Intercultural differences : America and the world (#10)
The US mistreatment of expats!    

Contrary to most countries, the USA does NOT treat its expatriates well. Far from being considered an element of soft power, the 8 or 9 million of American living abroad are instead treated like people who, somehow, have betrayed their country and, therefore, do not deserve a fair treatment. The reason is obviously deeply rooted in American history : for a country of immigrants who left their country for a better life in America, an expatriate is someone who does not think that the USA is the best country in the world and therefore, by leaving, he/she is a traitor to its values.There are innumerable examples of restrictive or penalizing US decisions for American expats :

  • for so-called "security reasons" or against "double allegiance" : until the 1970s, US citizens residing abroad could not be employed by US embassies ; at the creation of French State social benefits in the 1900s, US citizens who benefitted from them were considered "paid by a foreign country" and could lose their US citizenship, etc.

  • as "punishment for traitors" : until 1973-1976, it was (practically) impossible for Americans living abroad to vote in US elections and it took a "tea bag campaign" by AARO (read about this organization) to reach an acceptable status, followed by a similar campaign a few years later to make it possible for children of Americans to keep their American citizenship without excessive constraints of residence in the US (read the memoirs of Phyllis Michaux, who was instrumental to improve the status of permanent residents abroad).

  • as "people so rich that they can pay for the good Americans" who stayed home : in addition to the double taxation generated by the US definition of taxpayers (read about it) which has been a hassle for US citizens abroad since the 19th century, the tax law by the Obama administration (Foreign Asset Tax Compliance Act, FATCA 2013) is the source of such a difficult situation that more and more US citizens choose, very sadly, to renounce their citizenship (a recent figure : more than 3,000 in 2013).
  • why this attitude? Main Street America does not know much about the world and does not care about people (even American) who do not live in the US. Neither do Congressmen. (see my insularity test). This is why the election of President Trump in 2016 raised such huge concern in Europe and elsewhere.

  • more to come

 
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To related pages : intercultural(#1), more intercultural (#2), intercultural management(#3) and the image of the USA(#4), irksome France (#5), more intercultural (#6), more intercultural (#7), American artists the French like the best (#8), more intercultural (#9), etc...

 

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For more on intercultural differences, order Harriet Welty Rochefort's books :

  • "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming events, testimonials, etc..)

 

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