Well Known Facts about the Average American (which make us exceptional employees):
· Never take vacation (because we are so committed to our jobs)
· Addicted to smartphone (so we’re at the beckoning call of our boss 24/7, of course)
· Constantly sacrificing personal time ie: relationships, family dinners, etc for corporate time (we love the office so much)
Yes, we can all laugh these off, but they’re kind of true in retrospect. How did we get this way? Behind our corporate ladder loving nation is a set of social factors that have been at work shaping the lifestyles, personalities and motivations of almost every American for the past several decades.
Take our decrepit economy, outsourcing of labor, newly overeducated generation and massive debt and you’ve got a tragedy better than Shakespeare himself could have written. We pride ourselves on freedom and the American Dream, but is it possible to achieve that dream under these circumstances?
Making it in America is a game; part survival of the fittest, part luck and a whole lot of hard work. Compared to the rest of the developed world, many would argue that we are severely lagging in social services such as health care, public transport and welfare programs. Instead, we're left to our own devices to put it simply, figure it out.
Take college for example. The majority of Australians attend university on a loan from the government which they only start paying back when they make over $55,000 annually. Some of my Aussie friends even get PAID by the GOVERNMENT to go to school! I would happily take up a career as a college student!
This is happening while American students are shelling out upwards of $40,000 a year in tuition, living off Top Ramen and drowning themselves in a pool of debt they will most likely spend a good part of their lives paying off. Job or not, the loan bills keep coming. And of course, it is pounded into our American brains from the age of toddlers that if we don't get an education, we will never amount to anything, so every mother, child, sister, brother and dog attend a four year institution. With a national minimum wage of $7.25 it is almost impossible to make it without working two jobs or achieving some form of specialized training or higher education.
In Australia the waters are calmer. Yes, they have their corporate circle, but many Aussies can live happily earning somewhere in the $20 an hour range working at a café or in retail (their minimum wage is $15.51, but I’ve never met anyone making that little). With a non-dilapidated economy, finding a professional career is anything but cutthroat. Here, the wages are decent, the pace of life is slower and people can spend their lives leisurely waltzing down career lane rather than racing to the top.
Americans, on the other hand, have been conditioned by the policies of our country, job shortages and economic state to become a bunch of 60 hour a week working, sleep deprived, corporate ladder climbing enthusiasts all in the hopes of achieving our coveted American Dream. And that is precisely why foreigners should be dying to hire people like us. We're crazy! We are willing to compete for what we want until the bitter end. If we can make it in America, we can surely make it anywhere!