I immigrated to the US well before the so-called “Iranian Revolution of 1979”. I always thought I had one leg up ahead of those Iranians that “had to run away” from the tyranny of the Ayatollahs — to anywhere, including the US. Being born in Tehran, I watched the flock of Iranians from Khorassan, Ahvaz, Esfehan, Yazd, Kerman and Shiraz to the US – you know – the ones we used to call Daahaati – if you were born and raised in Tehran.
I used to shun those Daahaatis immigrating from Iran in the aftermath of post-1979, thinking “what are they doing here”? Very similar to upper-class people in Sarasota, Florida, seeing some newly arrived black people in their neighborhood, and whispering to each other “what are they doing here?”.
Meanwhile, I had become employed by a fortune-100 US company well before 1979. Boy – did I have a good pension plan and medical insurance with that fortune-100 company. I used to laugh at the deal offered by the Khomeini government to Iranian civil workers as their little earnings were being dwindled and deflated from 7 Tomans per dollar too 700 Tomans per dollar.
I was feeling great until the 1990s when most US Corporations stopped having Pension Plans and introduced 401K plans – in other words – you pay for your own pension – not the corporation. Furthermore, they introduced a 5-year vesting plan – meaning that you had to stay with the company to even get vested in the 401k plan. Meanwhile, I noticed they kept on laying-off workers that were not working beyond 40-hours a week at no extra pay. In other words, you had to be the slave of the US Corporations – or else—you would be laid-off – and no transportation of your 3-4 years of pension from one employer to the next.
As it happened during the past 30 years, I ended up working for US companies that either went bankrupt, or they laid-off people, just before they could get vested in the pension plans. In the same time – the same Corporations started cutting down on medical benefits, making the employees pay for medical insurance premiums.
Now in 2007 when I see those vry Daahaatis from Iran who escaped the Mullahs’ tyranny, and came here with a few dollars – they got themselves into second hand car dealership or real estate dealings and wheeling – and they are doing fine, better than me with my advanced degrees from the west and placing my faith in the “American Corporations”.
There are over dozen countries in the world that offer their senior citizens a retirement with dignity, no matter what their seniors did for the past 40 years living in those countries. Those countries include Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, etc — all civilized and developed countries.
My advice to anyone contemplating immigration to the US is: DON’T. If you have the choice to immigrate to more civilized countries, do so. You don’t want to immigrate to the US, unless you want to become a shitty dealer-wheeler in cars and real-estate, someone who fucks and abuses the workers, or an outright lawyer/mafia/politician..
If you want to maintain your dignity and integrity at age 65 and beyond, don’t immigrate to the US.