Friday, August 13, 2010

The land of opportunity

One of the things that has been bothering my wife is that the United States is supposed to be the ‘land of opportunity’, and people are supposed to come here rather than leave the country to find work. She has grown up hearing this, that everybody wants to come to America, its the best place on earth, equal opportunity for everyone if only you work hard enough. Politics aside, she’s taken a big hit to this worldview these past few years.

Almost everyone I talk to sort of has the same surprised reaction when I tell them I’m leaving the country to find work. They all suffer from that view that everybody should be coming here. Kathy & I have talked about how from a very early age they’ve been told the ‘US is number one’, ‘we are the best’, ‘this is the land of opportunity’, etc. But, a watermelon isn’t caviar no matter how many times you say it is. On an intellectual level people know that the US is in trouble, but deep down in the recesses of their brains all those years of indoctrination have taken hold and its hard not to listen to those voices.

When I’ve talked with my neighbours they get uncomfortable talking with me about this too. They have a hard time believing that Canada is doing better than the US is. It doesn’t help when I tell them Canadian banks have been held up as the model to the rest of the world on how to do business, that Canada has topped the G20 in growth for a few years running, and in fact has really been the only G20 country to show growth during these hard times. They are all wishing me the best, but I can tell its also not easy for them to think about this stuff.

So this is one of the things Kathy is having to deal with. Its not easy knowing she is leaving her beloved country to find a better opportunity elsewhere. Canada isn’t a lot different than the US culturally, the attitudes towards things are a lot different (like healthcare), but we are not that different. Who knows what Kathy would be thinking if we were moving to Russia to find work?!?  ‘Didn’t we beat those guys?’ ‘I don’t want to live in Siberia.’ I’m going to live in a communist country?’ I think if we were to be moving there she’d flip.

One other thing that is bothering Kathy is her mother. Last night while a guy was looking at my comics her mother started in on her and said that she should have told me that she was going to stay here, and her mother told her that her doctor told her she should not live alone, and a few other things to pull at Kathy’s feelings of guilt. Kathy’s mom is obviously going to miss her and I don’t know if this is her way of expressing that (badly), or if she is really trying to guild Kathy into staying. Either way its very hard on Kathy and there were a lot of tears shed. I’ll be glad when we are on the road and at least that part will be over.


A moment of silence for the black pig please... (you’d know what I am talking about if you read these other blogs. You ARE reading these other blogs right??) Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.


  1. The U.S. had a good thing going for sure. Land of opportunity and all that jazz. But then it sat back and decided to believe it's own hype. Instead of putting money into things like education and health care, it put it into the military. Its business model ensured the rich would get richer and the poor be left on their own.

    They let lobbyists and corporations with ulterior motives (making money) make decisions for them. And everyone bought it.

    For a while there we had plenty of politicians throwing this model in our faces as the way to go. We will all be better off for it they say.

    Really? My de-regulated electricity is costing me a shitload more than it used to. Now there is more money coming out of my pocket and it is getting disbursed to more private companies. Some not even in Canada. O right, like the Kansas company that was apparently supposed to read my meter. After about 9 months of estimates, the govt. had to re-regulate meter readings every 3 months.

    What is the incentive for the private company to read it. It costs them more and they make less.

    The American economy almost collapsed because of the greed of the financial industry and the lack of "government". Sometimes the government just has to regulate a bit and save people from themselves. I wish that wasn't true but it is.

    People will spend 80% of their income on a house if you let them.

    Anyway, now I am getting

    It sounds like it will be tough for a while till you make the move and get settled. I hope your wife likes Canada. As much as it's difficult now, she will probably find it refreshing to not have the constant guilt that she must have now.

  2. After she adjusts to the climate shift, I'm sure she'll grow to love it here. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. @Tammy You'll just love the pharmaceutical video I posted today (the post before this one), yes its just all kinds of win. So is Capitalism: A love story, or The Corporation. Yup. Just plain awesome. I gives me tingles in the cockles of my heart.

    @Chad Yeah, I'm pretty sure she'll get used to it. r just never leave the house during winter. One of the two. :)

  5. I've seen The Corporation and I really liked it, haven't seen Capitalism. I remember having the ocassional talk about health care with americans back in 2000 when I was a truck driver on a route to texas and back. They knew it was socialism and most thought that was basically communism.
    It's somewhat ironic that China, a communist nation, is either poised to be the worlds next singular economic super power or it already is, depends who you talk to.
    anyway, great post :)