac31310 (1845668) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:05PM (#40988773) Homepage
    I don't live in Australia and I have never had any problem understanding Australian English. I'm guessing that you are from the US. I have found that people from the US tend to not have a very good ear for understanding English spoken by non US speakers. I genuinely wonder what is up with that. I live in the US but am not from here and personally have little difficulty understanding English speakers from other parts of the world. I think it is just a matter of exposure to different accents over time. Same as learning other languages. As they become more familiar they become more accessible. Though I must admit to being a very poor and lazy linguist.
  • Re:US (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ahodgson (74077) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:21PM (#40989013)

    Oh so the feds only have to take 100% of the economy and apply it to the debt. So easy. Good luck with that.

    You know Greece has less debt per capita than the US, right? How happy are they?

  • by iserlohn (49556) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:27PM (#40989105) Homepage

    You must have led a pretty sheltered life to say that.

  • Re:US (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:51PM (#40990883)

    This is so ridiculous it's not even funny. The US is utterly rigged against anybody non-wealthy when it comes to starting a business. Where I come from (Scandinavia) literally anybody can start a business if they have a marketable idea and some willpower. Here in the US (I have lived here for ~15 years), you need a marketable idea plus twenty million dollars, unless your idea of a "business" is selling trinkets on Etsy while living with your parents. Having a social safety net is an incredible boon to any middle-class person starting a small business - in the US it's literally suicidal because the average person is dependent on an employer for things like health insurance. If you look up the data, you will find that Scandinavian countries in particular have many more small-to-medium businesses per capita than the US. People there have more personal freedom in their lives, as they are not de facto indentured servants to a corporation.

  • Re:US (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mirix (1649853) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @07:04PM (#40991019)

    Yeah, Our 'fiscal conservative' govn't that blew through the liberal's surplus, and is creating the largest deficit in the history of the nation. Some fucking fiscal conservatism that is.

    I'm old enough to have lived through provincial NDP governments, and they've been the most fiscally sound we've ever had, while at the same time increasing social programs.

    tory times are tough times.

  • Re:US (Score:2, Insightful)

    by grantspassalan (2531078) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @08:26PM (#40991747)

    Debt is measured in dollars. Germany and other countries all over the planet have canceled all debt and all bank accounts by simply changing this thing that people call money. There is no country on earth that uses real money i.e. gold or some other item of value. Fiat money wears out, whether that is negative (debt) or assets in bank accounts, which in either case these days are only numbers in computer registers somewhere. In ancient Israel in biblical times, their economy was essentially reset every 49 years. All debt had to be forgiven and any properties mortgaged, went back to their original owners. This was a planned, foreseeable reset, after which everyone started over. In our modern economies there are also resets, such as experienced by many countries, such as Germany and others. The problem is that these resets are not planned, but happen haphazardly. That makes the results much more traumatic for the average person. Fiat money, such as is used in all world economies is based on faith. When people lose their faith that particular kind of money is no longer accepted by most of them for trading, people resort to exchanging items of value, using them as money. In Germany after World War II, coffee beans and cigarettes were used as money, because people no longer trusted the old Hitler money. The US dollar is only as strong as the faith that people have in it. When that faith evaporates, other media of exchange will be used until a new form of government regulated money is issued. Most likely, very soon, there will be a world currency replacing the various forms of national money used today.

  • Re:US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir_Sri (199544) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @08:45PM (#40991915)

    *High work hours are easy to fix -

    http://squirrelers.com/2010/10/20/vacation-days-by-country-how-do-we-rate/

    By moving to europe. US 25 days off a year. Just about everywhere else on the list, more than 30, with some over 40. Even working a shitty call centre job in ireland will get you 5 weeks vacation. Finding that in the US or canada if you're not a professor is basically impossible.

    *Health care is not an issue with health insurance (salaried IT worker). US physician skill level, medical equipment, drugs, and access/availability of care are top notch.

    False. Lose your job, lose your insurance. You also pay a lot for inferior care. Even those insured in the US get bad care. The problem in the US is that you actually get a lot of treatments (even covered ones) that aren't very good, and insurance providers are interested in reducing costs or attracting customers with flashy treatments, not trying to provide the best care for the minimum cost. This is why, for example, the poorest in the UK get better healthcare on average than the richest in the US. e.g. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/03/world/europe/03health.html?_r=1 and the UK system provides better outcomes for everyone.

    Lets not get into things like lifetime caps on insurance, or not getting preventative care covered, because Obamacare will theoretically help but it's still an enormously wasteful system.

    I saw significantly more racism/hate of specific foreign cultures/immigrants when living in areas of Finland

    Without a doubt. Europe has a racism problem. It's just a different racism problem than the one in the US. If you're used to the one in europe why bother getting used to the one in the US? The racism problem in europe is going to get worse before it gets better as it becomes 'blame the turk' 'blame the arab' 'blame the indian' 'blame the roma' etc. for all that ails them, and their lack of jobs.

    but they're often expensive

    Unnecessarily expensive. As an american you are in many cases likely to get a better education for less money by being a foreign student in Canada or europe (paying 20k a year in tuition) than by staying in the US. Some of the state schools in the US aren't bad and aren't soul crushingly expensive, but every school in canada australia or europe is 'not bad and not soul crushingly expensive'.

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"

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