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November 2012

Top 10 reasons why Americans can be thankful they don't live in Slovakia

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the USA. That means a rare day off from work, a huge meal, maybe a little football on TV, and a day to think about everything to be thankful for.

I've been in Europe for so long that I'm not even celebrating the holiday this year.  I guess there's not much point in a holiday if you don't have the day off from work -- especially when the holiday is mostly about cooking! 

But, since it is Thanksgiving, I decided to put together a Top 10 list of reasons that Americans can be thankful that they don't live in Slovakia.

Reason # 1 - Bigger is better!

Big big mac2010 Chevy Suburban

Why would you want to eat normal portions of food (and stay a normal body weight) when you could eat an enormous portions?  Americans can be thankful that restaurants "get it": bigger is better!

Americans can also be thankful that they don't have to drive smaller cars that are easier to park & consume less fuel.  What fun is that?  The same is true for houses.  What good is a house or apartment that is small enough to actually find your family in?  How ridiculous would it be to call out "honey?" and actually get a response from the next room!  And what fun is cleaning if you only have a few rooms to deal with?

America is huge.  Everything in America is huge.  Americans can be thankful that they can live such big lives in a huge country.

 

Reason # - 2 weeks of vacation per year is more than enough!

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What's the point of time off from work anyway?  Americans can be thankful that they have 6-7 holidays per year and 2 weeks of vacation.  Many Americans don't even use the time off they are given! 

Americans can be thankful they don't live in Slovakia, where they'd have dozens of holidays per year and 4-5 weeks of vacation. 

 

Reason # 3 - More expensive healthcare is better healthcare!

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The average cost of health insurance for an American family reached $20,000 this year.  Worse yet, this cost doesn't even cover 100% of the health care expenses of actually getting treatment! 

This ridiculously expensive system leaves millions without any health care, millions more working just to pay for health care, and a nation of people living in fear not just about their health...but about the cost of their health!

Does this system somehow produce better results?  Can it be justified at all?  Well, Americans can be grateful that they get what they pay for, right?  I'm not so sure. 

In Slovakia, as is the case across Europe, you walk into a doctor when you are sick, get treatment, and pay basically nothing.  Kind of sucks, huh?

 

Reason # 4 - More expensive education is better education!

Student Loan Debt

 

Americans can be grateful that they have the opportunity to "work their way through college" in pursuit of a dream.  Sure, when they gradate they face $10,000's or $100,000's of debt...but it's the American dream, right?

Americans can be thankful, on this Thanksgiving, that they don't have to settle for free university (like in Slovakia and across Europe).

 

Reason # 5 - You'd rather be left alone!

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Slovaks, like most Europeans, care so much about family and traditions that they often face the terrible obligation of having to spend their time eating a huge meal together, drinking too much, talking and laughing, sometimes even dancing and singing!

Most Americans, on the other hand, can barely tolerate this one day of Thanksgiving with their family.  Americans can be thankful that, when Thanksgiving is over and the minimal conversation over football comes to an end, you can go home and be left alone once again.

 

Reason # 6 - Why walk when you can sit?

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Americans can be thankful that they don't have to walk around town to get anything done or to meet friends for a coffee or drink.  Why walk when you can drive?

 

Reason # 7 - Work is all that really matters anyway!

Corporate baby

American mothers can be thankful that, after the birth of a baby, they can choose to take up to 12 weeks away from work (most of that unpaid).  Why would they need 2-3 years of paid time off, like in Europe?  Why does a child need his or her mother anyway?

Americans can be thankful because they understand that work is what matters most.

 

Reason # 8 - Every need, desire, shortcoming, or problem can be fixed with a pill!

Prozac
Americans can be thankful to the pharmaceutical industry for their health and happiness.  About half of Americans are taking prescription drugs.  This overworked, stressed-out, unhealthy population is popping endless pain pills, anti-depressants, pills for sexual disfunction, for anxiety, for lowering cholesteral...then there are other pills for dealing with the side-effects of all those pills! 

 

Reason # 9 - Culture is obsolete!

Festival

Americans can be thankful that they don't have to deal with those un-cool, out-dated notions of culture and tradition.  After all, we live in modern times.  All we really need are nice cars, big houses, and never-ending content streaming from the latest gadgets.  If sometimes that isn't enough, we can always go to the Mall on a Saturday afternoon or go eat some completely predictable food from a chain restaurant.

 

Reason # 10 - It has been proven that America is the best country on Earth!

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I think that Reason # 10 is sort of beyond dispute.  So that settles it.

Posted by Mark Manney.