Yeah Americans are big-hearted and friendly, and I like 'em over all, but man these guys are something else. They are arrogant and ignorant of the rest of the world. They know how ignorant they are, and don't do anything about it. They joke about it instead.
Their arrogance they honestly don't see. They expect all foreigners to speak English and they expect a McDonalds in every foreign city. They firmly believe God is American and if you aren't with us, you are against us -- hence why many of them boycotted Canada Dry ginger ale (seriously) when Canada didn't join them for the second Gulf war. Never mind that Canada was in the first Gulf war, and was still fighting in Afghanistan, or that Canada Dry isn't even Canadian.
We are in the South, and people are nice here. They also support Bush. They make excuses for his apparent idiocy, and turn a blind eye to his foolish war while their sons and daughters go off to die in a hopeless cause. In their churches they pray (I'm serious) for Bush and Cheney. One church even told its parishoners to support Bush or leave. The fact that Kerry was religious all his life, and Bush discovered religion just before he discovered politics, didn't change the opinion that Bush was more pious than Kerry in the last election.
People were picketing Fahrenheit 911 before it even opened. They had never seen the movie, and they said they never would. They knew it was going to tell them things about Bush they would rather not know. Here, the movie was originally going to open in a dozen nearby theaters, and after all the protests, it only opened in one.
Canada sent thousands of people for a big love-in in NY after 911. It was never reported here. Canada sent millions of dollars in aid to New Orleans after the hurricane, along with ships and navy divers. It was never reported here. People were complaining that "we send so much in aid to countries around the world, where are they when we need help?" Well, Canada was right there, in New Orleans. On Day One.
We hear more about events in Colombia than Canada.
Americans always say "after we stormed the beaches of Normandy" and we "kicked the Germans out of France", forgetting there were three countries storming the beaches at Normandy, and another pressuring them from the East. Plus they were 2 years late joining the war in the first place.
It's that kind of willful blindness that amazes me. Of course, you can't mention any of this to them or they get upset. Americans do not take criticism well. At all.
Blame their education and blame their media. Their education is biased and completely lacking in world events. The media tells them what they want to hear, because if it doesn't, they change the channel. The only thing more newsworthy than the war in Iraq is Paris Hilton's last day in jail. France got a new President? Canada is our #1 source for energy? Who cares. What did Paris Hilton eat while she was in jail?
FYI you have the tax brackets backwards. Granted I have been out of the country for 5 years but the max tax bracket in Canada was around 50% with CPP etc. and you hit that early, around $65k. I was paying out around 33% of my income in tax, not counting 7% GST. Here in VA I'm paying around 20% of my income in tax and state tax is 2.5% to 5%. Remember in the US you can write off more things, like mortgage interest and home improvements. That makes a big difference. Overall Americans do pay less tax than Canadians. They also get less government services, but that's how they like it.
Health care is better here, if you can afford it. In Edmonton I couldn't find a GP that took new patients, and people were waiting months for surgeries. An MRI took six months, on average. Here, I had my pick of GPs and a wait of a week or two for a procedure is normal. Once I needed an MRI, and I got it *the next day*. I even got another one the day after that. Hospitals compete with each other for patients -- seriously. That's why rich Canadians go to the US for emergencies.
Doctors make a ton of money and they are treated like Gods, while nurses make less because they aren't unionized. (Same with teachers.) That's why Canadian doctors are moving to the US and Canadian nurses are moving back. There is a national nursing shortage here, hospitals are paying $5k signing bonuses and referral fees. but they won't increase the base wages for nurses.
Probably because they can't afford to pay more after paying for doctors and all that whizbang new equipment. Health care in the US has become so expensive that companies keep cutting back. Everything has a $15 or $20 copay. If you are in a rich company that pays good benefits, you're golden. If not, well, don't get sick or you could lose your house