Immigrants Live Longer

» 26 May 2004 » In Opinion »

Well, the cat is out of the bag. This article talks about a study that determined that immigrants in the U.S. live about 3 years longer on average than their U.S. born counterparts. I’ve long suspected this, since from my experiences people in Europe and other parts of the world are generally more physically fit and less reliant on drive-everywhere-and-through-everything mentality that plagues this nation.

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  1. andrei
    27/05/2004 at 8:37 am Permalink

    Why is it so many immigrants like to point out why they’re better than Americans and why their countries are better than America, but they live in America, they work in America, and they become citizens of America? It’s really tiring, hypocritical, cliche, and stereotypical.

  2. andrei
    27/05/2004 at 8:42 am Permalink

    Cynically speaking, because there is a relative level of prosperity here and the ability to earn money. Are you saying that we are not allowed to provide constructive criticism just because we live here? Nothing will change if these things don’t get pointed out.

  3. andrei
    27/05/2004 at 9:10 am Permalink

    No, but many immigrants I know are so one-sided. They’re very vocal with their often continuous criticism of the US, but only when pressed and backed into a corner will they quietly admit good qualities of the US. As for change, why should the US change to be more like whatever country various immigrants are from? A lot of Americans aren’t interested in the socialist policies preached by many immigrants – they like the opportunites capitalism affords and not having double the taxes, government, and inefficiencies of government-run services like in many other countries.

    But I do think the growing obesity of Americans is disgraceful. But that’s probably largely the office-working, elevator-riding, air-conditioned SUV-driving, fast-food-eating, no exercise crowd. Maybe if we drank more wine like the French :).

  4. andrei
    27/05/2004 at 9:19 am Permalink

    Yes, you are right, people often do forget the good qualities of US in all the debacle. But you have to admit that over the last few years the balance has shifted towards not so good things. I don’t think I was advocating becoming like Sweden or other European countries, but instead taking assessment of the current problems is trying to fix them. As for the obesity, that crowd you mention now makes up about what, 1/3 of the population? Including many children. That’s scary.

  5. andrei
    28/05/2004 at 10:55 am Permalink

    I find it quite interesting that so many people still believe that the US is a lower tax economy than fundamentally social democratic countries like Sweden or Canada.

    Add together your federal, state and fica, then factor in that your sales tax may up to 8% to the cost of everything you buy. Then add the costs you pay or your employer pays for health insurance and how much you have to save for your kids’ college education. The total you reach is at least equal, and often higher, than the typical 40-50% tax rate that Swedes or Canadians pay but remember they don’t pay a penny extra for healthcare or education. Remember as well that in Europe and Japan, lending rates are far less than in the US, so mortgage payments are less, and financing a business is cheaper.

    The biggest factor in US taxes is the enormous portion of US spending that is earmarked for defense. That said, there’s a reasonable argument that Americans can make that they’re carrying the financial burden for the rest of the western world not spending enough on defense. But remember that the greatest strategic triumph of post-war American policy was bringing about the bloodless collapse of Communism by forcing the Soviet empire to bankrupt itself on defense spending.

    From a purely economic point of view, our economic growth will continue to be stifled by the high taxes required to maintain defense spending at the level we’ve been at for the last 60 years. Compare this with the sustained post-war growth of Europe, the mostly strong growth of Japan, and the potentially explosive economic growth of China and the outlook for the US over the next 20-50 years is not great.

  6. andrei
    29/05/2004 at 7:23 am Permalink

    Defense spending isn’t an “enormous portion”. It’s really not a whole lot – around 7% IIRC. The largest parts of the US budget is transfer payments for programs like welfare. And at the state level, public (government monopolistic) education gets a huge chunk – about 45%!

    Also, from what I hear, US health care is far far more prompt and of better quality than in Canada. If you’re self-employed you also get to now deduct 100% of your health insurance costs.

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