America - its all a bit odd...

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Thanks for the answers.
If you figure U.S population at 320million, and the number of passports in issue at 110M, then that's....er....carry one, ....add three...knit one purl one...

Near enough 33% ?

( much more than cute but daffy Hannah Hart thinks - but wa--a-y short of 47%)

And French insularity is so well known that the French themselves ruefully acknowledge it.....as per Roadster's view

" why leave good ol' USA? We have everything RIGHT HERE!"

so French government types lament
<< L'Esprit Hexagonale >>

( France landmass looks a bit hexagonal. French businessmen show a marked aversion to leaving l'Hexagone )

Arrse - everyday a kollidge day innit doh?

Incidentally, my question related to CONUS - trips to Honolulu or Nome don't count.

Or Guam,PR or Samoa which are basically autonomous American colonies*

So,to sum up. Two thirds of US citizens have never been outside their own country ?

And a handful of preserved National Treasure status buildings dating back to pre 1640 - when my local pub started serving.

Dis-donc,que voulez vous?



* " Can he say that? What? No, colonies! ?? "
" No. Get in the helicopter. You got the cable ties right? "
 
On this business of international travel. Some things to bear in mind.

The US is just about as geographically diverse as it is possible to be. There are, in no particular order:

Several mountain ranges. By mountains, I mean Alpine, Mont Blanc type mountains. There's nearly 200 mountains over 12000ft.
Arid desert and searing heat. Death Valley isn't called that for a joke.
Pacific Islands - Hawaii
Arctic tundra - Alaska
Wilderness - most of the the bit bordering Canada
Dense forests - most of the Appalachian region
Warm seas and silver beaches - Florida
Major metropolitan cities - the mid-Atlantic region from DC up to NYC is basically one huge metropolitan area
Enormous lakes. The Great Lakes are bigger than the entirety of the UK
There's 125 thousand lakes in the lower 48.
There's another 3 million in Alaska.
Stunning natural geological formations - Grand Canyon, Utah, Wyoming, Yellowstone etc.

Now if one happens to live in a country that doesn't have these, travel overseas is necessary and desirable to to see them. But if one happens to live in a country where it's not necessary to travel overseas, where you can speak your first language (mostly), use the same money, the same laws and customs (mostly), it's not too hard to see why many people have no need to travel overseas.

You want theme parks? There's 400 in the US. There's only 300 in the whole of Europe. You want Skiing? There's about 500 places to ski in the US. You want insane drunken bars? Go to the Redneck Riviera. Like arts and culture? Go to NYC or the National Mall in DC. Or even Gettysburg. Want to see living history? Go to an Amish area.

Of course if you want to experience different national culture, then you do indeed have to travel. To New Orleans :)
They still lack class and their (gun) culture clearly needs a re-think.
 
The federal minimum wage for tipped staff is something like $2.50 an hour because it is assumed that tips will make up the difference. It hasn't gone up since the '70s.

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Well if that's the case that is a disgusting way to treat the employees by the employer, and an equally disgusting treatment by their Government!
 
Well, mostly because you want to go and experience something different, not something the same with different scenery.
Have you seen the places a lot of UK holiday makers go to? They appear to be looking for something the same with different scenery.
 
(...) A2 - hard to cost but I don’t imagine it’s much different to Brits going to the US. In reality nearly 67 million Americans travelled abroad in 2016 so it can’t be that difficult. Mostly to Mexico and Canada:

For the most part, these travelers didn’t stray too far from home; more than half of the year’s international travelers — 37,403,398 to be exact — stayed within the confines of North America, with Mexico proving to be the year’s most popular destination (25,181,630 trips in total), followed by Canada (which saw about half that traffic, with 12,221,768 visits). Europe was the third most popular destination, with 11,831,870 Americans headed to the region, followed by the Caribbean (6,579,691), and Asia (4,388,391).
US Government figures.
(...)
You need to define what "travel abroad" means before comparing numbers. The 12 million figure for US visitors to Canada is for overnight trips. The latest (2016) statistics from Canada puts overnight visitors (staying at least one night in Canada) from the US at about 14 million. More extensive figures for 2010 (the most recent I can find) put overnight travel to Canada from the US at roughly 12 million, but same day travel (returning to the US on the same day) at 7.4 million.

Same day travel from the US to Canada has declined to about half the level from its peak in the late 90s early 2000s. Overnight travel has declined as well, but not by as much. The main cause appears to be the increased security theatre beginning in the early 2000s making short term trips less worth the aggravation and time involved in getting back into the US (travel into Canada is less of a hassle).

A major issue for Americans making overseas trips is going to be simply cost and time. They have to go much further to get anywhere worth going to, making flights inherently more expensive and time consuming than might be the case for people living in some other parts of the world. Popping over to a neighbouring country for the weekend isn't really a practical option for most Americans, given the distances involved. For example, London to Paris is 462 km, and there are excellent high speed train connections with which to make the trip. New York to Montreal however is 596 km (30% further), and the rail connections are nowhere near as good or as fast. New York to Toronto is a good deal further (800 km), and New York is much closer to Canada than most other major US population centres.

So in general, the Americans have fewer options for visiting foreign countries that are near at hand, and even those options are not necessarily all that close.
 
If somebody couldn't find a beer they were happy with there, I'd suggest they're being too picky.
It's true. American beer consumption has changed beyond all recognition in the last 10-15 years, and the stereotype about them all being like making love in a canoe is now well out of date. You now get the opposite problem, where Americans of a certain age and type will engage in long discussions and negotiations with serious faces about hoppiness, maltiness, heaviness, etc. when all you want to do is get a pint in.

In fact the cultural shift has been so complete that even in the commissary, normally a bastion of the consumption preferences of the previous generation, you actually now have to search for the Miller Lite among a wall of decent beers instead of it being the other way round.*



*Metaphorically speaking. I have never willingly sought out Miller Lite.
 
Septics can be extraordinarily generous at an individual level and polite but to an Englishman's ear they are very rude to those who also stand and serve. No please or thank you just "gimme a coffee" "gimme a beer" "I want...." instead of "Have you.... " Mind you it's been some years since I was in the USA.
 
It's true. American beer consumption has changed beyond all recognition in the last 10-15 years, and the stereotype about them all being like making love in a canoe is now well out of date. You now get the opposite problem, where Americans of a certain age and type will engage in long discussions and negotiations with serious faces about hoppiness, maltiness, heaviness, etc. when all you want to do is get a pint in.

In fact the cultural shift has been so complete that even in the commissary, normally a bastion of the consumption preferences of the previous generation, you actually now have to search for the Miller Lite among a wall of decent beers instead of it being the other way round.*



*Metaphorically speaking. I have never willingly sought out Miller Lite.
It’s Canadians that have cornered the market when it comes to shag’n in canoes...
 
Well if that's the case that is a disgusting way to treat the employees by the employer, and an equally disgusting treatment by their Government!
No, that's just lack of understanding of how it works. Obviously, nobody at all works for $2/hr. The $2/hr is a nominal sum that qualifies the employee for benefits. Pension, medical, dental, etc. The vast majority of their income is from tips. They're not discretionary tips, it's not like they're charity cases or something. A decent waiter in a good steakhouse will make north of $100K, all on tips. Servers are reasonably well paid jobs. The busboys clearing tables, on proper minimum wage of $10/hr work their way up to be servers on $2/hr.

Obviously it's quite a different situation from Europe, but that's how it is. There's quite a few jobs where you basically get nothing from the employer other than a nominal sum, many sales jobs as an example. The car salesman gets a very small retainer of say $100/wk to cover his benefit eligibility. But rakes in thousands in commissions. The waiter is in a similar position.
 
The main cause appears to be the increased security theatre beginning in the early 2000s making short term trips less worth the aggravation and time involved in getting back into the US (travel into Canada is less of a hassle).
This is the crux of the matter for me. Back in the 1960s and 70s it used to be a simple matter crossing the border into Canada (I went to the world's fair in Montreal known as Expo '67 with no more documentation than a state driver's license to prove who I was.) Nowadays however, you need a passport book or card to cross the international border and the US Border Patrol eyes you up and down like you're Osama Bin Lauden when you try to get back in.It makes the day trip not worth the hassle.
 
No, that's just lack of understanding of how it works. Obviously, nobody at all works for $2/hr. The $2/hr is a nominal sum that qualifies the employee for benefits. Pension, medical, dental, etc. The vast majority of their income is from tips. They're not discretionary tips, it's not like they're charity cases or something. A decent waiter in a good steakhouse will make north of $100K, all on tips. Servers are reasonably well paid jobs. The busboys clearing tables, on proper minimum wage of $10/hr work their way up to be servers on $2/hr.

Obviously it's quite a different situation from Europe, but that's how it is. There's quite a few jobs where you basically get nothing from the employer other than a nominal sum, many sales jobs as an example. The car salesman gets a very small retainer of say $100/wk to cover his benefit eligibility. But rakes in thousands in commissions. The waiter is in a similar position.
Bloody Hell! even the Indians and the Chinese get better deals than that. I don't feel that I misunderstand. As I understand it the employer puts the task of paying a good worker over to the public! I understand the basis of tipping and indeed I tip well if I am looked after well at a restaurant, but it should not be just about the whole source of a waiter's income. I am sorry but we shall have to disagree on this one!
 
I understand the basis of tipping and indeed I tip well if I am looked after well at a restaurant, but it should not be just about the whole source of a waiter's income. I am sorry but we shall have to disagree on this one!
Isn't this the sort of thing the OP envisaged with this thread? It's all a bit odd and we learn as we watch the thread unfold. This is odd to us, as it would seem that the joint charges for what it sells, the waiting staff are paid a retainer but apart from that are effectively self-employed.

I suppose the closest thing I can think of to that in this country is the PGA Golf Pro. Club pays him a small retainer, after that he lives off the shop.
 
This seems a likely thread to answer the question.

Found this comment on YouTube - about why Americans tend to stay within their own borders:

Comment on a Hannah Hart video : My Drunk Kitchen

( Harto-sama talks about living in Japan for a year, side remark : ' Did you know only 10 percent of Americans have a passport ? That's crazy! ' )

Sarah Wendel 1 year ago

Only 10% of Americans have passports because its real damn expensive to not only get a passport but to also then leave the country. (Like I understand the importance of experiencing some culture shock and realizing that the world is much bigger than you think it is but its hard to do for most people.)


So, Question for those who are currently living in USA - How much is a passport ?

Question 2 - if you live in the very centre of the US [ I dunno - say...er...Mongville, Idaho ? ] - how hard is it to get to a 'foreign' country?

Canada or Mexico both count.

Question 3: This percentage figure is much quoted. What is the 2018 REALITY ?

Thanks
10%? I would be surprised if it’s that low to be honest. I just got passports for my kids and they weren’t that expensive, $80 or so IIRC.
 
It’s actually worse than that Wilf.

The American federal government requires a wage of at least $2.13 per hour be paid to employees that receive at least $30 per month in tips. If wages and tips do not equal the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour during any week, the employer is required to increase cash wages to compensate.[As of May 2017, the average hourly wage – including tips – for a restaurant employee in the United States that received tip income was $11.82
That’s the baseline. It varies by state and can be as high as $11.50.
I think minimum wage is $12 or $12.50 here right now.

My first wife was a server at Fleming’s steakhouse and weekend nights where she made $1000 were not uncommon. Mostly cash too...
 
As I understand it the employer puts the task of paying a good worker over to the public!
Yes that is exactly what is happening. Annoying to us, accepted as natural by them. And just one of the things that contributes to making the cost of living in the US really hard to assess without actually doing it - because the price you see is always much, much less than the price you pay.

As discussed here in fact: https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/america-its-all-a-bit-odd.267199/page-4#post-8146280
 
As I understand it the employer puts the task of paying a good worker over to the public! I understand the basis of tipping and indeed I tip well if I am looked after well at a restaurant, but it should not be just about the whole source of a waiter's income.
No wonder the wait staff get snotty if you don't rate the service and under tip or don't tip at all.
 
D

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If one joined an armed regulated militia these days you'd have the FBI AND THE dept of HOMELAND security on your arse faster than if you started shouting Allah Akbhar in an airport terminal.
 
Septics can be extraordinarily generous at an individual level and polite but to an Englishman's ear they are very rude to those who also stand and serve. No please or thank you just "gimme a coffee" "gimme a beer" "I want...." instead of "Have you.... " Mind you it's been some years since I was in the USA.

You fired up a memory that My mother told me, many years ago she went over to the US to visit her sister, A GI bride, she took her self off to NY, she speaks perfect oxford English, in I think Macys, one of the big stores, she asked the assistant" Excuse me , may I have one of those please, thank you" within seconds she had attracted a crowd, who without embarrassment asked her where she was from, and would she like to come to a party I am having, etc. they were enthralled by her accent, diction and manners. Mum was extremely put out with the attention, and had a hard job getting away. This I think sums up the mannerisms and lack of social graces inherent in a country that is still evolving.
 
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