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
twothree 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.