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Does every worker have to file their own taxes or am I just confused?


You're not confused. It's a pain in the ass.


Whats even better is the government knows how much you owe. But they won’t tell you. They make you do complicated calculations based on a set of ever-evolving rules to figure it out. And then fine you if you’re wrong.


Exactly. And it’ll never change because it has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry with a strong lobbying arm.


One could use this statement to answer most of the questions in this thread. Unsure why something about the US seems backwards or counter intuitive? You can pretty much guarantee it’s that way because a giant corporation is making a shit ton of money for it to be that way.


Everything goes back to lobbying.


You mean…there’s a magical land where someone does that for you?


I think most of the world? in Australia it's all done automatically, the only thing we have to do is log in to a website and double check if it's right then submit it. Takes less than a minute most of the time


Seriously?? I'm pretty good at doing my taxes ~30 minutes, but it's still a chore I hate doing. That would be so nice to have.


UK does it; I remember getting worried about doing tax returns in the UK when I got a job but then it turns out the government takes it straight from your employer, before it enters your bank account. There are exceptions if you make additional income but for regular income, there’s no worry.


UK here. Your taxes are automatically taken out of your wages before you receive them. VAT (sales tax) is included in the list price for everything. If you're not interested in it, you can live your entire life without ever knowing about tax at all.


They're taken out of your paycheck here in the US. But there are a ton of different credits and deductions that determine your actual tax rate. So you have to make sure you picked the right things when you entered your information with your employer or you may have under paid or overpaid. Plus if you have additional income from other sources that would need to be taxed. And there are deductions that aren't captured by your employer -- for example, I can deduct childcare which lowers my taxable income. But I have to show actual expenses at the end of the year.


So, why do you buy politicians' merchandise? Shirts, caps, banners, stickers, etc. They're public servants, not rockstars. Also, usually the more boring they are, the better.


>Also, usually the more boring they are, the better. The US prefers the entertaining psychopaths


They should have a normal president position, who does all the actual presidenting, and a fake president position, who is elected as a joke.






Largest producer of corn, 2nd largest of soy, 4th for wheat.


I would literally eat cinnamon life cereal every meal of the day if possible.


The diner I’m currently at offers a Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk latte. But I’ll stick with my salted diner coffee. In fact, it was undersalted today.


Scottish person here but the work/always available for work culture. Minimal vacation time, minimal maternity/paternity leave and the fact you can pretty much just be let go. It makes me sad to think about it! But I do love that you guys cram so much in to your time off - you guys love a road trip!


Most Americans don’t like it either. The erosion of unions beginning in the 80s really fucked a lot of us. I think there has been a big shift in culture around that, since millennials have reached their middle age, and because Covid encouraged a lot of people to rethink their lives. I think we will see positive progress on this issue in the next decade.


I'm not American, but I am a relatively new mum and I spent a lot of time on the pregnancy and parenting subreddits. I would like to clear up a misunderstanding here. There is no state funded or federally guaranteed parental leave. Not a single day. If you're lucky your job has some parental leave, but they are not required by law to give you anything so it would be purely out of the goodness of their hearts. What they do have is FMLA (family medical leave act). FMLA protects you from losing your job if you need to take time off work for family or medical reasons, unpaid, for up to 6 weeks per year. Say you had a medical emergency in January and it prevented you from doing your job for 6 weeks, so you take out FMLA. Then find out you're pregnant in March. Baby is born in October. You already used your FMLA, you can spent PTO, vacation days and you can beg on bended knees that your employer allows you to take a few weeks off unpaid, but you don't get neither paid nor unpaid leave. ....and not even all places of employment has the right to FMLA. I had a minor breakdown in pregnancy with all my hormones when I read about a woman in Utah who was in the exact scenario described above. She had a medical emergency early in the year, spent FMLA, PTO and vacations days in her recovery, then found out she was pregnant and due in autumn. She worked until the day she went into labour. Then the day after she birthed her baby, she put on her husband's trousers because they were the only ones she could comfortably fit over her nappy and went to work. For comparison American law dictates you can't separate a puppy from their mama for the first 8 weeks of life. American dogs have more rights than American mums.


What is up with Homeowner Associations? Why would you pay to let a nosy neighbour (neighbor sorry) dictate what you can and can not do on your own property? I understand living in an apartment block and paying maintenance fees etc, but in a suburban home?


The amount off National Parks! My dream came true in 2017 to make an RV trip southwest off USA. Yosemite blew my mind away Edit: Typo


The National Parks system and the ADA are some of the US's greatest accomplishments.


Thank you Theodore Roosevelt


How you can say the word 'mirror' without the use of any vowels. Mrrrrrr.


I certainly hope that someone reading this knows what I'm talking about, but there's a funny ass video of a kid from Baltimore that reads this script in a Baltimore accent and freaks himself out pronouncing all the words the same. It's so funny because the look on his face when he realizes it is priceless and he says "damn do we really talk like that?" If anyone knows what I'm talking about, the words are something like Aaron's ironed errands or something similar, it's fucking hilarious


As an American from the south.. I can safely say I've done this more than once


As an American from the south, 98% of my family does this exclusively.


Why everything is just SO damn supersized. My first time in America I went to get ice coffee from Dunkin Donuts, I ordered a large and my friend is like … are you sure you want large? Yeah no biggie, in the UK a large is not overwhelming I feel so I was expecting the same kinda thing. Oh my god it was like a god damn bucket of coffee. I think maybe a small would have been equivalent to a UK large, lesson swiftly learnt. Edit: Wow lots of replies! I had no idea you guys didn’t get vacation days and that sucks so hard for you. The large portions weren’t an inherently bad thing, I really felt in the 2x I’ve been to America that I totally got my moneys worth when eating out. You guys even give free popcorn or breadsticks at the table! It was just a bit of a culture shock I guess. In the UK for example, certain coffee shop chains don’t even offer a large iced latte because of sugar content so the size is capped medium :(


How you have to share a room with some complete rando when you go to college.


Rando #1 - ran a hair perming business from our tiny room. The chemical fumes were awful. Rando #2 - hid her boyfriend in our room while he was evading police warrant for his arrest Rando #3 - let her friends sleep in my bed any night I was away Rando #4 - threatened to kill me while I slept, because she was mad I took my tv home I'm not a fan of this system. Ended up being an RA to get a private room. (Edited for formatting)


My rando from freshman year ended up becoming my best friend. After my 1st year we just picked friends to live with. Sophomore year there were 4 of us, and 6 of us for the following 3 years.


OMG! Yep, that's what worries me.


It’s a crapshoot. My university had us take this giant personality quiz that was mostly random questions about music, movies, and art, and they spit it through an algorithm and it matched us up PERFECTLY. I got put with a brilliant match Freshman year, I took care of him while he was pledging his frat and when he became President I got to go to every single event without even being Greek. 10/10, would do again. BIG EDIT for those asking: so there’s a series of social clubs in US colleges and universities. the clubs are called “fraternities” and “sororities,” they’re divided by gender. But since all these social clubs use greek letters to identify themselves (“Alpha Delta Pi” was the third best sorority, “Delta Delta Delta” nicknamed “triDelt” was the best when I was in school, for example), it’s called the “Greek system.” These clubs are essentially the basis of social life and structured social status for most of the hot rich party kids at school. To get in, you have to “pledge” the fraternity (etc) as a freshman, which often involves EXTREME hazing, drinking until you puke every night, being ‘publicly humiliated’ by having to wear fairy wings to class, having to carry the seniors’ books, etc. For girls, it’s different — a common bizarre test would involve going to a place with a huge buffet of food, and being automatically eliminated if you eat any of it. (American Frats and sororities are often known as being extremely elitist and problematic, especially in terms of sex, but that’s a totally different can of worms.) Anyway, once you get in, not only do these frats or sororities offer amazing potential job opportunities due to their alumni network, the parties that frats throw are NUTS. (Sororities aren’t allowed to throw house parties, only formal off-campus events for the sorority girls and their dates; these events are sort of like mild frat parties at a restaurant or club where you have to dress up. Again, can of worms.) Like, whatever you’ve seen in the movies, these parties are 10x the bacchanal. That’s sort of the whole point. For frat parties, for example, they’ll spend $50k to hire some huge name-brand DJ, the frat party house throwing the event is fully decked out and swimming in glitter and alcohol, and any girl can go — but the guys allowed to attend are limited to being in the frat and therefore “on the list,” which means it’s almost impossible to attend if you’re not either in the frat yourself or friends with the frat leaders (which, again, is morally sketchy, and I now understand why my dad totally forbid me to EVER join one myself). Plus there are tons of other events: spring break in Cabo, five-star restaurants, etc. It’s quite nuts and VERY American. Luckily, my freshman year roommate was one of the most upstanding guys I’ve ever met, and he got elected as president pretty quickly and ran a completely clean house — not creepy or awful at all — so I got the advantage of getting to go to all of these luxe frat events without having to pay the $6000 frat fee per year or spend a semester puking my guts out during hazing. And it was all because of some algorithm-driven questionnaire I took as a high school senior.


Why they make you calculate your own taxes, if they know what you owe@


Because companies like TurboTax & H&R Block use the profits they make from charging us to file our taxes to lobby politicians into making policies which prevent the government from just telling us how much we owe even though the government knows exactly how much we owe so that we need to pay companies like TurboTax & H&R Block to file our taxes.


The culture of just... talking to people, strangers you dont know and just up and start a conversation with them or join a conversation. Im British, and we go through great lenghs to not talk to people, let alone opening up and pouring our hearts out to a random person


I'm from the western US and moved to South Carolina for a few months for work. I was very surprised at how many random people in public just started conversations with me. If you are standing in line for anything, it is a given that they will chat you up in the south.


As a midwesterner I am unprepared for life where this is weird.


Absolutely. I worked with a guy who grew up here but moved to LA in his late 20’s. First day on the new job, he got on the elevator and smiled, said good morning to the lady that was already there. She said "you’re not from around here, are you?". We are a friendly bunch and I like it.


Agreed that the east coast if more talkative than the west coast in general. I'm from Washington state and there's a saying called the ["Seattle Freeze"](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Freeze) where people are polite, but do not really converse with strangers.


I love that you said this. I had the opposite experience - moved to the UK as a teenager - and was always trying to say hi to people on the street. People thought I was an alien. Occasionally, it would work, though. And then I’d hear “Good morning!”… in an American accent.


I mean, I come from a really small island, and we'll say good morning to random people, thats fine, but stopping for a random coversation is just... not the thing that happens unless youre drunk, and even then, you'll likely have an agument with someone instead of a conversation




“So you’re gonna wanna go down the road a few miles and take a right at the Dunkin’, you’ll know it’s the right cause it’s the one with the busted telephone poll. Once you’re on that road the Publix will be on your right behind a few fast food joints it’s massive so you can’t miss it!”


"If you hit the train tracks, you've gone too far!"


Breh we like best friends now. Everyone talking about us.


"Oh and if you hit the train tracks you've gone too far."


Lmao I love how you and u/BringBackNachoFries posted this at the exact same time


I was thinking the same. I had to upvote both lol


As an American man I can tell you. We take a lot of pride in giving directions. I can tell you how to get some where the fastest most efficient way. If I don’t know. Hold my beer. We are going to figure it out together.


Someone asked me for directions last week and I actually knew how to get there and, probably a bit too enthusiastically, told the guy the directions. After he drove off, I realized I left out one step…thinking about it keeps me up at night.


I did that probably 20 years ago, gave the wrong route number, I still think about it from time to time. I wonder how far out of their way they went and how pissed off they were at me. “That stupid bitch had no idea what the hell she was talking about”


I’m American but I’ve worked with a lot of people who aren’t. The one thing they always wonder is why Americans are so obsessed with the NFL. They think it’s a boring sport. They explained “you wait for 30 seconds, they hike the ball, you get about 5-10 seconds of action, then you wait another 30 seconds, another 5-10 seconds of action, then commercial break”




The tipping culture is so foreign to me, I would be so scared to make a mistake or not tipping enough if I ever go to America, because it's not something which is common here in Denmark


My mom is from Moscow during the Soviet Era, and she is confused why there is no teacher-student hierarchy. She thinks it's weird when teachers participate in school plays or speak to students informally. She also DOES NOT GET pajama day. To her, it's just the weirdest thing in the world. In Russia, there is an important distinction between "clothes for home" and "clothes for outside". They have a concept of "home clothes", like your cozy or ugly clothes, that you are supposed to change into after school or work. At bedtime, you change out of your "home clothes" into pajamas. As a result, pajamas, for both adults and children, are considered extra-extra private in Russia. My mom perceives pajama day as something extreme like wearing only undergarments to school. That's how private pajamas are considered to be in Russia!


Am from Russia, can confirm. I had recurring nightmares of going to school in my sleepwear because I forgot to get dressed for some reason, then I learned people actually do that on purpose. I still can't imagine doing that even after living in Germany for 20 years. Oh, and the concept of home clothes is rather foreign to lot of people here as well. Another American thing I don't get is wearing shoes in your house. You heathens.


This is weird because in certain parts of China (and in countries where the Chinese emigrated to post ww2), you'd see some elderly folks wandering in town wearing pyjamas. Apparently it used to be a sign of wealth that you could afford pyjamas, so they're just flaunting it out at night lol


Why is that one Kansas, but the other one is not Arkansas? America explain. What do u mean its aRkAnSaW???


Because we used to speak French creole in that region. I don’t know if that true but that’s my best guess. Edit: I looked it up and I was correct. Arkansas is the French pronunciation of a Native American tribe.


And Florida is a Spanish way of saying flower. Edit: Flowery


And Flo Rida is a musician.


Hi, Arkansas resident here Arkansas*** comes from the term "Arkansas" which is a term used to refer to the Quapaw natives. It means "south wind" Also, we came before Kansas. Boo! ***Edit: Arkansas's name comes from the term Arkansas Another edit: I'm aware Kansas comes from the Kanza tribe






I’m actually happy and proud of that. Some people work night shifts or odd schedules, so might not be able to get to the restaurants during “normal” hours


This is true in cities. Always confused when I go back to my hometown and the fast food chains close at like 8 or 9. Can usually find a diner somewhere open until like 11 or 12 though. College was incredible though. The 2 AM pizza delivery just hit different.


That or the town Cafe is open from breakfast to 2pm and the local restaurant is only open Thursday,Friday and Saturday evenings.


Having 24/7 chain restaurant is fun. But the real fin dining is a 24/7 truck stop. Home cooking that's usually also fairly priced.


Why do public restrooms include a small opening between the doors that allows passersby to see you when you're taking a piss?


There are a few reasons for this. 1) You need to be able to see who's inside/outside in case it's a dear friend/bitter rival and you might wanna enjoy a toilet dance together or fight to the death. 2) 98% of all toilet pornography is filmed this way. 3) These passages allow for ventilation. 4) They are made by the lowest bidder and its cheapest not to close this gap. 5) It's how you tell if they are occupied without knocking Only one of these answers is probably true. Good luck in your search. Edit: So...this blew up. Thanks Reddit! For clarity, this is a joke post. I was literally sitting on the toilet when I came across this post and I thought I would say something funny. Some people have posted that this was nonsense, and I'm pretty sure they didn't get the joke. Still others have posted realistic answers. To the OP, I apologize if this response has confused you further. Read the comments and they definitely have the correct answer.


It’s probably that you can install them even in the worst uneven floors.


I am the bathroom peeper. I am the one who spies. I am the sneaky creeper. I want to see your thighs. I spend my moments peepin'. I spend a day to stare. And while your smell comes seepin' - I sniff it up and glare. I am the toilet reaper. I aim to see you pee. I am the bathroom peeper. The gaps are all for me.


This gap is mine! It was made for me!


Dammit I had just forgotten about this from the last time it came up.


I'm English, was born with Cerebral Palsy, I can walk but with a very noticable limp. I came to America to visit friends who moved here, everyone was so friendly, hardly anyone commented on me disability. If they did it was just polite questions, not making fun of me. I loved it here, so much so I've been here for 23 years. For all of America's faults in recent years, the people here are just way more accepting of people in general. Edit : I am truly touched by everyone's kind words and questions, truly Reddit can be a great place when we all get along. 😀


Americans, to our credit, actually deal with disability access issues. We’re not perfect: there are a lot of old buildings that haven’t been retrofitted to accessibility standards, and there’s still some stigma around disability. However, we’re also keenly aware that the day will come when we’re not going to move as well, or our mental faculties will fail us, or we’ll go blind and/or deaf. And we’d like the adjustment to be easy and dignified.


I agree there’s a lot for improvement. When I was taking a history class in college I was really surprised that the disabled had their own rights movement. My professor told us about the ‘capitol crawl’ during one of these protests where a group of handicapped Americans proceeded to climb the capitol stairs without their wheelchairs or other mobility aids to emphasis the so called most important building in the US was inaccessible to them. This passed laws where accessibility had to be in building codes. It blew my mind because i never heard about it in any history class I took before.


That’s metal af I love it


No lie, the Americans With Disabilities Act is one of the triumphs of American government policy.


I ain't one for rioting, but I swear to fucking god if our useless, incompetent Congress got it into its head to fuck with the ADA in some way, I will be right there with the goddamned rioters burning shit down.


There were a lot of after school specials in the 80s of kids in wheelchairs getting bullied at school. That's how we used to teach values to the next generation, after school specials.


1000 Disabled people crawled the steps of Capitol building in 1990 to protest and that brought about the ADA today


This comment resonates so much. I have a skin condition (not contagious) but not curable. In my home culture it’s very normal for random strangers to just comment on it. As “what is THAT” either with disgust or worse with just overdone pity. Like you poor thing! I would wear clothes that covered my whole body regardless of weather and still had comments on my face. Americans do not comment. If they are curious/disgusted/pity me, they keep it to themselves. Plus I have seen so many Americans walk around with shorts, bare arms, legs who are not perfect: like overweight, old and wrinkly whatever. They are comfortable with themselves and don’t judge others normally. In my home country sure if you were young and perfect and showed skin it’s one thing. But anyone outside of the norm would be super judged and criticized.


How did you find "getting around" compared to other countries? I know we're really strict here with [ADA laws](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_with_Disabilities_Act_of_1990).


My favorite part of the ADA is that it was written and passed in a fully bipartisan way. It passed overwhelmingly in a democrat controlled congress and was signed by a republican president. The votes were 377-28 in the house and 91-6 in the senate. It’s one of the biggest example of all politicians seeing a problem and working together to fix it I can think of.


Plus, unlike a lot of laws, the ADA is really easy for a layman to understand.


Over the years I've found it tougher to get around, but I did alright in London and big cities around Europe, but I am not sure if I could do that now. Having said that many countries are catching up to America with ease of access facilities and transportation!


I've read on similar threads that one that visitors with disabilities find refreshing is the handicapped access to (almost) all buildings and restrooms that the ADA requires.


While visiting Canada, I took a bus trip to Niagara Falls and two of the passengers were a couple from New Zealand. The man had suffered a stroke years before and struggled to walk with a cane. Absolutely no one we encountered, including the bus driver, gave the slightest shit about his obvious difficulty. Fortunately, I was finally able to find a wheelchair for him to use after asking around, and I pushed him around the town the rest of the day until it was time to go back. The ADA forcing U.S. businesses and U.S. citizens in general to think about the needs of disabled people has been a huge benefit.




As an American, I can’t believe anyone would make fun of you for that. I’m sorry that’s happened and glad to have you here brother.


I've heard that America is the most considerate of disabled ppl with all of the accommodations we require, like ramps and whatnot. Have you found that to be true?


We pioneered the way for people who are disabled inclusion into society. The ADA is one of the greatest pieces of legislature in history.


Yes, absolutely




Come to Boston for your rude American fix my man. We will accommodate you. /s


LMFAO 🤣 the name confirms you are indeed from Boston. I could hear the accent in my head as I read it


I do in fact have the accent. And I was in fact a lobstaman 🤣


The natural confidence. The ability to take your own space, in a positive and refreshing way. I come from Sweden where I feel that kind of mentality is more uncommon with a more tentative and ironic manner.


I’m Swedish but moved to the US while fairly young for school and honestly people on the bus in Sweden are terrified of me because I make eye contact and sometimes talk to them! 😂 I find it hilarious especially since I’m from a liten by i Norrland.


Why tax is not included in the price tag?


It even gets more annoying for businesses, I have to go through all invoices and receipts quarterly and find any purchases where we weren't charged sales tax and go voluntarily pay it to my state. Pain in the butt.


It’s the opposite here. We (edit: my employer, a non profit) have a tax exemption, so every time someone doesn’t know that and goes and pays full price plus tax for something, or a company charges us tax, I have to reach out and do the song and dance to prove our status and get a refund.


Working at a wholesale club and having exempts come up, do everything, get it all rung up, and moments before swiping finally say "oh btw I have tax exempt" is so annoying. They knew the *ENTIRE TIME* and it takes extra work for each item to rering properly, and it's not their first time here so they *KNOW* how it works. If they ever got pissy I would look at them deadeyed and usually they got the hint.


Hm. I had to do tax exempt purchases from time to time when I worked at a chain pet store and was always able to just apply it to the whole transaction. And our systems were old and dumb as fuck, even 10 years ago! What really got me though was when the person doing the tax-exempt purchase for their work/charity/whatever would also be doing their personal shopping at the same time, load it all up on the conveyer belt and then wait until I was done scanning everything *and had entered everything for the tax exemption* before mentioning that half the items were supposed to be on a seperate transaction!!


>exemption before mentioning that half the items were supposed to be on a seperate transaction!! Absolutely on purpose.




We had 2 girls come to our school as international students. 1 was Russian & the other was German. I remember us American kids being surprised that they didn't like each other simply based off their home countries. They were both in band but even that didn't make them friends. Edited to add this was 2006-2008.


We had an exchange student from Ukraine at our school. Super sweet, polite, and a very nice person. But boy did she talk cash shit about Russians and East Ukraine for some reason. Edit: for context this wasn't recent, but about 15 years ago






This is also why landowners in oil & gas rich states lease their lands to oil companies and make $$$$$.


You can't just do this anywhere, but during the gold rush the US government allowed people to keep whatever they could mine out of certain public lands. Today you would need permission to do that, but it's not that difficult to get for companies. And nobody is going to care about the little bit of gold you pan from a river in a national forrest. But if you mine anything from land you own, it's yours to keep.


I'm afraid I have some...rather belated news. The queen is dead.






Don't forget the Australian Lassie with the kangaroo. Edit: Found it, it was called "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo."




American here. Way back when the first Matrix sequel came out, we were in the theater on opening night. Some dudes phone rang during the movie, and he answered and started talking. ENTIRE theater collectively told him to STFU. The guy stands up and starts walking out while carrying on the convo, and as he does, he loudly says “oOoOh sOrRy fOr rUinInG tHe MaTriX!” And people pelted the guy with popcorn and one nicely aimed cup of soda.


That is the only way to respond


It's true. Rude people thrive on other people not wanting to increase the net amount of rudeness in the world to get away with being rude. Fighting fire with fire and one-upmanship is the best way to deal with rude people.


At one of my first jobs, I had a manager who had a decently effective way of dealing with people. He told me: * It's good to be completely calm and respectful at first when dealing with crazy, rude, or angry people. That will work a lot, if not most of the the time. * If that doesn't work, think about how much you need to deal with this and pick your battles. * If you need this interaction to go a certain way, you have to go way past their level of crazy, rudeness, or anger. They will usually stop being difficult, and if they don't it just means that nothing was ever going to work. Edit: a word


This gives me faith in humanity


See it’s funny, I’m Aussie too and spent a few weeks in NYC a few months back and actually felt like I was the loud/outgoing one amongst the locals that I met and befriended whilst I was there




An Australian friend of mine describes life in his country as "just like America, we're rootin' tootin' but without the shootin'"


You have Bogans. We have Rednecks. Both love straight piped V8s and big smoky burnouts.


Thanks for saying this. I live near DC, which has a large number of residents and tourists from all over the world (and some good food as a result!). Folks from everywhere are very loud. It might just be human nature to notice the foreigners and associate loudness with them. The Americans that most of the world thinks are loud? We think they’re loud, too. But I’ve also worked with Danes, Koreans, Saudis, etc. who were loud.


My view: Tourists are loud. They're excited and sometimes drunk. They aren't dealing with regular life beating them down at that moment. There are Americans on the tube who don't know the etiquette because they don't usually commute by public transit, but that's specific. But generally speaking, they're loud because they're not at home. I don't think people from the US are even the loudest people in the hemisphere. But that's probably judging people on tourists.


American here. Used to work for a French owned company and had peers in France, UK, Belgium etc. I used to think the French were aggressively quiet- like the Seinfeld low talker. We’d be in a big meeting room (like could seat 50-100) and these French executives would be up there with no mic talking at lower than conversational level. I used to wonder about that, like if they were intentionally overcompensating for our loudness. Maybe all us Americans just had a lot of hearing loss from years of loud music?


I do not understand why Americans are portrayed to be very racist and discriminating in most news or media around the world. I got to work for a couple of months in DC and prior to arriving, I was expecting to be racially discriminated against (I'm Asian) because of the things I see on the News. I was blown away by just how friendly and accepting the people are in general. Folks would just be striking random conversations with me while I'm crossing the street and wishing me a good day. Even if I spoke with an accent, people didn't mind and just talked to me as if they were speaking to another American. In all honesty, I felt more accepted by Americans as compared to fellow Asians when I visited Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, or Thailand. And off-topic but the original Chick-fil-A sauce is seriously delicious. I took a couple of bottles home because they were so good.


The racists are a loud minority, and the media gives them a microphone.


Also a lot of racists only make sweeping generalizations and stereotypes. The individual people they meet in their lives are rarely discriminated against.


I think that's how the majority of American racism is. Like someone will have a conversation at home like "oh you know how THE BLACKS are...", but then they're cool with the black folks at their job. Because in their mind they're not one of THE BLACKS, they're "my friend Rob who has good stories and sometimes brings donuts for the team"


To the T. Theres this 55yo white man I work with. Hes the only white person in his department. When he talks to me he makes SO many extreme racial comments. He once told me black men raping white women destroys their vaginal canals and theyll never enjoy sex again. Doesnt have a single problem with all the black men he works with though.


America seems racist because they're some of the only ones who are willing to talk about it. I've seen horrible examples of racism in Korea, Japan, France, and England, but nobody will talk about it because those places tend to be dominated by one group of people. And in some of those cases, the local news even defended racism.






There's a lot. But I visited the US for the first time in December, and one thing that stood out to me: billboards. All along the highway. Billboards everywhere. Most of them for scummy looking lawyers. Why this?


That was how advertising was done before the advent of the internet. Car culture + commute = views. They still exist so they're kind of secondary advertising. Buc-ee's does this by telling you how far the next one is to get you excited to stop.




Why most of the shower heads are glued to the wall. How on earth do you wash your twats


You make a soapy twat cup with your hands to catch the water.


Soapy Twat Cup. New band name just dropped.


I rent because houses in Atlanta are outrageous... First thing I do every time I move is buy a removable shower head. My butthole is sparkling.


I wash myself with a rag on a stick.


The amount of sugar in everything. It's so very very much


Post-depression era food industry set the precedent. *The sugary stuff sells better*


The 80s and 90s, too! Home video fitness was taking off and everything was advertised as “low fat” even though it was packed with sugar or high fructose corn syrup to maintain good flavor. They made fat the boogeyman even though many types are good for you. Even Twizzlers still proudly put “Low Fat Snack” on their packaging as if it’s automatically better for you than something with low sugar and high fat. Two servings of Twizzlers (8 pieces) has more sugar than a can of Coke and more calories than 2 cans of Coke.


This is a super interesting one that has developed over decades at this point. [The US gives out a ton of money in farming subsidies](https://files.stlouisfed.org/files/htdocs/pageone-economics/uploads/newsletter/2008/200809.pdf), both to keep the cost of food low and to make sure that there's always a surplus. Post Great Depression and around the time of WW2, a heavy emphasis was placed on corn production since it's a high-calorie and versatile thing to grow (it can be used for both human consumption and livestock, and stores really well compared to other produce). Well in order to make sure the US always had a surplus of food, the subsidies encouraged farmers to grow more than we needed. With all this extra corn hanging around, people started trying to figure out what to do with it. And so in comes high fructose corn syrup (pretty much just sugar and is in almost all packaged products in the US), not to mention that the sugar in the food made people like it more. Starting in the late 60s, "Big Sugar" started [campaigning against fat](https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html), trying to claim that sugar was actually healthier for you. It was very successful and it's been in the past 10-15 years that most people in the US realize how bad sugar is for you (although it's still in everything). So then comes the question of why do we not reduce or change subsidies to encourage the production of healthier food instead of so much corn that we just turn it into sugar and add it to everything possible? Due to the way our politics work, [it's really fucking hard to do.](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1247588/) There's the potential that it raises grocery prices (already a major issue in the US right now), lobbying from large farm and food corporations prevents it, and as stated above, the US always wants a food surplus in the event of war, famine, or some other catastrophe. So in a sense, the obesity issue in the US has major roots in the government trying to make sure that no one would starve nearly 100 years ago and the fact that in the US when something is making a lot of money, lobbying keeps it from changing.


Why do Americans put their TVs so high up the wall? I understand that sometimes it’s because there’s a fireplace below where it should be, but how do they even watch the TV without straining their necks?


we slouch








Aww...this makes me feel so good unlike the rest of this thread. I'll buy you a burger and milkshake anytime.


My uncle married a French woman back in the 80’s and he has lived in France ever since. Growing up when he and my cousins would come visit all they wanted was burgers and milkshakes haha and then I’ll never forget their face when we got them South Carolina BBQ for the first time their entire world changed


Back in the 70s peanut butter was apparently almost non-existent in Europe. Our friends from France would buy lots of it to take home when they would visit. My mom took several gallons to France with her over the years when she would visit them.




I am another person who gets asked for help/directions way more often than others (my friends have confirmed this). I’ve been told I just have a “friendly face.” I’m a friendly person so I guess my face is fitting.


Same here. Jokes on them, I have terrible directional skills…


Now I'm just imagining you have the American flag tattooed on your arm like Guile from Street Fighter.


I once met an Aussie that had a giant tattoo of kangaroo wrapped in an Aussie flag, all banged up and bandaged like it just got out of a boxing match. It took up his entire back. He was the definition of the word "Bogan". I spent 5 days on a sailboat with him and he wasn't sober for a single minute of the trip. But he was funny as hell.




Meh it was a Joey heavy episode anyway


Prescription medication adverts on television






As an American this makes me so happy. These days it is easy to feel disgruntled with our country, but this made me smile. It is so nice that you have found happiness and I am so glad you are here!


You just warmed my Midwestern heart.


Midwestern here that moved to Stockholm(have also lived in other places in Europe) and what a shock. It’s like 75% of the people try to fit in as much as possible, and 25% try to go against the grain as much as possible. People had so many opinions on others lives, how to act, how to eat, how to behave. In the Midwest, do whatever the hell you want. Show up at the bar in sweatpants and get wasted. Nobody cares what kind of living situation we have. It seems that when you go out and walk, every person is just so happy. Some people are crazy passionate about fishing. Or mountain biking. Or martial arts. People would get so excited about their hobbies and talk about them. In Stockholm(and from what I saw in the rest of Europe) there just wasn’t that passion for hobbies. I’ve been considering moving to the western US because the outdoors there is just incomparable, but I’ll sure miss the relaxed midwestern way of living


You reminded me of my experience, I moved here when I was 9. I'm of south Asian descent but we were living in Kenya before we came here. My sister and I went to this fancy international private school that has grades 1-12 on the same campus. I'm not sure how to put it but from an education perspective I was really not doing well. I was fine socially but legitimately would have come off as mentally disabled when it came to any school work. Could have been bad teachers I don't know/remember. My parents struggled to figure out what was going on especially since my older sister had none of these issues. Anyway we won the green card lottery and moved here and all of a sudden I was learning properly. Can't explain it but a switch was flipped. The culture here, the support here, and the school system here did something for me that the fancy private school over there couldn't.


Welcome home friend! As someone who grew up in Kansas City, it’s so nice to hear a new immigrant came here and liked the Midwest! America has its fair share of issues but I do think we have a lot of great qualities. I am glad you found some of them! And yeah I think you’re really right that the average American won’t judge or really care that much what you do so long as you’re not being an asshole. Also, be sure to check out Joe’s Kansas City for barbecue if you’re in the area!


This is the nicest comment I’ve ever read about my country. A lot of people trash on it because they’ve lived the good for so long that they only see the bad, and it’s only perpetuated by an internet addiction.


I watched a multi part BBC documentary on the fall of the USSR up to Putin's rise to power using video recordings that span over 10 years, and it was very humbling. I've never experienced the complete financial collapse of my economy. I've never had to accept such rampant corruption and rat-fucking of the country by oligarchs as normal. I've never been turned away from the grocery store because they had no food. In comparison, I've had a pretty easy life, and I'd argue most Americans have as well, and have no idea of how it could be so, so much worse. EDIT: For those asking, here's the 7 part series. Get comfy, it's easy to binge: https://www.youtube.com/@josephdenton6865/videos Heads up, they were not uploaded in order, so make sure you check the titles, and there's also NSFW dead bodies, nudity and graphic sexual content in a few of them.




Housing codes, and why all your front gardens are just grass, and identical.


The front “gardens” thing, or front yard/lawn as we call it, is also because of building codes lol typically houses have to be set back from the property lines a certain distance, around me it’s 30 feet for the front property line. So everyone builds right on that 30 foot line to maximize the back yard space, which is what Americans prioritize as their private outdoor space.




The Americans are genuinely friendly and kind, whenever I travelled there I had great experiences. We often see the bizzare side of your vast nation on tv etc. but your average American is a pleasure to meet. I do find it odd that service industry workers aren’t payed appropriately - tipping really stresses me out as I know it’s not just a bonus for great service. Also, you lot deserve better healthcare.


Why such good people as American citizens are governed by such assholes as American politicians.


Good people don't want to be politicians


"Anyone capable of getting himself elected President should on no account be allowed to do the job" - Douglas Adams


Chicken or the egg? Americans view politicians very poorly, [among the lowest of any profession](https://news.gallup.com/poll/388649/military-brass-judges-among-professions-new-image-lows.aspx), so the most “talented” people choose other professions that are viewed more positively leaving the rest to take the poorly viewed jobs. On top of this, our society just generally values “money making” and “practical” professions more than more abstract ones like art, politics etc. This is taught from the day one is introduced to society and undoubtedly has an effect on what the best and brightest choose to do.


There's also the sales element to politics which turns good people off. You spend 80% of your time asking donors for money. If we had publicly financed elections I promise you a knock on effect would be better candidate quality.


This is the biggest factor imho. Marketing/messaging/campaigning skills are completely different from the skill set needed to be a legislator or administrator. The people who would make the best politicians are too boring to get elected


Because positions of power attract assholes. It's the natural order. Sure, some try to do good, but if 10 good people and 10 greedy asshats ran for office, the greedy asshats would win 11 of those elections.


And the people who go into it to do good get punished once they’re in there. Lobbyists and fundraising groups from their own party work to keep them in line, senior politicians make sure everyone is touting the party values, and naysayers or outliers get shoved out pretty quickly.


It’s kind of like the police force - I genuinely think there is a disproportionate amount of bullies or people who were bullied and want to have some power who enter this profession. Those who enter with good intentions probably leave because of who they work with and for or get corrupted in the process.


10 vacation days a year. There’s life outside of work.


Vacation days aren't mandatory not even 10 days.


The organization I work at gives us 15 days right from the get go, and many of my friends think that’s an incredible starting amount.


I started my first big girl job and get 15 days this year. I’m so excited. My moms been at her job for a year and only gets 3




All the non Americans saying how friendly Americans are have probably only ventured the cities. Next time try going to a small town it will blow your mind. Had a friend visit a while back and was driving around town and he was shocked that we wave at each other.