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Why Are People Leaving the US? (Part 1)

totally frustrated with the USA

People are leaving the US in greater numbers today than every before.  Why?  I write for you about the primary reasons over several posts.  Here’s number one.

As you’re reading, ask yourself “Do I feel the same?”

Reason 1: Frustration

Frustrated?  What in the great US of A could I be frustrated about?” you ask.

Well, let me rattle off a couple…

  • rising taxes for fewer services
  • disappearing personal liberties
  • a shitty healthcare/insurance system
  • fastest growing gap between the lower & upper classes (& disappearing of the middle)
  • tripling of national debt in past 10 years (we’re up to 15 Trillion now)
  • dumbing down of our kids’ education
  • entering into an unjust war; or even two three simultaneously.  [Updated with Libya]

The list goes on.  These are only what frustrate me.  You might have your own reasons (feel free to comment below).

Sure, some of these reasons exist in other countries, but then it comes down to a matter of scale.  And then the question “Why can’t the USA be better than them?”  Or perhaps it shouldn’t.

Problems to Fix: All the Above (=Too Many)

This is reason #1, because it’s massive and the most common.  Well, common only if you’re in the lowest 99% of the population.

Now, I’m not saying the US is going to hell in a hand-basket. Some would argue so, but I can’t.  Not with a straight face anyway.  Let’s face it – you’re not doing anything other than griping about these problems.  It’s the old anecdote of how to (slowly) boil a frog.  Now, you’re cooked.

I just don’t blame you if you did decide to say “F*** it all, I’m done.”  From the e-mails I get, many of you say just that.

Healthcare as an example

Take the third bullet above, healthcare, as one example.  Okay, my labelling our healthcare system as “shitty” isn’t exactly objective or impartial.  But that’s how I feel based on much experience both in the US and out.  My wife and I have two kids, one born in the US and one born in Europe (Czech Republic).

How do these births compare?  The US birth for our daughter entailed a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt, and ended in a caesarian birth and an invoice with 5-digits.  Thankfully we had enough insurance to cover most of it.  We were lucky.

Compare that to our Europe-born son, whose birth was simple and cheap. I literally paid for it out of my wallet as my wife recovered.  Another stark difference from the US birth: our 2nd child was a VBAC.  Had we been in the States, I’m sure we would have been pressured against it and opted for another caesarian.  VBAC is rarely practiced in the States with only 10% of eligible women opting for it.  And that is a drop in the bucket of healthcare differences.

Healthcare alone has people fleeing for other countries.  In seemingly “third world” nations you find a wider choice of providers, lower medication costs, lower or no wait time, and even *gasp* better quality.  And believe it or not, their doctors are not hamstrung by their pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

In fact, in many countries, medical coverage is a birthright, not a purchased service.

So, sorry to Americans who can’t afford insurance (don’t worry, “only” 1 in 6 US citizens can’t afford it).

Yes, I sense frustration when I read someone’s e-mail with something like this:

  • “I can’t stand how … !”
  • “How can that country possibly have … , while the U.S. can’t even …?”
  • “Why aren’t our kids the best in math and science?  I thought we had the best R&D in the world?”
  • Why do I pay more and get less?
  • Why do teachers make so little, but Halliburton makes so much?  Couldn’t just $1 billion go to schools?

Frustration leads people to make uncomfortable decisions, such as “abandoning their own country” for another.  Ah, there’s the popular debate of whether I’m being patriotic.  But I’ll leave that for another post in this series.

For now, I ask this question: is it better to stick around in a bad situation, or to make the tough decisions to do what you know is best for you, for your quality of life?

Are you Frustrated?  Becoming an expat yourself gives you Encouragement

If you need professional help to move forward & make the tough decisions, talk to me and I’ll help you. 

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{ 60 comments… add one }

  • rich September 27, 2013, 12:12 pm

    What is often ignored are U.S. citizens born overseas and hold either dual citizenship, or are legally able to resume or acquire the citizenship of a parent born in a foreign country, making relocation legally simple. I am One of those individuals and am leaving shortly, good riddance to Emporer OBUMA

    • Jeff September 27, 2013, 12:37 pm

      Don’t leave us hanging, rich. What’s your story? :)
      A parent/grandparent, from what country – where are you headed? And doing what? Share with us; we’re an open community.

      -jeff

      • rich September 28, 2013, 11:25 am

        Following up on your request…I am a foreign born dual U.S. Citizen with a European Union country…legally providing me with entitlement to a non U.S. Passport and rights of abode in any and all E.U. Nations…a nice little legal advantage with immigration authorities…at this time I am leaning towards the Scandinavian region.

  • Jesse October 5, 2013, 10:52 am

    I too am sick of the direction this country is headed in. Both political parties are neocapitalist at heart and are wiping out the middle class. From public safety to med care to the economy we are headed in a scary direction. My family and I have been looking into Canada. Does anyone out there know how difficult it could be to move a family of four to the great north? My wife is in the medical field and I am a auto painter. I have read a lot for a single person moving, but not a family.

    • Jeff October 6, 2013, 9:25 am

      True, Jesse. While many Americans still think of the US as “#1,” it only rates first place in a few things:
      -the percent of population in jail
      -largest military & nuclear arsenal (& by far, largest military spending)
      -biggest consumer market

      Strange to admire a country that has the most guns, most criminals and needs to buy.

      Now, take Canada for example. Tons of prisoners? No.
      Tons of guns? Not even close. Seriously controlled.
      Military? Extremely brave, but much less (thanks to US)

      If you need help getting into Canada, I can definitely consult with you. But take action now, while you still have an income. :-)

      Best to you all down there,
      -Jeff

      • Anonymous December 13, 2014, 7:35 am

        I have moved to Europe and had lived there for 10 years before. My issue with the USA is it’s pluralism and lack of an assimilatory concept, it’s corporatism and it’s liberalism. The USA i would of liked existed from the mid 60’s back. About the only thing I like about the USA is it’s armed citizenry with it’s roots in an a very solid concept of the enlightenment. As far as the crowded jails and prisoners go this has been an ailment that has it’s roots in the 60’s. It came about with the 1965 immigration changes that Ted Kennedy promised the American people “would not change the demographic landscape of our nation”. By 1975 we had more people in our prisons and on welfare then was ever imagined and guess where most of those people were from? unfortunately when your skill level can only offer you an entry level job, and you have welfare your motivation to work for little if any more is diminished, in many ways a logical decision. Add drugs into the picture and you have the new underclass an underclass that had been created by design.

      • Will Killyou December 13, 2014, 7:35 am

        I have moved to Europe and had lived there for 10 years before. My issue with the USA is it’s pluralism and lack of an assimilatory concept, it’s corporatism and it’s liberalism. The USA i would of liked existed from the mid 60’s back. About the only thing I like about the USA is it’s armed citizenry with it’s roots in an a very solid concept of the enlightenment. As far as the crowded jails and prisoners go this has been an ailment that has it’s roots in the 60’s. It came about with the 1965 immigration changes that Ted Kennedy promised the American people “would not change the demographic landscape of our nation”. By 1975 we had more people in our prisons and on welfare then was ever imagined and guess where most of those people were from? unfortunately when your skill level can only offer you an entry level job, and you have welfare your motivation to work for little if any more is diminished, in many ways a logical decision. Add drugs into the picture and you have the new underclass an underclass that had been created by design.

  • jimbo November 10, 2013, 8:38 am

    Below are the reasons I am thinking of bailing out of this country:

    1/. Socialism: Money are just redistributed to the welfare recipient. Many of these people on food stamp and welfare have no willingness to work, so the rest of us who are working are their life-support system while they eat our free lunch everyday.

    2/. Banks and corporation rip-off: Here in California, the utility company is losing revenue because of higher energy price and state encouragement of solar installation, as a result of that, the utility company think of a ingenious way to recover their lost revenue by introducing something call a tier usage system, where you have a allowed baseline usage per month, anything over that, you pay a double and even triple rate. As a result, my energy bill jumps from about $70 to over $200. Here in California, insurance rate got a higher too, food price got a lot higher, school district tax tagged on additional $500 in my property tax bill per year because the teacher here are out crying they are not get paid enough. Garbage rate goes up($2 decomposing fee/week- a lame “save” the environment excuse) tagged on my garbage bill, because the employee in this garbage pick up company here say they need a raise, while they are already making over $50 in salary+ benefits. Citibank charge me a $14 monthly service charge for being under the new minimum account balance requirement, ever since our government forbid them to impose the ATM usage fee in the banking industry, these bank has figure out way to “recover” this lose revenue from their client, so the rip-off list goes on and on….

    3/. Police state: The recent NSA spying thing has makes me uncomfortable as it has for many people as well.

    4/. Inflation: They are printing 85B a month and some of this money is handed over to our greedy banks, which in some way, leak in the economy by inflating various form of equity such as housing, energy, commodity..etc, which leads to inflation of common goods they we use everyday such as food price, services… The government said there is only little inflation, but do you believe that? McDonald value meal is $4-5 three years ago and now it is almost $10. I go to eat in a restaurant the dishes was averaged $5-7 5 years ago and now the dishes average $10-12. Utility goes way up, common services(garbage, water, insurance..etc) gone way up… My wages didn’t jump up 2X in these five years span so continuing living here is not sustainable…

    5/. We pay, but get nothing: We paid our tax, but get little or nothing in return. Our worn out road has pots, pits, many are not fixed and continued to be that way… There are some little petty crime goes on in the neighborhood, I called the local police, they said it is not important enough and they didn’t care, sometimes they said they will dispatch a patrol car to come over, I waited 3-5 hours and no police ever came… I spotted some reckless in the freeway, called the highway patrol, they take the call but no one ever came …

    • Jeff November 10, 2013, 10:59 am

      hey Jimbo,
      Thank you for your comment. I especially appreciate how much thought and time you took to share.

      I’ll agree with you 100% on your #2, #3, and #4.

      Point #5, “we pay, we get nothing” is a local problem. Sadly, it’s a common one, but it’s quite separate from #2-#4. All other points are systemic problems on a federal, national level.

      Now, about “socialism” or your #1 point. That’s not a problem as much as a distraction. It’s a distraction made to you by media. The media would like to frustrate you how your hard-earned dollars turn into free lunches for the truly poor. I believe it’s a distraction from how you, the poor and even upper-middle income families are all separate from the truly wealthy.

      You’re not that different from the poor. Really, it’s by only a few thousand dollars, a few missed bills, or even losing a job for just a few months.

      You, Jimbo, are just as needy and near-helpless as 99% of Americans. The real crime is the income disparity in the US. Between the hard-working Americans and the extremely wealthy Americans is a far bigger gap than in any other country. The company CEO in most countries earns just 3-5 times what his (also) hard working staff earns. This is in fact a law in many countries. But, in America, the CEO typically earns 10-50 times what you make. And don’t wait for any laws to protect you.

      With this in mind, would you rather have socialism? It’s really protecting you, not robbing from you.

  • Val December 30, 2013, 2:18 am

    If I was born in Victoria, BC Canada while both of my parents were born and raised in Scotland UK and came over to Canada, had me and 3 months later Dad got offered a job in California. We moved to NYC then Philadelphia PA where they got naturalized and me as well at age 6 or 7. My question is am I still eligible to move to Canada or even Great Britain because both parents were? I look on the sites and although I’m university educated I get a bit confused and panicked. I am presently suffering down here in southern Mississippi where I fit in with no one, and Louisiana before that, same story. I think my European parents and prep school background has trashed any hope of being accepted here. I HAVE NOW GIVEN UP after decades of trying. To to end this ramble do any of you have any clue as to who to contact to see if I can even make my Passport that says born in Canada but is a U.S. Passport in to a duel PP. Is it automatically duel if it says born in Canada. I have all original birth certificates etc. I am desperate to get out of here. I would have been fine with NYC or LA or San Diego but my dear husband keeps coming back to the lower red states and I’m sorry but I will not be able to hold on in these places. I’m not a snob in fact quite the contrary with trying so hard to make these local talk. Then they lose me with all the hunting and fishing stories when I’m trying to find the University districts. I could write a book with what I have been through with jobs. My DR told me if I’m applying down here I’ve to say I dropped out of school in 5th grade and I might get hired. Meanwhile we both went to Tulane and I would like to get my investment back if this country doesn’t mind. Even the college placement off told me no one from this college stays here. You are basically UN-hire able in such a blue collar area. I’m terrified with the way America is going and wish my parents had never left the UK. I know there are plenty of UKers that would love to move to Beverly Hills etc but you know what I’m meaning. I just want to get back to what I know. Hopefully I’m not on the wrong page for all this ramble and that maybe some of you with international law degrees can help me to understand. I’ll stop now or you won’t be needing your sleeping tablet tonight with a great thank you in advance for reading.
    PS. In short am I able to use my Canadian birth and 2 Scottish Parents and their parents Scottish to get a duel passport/citizenship or even relinquish the American one all together.

  • Jeff December 30, 2013, 9:09 am

    Val,

    In short, Yes. You’re able to get dual citizenship, perhaps even #3. But your emotions are getting the best of you, “clouding” your research.
    To start…
    1. Your Canadian birth doesn’t mean automatic citizenship, but yes, you’re entitled to it.
    2. Your Scottish parents might entitle you to British citizenship, providing you can provide documented proof of their place of birth. And were they awarded US citizenship (& subsequently denounce UK’s?)
    3. You say you seek to renounce US citizenship. I don’t have to tell you how that can complicate being with your husband (& friends), presumably US cit, right? If you renounce, but wish to stay in the US, you’ll have to go through the same residency-applying process as any foreigner, but with a distinct bias against you. (I know, because I’m considering the same myself, but I already reside abroad.)
    4. Be who you are, period. I know friends who have 2 generations in a southern state, but are still considered “outsiders.” Relish it, live it, love it.

    If all fails, let me help one on one:
    http://www.expatyourself.com/getting-you-abroad-hire-me/

    Cheers,
    -Jeff

  • Kurt January 28, 2014, 6:15 am

    I’m leaving this country, because we are no longer the country of second chances. We get spied on, and our rights dwindle each year. We have the largest population in prison yet we only account for 4.5% of the worlds population. That’s saying a lot when China has 1.5 billion people and less people in prisons than our 300+ million populated country. I know most people will blame Obama for the sad state of our country, but this started well before he came into office. Regardless, I’m graduating college and packing up and leaving for good next spring. I can’t wait.

  • maximus April 7, 2014, 2:21 pm

    Hello. I got a chance to have a green card through family. I came here from Europe. After 4,5 years, i can apply for US citizenship in two months(what i am not going to do), i am going back for good. I do not want to be a citizen of this country, i realized it and take fully responsibility to stand my own ground. I am European and we are different from Americans, you Americans have nothing to do with Europe.You are on your own. Here in USA there is no jobs, no education opportunities, taxes way to high – including medical insurance. I can not understand people here in USA, i do not watch TV at all because it is boring and stupid.I do not even know what i like here in USA, looks like nothing. Brainwashing system that targets idiots from the outside, the ones who think will never come here.The same money you can earn in Europe, even higher.

    • Jeff June 10, 2014, 10:59 pm

      Holy cow, Maximus, I hear you loud and clear.
      Can I ask what EU country are you from?

      -Jeff

  • Mrs. Marcia Barlow May 30, 2014, 3:28 pm

    Gripes:
    1. NWO w/potential new currency. Who asked for it? Who wanted it? Taxation w/o representation

    2. Healthcare, Medicare. What doctors do is prescribe the same procedure over and over again, then bill Medicare. What’s the definition of insanity?

    3. A congress willing to vote away over 1/2 of my 45 years of savings, then do not to their job of a) protecting the borders, b) protect the constitution, c) protect the currency.

    4. Spend $$ on endless wars, endless programs for illegals.

    5. Put in a healthcare program that kills business and jobs.

    6. ILLEGALLY SPY ON ALL OF US (PRISM AND HAARP)

    7. Claim we’ll have water shortages, food shortages.

    8. Create the depression we are now experiencing

    9 Lie, lie, lie, endless lies.

  • lxc June 10, 2014, 4:32 pm

    My husband and I left America for the most basic reason – work. We couldn’t find teaching jobs that paid enough to cover rent and food (forget about insurance). So we took jobs teaching college in Morocco. For the first couple years we thought it was temporary and we’d move home as soon as we could, but now… it’s hard to imagine going back. We have time here- time to hang out with our kid, time to hang out with each other, time to travel and garden and have hobbies. It’s a good standard of living, and the quality of life is so much better in terms of anxiety and stress from working 14 hours a day and worrying constantly about money. I miss friends and family, but when I talk to them I can finally see how desperate they are and how hard life is in the U.S. I don’t think we could go back to it.

    • Jeff June 10, 2014, 11:01 pm

      Thank you lxc. What you’re saying is far from surprising. I can only hope others take the time after reading it and ask, “Why not me?”

      It’s the same for many professionals, not just educators. Such a big difference outside the States that people will hardly believe it.

      Thanks again,
      -Jeff

  • Talen Kingston July 13, 2014, 11:46 am

    Left the USA over a decade ago and don’t miss it at all. I have lived in many places and the USA is not even close to being as good as any of them. Once I have citizenship where I am the relationship between the USA and myself will be over. I will never set foot on US soil again.

    • Jeff December 16, 2014, 2:06 pm

      Thanks for the comment Talen.

      I’m curious how much longer before you get cit, wherever you are. (EU? LA? Asia? Oceania?)

      But while you may never set foot on US soil again, don’t forget to write Uncle Sam every June 15th. ;)

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