What's life like in U.S.A?

Pretty good. It might be easier to explain if I knew what life is like where you are for direct comparison, but I will try anyway.

I've lived in a small beach town in Florida, New York state across the lake from Toronto, Mountain View in California two miles from Google's headquarters, and the technology portion of Austin in Texas. This answer will be fair to all locations.

In the morning I get to enjoy the beautiful sky, a quiet walk for my morning coffee, then I walk to work. Working from home means my commute is recreational. I've never been robbed or mugged, not hassled as a pedestrian since I was a teen, and even something as simple as crossing the street has laws which keep the process extremely orderly. While getting my coffee people queue quietly, readily, understanding that if we are all orderly then we get our coffee in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of hassle. Occasionally someone will cut in line, but the Australian who did two weeks ago was visibly disturbed and appeared to be having an extremely bad morning, so sure, he just saved 2 minutes and got 15 people sneering at him.

The streets are clean, lawns are green and full of trees, buildings are clean, and the only litter is from smokers.


While I feel very fortunate to have had the random luck to be born in this country, I see a sense of decline.  I was born in the late 1940s, so I am part of the "baby-boom generation."   My parents were part of what has been called "the greatest generation" that lived through the Great Depression, and World War 2.  My mother's family, who were from Boston, had to be split up after my grandfather lost everything during this national economy disaster.  My father's family, immigrants from Russia were very poor but hung to their apartment in Brooklyn, just barely, during this time period.  Every young man who was fit enough was in the military during WW 2.  That was a shared experience of that generation. 

In the post-war period, the US started to prosper.  The first President I remember was Eisenhower, a hero of WW 2.   There was a stable economy, and a strong middle class.  My wife and I got married very young, in the late 1960s, but on my modest earnings alone we were able to buy a small house on Long Island.  And my wife could be a full time mother.  My job was fairly stable and we assumed that, as time went on, we would do even better. 

Over the years I have seen the standard of living deteriorate, so that instead of one income it takes "all hands on deck" to live in anywhere near the middle class life style my generation had.  Employment is very insecure, and many young adults can't even find any employment that pays enough to buy a house.  My grown children are all college graduates, and very hard working, but they face much tougher times than I faced.  

This country is also more divided politically than ever.  There are completely opposite views on the direction this country should go in.  Some compare these times to the Wiemar Republic  in Germany before WW 2.  Sometimes I fear for the future of this great nation. But this great nation has always had tremendous resilience.

I am a semi-retired music teacher, and I see hope in the intelligent, caring, and hardworking young people I work with.  That's where I find some sense that all will be well.


Life in US is quite nice.  I have lived in Germany, Italy and India and visited a few other countries and, in many ways, US does compare positively.  There are more options in the grocery store, more options on what kind of climate you want to live etc.  There are also more options in terms of education - you can be a 40-year old engineer and decide to become a lawyer and go back to school to do it.  Very hard if not impossible to do in India where colleges have an age ceiling for applicants.

On the flip side, all these options (and trust me, US is full of options on just about everything) can put you in analysis-paralysis mode very quickly.  Some of my fellow students in college managed to change majors every semester and 6 years into their studentship, they were still 2 years away from graduation!  My wife, when confronted with the pasta aisle for the first time in her life, spent 20 minutes just reading the names of brands and perhaps would have fainted due to hypoglycemia had I not come and rescued her.  :)


Overall, life is nice.  But then again, I live in the microcosm known as SF Bay Area where billionaires and broke people are all driving similar cars, wearing similar clothes and even going to same hole-in-the-wall places for lunches and dinners!  Overall crime rate is low, taxes are high but it is a rare person who moves away and stays away.


I am not sure how or why you asked me to answer this question, but questions "out of the blue" such as yours, is the reason I chose to leave my access as a TW open to all as I still retain the option to ignore those I don't care to answer.

Having lived here all my life should make this easy to answer, but it doesn't.  I was born during WWII, so I miss being a 'baby boomer' by a few years.  I grew up in a very loving, but highly untypical family, and had already moved nine times, that I can remember, and lived in seven different states, by the time I entered the 6th grade.  My father, had he been born 20 years later, would probably have been thought of as a hippie.  Brilliant, eccentric, and a non-conformist to the extreme.

I was taught from the beginning to question the status quo.  Challenge authority, and only accept 'no' as one of many possible solutions.  The word 'impossible' was literally banned by my father and was not ever spoken in his presence.  So that is the America I knew and still believe in, though I sometimes question whether I am waxing nostalgic in my advancing years and am failing to see the current reality.

I still think America is the best place on this planet to live.  I have been fortunate in that I have had the opportunity to travel to many other countries, and with rare exception, never wanted to permanently live anywhere else, as I never saw anything better.  For years I had a very strong desire to move to Mexico because I love the tropics and enjoyed the 'work to live' attitude there as opposed to the 'live to work' way of life here in the USA.  But giving up my American citizenship wasn't ever a consideration.

Our nation is a country of abundance.  It is everywhere and is inescapable.  But just as there is an abundance of excess there is an abundance of social and economic inequality that defies logic.  We have lost our way as a nation.  The greatest generation that came out of WWII, and provided the human resources that made this nation the greatest among the great, is dying, and is being replaced by a generation racing toward uniformity and a desire to surrender our uniqueness in exchange for entrance into a global community that has no interest in our well being whatsoever.  That change is frightening for one that has grown up unfettered by having to do what is fair for all, whether they have worked for it or even participated in imagining the possibilities garnered by self sacrifice and effort. 

I fly the American flag at my home, and will never live anywhere I cannot.  I am free to vote as I see fit.  I still have the right to speak my mind, go where I want to, when I desire to go.  I can still own a gun, hunt and fish, believe what I want, go to church or not, and it's no one's damn business but mine.  I still wish the government wasn't involved in every facet of my life, but I doubt that will change during my lifetime, so I don't lose any sleep over it.  I know if I don't like where I am living I can pick up and move tomorrow without asking permission from anyone.

And that, is what life is like in the USA.


Well... This is a complicated question to answer because America is a very complicated country. I live in the country on a farm and life is pretty laid back, people are usually pretty friendly and most families own at least one vehicle. In Colorado where I live, our food is largely a mix of Mexican food, American stuff like burgers, any many other types of cuisine (joke).

I like to go shooting, it is not unusual to talk about hunting, sport shooting, and buying guns for when the UN shows up in their blue helmets. We like to watch Football, Baseball, and basketball on TV. Fishing is a popular pastime to some people, as is riding ATV and skiing/snowboarding.

I have been to Washington D.C and it is nothing like Colorado, the streets are full of people and cars, there are Asian restaurants next to Italian pizzerias, next to Dunking Doughnut stores. They have a huge subway system and everyone knows where they have to be. The climate varies hugely across America, it gets to be 110+ in Arizona and here in Colorado it has dropped to -50 before in the winter.

America has a huge amount of national pride, if you ever visit DC you will see how patriotic Americans can be. We have memorials for the wars our people have fought, monuments to freedom like the statue of Liberty in New York, and Memorials to fallen soldiers like at Arlington National Cemetery, Monuments commemorating our presidents, and there are American Flags all over the place.

To be honest with you I could probably write you a 2000 page book about what life is like here but it would be a lot of work and I think that if you come here on vacation some day it would probably be a lot easier to get the experience.


This is really a hard question to answer.  When I ask my daughters what life is like to them.  It's relative to what they know and they would probably say it's fine but a bit boring.  When I look at my life it's also relative to what I know.  My girls don't know a world without cell phones and computers.  Where I grew up without either. 

Right now I would say it's very commercialized.  If you have a job things are alright.  If you have 2 incomes in the household, things are even better.  The poor in the U.S.A. compared to the third world would not be considered poor.  There are no lines for necessities.  Gasoline for cars is under $2 a gallon right now.  Sin Taxes are reasonable unless you smoke.  I could go on and on how great things are.

We don't have a caste system like India, though we do have a class system of have's and have not.  Though a beauty of our system is that even if you don't have anything, you can move into the Have class.  If you are in the have not class, security for you and your family probably is terrible, for the rest it's not bad.  It's pretty sad that the have not get preyed upon by the dregs of society.

If you believe government should help out people you are probably happy with the direction our government is going.  If losing your privacy matters you're probably not happy in the direction things are going.   Again this is all relative, compared to other European countries are we better off...hmm hard to say.  Compare us against 3rd world nations and yes we are.


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