Life in the USA

Discussion in 'The Soap Box (Archive Only)' started by DianaSSBBW, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Apr 19, 2017 #1

    DianaSSBBW

    DianaSSBBW

    DianaSSBBW

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    A classmate, from Pakistan, that now lives an works in Pakistan, shared the following statements.
    I am looking for people's point of vew regarding some of these statements. I have always believed that the USA is a great place (and I am not refering to those red hats from this past year)
    What makes the USA a less productI've nation. Is the need to be a two household income counter productive?

    Please let's not turn this into a political debate. Other factors besides the political situation of our country influences our lives.

    Its a beautiful read :

    "It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule."

    Globalized processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to possess a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.

    1. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants..
    2. Stockholm has 500,000 people.
    3. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, are some of its renowned companies. Volvo even supplies NASA.

    The first time I was in Sweden , one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September,bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, neither the second or third days. One morning I asked him, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, don't you think that whoever gets in late will need a place closer to the door?" Imagine my face.

    Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe named Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart, Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.

    Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fuelled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being".

    French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has come to the notice of USA , the pupils of the fast and "do it now" brigade.

    This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress.

    It means re-establishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living. It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive work place where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do.

    It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence.

    In the movie, 'Scent of a Woman', there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To which Al Pacino responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance the tango!

    Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious to live for the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists.

    We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"

    Thank you for your comments.
     
  2. Apr 20, 2017 #2

    bigmac

    bigmac

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    Great post! Sweden sounds great!

    Long ago I had a summer job as a carpenter's helper. He always took his time laying out his materials and carefully measuring. He never had to tear anything apart and redo it (unlike most of the other tradesmen I've worked with). Rushing around leads to crappy work product.

    FYI my last Volvo ran for 493,000 kms. The one parked outside has 306,000 kms on it as still runs like a new car.
     
  3. Apr 20, 2017 #3

    agouderia

    agouderia

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    Not to be cynical, but I can't take any article seriously that starts out with such major errors:

    Sweden has 9.9 million inhabitants, not 2 million. :doh:

    Stockholm (city - not metropolitan region) has 800.000 inhabitants.
     
  4. Apr 23, 2017 #4

    DianaSSBBW

    DianaSSBBW

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    I used to love to "borrow" my parents Volvo 940 when I would visit them in Holland. My dad's job assignment provided a car with all the "Petro" needed. When we got transferred to the Netherlands and they had to "pick" a car my mother was insisting on a Honda and my dad was "you are getting a Volvo, they are cheaper than Hondas here". She loved her Volvo, sadly the second one was returned and they had it for only 3 months.
     
  5. Apr 23, 2017 #5

    DianaSSBBW

    DianaSSBBW

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    Sorry about the miss information. It was my impression that it is not a published "article" but just some thought shares by a friend. Just my friends opinion were he forgot to check some facts or had outdated information.
     
  6. Apr 24, 2017 #6

    HereticFA

    HereticFA

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    Sweden appears to have an economy focused on exports. As a result they are still an economy with a significant manufacturing base. And they manufacture relatively high dollar products. That's in contrast to our transition to a more service oriented economy as we exported our manufacturing elsewhere.

    Plus Sweden appears to have a higher level of educational attainment on average compared to the US. That usually translates to greater income, the indicator used to determine productivity.

    It can be.
     
  7. Apr 25, 2017 #7

    bigmac

    bigmac

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    That's not accidental. Its the result of good public policy.
     
  8. Apr 25, 2017 #8

    Tad

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    The great white north, eh?
    One thing to keep in mind is that the United States really is an elephant -- as in the story about the blind men and the elephant, each touching a different part and reporting that an elephant is like a tree, a rope, a hose, a spear ...

    Visiting cities in New England is different from visiting hill country in Alabama is different from cities in Texas is different from ranch country near the Rockies is different from .... well, you get the idea. It is partially that the country has a lot of people coming from a lot of different backgrounds, it is partially that it is so big that there is only so much mixing between areas, it is partially that it is so big that a lot of areas would be viewed as underpopulated by the standards of a lot of the world, and no doubt a lot of other factors.

    In some ways, I suspect that life in New York city has more in common with life in London or Frankfurt than it does with life in rural Montana.

    The Scandinavian countries have all been models in various ways, and have done a lot of things right -- but they have also benefited from a very homogeneous culture, and a location on the edge of Europe where they have access to the European market without having had the degree of historical traumas and disruptions that most countries in the main part of the continent have dealt with (even in WWII when most were occupied by one side or the other, the amount of death and damage was lower than in most of the continent -- granted that Finland ended up losing territory and paying massive reparations to the USSR for decades because they'd invited in Germany to kick out the USSR, so were treated as a German ally at the end of the war).

    I'm not trying to say that life in the US is perfect or couldn't be improved -- it isn't and surely could be -- just that cherry picking comparisons of particular parts of the USA versus some of the most fortunate places on the planet isn't a very fair way to pass judgement on the country.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2017 #9

    LeoGibson

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    I couldn't rep you, but this right here sums it up nicely. That's why it is so annoying to hear people say we should be more like (insert random country here) instead of how we are. This place is unlike any other and can't be compared as such.
     
  10. Apr 25, 2017 #10

    DianaSSBBW

    DianaSSBBW

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    Just wanted to clarify something...
    Maybe I should of been more clear in my first post.
    My intentions when I posted my friends writing was an outsiders perspective. By the way, he also had the opportunity to live and travel here in the USA for 6 years while attending college and graduate school.
    I am not trying to pass judgement or criticize the USA. My point is we should never stop learning or improving. We can also learn from how something is done in another country. Nothing is wrong with "Cherry picking" from something that has been proven to work and try to improve our lives.
    I must add, that of all the places I have had the opportunity to live, each location was perfect in it own way.
    Actually, even with some faults and take some of the cold days away, were I live is pretty nice. I turn on the water, and I have water. I hit the light switch and the lights come on. The grocery store has items on the shelves and most importantly I can go outside (at any time of the day) and I am not mugged and I am not afraid!
     
  11. Apr 25, 2017 #11

    Tad

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    The great white north, eh?
    Fair enough that things can always be improved!

    (and btw, I am not American. I just feel that they get a raw deal sometimes -- kind of like everyone complaining about politicians, but neglecting how impossible it is to make everyone happy)
     
  12. Apr 26, 2017 #12

    HereticFA

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    Who said it was accidental? I thought it was clearly obvious that better education should always be a goal, whether at the personal level or the national level.

    Which is why the next ten years will be very interesting for Sweden following the significant influx of migrants in the last couple of years. Since many of the migrants lack the equivalent of a high school education, much less an undergraduate degree, they will be at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder in a technology based economy like Sweden's. Their "Productivity" metric may start sliding downward.
     
  13. May 13, 2017 #13

    Leem

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    FYI -Sweden has already seen a drop in their education ratings due to the influx of immigrants.

    I have often felt that moving to two income households has created a lower quality of life for families. I say this because I feel that this has come at the expense of family and community relationships. Kids have fewer meals with their families, like one or two a week in comparison to 7-14 meals with their parents. When both adults work there is less time for community relationships also. We have a system here in the US where parents frequently work 45+ hours a week and come home exhausted. I think this leads to a lower quality of life for everyone.
     

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