Hello. On February 14, 2022, I moved to America to work for Stripe . I’m super pleased to be working with Stripe’s excellent technical documentation team at a critical time for the company.
I struggled with my own answer to this for a long time.
America is a country with a complex history and impact on the world. After September 11, 2001, it is increasingly a country in profound moral and spiritual crisis. After the election of Donald Trump and the many geopolitical events occurring within and without during the COVID-19 pandemic, America is at an active inflection point which will define its next 100 years as a country.
Without diving too much my personal relationship with the many forces currently at play in America, the best answer I have is that while America is deeply flawed, it is the single best option. The alternatives are unbearable.
Let me break this down a bit:
In no particular order:
The military-grade helicopters circling points of interest are truly bizarre. In no other country I’ve lived in has the citizenry in general had so much continued exposure to active military equipment and personnel. I had the pleasure (?) of visiting San Francisco last year during Fleet Week, which was also truly bizarre.
People aren’t as rude or different as Canadians think they are: My former colleague and friend Nathan Waddington pointed this out to me, after he returned from a long sojourn in San Francisco over the pandemic. Canadians are truly so similar to Americans that it’s easy to assimilate. Our legal systems stem from the same British precedent, our banking and credit systems are near identical, culturally we are one and the same.
Anti-poor and racist sentiment is so subtle that you hear “nice” people say things constantly: the kinds of things my (“nice”) asian friends would whisper about in private - the idea of calling someone “urban” or “hiphop inspired” - are done more or less in the open. People do not seem to realize that they are being nearly as racist or anti-poor as they are. Google reviews of apartment buildings criticize those that have “rent stabilized” units as increasing crime in the building, etc.