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Tuesday, May 16, 2006


My country tis of thee...

"America is hard to see."
-Robert Frost

If you could choose where to live, would you choose America?

That's the question posed by this very interesting feature on the P.O.V.'s Borders: American ID Web site.

Sample responses so far:
"Yes - I am a woman, a homosexual, and of Mexican American decent. Where else could I live this openly without imprisonment, genecide or servitude?"

"No - I don't like living in a country where wealth is so unevenly distributed, where the social safety net continues to disappear, and where so many people have no access to health care."
Other cool features on the site:
Go to it...

I think it's a good exercise for people to question themselves on this kind of thing periodically. (And not just on location, but on religion, political persuasion, favorite movies, etc.) There are way too people caught up in their own inertia... people just doing something, or staying somewhere, because that's what they've always done, it because it's easier not to think about change. [insert Woody Allen quote about dead sharks.]

That said, leaving America is a pretty hard sell. Outside of foreign policy, where we can't claim the moral high ground anymore, most standards of living are objectively higher here than anywhere else on the aggregate. Complain all you want to about the disparity of wealth, but the have-nots in the USA have it much better than the have-nots most other places... and we're on the low-end of the global tax scale... and the low-end of the gov't service scale. (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/001201.html)

I've got as much wanderlust as anyone, and the pull of moving to Europe or Asia for a while is pretty strong. But from the travelling I've done, I never saw anyplace quite as "liveable" as the USA. I have my problems with the place, but it's certainly the best option I've seen. :)

Oh, and even after leaving Jersey, I still think you can't have a best road trip songs list without "Born to Run."
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