Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Living in America

The above graphic is one of those annoying examples that we in Europe face on a steadily decreasing basis.  Some years back the newest items came to be sold in America and only America first.

Today, well it is just some of the time.

Likewise, years ago living in America was the dream of the many, today... not so many.  In Marcus and Agata's ticklist of pluses and minuses it looks a little like this:

Cars of all brands are cheaper in America.  Actually it is almost insufferable that quality European brands like Porsche and BMW sell the same product in America at sometimes a 30% or greater discount than the identical home product.  Quite shameful, but good if you live in the USA.

Housing Costs
Housing even in trendy areas is a fraction of the cost of Europe.  In fact if your needs are modest, say less than 3 bedrooms and 2 garage spaces; it is sometimes difficult to find a place small enough in a rural mid west USA location.

In 2014 the USA experienced a property bubble based on the cheap money supply provided by the US government.  Even allowing for this, property / housing is very cheap.

Opening Hours
America still leads the way in a 24x7 shopping culture paradyn.   You can step into stores like Wall-mart at virtually any time for those missing items, or for a complete family shop.   The UK is not far behind in terms of Supermarket opening hours but only America has stores of every description open at the customers and not retailers convenience.

Service Culture
At least on the Surface, a strong service culture is present throughout American retail; and in general for the whole country.  Retail service culture is engrained and whilst it is certainly on the wane in modern times it is streaks ahead of any other country in the world.  Period.

Conferences/Trade Shows
If you like Electronics/ Computer or Cars then recall that large shows like CES, Apple Developer Conference or numerous Product launches are made in the USA.

Even something simple like the Pebble Beach concours is in the US.

Positive People Vibe
Positivity grounds America, like the Service culture; it is one of the hallmark features that I love about the USA.  Of course, this very possibly comes from and is re-enforced by the idea that America is the worlds best superpower, country, economic power-house, as told to Americans by Americans.  In the future should America be demonstrably become number 2 (behind China) in many of the important business metrics that define a country it will be interesting to see if this Positivity holds up.  But for now, it is there.

Stuff here First
More American companies [than you think] have a myopic vision that product launch starts in America, and maybe sometime later we'll ship internationally.

So whilst I detest this attitude, it's pretty handy should you live in the US

About the Same
Consumer Electronics Cost


No Go Areas
Areas where you/family by virtue of your Ethnicity/ Culture/ Wealth can enter and have the expectation to be assaulted/ attacked/ murdered.  Of course these exist in many countries, but are regrettably more proportionately present in America than one might expect for a leading first world democracy.

A country where waste is everywhere and deemed socially acceptable by a large proportion of the population.

Currency Collapse
The dollar is the World's reserve currency.  Meaning many commodities (principally oil!)  are traded in USD.  This allows the US to be a borrower of last retort [did you see what I did there :-]

Still it won't last forever, meaning if you convert your equity into USD whilst moving/living there, when the big collapse happens, well you will suddenly be poor

So long as America holds its status at World Reserve currency, the whole world and absolutely including the American Public are steadily increasing their Debt to others in order to continue to live above their means.  This is not just regrettable, but morally indefensible, placing a greater and greater burden on American youth who will need to pick up the bill.

Hot Weather
Many states have either an uncomfortably constantly hot climate or climate extremes that are uncomfortable for European folk.

The desire to show one's wealth, or possessions is something practised throught America.  In England we have a word for this: Chav, and this is not a compliment

My July 4th post refers

Overall then, whilst in previous times we would have traded in our European citizenship for an American one,today  in 2014 we feel that just living in, our touring America for say one to two years [at our own cost] is all that we can summon enthusiasm for.