I don't live in America, I live in Belgium. And I'm very glad to live here.

Why?

Well, simply because the things I've heard, read and seen about America don't really attract me to the land of the "free". In fact, from what (mostly American) people tell me, America is anything but the land of the free. 

I know that America has some problems with general healthcare or social security or something (I'm not really strong in all that kind of stuff, but it does sound bad), and that a lot of politicians in America are straight out liars and cheaters.

Sure, Belgium has a very bad political situation at the moment, we haven't had a government for 6 months now, but still it's better than the USA in my opinion.

I still have a lot of questions about America, and I thought -since most of you are American I suppose- I should ask you guys here. So here I go.

 

- Is it true that a big part of America is strongly against gay people and immigrants?

- What exactly is going on with that healthcare/social security thing?

- Do you guys notice any religious overshadowing?

- How is your economy?

and last but not least:

- What reasons would you give me to persuade me to come to America on holiday?

 

PS: forgive my poor English. =/

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I live in the UK and most of the time I am glad that I do. I had an American grandmother.. from Pennsylvania and I love visiting the USA. Been there about 9 times. I love New York, San Francisco, Think Atheist.. oh... and everyone should see Niagara Falls and the sun setting over the Grand Canyon... It's awesome! The Americans seem to love the Brits, so I always feel welcome, though the slight Welsh accent often fools people into thinking I'm either Australian or South African! Many people have never heard of Wales.. they know of England, Ireland and Scotland, but not Wales. I detest the religious bigotry and the terrible healthcare system (UK's isn't perfect but it's better than the USA's). Overall I would recommend a holiday, if only to experience and enjoy the tolerance in NY and the natural wonders of nature!

Wow that was quite the response, Graham E. Lau. Now I want to go and see all those places in the United States, even the Chesapeake Bay again which is the only one I've been to at all because it's right near my hometown... well hometowns lol. I've never been 21 and legal to go to the bars while there though and now I've been 21 for half of a month and it sounds fun lol. ;)

 

Also I know we're proud of Edgar Allan Poe but I've never actually seen his grave site or even knew there was a museum lmao. ;)

- Is it true that a big part of America is strongly against gay people and immigrants?

Depends on where you are. In the south there is a heavy sentiment against both gays and immigrants but it is also an area where there are large rural tracts where people are both politically conservative and religious. Larger cities, particularly on the west coast or in the north-east are much more accommodating to both those groups.

 

- What exactly is going on with that healthcare/social security thing?

Here you are conflating two things. Social security and heath care. As far as health care, we have none, at least not in the sense that other western nations have. Our entire heath care sector (with a few exceptions) is privatized. The current heath care reform merely pushes people into the arms of private insurance agencies by making it mandatory to have insurance and making insurance more accessible. Social security is a whole other thing and would take too much time to get into so I won't begin on that mess.

 

- Do you guys notice any religious overshadowing?

Again, depends on where you are. A vast majority of politicians, some would say "all" for all practical purposes, are religious to some degree and especially in the higher echelons of power it becomes more apparent.

 

- How is your economy?

Frankly, shit. A majority of wealth is in the hands of a small minority populous, our government is running a record deficit and unemployment is rampant, especially in places like my girlfriend's home city of Detroit.

 

- What reasons would you give me to persuade me to come to America on holiday?

Despite all of this the US is a very unique place and is beautiful to see. I have been to 46 states (all not including South Dakota, Arkansas, Alaska and Hawaii) and the cultures, dialects, foods and customs vary as much as the scenery. I would suggest if it is your first time to visit someplace like my home city of Boston, or San Francisco. Very fun cities that have flavours all their own but not overly large like New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago where they are more of a mass mixing of outside cultural identities.

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