General Question

cazzie's avatar

Should I give up my American Citizenship?

Asked by cazzie (24503points) December 24th, 2016

I have lived outside the US longer than I lived there. I’ve had the opportunity to take on citizenship in two different countries but have not yet. Can you help me think of the pros and cons of ditching my American Passport in favour of a country that feels more like home to me than the current, unrecognisable mess that the USA is?

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75 Answers

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

A comfortable retirement and health care would top my list. What situation(s) provide best for that.

Republicans plan to eliminate Medicare. A lot of people are going to be eating catfood and checking out early due to lack of healthcare and medications.

A lot of people here will retire comfortably, but wealth has shifted so drastically to the top that the number of comfortable middle-class retirees is shrinking.

janbb's avatar

Why not consider dual citizenship? The US allows that now and many other countries allow it too. Why not keep as many options open to you as possible?

However, if you feel you’ll never want to come back here and want to give it up as a political statement than do so. I agree that America is going to the dogs right now but I have some hope that sanity will return.

My ex-husband and my sons have dual citizenships and I see it only as a benefit.

cazzie's avatar

I didn’t work long enough in the US to be entitled to retirement there. I have excellent health care where I live. My best chance at a nice pension would be moving back to New Zealand and I could get my Norwegian pension if I relocated there.

Norway doesn’t allow dual citizenship. New Zealand would. My son is a Norwegian citizen so I have to wait in the ‘non citizen’ line when I visit the US anyway and fill in the ‘I’m not a terrorist form’ for my son and hand it to the irrational person at the counter. (I had to do this for my son even though he was 2 and a half years old) I have NO Plans on ever visiting the US again.

janbb's avatar

Well, certainly sounds like there’s no point in keeping it then.

ragingloli's avatar

No point in keeping a citizenship for a country not worth ever returning to.

flutherother's avatar

You could keep it and help vote Trump out in four years time.

cazzie's avatar

I tried to vote him out this past election and it didn’t help.

Cruiser's avatar

I would urge you to give up your citizenship here in the US. Life in your mind will be so much grander in any other country but the USA….Bon Voyage’

cazzie's avatar

Cruiser, You have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about so I suggest you shut the fuck up.

JLeslie's avatar

I have some questions before I give a full opinion.

Does America actually not let you keep your citizenship if you become Norwegian? I don’t really understand how that works. You take an oath to Norway and give up your American citizenship. Then, let’s say you move back to America in 10 years. Can’t you just get your American passport back?

Does your son have an American passport?

As far as travel, within the European Union I assume there is no problems with lines. Can you even travel outside the union with your son without your ex-husband’s permission, and would he give it?

My inlaws moved to America when they were in their late 50’s. They never thought they would do that. A girlfriend of mine lived in Poland for a short time, then 8 years in Denmark, then came back to America for about 5 I think. Then she moved to Germany and loved it for years, but now, in year 10, she misses the US. She can’t move back now for a few reasons, but she is moving to France. If you can keep the option open to stay American I would, but I understand why you are considering Norwegian citizenship.

Sometimes I feel like you might prefer it back in America. I don’t think you were able to live in the parts of America that would have suited you better. But, since you feel you don’t think you would ever move back here, certainly you know better than I would. With a European passport a lot of things are easier.

canidmajor's avatar

I don’t agree with @Cruiser‘s politics, but I agree with his assessment on this thread. You have long expressed a dislike and dissatisfaction with the USA, I can’t imagine why you would want to keep your US citizenship.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@cazzie just weigh your pros and cons about keeping it or letting it go.
As far as the states go I live in Canada and have zero desire to ever set foot in the US again they seemed to have gone bat crap crazy down there with electing this orange haired demon.
NOT all are bat crap crazy but a whole lot of em sure are.
I only get concerned about what is happening in the states is because for some reason they are Canada’s largest trading partner and a lot of Canadian jobs depend on it.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m just remembering that Norway isn’t in the European Union. Or, am I wrong about that? So, what does that mean in terms of your ability to easily travel to other EU countries and move to one if you wanted to if you’re a Norwegian citizen?

@SQUEEKY2 England just voted for BREXIT and other parts of Europe are going more and more conservative. Watch what happens if terrorism keeps happening there.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@cazzie Does the US send you tax bills? I have seen stories about expats giving up US citizenship because the US collects income tax from citizens who live and work overseas.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I don’t have time to go through all the responses, but @cazzie, there is no reason to give up your citizenship to accept another anymore.

When I was barely old enough to read, I would spend hours studying the globe, looking up exotic places in the encyclopedia and dreaming of freely traveling the world when I grew up. Imagine my surprise when I found that people weren;t allowed to do that. Imagine my shock that I couldn’t go to China, Russia, or even a couple hundred miles south to Cuba and live with all the rights of a citizen of the world. What man besides myself has the right to tell me where I can and can’t go?

Take a look at a satellite photo of the earth, cazzie. Do you see any lines dividing our little world into even smaller worlds? No. The dividing lines we see on the globe are all artificial. Man made. Unnatural. That we as human beings should be limited in our movements, that we should be barred entry from anywhere on this planet while we enjoy our natual right to our own Eriksgata—our own survey of our natural inheritance— is a goddamned abomination, cazzie.

It’s a matter of principal. You grab as many passports as you can get, gurl. For the sake of your self, your son and any future spouse. You never know what the future will bring.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay The US income taxation on citizens working abroad is clearly stated on the back page of the passport. My present passport is locked away on my boat at this moment, so I can’t give you current info. But in 1980 the US imcome tax for citizens working abroad wasn’t taxed until one made the equivalent of USD 80k per year, minus the income taxes one paid in their resident country. I’m sure that the tax floor is much, much higher now. It is a problem very few expats have to consider. There are also many legal loopholes.

JLeslie's avatar

Another thought. So, will you have to renounce your citizenship to America? That’s a process from what I understand. I think it comes with some fees and you need to renounce in front of American witnesses. I can’t imagine doing it. Reminds me of a Russian woman I knew when I was a girl. She had to sign papers she would never return to Russia when she left. In her mind she felt it would mean never seeing her family again. I can’t imagine it. Seems so difficult to me.

@Call_Me_Jay Some people do renounce their American citizenship for tax reasons, but I doubt it applies to @cazzie. I think the exemption is somewhere around $100k, and I doubt she is making that much based on her line of work. Although, she might have to file her “taxes” meaning paperwork every year even if the amount owed is zero. I’m not sure the exact requirements.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, I guess @Espiritus and I were writing the same answer at the same time.


Sneki95's avatar

I wouldn’t do it. You may want to escape to the US one day (hopefully you won’t have to), and keeping it is not such a big of a burden anyways. (unless you have to do something to keep your citizenship valid. I don’t know about that one)

Still, I’d save it, just in case.

Cruiser's avatar

@cazzie as a born and raised 4th generation full citizen of ONE country…the United States of America… I do have an idea what I am talking about. Swearing does not help make your point any more sensible either….just saying. If you are upset about your citizenship here…TEAR UP YOUR PAPERS and leave…the sooner the better!!! That simple!

Merry Christmas BTW.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I don’t think @cazzie is upset about her citizenship here. Just asking the question shows she has reservations about having to give up her citizenship. I’m not sure if she will actually have to, but it’s true Norway is still one of those countries that doesn’t allow dual citizenship.

I do think both @canidmajor and you have a point that @cazzie often seems disgusted with America and Americans. I just saw her on a Q where it drove home to me why so many jellies would perceive her as not giving a shit about maintaining her citizenship in the US.

But, just because we see her criticisms doesn’t mean she doesn’t also see positives about America. I can’t speak for her and how she feels about America overall.

I don’t think she can shed being a foreigner or being American where she lives no matter what she does. That’s what I say to Jewish people who don’t identify as Jewish. The whole world, especially the anti-semites will always see you as Jewish.

She has talked about the Norwegians being tough on foreigners. If she is a product of her environment I guess the Norwegians also have very negative opinions of Americans. Although, funny enough just last week a Norwegian man I know spoke in a club I go to about how America is one of the most generous countries in the world. He has lived and worked in many countries, I don’t know how long he has lived here.

Anyway, I’m sort of babbling in different directions now.

My original answer was the answer I would give anyone. If you can keep both citizenships I think do that, because you never know when one will come in handy.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

So, Norway doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Hmm. Bummer. And surprising. I found this from The Nordic Page, the Norwegian government news in English for immigrants:

“A majority in Norwegian Parliament wants to explore the possibility of introducing dual citizenship for Norwegian residents. Currently, Norway is the only Nordic country that does not allow their citizens to have dual citizenship. This, however, may soon change.”

I’m assuming because you work legally in Norway, that you are a legal resident. I would chill, cazzie, and wait it out. And remember, U.S. Presidents are temporary and the population is extremely fickle with an infamously poor institutional memory and absolutely no sense of history. Their crappy school system took care of _that_l But, as both Conservatives and Liberals know, this can work both ways.

How do you know for sure that there won’t be a sharp turn toward Social Democracy after a few years of Trump? Believe me, stranger things have happened.

What if that element you describe in your experiences on your city’s mass transit ever takes hold of the government there through the Norwegian equivalent of a Trump? You’re fucked.. in a smaller coountry with a much more efficient tracking system because of that all-important “personnummer” (that’s Swedish. I don’t know the Norwegian word for it, but the data connected to it is much more detailed and more efficiently crossed referenced than our Social Security Number.).

In other words, how do you know for sure that Norway won’t take a sharp turn to the right like many of the former liberal countries did recently just south of you? You don’t. Every democracy in the world appears to be in flux right now. Especially those in Europe.

Stand down for now.

You could very well end up with both passports and two options just by waiting out the Norwegian parliament. There has been a lot of pressure from the other Scandinavian governments to get on the same page with them—Namely, Big Brother Sweden. Two passports. Gold, baby.

As a resident, there is no pressure to make a decision at this time, is there? Just chill and be smart about this.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@cazzie . Do what’s in your heart. We’ll miss a good citizen. We need as many as possible to combat the ignorance that is growing here. But I don’t blame you. If I spoke another language, I’d probably jump ship too. I spent about 4 days after the election seriously considering leaving,but I chickened out. I love my family, and couldn’t abandon them. Maybe if my parents pass,I’ll leave. I don’t know.

I’m envious that you have so many options. I’m sure you will make a wise choice. Good luck.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie: I don’t really think I need your help interpreting @cazzie‘s stance on this:
“Can you help me think of the pros and cons of ditching my American Passport in favour of a country that feels more like home to me than the current, unrecognisable mess that the USA is?
She makes it pretty clear how she feels, seems to be no point in clinging to a country and a system for which she has no liking and/or respect.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@canidmajor is the world anything other than pure BLACK and WHITE to you?
There is so much grey area, and that is why she is asking that question,she is torn a bit about maybe giving up her yankee citizenship, that is why she is asking.
@MrGrimm888 answer is the best so far, @cazzie is going to have to do a lot of soul searching then make the choice that best fits her and her family.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I said I understood why you wrote what you wrote, I’m not sure why you are so annoyed with me? I basically agreed with you, but said keeping options open are good if a person is able to. @Espiritus_Corvus wrote out the possibilities better than I did. That in no way changes that you are right that @cazzie often is very negative about America, and even very mean to some of us when she disagrees. I think if anyone can identify with her negativity it’s me. I’m just not going to only go by what she says on fluther as her entire feelings regarding holding an American passport, you can if you want.

If it was something she wanted to throw in the garbage forever she could have done it without a second thought (except to say that if she has to formally renounce it is a process). This Q shows second thoughts. Or, maybe I misinterpreted it and all it shows is her deciding beteeen NZ and Norway, but I doubt it. If that were the case she would not have been so angry with @Cruiser.

Giving up citizenship is no small thing for most people.

josie's avatar

Too bad you can’t hand it off to somebody who would like to have it. There are millions of them out there, who think the US is totally recognizable, and they like what they see.

But you can’t,and it sounds like you imagine it’s just useless clutter, like some people accumulate in their garage. So you might as well let it go.

Speaking for myself, this place has given me more opportunities than I probably deserved. Every time I go to one of those God forsaken shit-shows that I occasionally have to visit, I can’t wait to get back.

As they say, De gustibus non est disputandum

MrGrimm888's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 . On a side note, the term “yankee,” in America, means a “northerner.” Those of us in the south take offense to being called a “yankee.”

LOL.I sound so stupid saying it….

Southerners ,for the most part, think of northerners as rude. So they disassociate themselves with yankees…

In the “dirty dirty,” or “dirty south,“we are still polite. We take a lack of being polite as disrespectful.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why northerners act the way they do. But lots of us down here consider anything other than polite as malicious.

I guess I’m just trying to clarify something that you may not be aware of .Please don’t refer to all Americans as “yankees. ”

It’s kinda like my ”N” word…..

josie's avatar


Regarding the above.

Go ahead and call me yankee. In some places, it is an affectionate shorthand. I like the sound of it.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I meant no offense @josie . Like I said, I felt stupid saying it. But I wanted to speak on it…

I know many “yankees” think southerners are slow and stupid. Certainly, some are…

JLeslie's avatar

Deleted by me. Was off topic.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@MrGrimm888 It’s the heat, bro. That’s my theory, anyway. Before air conditioning, we were slow. “Slow as blackstap molasses runnin’ uphill in the winter.” We still speak slower than any Notheasterner. It’s the legacy from living in the heat. The whole culture is about taking one’s time. “Just settle down, now. We’ll git to it.” Ha. It’s still this way down in the Caribbean. It’s called the “Island Way.” Drives Yankees nuts when they come down here to do business. LOL. But they love it when they’re on vacation.

I’m a southerner as well. I think. I’ve lived in so many places and adapted to so many cultures, it’s hard to tell anymore. Ha. I had to modify my accent to be understood by the Swedes before I learned their language.

Hell, I had to get rid of my accent completely for a few years to survive Berkeley in the early ‘70s.

Yankee in-country does mean Northerner. Down South it is used both derogatorily and affectionately, depending on the context. You know that. “There’s good Yankees, and bad Yankees.”

Abroad it means American, and I heard it mostly used either neutrally, or affectionately—especially in the UK, unless their pissed off at us for some reason. But I don’t hang around stress zones like @josie. Not for long, anyway.

Back to the thread…

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie: First of all, my post was not annoyed, it was a statement. Secondly, I was referring to your entire post, countering it with the disparagement of her details. I appreciate that you think that everything I address to you is some kind of criticism of you personally, but it’s not.

MrGrimm888's avatar

EC . Yep. You nailed it. The crazy heat makes you have to slow down… It’s hard to do much when it’s 100° f or more with 90% humidity….

cazzie's avatar

Your discussion of the warmth of the climate seems cruel and ironic.

cazzie's avatar

But, in practical terms, keeping my American Citizenship costs money. And if I accidentally let my passport lapse, it costs even more in time and money in a trip to Oslo and time off work. Not sure what a New Zealand citizenship will cost, seeing as how I’m not a current resident there, but I am a ‘lifetime resident’ and I can move back there at any time. I feel I should contact the NZ embassy in London and find out if that is an option.

MrGrimm888's avatar

For 4 months here, it’s ridiculous hot. You just can’t do anything hardly….I have to shelf my canoe because it’s dangerous on the heat…. Even the fish rarely bite. The heat bakes the oxygen out of the water.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@cazzie . New Zealand looks gorgeous. You could so worse.

cazzie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 I lived there for 15 years. It was my home. It still is my home. I just don’t live there at the moment.

jca's avatar

@cazzie: It’s sounded from the beginning as if you’re leaning toward giving up the US citizenship. If it means very little to you and you have no intention of ever returning, I’d just give it up and be done with it.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie So, by giving up US citizenship you just mean letting your passport lapse. Possibly, you can get another passport if you even wanted to if you don’t officially renounce. I don’t know the answer to that.

I wonder if NZ would give you a passport if you have been living outside the country so long? I don’t think America would. That’s a different set up to begin with though, because green cards here usually the person has to visit America every 6 months or so to retain their green card. That might have changed in the last few years.

If you get an NZ passport won’t you still need to go to Oslo and will you then be able to keep your American passport? Will it be better for you in Norway to be an NZ citizen than being an American?

Your son can be an American I would guess, because you are an American, do you care about that opportunity at all? Or, maybe since he has never lived in America he doesn’t have that choice? I don’t know all the rules for children born and living out of country to an American parent.

cazzie's avatar

@JLeslie No, just letting my passport lapse doesn’t not mean getting citizenship in another country. That isn’t how it works. Possibly, you could read something about it.

I was born in the US and regardless of how long my passport lapses for, I could always get another one.

My son can not be an American citizen without his father’s permission and he will never give it. In fact, I’m going to have to send a formal complaint to the police department if he doesn’t help me get his Norwegian passport renewed. He has been uncooperative in showing up to the appointment you have to make to get the passport for a child (BOTH parents have to show up or provide a written letter of permission). For my son to get an American passport, his father would have to sign documents and he has proven himself very uncooperative in this regard, so no… not going to happen.

Cruiser's avatar

@cazzie I let the emotions of both the election and holiday season cloud the purpose of your question. I realize my reputation for being abrasive precedes my answers….but your question in hind sight is delicate and near and dear to you. My sincerest apologies….and hope you find comfort in the decision that is right for you and yours.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie Yes, I know letting your passport lapse doesn’t mean you are no longer American. Over half of Americans don’t have passports. I’m married to an immigrant. They deal with citizenship and passport crap and children traveling all the time. I’m not completely ignorant.

I thought possibly the passport lapsing is a problem if you haven’t been back to America in a certain amount of years and I wasn’t aware of it, because of how you talked about both Norway requiring you give up US citizenship and not wanting to bother renewing your US passport. You said Norway doesn’t allow dual citizenship, so does that mean they will require you show you have formally renounced your American citizenship? That’s a process too. You haven’t answered that. I’m just curious if that’s the case. If not, then you basically will be a dual citizen, since America will still see you as a citizen.

I know most countries require both parents to sign for a child to get a passport. My SIL went through that and her husband lived in a different country, so it was a chore to say the least. He had no sense of urgency and wasn’t here to be able to just put the papers in front of him. The only “lucky” thing was he often was the one who wanted the kids to travel out of the country. I wasn’t asking if your son has a US passport or if you want to get him one, I was asking if he has a right to be a citizen.

I looked up requirements for your son, and you would have to live in the US again for a few years for him to get citizenship, so yeah, unlikely to happen. Here is the rules copied from a .gov site so it should be accurate. Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock. A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child’s birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen, is required.

cazzie's avatar

Reading up on it, Norway has just passed new laws that take effect in the new year that makes becoming a citizen more difficult here. Also, we won’t have passports like other Norwegians because our place of birth will be denoted IN our Norwegian passports. How is THAT for a special little register of people. So, now, that is not looking like a good option anymore.

@JLeslie as long as I don’t let my passport lapse, I can renew it by sending by post to the Embassy in Oslo. If it lapses, I have to visit in person, which is expensive. Either way costs quite a bit of money, but by keeping it up to date, I can avoid the extra travel costs.

Little man is thinking about attending the University my boyfriend teaches at in the US. Once he is a bit older, he won’t have to abide by his father’s wishes and he can decide for himself, whether he does it on Norwegian passport, I guess that will be the thing.

New Zealand became home, and that isn’t because, as some people think, I hate America, because I don’t. I hate some of the shit that is going down and the reason it bothers me is because I LOVE the idea of the US and what it was like and I just see it’s ideals being chipped away at by bigots, racists and fascists. If I didn’t love the place, I wouldn’t care so much.
But, yeah, New Zealand became home. I made a real life for myself there. Something I haven’t been able to replicate here, and something I know I wouldn’t have if I lived in the US. It’s their culture and level of personal freedom that even Americans don’t enjoy. They have an attitude that is both laid back, and we-can-do-anything, if that makes sense. They say, give a Kiwi a piece of number 8 wire and they’ll fix anything. They invent things, grow just about anything, create amazing stuff and enjoy themselves. They weren’t caught up in paperwork. If you could do the job, you got the job. I experienced and learned more there working for amazing people in all sorts of different industries. Sure, I was the office girl from the accountants, but because of the generosity of the people running the places I worked I learned about commercial manufacture of brewing beer and making wine and squeezing oranges and fishing equipment and managing time and cost systems for professional services and running profitable restaurants. I learned I loved science more than accounting because I wanted to hear about the chemistry of the brewing and fermenting and controlling the bacteria in the finished juice products. I learned what a precipitant flocculent was in managing waste water from food production plants. Heck, I even worked at a private hospital for a time helping with their stock control and found the autoclave and surgical tools absolutely fascinating. (I gave up on the stock control job because I couldn’t get the nursing staff to call the supplies by the same name when they logged in stock received, GRRR!)
Sorry for the rant, guys. I think homesickness hit me really hard this holiday season.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie I understand. I think one of the hardest things in life is living where you don’t like it very much, or longing for a place you used to live. NZ sounds like it has a very nice country culture. Plus, you were there when you were a young adult, and it was a positive experience, I think the timing maybe is important too.

I think you can see in my answers to you that I never assumed you hated America, just that you sometimes say hateful things about America, or things that didsappoint you. That’s different things. You are too far at a distance to know what America is really like day to day right now. You also had limited time only as a very young person here. We all have different perceptions when we are children or even very young adults. We aren’t our own person yet. We are at the mercy of others.

America puts place of birth on our passports too. Although, the passport doesn’t look any different for someone born in or outside the US. There are people born outside the US to American parents who never had to be naturalized, so where one is born doesn’t necessarily indicate the person was an immigrant.

If your son is interested in going to school in the US maybe read up on his right to be a citizen. Don’t take my information posted as the gospel obviously. Even if your husband won’t help you get a passport for him, maybe you can do something that makes sure he has citizenship. Right now I would assume America doesn’t even know he was born. If he can be a citizen he won’t have to do all that immigration paperwork for being a student, with possibilities of being rejected (although, that’s extremely unlikely being Norwegian). It would be way better if he did paperwork for being a citizen if he can. Then he can be a student as a citizen at citizen prices (some schools have international tuition prices) and he can work while attending school if he wants to. Student visas usually are non-working visas unless it has changed since my husband was here on a student visa.

It might matter if your son goes to the US before age 18. Maybe he can go as a minor and be in the custody of a family member or friend. In America he will be a minor, but most European countries and European people look at 16 as a significant age. I don’t know about Norway, but maybe your husband will see him more as a free agent at 17.

I still don’t know if Norway will make you formally renounce your American citizenship. Maybe I missed that in your answer. It sounds to me that the easiest thing is to mail in your paperwork on time to renew your American passport. If it has already expired then just don’t bother right now if you feel like you can’t do one more thing. Double check if how long you are expired matters for how difficult it is to renew.

You’ve been through a lot. Divorce, job change, you have a young child, and I’m sure a bunch of things we don’t even know about. For two years now I have felt like I don’t want to deal with one more change, obligation, or decision. I would guess you might be in the same state. I’ve been on edge, and I think you might be too. I’m projecting I realize. If it won’t matter if you wait to make the decision then maybe just wait. Give yourself a break.

cazzie's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve been back a lot since I left and I’ve seen loafs of change and nor for the best. I explained it to one friend as the story of the frog in the pot on the stove. The frog only feels the water getting warmer bit by bit so he doesn’t hop out until finally the heat kills the poor thing. I hopped in and out over the course of 20 years and I could feel the difference. I was there when the planes hit in New York and DC. I watched in awe as Americans traded more and more of their rights for a false sense of security and squandered opportunities to be an example to the world in favour of blind faith in fear and decisions made from fear. The place has changed. I have a sister who worked for a public assistance office for many years. She saw a very marked change.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie Things have changed, I don’t deny it, but in some ways it was catch up to parts of Europe. Some ways it’s more extreme than Europe. I agree a segment of our population has blind faith, and it’s scary. I blame part of the loss of privacy to the direction technology has moved. Even without 9/11 we were moving in that direction as people, but obviously our bigger fear is the government.

From what I understand Norway, or maybe it’s another Nordic country, no longer really uses cash. This really makes all movements known. Cash, in my opinion, is the last hoorah to being able to function under the radar to some extent. Tracking what and where people are buying is one of the oldest forms of tracking way before cameras were everywhere. Credit cards or electronic money means almost instantly you can be found unless you are eating and surviving off of the land.

I have hope that the country will shift again. I don’t think we can undo all of the technology, but I do think more people are more enlightened now in 2016 than 100 years ago. Still, things are scary. People are edgy. I don’t deny it. At the same time, America feels like home to me, and you can find your bubble here where you might be comfortable, if you ever needed to return. You might never need to. NZ sounds very appealing. I’m not so ethnocentric that I am pushing America, I’m just talking about keeping options open. I live in an NZ-ish way in that I like the warm climate, and people say hello to each other, talk to each other, help each other. I really like that environment.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have skimmed the thread. I have not read every comment in full.

@cazzie I have lived in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, England, and France. I fully understand what it means to you to ask this question. I visited New Zealand several times while living in Sydney. It is a splendid country, and I envy you your choice. I have extenuating circumstances that prevent it, but given the choice, I could easily imagine myself emigrating back to Japan or to Australia or New Zealand. I cast my vote for obtaining a New Zealand citizenship and ditching the US one.

cazzie's avatar

@JLeslie no, we use cash. And I’m not completely sure what you are alluding to, but you do bring up an interesting point about privacy. One of the first differences I realised was happenening after I left the US was that, with the increase of electronic data bases, the US refused to enact basic privacy legislation that was being enacted in places all over Europe and certainly in New Zealand. If a company collected information electronically about a private person, they were NOT allowed to trade it in. Other countries passed actual laws that meant companies could not sell the personal details of a resident. I was involved in this because I had to explain to clients that, without expressed consent, they were NOT allowed to farm information from raffles or give a-ways to spam the people who signed up to win the raffle. No Phishing. No Farming. Laws were passed. Laws of countries that respected the rights and liberties of their citizens.

cazzie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Yep.. it’s hard to explain the oddness of living abroad to people who haven’t. Thanks for getting it.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@cazzie Yes, it’s difficult for people who have never experienced life outside the US just how good other places can be. I grew up in Oklahoma and heard a great deal of jingoistic talk about the greatness of the US. I have to stay here because of my mental illness, but I’ve found the place that is still in the US but is as little like the rest of the US as is possible. This is also as close to Asia as I can get and still be in the US.

The US is a wonderful place, but other places can be wonderful, too. Some aspects of life are indeed better in other places.

cazzie's avatar

yeah, I mean, just look at the first two posts by predictable @Cruiser. No clue. No idea. No background information. Just judgement and kneejerk reaction. ‘You don’t like what Trump is doing, then GTFO! Tear up your papers and LEAVE!’ Yeah….., troglodyte. It is this kind of reaction, as well, that really pisses me off. Oh, he apologies later, but I’m white and privileged. I doubt if a person of ethnic colour would be able to curry the special apology he made to me. You’ve all read the things he’s said about one of the most successful presidents in recent decades. He derides and refuses to acknowledge the facts . Empirical results. He just won’t see it. And I can’t abide his ilk. I will fight with everything in me to defend the rights of all people. I will resist.

cazzie's avatar

Because their privacy rights are ensured by legislation.

JLeslie's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Thanks.

@cazzie My only point was the whole world is doing things that affect our privacy. Little things here and there. I guess it’s Sweden moving away from cash. The topic comes up in America, but I can’t see it happening here for a long time. I know at least one country in Africa has that set up also.

I do find what you wrote interesting about the laws regarding trading and sharing information. I didn’t realize that is much different in the US than other countries. I am seriously creeped out by how google sends me adds for Verizon after I have walked in their store.

Like I said I’m not trying to say America is the best, or any such thing, only saying there are corners of it that are really nice, and it is possible to carve out your corner. Plus, my main point is the ability to keep your options open.

@Hawaii_Jake What does your mental illness have to do with it? If you were a citizen in another country, one with better socialized medicine, wouldn’t your care be better?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@JLeslie No other country will accept me for citizenship precisely because I have a mental illness.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Interesting. I had no idea that would be a means of rejection. Maybe your illness is more severe than I assumed. I don’t mean that as a criticism, I only mean that I would be surprised that countries reject people if they were fairly controlled on medication, or overall stable and self supporting. I don’t remember your specific situation.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie I think we should respect @Hawaii_Jake‘s privacy at this point.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I’m not asking him to tell me anything. Just making a statement. He offered the information first. Thecsievifivs of his illness aren’t my business, but he certainly mentions it enough that I don’t feel like mentioning it back is breaking any code.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie I understand but it sounded like you were probing for details.

JLeslie's avatar

That’s my mistake in the wording then. That wasn’t my intention at all. Thanks for saying something so I could clarify.

janbb's avatar

^^ Great.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@JLeslie, having universal health care doesn’t mean it’s universally available to everyone. Anyone wanting to emigrate to Australia has to undergo a thorough medical. If you have a health condition you’d have to be able to demonstrate you will not become a burden on the state. In some horrible cases, families have been refused permanent residency because they have a child with a significant disability. Whether a mental health condition would lead to refusal would depend on the severity of the condition I would say and that will be determined by health professionals appointed by the Department of Immigration.

JLeslie's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit In the US people applying for citizenship have to get a physical health evaluation too. Or, maybe it was for a visa? I hadn’t thought about mental health until @Hawaii_Jake mentioned it. I just filled out the papers to apply for citizenship for my inlaws, and previously I did all the papers for their visas, and I just don’t remember questions about mental health, but my memory isn’t to be trusted regarding this.

cazzie's avatar

Ironically, if I moved to the US I’d have a hell of a time finding health insurance because of my existing condition. I’m covered here and in New Zealand because of universal healthcare.

Australia has traditionally difficult immigration rules. They’re happy to let whole boats of refugees sink.

MrGrimm888's avatar

New Zealand is sounding better by the day…

They have blue(clear) water there right?

cazzie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 and they play rugby. The best in the world.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Rugby… I already get injured doing what I do… For pay…

But it probably wouldn’t take much for me to try it. Hear they have some tough guys. I’d like to find out…

It sounds like a sport I’d like… one of the guys I work with was a bouncer in Australia. He played rugby a lot. It’s far easier to find a pick up game of basketball, or football though,where I live.

FYI. Rugby guys would probably like American Football too….

ragingloli's avatar

Hey, it is safer than our national sport: Dodge-the-Lorry

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie Right now you can get insurance in the US, I can’t speak for a month from now. Trump says he is going to keep the rules for pre-existing conditions can’t be rejected. It probably can be a fortune though. Even now it’s a fortune, unless you make less than $60k.

cazzie's avatar

If I had to move back I’d make well under 60K. As well as be a single mother to a kid with special needs. Too old for the ‘cute’ jobs. To under qualified for anything else.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie The future in the US is so unknown regarding social systems, healthcare, and the fiscal situation, so it’s impossible to know what your situation would really be like in America if you ever came back. I don’t know all of your medical needs (I’m not asking) but I can understand why it’s a big consideration.

I think if I were you I would be planning my “retirement” in NZ. Something to look forward to maybe? You can always change your mind between now and then. By retirement I mean once your son is an adult. maybe your next chapter is a better phrase than the word retirement. I keep going back to Florida; it’s my third time here. I actually think it would have been nice for my husband and me to have lived abroad 2–4 years, but more and more that seems unlikely.

cazzie's avatar

Wow…. there was a shitload of crap on this thread. Predictably so from some people. I’m deciding to keep my citizenship. I will work what I can from where I am to do the thing that needs to be done. It may just be a rubber band, but a well taught and carefully aimed rubber band can make a difference.

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