What's wrong with YOUR country?

American here:

– Our immigration officials. No personal stories, but practically every dark-skinned foreigner I’ve met in the US has had a thoroughly unpleasant time with them.

– Pervasive xenophobia, or perhaps I should say xenoapathy. We probably have the highest proportion of people in the world who don’t want to know about anything beyond their country’s borders.

– The workaholic culture GMRyujin already mentioned, coupled with consumerism gone mad.

– The attitude that education is neither valuable nor enjoyable in itself, but merely a ticket to a job.

– “News” programs that consist mostly of gossip and dire warnings about common household products that can kill you.

– Public transportation that varies from poor to nonexistent. (No offense to the OP, but I’m always amused when I hear the Brits complain about theirs).

– Flag-worship.

– The number of people who demand to have everything their way and to have it now. (Worse yet, the number of other people who actually capitulate.)

Damn, I’m getting depressed already and I’ve tried to stick to cultural rather than political stuff.

Originally posted by Rabid_Squirrel

Ours looks like that annoying guy at school who always ratted on you. And probably still does. -With a bad hair-do-

*Originally posted by Narrad *
**That’s because Americans are used to a system where the roles of head of the state and head of government are merged – unlike Commonwealth nations where the roles are quite distinct. It’s quite irrelevant to the day-to-day lives of most Australians that our head of state (there is, incidentally, some constitutional argument whether the Queen is in fact Australia’s HoS or whether the Governor-General is HoS) may be foreign-born and unelected. Further, what power the Queen does hold over Australian affairs is strictly bound by custom and exercised only on “advice” of our head of government.

Sure most of us would prefer an elected Australian HoS, but we’re not exactly losing sleep over it.

I can’t even woosh any more :frowning:


Now I getcha. I, uhh, blame someone else.

I have stepped onto a seam in the road and had the tar, melted by the heat, adhere itself to my foot. Later that same year it got so cold that all the paint fell off my apartment building.

Politics is kind of a minor worry when just going outside can theoretically kill you about eight months of the year.

On the other hand, you have a lot of time to sit around indoors and bitch about politics, so it makes up the ground there.

Portuguese here.

Cons, in whatever order they strike my mind:

  • Our government is inefective and corrupt.
  • Our judicial system is slow and unreliable.
  • Our mortality on the roads is the highest in the EU.
  • The amount of rude, incompetent, selfish, bastard, - mirrors?what is that? - drivers I see everyday.
  • The way anybody will leave their car on rush hour anywhere in this city (and I mean anywhere) if there is still, on a best case scenario, one lane left unobstructed. Meaning: fuck everybody else, I’m a selfish son-of-a-whore idiot and I like to make that very clear.
  • Too many cars for too many assholes.
  • Apartment blocks spring like mushrooms everywhere.
  • Our schools suck.
  • Our job market sucks.
  • Our roads suck.
  • Our economy sucks. There is no support for long term growth.
  • Nobody gives a shit except about pocketing as much as they can.
  • Lots of unenducated slobs.
  • Dirty streets.
  • 99% of everything that shows on TV. Yuck.
  • Regular power outages.
  • We’re a small country far away from everything else. Most enthusiast oriented computer hardware for example was not sold here a few years ago. It’s improving.
  • The obscene amount of taxes anyone pays to buy a car, based on stupid criteria like its displacement.
  • The obscene amount of taxes anyone pays. Increased just recently.
  • It is not unusual to have people driving luxury cars and generaly living very confortably and declaring minimum wage.
  • We’re too similar to the spanish in their (numerous) bad qualities but apart in their good ones.
  • Football is the most important thing in life. Next comes the family’s well being.
  • Shitty football matches.
  • It’s always the referee’s fault (this one drives me nuts).
  • We’re pessimistic by nature.
  • The way it still surprises me to see the average american recognise my country.


  • The weather.
  • The beaches.
  • The weather.

I’d go on listing cons but I don’t want to give too bad of an impression. Overall I kind of like it to live here.

I live in Ireland. Not Irish, but I pay my taxes and therefore reserve the right to whine.

MUCH worse here. You have no idea how bad it can get. Think yourself lucky. Though I have to say, the Irish rail service doesn’t kill as many of its customers as the British one does, but that’s about it. Ireland hasn’t even managed to connect two of its cities by motorway yet.

Dublin’s more expensive than London. It’s getting to be more expensive than Paris, too.

Much much much worse here - and unless you’re on some form of welfare you pay for it three times: once via tax, once via insurance, and once directly, because the insurance doesn’t cover that much. Grrrrrrr.


Not quite as bad here. Neutrality and all that.

I’ll add:

  • Mostly shit weather
  • Filthy
  • A lot of people are blatantly racist
  • Full of scumbags who nick and vandalise everything and anything that isn’t tied down (when they’re not joyriding outside my house)
  • Blatantly corrupt politics (the UK does it more subtly…!)

Of course there are positive aspects to the place (the people, the work ethic, the lax application of rules and regulations, the beer, the music, etc.) but this is me whingeing.

Pedro, I just came back from Portugal last week, and I’d like to add to your list of positives: the food, the women, and the cheap cigarettes and beer. And the architecture. But not the drivers…!

Another New Zealander here.

I hate the racism here. The snide comments, the derogatory statements, the stereotyping, the sheer venom that spills over every now and then into open confrontations and backlash. And then everyone’s fucking surprised as all hell, and call talkback radio to whine about it.

I hate the fact that we’re allowing our nation’s culture, such as it is after surviving various invasions last century, to be crushed beneath an avalanche of plastic, meaningless consumer-driven drivel from elsewhere. Borrowed clothes, ill-fitting the child.

All in all, though, I love my country, blemishes and all. Every now and then, however, I wince.

UK (where I am from):
-An idiotic population that wants the public services of other European countries but the tax levels of the United States. Somehow they seem confused when the public services turn out to be shit.
-A mentality where people seem to think that the UK still matters in the world.
-New Labour, who I somehow managed to vote for in 1997.
Sweden (where I live):
-The opposite extreme, a hideous level of tax (highest in Europe, I believe) accompanied with an ever-growing level of red tape.
-A population that routinely votes in the same party every election (I believe the Social Democrats have been in power for all but 9 of the last 70 years or so), leading to the situation where the Government can just take the piss, knowing that they can do practically anything and still get elected.
-Ridiculous anti-smackign laws that have in effect demonised Parents for doing any sort of public discplining of their Children, hence bringing about a massive loss of manners.
-Swedish adults that blame this downfall on immigrants.

Belgian here…

  • Our government is embarrassing us daily.

  • Awful weather.

  • Our judicial system is slow and unreliable too.

  • We’re already in an economic depression.

  • Total lack of nationalism (Flag-worship, …).

  • Our monarchy.

  • The obscene amount of taxes on anything you can think of.
    Which pays for:

  • Our social security system. Supposedly the best in the world, and certainly the easiest to abuse too.
    And last but not least:

  • Compromises. Belgium is full of them. We never have a solution, but we’ll always have a compromise :mad:
    Good stuff: Beer, beer, beer, chocolates, food in general and beer.

Where to start?

Cuba has:

  • The longest serving dictator in the western hemisphere, perhaps the world.

  • Unemployment of about 30%

  • Crumbling infrastructure, with spotty electrical and water service

  • Tourism apartheid

  • No freedom of speech, assembly, or association

  • Monocrop agricultural system

On the other hand, I would not trade the time I spent there for anything in the world.

Wow. Reading this, I realise how lucky I am. Anyhoo…

The red tape is annoying, but the taxes at least used to be alright, since it paid for a lot of really swell stuff. Now that the swell stuff is disappearing, we’re more and more left wondering what we’re paying for.

Yep, that utterly sucks. My own points:

  • Most of the population consists of idiots. Yes, most of the world’s population consists of idiots, so it’s not really typical of Sweden, but I believe that no discussion about a country’s flaws is complete without a mention of the idiots. Call me old-fashioned.

  • While the racists are idiotic jerks, the anti-racists are jerkish idiots, attempting to ban the flag, the national anthem and the like, either not realising or not caring that that is not the way to garner support for your views.

  • The weather. This morning, it was a cloudfree sky, sun and nigh-tropical heat. Now, it’s gloomy and raining. Pick a fucking weather!

bayonet1976, you can post to the SDMB from Cuba? Calling Castro a dictator? Without fear?

jjimm forgot a couple of things:

[li] Dreadful internet access. Broadband starts at €50 a month and there is no truly unlimited flat-rate access[/li][li] Bank fees[/li][li] An ad-hoc approach to immigration which allows the government to impose silly, senseless but politically expedient restrictions at whim[/li][li] The Offences Against the State Act - don’t get me started[/li][li] Cultural domination by Britain, and complicity of the media therein[/li][li] Bank hours are pretty sucky too (made worse by the fact you can no longer make deposits at ATMs)[/li][li] The Progressive Democrats. Enough fucking said.[/li][/ul]

I really do love it here. I just wish these things could be fixed.

You said “there”, not “here”. My bad.

Not a chance, I post from the US, but although I don’t live in Cuba, that is still MY country, as is the US in many ways. I don’t even live on the hyphen, I consider myself a Cuban living in the US, not a Cuban"-"American.

Part of that is caused by the (almost) total crapness of the Irish TV stations, and the ease with which the British ones can be picked up. RTE is a creative-free zone, run by a bunch of timid, set-in-their-ways, scareded-to-bite-the-hand-that-feeds-them civil servants who should be fucked out onto the street and replaced with real media creatives.

I tend to think in terms of one a day. Keeps me sane. Today:

People who imply some kind of cultural superiority over, say, Americans because we have such a high passport-holding rate compared with the dreadful US level of lees than 10%.

Thing is, you stupid, arrogant, intellectually Neanderthal-like half-wits, 94% of Brits hold passports only so they can go all the fucking way to the fucking Costa de Sol and share the cultural experience of;

A) Sunshine,
B) Throwing up for two weeks, and
C) Beating up anyone who hasn’t the same regional fucking accent.

The other 5% are happy little sheep on their ‘gap year’ following each other around the world sitting on the same Asian beaches, in the same Asian resorts, on the same Asian islands as every other mindless fucking student.

That leaves about 280 people in the country who know how to use a fucking passport.

Thank you.

Same problem here LC. In fact, the Irish are even worse than the British for going abroad and spending all their time in the presence of other Irish people. As annoying as American tourists are - and I’m the first to admit they’re pretty fucking annoying sometimes - at least they actually try to see the place they’re visiting, and not just to get drunk/ high/ laid amongst people from their own country in an identikit Irish pub, beach etc.

At least they’re not as prone as us English to beat the shit out of each other/foreign people/anyone else in the vicinity.