This is a comment I received on my blog from yesterday. I just thought it was worthy to show it here in the main body because I think it must be indicative of how expats and other nationalities must view this country right now.
"Jim, I am a former New Mexican now living in Canada, on the west coast, for many years. I read your blog daily, as well as many US news sites, and am stunned by what is going on. I simply do not understand the reluctance to pay higher taxes IN ORDER to get more services -- yet the willingness to (for example) pay exorbitant private medical premiums, or worse, do without medical care. Or safe infrastructure. Or necessary social and public services.
I was a teacher here, am retired now. I checked out the cost of moving to Las Cruces for retirement, and the cost of medical for me and my husband would be more than we pay in taxes as a whole per month.
What was sadder was when I looked into being a substitute teacher in NM: I could be a sub with only 60 college hours, and get $54.00/day! How is that a living wage? And what quality of instruction do students get for that? No wonder science, math and English scores are tanking in the US!
I will not even get into an argument about Canadian vs US medical care -- suffice it to say that the idyllic island I live on has almost a third of it populated with recent US emigres, glad to avail themselves of our system. What I really want to ask is what has happened to folks in the US so that they feel they should get something, if not everything, for themselves, (let alone caring about the other guy) for nothing? It was never like this before; never this mean, nor this irrational.
What is also really sad is that the rest of the world looks on America as childish, even bizarre, and Americans don't give a damn. That insularity simply reinforces the extreme and self-destructive behaviors.
I miss fry bread and carne adovada, (unless I make my own), I miss luminarias and the comfort of adobe on the eyes, I miss Jackalope, green chile cheeseburgers in Socorro, and the smell of pinon in the fall. But I don't mind missing out on the craziness, and I wish it simply weren't there. And I wonder why so many folks in the US put up with it."