posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 10:48 PM
Wow, it's nice to read people's innermost thoughts here.
I feel bad for people close to the breadline and close to homelessness, I know that you are struggling and I wish you can find ways out of your
situation. I feel bad also that America doesn't have a proper health care system and social welfare for the worse-off folks. Would it really hurt for
the better off to pay a few more dollars in taxes a month to help your fellow citizens. If you are so patriotic doesn't that mean more than a flag
outside your house and a pin on your breast. When the American govt spends up to trillions of dollars on a long term commitment in Iraq and a military
that is bigger than all the other countries of the world's military combined something has got a screw loose somewhere. If people had to send their
kids on draft, especially rich people that system would change quickly.
I will give you some background. I am Irish and we have done well from American investment, I appreciate all the business and jobs your companies have
brought to Ireland over the years. In Ireland we have a public (not great but ok) health service and also social welfare system.
If people don't have enough they can get by from rent allowance and 200 euro/mth (about 300-400 usd/week) unemployment assistance from the govt. We
also get free tuition to go to college in Ireland. We pay avg. 25
-30% taxes in Ireland. Recently things have taken a big downturn but people were spending way outside their limits and I think a lot of people will
realise they only have themself to blame in the end. I don't think Irish people know how lucky they are really.
I live in Taiwan. Taiwan is a developing/almost developed country. I earn
around 2,500 USD/mth (that's double the local wage, I have a master's degree, 'm not an English teacher , it is slightly higher than a foreign
English teacher makes on average). I get taxed 10% at most on that. Our rent is 300 USD/mth (I live in a crappy place to save money, it's hot in the
summer but it's okay, we have standalone aircons and fans). We don't pay cable money because we steal it basically. I pay 30USD/mth for broadband,
40USD/mth elec, 30-40 USD all phone bills, 30usd/mth gas.
We live cheap because we have to and that's what people do here. They save and live cheap. We don't feel any recession in Taiwan yet because we have
basically never been touched by any credit boom here. However inflation is eating into everbodies pockets and even I feel that spending more than 3USD
each for dinner is as much as we should now here (eating out is cheaper than cooking). We don't have kids and saving to get married is the thing at
the moment. I'm thinking of going back to Ireland but I am afraid about the costs, but the good thing for people like me of this credit collapse it
is gives us a chance to buy a house at more reasonable rates in the future. We live 'small' but we save quite a bit (my wife is sick but got almost
all the bills paid by the govt first class docs, drugs are almost free). This is from 'poor' Asian Taiwan. Wake up Americans, take the good parts
and systems of foreign countries and let them come back in to reinvigorate America, don't be stuck on some words in the constitution 100s of years
I think the main point I'm trying to make is live within your means and be flexible. For young people you have some many choices. You can move state
or country us Irish always have done. You can change your job and try and get a part-time job (I was teaching part-time till recently). Do you really
need a car, I thought about buying one, then realised I can get the bus for 2 dollars each way everyday, no need to pay parking, insurance, tax,
maintenance, accident risk, fuel etc. I just sit in the bus and read the paper. I guess I have the luxury of choice in this regard.
America is a great country, I've lived there and I like Americans, friendly people. Let's see Americans care about your fellow citizens more.