Have you ever been in an argument with someone over some bullshit the U.S. government is doing (like invading sovereign nations), and the dipshit you’re debating tells you that you should be shipped off to some socialist/communist/Islamic/oppressive/European country? Next time that happens, maybe you should consider it a good idea and ship yourself off. Here’s five good reasons why being an expatriate American may just be better than being a U.S. citizen. Many of these points assume you’re not moving to some AIDS-ridden third-world country, and are expatriating to Canada or one of the many socialized nations in the European Union.
1. You’re less likely to be robbed, raped, beaten or shot.
Generally speaking, other developed nations have lower crime rates than we do, according to UN crime rate statistics. The United Kingdom, Denmark, and Finland are exceptions (as well as a host of crappy undeveloped nations) – these countries do have higher crime rates than the United States. Don’t worry, though, there’s still plenty of places that offer a safe alternative – most of the EU, for instance, or Canada, our friendly neighbors to the north. Hell, you could even move to Yemen or Russia if you’re just looking for a lower crime rate.
2. You won’t feel the gas crunch nearly as much.
I’ve already discussed in previous posts how other countries are not affected nearly as much as we are by the rising cost of gasoline. Sure, they pay even higher prices than we do at the pump; that’s why the first thing you do when you move is sell the damn car! Though there are big parts of Canada where this doesn’t hold true, chances are if you head across the big lake to Europe, you’ll find you don’t even need a car. In fact, in many cases, it’s a bigger inconvenience than it is a boon. It’s easier to take the incredibly efficient public transit, or even hop on a bicycle for the scenic route. Most countries in Europe are scooter-friendly, too, so you can look dorky but save a ton of money on gas by putting around on a Vespa. Imagine all the cash you could save right now if you could just stop taking your car to work – personally, I’d pocket an extra $160 a month, and I live within five miles of my job. Unfortunately, it’s only a dream for many living outside the major metropolises in the United States.
3. You won’t face the burden of listening to people talk about their faith.
Alright, so this is more of a personal benefit for rational atheists like myself. Being an atheist in Europe is pretty nice. Very rarely will a European confront you about faith. You won’t have some Bible-beater blaring a megaphone in your ear while you’re having a beer at Oktoberfest in Munich. Ask the Naked Cowboy if you can say the same about Bourbon Street.
However, the benefits of a secular state don’t just affect nonbelievers. Our very own founding fathers knew the wisdom of keeping church and state separate, though in practice they did not do a perfect job of implementing it. It prevents discrimination against both believers and nonbelievers; it does not allow the rights of one group of believers to take precedence over another group. Unfortunately, faith has become a major factor in U.S. elections. It’s doubtful a presidential candidate who did not profess Christianity could win any time in the foreseeable future.
Ironically, many EU nations to which you might expatriate do not have the same clause about separation of church and state which we follow in the United States. They’ve just managed to collectively not give a shit about religion for long enough that the same religious apathy has leaked into their public policy making.
4. Castles kick ass.
Let’s face it: the scenery matters. This is the reason I’m thinking Europe > Canada, assuming this whole Russo-Georgian conflict dies down in the near future. Castles seriously rock, and it would behoove you to live near one so you can see how awesome they are.
Ronneburg Castle, Hessen, Germany. It has a catapult on the other side, just in case you question how much ass it kicks.
5. You’ll live longer.
As if castles and a lower crime rate aren’t awesome enough reasons to leave America, there’s the higher life expectancy the United Nations report in many other countries. Canada, the UK, the EU – all have higher life expectancies. Meanwhile, the United States falls at number 38 on the list – just below Cuba and just above the bustling nation of Portugal. Seriously, people, Cuba does better than us on keeping people alive?
We can argue about the benefits of socialized medicine all we want to, rehashing every argument Michael Moore or Ronald Reagan could drum up for or against it, but the fact remains that folks tend to live longer in all those evil socialist countries to which conservatives so fervently wish to ship all us libs. Even if every perceived evil of socialized medicine is true, they’re still doing their job better than we are, if you consider that job keeping folks’ tickers ticking for longer.
Originally, I’d intended to keep this list down to five good reasons. Unfortunately for any American nationalists reading this, I came up with a lot more than five reasons, so we’ll save the next five for next week. Let’s just hope the Bush croneys don’t ship me off to Gitmo before I get around to posting them.