originally posted by: NightSkyeB4Dawn
I remember when I was in University, meeting students from other countries that came here believing the lies they were told about the "great" America,
where the streets where paved in gold. Today, the young, don't have to fly over to a country to see the truth. And what they are seeing is not very
promising. They see people just like them, going through the same things they are going through, and little hope of doing any better.
that is not "lies they were told"
, it's more along the lines of a great misunderstanding that has deep roots.
it really goes back to just a few decades ago, when pretty much until the age of the jetliner,pretty much the 1970's, when flying by jet made travel
affordable, the only people who were able to travel were the rich
. just for example take a look at the passengers of the Titanic, as
representative of the ability to travel. other than third class/steerage passengers, most of those on board were either very rich, or working for
. so pretty much right up until the jet age, almost any non native in a poorer country you would meet was rich. they pretty much had to
be, just to afford to travel outside of their country (other than to say a neighboring country), simply because the cost of travel was so high.
even today this can be seen to be true, just due to the difference of the value of money. this is why so many retirees from places like the US,
Canada, Australia, and Europe, tend to go live in other countries, such as the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, etc. because quite simply they can
typically live quite well on the same amount of retirement money they could barely afford to live a simple and basic life on in their home countries
(and then in many cases there is the weather advantage, which really is just an added plus). especially when many of those worked "menial jobs".
although at least in some cases that is starting to change a bit due to prices going up in at least some of those countries.
so the "natives" yet again get the false impression that everyone in those countries is RICH
. after all they have seen it with their own eyes.
since pretty much everyone they meet from such countries, live quite well, and seems to have lots of money. they tend to live in big houses, being
able to afford a quite literally HUGE house compared to what the non rich in their country have. in fact the same size houses that the "rich" in their
own country live in. they can afford to go to the big malls,and shop in the expensive stores. eat out at the best restaurants. possibly own a nice
car, or take a taxi wherever they want to go. wear "expensive" clothing. etc. so they in fact "KNOW" that people from those countries are ALL
what they don't see, and don't understand, in fact can't even really comprehend, is that many or most things are much cheaper in their country,
then in the "rich countries"
. in fact things like the internet don't help at all, they actually reinforce
that idea of everyone is rich in
countries like the US and Canada, Europe etc. they can easily see the value of say US money, compared to their money
for example. heck they can
also see the exchange rates posted at all the money changers around. they also of course see news stories. stories like the call in the US for a $15
minimum wage. and of course, they can then easily work out how much that is in their money. but what they don't comprehend at all is that in countries
like the US we are not paying the same price for things that they are.
i have literally been told i was lying when i have said not everyone in North America is rich. and their "proof"
is what i just said. i have
also been told i am (and so are all North Americans), "greedy", when you won't somehow arrange a job, and immigration to your country for them. or
when i try to discourage them from taking that "minimum wage job" (or below), in North America they have found they can apply for through a job agency
(many of which are ripoff scams in the first place). and how they "know"
that with that low paying job, they can live well, AND send lots of
money back home, for their extended families to live on (because remember they KNOW, how much for example $15/hour is worth in their home country, and
it is a lot. and even worse their calculations are based on 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week, since that is what is the common work week in their
country). i remember a few years back talking to a guy while we were smoking. at that time a carton of Cigarettes cost about $10, where at home it was
about $100, you could see it in his face that he thought i had to be lying, and that there was no way they could possibly be that expensive. i even
know one guy who managed to get to Canada, he lasted under 2 years once he figured out just how bad those "great wages" they see really are, when you
are trying to live in that country. yet another one who refused to believe we were not "all rich", because of those "high minimum wages".
just as example of how different prices can be. i mentioned people shopping at the "high priced" stores. well while they are doing so a newcomer is
stunned by just how cheap many things are, you can buy a nice top, name brand pair of shoes or jeans, for under $25, that might cost over $100 at
home. even in a big major city, you might be able to rent a big 6 bedroom house for $500 a month. want a car? you can get a nice brand new Ford for
about 3/4 the price you pay for it in Detroit, or Ontario where it is actually built. and due to Japan's crazy emissions laws, you can buy a couple
year old used, in great condition, "Japanese surplus" vehicle cheap, including being changed over from right hand, to left hand drive. and while these
things a "cheap" to say a North American, they are seriously expensive for the average person in that country. even worse is when it comes to
electronics, where for most electronics, the cost is pretty much the same once the money is converted, which makes such thing rather expensive for the
average person. for example you really won't save any money buying the new I phone overseas. although thanks to having so many more brands available
to can get a phone just as good much cheaper, like say $50 for a really good smartphone, which is still expensive for the average person, but you can
get decent non top line ones even cheaper. and then you have things like milk, which may cost over $5/liter (imported from countries like the US),
again extremely expensive for the average person, heck it's really expensive for a North American, but since most non imported food is cheaper, it can
be affordable. and so since they really can't comprehend the difference in prices between theirs, and other countries, it shows "just how rich
people from countries like the US are, especially since they "know" "huge" even minimum wage in those other country's are. which just perpetuates the
myth that everyone from countries like the US is rich beyond belief