Americans are Spoiled
I am American. However, I became aware of how spoiled Americans are when I lived for many years in Eastern Europe. I am writing this not to cut on Americans, people who I respect, but to put economic life in perspective. Forgive my title, as I am a patriot, but let us look at reality.
My purpose is to increase people’s awareness. I want to give people a sense of how good life is in America. And perhaps the next time we have a financial crisis or something goes wrong in your personal life, you will keep it in perspective. Even if you are losing your house, have no job and no car, life is good and to say otherwise just tells me you are one of the spoiled.
The relativity of wealthy – Americans Vs the other 6 Billion people
- Poor Americans are living like the rich in areas where I live or have been. Americans have flat screen TVs, cell phones, multiple video streaming subscriptions, cars, and homes, in contrast, there are almost a Billion people who do not have enough food: World hunger statistics.
- 40% of Americans eat in excess as evidenced by the statistics on obesity. Americans are very fat, I am sorry. I love America and am a patriot. But I am embarrassed when I see these fat Americans waddling around town. This comment is a little obnoxious on my part, but I pay taxes and my taxes support people who do not care about their health. Yes, Americans are very spoiled when you contrast a basic human need like food.
- Poor Americans have shoes and water to drink – In Lviv, Ukraine a city in Europe of over a million there is water only a couple hours a day. Try getting up in the winter and fetching water from the well for washing. My relatives who live in the village, young and old still go to the well. Many children in Africa daily routines revolve around water scavenging. In contrast, go to Youtube and type in ‘my morning routine’ and you will see 1000s of 20 something Americans talking about their morning routines, contrast the difference.
- I have seen Americans that have houses with more than one bathroom and certainly not an outhouse, like I see in villages in Europe. In fact, as a Realtor, Americans preference curves are more like 3 baths.
- Americans are spoiled, where I live people can make less than 1000 dollars a year and live. On the other hand, I have heard in America people make 15,000 dollars a year and complain. That is a lot of money. Trying living on even 500 dollars a month. I am getting a Ph.D. and many years I am below 15k and doing fine. I grow my own food and spend my time with my family doing nature vacations.
- Americans eat in restaurants more than once every few years. Wow, that is more than most people I know in Eastern Europe. are to a spoon-fed life. In contrast, we prepare all our meals at home and bake our own bread. It is decadent to have excess conveniences. It is a symptom of a secular hyper-consumptive society, not the rugged pioneer spirit this country was founded on. Americans are spoiled.
- Medium real US household income is almost $80,000 a year, $77,713 in 2017. Hard to believe? US census statistics on US income. Contrast that with the poor suffering souls of this world in Africa, South America, and Asia.
- American families fight over and divorce over money. How twisted is that? Marriage and family are sacred and yet money is one of the most common topics that divide families. If more people had a sense of humility with regards to worldly affluence marital conflict would be reduced.
- Americans spend almost 1 Trillion dollars on defense. What poor country can afford to do that?
A life of virtue or a life of money
Plato argued against the Sophists who believed that money allowed people to practice a life of virtue. Plato argued the practice of virtue, which this life is about anyway, is independent of money. The Bible uses the example of the widow’s mite.
Therefore, take my rant and put life into perspective and stop complaining about the economy and worrying about what you want and do not have. focus on your virtue and intellectual life.
If you want to pursue wealth why not take some entrepreneurial risks with your life and do not be afraid of losing it all, after all, it is only money. Your life is not ruined by the economy, poverty or anything else.
I have lived under the poverty life for years, and other years near the top 1% and the difference in life quality and happiness is not connected to wealth but based on if you have an inordinate affection towards money.
- It is really a matter if you live a virtuous life or a material based life.
Life is very easy in the States even if you are in poverty. Change your mind and be a rugged instead of hunkering down and worrying about your job in corporate America.
Historical comparison of American wealth and why we are spoiled today
Consider your life from a historical perspective. How did people live before the American Civil war for example. How did they live as settlers in the New England colonies with the cold of winter and only a fire to warm them? What about the pioneers who crossed this fruited plain. See for yourself how rich America and Americans are by looking back at history. If you went back 50 years we would still be OK economically, you would still be richer than most countries in the world. If the economy collapsed and went back to the dark ages say 50 years ago, Americans would still be filthy rich in comparison to the rest of the world.
I recommend you look into the economic history of the world. Put life in American in perspective.
The economy has boomed and now its a pullback, a natural business cycle that will last for a of time, if the government is not too socialistic we will recover and boom again. I see America as a very rich country like you can not compare to anywhere in the world and to say this is a crisis is not doing honor to all the poor suffering souls of this world who have nothing.
Every time I travel from and to the USA
When I travel back to the United States and the incredible homes and cars and people in restaurants it amazes me, I hope that it does not ruin States and their value system. In comparison to home in other countries, Americans live in mansions, and I am talking about Americans.
People are driving cars that look, in all objectively, beautiful and everyone wants the latest model.
I was in the USA a while back and I saw this very large lady in pulling into a restaurant at a mall we were going to, she was talking loudly on her cell phone saying ‘it is so bad here’.
In Eastern Europe people will go out to eat maybe once a year or every few years. Entire families live in 300 square feet apartments, sometimes many generations and this is normal. Things are changing and the new EU zones are becoming rich but Americans are ruined by wealth.
Not to long ago where I live people would wait in line for hours for bread. My wife remembers when she saw her first Mars bar. She did not know what it was. She studied it and could not figure out what it could be. She walked away puzzled. There was nothing, it was like a desert. People were living on potatoes they grew themselves.
I had some Ukrainian friends stay with me unexpectedly a few years back and they slept on the floor, hard wood and no blankets. They said it was a very good nights sleep. This is Europe, can you imagine how poor the rest of the world is?
I do some consulting and a lady I was working with asked for a discount. She said she has 8,000 dollars in expenses a month and it’s really hard. I told her I was living on 800 dollars a months and I thought life was great. I wanted to tell her to get a life.
I was working for a Doctor who was about to lose his house with an income of 10k a month and he was asking for help with his business. He was complaining he had no money but just bought a custom, Range Rover.
Do you people see what I am talking about? Wealth and happiness is relative.
Crisis mentality will ruin America
Bird flu, rice crisis, mad cow, global warming etc all crisis that come and go but Americans are so rich. So do not worry about the economy. At worst America will go backward and become like France. But the French are rich too! My point is there is no crisis in America. Ah you say, what if someone loses their job and home? Well then they live like the rest of the world in a small rented flat and use their brain to find a better way of life. This constant crisis mentality will make people believe they things are worst then they are. What is this 1944 in Russia when people were taking wooden beams from their homes and glue and making bread from it to survive? That is a crisis, not America.
Short term pain for Americans – Americans are spoiled
Look how bad it was in history for the world and most people in the world today. Study history, travel around the world. No way. Europe and America is so rich and spoiled most people do not understand this. Americans put more money into their lawn care than many people live on in many parts of the world.
Pessimism and crisis headlines, but this is not the 1930s. the world is more complex and the economies will not go back to bread lines.
America will have 1 year of bad growth but 18 months max. But maybe less. The US is so rich people have no idea. What poor is. 1 year of negative growth for such a rich country is nothing that an insult to the real poor of the world when you put labels like crisis on it. This is why Americans are so spoiled.
Look, I studied history. I know how poor the world was. It is not going back. I studied business cycles. they happen every 7 years like it or not. I live in Poland people tell me how back communism was, how poor corrupt police state with threat of invasion from Russia. No way will it be anything like that.
Companies in the USA are innovating and creating new things. Google and Microsoft will become old companies and new one will appear. I love America (I was born there) for the innovation and hard work not the crying about crisis when there is none. Do not let the media ruin your mind by letting you think things have gone bad. Become unspoiled by having some appreciation.
Americans are spoiled and there is no crisis even if we are in a in the US. Stop being afraid of losing what you have and start counting your blessings. Instead of hunkering down during these economic time, go on the offensive and take an entrepreneurial mindset.