Scarcely a day seems to go by lately that I don’t look back on my decision to escape from the United States as a Godsend. At the time, and for sometime after I burned a lot of bridges, there was a significant amount of fears that I had to contend with. But now I can honestly say that I feel a degree of sadness for those Americans who are still slaves in America. Unfortunately, that term applies to the vast majority of Americans.
It wasn’t always that way of course. When I was a kid, America was a great place to be. Indeed, it was almost certainly the best place to be. Of course, our productive capacity had already peaked, though we didn’t know it at the time. Real income growth came to a stop in the very early 70s, but America had such a surplus that we lived well on our savings for a long time. We were like spoiled rich kids who didn’t need to worry about a job because of our trust funds. The problem is, that over the course of the last 40 years America burned through it’s national savings and now finds itself with no skills, no savings, no credit, and increasingly, no hope whatsoever.
I didn’t always understand these things. There was a time I was a young republican chanting mindless rants of the glory of capitalism, and the evil of all things socialist. I led campus rallies against the Sandinistas in 1983. I voted for Reagan, gw the 1st, and cheered on the “Contract with America” in 1994. I thought Oliver North was a hero and that Robert Bork got a bad deal. I thought that Desert Storm was a good idea, and that liberating Kuwait from Iraqi tyranny was the purpose of the war. I got an MBA in the 80s and thought myself a smart fellow. In short, I was a simple-minded fool and unfortunately there were millions just like me.
Fortunately for me and my family, I began to wake up. I began to see that America was on the wrong path in almost every imaginable way. I won’t go into the details here as it’s an entirely different post. But to summarize, I recognized that if it is true that one ultimately receives what one gives, then America was royally screwed. For example, I posted in an online forum in 2004 that if America continued destroying the infrastructures of nations as it was doing in Iraq, then America’s infrastructure was doomed. If America continued making millions of Afghanis and Iraqis homeless, Americans would lose their homes too. I wasn’t bright enough to understand exactly HOW these things might happen. I just knew that karma is real and inescapable.
Given that there was no indication that America was going to repent of it’s foul behavior anytime soon, I made plans to escape. I invested in opportunities off-shore. It took a few years, but by the end of 2008 I thought I was ready. But it was very hard to pull the trigger! There were family issues to consider, and also, I knew that I would be the foreigner when I left. I would be the guy who couldn’t speak the local language. I was scared. But I finally pulled the trigger.
Now, a year and a half later, I am so glad I did! There are things about America I miss. But there are so many advantages to living outside of America it is a no-brainer. Better medical care at 25% the cost, a mere fraction of the regulations and rules, infrastructure that is improving rather than rotting. Education for the kids that is far better than public schooling in the States. The list goes on and on.
I read today about a huge water pipe bursting in Boston, an oil catastrophe in the Gulf, record foreclosures in a myriad of states, unemployment rates almost without precedent, and schools looking at 4 day weeks to avoid financial catastrophe. Not coincidentally, I also read about the wars without end in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am so glad I got out when I did. I may move back someday. But only at such a time as Americans regain their lost sanity en masse. I hope that day comes soon. In the meantime living almost anywhere else in the world is a better idea. Find a way! It can be done!