Success in Canada means moving to America

180
29
13 days
(thewalrus.ca)
by andrewl

Comments

DoreenMichele
12 days

Working in Canadian journalism, I’d often hear other editors reference the mythical former colleagues who had moved to New York—America, in this context, is always New York.

Lots of Americans dream of either LA or New York, depending on their industry. I imagine in Europe, it's probably Paris and London that draws both French/British and foreigners.

Frank Sinatra had a song called New York, New York and one of the lines is "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere."

It's sort of inevitable that the largest city in the region draws talent and ambition and this gravity pool does not respect international borders. Though I wish we did a better job of fostering diversity of views from other places even within the US.

It's something I've lamented before: Even Americans get kind of brainwashed that their local culture is inferior and everything is better in New York (and California) because that's where so much of our popular media originates and is set.

dylan604
12 days

>Even Americans get kind of brainwashed that their local culture is inferior

In small town USA, the local culture usually is inferior. The local culture tends to be very monoculture. It's the larger cities where the culture tends to be more diverse. Getting out of small town into the nearest larger town opened me up to a hell of a lot more than the people that never left. However, even in that larger town, it's still limited. Yes, I eventually went to the west coast to have even more multi-cultural experience. Later, I even got to finally start travelling internationally to expand that multi-cultural experience further.

Maybe it's a broad brush to paint with, but my local culture 100% was inferior, but I imagine it's not unique

throwaway894345
12 days

Eh, I've lived in small towns and major cities. One isn't categorically better than the other, they're just different. Your values align better with city life, but that doesn't make other cultures inferior (nor are you superior to the people who prefer them). I certainly appreciate the diversity of larger cities and small towns certainly aren't for me, but I can also appreciate having a functional municipal government, low crime rates, low poverty rates, dramatically less antisocial behavior, strong values / decency / civility, a simpler way of life, etc.

cortesoft
12 days

All of those things might be true, but I think what they are meaning by ‘culturally inferior’ is that there is less variety in people, food, and activities. This is simply an inescapable fact of having fewer people. You won’t be able to find as wide a variety of food, or entertainment, or art in a place with fewer people. There simply aren’t enough people to sustain the same level of variety.

throwaway894345
12 days

I agree that there's less diversity, but conflating diversity with cultural superiority is foolish at best.

cortesoft
12 days

I agree that the word ‘superiority’ is loaded and probably not the appropriate term to use when talking about a culture. However, many people use the word ‘culture’ to mean countable things; if someone says a place ‘has a lot of culture’, often times they mean ‘there are many things to do’. In other words, a lot of options when you are choosing what you want to do for your day off, or your evening out.

Just imagine you are planning a night out with friends. As someone who grew up in a small town, our options were very limited. You could go to the movies, the bowling alley, or go to someone’s house. If you wanted dinner, there were only a few restaurants serving a small variety of cuisines. It would be impossible to do a different thing every night for more than a week or so.

In a big city, you could do something different every night and not run out of different things to do for years. You could eat a different restaurant every night, eating a completely different cuisine each time.

If you are simply counting things to do, a city is ‘superior’.

kradeelav
12 days

(not the OP, but somebody who's lived in both big cities and small towns and loved them both for different reasons)

I get what you're saying and agree to some degree. But at the same time, i think it's actually the last line ("if you're simply counting things to do") that I would personally quibble over as the sacred metric of what's better than the other.

Maybe some people don't really care about having ten gazillion different restaurants and would prefer at least three solid parks/hiking trails you can't get around some big cities? Maybe some folks would be more than happy to trade going to the theatres with having a home with 5+ acres to raise a chicken farm or other critters on, or if not that then at least the privacy and the minimal light pollution.

Some trades that people are willing to make kinda aren't so obvious.

cortesoft
11 days

I agree, which is why I mentioned the problem with the word ‘superior’, since there is no objective measure of what is a better culture. I was just trying to say their are objective differences.

wolverine876
12 days

Therea are good things about small towns, some of which you named, but some is idyllic fantasy:

> / decency / civility

That hasn't been my experience in small towns recently, unless you happen to fit in well with the people there. There's a highly aggressive paranoia and acting out.

> functional municipal government

They are almost powerless, IME. How small a town are you talking about?

cinntaile
12 days

Small town culture is a thing in Europe as well! I don't know if it's inferior but it's certainly different from the culture in a bigger city.

refurb
12 days

Right, but the fun part is an American from a big city like New York will go visit some quaint rural town in a foreign country and admire the culture. Despite the locals feeling it's inferior and the big city 200 km away has superior culture.

Just goes to show it's all subjective.

dredmorbius
12 days

European towns and villages often have many centuries, possibly millennia, of history. That at the very least adds depth.

Few American cities were founded > 200 years ago. None were founded more than 1565 (United States), and the oldest dates from 1502, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

That said, what a New Yorker visiting small-town Europe is probably referencing is the contrast between NYC and Small European Town. The specific town will likely be largely interchangeable with numerous others of similar description.

By contrast, a small town in the US or Canada largely resembles some of the less-distinguished suburbs of NYC itself: same language, same government, same mass media, same history, same chain stores and franchises. Far fewer people, however, and a much smaller economic and cultural ambit.

Even for small towns in which there is some distinctive culture ... it tends to be a single motif which dominates the entire town, rather than the melting pot of a major metropolis. Marfa, TX; Silver City, NM; Santa Fe, NM; Asheland, OR; and Napa, CA all have distinctive cultures, but it tends to be all-of-a-type.

Exceptions tend to be smaller college towns, for obvious reasons, but even here, the odds for highly-diverse communities tend to be lower than in larger cosmopolitan cities. And you can climb far up the major metro region and still find fairly stultified culture --- Chicago, IL, wears its "second city" moniker as a badge, but you'll still find there's some real edginess there about it if you press a bit or scratch beneath the surface. (The fact that it's third by size, and that Los Angeles also evinces a somewhat similar attitude toward New York doesn't help.)

refurb
12 days

Your entire premise seems to hinge on history being equivalent to culture.

I mean, NYC has a ton of culture but it's a young city.

I disagree with you premise.

dredmorbius
12 days

"That at the very least adds depth" would suggest otherwise.

And if it's not what I managed to communicate effectively, I can assure you it is not at all my intended meaning.

Which would then falisify your own premise.

refurb
12 days

I mean history might add to culture, maybe.

But I’d argue NYC has more culture than say Edinburgh, Scotland despite the later having a far more extensive history.

dredmorbius
12 days

Again, not inconsistent with my viewpoint.

Contrast though US cities of roughly comparable population (506,000 for Edinburgh), say, Sacramento, CA; Kansas City, MO; Mesa, AZ; or Atlanta, GA. Two of those are also state capitals, roughly matching Edinburgh's political status.

Remmeber that size was another key factor. Again, not sole, but key.

Global cities ratings gives additional ratings and bases for same:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city

GWAC ranks Edinburgh above all of the US cities, save Atlanta, which is just above it. Mesa and Sacramento are not ranked.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalization_and_World_Cities...

NotChina
12 days
mmmmmjgcc
12 days
chronotis
12 days

I grew up in suburban Midwest America. Monoculture is great if you're aligned with the monoculture, but it's quite miserable if you're unwilling or unable to conform.

I went on to start my career on the east coast over 25 years ago, and then the west coast (Boston / SF / SEA / LA). I'm now back in a Midwestern monoculture community because of family. It's not an easy cultural adjustment if you've acclimated to something that's not monoculture.

In my case, the appeal of large city blended culture is that (1) I can find my tribe much more easily and (2) the tribes all have to get along because there's no dominant tribe enforcing its norms on the others. (There's obviously generalization in this statement, but I'd argue that relative to a monoculture community that these things are more truth than not. SF, SEA and others have plenty of challenges, but IMHO it's in part because they've become monocultures, or at least tech has become the dominant tribe and asserts its will on other cultures.)

If you enjoy living in the monoculture you occupy, there's no reason to leave. Visiting or temporarily living in blended cultures will not feel better to you, as it causes more stress than where you came from. But it's very presumptuous to assume that others would find living in "flyover" country better than the life they currently lead.

rayiner
12 days

> grew up in suburban Midwest America. Monoculture is great if you're aligned with the monoculture, but it's quite miserable if you're unwilling or unable to conform.

The conformity is kind of the point and makes it better for the rest of us.

dylan604
12 days

And there it is! We only want ourselves to be comfy, but nobody cares what effect it has on anyone else. Just as long as everyone conforms to your way of thinking.

I really don't care if you want to live an limited life experience and assume it is the only possible way of life. But when you start telling other people that they must live like you want them to because they want to live in the same area you do is just too much to take. It doesn't truly affect you other than you have to accept something you don't agree.

throwaway894345
12 days

> In small town USA, the local culture usually is inferior.

> And there it is! We only want ourselves to be comfy, but nobody cares what effect it has on anyone else. Just as long as everyone conforms to your way of thinking.

Can you please lower the rhetorical temperature?

> But when you start telling other people that they must live like you want them to because they want to live in the same area you do is just too much to take.

There's plenty of cultural orthodoxy in cities as well, it's probably just more agreeable to you.

wolverine876
12 days

> There's plenty of cultural orthodoxy in cities as well, it's probably just more agreeable to you.

What are you referring to? In large cities, you can think and do what you want and nobody will much care or notice unless you force them to.

throwaway894345
12 days

I’ve seen people accosted in public for wearing conservative political t-shirts or hats on multiple occasions in Chicago. It was pretty frothing there from 2016 to 2020, and I’m not even a conservative.

wolverine876
11 days

Wow, never seen it in a city, and I've been around plenty. You see the absolute craziest things in cities and nobody even notices - it's part of the culture. It's a running joke.

throwaway894345
11 days

I notice people yelling at strangers (there’s also a whole bunch of videos of people being jumped for wearing clothes that signal conservativism, but I haven’t seen that up close), but a much less extreme example is just gender stuff: my wife and I have a pretty traditional division of labor (by happenstance, not design, although it doesn’t matter for the purposes of this discussion) and we get some funny looks/remarks from a lot of people. It would be simpler if I were passionate about cooking and my wife was the breadwinner and finance manager, but we still have it better than people who are actually conservative.

rayiner
12 days

> We only want ourselves to be comfy, but nobody cares what effect it has on anyone else. Just as long as everyone conforms to your way of thinking.

I do care what effect it has on others. I want say 80% of people to be comfy. Often that involves imposing norms on the other 20%. There’s lots of norms that (1) a majority like and benefit from that (2) break down if you don’t enforce them on the minority.

Unrestricted individual choice can affect others by changing market conditions and creating what in economic terms you’d call a race to the bottom. That’s the logic behind OSHA regulations and the minimum wage, for example. You can apply the same logic to social and cultural issues.

wolverine876
12 days

So much for the fundamentals of freedom. So I can compel you to behave and live as I want? Or vice versa?

And it's completely unnecessary - in fact, people do very well living in freedom, as you can see in most places (by population) in the free world. No societies have been more successful, and it's not close.

rayiner
12 days

> And it's completely unnecessary - in fact, people do very well living in freedom, as you can see in most places (by population) in the free world. No societies have been more successful, and it's not close.

You’ve got the causation backward. Freedom from social conformity is a luxury wealthy societies can afford. Western countries, including America, became rich at a time when they were still quite rigidly conformist. And some of the most conformist, such as Puritan New England were the most prosperous.

It’s also worth observing that those same societies are now literally dying out. Post-Christian Europe literally has to import people from societies with rigid social norms—among others, strong social pressures to start families and raise children—to take care of their elderly.

wolverine876
12 days

In fact, the US was founded on religious and other freedoms. It wasn't perfect, of course, but the US has widely been more free from conformity than others, wrote it into its foundation, and has prided itself on it. You couldn't pick an example more contrary to the argument. Immigrants for generations have traveled to the US to escape the conformity forced on them in other socities (including the Puritans!), and to live how they choose. Americans have dreamed of and achieved freedom - look at the women's rights movement, which revolutionized the freedom of women.

(I have plenty of criticism of racism and other discrimination in the US. It certainly isn't ok and I am going to help fix those problems.)

> Post-Christian Europe literally has to import people from societies with rigid social norms—among others, strong social pressures to start families and raise children—to take care of their elderly.

They need immigration in that respect (and so does the US) simply because of birth rates.

Immigrants have come from those societies to the US (and certainly parts of Europe) for generations. Some are too old to give up their old ways, understandably, but their children embrace freedom and those are the people of the US today.

And again, do you cede to me the power to make you conform to what I want? Why should anyone cede it to you?

rayiner
12 days

> In fact, the US was founded on religious and other freedoms… You couldn't pick an example more contrary to the argument. Immigrants for generations have traveled to the US to escape the conformity forced on them in other socities (including the Puritans!)

You’re erroneously conflating collective freedom and individual freedom. The US was founded on religious pluralism, which meant different religious groups coming here to be free from persecution back home, usually due to politics. For example, the Puritans left because they believed England was insufficiently committed to the Protestant Reformation. But that didn’t have anything to do with individual freedom within those groups. Many of the groups that came to America, like the Puritans, were regarded as extreme and fundamentalist back home: https://paulspassingthoughts.com/2017/01/17/an-examination-o... (“In 1637, the general court of Massachusetts passed an order forbidding anyone from settling within the colony without first having his orthodoxy approved by the magistrates.”).

> They need immigration in that respect (and so does the US) simply because of birth rates.

What causes the low birth rates in those places and the higher birth rates in the places immigrants are coming from?

> Some are too old to give up their old ways, understandably, but their children embrace freedom and those are the people of the US today.

Sure, the kids become socialized into the culture of individualism—that just means that the society is unsustainable without continuing to import people from those societies with more traditional and conformist culture. Put differently, post-Christian Europe is sustainable only through population arbitrage.

wolverine876
11 days

I'm a bit late in responding ... No matter what you try to throw out there, I don't think you will convince anyone that the US isn't a culture of individual liberty, and that it's been very successful in every way - freedom, prosperity, security, culture, etc. It turns out that people deciding for themselves, instead of others telling them what to do, results in great decisions.

All those people are coming to the US, not vice versa!

dctoedt
10 days

> It turns out that people deciding for themselves, instead of others telling them what to do, results in great decisions.

Sometimes. But we've also found it necessary to have laws governing road traffic, and pollution, and noise abatement, and fraud, and robbery. That's because humans often focus narrowly on their own desires when making decisions unless they're compelled, under pain of fine or imprisonment (which aren't always effective), to take others' interests into account as well.

cortesoft
12 days

The cost of conformity is not the same for everyone. It might be easy if your natural state is fairly close to the norm you are conforming to. It is a lot worse if your natural state is in direct contradiction to the norm.

It is easy for someone who is fairly close and doesn’t have to adjust much to say that the cost of conformity is worth it for the gain.

wolverine876
12 days

> The conformity is kind of the point and makes it better for the rest of us.

The 'rest of us' being people outside the monoculture? Things aren't so good there.

Conformity limits people's freedom, often greatly, often in very fundamental ways. People can't chose their religion, sexual orientation, politics, interests, career, etc. You are free to chose conformity if you like, but the problem is that conformity is forced on others.

jimmygrapes
12 days

For those outside of the monoculture, the non conformists, why? I don't mean what makes you (nb: using the term you in the general sense) different, I mean why? And then, why are you so certain that your difference or reasons for that difference is somehow better? I can extrapolate that most answers will be things like "LGBTQIAPP+" or based on externalities like skin color, but those are low hanging (and imo pretty bland) fruits. Other answers might be religion (or rejection thereof), or taste in music, or general youthful rebellion/contrarianism. Yet other answers might be entirely unimaginable to me.

But my question remains: why are you this way and why do you think it's a better way to be than the majority? What factors external to the conformist group contributed or influenced you, if any?

For the record, I, too, have fled regions and communities, both physical and virtual, where I was a deviant. I asked myself these questions and I have answers if anyone were to ask. I'm just curious what answers others have come up with, and whether they have ever asked themselves those same questions. I'm also curious if others have found their own answers lacking and how that is handled.

wolverine876
11 days

> I can extrapolate that most answers will be things like "LGBTQIAPP+" or based on externalities like skin color, but those are low hanging (and imo pretty bland) fruits.

They are overwhelming, brutal, oppressive experiences of millions of people. Not bland, but poison to the people and our society.

> why are you this way and why do you think it's a better way to be than the majority?

I think this majority is non-existent - there is just too much variety. And regardless, I don't care about some 'majority'; I don't make choices for or against them - not in response to them at all. I am what I am, I live the way I want to live, the way that suits me best (which is probably most 'efficient' in many ways, including economically, matching me to resources, needs, etc.). Why would I live any other way? In fact, that attitude puts me in the majority in the US.

The whole argument smacks of another attempt by reactionaries to encroach on the freedom of others, now trying to force conformity to what they want. I'm sure they wouldn't want roles reversed!

dredmorbius
12 days

What's ironic of course is that the comment comes from an immigrant to the US.

Though one who's proved quite hostile to other cultures and practices.

astura
12 days
didibus
12 days

That's an interesting viewpoint. So the conformity somehow makes you less nervous or anxious? Does it bring you a sense of safety and comfort? I'm just really curious what you like about it?

For me conformity has always just been boring and restricting, and I consider it an all around negative. I like to try new things, and I live to experience as much of what life can bring as I can. So I find the idea of artificially restricting ones options on how to dress, sing, what to eat, how to dance, what to make of art, what stories you can tell, how to make love, how to play, how to express yourself, what to talk about, who you can be with, what games are allowed, what you're supposed to do on Sunday morning, etc. just an all around negative. It feels like a choke hold on my life, which is the most precious thing I have, so restrictions on the extent of how much I'm allowed to live and experience seem completely unreasonable and oppressive to me.

But I'm a pretty confident and courageous person, I don't have anxieties, and I enjoy getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things, learning, discovery, are all things I'm drawn too. I know people who aren't like that, have more anxieties, so I never really thought that for them maybe conformity was like a relief, a way to take out a source of stress of the unknown with clear strict rules and conventions that they can rely on.

rayiner
12 days

Not really any of those things. Conformity increases social trust and reduces social transaction costs; it yields non-zero sum returns to social efficiency for the same reason standardization often does. There is a reason societies closer to the edge of survival are more rigidly conformist. It’s not because Bangladeshis or Africans are dumb or backward, but because your typical third world village would quickly die of starvation if you ran it like a California college.

Restriction of choice can likewise be welfare maximizing. People’s brains aren’t fully developed until 25. Which is remarkable if you think about it. People spend a third of their lives walking around without all their faculties. And even after that most people have trouble making good decisions. Not just dumb people, but nearly everyone. Why are there fat doctors and nurses? Rigid social norms can help people make better decisions, especially the people who need the most help with that. Again, there is a reason individual choice is emphasized almost solely in societies rich enough to afford letting people make mistakes.

didibus
12 days

> The conformity is kind of the point and makes it better for the rest of us

So when you say "rest of us" here you're coming from a society that's on the edge of survival?

That's a context I definitely wasn't thinking. I'd assumed based on the conversation we were talking about cities vs small towns in relatively well established countries.

Honestly, I'm not sure I buy your hypothesis though, even if I think of struggling countries, feel you'd have to back it up with more reasoning and data. I don't really see how conformity would help. It still seems to me like it's just an obstacle, all innovation or attempts at change or trying new or different ways are shut down and repressed. If the current way of life isn't yielding the kind of outcome needed to lift them above that edge of survival, continuing to strictly enforce and being against anyone trying to go against it seems counterproductive to me.

I'm not saying you get rid of law and order. But I don't see the benefits of say banning certain type of medicine, foods, dances, music, art, social interactions, love making, natural selection of a mate, methods of trade, methods of construction, etc.

> there is a reason individual choice is emphasized almost solely in societies rich enough to afford letting people make mistakes

I feel you might have the cause and effect reversed. It could just as well be that there is a reason societies that emphasize individual choice are often the ones to become prosperous and rich.

throwaway894345
12 days

> In my case, the appeal of large city blended culture is that (1) I can find my tribe much more easily and (2) the tribes all have to get along because there's no dominant tribe enforcing its norms on the others. (There's obviously generalization in this statement, but I'd argue that relative to a monoculture community that these things are more truth than not. SF, SEA and others have plenty of challenges, but IMHO it's in part because they've become monocultures, or at least tech has become the dominant tribe and asserts its will on other cultures.)

Alternatively, perhaps there is a dominant culture in major US cities and you simply don't feel pressure to conform (because you're already conforming). Imagine someone expressing support for traditional values, police, Israel, etc or expressing criticism of BLM, Roe v. Wade, "soft-on-crime" policies, etc in a major US city--that person would definitely feel pressure (if not harassment) to conform to progressive politics. Hell, in my major US city, I feel chafed for not believing that cars are a completely unmitigated evil, and I'm sure there are a whole lot of areas where I don't feel chafed by the dominant progressive politics.

dylan604
12 days

>You people

Boy, where do you get off?

>can't believe that there might be people who want to live another way

As it apparently goes for you as well. The fact that someone that would like to live outside of the city, but not want to adopt the "small town limited life experience while--knowing--their way is the only way". Anyone coming from other experiences is always a threat to these small towns so they are labeled as outsiders and always treated suspiciously instead of welcoming like they like to preach.

rilezg
12 days

>Boy, where do you get off?

My guess is that this attitude is where:

>In small town USA, the local culture usually is inferior.

Big cities often have people from many different cultures, including small towns, which is neat, and interesting things can happen when different perspectives collide, but, for the most part, cities just operate under the generic mass media American culture.

But, in my experience, people living in rural areas rely on their immediate neighbors for more than those living in larger developments. This is conducive to the development of a strong local culture, and outsiders who move in expecting the mass media American culture will likely not feel welcome.

Having lived a variety of places, I personally prefer the rural culture (at least here in Vermont), but I would not say big city culture is inferior...just different.

A tip: if you say a person's culture is inferior, they probably will not see you as worth listening to.

cortesoft
12 days

> But, in my experience, people living in rural areas rely on their immediate neighbors for more than those living in larger developments. This is conducive to the development of a strong local culture, and outsiders who move in expecting the mass media American culture will likely not feel welcome.

This might be true for some people in large cities, especially the wealthier and the transplants from other places.

However, poor people in cities have a huge sense of community. They rely on their community a ton, and everyone works together to survive. The neighborhood is the community, and it is much like a close knit rural community, only compacted into a smaller city neighborhood.

rilezg
12 days

Very true, and a good point. Strong culture and community is certainly not exclusive to rural areas. I imagine there are many neighborhoods in large cities where an outsider moving in expecting mass media American culture would not feel welcome (although it may be easier to travel to an area of the city with more generic culture where they do feel welcome than it would be living in a rural area).

wolverine876
12 days

> imagine there are many neighborhoods in large cities where an outsider moving in expecting mass media American culture would not feel welcome

I think they would find neighors very welcoming - even the toughest cities and neighborhoods are mostly friendly people - but the culture would be unfamiliar and the newcomer would have to adjust.

> it may be easier to travel to an area of the city with more generic culture where they do feel welcome

I'm not sure where that is in many cities, other than suburbs. You can't escape the richness of large cities.

rilezg
12 days

>I think they would find neighbors very welcoming - even the toughest cities and neighborhoods are mostly friendly people - but the culture would be unfamiliar and the newcomer would have to adjust.

Sure, I agree, with emphasis on the newcomer adjusting.

>I'm not sure where that is in many cities, other than suburbs. You can't escape the richness of large cities.

To clarify, I just mean locations that attract people of a wide variety of backgrounds. That is not to say those locations are 'un-rich' or anything. I just mean that interactions there are governed more by mainstream American culture than by anything specific to that city or neighborhood or the people involved.

wolverine876
12 days

> cities just operate under the generic mass media American culture

I would say it's the opposite. Cities are their own worlds and cultures (many, many cultures per city); they have the critical mass to ignore mass media. Mass media doesn't understand or address the richness of life in cities; it's for the suburbs.

rilezg
12 days

As a counterpoint, an outsize proportion of mass media is produced by relatively-not-poor people who live in cities, many of whom are transplants. As such, that is the dominant perspective.

But I certainly agree that mass media does not understand or address the richness of life in cities (or anywhere else).

wolverine876
12 days

> As a counterpoint, an outsize proportion of mass media is produced by relatively-not-poor people who live in cities, many of whom are transplants. As such, that is the dominant perspective.

Yes, I agree that many perspectives are omitted.

> mass media does not understand or address the richness of life in cities (or anywhere else).

It captures the suburbs pretty well, IMHO.

donquixote25
12 days

Dylan was not insisting that every culture must be a mixture of foreign culture. He is just generalizing that multiple cultures is better than one. By the way, on aggregate, America is a melting pot of different cultures and has dominated popular culture the past couple of decades.

Also, he says he came from a small town so I don't think it is fair to characterize him as a coastal elite.

throwaway894345
12 days

> Also, he says he came from a small town so I don't think it is fair to characterize him as a coastal elite.

I'm sure he came from a small town and perhaps the "Dylan is a coastal elite" take is inaccurate (I'm also not sure that's what the parent is suggesting), but the following seems pretty unambiguously elitist-there's no more charitable interpretation that doesn't flout reason.

> In small town USA, the local culture usually is inferior.

oneplane
12 days

It's not necessarily the culture that is inferior, but the monoculture with a requirement of conformism being inferior.

I have not travelled all over USA to have a taste of every possible small town, but the ones I did visit that had monoculture often also had a very 'conform to us or leave' type of vibe.

dylan604
12 days

>It's not necessarily the culture that is inferior, but the monoculture with a requirement of conformism being inferior.

Much better phrased than I was able to do it.

>I have not travelled all over USA to have a taste of every possible small town, but the ones I did visit that had monoculture often also had a very 'conform to us or leave' type of vibe.

With the size of the US, even traveling within the US it is still similar everywhere you go. An interesting bit about Europe is that you can visit totally different culture with a few hours travel by train. I can travel the same distance and still be in my same state, so traveling to new cultures is difficult. It's just a unique state of things, not a claim of better/worse

throwaway894345
12 days

> With the size of the US, even traveling within the US it is still similar everywhere you go. An interesting bit about Europe is that you can visit totally different culture with a few hours travel by train.

I agree, and I love this about Europe, but what you're experiencing is monoculture at national scales. You have large regions with single dominant cultures (as opposed to a Europe that is a uniform blend of every culture). I also suspect this is key to Europe's minimal inequality--it's a lot easier to get things done when most people have similar values and when people are willing to conform to the system there's obviously going to be much less inequality (they're not working against the system).

refurb
12 days

But at the same time, Europe has a fetish for national differences that the US doesn't. The decedents of France and Germany who came over to the US don't fight over the things they do in Europe.

We just look at Europe and say "guys, you're just white, leave it be".

throwaway894345
12 days

I think there's plenty of conformism in cities, but it may not chafe those of us who are liberal or progressive the way we are chafed by smaller towns. That said, I certainly think this is more agreeable than arguing that small town cultures are inferior.

refurb
12 days

Dylan should take a trip to San Francisco and see how non-conformism to the local politics works!

dylan604
12 days

You say that like I've never been there. I choose not to live there for reasons. Just because one city is more fucked up than others doesn't mean it's the proof of anything. Outliers happen in any statistical view.

refurb
12 days

“If it doesn’t conform to my world view it’s an outlier, if it does it’s an important data point”

cortesoft
12 days

I don’t begrudge people who want to live in a rural monoculture. I believe everyone should be able to pursue the life they want to live. More power to them.

However, I think some of your conclusions are either mistaken or not thinking about the consequences.

For example, small towns that have a single culture are great if you feel a part of it. However, even many people who are born and raised in the monoculture do not feel a part of it. For example, if you are LGBT, or even just have interests outside the monoculture. In a city, everyone can find a group they can connect with; in a monoculture, that isn’t the case.

Secondly, your last sentence seems to imply that cities are more dangerous than rural areas. However, if you look at the data, that is not the case… people in cities have a lower mortality rate than people in rural areas: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-07/rural-urb...

didibus
12 days

I've found some small towns have great culture, but most actually have a very similar culture to one another that tends to be relatively blend.

If you think of culture as art, food, tradition, dancing, music, games, etc. I feel many small town simply don't have a lot of it. Its not just about diversity, there's just not a lot of culture to experience, they don't always have their own music, or art scene, they don't always have their own unique foods, or games or way of dancing. And their tradition are often just standard Christian traditions.

I don't think this is anything bad about the people of any small town, in my opinion this is more inherent to the fact that the town is small in itself. That religious organizations tend to have a bigger stronghold on small town making them more conservative culturally, which seems to hold back the culture from growing more unique. And that small towns often don't have as much financial means.

Sometimes it's also that you won't be able to participate or experience the culture of a small town if you're not in it already. While going to a big city it'll be in your face and there'll be festivals, and restaurants, and other places you can go and experience it first hand. In small towns sometimes it's all happening at people's homes and backyards, so you have to be in it already.

This isn't always true though, some small towns have great culture, but seems there's less of those. It tends to be towns that have retained traditional historical pagan cultural heritage, playing folk music, festivals, foods and traditions of yore.

Overall a lot of small town are very charming and can still have a lively and interesting culture. Suburbs on the other hand are just soulless in my experience. Even their architecture and design are copy/pasted and manufactured blocks.

8note
12 days

> What is with this insistence that every culture must be a mixture of foreign cultures

Because different cultures are better at different things, so a mixed culture is better at more things than a monoculture.

The benefits of the small town american culture is that it is a mixture of cultures already from the immigrants that moved there a while ago.

The improvements are continuing over time as more and more cultures join in

a_t48
12 days

I think you’re proving your own point - what if you don’t feel like you fit into that small town culture? In a denser area, you can move a neighborhood or town over.

ramesh31
12 days

>What is with this insistence that every culture must be a mixture of foreign cultures? Why can't a town, a small town at that, just have its own culture and be allowed to have that?

Yeah we tried that for like 200 years. Fought a war over it. Didn't work out so great.

epicureanideal
12 days

Where and when are you talking about?

osigurdson
12 days

I think the poster is equating a small town having its own culture to a region of a country operating with legalized slavery.

umanwizard
12 days

I struggle to imagine how those are even related.

umanwizard
12 days

Huh? Which war?

jacques_chester
12 days

The right is the populist party because small towns get a disproportionate vote.

coastflow
12 days

>” Even Americans get kind of brainwashed that their local culture is inferior and everything is better in New York (and California) because that's where so much of our popular media originates and is set.”

For additional evidence, the setting of most of “Breaking Bad” (now continuing as “Better Call Saul”) in Albuquerque, New Mexico led to meaningful economic benefits for people living there, such as increased tourism (from https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/la-xpm-2013-a...).

thebean11
12 days

That’s surprising, watching those shows did not make me interested in going even a little bit

jimmygrapes
12 days

Having been to and through those regions I agree, I would not want to vacation or visit there without good reason. However, the show(s) made it seem like a fairly quiet and comfortable region (barring the cartels and drug addictions). Other than certain desert scenes, they really didn't do the environment justice; I rarely felt like long-sleeved Oxford shirt-wearing Walter or suit-wearing Jimmy/Saul were sweating constantly, which contradicted my own experiences, and I've been there in all months of the year. It does get chilly, as any desert/scrub land region does, but it felt a little off. I have the same issue with all the Dune adaptations, they just never really get across the temperature and/or humidity of the place unless it's relevant to a plot point.

historia_novae
12 days

>I imagine in Europe, it's probably Paris and London that draws both French/British and foreigners.

Lol no. Most people go in Paris because it's where they can found a job opportunity or for studies but wouldn't have otherwise, and a whole part of the country (which I belong too) view it has a place to actively avoid for living. And I can't think of anyone that's hated more outside of Paris than Parisians.

rco8786
12 days

Ha. You’re proving OP’s point without realizing it. Replace “Paris” with “New York City” and your statements are equally true.

kcb
12 days

Some people would say this exact sentence about New York.

giorgioz
12 days

For software engineers in Europe is Dublin, Berlin and London. I'm one of the few that made it all the way to California. I've been always the guy trying to push fellow software engineers to go to the USA. Even though I lasted in the Silicon Valley only a year before quitting my full-time job and becoming a digital nomad and boostrapping my own SaaS company https://www.waiterio.com

ascar
12 days

My dream was to go to California too when I started studying computer science. Then I learned about employment laws, health care and social security in the US. As a person that had close experience how important these things are when things go wrong even though you might've been a millionaire, I feel pretty confident with my choice to stay in Europe.

To anyone that thinks these things don't matter if you earn enough money and safe a fair amount, I wish that they and especially their children never get into a situation that shows them how naive that thought was.

tehlike
12 days

That doesn't compute.

If you work for, say, a FAANG company, you have pretty solid healthcare. Social security is surely limited, but there's good benefits for disability and so on.

The amount of money you can make in the US as an experienced engineer is probably 5 fold if not more. Senior engineers are easily pulling 7 figures here, which means even taking into account your cost-of-living, you'll end up fairly ahead.

leetcrew
12 days

> Senior engineers are easily pulling 7 figures here, which means even taking into account your cost-of-living, you'll end up fairly ahead.

senior engineers are not "easily pulling" that amount anywhere. that's way outside the senior engineer band at FAANGs/unicorns. you need to be at staff/principal level to get outside of the mid six figures, which is very hard even if you already have a job at one of those companies.

that said, I do kinda agree otherwise. if you are making $200k (typical senior at normal company, between junior/mid-level at FAANG) and are a remotely frugal person, it would take a very unlucky series of events to get to "broke". the risk exists, but from a strictly materialistic viewpoint, the increased upside more than makes up for it.

tehlike
12 days

Yup, expected value is much more. 200k tend to be near starting band these days, and within 5-6 years where you tend to be the healthiest in your life assuming new grad, you can reach 600+ band.

ascar
12 days

> If you work for, say, a FAANG company, you have pretty solid healthcare.

While you're employed. For how many days of sickness does your contract say do they have to keep you employed? Isn't it even employment at will?

I don't wanna enter this discussion further. I'm just gonna finish with that I experienced first hand someone making what's today nearly a million a year (in Germany no less!) and ending up on social security within a few years due to sickness and bad investment. And that's with universal health care. A good job, high earnings and decent savings give you leeway, but they will not protect you from tragedy and even more important they will not protect your kids from tragedy that have no fault in whatever happens.

amscanne
12 days

Not extending the discussion (I’m not the parent commenter), but I think your argument highlights the cultural differences that exist in an interesting way. In the US, independence, self-reliance and optimism are a much bigger part of the common culture. You are considering only worst case scenarios and assuming that the state is the only thing you can rely on. Consider how your view would be different with a more optimistic view of your own luck/ability to recover, and a more pessimistic view of government.

tehlike
12 days

Could you go leave us for Germany and still get healthcare there? I don't know, just asking.

I am not usually planning for worst case and i tend to be optimist, i have a working spouse and i make decent money, and my plan is to be buried here in the US, but if shit hits the fan, and i can no longer work, i will still have healthcare through wife. Even worse case i can always go back to turkey. It's hard but not impossible to make such life changes.

ascar
12 days

> The amount of money you can make in the US as an experienced engineer is probably 5 fold if not more. Senior engineers are easily pulling 7 figures here

This statement is inaccurate for most people.

The salaries for H1B visa holders are actually public [1] and starting salaries for foreigners are more 100k to 200k and nowhere close to 7 figures.

Also the salary levels at FAANGs are mostly known [2] and you have to get very, very far up to even make 7 figures at a fang. An L6 (staff engineer) makes 500k total comp.

[1] https://h1bdata.info/index.php?em=&job=Software&city=San+Fra...

[2] https://www.levels.fyi/?compare=Amazon,SAP,Google&track=Soft...

tehlike
12 days

When I say senior engineer, i don't mean e5 senior engineer. You can get there within a year or two. You can get to e6 in what it takes to do PhD.

ascar
12 days

Well, you can also stay at L5 forever. It's a terminal level afterall. L6 typically needs at least 9 years of experience and the majority of people will never reach it. And at L6 you make half of 7 figures.

L5 still make great money and it is a multiple of what you get outside of SV. Just inflating to 7 figures is a bit exaggerated

Edit: this comment from 6 months ago provides a bit of inside view on getting L6 at Google https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28965492

tehlike
12 days

Sure. But i think it takes less than 9 to reach to 6 too. Depends on how much you care about it, i suppose (let's say you are really good at what you do, but you may be at e5 because you never cared and your manager never cared either - this sort of stuff happens too).

closeparen
12 days

H1Bs pull the same salaries as everyone else, always the real money is in equity.

Comment was deleted :(
astura
12 days

So if something goes tragically wrong and you're unable to do your job not only do you lose your source of income you also lose your healthcare.

I know drastically inflated incomes is the lingua franca of online discussion, but "easily pulling 7 figures" is a bit much, don't you think?

tehlike
12 days

Do you always plan for the worst case? If this is true, could you simply take your money and go back to your home country and still reasonably live there?

I don't always plan for the worst case, I tend to be optimistic, and if something bad comes up, i improvise.

Also if you are a family and your spouse works, this is some sort of hedging for the scenario you mentioned.

abledon
12 days

The giorgioz comment chain starts from considering all software engineers in Europe moving to US, but then is narrowed down by your definition of 'you' (when i think you mean 'I'), in that 'you' all your examples use, is a person who 1. has a wife with a steady job in US with good health benefits, 2. can achieve senior engineering level E6 in FAANG in 1-2 years... This is immediately like dropping the discussion down to 0.01% of the original chain lol

tehlike
12 days

Fair, but you are over-exaggerating.

Here is what it looks like. - I started working in 2012.

- I didn't come here married

- I married another Turkish woman a few years later, she couldn't work until she were able to get EAD which was probably around 2015/6. H1B spouses couldn't work at the time.

- We got audited for our greencard, and there were frictions in the process for whatever reason. It was no where near as bad as it is for an Indian - we were still able to complete it in about 2 years.

- During greencard process, she got EAD, it took a bit of time as a foreigner educated/non-engineer person find a FTE job. This meant she was on a contract job to build her US resume, and she had to renew every 6 months or so. It is fairly stressful for a person at the beginning of her career in a foreign country and you have to provide support. It also didn't allow us a backup healthcare in case I was out of work.

- I didn't get to 6 in 1-2 years, it took 4, and that was on the faster side at google. It could have been faster at FB, but that's not the point.

All of these are progression in life, nothing is given to you. You can't assume the worst case, because in the worst case everyone is dead tomorrow.

I took a bet to come to US(after a US school, on H1B). I didn't think of what'd have happened if i lost my job, i don't really stress over one of us losing job anymore. If it happens, we deal with it. We always have.

Risk and consequences of losing everything early on is much lower. You don't have expenses, you don't have dependents. You take a bet, and you start building a life. This is why I suggest everyone to do it as soon as possible if they want to leave their home countries.

You start reducing your risk in some things (by getting married) while you increase risk in some others (like getting a bad divorce etc), you add more financial stress if you have a kid, but you have other joys you add through it and so on.

This is not a me story, this is a story that's replicable for most people in FAANG jobs...

astura
12 days

Do I plan for the worst case? No, but I take it into consideration.

flexie
12 days

But healthcare is just as long as you work for that FAANG.

Once you are out, you are on your own. Not so in Germany.

giorgioz
11 days

No it's not just FAANG. Just FAANG literally imply only Facebook Apple Amazon Netflix and Google offer healthcare. So I need to find only one more company that does offer healtcare to disprove you. And I'll name Intel where I worked. But likely all companies with 50+ employees offer you healthcare. Also healthcare is not so expensive given the salary you receive. The problem of private healthcare is a serious problem related to people in the USA earning 0-50.000$ a year. After that private healthcare paid in advance costs few hundred dollars per month and you can definitely afford it with a software engineer salary.

peyton
12 days

I quit a FAANG job, purchased insurance, and it was pretty easy—just a couple clicks. Are you saying the government auto-enrolls you in Germany?

ascar
12 days

> Are you saying the government auto-enrolls you in Germany?

Kinda. Healthcare is not provided by your employers, but by health care insurances. It is generally mandatory to be insured. The system is split in universal healthcare (payed as a percentage of your salary) and private healthcare (payed from your bank account). Anyone self-employed and earning above a certain threshold can opt to leave the government system and buy private healthcare (gives somewhat better treatment, most notably faster appointments at specialists, as they earn 3-5 times on a privately insured patient). When you leave an employer you remain in the system you were in before. If you were privately insured and end up on social security you will be moved to the government system and they will cover healthcare costs for you.

The issue is with "purchasing" insurance. a) you need money, b) what does the health insurance say when you wanna get insurance while having acute expensive health issues?

Getting insurance when you are healthy and have money is easy.

tehlike
12 days

Do you get healthcare when you are not making any money?

ascar
12 days

I'm not sure which situation you are asking about, but generally if you are not earning money and can't afford health care, you should qualify for social security and that covers healthcare, rent, basic needs. In general it's mandatory to have health insurance and changes in employment status don't affect your insurance status. Though it's possible to end up uninsured when you are unable/unwilling to pay, but also do not apply for social security payments (however I believe that's more an active choice than a real risk).

As a student for example it's mandatory to get insurance to be enrolled in university. Cost for students that are no longer covered by parents (above age 24 iirc) is close to 100€ per month.

tehlike
12 days

I think I'm more talking about the worst worst case i can think of.

A citizen of EU, coming to US, working and making good money, and somehow lose the ability to work. Could they go back, and continue to live reasonable life there without having to worry about things that they normally wouldnt if they haven't come to us in the first place?

ascar
12 days

I honestly don't know what will happen if I lived for an extended period of time abroad and come back. It might be a reasonable backup plan, but I also don't fancy the idea to uproot my life and lose my social circle when shit hits the fan. Also what if you're divorced and have kids? The situation can quickly get complex with kids not even allowed to leave the state.

I'm not trying to say going to the US is a bad choice, just that there are very sensible reasons not to go that are often overlooked by optimism and my personal experience will always remind me of that.

tehlike
12 days

Thanks - it's definitely not an ideal case, but so is losing your ability to work. It feels like a decent back up plan.

tehlike
12 days

At some point around your thirties, you will probably be married. Your spouse's health care could help hedging for this case, and you can always go back to your home country and utilize what's available to you.

dominotw
12 days

i was on cobra for first 3 months and got onto to obamacare after.

giorgioz
11 days

Software engineers that go to the USA do the H1B visa which only very big employers can offer. Those big employers always offer very good health care plans. You are compensated far more than you would earn in Europe so being laid off is not a problem given with one month salary you can leave off for several months and you will have plenty of other employers trying to hire you given you already have the H1B visa.

peyton
12 days

Can’t you just go back if things go wrong? I don’t understand why your downside isn’t limited.

UweSchmidt
12 days

Never heard anyone in Germany dreaming of going to Berlin to "make it" as a software engineer, as if there was a mythical Silicon Valley-like atmosphere of opportunity. Correct me if I'm wrong and I'm missing out!

You can go for that Berlin lifestyle and to work in some neat startups (as an underpaid employee) but that's not the canonical definition for succcess imo.

giorgioz
11 days

"Some man's trash is another man's treasure". Plus many young people in their 20s like to live in cool places. Berlin is cool. It's underground, it's edgy, new things are tried, clubs are cool. It's a big city and there are many startup jobs.

raverbashing
12 days

You're talking from a very German centric point of view ;)

But it is true that most startups are in Berlin, even non-German ones open technical offices there. And it's also true that the average German has little interest in going there.

UweSchmidt
12 days

I met plenty of foreigners in software jobs all around Germany, aspiring to and usually achieving that sweet German middle class life; I have not noticed any aspirations from them of heading to Berlin.

I think the dream of finding ambitious and cool people in a hot location and succeed with a true startup, i.e. not something backed or done by people who are already successful or well connected is dead anyway even in Silicon Valley and never really existed anywhere else. Over there however you still have those mystical FAANG salaries...

Dublin and London might be different from Irish and English perspective, respectively.

raverbashing
12 days

> I have not noticed any aspirations from them of heading to Berlin.

Yes, the profile of the people that go to Berlin is different from people who'll go to a software job somewhere else in Germany. Very rarely you'll have that situation of someone going internally to Berlin. I might say that Berlin have few engineering offices of the biggest (non-Berlin centered) German companies.

> I think the dream of finding ambitious and cool people in a hot location and succeed with a true startup, i.e. not something backed or done by people who are already successful or well connected is dead anyway even in Silicon Valley and never really existed anywhere else.

Very possible. But the cultural draw of Berlin is much bigger than SV. Hands down.

Dublin and London also attract some profiles (given the companies that go there) but not many people think Dublin is the coolest city.

UweSchmidt
12 days

Well, now I feel that I might have missed out on something during my wandering years...

mettamage
12 days

If you have any tips to get to the US as a European, I’d be happy to hear them.

If needed, my email is in my profile.

tehlike
12 days

Shortest path is working for one of the FAANG companies, and requesting internal transfer to US.

This basically skips the daunting process that's H1B lottery.

astura
12 days

Marrying an American is probably the quickest and easiest way. You're not allowed to work on a K1 Visa, but once you're married your spouse can apply for a green card for you and right now there isn't much wait for green cards for America spouses - friend of mine's wife got hers in about five months after they got married.

mettamage
12 days

I’ll humor this idea.

What city is the best to find someone who is/has:

Open to new experiences and concepts (museums, art, dancing, music) <— literally the “openness to experience” on the big 5

High cognitive ability

Into meditation, yoga and exercise?

Somewhat into gaming and anime? (Optional)

Somewhat of a programmer or (game) designer/related (optional)

Firmwarrior
9 days

Make friends with some Americans online, like in an online game or roleplaying forum or whatever. Visit the USA on a vacation and have them introduce you to their sisters/friends/whoever

It's really hard to get that marriage green card though, you're looking at many months of paperwork on top of building a successful relationship and committing your life to someone. I think it'd be a lot easier to get a job at a big company in the US and come over on an H1B, or build a SaaS business wherever you live now

reducesuffering
10 days

I'm going to assume you're M looking for F?

Generally, any big East Coast city. NYC, Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago, and Boston would be top of mind.

mettamage
10 days

Right assumption, thanks :)

tehlike
12 days

This is true, but you need to really make sure your intent is to really marry, and not marry for greencard purposes which is fraud.

astura
12 days

Certainly, yes! I am sorry if I didn't make that clear. Not only should you actually be in love/want to marry to avoid fraud but also for your own well-being.

The United States has an adult population of 258.3 million, so it's likely you'd find someone to fall in love with if you're really looking.

I have some experience here, I have a double digit amount of family members who came to the US to marry into my family, including my brother-in-law. With one exception they are all very happy marriages, the longest lasting 3 decades. There were some who were definitely were looking to marry Americans to immigrate, but the relationship is still real.

Comment was deleted :(
tehlike
11 days

Americans are a great bunch. Contrary to popular (outsider) view, I think american family bond is very strong.

kaashif
12 days

A path I have seen many people take, and one I'm going to take soon, is to work at a US tech company (not necessarily FAANG, lots of largish companies do this) and transfer internally from Europe to the US. There is no lottery for L1B visas, so it's usually hassle free compared to that H1B mess.

L1B visas can also convert to green cards at some point, but I have no idea how easy that is (probably not easy at all).

sgjohnson
12 days

> L1B visas can also convert to green cards at some point, but I have no idea how easy that is (probably not easy at all).

False. L1B is not related to Green Card in any way. You can get the employer to petiton you for a green card while working on L1B.

umanwizard
12 days

L1 is related to green card in the sense that with some statuses, you can never get a green card, but with L1 you can.

sgjohnson
12 days

That’s called dual intent.

Underphil
12 days

I internally transferred (with my family) from the UK to California in late 2016 and secured a green card in early 2020.

tgv
12 days

What's so attractive about Dublin, Berlin and London? I've never seen them as remotely interesting for devs. London is for sleazy bankers.

giorgioz
11 days

Dublin, a lot of US companies have European headquarters in Dublin. The salary is higher than other EU cities. The cost is higher but if you are in your 20s without kids you can save a lot more than what would save in other cheaper cities with lower salaries. London is big, there are A LOT of things in London. Yes there are more sleazy bankers in London than other places, but London is big, there are lot of things there, don't simplify things that much. It's NOT like 100% of people in Switzerland are only making watches and swiss army knives.

toiletduck
12 days

Well there's not a great deal going on in somewhere like the middle of the Forest of Dean as far as software engineering challenges go - you do tend to have to go where businesses are solving problems.. even in a more remote culture the base for companies will be near big cities because big cities are near transport links.

rowanajmarshall
12 days

I can only speak for London, but:

* Salary

* Way more opportunities

* Big city life, especially attractive to me, since I grew up in a rural, isolated farming town

It's the same story as the last 200 years of industrialisation and urbanisation.

DoreenMichele
12 days

Thank you. For software, it's San Francisco, not Los Angeles, that is Mecca in the US.

Axsuul
12 days

Los Angeles has its own prominent startup scene as well if you’re looking for that kind of lifestyle.

throwaway894345
12 days

> It's something I've lamented before: Even Americans get kind of brainwashed that their local culture is inferior and everything is better in New York (and California) because that's where so much of our popular media originates and is set.

This reminds me of how Americans are brainwashed into believing that European culture is dramatically better than American culture (Americans are dumb, fat, ignorant, and uncultured while Europeans are intelligent and enlightened). This seems to have eased as our world has become more interconnected, but about a decade ago (before living abroad), this was definitely the impression I had from American media. I'm sure there's some truth to it in certain statistical abstractions, but in general there's enormous variety in America that a comparison of medians doesn't capture. Moreover, there's a lot of cherry-picking that goes on in those comparisons: for instance, I'd never heard any discussion about the significant (~30-50%) discrepancy in take-home (i.e., after tax, healthcare, pension/retirement, etc) income for professionals nor the high cost of living in Europe. Certainly nothing that could feasibly justify stereotypes of American inferiority.

cinntaile
12 days

I don't get the link between income and culture here? It feels like you should have ended your post before bringing that up.

throwaway894345
12 days

I probably wasn't clear, but I was remarking about the belief that European culture and social systems were superior. How much a person takes home is related to the quality of those social systems (it's definitely not the only indicator, but it's one that isn't discussed often).

soperj
12 days

>discrepancy in take-home

I think that has more to do with the discrepancy in time at work though as well. If I make half as much as someone working 60-70 hour weeks (as someone who works 35 hour weeks), that makes a lot of sense.

throwaway894345
12 days

According to some quick Googling, this seems unlikely (see below). Europeans do get more paid time off than Americans, but I doubt they're working 30-40% less than Americans.

> The average number of weekly hours worked by full-time workers in the European Union was 37.1 hours a week as of the third quarter of 2021

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1197097/average-working-...

> For those [Americans] in the typical age range for full-time work, the national average landed at 40.5, indicating that most employed adults work a 40-hour workweek

https://www.zippia.com/advice/average-work-hours-per-week/

samatman
12 days

New York, New York is a film by Martin Scorcese, with a famous song composed by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and performed by Liza Minnelli.

I will grant you that Sinatra's performance is strong, distinctive, even a bit better known. But he stands behind several eminent artists on this one.

wolverine876
12 days

> Lots of Americans dream of either LA or New York, depending on their industry.

I was going to post the same thing. What the OP describes is the same in much of the US.

> Even Americans get kind of brainwashed that their local culture is inferior and everything is better in New York (and California) because that's where so much of our popular media originates and is set.

There is something to it: People who are ambitious, confident, and talented tend to want to be around similar people - it gives them opportunities to do more - and around other resources such as financing, leading organizations in their industry, etc. The motivated ones tend to go to NY, etc. So the talent level and resources are generally greater. Seriously, what would you tell a highly ambitious, talented coder in a small town in the middle of Nebraska? Stay where you are? Even in the days of remote work, that seems insane.

> Though I wish we did a better job of fostering diversity of views from other places even within the US.

Agreed.

DoreenMichele
12 days

Seriously, what would you tell a highly ambitious, talented coder in a small town in the middle of Nebraska? Stay where you are?

I'm trying to make a different point than people seem to think I'm making. I have absolutely no idea how to clarify that in comments here. I'm trying to sort my thoughts on the topic elsewhere, which likely means a blog post that likely won't be seen by over 30 people.

wolverine876
12 days

Sorry if I misunderstood! I'd be interested in grasping what I'm missing ...

Comment was deleted :(
purple_ferret
12 days

The reality is the networking and opportunities in journalism are far superior in New York. There's no better place for advancement than the NYTimes IMO.

Journalism is a hustle.

openknot
12 days

I strongly agree with your main assertion. I heard several professional journalists recommend "networking" and "effective self-promotion and marketing" to get internships with well-known companies to add to your as the main advice for new journalists, versus focusing their advice on how to do quality reporting to produce good work samples.

However, I speculate that The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post are equivalently great places for advancement for reporters (if only because the NYTimes's new executive editor/editor-in-chief spent much of his career with the WSJ).

PragmaticPulp
12 days

> It's something I've lamented before: Even Americans get kind of brainwashed that their local culture is inferior and everything is better in New York (and California) because that's where so much of our popular media originates and is set.

In the context of finding the best jobs at the top of an industry, key locations like New York, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Seattle, and others depending on the industry really are significantly better.

That doesn’t mean you can’t find okay or good jobs in other locations, but if you’re in journalism then it’s far, far easier to get a top job by moving to New York or a small number of other cities than it is by moving to some random small city somewhere.

In this context, if someone is going through all the trouble of emigrating to a different country for their career (a huge amount of work) then it only makes sense to choose the locations best suited for that work. It wouldn’t even begin to make sense if someone uprooted their entire life, switched countries, and then chose Alabama as their home base to launch their national journalism career.

It’s definitely not because people are being swayed by Sinatra songs or other media. These cities really are epicenters for certain industries.

jfk13
12 days

> I imagine in Europe, it's probably Paris and London that draws both French/British and foreigners.

For some people, I'm sure, but don't assume everyone wants the same kind of life.

I could live in London if I chose, and there are some things about it that would be attractive, but on balance I'm far happier with my small-town life 50 miles away.

sluijs
12 days

> I imagine in Europe, it's probably Paris and London that draws both French/British and foreigners.

This is an interesting question. In my experience, there is no European equivalent. Relocating within the EU might be relatively easy visa-wise, but there is often a language barrier and a different culture you’d have to adjust to, which prevents the formation of industry-specific hubs. Depending on the country you’re from, you’ll likely say that your capital is some kind of hub for industry _xyz_, but if you ask citizens from another country in the EU the same question, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d get different answers.

userulluipeste
12 days

It's true that there is no similar city advertisement anywhere in Europe, at least nothing on a level close to New York. Funnily, that doesn't prevent however some of the employers to sometimes try presenting their locations (say, Amsterdam or Zürich) in the list of benefits.

"Depending on the country you’re from, you’ll likely say that your capital is some kind of hub for industry _xyz_"

To narrow it down a bit, count only the places having a significant population. It's harder to make that claim for capitals like Ljubljana or Reykjavík.

DoreenMichele
12 days

The US is a mostly monolingual "country of countries." They are called states because they were envisioned as separate nation-states who shared an army for purposes of self defense.

The original charter was a sort that historically never really worked anywhere and it was failing to provide funds, iirc, for paying for defense. So they gave the federal government more teeth and it became some weird beast of a sort the world had not seen before.

And here we are, with this strange beast still behaving strangely all these years later.

ck425
12 days

> I imagine in Europe, it's probably Paris and London that draws both French/British and foreigners.

It's not as true in the UK. The salary differential between a medium city and The City isn't as big so while there's definitely more opportunity and higher pay in London it's wiped out by higher costs of living. Lots of people still move there because they like the lifestyle or to climb the ladder faster but if you're content to be a solid well paid professional there are lots of smaller (but not necessarily small) cities with plenty of opportunity, better work life balance and affordable housing.

throwoutway
12 days

Ralph Waldo Emerson called New York City "a sucked orange" (He did not like NY). Once I’ve visited it, I also did not like it. I don’t get the appeal

ramesh31
12 days

>Even Americans get kind of brainwashed that their local culture is inferior and everything is better in New York (and California) because that's where so much of our popular media originates and is set.

Because it mostly is. The vast swaths of the inland US are cultural black holes of consumption. There is simply not enough population density, diversity, or opportunity to generate anything meaningful. It's probably hard for Europeans to understand that in the US, I can get in a car, drive a thousand miles in any direction to a new city, get out, and find the exact identical built environment around me, inhabited by the exact same people, speaking the exact same language and accent, wearing the same clothes, eating the same food, driving the same cars, listening to the same music, and practicing the same religion.

rufus_foreman
12 days

>> the exact same people, speaking the exact same language and accent, wearing the same clothes, eating the same food, driving the same cars, listening to the same music, and practicing the same religion.

That's called a nation.

weatherlite
12 days

Finland and Japan are much more homogenous than the U.S or Canada. Does it make them worse places? In some ways yes and others no. Diversity in itself does not mean much. Yugoslavia was super diverse.

simonebrunozzi
12 days

Ok, but then why not Toronto?

otoburb
12 days

Since New York City has more opportunities and larger scale compared to Toronto the question boils down to a career efficiency and potential future leverage.

If you're going to have to relocate and bust your ass working anyway, then why not take the shot at making a larger impact and trying to reap more rewards in the larger and more prosperous city.

alar44
12 days
llanowarelves
12 days

Yes I much prefer the culture of driveby shootings and quarterly The Current Thing protests. Makes me feel very culturally enriched and progressive. If you're west coast, you get the additional ambiance of poop on the streets and stepping over homeless people. At least they have much better food -- unlike backwards and uncultured homogeneous Japan.

alar44
12 days

Come to the midwest. You can get burgers or deep fried chicken. But that's it.

llanowarelves
12 days

I'm just being facetious about the tradeoffs some people (not you necessarily) make. Yes smalltown America doesn't have Michelin star restaurants but that's OK (and you can travel to the city for that). I've seen people say $4k rent is worth "the food". I mean come on. Cooking at home is a great skill

Mikeb85
12 days

Chicago literally has a bunch of Michelin starred restaurants...

alar44
12 days

Not exactly a small town.

Mikeb85
12 days

You said Midwest. Not small town.

tristor
12 days

This is absolutely ridiculous and objectively untrue.

Most of the food, drink, music, and art that is considered quintessentially American either derives from, was improved to it’s modern rendition, or was inspired by small towns. There’s literally a category called “Americana” for much of this.

alar44
12 days

Yeah Americana has been dead for like 50 years. Come join me in the Midwest and try not to kill yourself.

jimmygrapes
12 days

Tell me how I know you got this idea from the internet or hearsay without experiencing it yourself, then tell me how no really you went to this one place and experienced it yourself and refuse to provide any proof other than your absolutely true and universally applicable anecdote. Go on.

Mikeb85
12 days

There is no future in Canada. Our GDP per capita in USD has gone down 20% in the last decade [1]. We're one of the most expensive places to live and real earnings have gone down in the last decade.

Almost everyone I know is already gone, either to the US or Europe. If you're educated, the sheer amount of money you'll make in the US makes up for things like lack of socialized healthcare. In Europe, you get all the same socialized benefits (better actually), a similar to better income but housing and various day to day items cost much, much less.

We're basically a petro-state that only incidentally has other industries because we're a low-cost alternative to American labour.

[1] https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?location...

earthbee
12 days

If you look at the GDP per capita graph for most developed countries it has a similar shape

https://www.wolframalpha.com/input?i=canada+gdp+per+capita%2...

Mikeb85
12 days

Ours is still the biggest decline. You're also missing the US which is a different story altogether... But even conceding that point, then compare to housing costs:

https://data.oecd.org/chart/6Ikm

And consider that housing costs for a desirable Canadian location (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa) are much higher than that chart. And that the middle of nowhere in any of those European countries is still liveable whereas the middle of nowhere in Canada potentially means thousands of KMs away.

And that's not touching on other COL metrics where Canada is uniquely bad.

Comment was deleted :(
divbzero
12 days

> Our GDP per capita in USD has gone down 20% in the last decade [1].

It appears that much of this is due to CAD depreciating relative to USD over the last 10 years [2]. I suppose this is relevant for Canadians buying imported goods, but could be less relevant for local goods.

[2]: https://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=CAD&to=USD&view=10Y

Mikeb85
12 days

All our goods are imported since we make hardly anything. The few consumer products Canadians do make generally get exported to countries with higher incomes or as luxury goods. So it definitely matters.

sonicggg
12 days

Problem is that, compared to US,Canada is not very self-sufficient. The average Canadian imports a lot of stuff. Kind of limited what you can grow in this frozen wasteland.

wolverine876
12 days

Every modern economy imports a lot of things. It's far more efficient than trying to make it all yourself.

osigurdson
12 days

Calling Canada a petro-state is inaccurate at ~6% of GDP. Perhaps you mean more generally a resource based economy which is largely true.

michael1999
12 days

As a fraction of the economy it is small, but it is large as a fraction of foreign trade, and volatile.

Oil prices explain most of the moves in CAD/USD that aren't explained by diverging interest rates.

- https://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/201... - https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-you-can-go-...

Mikeb85
12 days

Our #1 export is petroleum products by a very wide margin...

sonicggg
12 days

The worst side of Canada is what people have done to real estate. This is going to bite back the country eventually, it's really just a giant Ponzi scheme now.

They kind of forget that most well educated Canadians can easily go south of the border for better opportunities, cheaper housing and surprisingly better health care.

wolverine876
12 days

> surprisingly better health care

What do you mean by that? The problems with US healthcare are well known.

sonicggg
12 days

You must be talking about poor people's perspective. US has the best healthcare in the World for those that can afford it. Canadians already travel south of the border to seek care. The alternative for them is to wait in line for several months, or even a couple of years, and see their condition progress until get to see a second tier specialist.

gruez
12 days

>You must be talking about poor people's perspective. US has the best healthcare in the World for those that can afford it.

This seems to be contradicted by a study[1] that compared the health outcomes of americans in the top 1% and 5% of counties, against the average residents in other developed countries. The conclusion:

> This study suggests that privileged White US citizens have better health outcomes than average US citizens for 6 health outcomes but often fare worse than the mean measure of health outcomes of 12 other developed countries. These findings imply that even if all US citizens experienced the same health outcomes enjoyed by privileged White US citizens, US health indicators would still lag behind those in many other countries.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullar...

wolverine876
12 days

Americans travel for healthcare too, including to India, Mexico, and IIRC Canada.

> US has the best healthcare in the World

I hear this repeated a lot, almost like a marketing tagline, but I haven't seen it.

Mostly I see what looks like highly constrained supply: wealthy people wait a long time, sometimes months, even with very alarming or painful conditions, and then get minimal attention - usually no diagnosis, just a guess and a pill - and then are on their own unless they want to start the process over again. Or they may get referred to someone else, which starts the clock over. The lack of diagnosis is now a joke among people I know; my impression is that the doctors lack the resources (i.e., time) to track down the actual problem; they just try to manage everything.

Is there a basis to the claim?

everybodyknows
12 days

> my impression is that the doctors lack the resources (i.e., time) to track down the actual problem

Supporting anecdata: I happen to know of a well-regarded specialist, past retirement age, who works this niche by seeing patients for cash only, insurance billing.

Comment was deleted :(
throw0101a
12 days

> There is no future in Canada. Our GDP per capita in USD has gone down 20% in the last decade [1].

Looking at GDP per hour worked, Canada is higher than the US:

* https://data.oecd.org/lprdty/gdp-per-hour-worked.htm

Average hours worked in the US is 1767, while CA is 1644:

* https://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?DataSetCode=ANHRS

Perhaps we Canadians have simply decided not to kill ourselves as much chasing the almighty dollar / loonie, and that's why we make "less" money in total.

steve_adams_86
12 days

Yes - of my high school group of friends, far more than half moved to nearby Vancouver initially and since then, half have left the country for the USA or Europe. These are almost all educated people, so it’s brain drain.

I worry a lot about the future my kids have in this country. I don’t tell people that often, but my spider senses are tingling like crazy.

djenendik
12 days

Just moved back with mit degree. Couldn't wait to leave the us. Anecdata.

abledon
12 days

what were the anecdata reasons for moving there? the culture?

djenendik
12 days

A bit of everything. I'm a simple person. Fun job with lots of time off and the Canadian wilderness is all I need.

steve_adams_86
12 days

That’s why I’m still here. I guess working in software meant it was easier for me to stay, so who knows. Maybe I would have gone with them had I felt stuck in some other career, but I’ve always earned more than most people I know simply because I know how to press the buttons on the keyboard better.

The wilderness here makes me feel like I could never leave. I’ve been plenty of other places, and the idea of not being in this place is unnerving. The ocean, the forest, the temperate climate, rain, all of it. I’ve come to feel a deep connection to it.

Mikeb85
12 days

I feel that. I love the outdoors and Canada has plenty.

On the other hand, we're having a kid, and as much as I'd like them to grow up in the outdoors I'd also rather them be exposed to culture versus a bunch of hippies and redneck meth addicts... So we're making the move to Europe (back in the case of my SO).

steve_adams_86
10 days

Nice, seems like a good call! Loads of great cities in Europe aren’t far from great wilderness. Great culture. Your kids are lucky!

mistermann
12 days

I seems plausible to me that a self-reinforcing death spiral could be well underway.

Comment was deleted :(
dagmx
12 days

Covid has changed this quite a bit, though even pre covid this wasn't exactly true depending on your profession.

Pre-covid, Canada was the place to be for working in film/tv , visual effects and animation in terms of jobs. I skimmed it but the author didn't mention exactly what creative vocation they were in but given they said Nashville, it's unlikely to be in these fields.

Post Covid, success as a developer can mean working remote for a US company, and that is a huge tide change recently.

You're suddenly getting US rates, minus the currency conversion, in Canada. Better yet, you can get silicon valley rates.

StayTrue
12 days

My Canadian startup was acquired by a silicon valley company. They definitely did not pay US rates. They referred to our office as Bangalore of the North.

dagmx
12 days

That's a shame. I've been part of acquisitions of Canadian companies when I was still in the Bay Area. Other than conversion rates, we didn't price Canadian companies differently than the US acquisitions.

lewisl9029
12 days

Uh... I have a less rosy picture of the situation.

To brain drain Canadian talent, US companies used to need to convince people to physically move to a different country, a rather tall order, but even then people were leaving in droves.

Now, they can brain drain Canadian talent with practically 0 barriers through remote work.

Unless Canadian employers are willing and able to adapt quickly and start offering truly globally competitive salaries (and historically they have proven to be utterly incapable of this), I think this is game over.

dagmx
12 days

That's a fair view on it if you're viewing it from a domestic growth. I was viewing it from the perspective of an employee. Many of these companies are opening up proper Canadian divisions however, though it does price out many Canadian headquartered companies in the process.

annexrichmond
12 days

That’s quite an assumption that US companies are paying US rates in Canada. I can confirm that mine is paying 20% less

dleslie
12 days

Last I checked, here in BC the wage for a senior programmer typically ranged between 80 and 150, Canadian.

Taking a 20% discount on a SV senior salary, in American dollars, would likely be a significant raise.

wheelinsupial
12 days

150 seems high in my experience in Vancouver. Are you able to comment on which companies pay towards that end of the range? I guess this would be Amazon, Microsoft, Apple?

3qz
12 days

150 is entry level for Amazon Vancouver now. These would have to be local companies

dleslie
12 days

I know for certain that SAP, Amazon and Microsoft will pay that much for a senior developer.

closeparen
12 days

The main difference is no RSUs vs. $200-500k/year RSUs.

wussboy
12 days

My new US based employer laughed when he saw what I was making in Canada. “So this will be quite a nice jump for you?” Yes. Yes it was.

msbarnett
12 days

The US company I started working for during the pandemic is paying me US rates, in USD, so I wouldn't call it an "assumption" just because you accepted a job in which you're getting paid 20% less.

fbourque
12 days

Are they paying SV rates with RSU though as FB and Google are definitely paying noticeably less overall as that was the point of the OP?

msbarnett
12 days

The person I am directly responding to was disputing the idea that employers are paying US rates in Canada at all ("That’s quite an assumption that US companies are paying US rates in Canada."), not SV rates specifically. Please don't try to shift the goal posts.

nicoburns
12 days

20% less might still be over double local rates.

Mikeb85
12 days

Which is probably still >50% higher than Canadian companies pay with exchange rates factored in.

gxh8N
12 days

My girlfriend from Vancouver is moving to the states to live with me. In trying to find a job for her, whenever potential employers hear that she is Canadian, they immediately want to offer remote for her from Vancouver at the local salary rate, which is half what it would be in the US.

potatolicious
12 days

Agreed - as someone who watches this market closely since I'd like to return to Canada at some point in the future, the gap has closed considerably. I would say there's still something of a gap but a) it's way way closer than it has ever been and b) it appears to still be closing.

It would not surprise me if the top employers in the Canadian market got to parity with US tech hub comp.

ttul
12 days

For sure. Amazon will pay $300K in Vancouver for a DevOps role. That’s just one data point, but I can tell you it has never looked this good by half. The pandemic changed everything.

potatolicious
12 days

I wouldn't discount the role of tightening US immigration policy either. Starting with the last administration H-1B admissions plummeted: processing times and rejection rates skyrocketed. It's now dicier than ever to come to the US on a H-1B visa.

And despite rhetoric to the contrary the current administration seems intent on upholding these changes - processing for H-1Bs is still nowhere near historical norms.

It used to be that major tech cos would "park" people in Canada to wait for their US visas to clear. I suspect these changes are causing companies to rethink the "wait for US visas" part of the sentence. The more people FAANG parks in Canadian cities the more we will see FAANG-type compensation in those cities.

ttul
12 days

And it’s not just FAANG. Silicon Valley seems to have discovered that Canadian universities churn out a lot of skilled graduates - many who come from third countries via generous student visas. Many valley based startups have opened offices in Vancouver, Toronto, etc. and are paying great salaries not much removed from valley pay levels.

gnicholas
12 days

How does the exchange rate and tax rate differences affect the take-home pay comparison?

potatolicious
12 days

The exchange rate isn't much of a factor - since you're paying for goods in CAD$ anyway and purchasing power isn't hugely different. Some categories are considerably more expensive, like your internet bill, but for most people (and at the incomes in consideration) it's a rounding error.

Tax rate-wise (at the range of incomes we're talking about, which is to say mid 6-figures) you'd compare favorably to income-taxed states like CA, NY, or NJ. In particular whole categories of spending either go away or are greatly reduced due to the presence of things like universal healthcare, which adds to the competitiveness of disposable income. When I lived in NY I did a quick modeling of what my taxes would be like for the equivalent income in Canada and it shook out to basically even.

In comparison to no income tax states like TX the situation is considerably less favorable, though depending on your life situation there might be factors that nudge you in Canada's favor (high healthcare spend, high private education spend, high college tuition spend, etc.)

granshaw
12 days

You _can_, but most companies are doing location-based pay, so it certainly isn't easy

lhorie
12 days

Even with location-based pay adjustments, big tech has had a growing presence in Canada, and it's becoming more and more realistic to land roles in the upper range of the trimodal comp distribution curve.

Location based adjustments for a USD 300k/yr IC role do make up for a huge pay ceiling increase compared to a decade ago where senior dev @ CAD 120k was a ceiling for IC roles before needing to pivot into management.

dagmx
12 days

It's true, but I'm seeing a significant change in the number of roles I'm being reached out to for, or that my friends have gotten, where the location based pay is just the currency difference +-10%.

Assuming similar high expense cities like Vancouver vs San Francisco. Other Canadian cities tend to drop off on the cost of labor scale very quickly which affects the location based pay a lot. But that's true in the US as well.

Granted that currency conversion hit is a lot. For me, it's less than the amount of time I spent commuting to work in the US, so I feel I came out in top for pay relative to my hours involved.

jollybean
12 days

" Canada was the place to be for working in film/tv , visual effects and animation in terms of jobs"

No it wasn't.

That such a glib Canadian thing to say.

There are some decent jobs in those fields - but they are not even close to the kinds of jobs available in the US.

For some animation jobs - it can be a bit closer. But for anything else, no, Toronto/Van/Montreal is a 'lesser cost centre' for some labour, that's it.

Finally - most of this boils down to money. If someone can double their salary by going south they will.

dagmx
12 days

Ironically, I think your comment is a very glib American thing to say. You reduced the entire Canadian market to just being cheaper, which was perhaps true in the height of tax breaks, but that doesn't negate the size of the industry in Canada is massive.

There is significantly more VFX/animation studio work in Canada.

I feel like you both insulted my comment, then proceeded to do the thing you suggested my comment did. it feels like projection.

jollybean
12 days

First, I'm Canadian, second - "There is significantly more VFX/animation studio work in Canada." - coming from an 'industry adjacent' situation (but not in the industry) - I would higly doubt that. I don't think you realize just how big the USA is, and that 'Entertainment' is one of their core industries.

'More Jobs Per Capita' - yes - that's entirely plausible. Canada is often much better than the US on so many 'Per Capita' things. But they are probably solid middle class jobs - which is fine - not the executive/leadership and high paying jobs.

dagmx
12 days

Well either way your comment was glib and seems to completely ignore the specifics of which industries I mentioned.

I didn't say all of entertainment. I was very specific about the subsection of the industry.

Outside of DWA, WDAS and Pixar, the majority of animation and VFX work for feature and TV has moved to Canada or Australia.

Yes there are bigger entertainment industries in the US. That wasn't what I said, and you're getting hung up on some pedantic nonsense that is fully of your own creation.

jollybean
12 days

"Outside of DWA, WDAS and Pixar, the majority of animation and VFX work for feature and TV has moved to Canada or Australia."

This is the 'glib' bit - I don't believe for a second that there are more animation jobs in Canada, even outside the big studios.

The US is 10x bigger, and, they have a lot of industry here.

Again: More jobs per capita? Even 'way more'? Entirely reasonable. But 'more jobs than the US' - or notably: 'the focal point of the industry' - definitely not.

It's important to recognize Canada is not 'leading' here so much as 'providing labour' - i.e. 'white collar auto assembly'.

If Canada was producing, financing, exporting creative work, then it would be another kind of story.

lewisl9029
12 days

Canadian tech employers have been completely myopic for decades, only willing to compete in salary against other local tech employers, while anyone who's actually any good can make 2x+ within a 3 hour drive south. This resulted in a ton of brain drain in the form of people physically moving out of Canada and into the US. (I was one of those people who were brain drained away.)

Now people can make 2x+ within the comfort of their own homes, making it even easier for US tech companies to brain drain talent away from Canadian companies. Will that finally force them to change their ways or are they going to keep scraping the bottom of the ever depleting barrel?

I honestly don't have a very positive outlook given the history here, but would love to be proven wrong.

hawk_
12 days

Who are these Canadian tech employers? Do they then sub contract work from other international companies or just targeting local (canadian) work?

cardy31
12 days

This is definitely true for the creative industry.

I used to be a professional musician, and now work at a well known tech company doing Production Engineering. I work remotely in Canada. I watched lots of creative friends move to New York and LA because that is where you have to go to really make it in almost cases.

I don’t think success in tech means moving to the US though. Lots of US companies will pay good salaries to remote Canadians. I live in Canada not because I don’t have the option to go work in the US but because the trade offs of living in the USA aren’t worth the increased salary to me.

coastflow
12 days

Note that the article focuses on the ability to find work in the creative and media industry, versus the technology industry.

In addition, though it captures a feeling that many Canadians have, I wish it were backed by statistics and data to support the assertion in the headline.

I also thought that the following passage was not strongly supported:

>”WHEN I GOT BACK to Toronto, I understood in a new, tactile way that I might one day leave it. Toronto’s energy flows endlessly toward the impulse to win, to never stop working until you hit your head on the visible ceiling. Then you work some more. New York has that vibe too, maybe even more so, but I feel like everyone’s more self-aware about it. And, more importantly, there’s no ceiling. You can try to dominate the world and touch the clouds, as foolish as it would be.”

I believe the “impulse to win” is more of a function of who you associate with and your own attitudes, versus the city you happen to be located in.

There is a grain of truth (people who move to New York City are often self-selected to be ambitious), but it wasn’t convincing to assert that the people of Toronto are chasing promotions as part of a corporate ladder until they hit a ceiling.

Counter-examples are abound in Toronto. Some people start their own companies, others find enjoyment outside of work (e.g. family and friends), and others are comfortable with their position in life (e.g. small business owner of a bakery).

People in Toronto also come from vastly different cultural backgrounds as the city is one of the most culturally diverse (over half as part of an ethnic minority as of 2016) in the world [0], so it is a leap to assert that everyone shares similar beliefs about work just because they live in the city.

The author’s assertion is an example of the “false-consensus effect,” where people mistakenly believe that others in a particular context must share their beliefs [1]. This is why studies with statistical analyses are important.

>”But, in practice, that inevitability now felt freeing. I guess I got tired of repressing my sense of possibility.”

You don’t need to move to New York City to feel a sense of possibility and work toward your goals.

[0] (PDF): https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/99b4-TOHea...

[1] https://www.nngroup.com/articles/false-consensus/

potatolicious
12 days

I think there's an unsaid thing here where the author means "money" when they say "possibility". The range of possible financial outcomes in the US is wider, there's definitely a lot more investor money flowing - both in technology and the arts. There's a type of runaway wealth that's achievable in the US that seems far less likely in Canada.

Which is the general theme of financial outcomes in the US: the highs are higher... and the lows are lower. It's the land of possibility and also the land of destitution and desperation. We contain multitudes, I suppose.

Being in tech and not the arts I can't say I know exactly what the author is describing - but certainly the tech "brain drain" of Canadians to the US has been overwhelmingly about money as opposed to the vague notion of "possibility". It seems valuable to not mince words about that - it's fine to want the kinds of outlier financial outcomes that the US makes possible and that's exceedingly rare in Canada, but one ought not conflate it with some other higher-minded notion.

jollybean
12 days

As a Torontonian, I would say this is 'Canadian Cope'

'But we have diversity!'

As if NY, or America somehow lacks there, or that is even hugely material.

You can 'do ok' in Toronto, it's a good city. You can 'fee' whatever you want, that's up to you.

But it's nary impossible to do anything world class - and that's where the surpluses are.

The critical mass, the salary base, the talent, the lack of elite - almost none of it is there.

There are 5x more, 'Amazing Engineers' in little Tel Aviv.

Tiny little Sweden, with only 10M people (a bit less than 2x Toronto) - makes all sorts of sophisticated gear for export - Canada makes hardly any.

And this is how Canada is constructed: to be a suburb of the world - where polite people consume foreign products. We don't 'make' or 'design' anything.

Toronto is a very 'Civic City' - which is great for citizens - it actually makes a lot of American cities look kind of crappy in comparison - but it's the lack of a proper elite that's the problem, which applies to a small class of people.

Almost everyone I know has moved to the US for opportunity, and the draining of the 'talent class' will have this effect on a nation.

FYI that includes talented migrants as well: my top Canadian migrant colleagues (all from India), are now living in the US. Canada brings in 'migrants with degrees' as 'tech workers' but the 'talent' (either migrant or local) that create the opportunities leave for the US.

It's a serious problem.

This has a lot to do with 'salary' and I noticed this problem was very different when the dollar was at parity in the 2000s. With monetary incentives levelled out, the problem is not nearly as bad.

Our leaders do this on purpose. The Ontario Minister of Industry (this is several years back), proclaimed as Cisco was coming to Toronto (partly for the cheap workers), that Toronto has 'great workers at a discount' and that they would do 'everything in their power to keep it that way!'. Literally saying that their 'industrial policy' was to keep us poorer than Americans, so that American companies would have 'satellite offices' here.

Canada is a 'Small Open Economy' next to a 'Large Open Economy' (in economic terms) and that tends to create this kind of outcome, when thought of in secular terms.

But a place like Sweden - they take a different approach, and focus on key industries and 'punch above their weight' - meaning, rather than 'just being a place for bigger country satellite offices' - they are able to make their own mark. A lot of this comes from past national strategies, i.e. cars, airplanes, weapons systems - companies left over from the war era, and even further back, but it provides their people with a 'local industrial base' that Canada does not have.

We really need a 'National Strategy' to deal with this, but it's not likely to happen because none of our leaders are particularly aware of the issue, nor do they have the talent, wherewithal or ability to do something about it, let alone grasp it. And to be fair it's a really difficult problem.

Also - this is the 'EU disease' as well. The way the EU is structured, particularly with the Euro as a 'hard currency' - means slack labour will be taken up in Germany, and lost in other areas. Italy has vast, vast foundations in 'complicated things' and cultural foundation, they'll be fine. But a place like Poland? Well - it'll lose it's talent - at the very same time that standard of living is actually increasing rapidly (i.e. good for citizens), there is just no 'BOSCH' or 'BMD' or 'SIEMENS' etc for the talent to go and make a difference. For that, Deutshland. Or UK, Netherlands etc..

deanCommie
10 days

Canada and Sweden have almost identical GDP per capita: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nomi...

jollybean
9 days

Yes, but that's not quite my point.

Also - those mean very different things.

First - Canada has vast natural resources, which are like 'easy money'. Japan can't rest on the laurels of digging money out of the ground. This actually might be keeping Canada from developing institutions.

Second - Government Spending is counted as GDP, which is a fairly odd thing because it's a measure of cost, not value. $1 in Gov. spending could create $10 in value. Or it could create 50 cents. We don't know. Sweden has huge levels of government spending so it's hard to say what kind of value is being created there. It makes all measures of GDP quite difficult.

jacques_chester
12 days

It's the same for Australians.

For other Australians reading this and thinking you can't get into the US, you absolutely can. Look up the E3 visa. It's easy to get because it's reserved entirely for Australian citizens.

jbarham
12 days

Yeah, but can you get a green card on an E3?

jacques_chester
12 days

Yes. I have.

carlmr
12 days

I'm not sure if this is true. Looking at 30 million vs 330 million in population, you'd expect cultural output to come out in a ratio of 11:1.

The arts are hyper-competitive. In the US you might think you have more of a chance because you see more successes, but I doubt the ratios are that different if you also account for more failures.

Also Canada has Québec, producing your works in French will naturally decrease the possible target audience.

bombcar
12 days

Also if you become Celine Dion in Canada you should have no trouble moving to the US at that point.

But trying to become famous from the ground up in a larger country seems more difficult. Big fish in small pond theory and all.

lotsofpulp
12 days

Because a market of 38M people has fewer and smaller opportunities than a market of 334M people, assuming same relative levels of wealth.

skippyboxedhero
12 days

Size of domestic market used to be the theory in the 60s (it led to the formation of the EU), but isn't a popular explanation anymore because most large countries never ended up getting rich. Economic system used to be theory in the 90s, but also has fallen out of favour as countries that had "good systems" never really caught up (the UK has a very similar system in many ways, but doesn't have that final piece). It isn't really that simple. The US just appears to have everything at once. The closest is probably Australia or possibly Switzerland (both are significantly smaller than Canada).

Also, the US and Canada do not have the same level of wealth...the only country in the world that is close to the US in wealth is Switzerland and Australia (the latter is a bit unclear but is probably true once superannuation is included). Canada is definitely up there but is more similar to Europe than the US, again there is nowhere that really compares to the US.

brabel
12 days

> the only country in the world that is close to the US in wealth is Switzerland and Australia

What?! I have no idea where you got that idea from, but looking at https://www.worldometers.info/gdp/gdp-per-capita/ you can see the USA is 13th in the world when its wealth is divided by its population.

If you were trying to say that the USA is the wealthiest nation in absolute terms, I would understand, but when you place Australia and Switzerland as the only nations that "come close" you're clearly implying per capita wealth, meaning that's nonsense.

skippyboxedhero
12 days

GDP isn't wealth, it is a measure of output over a period of time (and wealth is an amount at a point in time). It is also, generally, quite misleading because a nation can produce a tremendous amount of output, and all of that can be siphoned into an offshore account in Switzerland (KSA is an example, but there are also more subtle examples like Germany).

And measuring wealth is very, very complex. Do you include pensions? How do you value a state pension? Do you include housing? How do you value housing? But if you look at relative net financial wealth (inc. pensions, you are likely going to Google and find something that doesn't include pensions) then the statement is true...the US and Switzerland are way out ahead on net financial assets, and in datasets that include pension wealth then you have Australia up there too (which has one of the most successful pension systems in the world, very strong economy too but they punch above that weight when looking at wealth).

Again though, measuring these kind of things is complex so you have to not only be able to Google a ranking system but understand exactly how the pension system is structured in that country, how is the financial sector structured, how is the tax system structured, etc. The US is consistently at the top by any measure though.

brabel
12 days

The problem is that you're saying it's very hard to measure wealth while at the same time confidently claiming the US is at the top. That just doesn't make sense.

GDP may not be a perfect measure of wealth but it's the best we've got IMO.

I've lived for a short while in Canada, for many years in Australia, and visited the USA many times... I really don't see much difference in wealth in general. I'm sure there's a lot more extremely rich people in the USA, but those are a small portion of the population so I wouldn't consider that an important indication of the wealth of a country, at least not as much as the wealth of the majority of its citizens (and the USA notoriously also has a lot more very poor people than either Australia or Canada). If you do that, perhaps the Arab Emirates would be wealthier? Or even China, home to more bilionaires than the USA IIRC?!

Also, if you include healthcare access and pension as you seem to be doing, again, the USA is probably the worst as you're pretty much on your own with those things, while in nearly any other developed country, people get decent healthcare and pension even without having had high paying jobs their whole life.

jhj
12 days

GDP does not represent wealth, it's a measure of current economic production. Furthermore, GDP is skewed for some countries where GNP might be a better figure (e.g., Ireland, where a fair chunk of the domestic production accrues to foreigners operating in the country).

Table 2-1 in [1] lists mean wealth per adult per country, with Monaco first ($324,721), Switzerland second ($231,354) and the US third ($215,146) as far as I can tell. Median wealth figures are of course worse.

[1] https://www.credit-suisse.com/media/assets/corporate/docs/ab...

skippyboxedhero
12 days

You have referenced the number for 2000.

You can also see Australia punches well above it's weight in that survey. The stuff CS produces on UHNWIs is also very interesting.

deepnotderp
12 days

1-12 are either petro states or distorted due to being tax havens.

chongli
12 days

The EU is not very comparable to the US. Pass all the laws you want allowing mobility and trade between EU members, you’re still not going to bridge the deep language and culture divides between the countries.

The US is a true single market because English is the dominant language and because everyone from the Deep South to Alaska consumes the cultural products of Hollywood and New York and the technology of Silicon Valley.

skippyboxedhero
12 days

Right, if you look at banking (which is regulated nationally) there is very little competition between banks in EU states. There are examples in other industries.

But I didn't compare it with the US at all, all I said was: the EU was formed, in part, because people in the 60s believed that US growth was stronger because the domestic market was larger (and that scale advantages were critically important to business success). This was a very common view in the 60s in the UK too (and held by the govt which embarked on a huge investment/forced merger program to boost domestic production that ended in disaster). And it was totally wrong, as subsequent economic performance demonstrated (the reason why the EU's single market is incomplete is nothing to do with language and everything to do with politics).

And how do you explain those products being dominant in the rest of the world? The UK went through this, tried to create globally competitive firms with scale by forcing companies to merge, almost all of them went bankrupt (have you heard of British Leyland? No?) because they were mismanaged, and produced bad products no-one wanted. It was like trying to add one to one and make twenty.

bee_rider
12 days

History put us in a pretty unique position anyway, right? The list of advanced economies not blown up in WWII is pretty short, which gave us a nice lead, and probably kicked off some feedback loops.

d_burfoot
12 days

The US loses only to Switzerland in mean wealth per capita, but ranks below even a country like Italy in median WPC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_wealth_pe...

Basically, the US 1% is much richer than other countries, but the typical American is probably less wealthy than someone in other developed countries.

pkaye
12 days

Doesn't Australia mostly rely on its iron and coal mining? Minerals is basically 2/3d of their exports.

skippyboxedhero
12 days

No. I am not sure how little you have to understand about the world (the US is also a massive commodities exporter, a good proportion of the world's trade is commodities) to think that...but no, Australia isn't just a big mining outpost.

Mining is 10% of GDP in Aus. For comparison, oil and gas is 8% of GDP in US.

FredPret
12 days

You could have listed all those numbers and made your point without being an ass

pkaye
12 days

But this shows much higher numbers for mineral exports while US is much lower. Where did you get the numbers?

https://oec.world/en/profile/country/aus

https://oec.world/en/profile/country/usa

weatherlite
12 days

A key thing is the dollar's status is reserve currency. It keeps its value up despite the US being a debtor nation and amassing huge debt. Without reserve currency status its anyone's guess how things will look - probably closer to Europe.

randomdata
12 days

Is the creative profession being talked about here meaningfully bound by borders? If you created a TV show, for example, all 372 million people that you mention should be potential customers. Many American productions do well in Canada, but scant few Canadian shows have succeeded in the USA.

lotsofpulp
12 days

Not necessarily borders, but I think being in the same geographic region helps. For example, Canadians interested in making TV shows might find more collaborators and funding in Los Angeles.

Technically, especially with the internet, there is no reason a Canadian show made in Canada could not be a hit in both countries. It is just the likelihoods that change.

otoburb
12 days

The slight bias against Canadian shows is that if they have Canadian-specific content (e.g. city, backstories, characters) that are an important part of the story, then the larger American audience will be much less likely to find it interesting.

The inverse is not true however -- the article is correct that Canadians are exposed to (almost too) much American content from an early age, leading to the Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)[1] to adopt (read: mandate) minimum ratios for Canadian-specific content to be aired.[2]

[1] https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/home-accueil.htm

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_content

dominotw
12 days

ppl should move to india from usa per this logic

spoonjim
12 days

America still does “larger than life” better than anyone. If you want to be the biggest the baddest the richest the quickest the Sun God above mere mortals — this is the country to be in.

3qz
12 days

Canadians can’t afford to live anywhere that has decent jobs if they have to pay current prices. Moving to the states is the only choice most young Canadians have.

ramesh31
12 days

Americans respect the Canadian aesthetic. Stan Rogers embodied this perfectly [0]. Be Canadian and share your authentic Canadianess with us. Don't try to be American.

[0] https://youtu.be/vdaaPl_kZpw?t=1728

imilk
12 days

Damn Jim Lahey had a nice voice before he hit the booze

sixstringtheory
12 days

You joke but John Dunsworth I think also nicely embodies the spirit I see parent getting at: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3mcQfP8k51s

qiskit
12 days
cardy31
12 days

Lol Americans call me out almost immediately as being Canadian just because of my accent.

There are many important differences between the two cultures. The most important IMO is being less hellbent on “freedom” and understanding that sometimes sacrificing a small amount of personal liberty for the greater good is the right thing to do.

aga98mtl
12 days

I mostly agree with the exception of Quebec. Much of canadianness is taking french-canadian symbols & culture and saying: "See we are not americans!"

bombcar
12 days

But Quebec seems so much like discount France it’s hard to tell the difference.

I feel all of the Americas needed a couple hundred more years without mass transit and light speed communications to really develop separate identities.

As it is Minnesota isn’t called “little Canada” for nothing: it can be hard to really distinguish.

strictfp
12 days

Why move to America when Canada's already in America? ;P

AlchemistCamp
12 days

Canada is in "The Americas", but not in "America" ;)

NGRhodes
12 days

Confused European here, I thought "America" was the same as "The Americas"

AlchemistCamp
12 days

“America” is the country. “The Americas” is the two continents.

chitowneats
12 days

Found the Argentinian.

mrkramer
12 days

More ambitious people always move to more developed countries in a search of better life whether it means better education, better job opportunities(greater salary), better career path etc.

Btw when somebody compares Canada to US I always remember the Canada rant from Shameless:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJOO9I9kvwo

fartcannon
12 days

I didn't watch the show so I don't known the context. Am I supposed to side with him or Canada?

UweSchmidt
12 days

A very 2022 instinct, maybe a sign of our hyper-polarized times, trying to find the side you're supposed to side with even for an obscure Youtube video.

fartcannon
12 days

Oooh maybe. But I think I was actually always like this and the times have come to suit me!

smt88
12 days

> people always move to more developed countries in a search of better life whether it means better education, better job opportunities(greater salary), better career path etc.

By most measures, Canada is more developed than the US.

Also, this article is about people who work in the arts, like film and music. It has nothing to do with seeking better education.

mrkramer
12 days

>By most measures, Canada is more developed than the US.

By what measures? Social benefits? I was speaking about industry and technology not about health care accessibility or whatever. By that criteria you can call Sweden more developed than US.

The majority of the world's most valuable companies are from US[0] so private sector wise US is superior.

[0] https://companiesmarketcap.com/

UweSchmidt
12 days

"You’re taught to value art that expresses a distinctly Canadian point of view. You’re taught that such a thing as a Canadian point of view exists at all and that there’s a whole set of aesthetic shorthand to convey it."

Anyone got any examples for that the author might mean with that?

youeseh
12 days

If there's anything distinctly Canadian - truly, than the US, is that it is officially bilingual. Of course, almost no one in English speaking Canada can speak a lick of French because of how awful French language classes are - you can get an A yet remember nothing.

UweSchmidt
12 days

I mean what would be an example of art that would (naturally or contrived) express a Canadian point of view? What does an aesthetic shorthand for it look like?

pbourke
12 days

- Paintings by the Group of Seven

- The music of Newfoundland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

- the writing of Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro

- the work of Métis artisans (clothing, decorative arts)

- music of The Tragically Hip

UweSchmidt
12 days

Thanks!

drpgq
12 days

The Great White North sketches on SCTV?

WalterBright
12 days

In any profession, if you want to be very successful, America is your best shot.

But you can't have both cradle to grave security, and the opportunity for success. You can see that in the endless Progressive proposals to erase American billionaires in exchange for more security.

wolverine876
12 days

> In any profession, if you want to be very successful, America is your best shot.

Perhaps a bit exaggerated, but the big market helps a lot and also has a network affect, attracting other talented people and resources from around the world.

> But you can't have both cradle to grave security, and the opportunity for success.

People in many countries provide much more security (and investment, such as education) to themselves than the US and also plenty of success, including billionaires, including Canada. The main difference is that the US has a much larger market.

Billionaires are of course a tiny portion of the population and not representative of the availability of success. For non-billionaires, many of whom can't afford an education or healthcare, success might be futher away because the Americans don't invest as much in themselves.

> Progressive proposals to erase American billionaires in exchange for more security

What does that mean, specifically?

WalterBright
12 days

Have you ever wondered why the FAANG companies are all American? Why Elon Musk left South Africa to come to America? Why millions of people are trying to get over the border into the US?

wolverine876
11 days

The large market effect, as described in the GP. It can't be denied that it has significant effect. What do you ascribe it to and why? Less health care doesn't improve the economy directly.

WalterBright
12 days

Bernie Sanders, for instance:

https://twitter.com/berniesanders/status/1176481898685710337

The American market is global.

djenendik
12 days

i might not be at the top of my profession, but i have a better life here in canada than i had in the us. ymmv.

bombcar
12 days

There’s also something to not aiming to be very successful - or borrowing success and bringing it back.

But if you move to the US for ten/twenty years to amass a pile of success and money, it may be very hard to move back afterwards.

benditlike
12 days

What would make it hard to return to Canada after twenty years?

pbourke
12 days

15 years here. There are a few things.

Housing affordability: Canadian prices have skyrocketed in the past 10-20 years and have increased much more than the US.

Cost of living: it’s generally higher in Canada.

Where to live: there is much more variety in the US. For instance, there are few “quaint small towns” in Canada in comparison. The American small town/city with a historic Main Street has survived, whereas it’s a fast-vanishing thing in Canada. Much of Canada is starting to look the same in terms of the built environment and urban planning.

Access to healthcare: Canada has universal healthcare, and the system kicks in if something serious happens. But for anything not at that level, there are serious issues. For instance, depending on where you live it can be hard to find a primary care doctor. There are waiting lists for many procedures, for imaging, etc. If you have an upper middle class type situation in the US your access to health care is much, much better. I can often get in to see my doctor within 24h.

Employment opportunities: it’s much better nowadays, but the US is still the place to be in terms of variety of work and compensation.

And finally, it’s hard to leave anywhere after decades - you get used to your life and your community. Canada will always be my homeland, but it’s starting to feel a bit alien to me, in subtle ways.

Canada has changed over the past 15 years and you can’t step into the same river twice.

bombcar
12 days

The last part is really the hardest - it’s easier to move to a higher paying area when you’re young than it is to move back after you’ve grown connections to a community.

mmanfrin
12 days

> Progressive proposals to erase American billionaires in exchange for more security.

[citation needed]

francisperron
6 days

Stop saying America for "United Stated of America", America is the continent... dumbass.

gdilla
10 days

I live in Canada so I can worry less about school shootings and white supremacist terrorism. Yes it exists in Canada but the risk is much less.

mbg721
10 days

The risk is very close to zero in America too. There's a lot more worrying, though.

tonetheman
12 days

I want to do the opposite. Get away from America. Someone give me a job. I am an ubernerd!

vmception
12 days

Make money in America and dip out. Its a privileged starting point for doing just that.

Healthylife
12 days
fuckyah
12 days
mariuslandon
12 days

Canada

mariuslandon
12 days
lvl102
12 days
wahnfrieden
12 days

It's much easier to move to Canada. I'm a young American who just got Canadian citizenship simply by taking a job here via NAFTA, and am now no longer working while residing in Canada (with zero intention to seek employment). The equivalent TN visa if I had gone from Canada to US does not lead to citizenship - you're expected to leave the country and abandon the life you've built for yourself in your community if you want to leave your job or stop working. It's all about selling your free time to a boss, or getting out - the American way.

dagmx
12 days

Yeah it's hard to overstate how much clearer and well defined the Canadian immigration system is.

I did all my paperwork myself to go from student visa to work permit to residency and finally citizenship. Incredibly simple, relatively cut and dry (assuming you can afford it and qualify to begin with of course)

I went to work in the US for a bit and have to hire folks in the US now. I needed lawyers to help with my application because I needed an O1 instead of a TN for lack of a degree (it's 12 years work experience or a bachelor's for a TN, and I only had 6 at the time). TN's can also be denied easily at the border, H1Bs are lottery based on many factors out of your control

And after all of that, each visa means different things when I travel, or if I ever want to apply for a green card etc... The US system is a nightmare to navigate.

bbarnett
12 days

Sorry to bug you, if you have time, and found the lawyers competent/helpful/etc, could you let me know who you used?

I have the same issue.

My email is on my about page.

Thanks

dagmx
12 days

Unfortunately I can't say a specific one just because they were a firm that represented my employer. The firm is a common one used by many tech companies though: https://www.fragomen.com/

bbarnett
12 days

OK, thanks!

perardi
12 days

Hey, American citizen, PR status.

I have heard horror stories from friends who have migrated to the US—a doctor acquaintance from Mexico comes to mind. The Canadian system seems…deterministic? If 10 people feed the same paperwork and money into the Canadian system, they both end up with the same result. If 10 people feed paperwork and money into the US system: utter random chaos.

bombcar
12 days

I feel a big part is which way the wind is blowing; the countries that are “desirable” have no reason to make it easy, in fact they have incentives to make it complicated and hard.

The countries that want people to come to them have reason to remove roadblocks.

koolala
12 days

What is your main way of life in Canada if you are not working? Are you retired or will you need to seek employment later?

wahnfrieden
12 days

sole proprietorship saas

labor is cool, working for an owner under coercion is not

Comment was deleted :(
chollida1
12 days

I mean, that's not really true, and you've provided no actual evidence to show that your assertion is true.

Canada's immigration is very clear, you hit certain criteria and you qualify.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/se...

lhorie
12 days

> Canada's immigration is very clear, you hit certain criteria and you qualify

As someone who has gone through both the US green card and a canadian permanent residence processes, I have to agree. The Canadian process is way easier - and I say this as someone who is not even from one of the countries "screwed over" by crazy wait times (India/China/etc). For those folks, the difference is night and day.

stackbutterflow
12 days

Has the US stopped being a land of immigrants?

Spooky23
12 days

There’s only 37 million people in Canada, so there’s a legit desire to protect and develop a national sense of Canada rather than becoming a vassal.

We have a amazing peaceful border and trade relationship. Unfortunately due to the internet the US is a major exporter of insane politics.

fortuna86
12 days

> Unfortunately due to the internet the US is a major exporter of insane politics.

We tried blaming our internal problems on external forces for a while too, didn't work out too well.

7speter
12 days

Really fascinating to me how many political/social influencers from canada have so much commentary about american politics these days. I’m not necessarily saying they shouldn’t but how many americans make 6 and 7 figures commenting on canadian politics, unless alex jones is/was

Pxtl
12 days

The tables did turn a bit during the Ottawa convoy protests. Lots of absurdly bad takes from American conservative pundits on Trudeau being a "fascist" for using the emergencies act to bloodlylessly stop a crisis that, in the USA, would've involved the National guard (something that Canada doesn't have).

Pxtl
12 days

Ted Cruz, Faith Goldie, Stephan Molyneux, Crowder, the list goes on. Hard right and bigoted and even alt right conservative thought leaders are a Canadian export.

Spooky23
11 days

No nation will acknowledge responsibility for Ted Cruz.

That guy is just a ball of jelly, he’d walk around carrying a portrait of Chairman Mao if it got him a vote.

Pxtl
11 days

That's kind of the template for Canadian conservatism for the past decade. Flabby suburbanites who'll say whatever to whoever for votes. Ted Cruz looks like the 3rd step in the Andy Scheer->Jason Kenney->Cruz->Stephen Harper Pokevolution.

Polievre is breaking the mold by going full Trumper.

jlmorton
12 days

It's extremely easy to move to the US from Canada with a simple letter from your employer, thanks to NAFTA/USMCA.

This is a temporary work visa, but puts you on the path to Express Entry.

With all that said, Canada has a points-based system for immigration, and language skills, technical skills, education, etc will be prioritized.

betaby
12 days

I would say it much easier to move from _anywhere_ to Canada - just meet the criteria and you are in. No lottery, no offer needed. I wish to move to US, but till date was never able to secure offer that makes financial sense.

sidpatil
12 days

What cafeterias?

betaby
12 days

Auto-correction, should be 'criteria'

Comment was deleted :(
dagmx
12 days

It's the same difficulty. You can go between them under NAFTA visa agreements.

lvl102
12 days

Phrased differently, there are far more job opportunities in the US vs Canada especially in tech. So what is the US gaining here handing out jobs to Canadians? And it’s not like the education systems are so different that the US is gaining some skilled labor.

chollida1
12 days

I mean, you get access to some amazing talent. There is a reason why Waterloo University is held in the same regard as most top tier US universities. Microsoft was recruiting from there since the early 80's.

Bill Gates once referred to Waterloo as their secret weapon as his competitors were obsessed with MIT and Stanford and CalTech when he could grab large portions of Waterloo's graduating classes whose students were of the same calibre.

dagmx
12 days

That's a very different question than your first question. This one is quite a bit more jingoist.

this goes in to the age old nationalist trope of "American jobs should belong to Americans" without considering that sometimes if the job goes to the better candidate, it can still be a net positive benefit.

End of the day, you're benefiting from their expertise in a field to improve tech, of which certain fields like computer graphics have a high showing in Canada, but also the taxes they're paying into the system.

Your argument also assumes that equally qualified and skilled Americans exist in the local market, that are untapped.

renewiltord
12 days

America is gaining Canadians. It’s always better to be the place where the other guys want to come to rather than be the place your guys want to leave.

chrisseaton
12 days

> And it’s not like the education systems are so different that the US is gaining some skilled labor.

You think tech workers are unskilled?

BolexNOLA
12 days

> So what is the US gaining handing out jobs to Canadians?

First off, nothing was “handed out.“ Americans have the same crack at those jobs as Canadians.

> it’s not like the education systems are so different that the US is gaining some skilled labor

That’s not really how that term is used, assuming we should even be using the term “skilled“ and “unskilled“ labor anymore. But that issue aside, I’m not quite sure what your point is.

zemo
12 days

> what is the US gaining here handing out jobs to Canadians?

workers? Finding good engineers is hard and most people don't care where they come from.

find
12 days

How did you get this view, if you don't mind me asking? Is there something happening that is local to you?

I'm not trying to accuse you of anything, but I'm surprised for someone to directly state something that is so straightforward to falsify.

u385639
12 days

As far as tech goes the US "gets back in return" the best talent coming out of Canadian universities. This isn't exactly peanuts.

bombcar
12 days

In fact, it can be damaging to Canada - let Canada’s healthcare and education take the burden and expense of raising families and children, and then let America harvest the cream of the crop and take all the future tax dollars by importing them to the US.

refurb
12 days

It’s actually easier to go to Canada than vice versa.

If you’re a skilled American, you can get PR pretty quickly once you move to Canada.

In the US? It can often be 5 years before you even get a green card.

vkou
12 days

If you are young, speak English or French, and have an advanced degree or a degree and a job offer, it's not difficult for an American (or, to a slightly lesser extent, anyone else) to move to Canada.

Once you do, you have a simple path to citizenship.

The other way around is much more complicated, and requires either marriage, multi-year employer sponsorship, or waiting forever if you were born in the wrong country. (A Canadian citizen who was born in India, but moved to Canada at the age of 3 is considered to be an Indian, and will be looking forward to a decade-long waiting list for a US green card. The US weighs your country of birth more on many metrics than your country of citizenship/origin.)

Also, if I understand the system correctly, if you married a Canadian, and are moving to Canada with them, then you just... cross the border as a tourist, and once inside, start the marriage-based application process. You get a work permit in a matter of weeks, not months, and then have a very straightforward path to citizenship.

tapia
12 days
crowbahr
12 days

Only in a Spanish speaking sense: In English American means citizen of the United States of America, unlike the Spanish Estado Unidense being different than Americano.

Canadians aren't American in English. Mexicans aren't American in English. Both of them can become American by immegration and naturalization into the United States. It's a quirk of the language.

blululu
12 days

It's mostly just in Latin American varieties of Spanish and Portuguese. In conversational European Spanish/Portuguese (and pretty much every other language on Earth) American is the standard demonym for people of the United States. But most importantly, this is a discussion in English about Canada, and Canadians (both English and French speaking) would object to being called Americans.

luis8
12 days

Technically Mexicans are "Estado Unidenses" too. The official name of Mexico is "United States of Mexico"

xyzzyz
12 days

Not just of (American) English either. In Polish, for example, citizens of United Stated are “Amerykanie”, but Canadians or Mexicans arę not.

xeromal
12 days

Same in at least Iraqi arabic. My friends call me an "Amreekie" or some form of that.

rascul
12 days

Canada is indeed in the Americas, and more specifically North America, but it is not in the country that is often called America.

SnowHill9902
12 days

What’s the demonym for someone who is from the continent of America?

ericmay
12 days

North American or South American.

But usually they say where they are from in terms of their country. A Japanese person and a Russian, for example, don’t call themselves Asian. They would say they are Russian or Japanese.

In the case of the Americas someone would identify as Chilean, or perhaps Colombian. If you’re from Canada you’d say Canadian, and if you’re from the United States of America you’d say American because any other alternative sounds really dumb and nobody is going to use it.

If you’re from Europe do you call yourself Eurasian? Or are you French? Or British?

We really need to stop trying to make a big deal out of this “American” thing, or else I’m going to call everyone Africa-Eurasians, Americans, or Australians.

anamexis
12 days

Also American.

Also North America and South America are generally considered two continents, and collectively referred to as The Americas. They have their own, unambiguous demonyms, North American and South American.

maximus-decimus
12 days

North Americans?

anthomtb
12 days

North American typically implies someone from the anglophone part of the continent.

coastflow
12 days

Mexico is part of North America, and Mexico was included as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) when it was active (reference: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/nafta.asp).

anamexis
12 days

North American isn't typically used to refer to people at all. But in geopolitical contexts, it definitely refers to the entire continent (e.g. NAFTA)

AlchemistCamp
12 days

No. Mexico is also included.

bikokharo
12 days
karmakaze
12 days

And California is the province south of BC.

alar44
12 days

What's with these stupid pedantic comments lately? Do you really not understand the context of America here or are you just verysmart?

anamexis
12 days

Lately? This is HN.

incomingpain
12 days
u385639
12 days

> Bill maher, musk, russel brand have called Trudeau hitler. These aren't unreasonable positions.

What?

anamexis
12 days

> They dont have a history of calling people names like this.

Also what?

0des
12 days

I think they mean that Canadians are usually more demure and polite than to stoop to the level of trivializing one of recent-history's worst atrocities to express political/ideological discontent.

tbh, I can't stand callout culture, but I wish this would get called out more often. What type of psychological damage is being done to jews by turning their painful history into a talking point, or conversational force multiplier? You don't see people do that about African slavery or other atrocities, so why compare everything to Hitler? It's ugly.

zmgsabst
12 days

“Modern Jim Crow” is an unfortunately regular occurrence in American political dialog.

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OJFord
12 days

> You don't see people do that about African slavery or other atrocities

Sort of simultaneously trivialises all those too though, by implication - 'I mean sure they're bad, but no Hitler'.

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prions
12 days

I don’t understand how comparing Trudeau to Hitler is a reasonable position.

jagger27
12 days

It’s simply not even remotely close to true.

7speter
12 days

Especially considering Trudeau hasnt lead a massive genocide or tried to take over the continent.

rhinoceraptor
12 days

Many people I know are looking to escape the US before it turns into Gilead.

incomingpain
12 days

The effort being made is the opposite.

Anti-abortion, republicans winning midterms, etc. Those Americans will go to Canada.

The free speech, no mandates, etc. Those Canadians will move to the USA.

Right now, those 2 groups are actively being restricted from moving.

ratsmack
12 days

And where would one go... to one of the EU countries?

ttul
12 days

Perhaps they mean Canada. Canada’s Prime Minister said recently, “ We’ll always defend a woman’s right to choose, and we’ll continue to expand access to reproductive health services – including abortion. Today, our government announced funding for projects that will help remove barriers to abortion service.”

GoOnThenDoTell
12 days

The small amount of Trudeau I get from the media portrays him as a harmless guy with a smile , whats he been doing?

monkey_monkey
12 days

From what I can tell, not pandering to extremists on either side.

incomingpain
12 days

This is the latest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUq76TaWzuU

Joe Rogan: "Handsome fellow, kind sensitive guy" is pretty accurate. Something happened in 2019 where he went off the rails and is now being called a dictator and it is reasonable. Maybe hitler is too far, but it's Trudeau's own words that he was planning to not allow antivaxxers to be part of society. Hence Bill Maher's video.

Here's is 1 of Russel Brand's videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_GnClytz34

Bill Maher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i72czkSUsM

The gist of what happened. In the USA all but 7 states lifted all mandates. UK and much of europe had dates set to end the mandates or ended them already.

Trudeau on the otherhand in January 2022 increased restrictions putting thousands of people out of a job. Mostly bipoc because race plays a significant role in the remaining antivaxxer communities.

Trudeau knew race played a significant role and before the convoy showed up in ottawa, he started calling them white supremacists and racists. Meanwhile the mostly punjabi truckers thought it was pretty hilarious to be called white supremacists with unacceptable views.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod.static-content.quillette.com/2...

Trudeau wouldn't even send a staffer to speak with this legitimate protest. Not once would he meet with them. Instead he initiated a never before used national emergency, whose requirements is that ANY other law must be used before this one. That declaring national emergency cannot be used to crush a protest. That's exactly what they did.

Obviously gone much further than when the canadian police arrested indigeonous over protesting pipelines. Or even more recently ottawa police arrested some children who were protesting dress codes. Protesting in Canada has been made illegal.

Which means democracy doesn't exist anymore. The unrestricted right to protest is a fundamental requirement of democracy. If we aren't a democracy anymore, what are we?

Then again, I got tremendously downvoted and flagged.

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0des
12 days
jleyank
12 days
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fguerraz
12 days

[European who only read the title]

Isn't Canada already in America?

WalterBright
12 days

Whether "America" refers to the continent or the United States depends on the context.

umanwizard
12 days

The set of continents is arbitrary.

Some cultures (arbitrarily) recognize North America and South America as separate continents, whereas some others consider them to be one continent, called America.

Among many of the cultures that recognize two continents, the term “America” has drifted in meaning over time to colloquially refer to the USA. That is the sense in which “America” was meant in this headline.

sgjohnson
12 days

> the term “America” has drifted in meaning over time to colloquially refer to the USA.

Only in English speaking and non-American countries.

All of the Spanish speaking American countries are happy to call what everyone else calls "americans" "united-stateans", i.e. "estadounidense" in Spanish. Because of course it's stupid to call gringos "american", when the entire continent is called America.

This is also happening to Europe, in a lesser extent (for 2 reasons, first of which is that the EU isn't a country, and the 2nd is that most of European countries are in the EU). "European" is more often used to refer to an inhabitant of the European Union than it's used to refer to an inhabitant of Europe, the continent.

umanwizard
11 days

The article is about Canada, which is (mostly) an English-speaking country.

slowmovintarget
12 days

To quote Homer Simpson "Pfft... Canada is just America Jr."

More seriously, if you weren't joking, Canada is in North America, the continent. America, the country, is the informal name of the United States of America.

sonicggg
12 days

There are two separate continents: "North America" and "South America", which are more separate than Asia is to Europe. Sometimes people refer to them as "The Americas", in plural.

peyton
12 days

I believe it’s in North America.

bombcar
12 days

Strange religion ;)

But people refer to the USA as “America” even though Canada and Mexico are also in “North America” and all the countries in South America exist also.

Even so, nobody would refer to someone from those countries as “American”.

umanwizard
12 days

> Even so, nobody would refer to someone from those countries as “American”.

Maybe not in English, but it would be quite normal to do so in some other languages.

causality0
12 days

It's easy to become irritated at Canadians for their never-ending holier-than-thou attitude toward America and Americans, to wish they'd piss off and find a culture that isn't based around not being you, but if you think a little more about it you'll find that anger is misguided. Canadians are in an uncomfortable position. Existing comfortably requires a certain degree of ignoring your own flaws. Canadians, possibly more than anyone else in the world, are not afforded that luxury. They have a giant mirror next door that shows them a people just like them with their own naked flaws without the ability to gloss over them. This kind of constant unconsensual reminder is stressful and must breed tremendous resentment. So the next time you're annoyed at being talked down to by a Canadian, remember that it's us who deprived them of the ability to lie to themselves about everything but the ways in which they differ from Americans.

petesergeant
12 days

I’m British, married to a Canadian, and you need to be clear that your comment is entirely about you and your insecurities and not about Canadians.

quest88
12 days

What are you saying

osigurdson
12 days

I think it is really only governments that are interested in perpetuating the narrative that the US and Canada are very different. They concern themselves with Canadian identity and culture (even via direct investment) while every Canadian that I know could care less about these things. No one I know is particularly worried about Anne of Green Gables going out of style.

0xRusty
12 days

As a Brit living in Canada and working in the visual effects and creative industries for the last 9 years, your point about their culture being all about "not being you" really hits the mark. Canadians think they're the country the whole world loves and wants to be. The reality is they're irrelevant on the world stage. Culturally they offer the world very little. There are basically 3 maybe 4 cities. With the exception of Montreal (which has some history and culture to call its own) they all spout "diversity being our strength" - this leaves cities like Toronto and Vancouver as the most soulless, boring places I've ever had the misfortune to live in. They have no culture of their own, instead borrowing from everyone else. There is no "Toronto food", "Toronto music", "Toronto scene". Politically they're led by a smug, manipulating, self serving narssisist who calls you a racist and a Nazi yet wears blackface and suspends civil liberties, rushing through emergency war powers to deal with a protest. The healthcare system, as the last two years have shown, are completely inadequate. Quebec was locked down from 8pm while the sun was still shining for fear of overloading a health system they have done nothing to improve since the start of the pandemic. I'm counting down the days until I leave for America and never look back.

xipho
12 days

> The healthcare system, as the last two years have shown, are completely inadequate.

If by "inadequate" you mean "can be improved", then of course, all systems can be improved. If you mean it is fundamentally unsound then I feel this is completely unfounded. My family has had 3 seperate health-care events during their lifetime, the latest cancer related in an COIVD-overloaded emergency setting, that would have bankrupt us multiple times over had we been in the US (and yes, they are all remarkably healthy individuals, no diabetes, etc. in general). Even in the latest case the health-care we recieved was amazing, over a month of hospitalizatoin, for which we will see ZERO bills. The latest treatement, monoclonal antibody based chemo, ZERO bills. Was there stress? Yes, but I can hardly imagine a better overall outcome.

If you are rich, in Canada, you can get whatever healthcare you want, just like in the US. If you are middle-class or poorer, the difference betweent the two systems is so vastly different it's mind-boggling.

MAGZine
12 days

> Culturally they offer the world very little.

what do you mean? you say that you work in vfx but do canadians creating television and movies not count as "offering something culturally?" Not to mention the long list of actors and famous musicians/bands from canada. more specifically, I wonder what you consider to be important cultural contributions.

anyhow, your prognosis of 'borrowing from everyone else' is factually correct. canada is a land of immigrants. though, if you don't think toronto has a specific toronto food culture, you'll be disappointed when all you find is the usual gaumet of international food options in new york and la. unless if you want to tell me that italian food is somehow a cultural contribution of new york.

osigurdson
12 days

Your comments regarding our current political leadership are mostly accurate. It feels like we were living in some kind of alternate reality in some ways. The pandemic seemed to cause the worst sides of us all to come out while our government really fanned the flames. It really is inexcusable in my opinion.

I think Canada is better if you are an outdoorsy type person. Access to nature is really the primary appeal of the country in my opinion. Of course the US is awesome as well in this regard.

cardy31
12 days

As a Canadian I disagree with most of this. Everyone I’ve heard whine about being called a racist or a Nazi seems to in the next breath say something racist or at least homophobic. So you might want to take a look in the mirror if you’re mad about being called those things.

Also, if you want the healthcare system to improve then are you supporting parties and candidates that want to improve it? Or do you just want the Conservatives in power because they don’t call you a Nazi?

middleclick
12 days

Trudeau called people who were waving Nazi flags Nazis. What else do you think he should have called them? Please point out specific instances in which he labelled people as Nazis other than those ... waving Nazi flags?

Also, there is no "Montreal food" as much as there is no "Toronto food". I don't know why you think there is a distinction.

The healthcare you seem to be upset about is years long effort by the conservative governments to gut it down including the current conservative government in Ontario. And yet, not a word from you about that?

Good luck for your move to US but I think you have some other things you are unhappy about and I don't think moving countries is going to help.

osigurdson
12 days

Given that they Nazi flags were not a statistically significant component of the protest (perhaps only one person of unknown motivation) a serious person would not have mentioned it at all. Of course, today's politicians in Canada are generally not serious people it seems which is unfortunate because of their outsized impact on everyone's lives.

I'd never heard of this senator before watching this video, but he really did summarize the situation well and seems to me to be a legitimately serious person unlike many of our current politicians (all parties).

https://youtu.be/YIZO3OhqCUY

middleclick
12 days

One Nazi flag, many Confederate flags, and white nationalists in the group:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-conservative-swasti...

> A small number of the assembled protesters have displayed Nazi insignia, including the swastika and yellow stars of David, while others have flown the Confederate flag during these anti-government demonstrations.

> Other groups have since attached themselves to the movement, including some far-right and white nationalist elements.

What should we call these people? Your being upset at them being called Nazis says more about you than Trudeau.

Note that the protest organizers made no attempt to dissociate themselves from these and only did so in the later days of the protests.

Trudeau's criticism of his conservative colleagues was more about them not criticizing these people (which they didn't) and not calling them Nazis.

It's also telling that the protests against lockdowns criticizing Trudeau, calling for his death (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-protest-racist-deat...) were not addressed towards Doug Ford, the Ontario premier responsible for the lockdowns. No politician in Canada should get any death threats but the point I am making was no criticism was directed towards Doug Ford for something he did (the longest lockdown in North America in Ontario) but towards Trudeau, who had no role in it.

That tells you everything you need to need to know, that is, if you want to know it and not be willfully obtuse.

osigurdson
12 days

> A small number of the assembled protesters have displayed Nazi insignia, including the swastika and yellow stars of David, while others have flown the Confederate flag during these anti-government demonstrations.

So, it sounds like there was a small number of such people. Of course, if that's not true, I'm happy to be convinced otherwise. I will not accept an argument based on guilt by association however (or in this case guilt by proximity which is even more absurd).

Finally, the truckers were protesting the federal trucker mandates (with their trucks no less) so it was not a particularly abstract demonstration. I guess these people were in the right location by your calculus but non-truckers should have disbursed to protest at their own provincial capitals. That is a reasonable argument but I think many of the protesters were also there in support of the truckers.

middleclick
11 days

https://globalnews.ca/news/8543281/covid-trucker-convoy-orga...

> Now, as the convoy descends on Ottawa with the stated aim of opposing all COVID-19 mandates, anti-hate experts allege those with white nationalist and Islamophobic views don’t just represent the fringes of the movement but are among the organizers of the convoy.

There is no guilt by association. These are the people themselves.

StayTrue
12 days

What do you call people that hang out with Nazis? It sounds like you are nitpicking that adjacent white supremacist groups with their own iconography (and merch) are somehow different.

causality0
12 days

That's sort of the issue with informal groups and protests. Anybody can show up, and they may or may not be rejected by the crowd at large. When the loonies are kicked out, it doesn't make the news. A left-leaning example of this is when Boogaloo Boys participate in Black Lives Matter protests. I'm not saying they're equally common, but the concept is the same.

osigurdson
12 days

I don't think anyone believes that these groups were a statistically significant component of the protests. Of course, if we legitimately think that Nazis and white-supremacist groups present a serious problem in Canada we should be addressing it - not using it as a kind of guilt by proximity argument to delegitimize protests of other causes.

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