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poisonedantidote's avatar

What in your opinion is the worst country in the developed world?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21544 points ) February 16th, 2012

I am currently making plans to leave the UK to return back to Spain with my fiance in order to have a nice life. I am totally convinced by my time in the UK that this has to be if not the worst at least one of the worse countries on the planet when it comes to quality of life.

I am so convinced that I am actually writing a paper detailing my opinion of this place. I shall be making a few thousand photocopies to leave in phone boxes, on the underground, on lamp posts and under car windscreen wipers, all in an attempt to inspire others to seek out a better life.

So I was wondering, what country in the developed world do you personally consider to be the worst?

If it is the country you live in why are you staying?

What exactly is it about your least favorite country that you dislike?

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22 Answers

Nullo's avatar

China, for certain values of ‘developed.’

ragingloli's avatar

the USA. religious extremism, warmongering, human rights violation, the cause of what was almost the 2nd great depression, and the worst thing about it is that it makes the worst cars in the entire world.

Nullo's avatar

@ragingloli Fiats are pretty unreliable, you know. American cars tend to have good guts but lousy plastic bits.

Bellatrix's avatar

I’ve never been to Spain so I can’t compare the two countries. I like the UK though.

What exactly are your problems with it?

What criteria should we use to judge developed countries?

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t know much about other developed countries other than the one I live in. First, let me say that America is great, but I find myself more concerned with its faults than its benefits. Maybe I’m looking too hard at the problems or not appreciating the benefits, who knows. I also haven’t lived in an under developed country, so this is also alI I know.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Bellatrix The UK is a monotonous retail infused grey prison. I hardly know where to start really.

You go out on to the street and you see CCTV cameras all over the place, with big brother style signs warning you of them, basically casting suspition on everyone, innocent or not. The same goes for transport, signs everywere you look warning of what bad things will happen to you if you donĀ“t pay your ticket or follow the rules. Even if you have paid in advance, you are still being warned and reminded that you are nothing and that they can screw with you any time they want.

Everything requires a load of paperwork, with things such as 2 forms of proof of address just to register with a doctor, a doctor you have allready paid in advance in the form of national insurance. Should you happen to be new in the country you will find your self waiting months just to set up your life. The clinic will tell you to just bring in a bank statement, but try open a bank account and they will ask for proof of address also.

In the bank, the court, the job center, or anywhere you will find nothing but useless staff. The only place you will find helpful staff is in the supermarket if you ask them what isle something is in, in this case they will actually escort you to the isle like some kind of tard that needs help going to the toilet.

Everything talks in the UK, from phones telling you to press 1 to get nowere to the automated voice at the self service checkout indirectly accusing you of stealing.

You see signs saying “NO BALL GAMES”, but all I read is “CHILDHOOD AND FUN FORBIDDEN”, you could just say let kids play with the ball in the park, but with 1 in 6000 being pedophiles that is unlikely to happen.

The country feels almost segregated, If I see someone with a black or asian face coming out of the apartment block on my way in, and I happen to say hi to them, they look at you as if they are amazed that a white guy would say hello to them.

They promote multi cultural theory at every chance, but actually try to do something like marry someon from another country and they want to invade your privacy top to bottom.

The streets allow you to see things like drunked idiots in hoodies verbally abusing the elderly, or other nasty things.

Eldrly are given about 70 bucks a week to live on as pension, yet the government says the official poverty line is 120 a week or less, so they basically force the retired in to poverty.

The list just goes on and on and on. Why put up with it when I can be sipping rose and eating olives next to the sea side.

Personally, my criteria would be general quality of life, and how happy the people who live there are.

The UK is just depressing from beginning to end, and a constant battle. I could go on and on, but Ill stop there.

CWOTUS's avatar

Maybe you just need to get out in a boat, @poisonedantidote:

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.

Bellatrix's avatar

I have only been to the UK for a few weeks since 1984, so I can’t comment on living there long term. I will be interested in hearing from some of our jellies who live in the UK though and those who perhaps have visited or lived in Spain.

My take was as a tourist and I loved it. I didn’t stay in cities though. I found the people friendly. The scenery beautiful. I did enjoy all the cities I visited. I was concerned about the surveillance before I went over there. It is not something I am particularly overjoyed about but I can’t say it was in my face and I constantly noticed it.

It was cheaper to live there than it is in Australia for many things. I was expecting to be moaning about the cost of things, but found I was actually going “how much” from the perspective of “that’s so cheap!”

I love living in Australia. It is a beautiful, sunny place. I enjoyed visiting the UK. Perhaps it is your frame of mind too? I had a very positive experience.

As to your question… I don’t think I would want to classify a country as the ‘worst’ without more clarity about what I was comparing. Government regulation/intervention – the UK is unlikely to be the worst. Weather – Depends when you visit and the same goes for Australia. I came here in 1983 and it rained solidly for three months. If you visited the Sunshine State, Queensland in December/January 2011, you would think it never stopped raining. Most of the time the weather is beautiful. Surveillance, the UK is particularly bad but I think other countries are heading that way sadly.

Really though, no country is perfect. They all have their downsides and beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. It also depends on the context of your visit.

Are you Spanish? British? American? Just interested.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Bellatrix I was born in the UK, hold a UK passport, but claim residency in Spain where I was raised and educated. I’m 29 years old, and in total I have spent 6 years in the UK over the years. Last time I was here 6 years ago It was not so bad.

Spain does have problems as does any place, but the particular area I am from is basically a paradise compared to this.

I am a cynical person, and am quite anti establishment, so I enjoy the relaxed nature of my town in Spain and do seriously dislike the UK big brother way of life.

It is small differences really, lots and lots of small differences. For example if you want to register with a doctor in my town in Spain, and you don’t have proof of address they will just mail you a letter for you to bring in the next day, almost like an email confirmation.

In my little Spanish town they are willing to make exceptions and get by somehow to give people an easy life, but in the UK if you don’t fit exactly in to one of their little boxes or have all the right answers for their scripted questions they wont help you. They will just use some horrible orwellian double speak to dismiss you.

The UK honestly feels to me like a combination of a cattle drive and a concentration camp.

Lets see if I can make some comparisons:

In the town im living in the UK at the moment, there are CCTV cameras as soon as I leave my door, and I can travel well over 100 miles without leaving a cameras sight. In my town in Spain we have a camera inside of the bank and one at the police station, I have never noticed any others.

In the UK I often see teenagers or grown men verbally abuse the elderly or women, in my town in Spain you would get an angry mob chase you out of town if you did something like that.

While living here in the UK for 3–4 months there have been 2 murders in the town I’m living, when I stayed in the UK last time for 5–6 years there was several murders on the same street I was living. In about 23 years of living in Spain there was 1 murder in my town.

In the UK they use a passive agressive language for dealing with people, in Spain you are treated like a person. When the doctor in the UK gets asked for a diagnosis and does not have test results back he wont share an opinion for fear of being sued, but my doctor in Spain would gladly give you an opinion off the record.

The differences go on and on.

off to sleep now, 4am and I work at 9am, ill come back and check in tomorrow.

King_Pariah's avatar

I really think one could find reason that any developed nation is the “worst.”

Like the lyrics to a song (which I find to be of questionable quality,

“In a world that’s insane,
Was America to blame?
When you’re praying for a change to a God with no face!”

I believe those lyrics could have any country in place of America

DominicX's avatar

I prefer 19th-century UK. Every time I see some fictional portrayal of England in the 1800s it always looks like a magical fantasy land. Let’s just hope it was really like that…you know, other than the sexual repression and creepy ghost stories that are actually about sexual repression (Turn of the Screw). :P

I haven’t been to enough countries to determine which one is the “worst” but I’m assuming we’re talking about countries ranking in the “Very High” category in the Human Development Index. Of those 47 countries…I’m not sure. Greece is so beautiful and historically amazing, but it’s doing pretty badly now. Lots of “hooded youths” and such. Seems like a lot of countries have problems with “hooded youths”. Also, the UAE is highly-ranked, but its human rights could be a lot better.

America has its problems and like @ragingloli I’m not a fan of the religious extremism that seems to plaguing the country, nor do I care much for the warmongering.

JLeslie's avatar

I object to America being judged as a single unit. We are a huge country and people, policies, climate, and lifestyle vary greatly from state to state.

I find it interesting that you are so negative about the UK @poisonedantidote. I have only been there once many many years ago. I didn’t love the place like I do some countries, but I didn’t hate it. Then again I was just a tourist for three weeks. The weather would really get to me there I think.

I think when you have lived in paradise it is really hard to move to a place that is far from it. Living in Florida changed my life, it was fantastic. Beautiful communities; people outside all time eating al fresco, walking, socializing; great shopping; blue skies; swimming pools; tshirts and jeans. I think the adjustment is too much for you.

Some of the worst country’s I have been to was the Dominican Republic, I would not want to live there. But, I am assuming it is not considered developed?

Nullo's avatar

@DominicX I’d be slow to call anything we have here as religious extremism until somebody cooks up and distributes doctrine telling people to mass-murder. As things stand, people have moved away from the Church, not the other way around. Secular extremism, if you will.

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo Compared to most of western Europe, we have a lot of extreme religious people here in America. For the purposes of the Q, I doubt people are considering countries in the middle east, except Israel, since we are supposed to consider the “developed countries” so what country to do you think is more extreme than ours religiously in the developed world?

ucme's avatar

Spain. Racist, brutal animal torturing, to name but two valid reasons.
All in my opinion as was asked & in no way reflects my disagreement of your assessment of the UK.

mattbrowne's avatar

Well, if I look at this map

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Developed_Countries_(CIA_World_Factbook_2008).png

Right now I’d say it’s Greece. A country full of dishonesty, corruption and dysfunctional public administration. These days it also reminds me of Iran where people frequently burn the flags of Israel and the US. In Greece people are burning German flags and depicting German politicians with Nazi symbols. Disgusting for a country that invented democracy.

DominicX's avatar

@Nullo I agree that people are moving away from religion, but I’d be willing to bet those in religion are growing more extreme. And maybe “extremism” isn’t quite the right word, as I was not thinking of comparing it to extremist Muslim terrorism or anything, but just the concept of the “evangelicals” that are so popular in this country. I don’t see a whole lot of it here in the Bay Area, but I know that it dominates in other parts of the country. And I wouldn’t call people moving away from religion “secular extremism”. I’d call wanting to abolish religion altogether secular extremism. And there are some people like that, no doubt.

@JLeslie The UAE, Qatar, and Oman are relatively highly-developed Middle Eastern countries. And gee, they tend to be the ones with less extremism…

JLeslie's avatar

@DominicX Fair enough. I don’t know the actual list each person is considering, or what the official list might be for developed countries. I would bet most Americans are not thinking middle east, Africa, or Latin America for developed, even if we are actually overlooking what should be considered. Most Americans have probably not spent much time on those continents/geographic areas. As far as @Nullo asnwer, I just thik everything is relative, and I don’t think he realizes how people always going back to the bible to answer questions of the day, current events, social issues is fairly extreme to many people I assume his religious extreme would be people blowing up buildings and stoning women. But, assumptions are wrong many times, I don’t know what he is actually comparing to or thinkinf of.

Nullo's avatar

@JLeslie Western Europe has simply fallen away, where it isn’t becoming increasingly Islamized.. The church hasn’t really changed that much, but seculars have, and many have gone to the trouble of making the church unpopular. Long-standing doctrine is now being called ‘extremist’ and ‘hateful.’
I am measuring extremism in terms of damage done relative to other religions. ‘Blowing up buildings,’ hijacking aircraft, that sort of thing. The worst bunch calling itself Christian is the WBC, and on this scale, they’re an annoyance. Oh, and that one guy in Florida who may or may not have burned a Koran.
If you factor in the Crusades (which were just wars under false colors – they served to shuffle power and gain wealth, and there is no Biblical justification for them), Christianity as a brand is at its second-least extreme point in history right now.

@DominicX If you ever find yourself free of a Sunday, I suggest that you check out some Evangelical churches for yourself. There was a nice Calvary Chapel in San Mateo about a decade back; best I can tell the core group is still there.

JLeslie's avatar

@nullo I don’t think secular people have changed much, I just think there are more secular people than 100+ years ago, and in terms of America there are more in communities that previously were very religious and homogenous. Places in the bible belt that did things rarely seen in other parts of the country now feel under attack and forced to change. Somehow in liberal places like NY throngs of people still come to see the Pope when he visits, extreme religious groups like Hassidic Jews are able to live their religious lives without interference. Religious freedom is protected and alive and well in the same cities and by the very people identified as secular.

Harold's avatar

I personally believe the US to be the worst country in the developed world. Not the population, but the attitude of the government. What gave the US the right to be world policeman? The treatment of Julian Assange, for example, is a disgrace, and no doubt influenced by pressure from the US. I also find American tourists very annoying- always loud and in possession of all knowledge (in their own opinion). Again, I am sure this is not a reflection of the general population, but I’ve seen them almost universally in trips to the UK, South America, and recently, Tasmania. I had an interesting discussion with our tour guide in Bolivia, who said that the worst tourists were Americans, followed by Chinese.

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