Before we proceed, this article is for informational purposes only.
I was talking to one employee from Europe (forgot which country) and as part of the consulting process we talked about how the US tax system works and she mentioned that she was in relationship with a lady and wanted to find out how the tax system recognizes their status in US. When I mentioned that US does not recognize same sex marriage, she said, “well, I cannot come into a country that does not respect my relationship”, and she rejected her ‘potential’ assignment to US. True story.
Pic Courtesy: Vinoth Chandra
That example is little old as Internal Revenue System has now started recognizing same sex marriage for tax purposes while lot of states are still to catch up.
Are there any other areas that you did not know about US? Read and find out the things you did not know about USA.
Being gay is illegal: Not in all states but in some states for sure. Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas have explicitly declared being gay to be illegal and thus you can get arrested for being gay in these States. There are 13 states that have declared Sodomy to be illegal. Irrespective of your ideology of how liberal US as a country is, be careful about your sexual preferences while in these states.
Community property states: what is a community property state? The states that automatically consider the assets, income and whatever you own to be owned by you and your spouse jointly, irrespective of who earns it. If you are moving into one of these community property states, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin, make sure you understand how community property rules affect you.
Legal alcohol age: Did you know that legal alcohol age is not 21 in all states and is not applicable in all situations. Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina allow drinking under 21 without parental consent. In many states, did you know you could get arrested if you directly or indirectly help under age person procure alcohol? It is ok to help with grocery and alike but never lend your help in buying alcohol to anyone, no matter how old they look.
Cancer and divorce: US ranks top 6 in the world cancer nations. US also has 52% divorce rate when looked at number of divorces to number of marriages ratio per 1000 population, as of 2011 stats. One of the many reasons why you should avoid talking about ‘too much’ personal information.
Freedom of speech is on paper (pun intended): Prima facie US does seem to be a place where you can express yourself, and you can, as long as you do not venture out to reveal truth. Sounds contradictory? Not when you find out that US ranks 46 (13 spots down from previous years to 2013) in press freedom. In other words, some of what you hear/see on news may be BS.
Ranks 16 on socially progressive countries list: US is conservative, whether you like it or not. You may have been allured by the two places, California and NY, and assumed that all of US is as progressive as the two states. Not so. Most every state in US leans from conservative to VERY conservative. Most notorious is the bible belt (yes, there is such a thing).
There is no official language: Surprised? Yes, English is still the language most every State uses in US but not all states have stamped English as their official language. Only 31 states have declared English as their official language. But there is no official language for the US as a whole, none exists at the federal level.
Seems like most of it seemed negative? That was not the intention, so here are some good things (depends on how you look at it) about US:
- World’s number one country when it comes to ‘highest’ paid jobs (read highest household disposable income).
- Big food portions
- US Sports that no other nation plays