The standard of living in the CR

Discussion in 'Culture' started by withoutaim, May 5, 2006.

  1. anu

    anu Well-Known Member

    there's a bigger choice of different sorts of food articels in switzerland than there is in prague. that's about the only difference i've noted.

    and in switzerland, antiamericanism is indeed quite popular :lol:
  2. Milewicz

    Milewicz Active Member

    I think it's popular in many places to not like the USA. I can see the reasons why. But not liking the USA and not thinking it is modern or a democracy are two different things. And although you or someone else may not like it, it is modern and it is a democracy.

    I can understand why some don't like the USA. Some things are really, really screwed up. Gas consumption, the Bush administration, Hollywood...

    I am curious about the CR (though the economy worries me). Anyway...
  3. Milewicz

    Milewicz Active Member

    I would like to add that I was only arguing that the USA is a modern and democratic country. I don't think it is a perfect country. It is dragging its feet with universalizing health care (to many Americans' anger), it went to war with Iraq with really poor intelligence (Saddam was a very bad man, but the whole 'they've got these weapons' logic was wrong and many Americans knew it), and the USA uses too much energy and isn't conserving enough.
    And being an American, it drives me crazy. I think things will improve in the upcoming election, and hopefully will really improve in the 2008 election.
  4. wer

    wer Well-Known Member


    I agree with you that USA is modern and democratic country but I think your guess that mostly people in the whole world see USA as democratic is only one big and too optimistic illusion. That's ideologic question and ideology is always space to vague. Your contemplation is too rational. Mostly people are'nt able to think in this way. Or, maybe better, they are'nt willing. They simply project their feelings.

    But maybe, that's me who is too pessimistic :D.
  5. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    Exactly! I concur with Milewicz general view of the Czech Republic present progress of the overall status. With a few exceptions, life in CR today is much like it was in the US during the 50's. But to fully understand this view, one has to be over 60 and have lived in both enviornments to be able to compare. This does not mean that the Czechs are backwards, but merely still recovering from the CSSR regime that kept the country isolated and in the dark,

    During my visit last Spring, it became very clear to me that there is a vast difference between todays Czechs and the Czechoslovaks of yesteryear. Both groups speak the same language, but their cultural values differ as day and night and they do not have very much in common. The Czechosolvaks seem to reminess about their former DOMOV/VLAST and todays generation just wants to FORGET/IGNORE the past, as if they are not to proud of what occured since 1948, and balme the Expats who were forced to leave the counrty as some sort of traidors who abandoned their homes in a time of need. The fact that over 50% of the population voted in the communists and that the expats left their homeland under the threat of life or imprisionment ( today there are NO ex communists in the country, a claim much like the post war Germans --no one was ever a Nazi). Ignoring history still does not change the facts, and that is what todays generation in the CR is bent on forgetitng, as if the events never happened.

    Exiled Czechs seem to be a vivid reminder, that many of the "liberated" Czech now live in stolen proriety their forefathers confiscated from the "politically undesirebles", whos only crime was to "own something" that someone else wanted without working for it! The forcefull taking of proriety --even under a political banner -- is still stealing... Stolen remains stolen propriety regardless how it was obtained/stoilen until it is returned to the original rightfull owner, regardless how long ago the teh crime was committed. Forgotten history tends to repeat itself, and todays Czech have to bear the consequenses of their forfathers deeds!

  6. Milewicz

    Milewicz Active Member

    I know it is typical for an American to thank someone when complimented, but thanks.
  7. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Even Clinton said that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. And most Americans believed him.

    Universal health care would cost most Americans too much money and the health care would suck. My kids had medicaid in the past. Trust me, the government sucks at providing health care. Those Americans who think they can afford an extra 20%-30% coming out of their check in taxes to pay for universal health care should simply put the 20%-30% aside to pay medical bills or purchase their own health care program. They would get much better health care than the government can give them.

    How about those who lived in Communism, was the health care good?
  8. John Rihacek

    John Rihacek Active Member

    To All:

    My grandparents left when it was still Austria-Hungary, and the economic
    opportunities and chance to own your land was a great pull. 5 of 7
    Rihacek children, three sons and two daughters, left Kuzelov, Moravia for the US in the 1880's and settled in the NY Metro area. Of course we had
    to suffer in the coal mines of eastern Pennsylvania when the labor unions had yet to form, but the opportunites were there. Also their cousins left
    from a nearby village, and all settled and over time purchased farms in
    eastern Pa or up state New York.

    We are happy to be Americans of Czech ancestry, and readily learned the
    language and attained professional degrees over subsequent generations.
    Social and economic mobility in America has always been attainable so long as you were willing to learn English, and assimilate. Most of the immigrants that come here whether legal or illegal come here for not only
    the economic opportunites, but the democratic institutions that do not guarantee equality of result but equal opportunity.

    I have had many clients who have emigrated from Nigeria, and they appreciate the protection of the American system of justice, and open
    elections. We may not be perfect, but we are recognize that democracy is
    an evolving process requiring constant care.

    The last word on Saddam has not been written as he was certainly a murdereous dictator that needed to be removed. Recent reports show
    that Saddam had bribed top United Nations officials and governments to
    turn a eye to his misuse of the food for oil program.

    As an American, we cannot be the world's policeman but sometimes pure
    evil must be confronted, and stopped. There is no question that Saddam
    was bent on self destruction and some perception that he was the next
    Saladin. Hitler had the same perception of himself, and bluffed his way
    unitl he was stopped.

    The events of September 11th, have shown Americans that madmen in the wilderness, whether they be domestic (Oklahoma City) or foreign, cannot always be ignored. Sometimes confrontation and force is the
    only answer. For too many years the actions of Bin Laden were ignored.

    John Rihacek
  9. MK

    MK Well-Known Member

    Modern democratic country
    The image of US being the country of free and most democratic country in the world was created in 19 century. It was true that time but during 20th century all European countries vastly improved its political structures. The principles of democracy and human rights become inviolable rules and its are basic principles of EU. There was huge improvement of democracy and human rights generally in the US during previous century too but European countries reached "higher level&".

    The image of US being model country in democracy and human rights was hugely damaged by "Florida election issue" (previous pres. election) and by actual torture case. Outside US the number of people who consider US a modern democratic country is sinking every year. Regarding human rights and democracy the role of US changed from mentor to naughty apprentice. Unfortunately most Americans are living in denial and confuse rising criticism over violation of human rights with Anti-Americanism.

    back to living standard in CZ

    CR and differences of income level, social security and healthcare
    It is true that there are not very big differences of income in CZ. (Gini index: CZ 25.4, FIN 26.9, SWE 25, US 45 , EU 32, CAN 33.1 etc./higher number=higher diferences/) Czech Republic is also one of countries with very low number of poor people. In CZ only 8% of people has income under 60% of country average (among EU countries it is lowest number: HU,LU 10%, FIN,SWE 11% .... SK:21%).

    Czech social security system is very very huge and together with healthcare program consumes most of our "taxes". :? Each Czech citizen is provided with social allowances (in case of low income or illness), retirement pension, healthcare and tuition (from elementary school to university). Except tuition (it is included in tax), these "programs" are called insurance.

    How is this all funded.
    If you are employee, then your employer must pay as high as 9% of your gross wage to your health insurance company and 26% to state for social security insurance (social allowances and pensions) and state employment policy. (This 35% are not deducted from your (so called) gross wage: employer must pay your salary + this levy :shock: ). Each employee must pay (from its gross wage) 4,5% to his/her health insurance company and 8% to state for social security insurance. The income tax is deducted from the rest. Similar rules apply to self employed people. Healthcare insurance fees for children and unemployed people are paid by state (from our taxes).

    When you have all insurance fees covered, then you must fund the state. :cry: The income tax is calculated from the rest. Thanks to computers we are able to deduct nontaxable part, all kinds of base reductions, count progressive rate and finally deduct tax abatements. :roll: It is still not enough money to feed our state so we also must pay VAT, excise tax, property tax, tax on interest, TV and radio levy, waste levy ... :( :( :x
  10. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Those must be some awfully poor people! :shock: I'd be curious to see where you got those numbers from.
  11. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    It's from Czech Statistical Office resp from Eurostat.

    And to be precise, it's income under 60 % of country median.
  12. petri

    petri Well-Known Member

    Sounds familiar...I mean this costs part...
  13. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    That make so much more sense, now. Thanks!
  14. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Sorry, couldn't help it :mrgreen:. That's my professional deviation :twisted:.
  15. zlato

    zlato New Member

    I have visited the CZ twice in the past several months and I am engaged to a woman from there. I am an American. When taking a tour, a German woman that now resides in Israel looked down upon you stating that you are slow (up top). The French woman on my tour thought the city was dirty. As for my views and I can of course elaborate, they really are quite straight forward. You have wonderful history that can be seen it the architecture. Unfortunately, your streets are dirty, and graffitti is everywhere (speaking of Prague). I have traveled in some other areas of your country and anywhere the communists built, it reminds me of the failed government housing projects in the USA. Outside of Kampa Park and a home cooked meal, the Czech food is only okay, not dobre or vyborne. I find the population to be somewhat closed minded (contrary to my initial thoughts prior to my travels) and when I read comments like yours regarding family values and religion, I think you are down right ignorant. 65% of your marriages now end in divorce, and the birth rate of unwed mothers is rising. Now this last point may be due to shunning marriage and only living together. Understand, to those that are truly religious (most Americans are not truly relgious - cafeteria Catholics as we call them), women living this way are considerd whores, not emancipated. Personally, I do not care about the living arrangements but I think it is a shame that marriage and family is not supported. Obviously, my fiance is very family oriented and focused on raising a family one day.

    I like many of your customs but find it a pity that even those Catholics in your country do not realize that many of the traditions practiced on religious holidays in your country are ancient pagan rites. It seems to be that the Soviets did a lot of damage to you mentally and that unless you hate the Russians with lots of vim and vigor you should not critize the Americans. Afterall, the Russians raped your women, pilaged your homes and just laid ruin to your psyche.

    Despite all of these negatives, I think that the Czech people will do wonderful things over the next 20 years, if Germany and France do not squelch you. The worst thing that you can do is adopt the Euro.

    I saw terrible dental care for my fiance for an extracted tooth. And despite all of this, I am considering giving up a $250,00o (US) job to move there, because she wants to be close to her family (imagine that, family values being the reason).
  16. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Wow, Zlato, your post was quite cold and harsh. It appears from your comments that you have some education in your past. Perhaps you should have taken a class in communications with an emphasis in tact.

    1. Acute sensitivity to what is proper and appropriate in dealing with others, including the ability to speak or act without offending.
  17. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    They have no choice. Adopting the common currency is a prerequisite for all new members of the EU.

    You mean like having a Christmas tree? Or Easter eggs? Whatever you say Mr. Pot. :wink: I'm guessing you're Catholic, since that's the only denomination you mention, so I have to wonder if you believe in the whole pantheon, uh, I mean, collection of saints. There are some doubtful saints, St. Bridget for example, who are most likely just pre-Christian dieties all dressed up to lure the pagans to the church. Also the Virgin of Guadalupe, who very conveniently appeared on a hill sacred to an Aztec goddess and, guess what, looked really indigenous. What's wrong with adapting old customs to new beliefs anyway?
  18. zlato

    zlato New Member

    Yes, I agree it was blunt. Actually, this is the way my Czech fiance is, blunt. I normally have more diplomacy in my speech, which my fiance criticizes for acting too much like a politician. Mostly, I think it was the original writer's attacking statements regarding American women that set me off.

    I really wish that whomever defaces the beautiful architecture would realize that it simply is not cute. I have never seen that much graffitti anywhere in the USA, although I will admit there are places I simply will not travel.

    I have tremendous respect for the older generations in the Czech Republic for all of the hardships that they endured, so when I see a young person with little respect for other values, whether they be the elders or foreigners, it erks me. I have interviewed international schools in Prague for my two sons, toured real estate for sale and I am being tutored in Czech. The move will not be immediate, but educating oneself about their future new environment is tantamount. I have already made arrangements to return this summer, this time with my sons.
  19. zlato

    zlato New Member

    I understand the required conversion to the Euro and the economic requirements that must be in place before adopting it. The longer this can be put off the better, however. So far it has been delayed once already and for the economic reasons that I agree with.

    Catholics - actually any protestant religion would do. I was baptised Lutheran, married in a Methodist church and for some nutty reason converted to the Catholic Church. And yes the first marriage was annulled. Trust me when I say I am a cafeteria Catholic. And yes, almost all of Christianity is based upon former pagan symbols and rites that the Church adopted or changed to serve its purposes.
  20. withoutaim

    withoutaim Active Member

    Please, write without a tact only! It is nicer to hear the true than things like "rich culture, educated people, and blablabla" Maybe it is just a cliché...

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