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Can Anyone Vouch For These Countries?


XtianChris
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The following article gives a high grade to several countries regarding homicide and teenage pregnancy, while giving the US a very low grade. I love the US, but it's far from what it used to be. If it continues down the destructive path its on, I may be looking for a new country. The only countries that I have a little knowledge of are Great Britain and Japan, but I hear that the Japanese work themselves to death (and have higher-than-average suicide rates). I'd prefer a place where I can live a comfortable life. I'm not into luxury, and I don't care much for red tape. Does anyone have first-hand experience living in any of the better rated countries (or others not mentioned), and can you say whether they are all-around better places to live than the US (particularly for an obviously American-born citizen)?

 

http://www.humaniststudies.org/enews/index...9&article=7

Religion fosters bad behavior

 

COLUMN By MARTIN FOREMAN

From God would be an atheist...

First published Nov. 12, 2005

 

Several weeks ago, a ground-breaking study on religious belief and social well-being was published in the Journal of Religion & Society. Comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand, author Gregory S Paul quietly demolished the myth that faith strengthens society.

 

Drawing on a wide range of studies to cross-match faith – measured by belief in God and acceptance of evolution – with homicide and sexual behavior, Paul found that secular societies have lower rates of violence and teenage pregnancy than societies where many people profess belief in God.

 

Top of the class, in both atheism and good behavior, come the Japanese. Over eighty percent accept evolution and fewer than ten percent are certain that God exists. Despite its size – over a hundred million people – Japan is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation.

 

(Teenage pregnancy has less tragic consequences than violence but it is usually unwanted, and it is frequently associated with deprivation among both mothers and children. In general, it is a Bad Thing.)

 

Next in line are the Norwegians, British, Germans and Dutch. At least sixty percent accept evolution as a fact and fewer than one in three are convinced that there is a deity. There is little teenage pregnancy , although the Brits, with over 40 pregnancies per 1,000 girls a year, do twice as badly as the others. Homicide rates are also low -- around 1-2 victims per 100,000 people a year.

 

At the other end of the scale comes America. Over 50 percent of Americans believe in God, and only 40 percent accept some form of evolution (many believe it had a helping hand from the Deity). The U.S. has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Japan.

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Top of the class, in both atheism and good behavior, come the Japanese. Over eighty percent accept evolution and fewer than ten percent are certain that God exists. Despite its size – over a hundred million people – Japan is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation.

 

The very reason I spend most of the year living in Japan. I enjoy the courtesy, honesty, cleanliness, hospitality, and good manners of the Japanese - things that are definately lacking in Ozz (the U.S. too?)

 

While the Japanese are hard workers and work long hours, there are many benefits that they enjoy that I'm sure you won't find in other countries. Feel free to ask me any questions - likely my answers will be heavily biased! :HaHa:

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Well I'm British though I don't know enough about the US to really compare the two. Religion certainly isn't a big thing here...church attendance has been dropping, from my experience the more traditional churches are full of little old ladies. According to the last census my town is 70% Christian but you wouldn't know that from looking at church attendance figures. Those 70% are mainly made up of Christmas-and-Easter-Christians. We don't have a separation of church and state so there's some crazy law about "collective worship or a mainly Christian nature" being included in school assemblies. I think most kids use it as an opportunity to make up silly words for the hymns.

 

Gun crime is very low...the home office website says only 0.5% of all crimes reported by the police involve guns. Violent crime has been falling and homicide makes up 0.1% of violent crime that is recorded.

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The following article gives a high grade to several countries regarding homicide and teenage pregnancy, while giving the US a very low grade. I love the US, but it's far from what it used to be. If it continues down the destructive path its on, I may be looking for a new country. The only countries that I have a little knowledge of are Great Britain and Japan, but I hear that the Japanese work themselves to death (and have higher-than-average suicide rates). I'd prefer a place where I can live a comfortable life. I'm not into luxury, and I don't care much for red tape. Does anyone have first-hand experience living in any of the better rated countries (or others not mentioned), and can you say whether they are all-around better places to live than the US (particularly for an obviously American-born citizen)?

 

Don't know if this is of use...

 

I can say a little about the scandinavian countries (my husband grew up there, we visit and get visitors frequently, know lots of ex-pats here, and we've debated living there for a couple years. It's likely we will at some point.) I can mostly talk about the rural areas, where we have friends and family, and I don't know how different the cities are. In the cities, we were tourists, in the smaller towns we visit, we're family.

 

Scandinavia is very friendly. People don't eat out, they visit each other and stay for hours. People really attend community functions. People aren't snobby or aloof, they're very helpful.

 

There's a lot of weird rules and laws that are strangely still in force. You need to go to a priest for a lot of things, like registering a birth, and the priest can veto names not on the "godkendt" list. Priests are civil servants.

 

The christianity that there is seems to be almost a layer over older religions...the whole community my husband grew up in still shows up every solstice to burn effigies and sing songs about burning a witch to bring spring. (the lyrics were quite as creepy as some creepier hymns I've heard, but it was fun) It's sort of assumed everyone is a lapsed christian, though lots of people still hold bits and pieces of the old beliefs. But it's strange, denmark, for example, hasn't approved a mosque or a muslim cemetery, and in general, it's religiously live and let live as long as you're willing to be socially invisible.

 

It's expected that everyone should be taken care of, the health care isn't perfect, but there's an effort made to look after everyone. There's home care for the elderly and sick. People complain about the hours of the inexpensive day care not starting early enough to be convenient.

 

It's a very conservative society, not in morals, but in "the way things are done". The government is huge and famously inefficient. Be prepared to pay far more tax than you could imagine. It's very difficult to start a business, or indeed to do anything that hasn't been done many times before. There's also a sort of "don't rock the boat" mentality, and a sort of inbred idea that nobody should have anything different than anyone else. It's not bad, per sey, but it's very different than north america, indeed it's why my inlaws left the country.

 

As a new-world person, it looks to me like history lies thick on everything.

 

One thing that would really strike an american (it struck me, and I'm canadian) is just how conformist the society is. People have the same decorations in their houses, and new trends quickly become universal. Companies test-market new products there for this reason.

 

There's a myth at least in norway and denmark that foreigners can't learn the language, and will never fit in. Far more than in north america, if you're from afar, you'll always be considered a foreigner. Sweden's the least like that, from what I know. People continue to be amazed at my very weak danish and norwegian (they're almost completely mutually comprehensible languages, so I'm kind of learning both), but the scandinavian languages are among the easiest to learn from english. People often speak at least a little english in the cities, but not so much in the small towns, or not at all.

 

They may not want you there, at least not permanently, and how friendly and accepting they are may depend on the colour of your skin (if you blend in or not)

 

But I'd consider living in scandinavia for a few years. Just don't expect the utopia some people describe (especially here in Canada, some people seem to think it's just like here, only they do socialism better).

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I'd have to look up exact and up-to-date crime (and other) stats for my German homeland, but from what I know so far about the US, at least killing statistics are quite low here compared with the US. I'm a bit less certain (though still quite sure) that the same goes for teen pregnancy.

And as far as religion goes, the big mainstream churches in Germany are (for all I can tell) definitely of the CINO (christian in name only) variant. The catholics tend to be more zealous than the protestants, but I guess to one who grew up in the babble belt (or even close to it :blink: ) they will still appear totally liberal :lmao:

Of course we do have our share or problems too. Among other things, too much political dogma in the government if you ask me, resulting in the standard inflexibility and sloth-like "speed" of implementing needed changes. :Hmm:

But at least fundyism isn't (yet?) a serious problem here. Though the cults seem to be slowly growing. :scratch:

 

Veeeeeeeery slowly. :HaHa:

 

And it may well be that the increase in fundies is more than balanced by the amount of people giving up religion altogether, so... ;)

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Well, here in the UK, although we're technically not a secular country in that we have an Established church (and we even have ancient blasphemy laws that are never evoked AFAIK), the populace is generally very secular. In my experience, the majority of 'Christians' aren't Christian at all. To profess Anglicanism is to profess being white, middle-class and that you're family has generally been in this country for generations. To profess Catholicism is to profess that your family are recent immigrants and that you're probably fairly working class (or that you come from an extremely old aristocratic family). It is rare for these beliefs to mean anything more than a culture, and perhaps where you get married, baptised and buried.

 

From the statistics I have read, we have the highest levels of drug addiction and teen pregnancy in all of Europe. We generally fall very low on overall indicators of living standards compared to other developed nations. The gap between rich and poor is not, I believe, as bad as it is in the US, but it's fairly high. And I don't think you could truly say you've seen a culture of dangerously high alcohol consumption until you've been here. Binge drinking is the norm. Though the continental Europeans may drink more often, from what I hear we drink a hell of a lot more. As in...my relatively quiet Friday night came to somewhere in the region of 6 pints, 4 apple sours, a couple of shots of brandy, half a bottle of white wine and some Baileys. Yay pub culture!

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The biggest issue for anyone who wants to pick up stakes and move to a new country is not necessarily which country to choose per se, but what you can do to make a living when you are there. You might like Germany, e.g., but unless you have a EU citizenship, I can just about guarantee you that you won't find decent employment there. They have an 8-10% unemployment rate; why would they hire an immigrant?

 

The same can be said of just about every country you listed. Japan you can get work teaching English. The other countries on your list, I'd say you would be pretty much out of luck even in that field.

 

That said, there are a lot of really cool countries where you can teach english and make a decent living at it. Besides teaching, your options are limited. You are unlikely to get a job abroad with a multi national unless you already hold a fairly high level position at the firm. They tend to hire local labor and import only the top management.

 

Don't be discourage though. You can always start your own business. There are tons of ideas and loads of markets just waiting to be exploited.

 

As for countries, I love Italy. I've lived in six countries and traveled to many more, and Italy is miles above the rest. It would be my first choice if I were planning to teach abroad. Russia also offers some interesting alternatives. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and there are so many areas of the economy that have yet to be exploited. It's an entreprenuer's paradise. It's America in 1948. I've lived there for three years now and I just love it. And the Russian girls will just blow your mind; no other place can compare in quantity, quality and sexuality.

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The biggest issue for anyone who wants to pick up stakes and move to a new country is not necessarily which country to choose per se, but what you can do to make a living when you are there. You might like Germany, e.g., but unless you have a EU citizenship, I can just about guarantee you that you won't find decent employment there. They have an 8-10% unemployment rate; why would they hire an immigrant?

 

The same can be said of just about every country you listed. Japan you can get work teaching English. The other countries on your list, I'd say you would be pretty much out of luck even in that field.

 

That said, there are a lot of really cool countries where you can teach english and make a decent living at it. Besides teaching, your options are limited. You are unlikely to get a job abroad with a multi national unless you already hold a fairly high level position at the firm. They tend to hire local labor and import only the top management.

 

Don't be discourage though. You can always start your own business. There are tons of ideas and loads of markets just waiting to be exploited.

 

As for countries, I love Italy. I've lived in six countries and traveled to many more, and Italy is miles above the rest. It would be my first choice if I were planning to teach abroad. Russia also offers some interesting alternatives. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and there are so many areas of the economy that have yet to be exploited. It's an entreprenuer's paradise. It's America in 1948. I've lived there for three years now and I just love it. And the Russian girls will just blow your mind; no other place can compare in quantity, quality and sexuality.

I got head hunted by IBM BV in The Netherlands, so it can happen when you're not looking...

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And I don't think you could truly say you've seen a culture of dangerously high alcohol consumption until you've been here.

 

Well, living in Russia, I'll have to beg to differ.

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I got head hunted by IBM BV in The Netherlands, so it can happen when you're not looking... .

 

Yeah, but you are Gramps afterall. You have some experience under your belt. Also, you have an EU citizenship. The OP is, I believe, a young American guy just getting started.

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Japan you can get work teaching English.

 

Or as a fake Catholic priest which pays rather well. There is also a steady demand for European extras and models of all ages in TV and advertising which pays extremely well.

 

Obviously, it goes without saying that one must be determined to learn the ways and culture of the country which one wishes to move to.

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Japan you can get work teaching English.

 

Or as a fake Catholic priest which pays rather well. There is also a steady demand for European extras and models of all ages in TV and advertising which pays extremely well.

 

Obviously, it goes without saying that one must be determined to learn the ways and culture of the country which one wishes to move to.

 

That just needed bolding! The British abroad pretty much need strapping down into the device used on Alex in A Clockwork Orange for a month just to program that into them.

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Japan you can get work teaching English.

 

Or as a fake Catholic priest which pays rather well. There is also a steady demand for European extras and models of all ages in TV and advertising which pays extremely well.

 

Obviously, it goes without saying that one must be determined to learn the ways and culture of the country which one wishes to move to.

 

That just needed bolding! The British abroad pretty much need strapping down into the device used on Alex in A Clockwork Orange for a month just to program that into them.

 

 

Oh, I don't know Gramps. From my experience it is mainly the Brits, Germans, Ozzies, Kiwis, and Canadians that manage to fit right in in Japan. The Americans have a tough time of it, as do the French. Brits in Oz are pretty good at fitting in, but there isn't all that much difference between the two.

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They have an 8-10% unemployment rate; why would they hire an immigrant?

 

Well, to be fair... although I know it sounds kind of like a fairy tale, there are still employers who hire based solely on what talents one has. I dare say that our company is a good example of that (eh, we have an art student working in our helpdesk... and she's doing her job quite well) ;)

 

But basically, yes, just because you leave the US doesn't mean that you will find a good job immediately. Sad but true. One best checks for that before leaving (well, duh...).

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Japan you can get work teaching English.

 

Or as a fake Catholic priest which pays rather well. There is also a steady demand for European extras and models of all ages in TV and advertising which pays extremely well.

 

Obviously, it goes without saying that one must be determined to learn the ways and culture of the country which one wishes to move to.

 

That just needed bolding! The British abroad pretty much need strapping down into the device used on Alex in A Clockwork Orange for a month just to program that into them.

 

 

Oh, I don't know Gramps. From my experience it is mainly the Brits, Germans, Ozzies, Kiwis, and Canadians that manage to fit right in in Japan. The Americans have a tough time of it, as do the French. Brits in Oz are pretty good at fitting in, but there isn't all that much difference between the two.

Assuming that one can get the hand written letter by Pope John XXIII and a picture of John Howard at your baptism to get a visa to stay in the spider and snake infested dust bowl ;) (Guess who once looked at jobs in the Antipodes and decided the cash wasn't worth the hassle...;) )

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Japan you can get work teaching English.

 

Or as a fake Catholic priest which pays rather well. There is also a steady demand for European extras and models of all ages in TV and advertising which pays extremely well.

 

Obviously, it goes without saying that one must be determined to learn the ways and culture of the country which one wishes to move to.

 

That just needed bolding! The British abroad pretty much need strapping down into the device used on Alex in A Clockwork Orange for a month just to program that into them.

 

 

Oh, I don't know Gramps. From my experience it is mainly the Brits, Germans, Ozzies, Kiwis, and Canadians that manage to fit right in in Japan. The Americans have a tough time of it, as do the French. Brits in Oz are pretty good at fitting in, but there isn't all that much difference between the two.

Assuming that one can get the hand written letter by Pope John XXIII and a picture of John Howard at your baptism to get a visa to stay in the spider and snake infested dust bowl ;) (Guess who once looked at jobs in the Antipodes and decided the cash wasn't worth the hassle... ;) )

 

Really? Brits are the number one immigrants together with Kiwis. I didn't know it was that difficult for Brits to come to Oz. The single largest group of illegal immigrants in Australia are Brits who have overstayed their visas!

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Japan you can get work teaching English.

 

Or as a fake Catholic priest which pays rather well. There is also a steady demand for European extras and models of all ages in TV and advertising which pays extremely well.

 

Obviously, it goes without saying that one must be determined to learn the ways and culture of the country which one wishes to move to.

 

That just needed bolding! The British abroad pretty much need strapping down into the device used on Alex in A Clockwork Orange for a month just to program that into them.

 

 

Oh, I don't know Gramps. From my experience it is mainly the Brits, Germans, Ozzies, Kiwis, and Canadians that manage to fit right in in Japan. The Americans have a tough time of it, as do the French. Brits in Oz are pretty good at fitting in, but there isn't all that much difference between the two.

Assuming that one can get the hand written letter by Pope John XXIII and a picture of John Howard at your baptism to get a visa to stay in the spider and snake infested dust bowl ;) (Guess who once looked at jobs in the Antipodes and decided the cash wasn't worth the hassle... ;) )

 

Really? Brits are the number one immigrants together with Kiwis. I didn't know it was that difficult for Brits to come to Oz. The single largest group of illegal immigrants in Australia are Brits who have overstayed their visas!

For employment, it's not easy (and I'd have only been doing a 6month contract). I don't know what the entrance needs are with Kiwis to Oz...

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I would love to put stock in these polls, but I just can't. They always tend to push whatever agenda the writer has.

 

If a Christian had written it, it would have proven that Christians are safer, more secure people.

 

If an atheist writes it, it proves that atheists are the better people.

 

Just search through the internet and you can find a poll proving just about anything you want. I have very little faith in pollsters being honest in general. They manipulate facts, I think, to suit their own tastes. For example, they might be selective about what "crime" or "violence" means, or what is really a positive trait in a society. Americans believe in Christianity, for example, and a lot of Brits do not. That's why, the American Christian pollster would say, the Brits smoke and drink more, whereas the atheist pollster would decide that smoking and drinking were irrelevant to the subject, despite the fact that both of those habits involve coping strategies and mind-altering chemicals.

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