02 March 2020

The Rest of the World

Most of the world does NOT live the lifestyle of the average American.  And people in the UK do not even live as well as the rest of Europe (from which Union we are now out -- what the UK hopes to gain by this, I cannot tell).  My charts show various levels of comparison between the UK and other European countries.  I am ready to go down some rabbit trails here...

I have been researching average incomes and economies of ten countries:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. Spain
  6. Italy
  7. Netherlands
  8. Australia
  9. Austria
  10. Switzerland
These countries are kind of picked by random, but I figured they sort of had similar economies and Western idealogies.  I have lived in the US and the UK, so I have a better grasp on those economies --which are not similar, actually, in many ways.

I have looked at lots of charts and comparisons.  They all differ from one another.  Some widely.  I don't know how one would really go about getting an accurate picture of a country's economy and wages other than by living there.  So, I fully admit I may be way out on my suppositions!

What prompted me to think about this was the fact that I have lived in the UK for nearly 13 years, and prior to that, lived in the US for 43!  After this length of time, I still maintain that (1) the quality of life in the UK is below that of most of the US (I have lived in four states, in four different regions -- Michigan, Florida, Colorado, and Maine), and (2) the standard of living in the UK is FAR below that of the US.

So, I wondered about the standard and quality of life in other countries, mostly European.  My personal take, along with what research I could find, is this:

The best standard of living:  the US, by far.  BUT, the best quality of life -- probably Italy or Germany.  I don't think Switzerland can have the fabulous quality of life they claim they do because for one thing, they place the rights of trees on the same level as the rights of humans!  

The worst standard of living:  the UK, by far.  We have the smallest incomes, smallest house sizes, worst infrastructure (although Italy could use some help with their infrastructure, too), fewest choices, most archaic building and planning regulations, and [in my opinionn] the worst food!

Probably most (all) governments are rotten at the core.  The local authorities in the UK are terrible, and frankly, Westminster isn't any better.  I won't even talk about the Scottish Parliament because in my opinion it is a joke, led by a megalomaniac.  Probably all governments are filled with wealthy people who have no clue about what life is like for the rest of us.  The UK is no exception.  I seriously doubt many, if any, politicians on any level actually LIVE in a council or government authority house, or a housing estate.  They probably go out of their way to avoid such things. 

We live in a housing estate.  It is a dump.  No other way to describe it.  And the people here, most or all of whom (not including ourselves) are faithless and listless and hopeless.

So, what really contributes to quality of life and standard of living?  Well, I would say the following:
  • Income and how far it will stretch
  • Housing -- size of house / apartment and environs 
  • Cleanliness of environs (is there trash everywhere?)
  • Sense of community
  • Safety
  • Culture
  • Freedom from religious persecution
  • Access to education
  • Access to healthcare
  • Recreation
  • Shopping
  • A voice in the government
  • Police presence in a protective but not threatening way
There may be more.  I may come back and edit this post.  I am going to address these issues, one per post, and look at the UK / Scotland, compared with at least three other countires.  I figure I will learn something along the way, and maybe you might find it interesting, too!

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