As someone who bailed on the USA two years into the President Select’s disastrous administration, trust me, I know that of which I speak: if you’re even contemplating chucking it in and just moving abroad* consider the following:
National Health Care can bite me…and then make me wait years for treatment for the wound. Michael Moore and his shitass movie about health care straight up LIED about the fantasy that is nationalized health care. Months-long waits for surgery, schlepping to Easter Europe for treatments too expensive in the UK, ten minute appointments, zero preventative medicine, and referrals to specialists that never come through—these are some of the delights for national health care. Should everyone have health care? Yes. Should everyone have shitty health care? I’m gonna give it a miss. (Birth control is free, though. That’s cool. Especially when you see how they treat rape victims in courts and in the tabloids. It’s so 1971.)
TV License. In the UK and Australia you have to pay for an annual TV license. Yeah, I know some of y’all are all excited about BBC America, but for reals? Four channels of BBC and I’ve pretty much given up on watching telly. World War II documentaries, crappy Saturday night “family viewing,” super fug people on the soaps (actually, I’ve grown to like Corrie and Eastenders), and annoying attempts to Americanize the news cost about £139.50 per year. Convert that shizznatz. You know you wanna.
Canada does not want yo ass. Try Mexico if that wall’s not yet been built with your tax dollars.
Kiss Customer Service Goodbye. The complete nonsensical nature of basic customer service and business will drive you apeshit. There’s a reason why the UK is no longer an empire: they can’t administrate their way out of a plastic carrier bag. Need help with a utility or purchase? Say good-bye to toll-free calls and dial an 0845 number where you pay for the call per minute. Forget about customer service in a shop. You are invisible. Even when I, a black woman, act like I’m gonna steal something to get some attention—nope, nothin’. Too, every service you purchase with a recurring payment wants to be all up in your bank account or charge you a fee if you insist on, oh, you know, having control of your finances. You can eat for free, though, ’cause it’s an ordeal to get the check and pay.
No Safe Economy. Wall Street sneezed. The rest of the world got the plague.
The World’s Punching Bag. If McCain and Palin are elected, likely people in your newly adopted country will stone you as you try to walk down the street. I’ve been able to get a pass on the 2000 and 2004 elections, but I don’t think the rest of the world will be so forgiving if we hand those thugs another election. Prepare to get your lunch ate on the daily if we’re seeing the actual Sarah Palin and not Tina-Fey-as-Sarah-Palin after November 4th.
I could go on, but it’s late and I have electoral college maps to bookmark online. Do as I say and not as I did: fight for America’s soul! Wrest it from the alien tractor stare of Cindy McCain. She’s pod people.
*This is mostly U.K. based kvetching. I know, I know: if you don’t like it go home. If Obama’s elected, yo, I am on the first thing smokin’! I’m comin’ ta join ya, Weezie!