(replica pic from the article discussed below)
I discovered The Economist a couple of years ago and fell in love - well love is a strong word I suppose. But it is the most enjoyable way in which I get the news. It's quite expensive though and so is a bit of a treat (in Singapore S$15 at the newsstand; in US I think it was aroud $10). I guess I've always (well since college) been interested in what's going on with the world - sometimes moreso than what's going on at home. I've heard some criticism about President Obama being too apologetic to the world for being the USA. When I've been on my travels, I have often felt that way myself. Someone asks where I from, I say the States awaiting a negative reaction.
Well...I treated myself over Christmas and bought the Christmas edition of The Economist.....and it helped shine a light. The article, A Ponzi Sscheme that Works, proceeded to lay out all the wonderful reasons why people WANT to come to the U.S.
The article explains how immigrants can make almost anywhere in the U.S. home. Think about all the landscapes, climates, lifestyles, etc. that you can find. Want a big city? You can go north (have winter and summer), go south (stay warm), go east (all business), go west (hug a tree), come to the middle (everyone's your neighbor). You can pick and choose to find your perfect environment (in Singapore - I have no options of farmland or cold weather).
Mixed with all that variety, you can find pockets of ethnic groups. How wonderful to be in a strange new world, yet surrounded by your countrymen. Take the best of America and the best of home and what could get better?? I can really appreciate that now that I'm in Singapore. Talking to Asians and making new friends is great but the fact is we're different and you can't always appreciate the same inside jokes. Talking to other caucasians is nice because they often face some of the same challenges as you. But talking to other Americans takes the cake because it's like a little bit of home, what you're use to. There aren't a whole lot of Americans in Singapore - most of the international population is Australia, Europe or other Asian countries.
The article made me remember all the wonderful things about the U.S. and made me proud to be from such a great country where everyone can find a home. Thought I would share.... :)