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Foreigner's Perspective on Canada and the US
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it's been a brutal winter and still not over yet. Montreal is still a very safe city if you don't slip and fall, but getting more expensive by the day. I'll be paying for medical insurance on my taxes this year, but have yet to find a doctor accepting new patients, irony of this supposedly universal healthcare system.

From the papers (well, the internet, anyway) the US from here looks like it is in dire shape. Everyone is getting shot in the head as they cross an intersection as the removers take all the posessions out of their foreclosed houses (today's Tucson Citizen). I'm still getting tons of emails about ESL jobs in public schools all over the US, even though I read calls for massive round ups and deportations of immigrants. I meet a lot of people here who used to live in the US but had too many visa problems and got tired of it. What is going on over there?
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ls650 wrote:
My apologies for causing you upset, Vanica; I was only curious as to why you stay in North America.


I just reread your posts and see what you are saying in a different way now. My apologies, too.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12019
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: No news is good news Reply with quote

Dear Vanica,
It's funny how one's impressions of a place, garnered from a distance, usually from the media, can often seem so different than the ones a person
right there has.
That's something I experienced during almost every holiday from Saudi Arabia.
I'd be back here in the USA, watching the news, and so many times, from what I saw on TV, I'd start thinking that I'd be crazy to go back to the Middle East. Mama mia - it appeared that everyone had a gun or two and was looking for an American to shoot.
Then, back I'd go and - lo and behold - it was the same as ever.
I guess the moral is - what you read in the papers or see on TV or on the Net is always the exception, not the rule. Bad news sells; good news doesn't.
Sure, there is some bad stuff going on (isn't there always?), but for most of the population, it's usually a case of same old, same old.
Regards,
John
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right, Johnslat. The press can be very slanted. Need more sources like you and Dave's for information. Very Happy
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Johnny_C_NYC



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Posts: 21
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Re: No news is good news Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear Vanica,
It's funny how one's impressions of a place, garnered from a distance, usually from the media, can often seem so different than the ones a person
right there has.
That's something I experienced during almost every holiday from Saudi Arabia.
I'd be back here in the USA, watching the news, and so many times, from what I saw on TV, I'd start thinking that I'd be crazy to go back to the Middle East. Mama mia - it appeared that everyone had a gun or two and was looking for an American to shoot.
Then, back I'd go and - lo and behold - it was the same as ever.
I guess the moral is - what you read in the papers or see on TV or on the Net is always the exception, not the rule. Bad news sells; good news doesn't.
Sure, there is some bad stuff going on (isn't there always?), but for most of the population, it's usually a case of same old, same old.
Regards,
John


Agree with johnslat on just about everything including the real issues with illegal immigration and Islamofascism. The former has become so out of control in the US (as opposed to Canada, where illegals are usually carefully picked out and it is not a family-based system - also there are nowhere near the number of illegals (indeed the number of illegals in the US is estimated to be almost half the population of Canada)) while the latter is still pretty much treated with kid-gloves in the Western Press. In general many of these Islamic immigrants have no desire to assimilate and indeed seek to institure Sharia law in many places so they can live as they always have. Basically it is incompatible with Western Judeo-Christian morals and values, but governments kowtow to it - I think mostly due to their PC nature. See this link for more info (FYI, took years for the left-ish press to even report this Smile.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/02/19/nsharia19.xml

Also keep in mind that what people generally tell pollers is usually a bit toned down, so the situation is most likely worse than what the story details.

This isn't news - it's been around for decades, but now is finally coming to a head as the huge Muslim masses in Europe start flexing their voting power.

RE the press and the skewed vision of the world they show well I just got back from Brazil and if you read all the news you would think that you were getting Dengue Fever the minute you stepped off the plane and that some guy would rob you the minute you turned your back! As always you need to take necessary precautions in developing nations like Brazil, but my experience there was far from (oh and by the way every day they were deporting Paraguayans from what I saw/read I don't think they have any immigrants there).
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you call Eastern Europeans in NYC 'illegals,' too, or is this term only reserved for Mexicans or Central Americans?

Our greatest pleasure in North Carolina was getting to know people from Mexico and El Salvador. Our most horrible experience was having an 'American' accuse my four year-old daughter of spitting and yelling at her to 'speak English.'

Please explain why you Americans and Canadians can bounce around the world as it suits you, but the rest of us are humiliated, imprisoned, exploited and insulted when we are forcibly displaced.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9127
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, North Americans can't really bounce around the world as they wish, except as tourists. I'm constantly disappointing North Americans who want to 'move to Spain to teach English,' for example... The EU hiring laws have, in fact, burst quite a few naive bubbles, I can assure you.

And those Eastern Europeans in NYC largely have some kind of legal paperwork allowing them to be in the States to begin with. The assumption regarding Mexicans and Central Americans is that they avoided the borders. Which, I suppose, is factually INcorrect in the majority of cases, though I haven't got the statistics.

Anyway, as half of a Czech/American marraige, where we have lived together in five different countries, I can say that we have had to jump through so many legal hoops to get where we wanted to be that we have come to have little patience for those people who skirt the immigration laws, giving all immigrants a bad name...

I reckon, Vanica, that you've gone through the legal hoops as well, and perhaps you know what I mean about feeling angry at those who bend or break the laws...
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, your assumption is incorrect about Eastern Europeans in NYC. Many Poles were recruited by agencies to clean asbestos; no info, no masks, no papers, no disability, no recourse, young people with mesothelioma.

I have not even one iota of bad feeling towards those who supposedly did not go through legal barriers. Don't you realise how much easier that would have been, to have done paperwork instead of hiding in a container on a ship, crammed into a suffocating bus, walking across the mountains or deserts? Don't you think we would have done that if given the choice? Don't you think some of us assumed our recruiters had done that?

It's funny how this anti-immigrant sentiment is coming out amongst the Americans when the numbers of immigrants are dropping off dramatically. The US is not the place anymore except for the most desperate. I am thinking to go the US now because it is the new third world, full of big abandoned mansions, no work, an uneducated populace, a cheaper place to live.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12019
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Vanica,

" I am thinking to go the US now because it is the new third world, full of big abandoned mansions, no work, an uneducated populace, a cheaper place to live."

Well, I might go along with "an uneducated populace", although, having lived in other places in the world, I'd have to say that's very relative.
But if you're thinking of coming here for all those other reasons, then I'd have to say that maybe you've been watching too many TV programs or reading too many newspapers/magazines.
Big, abandoned mansions? Haven't seen any here in Santa Fe - and although I'm familiar with the "mortgage crisis", most of those unfortunate homeowners (or ex-homeowners) didn't live in mansions.
"While prices are more attractive these days, not everyone should be in the market.
"There is no hard and fast rule that applies in all cases, whether it be a good market for real estate or a down market, such as we are currently experiencing," says Valerie Anderson-Jones, CPA, JD, CVA at Kessler Orlean Silver & Co. PC. "Tax advantages can make the ownership of real estate quite appealing, but the decision whether or not to own a home should be based on many factors.
"The size of the down payment and resulting mortgage will play a large part in this decision, as well as the amount of any other assets and debt one currently has."
Brent Kalka, Certified Funds Specialist, or CFS, and financial adviser at Mueller Financial Services Inc., Elgin, Ill., points out there are times a person or couple should not consider buying in this market.
"For example, if a retired couple is thinking of selling their home in order to downgrade and gets less than fair market value, they will lose more financially then what they gain by getting a good deal on a less expensive house and are better off financially by waiting until the market turns around."
A second consumer who ought not consider changing residences is a homeowner who, prior to the market downturn, had 20 percent equity in their home and didn't have private mortgage insurance, or PMI payments.
"With home values down," he says "their equity has dropped, and they no longer would have the 20 percent down payment necessary in a lateral or upgrade purchase to avoid PMI, which can run anywhere from $50 to $150 per month."
Kalka also believes that potential homebuyers should consider the fact that the real estate market could be no better or even worse a year from now, so they have to decide if they want to wait it out.

No work? Well for some - the unemployment rate's pretty high.
"The unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent in May, its highest level in nine years, the Labor Department reported today, as the worst jobs slump since the early 1980's continued to spread across the economy.
Still, the pace of layoffs has slowed over the last two months, suggesting that the economy might have stabilized and could begin adding jobs this summer, forecasters said."
I'm an exception, I guess. I just landed a full-time job working for the state of New Mexico teaching GED at the state penitentiary - full-benefits and a very attractive salary.
A cheaper place to live?
Have you seen the gas prices lately? Cheaper than where? Everything has gone up since I got back here in 2003 - rent, food, clothing, you name it.
If it's getting any "cheaper" here, I certainly haven't noticed it. Besides, you can't have it both ways: if there's "no work", does it really matter if it's "a cheaper place to live"?

So, I'm not saying don't come, but what I am saying is don't come with what may well be unrealistic assumptions fueled by the media.


Last edited by johnslat on Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Santa Fe is not a good example!

Look at what's for sale around Raleigh, NC, the most expensive part of the state, supposedly no housing bubble, and you'll see what I mean.

Check this link [url]thehousingbubbleblog.com[/url] You can get a mansion in California or Florida for almost nothing. Citibank just wrote down another 5 billion from bad mortgages.

As for gas prices -- US is a bargain!!!! We're over 1,30 a litre here. And Canada is an oil-producing nation. Milk and cheese are ridiculous and I see dairy cows if I drive 15 minutes. Don't even want to go into the prices in Europe.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12019
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Wow - if you can afford one of these, you must be darn well-off (and your definition of "almost nothing" is very different from mine.)

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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, John, I am talking about 100k. Please take pity, I have asthma and cannot search and copy as fast as you!

In California, The Tracy Press. “Stephanie, 32, and Brian MacDonald, 30, never thought they’d own a home so soon. The couple had rented a $900-per-month duplex for three years before they looked to buy. And a few weeks ago, they bought their ‘dream home’ for $187,000 below its asking price.”

“Late last year, the four-bedroom tract home in western Tracy was listed at $525,000. The MacDonalds made an offer in February for $338,000. To their surprise, the bank accepted.”

In North Carolina, asking price is around 100$ a square foot and not selling. So that house might be 2000 pieds carrés, would be asking price 200k and would sell for less.

As an American, you do not consider 2000 sq ft house a mansion, but I do!
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12019
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Vanica,
And are even those "bargain basement" prices ($338,000) in your range? They're not in mine. Here's a simple fact of economics that I have formulated (I'm expecting a call from the Nobel Prize committee in Stockholm any day now):

In good financial times, the rich get richer, and the poor get screwed.

In bad financial times, the rich get richer, and the poor get screwed even worse.

Regards,
Poor John
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rusmeister



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 867
Location: Russia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:


In good financial times, the rich get richer, and the poor get screwed.

In bad financial times, the rich get richer, and the poor get screwed even worse.

Regards,
Poor John


Just some general thoughts on the inequity that might drive a teacher to see if it's that way everywhere...

Quote:
"Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business." - G.K.'s Weekly, 4/10/26

"Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists." - The Uses of Diversity, 1921

"Business, especially big business, is now organized like an army. It is, as some would say, a sort of mild militarism without bloodshed; as I say, a militarism without the military virtues." - The Thing

"All but the hard hearted man must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it." - Utopia of Usurers, 1917

"[Capitalism is] that commercial system in which supply immediately answers to demand, and in which everybody seems to be thoroughly dissatisfied and unable to get anything he wants." - "How to Write a Detective Story." The Spice of Life

"Our society is so abnormal that the normal man never dreams of having the normal occupation of looking after his own property. When he chooses a trade, he chooses one of the ten thousand trades that involve looking after other people's property." - Commonwealth10-12-32

"Making the landlord and the tenant the same person has certain advantages, as that the tenant pays no rent, while the landlord does a little work." - "Hudge and Gudge," What's Wrong with the World

GK Chesterton

It's amazing how little has changed!
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12019
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:13 am    Post subject: GKC Reply with quote

Dear rusmeister,
Lord, I love GK - what a mind, what perception he had, and what a great literary style.
I recall once reading Orthodoxy and starting to underline all the parts that struck me as insightful. I gave up after page four; almost everything was underlined.
Regards,
John
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