Originally Posted by replicat
As for Social Security, bwahaha its a joke, My grandma and grandpa get a combined $1400 a month. She works as a private nurse though and makes about 50K a year untaxed, and all private.
It ain't good here either, even though if you look at the taxes, it should be really fucking good, but it's not. A base retirement is about 33% of your pre-retirement salary. So if you made 4-5 grand a month, you'll drop to poverty levels per family. That's why most people need to use private pension funds to put money into and do at least some kind of investment to try to have something for their older days.
Everything that's bad there, is much, much worse here - believe me. I've worked in the US for over 4 years and owned a business there and I own a business here (and have owned/or operated offices in London, UK and Frankfurt, Germany as well) so I know both sides of the coin very well.
The only thing I'd say is worse sometimes in US can be the feeling of non-security and the gun violence that is totally out of hand. As a shooter myself, I believe people should have legal private firearm ownership (and thank God it's not limited THAT badly here - but it is in some European countries, such as Germany where a civilian cannot own any weapon that uses any military or law enforcement CALIBER, which pretty much rules out anything but .380, .25 and .22 for pistols and strange hunting calibers (which you can't get fun (fun as in practical rifle shooting hobby) assault rifles for) for rifles.
For me, it feels strange how most of the downtowns of cities in the US can have neighborhoods that are made of gorgeous marble and are very upscale business areas, but can have a ghetto area just 2 blocks away (I'm thinking of Wash, DC here, but many cities do seem to have a more "dangerous" areas closer to downtown and the nice areas in the suburbia). For example, for the first time I was in LA I was driving without a map in a loaned BMW 330Ci Convertible, things got pretty scary when I almost lost my way south of the business district... the streets didn't look nice... The povery that is in the us is more violent than here... That's unfortunate. But everybody at least has a chance in the US. Here, you're just punished for working. The more you work, the more you pay income taxes, take that!
But this is getting really
Let's go on-topic while I have the time to still write this before departing.
While picking up a customer car for testing (claimed some strange electrical issues.) today I talked about the new M3 with several people - highlights:
It could be that it's release will be pushed back to April and New York auto show, but not confirmed. People still have their Geneva tickets. The VIP private showing of demo cars has been re-scheduled for early April over here, with pre-invitations re-sent and asked people to still wait for the actual date TBD. The engine will be 450hp at the least and both manual and SMG will be offered. SMG will certainly be developed from the SMG III - during the SMG III program the gearbox department apparently didn't feel like they had adequate time finishing the product and would have liked to incorporate much more features that time didn't allow (kind of like back with the SMG II on the E46.)
The Coupé version should have perks and default options that the Sedan won't (depending on the market), and it'll come out first - it'll also be a little more expensive. There are rumors that the Coupé might be lighter overall as well (!)
On other M-related issues:
BMW is reportedly working on a hard roof Coupé/Convertible version of the 6-series because the E93 will instantly make the current rag-top 6er obsolete and it has already become non-desirable among the potential buyer segment because of this. BMW has a new target to leave the Z4 and the upcoming 2er (if it'll be the 2er) the only Cabriolets with ragtops.
On other news, the Z4 3.0si Coupé and Roadster still have silver painted PLASTIC front grilles on the front kidneys (LOL)... Drave a Z4 3.0si Coupé today (that was the customer car with the "electric problems") and God I hate the electronic steering aid on it. It's like slush compared to the Z4 M Coupé - or any real BMW for that matter. There should be a general Internet warning for people not to buy these disasters, but just the M model of the Z4. Unless they wish a complete non-BMW-like steering.
VAG's CEO resigned today admist corruption scandals and financial problems. BMW stock is doing well and going up almost daily.
- Also, Porsche is considering raising it's stake in the VAG group up to 29.9% which would make it a third owner of the huge European car-maker made up of merged companies that is destined for crapdom (And has already slided there well for several years), just like huge American car-makers that were made up of merged companies. Mergers are not always the answer, they tend to kill innovation and get rid of the talented people, and keep in the losers in any given company.
Saddam is soon joining Satan in Hell, as South Park: The Movie predicted years ago! Good job US!
Thanks and Best regards,