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(Social Progress Imperative)   How does your country rate on the Social Progress Index? Nope, not there. Look further down the list. Further... well at least you aren't Chad   (socialprogressimperative.org) divider line 67
    More: Interesting, Social Progress Index  
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7924 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Apr 2014 at 7:21 AM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-04-03 06:46:46 AM  
5 votes:

sithon: The PRK is higher in most metrics than the USA ? Something wrong there.


1. PRK is not on the list.
2. Korea, Republic of (South Korea) scores lower than the US on 2 out of 3 metrics, which is not "most"

Nice try.  Do you work for the GOP as a statistics unskewer?  If not, you should apply.

That said, my country outranks the US.  Which is why I'm here - the USA is no longer the Land of Opportunity and is on its way, I fear, to being a second-tier nation.  Perhaps third tier within my lifetime, if the GOP/ Tea Party keep it up.
2014-04-03 08:28:18 AM  
3 votes:
The US didn't score "low", it's just that other countries scored higher.

The chart still says the US is a pretty damn nice place to live compared to almost anywhere else on earth, but for a lot of folks the idea that USA = #1 is deeply ingrained in them and they get upset when they find out that people might have it better elsewhere.
2014-04-03 07:28:44 AM  
3 votes:
I suppose the U.S. should model itself after some worker's paradise such as Cuba or Venezuela. That would be according to Fark anyway.
2014-04-03 12:46:45 PM  
2 votes:

Nabb1: Sure, I get that. It just seems that you express a lot of negativity. Sorry things weren't going your way here and that upon reflection, you don't seem to find anything positive to discuss about your native country.


I guess I feel like the positive goes without saying.  Retail Nirvana.  Barbecue - in any style you can imagine.  Every biome you could want to visit.  The Grand Canyon.  Jazz.  Blues. Every cuisine you can name.  Gibson guitars.  Grits.  Hobie cats.

But, unfortunately, also a really bad health care system so watered down as to be useless, a national legislature that is openly owned by business, the Tea Party, marriage equality in far fewer than half the states and judges fighting tooth and nail every day to turn back the clock... And America can't do poutine to save its life.  Loaded cheese fries make up for it, though.

Don't get me wrong, I love America.  But I also see the faults - much more clearly now that I'm not in the middle of them - and if that makes people uncomfortable, well, tough.  I think the best thing Americans can do for the country is jettison the whole American exceptionalism thing.  Model health care on France - America could do it, and even better.  Make public education 16 grades, through an undergraduate degree, and make graduate degrees free IF you test in solely on merit.  If people don't want to (or aren't suited to) go to college, their 4 years after high school can be a trades apprenticeship.  Dropping out after Grade 12 would be allowable, but don't be surprised if you can't get a good job on a grade 12 diploma.  America could do this, if it wanted to.  The ingrained belief that America is somehow special is the root cause of alot of entropy.

America, with its population of risk-takers, eternal optimists and disputatious extroverts, could be great again.  Not a super-power, those days are over.  But certainly the first nation on the world stage for reasons OTHER than they have more weapons.
2014-04-03 10:27:13 AM  
2 votes:

Fissile: Saudi Arabia ranks 65 and not dead last?  The country were women can't be seen outdoors unless they are covered head to toe in a sack?  The country  were Jews are prohibited from entering?  The country where you can get your hand chopped off for shoplifting a soda?

Bogus "study" is bogus.


I think you underestimate how much of a shiathole most of the world is to live in.
2014-04-03 10:12:06 AM  
2 votes:
Canadians in general look at lists like these and compare ourselves to Scandinavian countries first to see how we are doing, then to the US for giggles.

It wasn't always that way. Still, I welcome ex pat Americans and former ex pat Canadians returning home as the reverse brain drain continues. Canada may be the little brother in the relationship, but we will still look after our big bro socially, while he looks after us militarily. It's not always pretty, but is a very good pairing of different strengths.
2014-04-03 10:00:12 AM  
2 votes:

jaybeezey: Alonjar: oryx: I suppose the U.S. should model itself after some worker's paradise such as Cuba or Venezuela. That would be according to Fark anyway.

Well, Cuba *does* have universal healthcare...

...aaaand political prisoners. It's the only progressive paradise that people are willing to strap 55 gallon barrels onto an old pontiac to try to float away from.


Um. Seems the US has a bit of an issue with political prisoners as well. Oddly, located in Cuba...
2014-04-03 08:51:37 AM  
2 votes:

whosits_112: Benevolent Misanthrope: sithon: The PRK is higher in most metrics than the USA ? Something wrong there.

1. PRK is not on the list.
2. Korea, Republic of (South Korea) scores lower than the US on 2 out of 3 metrics, which is not "most"

Nice try.  Do you work for the GOP as a statistics unskewer?  If not, you should apply.

That said, my country outranks the US.  Which is why I'm here - the USA is no longer the Land of Opportunity and is on its way, I fear, to being a second-tier nation.  Perhaps third tier within my lifetime, if the GOP/ Tea Party keep it up.

You seem to have a good hate-on for the US. Instead of trying to make it better, you ran to Canada and instantly claim it as "your" country. Not everyone can have that ability to jump ship.


No, actually, I came to Canada for a job opportunity - because in the US, libraries are being cut left right and center. It's part of the rightward-moving culture of anti-intellectualism.  But rather than sitting on my fat ass complaining about my lot in life, I chose to do something about it.  Once I was out of the standard US masturbatory haze I realized that the US is not all I was told it was cracked up to be.  Other countries are indeed better.

It saddens me deeply that my birth country is being farked up by an entity so vapid and clueless as the Tea Party and a weak Democratic Party that keeps trying to make them see reason.  It worries me that the US is declining more and more each day.  But the market has shifted.  It's global now.  I have the freedom to put my skills on the market in places where they are appreciated, wanted, and, yes, fairly compensated.

No one in Canada has ever objected to my calling my country of residence "my country", by the way.  That's how it works here.  So get over your jingoistic self.
2014-04-03 08:42:05 AM  
2 votes:

phrawgh: We can carry on for quite a bit yet, even if we revert to 100% bible learnin'. As long as the soulless, godless corporations, and their atheist minions, keep building and maintaining the tools.

/Most -10 manuals are written at a 6th grade level


Statistically speaking, most people have between an 80 and 120 IQ(ish).  The world needs them to be able to function, to do their jobs, to handle living in a society.  So the world is built in such a way that an 80 IQ can get along just fine, despite the obvious drawback of that not being the smartest or most efficient way of functioning.
2014-04-03 08:12:34 AM  
2 votes:

padraig: How on Earth are French and American people less free to move than the Canadian ?


Canadians are free to travel to Cuba if they wish.
2014-04-03 07:52:25 AM  
2 votes:

oryx: I suppose the U.S. should model itself after some worker's paradise such as Cuba or Venezuela. That would be according to Fark anyway.


Take heart, the ideal conservative model that Russia has adopted has become fast tracked by the supreme court.
2014-04-03 07:39:04 AM  
2 votes:

Forbidden Doughnut: Benevolent Misanthrope: sithon: The PRK is higher in most metrics than the USA ? Something wrong there.

1. PRK is not on the list.
2. Korea, Republic of (South Korea) scores lower than the US on 2 out of 3 metrics, which is not "most"

Nice try.  Do you work for the GOP as a statistics unskewer?  If not, you should apply.

That said, my country outranks the US.  Which is why I'm here - the USA is no longer the Land of Opportunity and is on its way, I fear, to being a second-tier nation.  Perhaps third tier within my lifetime, if the GOP/ Tea Party keep it up.

Some of the "over 50" crowd at my workplace say that the USA is the best country on Earth....but I think that's just regurgitated Cold War-era thinking.

/ at least my corner of it is a nice place to live


I'm under 50, have extensively traveled (4 continents) and I believe the US is the best country.

Are there things other countries do better?  Of course.   But to me the US is the complete package.
2014-04-03 07:31:17 AM  
2 votes:
Complete rubbish based on the notion that only states can impart progress. Countries like Niger and Mozambique score high because their impotent lawmaking bodies pass cookie cutter, UN-approved legislation that's never actually enforced.

This is a wonderful indication of why one should look skeptically at any study that suggests the USA is less than progressive. We've never been a tyrannical state that rams supposed social progress own peoples' throats (well, until recently).
2014-04-03 07:31:02 AM  
2 votes:
I don't know, 7th seems not so bad.

/Canadian, eh
2014-04-03 02:42:28 PM  
1 votes:

Greylight: Do you really want to stand behind the idea that it is easier to immigrate to the US then it is to Canada?


11 million illegal immigrants say yes.

Now if you want to frame it just in terms of "legal immigrants" that is fine, but then you are missing the legit problems Meez pointed out.

Also, I am still going to say it is easier. IIRC (and it has been a while since I worked with canadians and we talked about this) they have similiar "deald" for family members, but as the US has more immigrants that means more people can avail themselves of the special rules. Canada also has a two language requirement vice the US's 1.

Also, if we can move beyond Canada for a moment, most of the countries on the list don't have unconditional birthright citizenship like the US and Canada.
2014-04-03 02:27:57 PM  
1 votes:

Greylight: If you want to stand behind the notion that immigrants (not refugees) are a net drain on any given state, the onus is on you to prove it.


I never said that. I actually think legal immigrants are a huge resource to the US. Illegal immigrants on the other hand not so much.

But lets get back to the facts you made a claim about the ease of immigration in response to a claim about the level of immigration in the US. You are wrong about the level of immigration, and you are wrong about the ease.


If you are actually going to do the digging to learn, rather than claim anyone who says you don't have the whole picture is a bigot, you will learn that there are some countries that beat us in % of immigrants, however they are all much harder to immigrate into.

Take New Zealand. It does beat the US in % of immigrants, yet how many of them can come in with no money and little or no english, and not skills?

And before you jump ahead and try and cry racist or bigot over that statement, I am ok with a hardworking guy coming to the US who is in that boat, as long as he does so legally.
2014-04-03 02:07:49 PM  
1 votes:

Greylight: Meez: Interesting how a lot of the top countries have populations smaller than most major US school districts student head count, just saying is easy to be all socially and givey when you don't have hundreds of millions of people and waves of immigrants and refugees pouring in. Though talking with friend in Finland they are getting really fed up with the small number of Somali Immigrants moving in an mooching off their utopia.

That there is what I would call another isolationist fallacy.  It is easier to immigrate to most of those countries then it is to the US. Take Canada for instance, when you dig into the facts beyond the gut speculation, most immigrants are hard working contributors to the economy, not a drain.


About 3.6% of the people in the US are illegal immigrants, 12.5 % are legal immigrants, and as of 2010 abotu a 1/4 of people under 18 are immigrants opr children of immigrants.

I would be shocked if any of the countries you are looking at had higher numbers in any of those categories, I would be flabbergasted if one of them could beat all three.
2014-04-03 01:50:40 PM  
1 votes:

Meez: Interesting how a lot of the top countries have populations smaller than most major US school districts student head count, just saying is easy to be all socially and givey when you don't have hundreds of millions of people and waves of immigrants and refugees pouring in. Though talking with friend in Finland they are getting really fed up with the small number of Somali Immigrants moving in an mooching off their utopia.


That there is what I would call another isolationist fallacy.  It is easier to immigrate to most of those countries then it is to the US.  Take Canada for instance, when you dig into the facts beyond the gut speculation, most immigrants are hard working contributors to the economy, not a drain.
2014-04-03 01:17:18 PM  
1 votes:
Interesting how a lot of the top countries have populations smaller than most major US school districts student head count, just saying is easy to be all socially and givey when you don't have hundreds of millions of people and waves of immigrants and refugees pouring in. Though talking with friend in Finland they are getting really fed up with the small number of Somali Immigrants moving in an mooching off their utopia.
2014-04-03 12:28:29 PM  
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: Nabb1: Benevolent Misanthrope: Rev. Skarekroe: Yeah, well we have a little thing here called "freedom".  It means we don't need the government to look after our "social progress", whatever that means lol.  If you like those other coutnries so much MOVE THERE!!!! And take Obama with you!

I did.  I make more, I have more opportunity, I have health care guaranteed, I can marry whom I choose, and I don't have to put up with things like a full governmental shutdown because some Congressmen decided to throw a collective tantrum.

I know it was a troll (2/10, by the way), but there's a reason the US should stop making that argument.  Lots of people are indeed moving away, and are renouncing their US citizenship in larger numbers, too.

For someone who is so happy and secure, you spend a lot of time around here ragging on the US. You took your ball and left, and yet, you can't seem to let go.

I am still a citizen.  I look at my birth country with different eyes, since I now have a different view.  American exceptionalism needs to go.  It's a global economy, and travel is now easy and (relatively) cheap.  So, people are going to start treating borders as suggestions rather than defining limits.

And for the record, I didn't take my ball and go.  After I had been working all my adult life to try to get the rules enforced the same for everyone, the ref grabbed my ball, knifed it, grinned and said, "Tough shiat.  You can play in the game 6 months from now or so.  Or you can tie one arm behind you and play that way".  So I got into a game where I could play.  And I found it to be a much fairer game, indeed.

But can you blame me for talking about the US?  I mean really - how many stories on Fark are about Canada?


When you are a mouse sleeping with an elephant, one tends to focus on the elephant.  Well, since I am talking about honest self assessments and all I guess I should pony up and say that I do my best to turn any discussion to one about Canada :p
2014-04-03 12:15:46 PM  
1 votes:

Kit Fister: Greylight: I disagree very strongly with two points. The conventional wisdom has always been that as the US goes so goes Canada, but that doesn't seem to be playing out anymore, it breaks my heart to see the economic disasters taking place the last few years in the south, and I am grateful we haven't felt the same impact. The second point that really irks me is the notion of lack of responsibility to others. Isolationism is running high again in the US, at the same time imperialist rhetoric of policing the world is ever present. More to the point though, we live in a global community these days and cannot burry our head in the sand to the world, nor can we try and impose our interests on others without consequence.

So, what do you propose we do? I'm not against being a good global citizen by helping where we can, but at the same time, I'm not in favor of going to extremes whereby we are influencing or being influenced by others too heavily.  I like being a good neighbor, but I don't want an HOA, as it were.


The first step is an honest assessment of ones actions and ethnocentric bias', and I do not mean some public display of contriteness, but rather letting go of the idea of American Exceptionalism for the good of the nation, not simply for others.  It is in fact in the US' best interests.
2014-04-03 12:08:37 PM  
1 votes:

Greylight: I disagree very strongly with two points. The conventional wisdom has always been that as the US goes so goes Canada, but that doesn't seem to be playing out anymore, it breaks my heart to see the economic disasters taking place the last few years in the south, and I am grateful we haven't felt the same impact. The second point that really irks me is the notion of lack of responsibility to others. Isolationism is running high again in the US, at the same time imperialist rhetoric of policing the world is ever present. More to the point though, we live in a global community these days and cannot burry our head in the sand to the world, nor can we try and impose our interests on others without consequence.


So, what do you propose we do? I'm not against being a good global citizen by helping where we can, but at the same time, I'm not in favor of going to extremes whereby we are influencing or being influenced by others too heavily.  I like being a good neighbor, but I don't want an HOA, as it were.
2014-04-03 11:58:02 AM  
1 votes:

Kit Fister: Lady J: frozenhotchocolate: These studies are ultimately hard to judge because the U.S. is just so massive compared to any other first world developed nation. For people to say that the U.S. is somehow fading is foolish. The United States has demographics on its side. Europe in the future will face some major issues of an aging population. Canada is great, i have a bunch of family there. But Canada's existence so tied to the U.S. that it will always be younger brother. As we go, they go.

it would be nice if we could start thinking in terms of global civilisation and population.

we need to start thinking about water and carbon and pollutants from a global perspective n all

won't happen though, even liberals don't value brown people thousands of miles away as highly as they value whitey down the road who eats battery farmed eggs and doesnt recycle

/not quite sure where I went with the last bit, but yagetme

I guess the question is how would this even begin to be applied? We are not responsible for the welfare of others, only to our own citizens. We have problems enough with our own nation, to boot, so there's not exactly a glut of stuff that we could do to fix the world without basically invoking imperialism, either.

We can always be better citizens as far as living more responsibly, but we cannot, and should not, dictate to others or impose our will on sovereign nations.


I disagree very strongly with two points.  The conventional wisdom has always been that as the US goes so goes Canada, but that doesn't seem to be playing out anymore, it breaks my heart to see the economic disasters taking place the last few years in the south, and I am grateful we haven't felt the same impact.  The second point that really irks me is the notion of lack of responsibility to others.  Isolationism is running high again in the US, at the same time imperialist rhetoric of policing the world is ever present.  More to the point though, we live in a global community these days and cannot burry our head in the sand to the world, nor can we try and impose our interests on others without consequence.
2014-04-03 11:36:39 AM  
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: Son of Thunder: Benevolent Misanthrope: Son of Thunder: There at least we agree. The bottom line ends up being that I usually get a chunk of change at the end of the process, but it's a pain in the keister, and at a conceptual level there is a problem with the IRS claiming that money that I am paid in Canada for work in Canada which gets spent in Canada is any of their business. Not to mention my joint accounts with my Canadian wife, which means that the IRS is claiming authority over someone who is not a US citizen, and they've been threatening Canadian banks if the banks don't obey. The IRS needs (at the VERY least) to be taken down a few pegs.

They won.

Be careful.  FATCA is not farking around.  Filing your 8938 with your US taxes is not enough - you also have to file an FBAR form by June 30.

Yeah. After the flurry of news reports about that, I've been filing the FBAR. Ended up having a major brouhaha a couple of years ago with the IRS that lasted several months, involving lots of paperwork, nasty letters, and unpleasant phone conversations with unhelpful IRS personnel at various levels (and different offices that don't properly communicate with each other) of the hierarchy, before it all got finally straightened out. And that's with me being only a poor underpaid academic nobody. It's not like I was trying to exploit loopholes to hide vast wealth (I'd need wealth in order to do that).

Crap like this is why small-government conservatives are small-government.

Care to alert me as to what I might have missed?  This is my first year filing as an expat.



Bearing in mind that getting tax advice from a psychologist is about as good as getting psychotherapy from an accountant:

Are you single?  Because what caused my nightmares was issues involving dependents.  If you are single, then the 1040, 1116, and FBAR should be enough.  I couldn't find a good tax specialist in my area, so I peeked over the shoulder of another expat who had been in Canada for longer than I had.
2014-04-03 11:35:32 AM  
1 votes:

Greylight: Benevolent Misanthrope:

I'm a US citizen on a work permit in Canada.  Unfortunately, no one in my city does US taxes, and thos ...

Sorry to hear that, there is probably a good seasonal business idea in there for someone ;)    I hope you don't become too jaded by the popular anti US rhetoric sometimes heard here, deep down we are actually very fond of Americans, and defensive of them.  We mock and prod them in the hope of positive change and friendly rivalry, but they are OUR family to mock and prod!


Oh - read above.  I've already been slammed today for pointing up that American exceptionalism is bullshiat and I prefer the True North Strong and Free. ;)
2014-04-03 11:29:50 AM  
1 votes:
Benevolent Misanthrope:

I'm a US citizen on a work permit in Canada.  Unfortunately, no one in my city does US taxes, and thos ...

Sorry to hear that, there is probably a good seasonal business idea in there for someone ;)    I hope you don't become too jaded by the popular anti US rhetoric sometimes heard here, deep down we are actually very fond of Americans, and defensive of them.  We mock and prod them in the hope of positive change and friendly rivalry, but they are OUR family to mock and prod!
2014-04-03 11:18:22 AM  
1 votes:

Greylight: Benevolent Misanthrope: Son of Thunder: Benevolent Misanthrope: Son of Thunder: There at least we agree. The bottom line ends up being that I usually get a chunk of change at the end of the process, but it's a pain in the keister, and at a conceptual level there is a problem with the IRS claiming that money that I am paid in Canada for work in Canada which gets spent in Canada is any of their business. Not to mention my joint accounts with my Canadian wife, which means that the IRS is claiming authority over someone who is not a US citizen, and they've been threatening Canadian banks if the banks don't obey. The IRS needs (at the VERY least) to be taken down a few pegs.

They won.

Be careful.  FATCA is not farking around.  Filing your 8938 with your US taxes is not enough - you also have to file an FBAR form by June 30.

Yeah. After the flurry of news reports about that, I've been filing the FBAR. Ended up having a major brouhaha a couple of years ago with the IRS that lasted several months, involving lots of paperwork, nasty letters, and unpleasant phone conversations with unhelpful IRS personnel at various levels (and different offices that don't properly communicate with each other) of the hierarchy, before it all got finally straightened out. And that's with me being only a poor underpaid academic nobody. It's not like I was trying to exploit loopholes to hide vast wealth (I'd need wealth in order to do that).

Crap like this is why small-government conservatives are small-government.

Care to alert me as to what I might have missed?  This is my first year filing as an expat.

See a tax specialist.  Seriously.  I have friends with dual citizenship who have never personally lived or worked in the US but thought it would be beneficial to claim their US citizenship only to find themselves a few years later owing 7 figures in tax, fines, and penalties.


I'm a US citizen on a work permit in Canada.  Unfortunately, no one in my city does US taxes, and those that do elsewhere charge thousands.
2014-04-03 11:00:10 AM  
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: Son of Thunder: Benevolent Misanthrope: Son of Thunder: There at least we agree. The bottom line ends up being that I usually get a chunk of change at the end of the process, but it's a pain in the keister, and at a conceptual level there is a problem with the IRS claiming that money that I am paid in Canada for work in Canada which gets spent in Canada is any of their business. Not to mention my joint accounts with my Canadian wife, which means that the IRS is claiming authority over someone who is not a US citizen, and they've been threatening Canadian banks if the banks don't obey. The IRS needs (at the VERY least) to be taken down a few pegs.

They won.

Be careful.  FATCA is not farking around.  Filing your 8938 with your US taxes is not enough - you also have to file an FBAR form by June 30.

Yeah. After the flurry of news reports about that, I've been filing the FBAR. Ended up having a major brouhaha a couple of years ago with the IRS that lasted several months, involving lots of paperwork, nasty letters, and unpleasant phone conversations with unhelpful IRS personnel at various levels (and different offices that don't properly communicate with each other) of the hierarchy, before it all got finally straightened out. And that's with me being only a poor underpaid academic nobody. It's not like I was trying to exploit loopholes to hide vast wealth (I'd need wealth in order to do that).

Crap like this is why small-government conservatives are small-government.

Care to alert me as to what I might have missed?  This is my first year filing as an expat.


See a tax specialist.  Seriously.  I have friends with dual citizenship who have never personally lived or worked in the US but thought it would be beneficial to claim their US citizenship only to find themselves a few years later owing 7 figures in tax, fines, and penalties.
2014-04-03 10:51:35 AM  
1 votes:

frozenhotchocolate: These studies are ultimately hard to judge because the U.S. is just so massive compared to any other first world developed nation. For people to say that the U.S. is somehow fading is foolish. The United States has demographics on its side. Europe in the future will face some major issues of an aging population. Canada is great, i have a bunch of family there. But Canada's existence so tied to the U.S. that it will always be younger brother. As we go, they go.


it would be nice if we could start thinking in terms of global civilisation and population.

we need to start thinking about water and carbon and pollutants from a global perspective n all

won't happen though, even liberals don't value brown people thousands of miles away as highly as they value whitey down the road who eats battery farmed eggs and doesnt recycle

/not quite sure where I went with the last bit, but yagetme
2014-04-03 10:49:20 AM  
1 votes:
Has there ever been a unanimous opinion on what "progress" actually means? I didn't think so.
2014-04-03 10:37:42 AM  
1 votes:

Son of Thunder: Benevolent Misanthrope: Son of Thunder: There at least we agree. The bottom line ends up being that I usually get a chunk of change at the end of the process, but it's a pain in the keister, and at a conceptual level there is a problem with the IRS claiming that money that I am paid in Canada for work in Canada which gets spent in Canada is any of their business. Not to mention my joint accounts with my Canadian wife, which means that the IRS is claiming authority over someone who is not a US citizen, and they've been threatening Canadian banks if the banks don't obey. The IRS needs (at the VERY least) to be taken down a few pegs.

They won.

Be careful.  FATCA is not farking around.  Filing your 8938 with your US taxes is not enough - you also have to file an FBAR form by June 30.

Yeah. After the flurry of news reports about that, I've been filing the FBAR. Ended up having a major brouhaha a couple of years ago with the IRS that lasted several months, involving lots of paperwork, nasty letters, and unpleasant phone conversations with unhelpful IRS personnel at various levels (and different offices that don't properly communicate with each other) of the hierarchy, before it all got finally straightened out. And that's with me being only a poor underpaid academic nobody. It's not like I was trying to exploit loopholes to hide vast wealth (I'd need wealth in order to do that).

Crap like this is why small-government conservatives are small-government.


Care to alert me as to what I might have missed?  This is my first year filing as an expat.
2014-04-03 10:36:57 AM  
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: liam76: Benevolent Misanthrope: The US is the only nation that requires expats who earned no money in the US to pay income tax. Yes, there are treaties that are supposed to ensure you don't get taxed twice - but the US has a cap on how much your foreign tax liability can offset your US tax liability. And Cthulhu help you if you own American property or securities.

If you own property in the US shoudln't you pay taxes on it?

You pay property tax in the US, and gains tax in Canada AND the US.

I lived abroad fro a few years after 2001. Then the limit was no tax on your first 80k (so if you made 100k, it was taxed as if you made 20k), also they deducted the tax you paid abroad. Not sure how much it changed but I was pulling down 120k with no taxes paid in the US, and that seemed very resaonable to me.

The effective cutoff is now about $100K, or so I hear.  I paid this year.  I'll pay every year.


Benevolent Misanthrope: The effective cutoff is now about $100K, or so I hear. I paid this year. I'll pay every year


Have they changed how the foreign tax credit works?


With Canada having a higher tax rate (in general) than the US I am having a tought time seeing how that is possible.


If I made enoug when I worked in Indoensia or Egypt it woudl have been possbile, but in a high rate place like Canada, I don;t see how I would have ever reached that.
2014-04-03 10:36:44 AM  
1 votes:

liam76: Benevolent Misanthrope: How so? Why should the US have any claim on money I made in Canada, spent in Canada, and paid taxes on in Canada

I am curious about the specifics here.

You owe noting until you break 97,600. After that you are taxed as if the additional money is your total salary. You can then also write off your taxes in Canada, and you can write off living expenses.


You want I should send you my tax return?  I owed, I paid.
2014-04-03 10:34:48 AM  
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: Son of Thunder: There at least we agree. The bottom line ends up being that I usually get a chunk of change at the end of the process, but it's a pain in the keister, and at a conceptual level there is a problem with the IRS claiming that money that I am paid in Canada for work in Canada which gets spent in Canada is any of their business. Not to mention my joint accounts with my Canadian wife, which means that the IRS is claiming authority over someone who is not a US citizen, and they've been threatening Canadian banks if the banks don't obey. The IRS needs (at the VERY least) to be taken down a few pegs.

They won.

Be careful.  FATCA is not farking around.  Filing your 8938 with your US taxes is not enough - you also have to file an FBAR form by June 30.


Yeah. After the flurry of news reports about that, I've been filing the FBAR. Ended up having a major brouhaha a couple of years ago with the IRS that lasted several months, involving lots of paperwork, nasty letters, and unpleasant phone conversations with unhelpful IRS personnel at various levels (and different offices that don't properly communicate with each other) of the hierarchy, before it all got finally straightened out. And that's with me being only a poor underpaid academic nobody. It's not like I was trying to exploit loopholes to hide vast wealth (I'd need wealth in order to do that).

Crap like this is why small-government conservatives are small-government.
2014-04-03 10:27:43 AM  
1 votes:

liam76: Benevolent Misanthrope: The US is the only nation that requires expats who earned no money in the US to pay income tax. Yes, there are treaties that are supposed to ensure you don't get taxed twice - but the US has a cap on how much your foreign tax liability can offset your US tax liability. And Cthulhu help you if you own American property or securities.

If you own property in the US shoudln't you pay taxes on it?


You pay property tax in the US, and gains tax in Canada AND the US.

I lived abroad fro a few years after 2001. Then the limit was no tax on your first 80k (so if you made 100k, it was taxed as if you made 20k), also they deducted the tax you paid abroad. Not sure how much it changed but I was pulling down 120k with no taxes paid in the US, and that seemed very resaonable to me.

The effective cutoff is now about $100K, or so I hear.  I paid this year.  I'll pay every year.
2014-04-03 10:25:58 AM  
1 votes:

way south: culculhen: way south: A number of the top placers are fairly rigid and monochromatic societies with healthy economies.
Considering our current situation, I'd say our position isn't something to be ashamed of.

Seriously, tell us more about those filth multi-chromes keeping the monochromatic part of the US down in the ranking!

We should do something to celebrate and promote monochrome culture to combat it. Something visual so people could see the importance of it. Some kind of uniform without color would do nicely... Maybe some hood that covers the face too? I see real potential in such an organization. Who is with Way South and me?


We already do alot to combat your style of bigotry, and we're better off than most places, but nations without a similar cultural background that are well off economically (like Japan) don't have the same hurdles as those with extreme wealth inequality or cultural mixing.
Try living in many of those places while black, gay, or wearing a tattoo and your personal experience will vary greatly from the average.

/In short, the three reasons I won't bother going to Japan anytime soon.


My style of bigotry? Ha! I'm not the one complaining how bad minorities are. Or how minorities that lived in the US for centuries are a "hurdle" for the majority and aren't part of the same "culture" Yeah, sure my pal. You literally called people of a different  color the reason why the US does badly and you think it's not just the same old style bigotry dressed up in fancier rhetoric? Seriously, if you want to avoid mockery about how bigoted your statements were don't say how the US is hurt statistically by not being "monochrome"
2014-04-03 10:25:04 AM  
1 votes:

cman: Benevolent Misanthrope: Aidan: some_beer_drinker: I don't know, 7th seems not so bad.

/Canadian, eh

Yup. I looked at it and thought "1st in places that aren't Scandinavia. Looks good to me."

Are we looking at the same table?  Or are New Zealand, Switzerland and the Netherlands now Scandinavia?


Benevolent Misanthrope: I haven;t been here long enough to start making that decision - and I may change my tune when it comes time to fill in the forms. But if I get Canadian citizenship, I doubt I'll hang on to my US citizenship, if I don't intend to go back, ever.

You don't have to renounce it though. You can just shove it in a drawer somewhere. Might be good for your descendants (or not, YMMV). The list of people who've actually renounced American citizenship is startlingly low. I could see renouncing it so you don't get taxed, but that seems like a pretty small reason.

On the other hand, I'm choosing NOT to get my American citizenship for probably similar socio-political reasons, so I understand your point.

I have no descendants, though that might be a reason to keep it if I did.  2,369 people renounced or gave up their permanent residency in the US last year.  Small compared to the population, but up over 200%.  Mostly because of the new tax rules that are designed to punish people who leave to avoid paying US taxes.

I even have to declare any bank account that ever gets over $10,000.00 to the IRS, on two separate forms.  If I don't, the penalties are severe - and H&R Block had no idea, by the way.

The US makes it difficult for expats.

Let me stoke the flames: you are in the same group as those who are Sovereign Citizens who gainsay their citizenship due to taxation


IRS stands for Internal Revenue Service.

I don't live in the US.
I don't work for anyone connected to the US.
I'm not paid in US currency.
I don't deposit my pay check in a US account.
None of my investments are through US financial organizations.
I don't own any US property.
How the fark is any of my revenue "internal"? I'd love to be able to get away with sending in a note, instead of a 1040, saying only "Dear IRS: Mind your own damn business."
2014-04-03 10:24:49 AM  
1 votes:

Son of Thunder: There at least we agree. The bottom line ends up being that I usually get a chunk of change at the end of the process, but it's a pain in the keister, and at a conceptual level there is a problem with the IRS claiming that money that I am paid in Canada for work in Canada which gets spent in Canada is any of their business. Not to mention my joint accounts with my Canadian wife, which means that the IRS is claiming authority over someone who is not a US citizen, and they've been threatening Canadian banks if the banks don't obey. The IRS needs (at the VERY least) to be taken down a few pegs.


They won.

Be careful.  FATCA is not farking around.  Filing your 8938 with your US taxes is not enough - you also have to file an FBAR form by June 30.
2014-04-03 10:18:58 AM  
1 votes:

cman: Let me stoke the flames: you are in the same group as those who are Sovereign Citizens who gainsay their citizenship due to taxation


How so?  Why should the US have any claim on money I made in Canada, spent in Canada, and paid taxes on in Canada?
2014-04-03 10:16:42 AM  
1 votes:

Aidan: Benevolent Misanthrope: 2,369 people renounced or gave up their permanent residency in the US last year. Small compared to the population, but up over 200%. Mostly because of the new tax rules that are designed to punish people who leave to avoid paying US taxes.

I see the problem. The wiki page only lists "important" (sigh) people who've renounced. I did wonder why that didn't jive with the other story which said something like 3000 in 2013 or whatever. I guess they don't count... :P


I find it hilarious that the US publishes a quarterly report of every person who renounced citizenship or residency.  Kind of a public shaming.  As if someone who went to the trouble (and I hear it is alot of trouble) would be ashamed at that point.

The US also taxes you when you leave, if you're worth $2M or more.  One last chance to gouge you, I suppose.
2014-04-03 10:13:16 AM  
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: The US is the only nation that requires expats who earned no money in the US to pay income tax. Yes, there are treaties that are supposed to ensure you don't get taxed twice - but the US has a cap on how much your foreign tax liability can offset your US tax liability. And Cthulhu help you if you own American property or securities.


If you own property in the US shoudln't you pay taxes on it?


I lived abroad fro a few years after 2001. Then the limit was no tax on your first 80k (so if you made 100k, it was taxed as if you made 20k), also they deducted the tax you paid abroad. Not sure how much it changed but I was pulling down 120k with no taxes paid in the US, and that seemed very resaonable to me.
2014-04-03 09:59:54 AM  
1 votes:

Aidan: The list of people who've actually renounced American citizenship is startlingly low


It is very difficult to renounce american citizenship.
(Trying to do it for my daughter, ... it is frustratingly and stupidly difficult)
2014-04-03 09:51:15 AM  
1 votes:
Numerical rank is a stupid way to do things like this - especially with values carried out to the hundreths place.

Country A: 98.12
Country B: 97.95

But there's 20 countries between 98 and 97.9 so apparently A is a paradise and B is a "third world shiathole" even tho, other than mathematically, there's no appreciable lifestyle difference between a score of 98 and 97.
2014-04-03 09:47:00 AM  
1 votes:

Aidan: You don't have to renounce it though. You can just shove it in a drawer somewhere. Might be good for your descendants (or not, YMMV). The list of people who've actually renounced American citizenship is startlingly low. I could see renouncing it so you don't get taxed, but that seems like a pretty small reason.


The issue isn't that US citizens are worried about getting taxed - the vast majority of US citizens living abroad are either below the income threshold for having to pay overseas taxes or live in countries with higher taxes than the US and end up with tax credits that exceed their tax liability. Failure to fill out the return, even if nothing is owed, can lead to stiff penalties.

The issue is that the US requires US citizens living overseas to file tax returns that can be complicated to fill out and very expensive if you need an accountant to help. Additionally, in an effort to prevent a few very wealthy people from hiding assets in Swiss/Cayman bank accounts the US has cast a regulatory dragnet so wide that many banks around the world refuse to open accounts for US citizens, making life rather difficult for overseas citizens.
2014-04-03 09:46:26 AM  
1 votes:

padraig: Some of those metrics seem wonky.France and the US are 67th on freedom of movement, compared to Canada's 1st ? How on Earth are French and American people less free to move than the Canadian ?


I think it's not about being allowed so much as how easy the move is. As someone who has lived in 4 out of 10 provinces and worked for extended periods in most of the others, in Canada moving around is very easy. Laws are substantially the same.
2014-04-03 09:42:53 AM  
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: whosits_112: Benevolent Misanthrope: sithon: The PRK is higher in most metrics than the USA ? Something wrong there.

1. PRK is not on the list.
2. Korea, Republic of (South Korea) scores lower than the US on 2 out of 3 metrics, which is not "most"

Nice try.  Do you work for the GOP as a statistics unskewer?  If not, you should apply.

That said, my country outranks the US.  Which is why I'm here - the USA is no longer the Land of Opportunity and is on its way, I fear, to being a second-tier nation.  Perhaps third tier within my lifetime, if the GOP/ Tea Party keep it up.

You seem to have a good hate-on for the US. Instead of trying to make it better, you ran to Canada and instantly claim it as "your" country. Not everyone can have that ability to jump ship.

No, actually, I came to Canada for a job opportunity - because in the US, libraries are being cut left right and center. It's part of the rightward-moving culture of anti-intellectualism.  But rather than sitting on my fat ass complaining about my lot in life, I chose to do something about it.  Once I was out of the standard US masturbatory haze I realized that the US is not all I was told it was cracked up to be.  Other countries are indeed better.

It saddens me deeply that my birth country is being farked up by an entity so vapid and clueless as the Tea Party and a weak Democratic Party that keeps trying to make them see reason.  It worries me that the US is declining more and more each day.  But the market has shifted.  It's global now.  I have the freedom to put my skills on the market in places where they are appreciated, wanted, and, yes, fairly compensated.

No one in Canada has ever objected to my calling my country of residence "my country", by the way.  That's how it works here.  So get over your jingoistic self.


Nothing jingoistic about me. I'll biatch and whine about the state of this nation. But I try to make it better. The Tea Party is a symptom of a disease that should, hopefully, run it's course. Nations have their swings, and we are experiencing it. I just think that the thing that bothered me the most (in my early morning, caffeine-less haze), is that I've noticed you say "my country", with regards to Canada, while downing America. I don't think I've seen native Canadians do the same thing on here, but I could be mistaken. If I were to move away to another nation, I would like to think that I would feel pride there, but I also think I would still have pride for my country of birth. My friends and family are here, and for all the faults, I've still received a great opportunity, and make a very good living, even without going in massive debt due to college expenses.

Canada has a population of about 35 million. The US is nearly ten times that amount. Things are going to move pretty slowly here. But, as you can see, the gay marriage debate is slowly dying. The old white Conservatives are only getting older, and that means they will die. The rightward swing of the pendulum is slowing, and it will start swinging left again. Realize that things will change for the better here.
2014-04-03 09:22:47 AM  
1 votes:

oryx: I suppose the U.S. should model itself after some worker's paradise such as Cuba or Venezuela. That would be according to Fark anyway.


actually something along the lines Iceland, Sweden, Finland or Norway would be awesome, thanks.
2014-04-03 09:05:47 AM  
1 votes:

way south: A number of the top placers are fairly rigid and monochromatic societies with healthy economies.
Considering our current situation, I'd say our position isn't something to be ashamed of.


Seriously, tell us more about those filth multi-chromes keeping the monochromatic part of the US down in the ranking!

We should do something to celebrate and promote monochrome culture to combat it. Something visual so people could see the importance of it. Some kind of uniform without color would do nicely... Maybe some hood that covers the face too? I see real potential in such an organization. Who is with Way South and me?
2014-04-03 08:58:58 AM  
1 votes:

cman: Benevolent Misanthrope: Rev. Skarekroe: Yeah, well we have a little thing here called "freedom".  It means we don't need the government to look after our "social progress", whatever that means lol.  If you like those other coutnries so much MOVE THERE!!!! And take Obama with you!

I did.  I make more, I have more opportunity, I have health care guaranteed, I can marry whom I choose, and I don't have to put up with things like a full governmental shutdown because some Congressmen decided to throw a collective tantrum.

I know it was a troll (2/10, by the way), but there's a reason the US should stop making that argument.  Lots of people are indeed moving away, and are renouncing their US citizenship in larger numbers, too.

Gainsaying ones citizenship is probably not the best way to change the system. Its a form of protest sure but you cannot change the system if you do not participate. To think that the system is rigid and unchangeable is ludicrous. Societies change. The trend is that gay marriage will be legal in all states soon enough. It will take time but it will happen.


You misunderstand.  It's not a protest.  The US is the only nation that requires expats who earned no money in the US to pay income tax.  Yes, there are treaties that are supposed to ensure you don't get taxed twice - but the US has a cap on how much your foreign tax liability can offset your US tax liability.  And Cthulhu help you if you own American property or securities.  Basically, I'll pay several hundred dollars a year (and up, as the US economy fiddle-farts around and inflation goes north) for the privilege of holding US citizenship.  Again, it's the US mentality of "We're the Bestest EVAR!  You PAY for the privilege!"

Why on earth would someone pay to keep a passport from a nation that they don't live in, if they don't intend to return?  It used to be that American citizenship was a good thing.  Now the State Department tells Americans not to let people know they are American.  What does that tell you about America on the world stage?
2014-04-03 08:56:23 AM  
1 votes:

pedrop357: Oh no, the US rates low on a subjective index.  How can we fix this ASAP?


Realize that the American Dream is less true now than it's been in a long time, realize that American exceptionalism is complete bull, and start looking beyond the borders for good ideas.
2014-04-03 08:51:21 AM  
1 votes:
"social progress" as defined by "social progressives"

/people who agree with us are good
//people who disagree with us are bad
///it must be true, I made a chart.
2014-04-03 08:42:41 AM  
1 votes:
I think we got screwed on the "political terror" score. Sure, we still have unlimited detention, but it isn't supposed to be for "political views". Also, I wouldn't say that it is widely accepted either.

Actually, it is an interesting question. When we are out of Afghanistan, are we still going to hold the guys at Guantanamo? Since they are held as part of some ill-defined "forever war", I suspect they are just there till they die. It seems unlikely that we will get a majority of politicians who are going to take a stand.
2014-04-03 08:38:39 AM  
1 votes:

Rev. Skarekroe: Yeah, well we have a little thing here called "freedom".  It means we don't need the government to look after our "social progress", whatever that means lol.  If you like those other coutnries so much MOVE THERE!!!! And take Obama with you!


I did.  I make more, I have more opportunity, I have health care guaranteed, I can marry whom I choose, and I don't have to put up with things like a full governmental shutdown because some Congressmen decided to throw a collective tantrum.

I know it was a troll (2/10, by the way), but there's a reason the US should stop making that argument.  Lots of people are indeed moving away, and are renouncing their US citizenship in larger numbers, too.
2014-04-03 08:33:57 AM  
1 votes:
We need to build some monuments, opera houses and museums and get started on some world wonders.  The cultural victory is pretty much the easiest.
2014-04-03 08:30:56 AM  
1 votes:
A number of the top placers are fairly rigid and monochromatic societies with healthy economies.
Considering our current situation, I'd say our position isn't something to be ashamed of.
2014-04-03 08:30:13 AM  
1 votes:

cman: eiger: What I don't get about Conservatives #3527:

They argue again and again that this country is going into the shiatter and that the government is increasingly tyrannical (e.g. It persecutes Christians!) Yet when a study comes out showing that the US is not the "best" country in the world according to some metric, they almost always react defensively with their "best country in the world" claptrap. If they were at all consistent, one would expect them to embrace it as evidence for their viewpoint.

/OK, I do get it. Conservatives and cognitive dissonance go together like white on rice.

People base their opinions on biases and use facts that agree with them and disregard those that do not

Its not just conservatives that do that. It is human nature.

Read: The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt


Humans are biased? Thanks. I never realized that before. Next you'll tell me that humans tend to be selfish.

Obviously people are biased. That said, I would argue that while bias is universal, embracing self-evident contradictions is not. From my observations, certain personality types and ideological alignments feel more comfortable with holding two contradictory ideas than do others. This is far from a left-right thing. However, in the modern US, the right seems to be almost dominated by this mode of thinking. Whereas, on the left, it is less common.
2014-04-03 08:21:22 AM  
1 votes:
What I don't get about Conservatives #3527:

They argue again and again that this country is going into the shiatter and that the government is increasingly tyrannical (e.g. It persecutes Christians!) Yet when a study comes out showing that the US is not the "best" country in the world according to some metric, they almost always react defensively with their "best country in the world" claptrap. If they were at all consistent, one would expect them to embrace it as evidence for their viewpoint.

/OK, I do get it. Conservatives and cognitive dissonance go together like white on rice.
2014-04-03 08:15:58 AM  
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: padraig: How on Earth are French and American people less free to move than the Canadian ?

Canadians are free to travel to Cuba if they wish.


This

Whatever your political views on Cuba are, the fact that citizens cannot travel there is nothing less than authoritarianism in the name of fighting authoritarianism.
2014-04-03 08:07:49 AM  
1 votes:
Wow, another subjective opinionated list of ranked groups that produces unlikely results drawing interest to a website.

Shock.
2014-04-03 08:00:44 AM  
1 votes:
Yeah, well we have a little thing here called "freedom".  It means we don't need the government to look after our "social progress", whatever that means lol.  If you like those other coutnries so much MOVE THERE!!!! And take Obama with you!
2014-04-03 07:54:56 AM  
1 votes:

DanInKansas: As the US continues its slide down the police state ramp, I've been wondering where the exits might be.

Australia's always looked pretty good. Wonder if they need appliance repair guys badly enough I could get in? Lord knows with all that Fisher-Paykel stuff they should.


Australia's social laws make Brits look brave. Find another exit.
2014-04-03 07:54:10 AM  
1 votes:
This list can be simply summed up nicely: first world nations are first world nations
2014-04-03 07:46:04 AM  
1 votes:

foo monkey: Of course the US scores low. Look how we persecute Christians.


You just don't understand, man. I fought in the war on Christmas for 2 years. First week off the plane, my buddy took a "Happy Holidays" to the face. That crap scars you; now he's walking around thinking we evolved from monkeys.
2014-04-03 07:35:36 AM  
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: sithon: The PRK is higher in most metrics than the USA ? Something wrong there.

1. PRK is not on the list.
2. Korea, Republic of (South Korea) scores lower than the US on 2 out of 3 metrics, which is not "most"

Nice try.  Do you work for the GOP as a statistics unskewer?  If not, you should apply.

That said, my country outranks the US.  Which is why I'm here - the USA is no longer the Land of Opportunity and is on its way, I fear, to being a second-tier nation.  Perhaps third tier within my lifetime, if the GOP/ Tea Party keep it up.


Some of the "over 50" crowd at my workplace say that the USA is the best country on Earth....but I think that's just regurgitated Cold War-era thinking.

/ at least my corner of it is a nice place to live
2014-04-03 07:29:18 AM  
1 votes:
I'm always leery of politically-loaded terms like "social justice" but I was pleasantly surprised to see that "income equality" was not included in this data.  Seems a bit light on incarceration data though.
2014-04-03 07:22:43 AM  
1 votes:
I actually am Chad.
2014-04-03 06:02:54 AM  
1 votes:
The PRK is higher in most metrics than the USA ? Something wrong there.
 
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