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I once worked with a man who had just come out of college. We sold medical products.
For two years, He realized selling wasn't what he really wanted in life. He got a Masters
in business and  marketing.

I haven't seen him for over thirty years until today. He has been living in Southern Mexico and loves it. I had a doctor friend from the Veterans hospital in Seattle
move his family to New Zealand. I have a neighbor who is selling his home and  moving
to Cambodia. I challenged him on his sanity moving there. He swears after having
been there six times he can handle it.

I can share more examples of friends moving, but I want to share the common theme:
less stress. Money goes further in most other countries I've mentioned.

It's nice to be invited to visit, but the United States needs all of us to fight the cancer
that is spreading across this country. Now is the time to be part of making America
what our founders and leaders wanted, a "rainbow" country that allowed all who were
willing to work, a chance for a great life.

I have to say I would love a time when mothers holding a baby stop coming up to me
and ask for money. I would love to not see an entire family standing on a corner
begging. I am tired of the Iraq veteran with no arm or shoulder begging because
his benefits have not arrived after 7 months of waiting. There HAS to be something
that Vet is not telling me. I told him where in our county he could go for money
right now. But, who am I to question him?

I'm tired of daily calls from my homeless son who seems angry that I won't give money
to his friends. I am tired  like the rest of you dealing with the stress that IS life
in America in 2014.

I feel a need right now to say how lucky we are to live here. I would rather stay and
fight issues that need fighting over and try to care for the folks I had a hand in bringing
them into this world.

I'm glad my friends have found joy and are living the "good" life. it's been so long, I don't think I know what the good life is. Except running at dawn and seeing the
sunrise. Maybe it's watching the clouds dance in the sky. The wind starting to hint
at rain. Maybe feeling the rain splashing against your face and washing away the sorrow's you feel. Maybe God is telling me to stand straight, head looking forward
and running so hard your in a "zone" of bliss.

Maybe we should smile because we are alive and have a chance to live this moment
with gusto. We may not be alive the next second.

So, I'll stay here in America and do my best to make life better for my family and others.

I am tired now but plan to leave this life knowing I tried to make life better for as many
as possible.

Will I succeed? I have no idea, but I at least will have tried.

-A single sunbeam is enough to drive away any shadows.
-Saint Francis of Assisi

Originally posted to Vet 65 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 09:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by KosLit and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (233+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, PeteZerria, Dallasdoc, ichibon, truong son traveler, YucatanMan, markdd, PinHole, blueoasis, rage, doingbusinessas, kurt, camlbacker, daveygodigaditch, JeffW, codairem, DaNang65, mookins, ban nock, FarWestGirl, DRo, Laurel in CA, GrumpyOldGeek, mockingbird1971, David54, oldcrow, FiredUpInCA, Mr Robert, Yo Bubba, GwenM, Aunt Pat, BMScott, calgalnfl, Phoebe Loosinhouse, Shippo1776, ladybug53, yoduuuh do or do not, Greyhound, GreenMother, Thinking Fella, CwV, spacecadet1, cv lurking gf, richardvjohnson, jessical, Liberal Mole, Caniac41, ybruti, Diana in NoVa, Jon Sitzman, TimG831, Clytemnestra, dewtx, Carolyn in Oregon, jadt65, ridemybike, mod2lib, MKinTN, Steven D, Billlll, GeorgeXVIII, FindingMyVoice, whyvee, marleycat, CWinebrinner, kck, T C Gibian, reginahny, elwior, DerAmi, zerelda, nother lurker, Happy Days, collardgreens, Ed in Montana, wader, surfbird007, thenekkidtruth, Sun Tzu, Yellow Canary, Jollie Ollie Orange, rsmpdx, philipmerrill, fumie, Dood Abides, Habitat Vic, Lefty Coaster, NM Ray, badscience, aaraujo, OpherGopher, shaharazade, Ageing Hippie, tommyfocus2003, AnnieR, Timaeus, brianmkennedy, Temmoku, cybrestrike, Pat K California, Catte Nappe, BlueMississippi, weneedahero, slowbutsure, henlesloop, enhydra lutris, Catkin, science nerd, SeaTurtle, seefleur, dRefractor, Senor Unoball, Imhotepsings, Texknight, Pluto, One Pissed Off Liberal, la urracca, CyberLady1, owlbear1, wild hair, TheDudester, TomP, Homer177, cyncynical, Inventor, bartcopfan, Yonit, yellowdogsal, ChemBob, Yoshimi, vigilant meerkat, jakedog42, rmonroe, Elizaveta, novapsyche, Norm in Chicago, BvueDem, chrisculpepper, psnyder, dandy lion, ceebee7, chicagobleu, Ella H, Powered Grace, stlsophos, JayRaye, sk4p, Preston S, Dr Swig Mcjigger, Robynhood too, HedwigKos, Regina in a Sears Kit House, MJ via Chicago, Penny GC, thirty three and a third, Wolf10, amyzex, ColoTim, LiberalLoner, Nebraskablue, myrmecia gulosa, Aaa T Tudeattack, Wonton Tom, Matilda, Square Knot, Risen Tree, pickandshovel, Rogneid, dharmasyd, maregug, certainot, rscopes, TKO333, NXNW, unfangus, peptabysmal, corncam, side pocket, snazzzybird, ranger995, ConservatismSuxx, Zinman, llywrch, chimene, marina, Sandino, DrFaustus, bsmechanic, Thunder, cap76, Tx LIberal, TheMeansAreTheEnd, Aureas2, kaye, geekydee, wishingwell, Laura Wnderer, No one gets out alive, Creosote, bewild, rl en france, science geek, deepeco, Debs2, LillithMc, gramofsam1, wordene, Dodgerdog1, Onomastic, ladywithafan, paradise50, bnasley, Pilotshark, 2liberal, fuppet, WattleBreakfast, antirove, looseleaf, sb, thanatokephaloides, anodnhajo, susakinovember, flycaster, where4art, Older and Wiser Now, travelerxxx, wozzlecat, ChuckInReno, bloomer 101, WakeUpNeo, Pacifist, orlbucfan, ModerateJosh

    Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

    by Vet63 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 09:06:08 PM PDT

  •  Stay or Go? (56+ / 0-)

    If I had the choice I'd move back to England. Unfortunately, I don't. I was there on a work visa and when I resigned my position that was final.

    But If I could, I'd move back in a hot minute.

    I'm totally disgusted with this country and it's ruling parties.

    There you have it. That's how I feel.

    My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

    by Mr Robert on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 09:31:43 PM PDT

  •  other places have their own issues (35+ / 0-)

    It's true though that they are often less stressful. Corruption and lack of democracy used to drive me round the bend. Not speaking English for long periods can be hard too.

    I'm always acutely aware of when I get on that first domestic flight again. No one smiling. Some hostile. Lotta stress here. Can't believe a place so rich has homeless.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 09:35:15 PM PDT

    •  You forgot another major issue: WALLING THEMSEL... (34+ / 0-)

      You forgot another major issue:

      WALLING THEMSELVES OFF.

      Europe and Japan are experiencing population decline, mixed with a rapidly aging society.

      The Greying of Europe and the Greying of Japan are well-documented phenomena, with devastating implications.

      Yet, the nations of Europe, and the nation of Japan, retain their bitterly high immigration standards. What's mre, they do everything in their power to make foreigners feel unwelcome.

      And you must not challenge the status quo. Because "that's how we always do it".

      It will be hard for me to feel sorry for Europe and Japan when the catastrophe they dread so much finally hits. Walling themselves off has devastated their population; it will only get worse.

      We here in the USA should take the Greying of these countries as a dire warning. If the Republicans continue to wall us off, the Greying of America will happen.

      It's already creeping in, as you can see with American organizations with huge percentages of older (60+) people, and precious few younger people.

      •  That said, I will not flee from America, as the... (13+ / 0-)

        That said, I will not flee from America, as the walls are too high.

        We're stuck in this crucible; let's try to survive.

        Even though Norway is looking pretty good at the moment...I'm a POC, though, I'm persona non grata there.

        Guess I've gotta face the music! The tune? Why, it's the Star Spangled Banner, of course!

      •  This is so true (8+ / 0-)

        If you want to immigrate to a European country it is very difficult.

        I have been thinking about leaving for a few years.  Researching different places, immigration requirements, culture, planning visits, etc.  

        Visiting those countries, easy peasy, living there permanently, not so much.  They should just put out a mat at their borders that says Not Welcome.

        •  I have a right to live in Finland and from there (7+ / 0-)

          I can get EU passport, grandparents allow this

          "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

          by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:07:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How about Great Grandparents??? (0+ / 0-)

            My Mother's grandparents immigrated to the US from Finland in the 1880's.  Always wondered if I can use THAT Finnish ancestry to get back into the country. Heck, I will even learn Finnish if I have to (it is very hard.. and I have been working on it).

            Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

            by Caniac41 on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 06:24:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  merrywidow (0+ / 0-)

            What's Finland like in terms of appearance and life style?
            Mike

            Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

            by Vet63 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:39:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Have you ever tried to immigrate to the US? (6+ / 0-)

          My ex worked in an American Consulate abroad in the passport dept - talk about tough immigration standards! You just don't know about them because you are a citizen. I'm a US expat and it's really not that difficult as some here are trying to make it sound.

          „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

          by translatorpro on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:13:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I met an American expat (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Penny GC, translatorpro, Rogneid, Vet63

            in Brussels via Air B&B who had lived there for 10 years working for various American companies. He spoke French well and German amazingly well, though.
            I cannot emphasise enough how important learning a foreign language is.

            "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

            by northsylvania on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:01:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  northsylvania (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              translatorpro

              I hear you need a skill that Country needs to let you stay.
              That is true with most places I think.
              Mike

              Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

              by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:03:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Only in the sense that you have to prove (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                northsylvania

                that you can support yourself and not be a leech on the country's social system is the rule of thumb, I believe. Caveat: I have not tried to move/immigrate to any other EU country, so my information is based on limited experience/knowledge on the subject. Anyone seriously thinking about it should educate themselves in depth on the country or countries they are interested in.

                „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                by translatorpro on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:58:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It depends on the nation (3+ / 0-)

                  For some, such as France, it's not enough to show you can support yourself and not be a burden on the social system.

                  It goes farther than that, as they're trying to preserve available jobs for French citizens. It's far easier to get permission to stay and work there if you (or your employer) can show you have exceptional skills that are not readily available in the French marketplace.

                  Or, you can get a short-term "Compétences & Talents" visa for a particular project or effort that contributes to the economic development, intellectual, scientific, cultural, humanitarian or athletic outreach of France.  I considered that one for awhile, but ultimately decided not to go that route.

                  •  Thank you, but I was not the one asking. :) (0+ / 0-)

                    I was also not contemplating a switch - I'm quite content where I am, but that is interesting to know. As you will have noticed, I make a point of saying my knowledge is limited, as compared with a couple of other commenters spouting generalizations about "Europe", as if it were one country, and one size fits all here.

                    „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                    by translatorpro on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:07:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Ernest T Bass (0+ / 0-)

                    Thanks for the education about France. I've always
                    been told they're rude. I hear it is quite lovely.
                    Thanks for writing,
                    Mike

                    Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

                    by Vet63 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:00:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Because he was working (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                translatorpro

                as an American citizen for an American country (Large solar panel installations) he didn't have to conform to those rules. I knew a guy at Citibank who worked in London under the same rules... until his department went belly up. When his visa expired, he had to go back to Texas.

                "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

                by northsylvania on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 04:01:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Depends where (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Penny GC

          Each country has its own policies, although it's never easy. Many are strict now, given popular discontent.

      •  And what do they do? (32+ / 0-)

        Here in the states we force qualified "older people" to choose.

        Get a job as a greeter at Hell*Mart or flipping grease at Micky Dees or starve on Social Security.

        So that if people can afford it they move to other countries where they can eat a decent meal and afford to pay for decent health care.

        Some of my relatives moved to S. America. I like them have worked hard my entire life only to have it never PAY OFF. I am thinking about following suit. There I can work, and afford to live and send my kids to college.

        Here, it's a crap shoot at best. And we will never retire between my illness and whatever it costs for the kid's higher education. Never retire ever.

        WTF!

        It shouldn't be that much. And quite frankly living here in a red saturated state with an upskirt shot of ugly "Murica" on a daily basis has taken it' toll on me. I need a fucking break. A long one!

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:24:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  or you will be forced to retire, ie get rid of (8+ / 0-)

          civil service protections and seniority so they can hire " the best" and fire the "dead wood" so to speak....and people fall for this line of BS every time.

          •  You ever actually worked for deadwood? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Imhotepsings, ozsea1, Penny GC, Rogneid

            Dead Wood exists because of poor management and a toxic work environment.

            Dead wood is not born, it's facilitated.

            Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. That doesn't mean that the solutions offered are correct, nor the explanations offered.

            I don't always disagree with the other side of the aisle that there is a problem, but I often disagree with them about how to go about resolving it.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:00:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Management is never accused of being dead wood (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dave925, Penny GC, NoMoreLies

              only the rank and file....

              •  What I discovered working for and with Deadwood (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Penny GC, ER Doc, NoMoreLies, melo

                in the military: Like attracts like.

                Good people who can transfer do, ASAP, those who can't muddle through while the working environment degenerates, and incompetent asshole bosses make a nest in all of it like a pig in shit.

                Sometimes rank and file are deadwood too. It happens. But the real problems happen when there is a bottleneck of power and information. Then the deadwood is created by a managerial tourniquet. Without a healthy flow of information and power, that branch, that office becomes gangrenous, circulation has stopped, the tissue/workers/environment becomes anaerobic and necrotic.

                Deadwood cannot flourish in a healthy environment, because their dysfunction and lack of work ethic is a glaring accusation in and of itself in comparison with the other workers.

                Whereas a healthy personality introduced to a deadwood environment--the opposite is also true. They cannot flourish, because their good work ethic, is a glaring indictment against the status quo of the office/branch, and (lack of) leadership.  

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:43:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  More like fire skilled older workers who are "too (6+ / 0-)

            expensive" and hire less experienced, knowledgeable workers for a fraction of the cost.

            And then wonder why everything turns to shit. It's not fair to the older workers or the younger ones because it sets the system up to become highly dysfunctional.

            Low Pay, No benefits, no loyalty (or reason for it), lack of contractual obligatory performance (by the company) no workers rights in reality, regardless of what the Labor Dept Says, and another chunk out of middle class America when forced retirees have to live with their kids barely making min wage+

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:47:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  GreenMother (4+ / 0-)

          Have my friends been talking to you? My friend has a beautiful home which he could never afford here.
          He has fun.
          What's that?
          Mike

          Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

          by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:23:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  GreenMother (0+ / 0-)

          I'm a college graduate and am unsure how I would live
          without 2 disability checks. The jobs I am trained at
          are filled with kids just out of college.
          I will start writing classes soon and learn how to
          write  a clear thought.
          Take care,
          Mike

          Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

          by Vet63 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:04:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Immigrants are good for the economy! (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, Pluto, Yonit, bananapouch1, Rogneid, Vet63

        business knows this, they bring entrepreneurial energy and new consumers, we NEED them

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:06:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Degrowth (7+ / 0-)

        Population decline seems like a good thing for the coming degrowth. Maybe the whales will catch a break.

        skip the light fandango, turn cartwheels across the floor

        by radicalink on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:13:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Which countries are you talking about? (4+ / 0-)

        (Off-topic: For some reason the first line is in bold, not my doing. I tried several ways to make it normal, but nothing worked.)
        And where did you get that information? Did you check EU immigration statistics?

        Immigration to Europe increased from the 1980s onward, as a result of people from developing countries wanting to escape war, oppression, natural disasters or poverty.[1] Some EU countries saw a dramatic growth in immigration after World War II until the 1970s.[citation needed] Most European nations today (particularly those of the EU-15) have sizeable immigrant populations, many of non-European origin.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        Your  statement is completely at odds with my own experience, and I've been an expat  in "Europe" for over 25 years. You are making a pretty sweeping, accusation about EUROPE as if it were one big country. It isn't, and your information is wrong. Actually, it sounds to me as if you are having a sour grapes moment.

        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

        by translatorpro on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:09:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No one wants to have children. (0+ / 0-)

        European nations don't have a huge tradition of high levels of immigration. The countries already have poorly integrated immigrant populations, and most voters are not clamouring for more.

        The sad part is, most nations have not figured out how to raise fertility rates. Even many traditionally Catholic nations are faced with a collapsing, greying population. It will not be fun to deal with their social security systems.

        •  Maybe they realise (5+ / 0-)

          that resources are limited and we've overshot just a bit.
          However, the population of Europe is not walled off from the rest of the world. Go to any big city and you'll realise that there are a lot of recent immigrants here. One of the reasons a backlash is occurring is that there's still a recession going on, wages have flatlined, and jobs are hard to come by.

          "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

          by northsylvania on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:11:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly. That "walled off" comment was (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, northsylvania

            off the wall. I live in Germany and can be in France, Switzerland or Austria in less than 2 hours by car. Europeans are always traveling to other countries during their nice, long vacations, and the news is full of what's going on in other countries (unlike the US). I have no idea what this person is talking about - the borders are open and people are always traveling, talking with their host countries inhabitants and learning languages and immersing themselves in other cultures. There's nothing isolationist about it in the least.

            „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

            by translatorpro on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:30:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is nothing Isolationist about Europe, unl... (0+ / 0-)

              There is nothing Isolationist about Europe, unless you are not a citizen of a European country.

              Since you're brimming with confidence, why not sponsor me for German Citizenship?

              Then we shall see if the walls are as nonexistent as you say. I'm a dark-skinned, bearded male, so the fun will be Doubled!

              •  You are talking nonsense. I guess you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                northsylvania

                didn't read my comment to you above that I am an expat, a US citizen abroad, and I cannot sponsor anyone.

                Your  statement is completely at odds with my own experience, and I've been an expat  in "Europe" for over 25 years.
                http://www.dailykos.com/...
                Besides, immigration doesn't work that way here - that's an American thing.  You have to immigrate on your own merits according to the respective country's immigration laws and policy. I guess you tried and were rejected, otherwise I can not explain your negative attitude.

                „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                by translatorpro on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:54:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Around 9.4% (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                translatorpro

                of EU residents were born outside their country. Percentages by country may vary.
                Problem is, when you immigrate anywhere, including the US, you have to have some kind of attribute needed by the host country.
                (Sorry about the bolded first sentence. I don't know what's up with that.

                "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

                by northsylvania on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 04:08:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  translatorpro (0+ / 0-)

              Your story sounds great. I have learned much. I've added
              traveling in Europe to my bucket list before I die.
              Mike

              Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

              by Vet63 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:08:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Can you really compare the US to those other (0+ / 0-)

        situations?  I'm not as fluent in the issues Europe faces in terms of population growth, but Japan is having a crisis as women attempt to enter the workplace.  The sexism there is far worse than it is here.  It is to the point where female professionals often choose to focus solely on their work in order to be taken seriously; they eschew romantic relationships.  This is coupled with the phenomenon of young Japanese men becoming recluses & refusing to socialize.  It's a double whammy.

        The U.S., on the other hand, from what I observe, has no comparable issue.  The "greying" of America is due to the Baby Boom.  Subsequent generations have been of a size that is within the range of normal, except recently, and even that can be explained as aftereffects of the Great Recession.

        As far as organizations go, that's more context-dependent, but I would posit that many organizations place more emphasis on experience & influence, which more older, established members would presumably have.  Also, as people are living longer, they are working & remaining engaged in these organizations longer as well.  But again, I can't broadly speculate without knowing to which organizations you refer.

    •  ban nock (10+ / 0-)

      Stress drove my friends away. The doctor I know says
      New Zealand is a great place to live,
      Thanks for writing,
      Mike

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 04:23:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, hes a doctor, so they're always needed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania

        I'm a social worker, and since the social services are different in different countries, ya know we aren't really in demand, tho we are in a NAFTA category and might be able to get work in remote parts of Canada. Try moving there to teach English. Not gonna happen is my guess.

    •  Maybe we expect our country to be a place (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      of equal justice and fairness so it is easier to accept lack of these things in other countries?

      disappointment and disgust is what drives people away, not that other countries are utopias

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:05:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't believe it either, ban nock. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jollie Ollie Orange
      Can't believe a place so rich has homeless.
      But then it isn't the place that is so rich but just some of the people.

      This better be good. Because it is not going away.

      by DerAmi on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:35:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ban nock (0+ / 0-)

      Are you saying when you get off the plane HERE you
      feel those emotions?
      Mike

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 04:45:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There was a time when I thought I was tethered (51+ / 0-)

    to a VA hospital, that being near one was the only way I'd manage to stay alive. Of course I thought those twenty three medications per day I was taking were necessary too.

    Some major lifestyle changes later I don't take any of those medications any more, and between 100% service-connected disability and social security I could live quite handsomely in, say, Costa Rica. Like a minor prince perhaps.

    And yet here I stay in Southern Arizona, working 70 hours a week for no pay, mostly doing veterans outreach. Over the last three years I've donated or given away a pretty steady one third of my income, while I drive a 17 year old Subaru that was donated to me, on his death bed, by my predecessor in my unpaid "day job."

    And I've never been happier.

    We can't think our way into a better way of living. We have to live our way into a better way of thinking. Claude AnShin Thomas

    by DaNang65 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 09:43:24 PM PDT

  •  Regrets. (23+ / 0-)

    There was a time not so long ago when my wife and I had planned a move to eastern Europe. All of the pieces were in place, including paperwork.

    For some reason (this was not so long ago—just a few years) we saw it as a big step, if we were unable to justify and rationalize staying in the U.S. Well, we ended up justifying and rationalizing it.

    Only now it feels like we had things the wrong way around. Why did we assume by default that we'd leave "only if" we couldn't stay? These days I think we both sense that it should have been we'll stay "only if" we couldn't justify or rationalize leaving.

    But now the costs (not just in financial terms) of going would be much, much higher and it's not even clear that we could. It feels like a missed opportunity—of a lifetime.

    There's a global change afoot. Countries that used to be the destination countries for the world are no longer so. They're not so unsullied any longer. They've lost "the moral high ground" in many cases. Only this loss of moral high ground isn't just an ideal thing—that loss happens because of real circumstances on the ground, and the ways in which they have become terribly, terribly unjust—to the point that the ideology just doesn't work any longer.

    The U.S. is one example. Israel is another. Western Europe is struggling to keep itself out of this group.

    When I was growing up, if you'd said that people from the U.S. were going to China, or to former Soviet Bloc countries, or to latin America—and all "for a better life"—people would have laughed at you.

    But now we've seen many of our friends do this. The China crowd seems particularly happy, despite complaints about pollution and bureaucracy and political idiocy. There is a lightness in their voices and in their descriptions of their lives over there that we don't feel here.

    Here—things are very, very heavy—even for those (like us) that are "doing all right."

    -9.63, 0.00
    "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

    by nobody at all on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 09:51:19 PM PDT

    •  Would like to hear a little more (4+ / 0-)

      nobody, I don't know anyone who has migrated to China or to former Soviet bloc countries.

      It seems to me that one of the big challenges for migrating to China would be learning the language, but maybe that's because I don't have a gift for language.

      What do you hear from your friends about why they are enjoying life more in China or other countries?

      •  I hear lots of good things about China! Too bad... (8+ / 0-)

        I hear lots of good things about China!

        Too bad they shoot you in the head if you use Cannabis there.

        I'm a man who likes his weed, so unless China lifts the restrictions, I'm not going!

        I guess it's okay, if you're a squarey-square who doesn't use recreational drugs. No offense to any squares in the vicinity.

        •  Rec x 1 zillion (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dharmasyd, Billlll, TheDudester, Meili
          Too bad they shoot you in the head if you use Cannabis there.
          I'm a man who likes his weed, so unless China lifts the restrictions, I'm not going!
          that will keep me from going there too

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:53:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  My wife and I aren't really the cannabis crowd. (8+ / 0-)

          Mainly what they say is that the city life in Beijing or Shanghai rivals what NYC has to offer, but that goods are cheap and plentiful, they have a kind of privileged position as educated Americans, there's a ton of local culture and sights to take in, work is very plentiful, and they feel like a lot of it is very exciting—like they're living in a place where things are happening, in the future rather than in the past.

          Most of the people we know are in academics or tech. We know several people/couples that have gone to China, a couple to India, and we have tons of contacts in eastern Europe, some of whom immigrated to the U.S. but then immigrated back over the last half-decade for better opportunity.

          The China group seems to be the young professionals. The people going to eastern Europe are mostly older, with kids/families. In fact, two families went to eastern Europe to have their babies, for the better lifestyle and benefits offered to new parents, even those that just have national "blood" but haven't lived there before (for example, a year off for both parents with full public-replaced wages if they had a baby, and jobs waiting for them again after their time off; one couple used their savings and that time+income to buy and renovate a very nice house at the center of the capital while they raised their newborn—they've put down roots and have no intention of leaving).

          Language is a barrier, but a lot of people are learning Chinese and there is a good reservoir of ethnic heritage language amongst 2nd or 3rd generation families in the U.S.

          My wife and I took a decent amount of Chinese while we were in grad school—it was generally accepted as the thing to do, given China's rising position in the world.

          -9.63, 0.00
          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

          by nobody at all on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:25:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But your life is dependent on the suffering (4+ / 0-)

            of so many in China, just like in America, those cheap goods have the blood of Chinese children on them

            and I would not support China with their human rights record but if you livelihood depends on being there then you have to

            "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

            by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:09:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Gimme a break. If the solution to ideological e... (4+ / 0-)

            Gimme a break. If the solution to ideological enmity at the way the US is being run is to live in an enclave in freaking China, I'd be hard pressed to find any commonality with such people. And what are the prospects for the next generation of kids raised as ex-patriots within China? Will the be allowed to know about Tienenman Square?

          •  Sounds like America about 100 years ago (8+ / 0-)
            like they're living in a place where things are happening, in the future rather than in the past.
            Photos and film from urban China today remind me of old photos and film of the U.S. a century ago. Lots of energy and optimism in their expressions and body language.

            Sadly, contemporary photos and film of urban America seem to show only people highly stressed and uncertain, like pictures of Moscow residents in the Soviet era.

            I feel like we've lost so much in my lifetime, particularly since the Reagan Revolution took hold. Now life in the U.S. seems like such a struggle just to stay even.

            The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

            by Turn Left on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:52:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  nobody at all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cap76

            So you would recommend going there to live?
            mike

            Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

            by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:40:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No idea—I've never been to China. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SeaTurtle, blueoasis

              To Eastern Europe? Yes and no. The biggest obstacle isn't language (everyone seems to speak passable English in many areas) or amenities/technology (it's easy to find cities in which they're frankly ahead of the major U.S. cities in these areas), but rather culture.

              Eastern Europeans have a very distinctive culture that is in some cases the polar opposite of American culture. If it's rude here, it's often polite there, and vice-versa. They're blunt ("Gosh, you look like hell today, and you're getting fat and old. You should eat more vitamins and exercise better.") and very status conscious ("That's not a party I want to be seen at; there might be lower class people there," even if they're already lower class) and social norms are very, very strong (e.g. hospitality isn't about asking your guest what they prefer, but about a very specific laundry list of behaviors and things that "good hosts" offer; meanwhile, being a "good guest" means to know and appreciate this list, whatever your actual preferences).

              They rely on social networks for everything. If someone sees your sink leak, they will know "someone" that can fix it. If you then call a plumber (stranger) rather than use their someone, even if incompetent, the friendship is over. Using the phone book (or the Google) is a sign of anti-socialness. Oh, and be prepared to drink. A lot. Especially of home-made spirits. And to offend people if you won't have any more.

              If you want to be friends with someone, you need to become obligated to them in some way, and they to you. This can mean favors, loans, parties, or something—but friendship and acquaintance work on the mutual obligation principle. No obligation? They'll think you don't want to be friends.

              Someone from NYC or a hard-nosed person that's had experience with a very diverse population? Yes, I'd say give it a go if you're so inclined. Someone cheerful and laid-back from a Pacific coast beach town or from middle America? Beware the culture shock, and be prepared to tough it out; the transition could make you feel like a "soft" and silly American (and that could well be what they think of you).

              -9.63, 0.00
              "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

              by nobody at all on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:56:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Northern Europe (0+ / 0-)

              Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, and esp Denmark.  Amazing, happy, healthy people.  I nearly moved to Switzerland, but had issues with family visas.  Hard to do, but if you've managed to save around 1 mil, most any country will welcome you.  Some, like Spain gives perm residency if you buy a house. (that was a few years ago)

        •  Meli (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Billlll, merrywidow, Utahrd, True North, sk4p

          Do they still make the family pay for the bullet? I'll
          pass on China. How about the Bahamas? I have been there
          twice and loved it.
          Have a great Tuesday,
          Mike

          Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

          by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:49:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And if you're even slightly worried about NSA (0+ / 0-)

          and intrusion of privacy...
          You definitely don't want to go to China.

      •  I've only known wealthy people who have moved to (3+ / 0-)

        China.  Average Joe's, not so much. Most countries are great to live in if you are wealthy.

      •  I know a few Americans who lived (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        True North

        in China. But they are in Europe now. Visa issues and where you MAY live is part of life for an expat.

        This better be good. Because it is not going away.

        by DerAmi on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:37:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I forget about this. I'm 2nd generation mixed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          True North

          heritage and my wife is 1st generation. We have three countries between us that would take one of us plus a spouse and kids. Almost everyone we know has international ties and, as a result, access to dual nationality if they so choose.

          I can't imagine how trapped I'd feel if there was no such possibility in my life.

          -9.63, 0.00
          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

          by nobody at all on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:53:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The advantage of going to China is that native (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheDudester, True North

        English speakers are not that common there and are thus pretty valuable. Fairly easy to get a decent job. The salary may be lower than in US but given lower cost of living it can work out pretty well. Of course, there are all kinds of issues (not being able to communicate unless you know Chinese, visa issues, pollution etc.).

        As for the former Soviet bloc, more or less the same thing. Lower cost of living (except for big cities in Russia), demand for native English speakers, problems due to not speaking native language. I know some people who have done well in former Soviet bloc. They are usually either married to a local or know the native language of the country they live in.

      •  A friend spent a year in China (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle

        in I forget which major city, not Beijing, and came home with COPD from the air pollution.

    •  nobody at all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical, Billlll

      I used to use Norway as an example of a country with
      no problems. Then one day a man decided to kill.
      Norway became us.
      My friends swear southern mexico is a great place to live.
      I still am afraid of living anywhere in that country.
      Be well,
      Mike

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:47:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mexico is fine if you are too poor to be kidnapped (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Utahrd, TheDudester

        for money or in the drug trade, otherwise I know lots of people in Sayulita who love it there

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:10:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  playa.info (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CrnkyOldMan

          Lots of Americans move south of Cancun.  Or Cuernavaca.

          Watch out for real estate title problems.  Mexican land title recording is as corrupt and incompetent as the Republican Party.

          "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

          by Utahrd on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:28:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I wish I could rec this more. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          merrywidow

          I've seen some of what they do to people there. I'm sure there are good neighborhoods and the Mexican people I've met here in my life have been some of my favorite people. But the cartels there would scare the shit out of me and they are seriously out of control there--human trafficking, kidnappings, beheadings, shootings, skinning people alive, etc. And if you get kidnapped, there's very good odds you're dead even if you pay.

          But if you don't run into the cartels, it's a beautiful place.

    •  nobody at all (0+ / 0-)

      What a powerful message. Every friend I have tells me
      I have no idea what life can be. I have a friend in Thailand.
      I feel like we should try and fight for good here. The problem I find is millions of Republicans think Liberals
      and big government is the cause of everything bad.
      Mike

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:38:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I haven't really thought of leaving since Bush. (8+ / 0-)

    But, if I did, I'd probably look into Canada.

    (I once thought of retiring there, but they really tightened those rules down for foreigners. I think you need enough investment assets to prove you're not going to sponge off them.)

  •  Your neighbor moving to Cambodia (14+ / 0-)

    would likely be fine, but for the quality of the available medical care. For anything serious, you get on a plane to Bangkok where state of the art medical care is available and relatively cheap (compared to the US). He should keep in mind that there is a vast difference between visiting a country and actually living in one.

    I've lived for several years each in many countries (Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Albania, Nepal, Thailand, and all of the five Central Asian republics), and each one has its own charms, and its own foibles, some of which will drive westerners nuts.

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 04:04:16 AM PDT

    •  Wayward CWind (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wayward Wind, dharmasyd

      My friend has his house on the market. He has been to Cambodia and loves it. He asks about Vietnam
      all the time. I tell him go now and see it, I was there
      along time ago and if memory serves me right, everyone
      was killing each other or trying to.
      I'd love to pass on any tips you might have for him.
      Thanks Mike

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:53:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Vietnam is truly spectacular (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dharmasyd

        but getting a long term visa is a problem, unless you are working for a company or an NGO.

        The war is long over - I have had many a memorable experience chatting with former NVA over a few beers, including several who were in the same AO at the same time as I was.  

        A lot of young Vietnamese used to approach me and ask what it was like during the war, as they know very little about it. When US kids would come over on study tours, I would invite them and a group of kids from the Hanoi University to a local theatre for a showing of "Hearts and Minds", the Peter Davis epic, with a discussion afterwards.  Intense times...

        I'll send you my email by Kosmail - feel free to pass it on to your friend.  And if you ever feel the need to go back to Vietnam, give me a shout and I will be the guide.

        I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

        by Wayward Wind on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:26:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  O/T you have a message in KosMail (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wayward Wind

      The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

      by llbear on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:55:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I am thinking about retiring to Cambodia in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wayward Wind

      a few years. You are right about health care. For anything serious you would want to go to Bangkok. Otherwise, Cambodia is an awesome place to live and dirt cheap. It is amazing how far they have come considering they were living under a bunch of homicidal psychopaths less than 40 years ago and were in a state of civil war up until about 25 years ago.

      You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

      by MikePhoenix on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:03:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I returned to Cambodia (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikePhoenix

        in 1984 on the first of several humanitarian assistance missions in the 80s, and then lived there for a few years managing a string of medical clinics in the early 90s.  

        I have been back many times since then, and it is truly remarkable what has been accomplished is such a relatively short span of time.

        I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

        by Wayward Wind on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:00:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You were there in the 80's?! (0+ / 0-)

          You got a big pair, my friend!

          You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

          by MikePhoenix on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:37:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dharmasyd, MikePhoenix

            1984 (twice) and 1986...

            It was staggering to experience. Less than 10,000 people in Phnom Penh. Cheoung Ek and Tuol Sleng before they were cleaned up and turned into tourist destinations. In Cheoung Ek, you could barely put a foot down without stepping on a human bone. The National Museum selling ancient pieces to generate foreign currency. Truckloads of armed soldiers to protect us on a day trip to Prey Veng.

            And the anger - knowing that the US embargo against the Vietnamese, and by association the Khmer, was causing so much suffering to so many people.

            I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

            by Wayward Wind on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:50:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh my god. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wayward Wind

              Cheoung Ek and Tuol Seng are the most horrific places I have ever seen, especially the latter, even after they were cleaned up. They are among the main reasons I stay involved in politics as much as I hate it. Monuments to what happens when we let the lunatics take charge.

              You ought to write a diary on your experiences.

              You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

              by MikePhoenix on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:01:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Wayward Wind (0+ / 0-)

          Maybe I should visit Cambodia, The only
          complaint from my friend is it's tough to get a straight
          answer from the  government there on anything.
          Reminds me of here.
          Mike

          Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

          by Vet63 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:50:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Health care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical

    I had the good fortune of living over two years in France and over a half a year in Germany.  My spouse is a German citizen.  I could live in Europe.

    The big issue is now health care.  My spouse has just been diagnosed with cancer.  I was hoping to retire in two years and now have to figure out what the cost of private insurance will be here or there.  

    [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    by MoDem on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:44:20 AM PDT

  •  People looking at this option the most seriously (23+ / 0-)

    are older Americans who are looking for ways to hopefully extend their retirement dollars. I have looked at many "retire overseas" type of websites and I have to say, for the most part, it looks like that ship has sailed.

    Strangely, enough, people from other countries are coming here to retire and shop as the bargain basement of the world - Americans seem to be completely unaware of this trend. Oh, the irony!

    I had good friends who were looking seriously at the Mexico option and seemed like they were going to seriously do it and pulled out at the last moment because they decided they didn't want to live in gated expat compounds that use the word "safety" or "security" countless times in their promo literature but that the options outside the fortresses were too insecure and unsafe.  And yet, ironically, here in the US we have just discovered that a number of states have greater rates of gun violence deaths than traffic deaths.

    The smartest way for Americans to stretch their retirement dollars, IMO, will be to do innovative things like share housing and set up things like cooking/shopping co-ops with their neighbors/friends. Widowed and divorced older women ( large part of the demographic in "poverty") should look at the Golden Girls model.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:55:37 AM PDT

    •  There's no free almuerzo, anywhere (6+ / 0-)

      You are SO right, that ship has sailed. I think that some Americans, and probably other people too, still have a fantasy about finding some cheap place to live where they can still live their American lifestyle on Social Security.
      Unfortunately, the nicest places are---wait for it---expensive. That's everywhere.
      Gone, WAY gone, are the days when the middle class American can find a place outside where Social Security will afford them a livable lifestyle.
      I think a lot of people, once they get out of this country and look around, may find out that it wasn't such a bad place after all. I think that was what happened to OPOL. sometimes its about more than just public health services

      My son moved to Chile and started a very successful restaurant. he owns a house and a beach shack outright. Chile is a very modern country with a good public health service. But its not cheap to live there, you probably couldn't live there on just American SS.
      And other countries aren't that happy about outsiders using their public health services or other public facilities that they haven't paid into, people who are only showing up for the benefits..
      just like America

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:22:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's interesting that people will consider (8+ / 0-)

        uprooting and going somewhere on a another continent with a host of unknowns and possibly not even speaking the language or being literate enough to read at a low level of comprehension ( which lack of ability is excoriated by many regarding immigrants into our own country) but they aren't considering an intra-country movement.

        There are lots of places within the US where a median home price is in the low 100s or even less. I think with research, a person could tumble onto someplace new with a lower cost of living albeit with some other trade-offs which have to be considered.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:52:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  America: love it AND leave it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrblifil, Norm in Chicago

          And you will definitely find mothers holding babies and begging, whole families on the street begging, amputee war veterans  wishing they could get what an American vet gets. if your attitude is America Sucks, get outside and look around: so does the rest of the world in one way or another. I encourage others to go outside the country and check the world out, maybe there's other places people could find better to live more suitable to their liking like China or Eastern Europe. Write and tell me about that.

          My son did and it worked out fine for him, but Chile could be a US state, its that modern and sophisticated. There's no free lunch in Chile, either, they want you to contribute, not take.

          I lived in CA most of my life, been to dozens of countries but found my place in Oregon. It has its faults but I like it. I've never seen a mother with a baby begging here (tho I did in CA) nor a vet amputee begging on the streets. These are not common sights in Oregon
           

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:11:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see people holding signs begging, that claim to (13+ / 0-)

            be Vets in Oklahoma. I don't know if they really are vets.

            I have seen kids begging too, to try and cover their dad's funeral (according to their signage).

            I have also seen tent cities spring up, I have seen repeated attempts to disenfranchise Americans from the vote for being homeless. Some places make it illegal to share food with beggars too.

            I don't have a bad attitude at all. I pay taxes, I vote and I have served--I do however have expectations.

            And right now, America is being run into the ground by shitty assed vulture capitalists who like to see what I described above, because that means workers are so grateful for any job, that they will take pay cuts, and work for no or very crappy benefits.

            Move to the South (poverty belt) and see a third world country called "Murica".

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:29:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't disagree with this (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mrblifil, Vetwife, Dr Swig Mcjigger
              And right now, America is being run into the ground by shitty assed vulture capitalists who like to see what I described above, because that means workers are so grateful for any job, that they will take pay cuts, and work for no or very crappy benefits.
              Not at all. I just think that you will find that pretty near anywhere you go. There's really no ShangriLa away from this anywhere and if there is, its not going to be cheap.
              And I try not to let that interfere with my daily experience of life here. There's other things to look at in Oregon besides politics.

              I go to the South about every year, GA and SC, mostly. I have friends there. LOVE going to NOLA for the jazz Heritage Fest. I used to live in Algiers (LA) If you think the South is bad you should have seen it when I first went there in the mid 60s

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:50:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Never said I was looking for Shangri La (7+ / 0-)

                Just a place where I know my kids can have a future that doesn't involve them having to settle for being someone's trophy wife.

                Or having to sell out their values to keep their job.

                Somewhere they can get decent health Care which--even with the new ACA, Healthcare for women in this country SUCKS! It sucks the chrome right off the bumpers of big buses it sucks so bad.

                My relatives moved because no matter how hard they worked, they couldn't afford rent and food. Now they do both.

                With the old man's military retirement we could make it work too, and we are both looking at it closely. We paid our dues over and over and over and over and for what?

                A crap in the hand is worth two on the head--that's what.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:13:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  There are some blue regions of red states like (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GreenMother

                my sister lives in a very blue suburb of Atlanta. She does not have to go far to find herself in a sea or red. But she lives in a very diverse, very liberal area of Georgia.  

                I live in a red county in a blue state so we often joke about that.

                Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

                by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:35:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  As I said above, it isn't that another country (4+ / 0-)

            represents a Utopia, but that the disappointment and disgust over what America is right now is what drives people away.

            That and money issues.

            "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

            by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:18:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well, there's always Brazil-- in the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            novapsyche

            Terry Gilliam sense, at least.

            •  There were a lot of articles about Ecuador being (0+ / 0-)

              a very good place for retirees and that the cost of living was low and Americans were quite happy living there.

              What worries me about some countries is how stable their government is and one never knows when the government will be taken over or when a civil war will break out..but then again, I guess that can happen anywhere. Life has no guarantees except death and taxes.

              Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

              by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:38:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Where in Oregon? (0+ / 0-)

            I am also drawn to Oregon, but not urban. I don't want to be surrounded by red like I am now in Idaho, so I will have to find a little blue oasis.

            •  Is Moscow, Idaho, pretty red? (nt) (0+ / 0-)

              "Woe unto ye beetles of South America." -- Charles Darwin, about to sail on The Beagle, 1831

              by Katakana on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:06:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Eugene. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ER Doc, gramofsam1

              or Corvallis. Portland if you like the big city but thats not the best reason to come here. I live about 22 miles outside of Eugene.
              Everyone I can vote for in a partisan election, from Obama down to my state reps, both of them, is a Democrat.
              Gotta like that but THATS not the reason I live in OR.
              Its a funky loose place where you can get away with just about anything.  Laws are lax, no state sales tax and a lot of the sheriff's offices are 18/6.
              You can walk down the main street of Eugene snorking on a doob the size of Beaverton, with a lb of weed in your pocket and you won't go to jail. To go to jail in Eugene you have to be one of the 87 worst people in the county and having a lub of weed doesn't make that cut.

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:56:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  my2petpeeves (0+ / 0-)

              I grew up in Oregon. I love Ashland
              (just above the California border,) I live Pacific City
              on the coast.
              You would like Oregon.
              Mike

              Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

              by Vet63 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:47:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You get what you pay for and ... (3+ / 0-)

          most low cost areas in the US are not a place many want to live.

          •  It all depends on what you need, want, what you (0+ / 0-)

            looking for. We live in a rather low cost of living area. But that is changing a bit as the college and the hospital increases in size. As more people move into an area, the cost of living can rise has been my experience. But then again, there are more people to share the tax burden too as well as the cost of the water and sewer system. My sister in suburban Atlanta cannot understand why her cost of living is far higher than mine except I pay so much for water and sewer. That is because we have only about 4000 people in the borough itself who have to pay for the new sewer system.  

            Most of the newcomers to our area work for the college or in the medical field. There always seem to be something going on at either Bucknell or our college here...that helps with the cultural aspect of living here.

            Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

            by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:43:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Phoebe, that would make a great diary.... (8+ / 0-)

          Pls?  ;-)

          There are lots of places within the US where a median home price is in the low 100s or even less. I think with research, a person could tumble onto someplace new with a lower cost of living albeit with some other trade-offs which have to be considered
          You have some great ideas on creative ways to retire....

          Addressed to Pope Francis: "Don't tell me what you believe........show me what you DO ........and I will tell you what you believe." (~Meteor Blades)

          by SeaTurtle on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:12:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks. This is an area in which I have a lot (7+ / 0-)

            of interest and have investigated and daydreamed about on my own behalf. I will see what I can do about a diary.

            “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

            by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:43:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would love to read that Phoebe and participate (0+ / 0-)

              as this is something my sister and I talk about a lot as she just retired from teaching and she is deciding where to live in the future.  And I am retired, husband is still working. But this is an area of interest for me as well at this time in my life.

              Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

              by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:45:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I know a counselor who retired to Sandusky, OH (0+ / 0-)

          after a career in NJ. She loves it. My BIL retired to ME. For 250k he got 14 acres and a beautiful log cabin. It's a little remote for me and he encouraged me to buy his lake cabin, but he's asking 350k for that and I have 2 kids to put thru school.

          •  My best friend bought a retirement home in Maine (0+ / 0-)

            It is very small but she is surrounded by woods but not far from the coast ...they purchased it for 40,ooo. They are cleaning it and making some repairs and updates and it is now just their vacation home. But they love it there and they would gladly give up their very expensive home in southeastern PA and move to Maine if they could right now. The cost of living where they moved is quite low in comparison to the Lehigh Valley PA

            Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

            by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:47:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, but winters in the Lehigh Valley are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wishingwell

              comparatively mild, almost mid atlantic. We're talking 60-80 inches of snow in ME, and lots of severely cold temps. And it stays cold through April. Memorial Day 2013 it was dounright cold. ME has short summers. beautiful summers, but real short. And no summer haze. But if you can take the winters, it is a great place to live. there ain't much work though. which is true everywhere these days I guess.

              •  They love winter and cold weather and they spent (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                leftangler

                two weeks there right after the holidays in January. They love the weather in Maine. They also like that Maine knows how to plow their roads where snow removal in southeastern PA , well let;s just say many there act like they have never seen snow. LOL

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                by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 07:29:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Yes cost of living can vary greatly within the US, (0+ / 0-)

          that is one of the reasons our nephew is thinking that once he retires from the Army, he may move back East to a smaller town in either NC where he was raised or PA where his mother and relatives on her side live. He says he can stretch his pension further and maybe even just work part time if he lives in one of the smaller towns with a lot of cost of living...rather than stay in his home in suburban Denver. They cannot even consider moving back to his wife's hometown near San Francisco due to cost of living.

          In fact,  a few of my family members who are retiring soon are considering moving back to central PA from more urban and suburban areas due to the cost of living being lower here..well it depends in Central PA as to how close one is to Penn State as the cost of living there is twice is high as my friend who lives just 15 miles west of there.

          But yes, retirees often research areas within the United States before deciding where to move and where to live after retirement to get the most bang for their buck.

          Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

          by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:29:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  My friend just purchased a small home in Maine (0+ / 0-)

          for 40, ooo. It is small but perfect for  her and her husband. Granted it is one bedroom but with a huge loft which can serve as guest bedroom or office.  

          You can buy a house in my area in central PA...a 3 bdr, 2 bath house with a large yard for 130, ooo dollars... if one spends over 200 k on a house , that house often is huge..with 4 or 5 bedrooms with 3 baths.

          Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

          by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:32:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  phoebe Loosinhouse (0+ / 0-)

          I I had a friend say move to Detroit and you
          WILL find cheap homes. I think
          that city has hit bottom and is coming back.
          Take care,
          Mike

          Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

          by Vet63 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:53:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  extrrp (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        exlrrp

        Thank's for your great story about Chile. Until now,
        I knew little about that country. Good  luck to your Son.
        Mike

        Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

        by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:06:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Phoebe Loosinhouse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical

      Thanks for a powerful message. I'd never ask anyone
      for help with Parkinson's. I am learning how to deal
      with it. I do think as I said,it's good to stay and keep
      the Republican monsters at bay.
      Take care,
      Mike

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:03:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Phoebe Loosinhouse (0+ / 0-)

      I have to move. To live on the eastside of Seattle you
      should have at least 300k for a decent condo. To rent ,
      you will spend $1800 for a decent place.
      your ideas make sense.
      Thank you,
      Mike

      Social activist, nutrition and exercise advice,long distance runner, Writer.

      by Vet63 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:43:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're out as well. That's the one thing we are (12+ / 0-)

    sure of. The where is the rub...

    This crew's determined to sink this ship and it doesn't look like anybody's going to stand up and try to stop it until it's far too late. This Captain was our last shot.

    As much as possible, we're going to watch the spectacle from a safe distance.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:17:28 AM PDT

    •  Well isn't that how Hostile Takeovers are (9+ / 0-)

      accomplished at first?

      Run the company into the ground, blame the workers, do rounds of firings, and then break it into pieces and sell it off bit by bit for fire sale prices.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:31:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well Greyhound, WHERE are you going? (5+ / 0-)

      would love to know.

      Many nights I go to sleep and play my own version of 'where's SeaTurtle?' ' and review the world map in my head with a searchlight to see if there is some place not expensive and safe and with a decent quality of life....

      Haven't found it yet.

      Addressed to Pope Francis: "Don't tell me what you believe........show me what you DO ........and I will tell you what you believe." (~Meteor Blades)

      by SeaTurtle on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:15:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not expensive, safe, decent quality of life (0+ / 0-)

        Ever considered the Philippines?  Beautiful country, beautiful women, great food, inexpensive and from my experience love Americans!!!!

        Traffic can be a nightmare, many places still have open sewers and they have cobras....

        But beautiful women, that love Americans, work well for me.

        •  My family doctor is fighting not to be deported (0+ / 0-)

          back to the Philippines. Fortunately Senator Casey and Senator Specter helped him a great deal in avoiding deportation. It is a long and complicated story. But he said he feared returning there as the children of professionals especially doctors and lawyers are at risk for being kidnapped. Fortunately his children finally are all grown since he has been fighting this long fight with Immigration.  His wife owns a business and he is heavily depended on by his patients.

          He fears going back only because of his profession and his assets, he fears kidnapping.  I am not sure if that holds true for most middle class people or most immigrants, though.

          Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

          by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:54:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent post - I love to dream of moving to (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical, fumie, organicus, JayRaye, ER Doc

    France or Italy or even Buenos Aires, but we really do have to try to save the United States, because the United States in the wrong hands can do (and has done) immense damage elsewhere in the world.

    Lost Tom. Lost Charlie. Can't read (Paul Newman, 'The Left Handed Gun')

    by richardvjohnson on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:31:40 AM PDT

  •  A friend of mine just bought a farm in Colombia (9+ / 0-)

    he sees no chance of retiring comfortably in the USA. He has a mentally ill son whom the state keeps sending back to him ( he is totally disabled by OCD, yes it happens )because they have no options; he has property taxes of 10 k ( a normal house in central NJ )and he has been downsized, cut, drug tested , and humiliated for 30 years on the job. A union man, his grandparents came from Ireland for a better life. If they can move, so can he. His wife is Colombian so no problem, Yes, its dangerous but ya know, you can be shot walking around town for no reason in the US, or beaten by the cops for no reason too. At least you can bribe your way out of jail down there. Ecuador is another place expats are flocking to.

    •  Yes a friend of mine wants to move to Ecuador (0+ / 0-)

      He was reading several articles about how retirees love Ecuador.

      My cousin is disabled and he is struggling living in NJ. His parents want him to consider moving to PA where the cost of living in certain regions is cheaper and the taxes are somewhat lower. My uncle left NJ after retiring, partly because of the high property tax and high cost of living in Central NJ.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:57:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good post (8+ / 0-)

    Sadly, I'm here because I seem to lack the moxie to move -- as other commenters noted, it is hard to be an immigrant and to get through the hoops required for citizenship or landed immigrant status.  At the least, it is a chunk of money and a few years of really unstinting dedication to a path (or great luck).  And a willingness to do it again, or live off the grid, if you fail.

    But having lived in other places, I can't really claim I'm staying here for America.  I'm staying because it is what is easiest given the agency I have at this point in my life, and I know it in my bones.    

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:43:11 AM PDT

    •  you speak for the majority who are looking, j.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical

      Addressed to Pope Francis: "Don't tell me what you believe........show me what you DO ........and I will tell you what you believe." (~Meteor Blades)

      by SeaTurtle on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:17:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same here. Rather move to a less expensive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical

      US state than South America or Asia. Europe, Canada, or Australia might be ok, but there's no good reason they'd let me in.

      •  if you really want it (0+ / 0-)

        ...it's like in the movie Spirited Away, where Chihiro must get a job to stay in the house of spirits.  You can stay almost anywhere if you can make yourself consistently useful, I think.  The kind of papers you get depends on who finds you useful, though...and the nature of the burn depends on angle of entry, so repeated trips to lay groundwork are also really important (and brutally expensive).  One of those Whole Life kind of projects, unless you're in a very lucky position.  

        If nothing else, the attempt makes one much more aware of what immigrants here (everywhere) face.    

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:22:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We plan to leave so we can live on SS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whyvee, rambler american, blueoasis

    and whatever we have left at that point...Costa Rica, who knows!

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:03:44 AM PDT

    •  Explain why you should still get SS then (0+ / 0-)

      If you're just going to take the money and run....
      If your spending of your SS checks in retirement is going to support the Costa Rican economy instead of the American economy...

      Then what duty does America have to keep sending you checks?

      The point of Social Security wasn't to let people move overseas and exploit third world labor rates.

      What's next?  Letting retirees take in Guatemalan children as indentured servants?  So their money "goes further"?

      •  Because they paid into the system, that's why. (24+ / 0-)

        If they are entitled to get paid back, then them getting that money has nothing to do with saving America--they already did their part when they paid into it.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:28:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  SS was to prevent American poverty (0+ / 0-)

          And a huge part of the way that works is that supporting seniors in their retirement also supports the overall economy, and helps pay for all of it.

          Seniors taking the money and running may be legal to you, but it ensures a downward spiral here.  Less and less spending, fewer and fewer jobs.  It ensures that no one working today is going to have the same retirement options.  They won't even have SS checks to jump ship with.  I guess that's fine to you.

          •  Well, you can stay here and pay for newly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto

            arrived immigrants to take care of you, and they will send most of their pay checks (with a large cut for the banks and wire transfer companies)  back to their home countries to their families to spend.  
               Moving to their country actually is more efficient -- they get to stay with their families,  avoid costly emigration, and you get to experience a different culture.
                If you want money to stay in the US for the benefit of the resident populations, you are fighting the tides of globalization.  All the old economic models that honor national borders no longer work.
                 

            •  So we should end all immigration? (0+ / 0-)

              Again, this diary says that the Tea Party is correct.  Immigrants are a drain on our economy, sending all the money back home, not supporting the American economy, not growing the American economy.

              And beyond that, that outsourcing, corporations and globalization is the way to go.

              So I have to ask you, do you agree with the Republicans that all the refugee children should be sent back?  They're just going to drain us yes?

              •  No, I am not saying end immigration. (0+ / 0-)

                I'd probably prefer it that it be streamlined and modified in ways to make it workable, transparent, more lenient and efficient than the horrid thicket of 'gotcha's' that it is now.

                We need to spend a whole lot more money and attention for immigration -- including capturing statistics so that useful analysis of what is happening can be done -- what is the real impact of immigration on the people already living here, and having plans for mitigating problems that harm current residents.  

                I'd also hope that other countries would be encouraged to accept international people as long term residents.

                And no, I don't think that all those kids be 'sent back' to god knows what;  they should be treated as refugees from an intolerable situation.   The families are not only coming to the US, but they are escaping from that area in huge
                 numbers  to Belize, Mexico, Venesuela -- wherever they can to get away.   Need more publicity instead of just 'our side' of their story.  

                I do think that the 'dual citizenship' situation is leading to a lot of abuses by both corporations and individual people -- some new theory of patriotic allegiance (not 'nationalism') needs to be formulated.  

          •  You are wrong... (7+ / 0-)

            SS is a contract.  I pay in, I get the payout at the end.  It does not matter where I live...it is no one's business what I do with my money.

            •  Well then that contract should be privatized (0+ / 0-)

              You want to sign a retirement contract?  Fine.  Get a 401(k) with a bank.  Don't ask for it to be backed by the US government if you're living overseas.

              If it's your money and no one else's business, then invest it in the free market.

              •  You sound very much like a free market troll. nt (8+ / 0-)

                How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

                by ceebee7 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:42:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That'd be the person I responded to (0+ / 0-)

                  I support SS, for Americans.  I don't want SS being privatized, but that means there are strings attached.  Like not cutting and running from the country that supports and backs that retirement system.

                  But if someone wants to say " It does not matter where I live...it is no one's business what I do with my money."....

                  Well how is that not pure free market?  "Don't tell me what to do" he says.  Well the cost for not being told what to do is to do it yourself.  Free market.

                  You all want it both ways.  You want the American government to protect your retirement investment, to guarantee your check is always there, as you abandon America.

                  •  Based on the amount of rec's your comments (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    retLT, reflectionsv37, MarcKyle64

                    are getting, you're in the minority here... fortunately.

                    "Freedom" includes freedom to live anywhere I want.  You spoke of a contract -- I'm supposed to sign a contract committing me to live in America in order to be eligible for SS when I retire?  How is that freedom by anyone's definition?

                    SS's purpose was to eliminate poverty of the elderly, not poverty in general.  Most SS checks are not enough to even cover the cost of living in the U.S.

                    Your views are very narrow-minded, IMO.  And BTW, according to more-informed-than-I stories of the "kids on the border," they've come here to escape much more than poverty, including but not limited to kidnapping, forced child prostitution, and false stories planted by coyotes about getting welcomed with open arms in the U.S.

                    You are over-simplifying all over the place.

                    BTW, did you VOTE for Joe Walsh?  Just wondering...

                    How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

                    by ceebee7 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:00:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Freedom includes the freedom to not sign contract (0+ / 0-)

                      If you want it simply, SS is for American citizens.  If you don't want to live in America - especially if you don't want to live here so that you can exploit third world labor rates, then you're saying you don't want to be an American citizen.  And you're free to renounce your citizenship.  But once you do, I don't know why the US gov't is duty bound to support a non-citizen.

                      It's sort of like pensions at a corporation - where they still exist.  The pension is for those who retire with the company.  If a person wants to chase the dollars and change companies their whole career - no pension.  They'd better fund their 401(K) then.  If you want to be free, own that decision.

                      I'd give people the freedom to opt out.  Don't pay into SS, just fund a 401(k) and go it alone.  Live wherever you want.  But if you want your retirement backed by the US gov't as a citizen, then live in America, as a citizen.  None of that is incompatible with freedom.

                      Now as for Joe Walsh?  Yes I did vote for him, once.  To get rid of that worthless corporatist Blue Dog, Third Way "Dem" Melissa Bean.
                      And it paid off.  We had Walsh for two years, he damaged his cause every time he opened his mouth, and we got Tammy Duckworth in return.  Duckworth was never going to win a primary against Bean, it had to be that way.  No regrets.

                      •  Wrong again (0+ / 0-)
                        If you want it simply, SS is for American citizens.
                         

                        There are untold numbers of non-citizens collecting Social Security benefits, primarily as the spouse or widow (er) of an American citizen who contributed to Social Security for more than 10 years.  My wife, an Australian who never worked a day in the US in her life, is eligible to receive benefits as my spouse - half as much when I am alive, and stepping up to equal to my rate when I turn toes up.

                        I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

                        by Wayward Wind on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:36:50 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  There are many of us citizens abroad. (0+ / 0-)

                        Just moving overseas didn't negate our citizenship, as demonstrated by the decent amount I've paid the local consulate for paperwork in the past year.

                        Research science: a series of failures sporadically punctuated by success

                        by dpryan on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 12:09:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  Thailand would be better so I could get (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryduck, Pluto, reflectionsv37

        underage sex slaves too

        good grief what a leap

        people leave so they can have some quality of life at the end of their years, is the usual reason

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:34:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And what quality of life for those supporting you? (0+ / 0-)

          So you're moving to Costa Rica so that instead of staying here and paying living wages to those who will serve you and care for you, you can pay poverty wages to Costa Ricans.  And that's fine right?  Because they don't need to save for THEIR retirement or to fund THEIR social security.

          No your only concern is to pay the absolute minimum you possibly can, and screw over those serving you as much as you can.

          So just answer this question honestly.  If you could repeal America's minimum wage laws, so you could pay Americans the same as you're going to pay Costa Ricans, would you?

          •  Do I have to stay in NY so I don't exploit (7+ / 0-)

            the more poorly paid workers in rural Arkansas?

            Or do I have to stay in NYC so I don't take advantage of the lesser paid workers in Buffalo??!!

            I understand why you are plotzing over this, but we are free and SS is not welfare, it is an EARNED benefit

            "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

            by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:26:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure, if you reject unions and minimum wage (0+ / 0-)

              If you want to leave NYC for Arkansas or Costa Rica, that's fine.  Just don't pretend to support unions or minimum wages, because you don't.  You don't support their wages if the moment the time comes for you to pay up, you jump ship.

              Also, you're forgetting how your SS benefits are calculated.  They're based on earned wages.  While you lived in NYC you earned more than the same worker in Buffalo or Arkansas.  So when you jump ship, you will have more money in Costa Rica than someone from Arkansas.

              Personally, I think if you're going to leave for a cheaper country, your SS benefit should be adjusted down to the lowest standard of living in America.  Your higher SS benefit is supposed to help provide the same standard of living you enjoyed to others working in NYC.  If you're not going to pay out those same wages, you don't need as much money.  That would strengthen SS for those in Arkansas who never made what you did.

              What you're doing is nothing new.  Florida specialized on offering low cost living to retirees from NYC.  But look at the state of Florida now, it didn't last. And now FL is a bunch of whining old seniors, all refusing to pay for anything as the state goes to hell around them.  They don't want to pay for schools, because then their money won't go as far.  Yada yada yada...

              Costa Rica will be no different.  At some point there will be a tipping point, and all you TEA Party types who don't want to pay for anything will win out.  And that government social spending you touted will vanish.  But hey, you got yours.

              •  tea party? you are delusional (5+ / 0-)

                "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

                by merrywidow on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:19:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  low taxes, low wages, low gov't spending (0+ / 0-)

                  If you are moving to a low wage, low tax country so that your money goes further, there is absolutely no difference between that, and a TEA Partier who wants to bust unions, end the minimum wage and cut all government spending.  They're all doing that so that their money goes further too.

                  There is zero real world difference between moving overseas where workers earn half what they do here, and paying Americans half what they earn today.  The TEA Partiers just want to turn the US into Costa Rica, that's all, so they don't have to move.

              •  Yeah, right. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SeaTurtle, retLT, kefauver

                I don't know merrywidow personally, but I've knocked around these parts for a while.  "Tea Party" is not an appropriate moniker.

              •  Merry Widow is not a tea party type, far from it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kefauver

                You are calling everyone who desires to move out of the country in order to  keep a roof over their head, be able to eat, be able to afford the basics....you are saying they are Tea Party?  

                Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

                by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 06:05:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  you might check your moral outrage at the (4+ / 0-)

            exchange rate and cost-of-living door. Poverty-level wages are living wages in many retirement destinations. "Living wage" covers a considerable range when you factor in what citizens of other countries get free that we don't, what basic necessities cost, and more. Not every culture is dedicated to holding its people up by the ankles and shaking every last cent out of their pockets from birth, as this country now is, reducing all value to a monetary one. Look again. It's a useful exercise to examine one's own assumptions when one climbs atop the moral high ground soapbox. Self-righteousness tends to live nearby.

      •  Because we earned it and were required to pay it (5+ / 0-)

        US working people are forced to pay into Social Security; it's not optional. No one (at the moment) dictates how, or where, we spend it once it's returned to us, though what retirees get reflects creative contortions to keep official COLA rates down. There's no obligation--legal or moral--to spend that money in the US.

        Those who believe this country still has a deep commitment to the social safety net at the policy level can put their retirements where that faith is. The exit doors haven't slammed shut quite yet, though the doors into many other places functionally have.

      •  Social Security is earned, she earned it, we (0+ / 0-)

        earned it.  There are no strings attached to where she can live and how she can spend her social security.

        Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

        by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:59:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I can see doing this in retirement (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, organicus, peptabysmal

    but as for active, working adults:

    I feel a need right now to say how lucky we are to live here. I would rather stay and fight issues that need fighting over and try to care for the folks I had a hand in bringing
    them into this world.
    I could not have said it better.

    "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

    by ozsea1 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:04:28 AM PDT

  •  Communes. I've mentioned this before, (4+ / 0-)

    but one of the answers is Communes.  Or, Co-Ops.  Buy a 20-Unit building and put 19 other people in it as Co-Owners of the building.  Cheaper rent, cheaper living.

    Follow Connect! Unite! Act! MeetUp events! For live podcasting of your Event contact winkk to schedule.

    by winkk on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:16:55 AM PDT

  •  I can't blame anyone for getting disgusted (8+ / 0-)

    What a right wing despicable society have we become.  It gets worse all the time.

    I make no pretense telling anyone what to do.  For most of us the reality is that living abroad is too expensive.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:28:34 AM PDT

  •  Can't wait to be an expat! Just got back (8+ / 0-)

    from 6 months in SE Asia. A country a month for 6 months... Bali, Malaysia mainland, Borneo, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia... Yes I consider Borneo another country.

    I was working remotely doing web development. So I just woke up every day at 6am, worked on my laptop until my girlfriend woke up, then go play the rest of the day.

    America is our "home", but do we have to live here? I personally like snorkeling and nature and different types of people to watch.

    Just can't beat it... real food, fruit shakes, any type of fruit you want every day, no Cracker Barrels or gigantic shopping malls built to trap you in and escort you around to the banks and PF Chang's...

    You rent an apartment you just hand over some money and sign a piece of paper...

    It's very possible to live anywhere. Of course I'm only 44 and still "healthy" so haven't really nailed healthcare down yet...

    But I'm 44, friends are all married with kids, that's all in the past. If it wasn't for my Mother being here and a stepfather with Alzheimer's I would fly back to Bangkok immediately and continue traveling around and working remotely.

    Not really because I hate the country, more like I just LOVE the REAL WORLD. People, kindness, and they're not living in a grand media illusion every day...

    Of course the ultimate goal would be to make enough money to come and go as you please and not commit to here or there.

    •  Sure, if you want life without any protections (0+ / 0-)
      You rent an apartment you just hand over some money and sign a piece of paper...
      If you want to be a teabagger who hates "job killing" regulations and minimum wages and such, just say so.

      But fair warning.  If your're renting an apartment based on cash and no regulations, then you have no protections.  There's nothing to stop your landlord from evicting you tomorrow if someone else comes along who wants your apartment and is willing to pay more.

      Enjoy your no-regulation lifestyle as long as it lasts, because it won't.  Also, if you can work remotely, so can everyone else.  One day you'll be replaced by an Indian with a laptop who can web develop just as well as you, and who doesn't play all day.

      •  Norm, are you aware of all the venom you are (11+ / 0-)

        spewing in this diary.  Not just one irritated comment but you are barfing on almost everyone you reply to.

        What is going on with you?  You seem so full of resentment and anger and hate.

        Man, chill.  Let people have their dreams.

        Addressed to Pope Francis: "Don't tell me what you believe........show me what you DO ........and I will tell you what you believe." (~Meteor Blades)

        by SeaTurtle on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:40:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's how those dreams are paid for (0+ / 0-)

          It just rubs me raw, that's all.  What if there was a diary here, that was about a person's dreams to eat in fabulous restaurants every day.  And the way he decided to "pay" for that was to not tip the wait staff.  Maybe not even pay the check at all, just run out on the bill?  Take what he can, pay as little as he can get away with, for as long as it lasts?

          It's not a noble dream.  And look at your sig line, Meteor Blade's quote.  Show me people chasing low wage countries, and I'll tell you what they honestly believe about paying fair and honest wages.

          •  Norm, if I may say so, your comments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            novapsyche

            have all been black and white, right and wrong and hugely judgemental and consider only one issue: wages.

            You have made a whole host of assumptions about:

            It's how those dreams are paid for.... and

            Take what he can, pay as little as he can get away with, for as long as it lasts?

            You have not heard or understood what some of the posters have said about their struggles and exhaustion that is prompting these thoughts.  People have different stories, different goals, different needs.......  Some people cannot pay medical bills, cannot find jobs after being laid off, or feel very demoralized.

            Man, what is wrong with wanting to find a place where they can pay for their rent and their food and their medical care and not have to stay awake all night wondering how to do it?  

            This country is badly failing a lot of people.  You don't want to really see that and see just how disgusted and depressed it is making people.

            If someone decides to move to a country where they can live cheaply surrounded by a lot of poverty, low wage countries as you say, feel free to disagree with them, but to rage on and on about it is over the top.  You have your values and live by those values and certainly express them, but what you are doing is demanding that everyone see things and live they way you do.  It is over the top.

            Full disclosure:  I made a comment in this diary where I said that I could never go to live in a gated community where there was intense poverty all around.  But have you taken a look at a lot of urban areas lately?  Do we not do that in the US anyway?

            So.  Calm Down.  Have your beliefs and express them and allow others to do the same.

            Addressed to Pope Francis: "Don't tell me what you believe........show me what you DO ........and I will tell you what you believe." (~Meteor Blades)

            by SeaTurtle on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 03:47:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Haha (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        2andfro, chrisculpepper, ozsea1, ceebee7, retLT

        Man, I'll bet you're fun at parties. Reading your super negative anti-everything posts in this thread gave me a chuckle today so thanks for that.

        It sounds like you really need to get out more. I also work remotely and I've worked with quite a few Indians. Very, very, few of them are skilled enough to do what a skilled US worker can do. As for that apartment rental, you know what? There really are people out there that aren't out to fuck you over every time you look around. This guy just explained to you that he did this exact thing for 6 months successfully and you're out here trying to tell him it won't work. LOL.

        Anyway, thanks for the laughs. I forget sometimes how paranoid and ridiculous some people can be, even on a liberal web site.

        [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

        by rabel on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:42:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle

        Why are you even in this diary?

  •  My teenage son (5+ / 0-)

    is talking about getting the hell out of the USA. In some respects that is normal; lots of kids in high school want to blow the coop, see the world. He wants to leave this land of crazy wingers and religious zealots and racist evil-doers. Of course, these problems exist everywhere. It is easier not to see them in other countries.

  •  Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses (7+ / 0-)

    Yearning to breathe Free!

    The United States would not even accept the Statue of Liberty, with its inscription, if it were offered today.  The Grand Ol' Party of Tea Party Retards would filibuster the Bill of Acceptance in the Congress, complaining that it would only encourage immigration.

    If the Republican Party ever looked in a mirror, they would hate what they see.

    If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

    by NM Ray on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:16:03 AM PDT

  •  "Money goes further in most other countries" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger, Toldyouso

    To translate that into plain speech:

    Get rid of all minimum wages
    Get rid of all worker protections
    Get rid of all regulations
    Let people exploit a permanent underclass for all goods and services.

    Do all that, and yes, we can make living in America as dirt cheap as life in Cambodia.

    Or we can accept the basic reality that paying people a living wage for the jobs they do does make money not go as far.

    Because I could go out to eat more often if I never tipped.  Should I start doing that, so my money goes farther?

    If a bunch of cheap ass, worthless traitors want to abandon America for the greener pastures of Cambodia or Somalia, where their money goes so much further, I say good riddance to such trash.  No one on this site should be supporting such exploitive behavior.

    •  So, these people should continue (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2andfro, chrisculpepper, retLT

      to sacrifice their living standards to prove their what? patriotism? To a country hellbent on killing them slowly (or quickly, depending on their resources?) Nice attitude there--really supportive of your fellow humans.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:31:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Paying poverty wages supports fellow humans? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Toldyouso

        The entire point of this diary is to tell rich Americans - And YES, anyone contemplating moving overseas is rich - that they should spend as little of their money as possible by living in third world countries where they can screw over the peasants.

        No, don't live in America, go be a feudal lord in Cambodia and enjoy the savings of paying people 50 cents an hour.  Exploit the desperate third world poor and pay as little as you possibly can.

        Yes, you've got it. That is precisely how to be supportive of your fellow humans.

        •  Norm, if you stay here the same crap is going on. (7+ / 0-)

          Our minimum wage is not a living wage.   Things are so out of wack that a person earning it here cannot fully participate in American life and support all the normal life obligations they have.  
            The foreclosure crisis proved that signing a piece of paper and trusting the landlords to follow the laws didn't work for millions of families -- having an agreement with a landlord that couldn't pay his banker resulted in many renters being thrown out on the streets.  
              The connected and savvy that run things here and live well here have already shipped American jobs overseas to third world sweat shops -- when you patronize so called 'American' businesses like Walmart (which is what you probably can afford in retirement) you are alrealdy supporting life in the third world.  
               Why not cut out the middle men and deal directly with the natives?   You don't have to pay them bottom dollar, and you can make their jobs more pleasant than some sweat shop contractor ever would.  
                If you are retired in San Francisco, you may very well be paying rent to a real estate partnership that bought your building with funds they earned with shady overseas investments.  Or they could have bought it with the money they've made in massage parlours or trafficking their countrypeople to work here, or they are sheltering ill gotten gains stolen from Eastern European governments, the Russian Mob, or laundering exported embezzled Chinese money.  
                 A person who moves overseas to live, either temporarily or permanently,  is just globalizing their personal choices,  which is all they have left.   They are 'voting with their feet' because elections are rigged.

        •  Eh. I've contemplated moving to Canada, which (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          isn't out of reach, geographically speaking--I am in SE Michigan, so technically I should be able to get over there should I make the move.  However, I simply can't, because I don't meet the requirements.

          I do have a Bachelor's degree.

          I don't have six months' worth in savings for rent & other expenses.  Here in the States, I live paycheck to paycheck (worse than that, actually, as I have a seasonal job that, while it pays more than most other seasonal work, only exists six months out of the year).

          So, yes.  I'd love to move to our neighbors up North.  No, I wouldn't be dragging SS benefits with me, so don't criticize me on that angle, either.  I just can't make it over the border.

    •  There is needless sucky shit in this country (11+ / 0-)

      that has little to do with what we're paid.

      The heinous horseshit politics is enough to make me want to go to some backwards country where life is not that complicated.

      This could be such a great country, but some people work day and night to make it a shithole.

      We get to vote once every 2 years, whether there is a decent candidate or not (the usual situation). Voting will NOT fix this shit as we literally voted ourselves into it.

      I think America needs a reset button.

      Short of that I totally admire people who leave amerirca and go have a good time living somewhere else.

      Often, I feel my life is just passing me by while I work and pay bills and have little leftover. Why wouldn't I want to live someplace where money goes further?

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:37:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then you reject minimum wage laws (0+ / 0-)

        Because it is only cheaper labor that makes money go further in those countries.

        Low property taxes, because there are no public schools with union teachers.
        Low income taxes, because there are no government services.
        Low costs for goods and services, because there are no minimum wages.

        Are you saying the TEA Party is right?  That the "reset button" American needs is no unions, no minimum wages, no regulations, no government?

        Because your money would go further if Republicans succeed in turning America into Cambodia they way they want to.

        I seriously don't know what you're arguing for, except wholesale support of Republican policies - tax cuts and slave wages.

        Yes it's great for those who already have money to spend.  But it ensures that none of the poverty wage serfs will ever have a dime to spend.

        •  Apparently you have enough money (4+ / 0-)

          to live here comfortably.

          I am sick of struggling even though I have advanced education and a shitload of experience. I paid my dues, I went to college, I worked and worked and worked.

          I am 54 and paycheck to paycheck.

          I don't make enough money to really - as in actually -  enjoy life in this country.

          I just get by and am told I am luckier than others. I have nothing to complain about.

          I stay because I hope Americans eventually rise up and destroy the system. Nothing will ever change unless this system is utterly wiped out.

          But I might leave  - this fucked up system is very popular with those who can afford to live in it.

          Legal means "good".
          [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

          by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:12:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What makes enjoying life so expensive for you? (0+ / 0-)

            I do live comfortably.  I also live simply and without high expectations.  Are you chasing the Joneses?  Trying to live the high life?  Don't.

            I life comfortably in a small house.  My father kept telling me to move, get the huge house.  Well my mortgage is $200,000 less and my property taxes half because I didn't.  I didn't want to stress over a huge mortgage payment for a huge house I didn't need.  And by 54 I'll have my house paid off.

            I drive old cars, haven't made a payment in years.  I don't need to crisscross the nation to "enjoy life".  I don't need expensive vacations or lavish hotels to enjoy life.

            Before my son was born I found entertainment, fulfilling hard work and exercise doing habitat restoration in the Cook County forest preserves.  3, sometimes 6 hours a weekend, didn't cost me a dime.  Enjoyed the hell out of every minute of it.
            I've taken 6 hour walks through Chicago, spent $7 on lunch.
            Our last Friday night was a group of friends drinking cheap beer, having a little smoke, watching a used DVD bought for $3.
            On Saturday I enjoyed life by pushing my son on a park swing.  Didn't cost a dime.  Other than my property taxes which apparently I'm a sucker for paying.

            I don't go out to eat much, because it's expensive.  But when I do for special occasions, I always tip 20%.  Now I could tip less and tell myself that lets me enjoy life more by eating out more.  But can I really steal from the person serving me?  That's what moving overseas is.

            The only system that needs to be destroyed is the system of outsourcing that's sent all the good paying jobs overseas.  The solution to that problem isn't to outsource yourself to go exploit the third world poor the same as corporations do.  All you do then is become part of the system you hate.

            If you honestly believe that you don't make enough money to enjoy life, then you're doing it wrong.

        •  And honestly Norm... I have no idea WTF (9+ / 0-)

          you are really rattling about.

          Money, Norm.

          Either you have it or you don't.

          MOST of us don't, largely because of the horseshit way this country works.

          Can't blame people for wanting to leave.

          Legal means "good".
          [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

          by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:14:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't see the TEA Party argument in that? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barleystraw

            Tea Partier:  "I don't have money, so I can't pay union wages.  I can't pay $10 minimum wage.  I can't pay for healthcare, or birth control.  I can't pay for government services for the poor.  I can't pay for anything.  So overthrow the system, cut all spending, cut all wages, cut all taxes.  So that the money I have will go further".

            The future Expat:  "I don't have money to pay for all of the above either.  So overthrow the system by moving overseas where there is no gov't spending, no taxes, poverty wages.  So that the money I have will go further".

            Two sides of the same coin.

            •  I don't believe TeaParty is about what its members (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              retLT, blueoasis, NoMoreLies

              can or cannot afford... It's about wanting smaller government, whatever the hell that means.  There are plenty of TeaPartiers who are financially well-fixed and can and DO afford anything they want (e.g. the Koch Bros.).  The TeaParty is basically racist-based at heart and would never have gained the power it has without huge financial assistance from the Koch Bros.-related entities are free publicity from FoxNews.  The TeaParty platform wants to eliminate Social Security and all government social programs.

              Your depiction of TeaParty being peopled by the poor is way off the mark.  It is people mainly by the politically ignorant and religious fundamentalists.

              How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

              by ceebee7 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:16:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Rest assured, the ignorant are poor (0+ / 0-)

                People don't get to be rich by being ignorant.  And religious fundamentalists are by and large dirt poor.  The two go hand in hand.  How many PHD researchers do you know who believe the Earth is 6000 years old and cavemen rode dinosaurs?

                They're also horribly misguided and voting against their economic self interests - mostly because they're voting for more globalization and more outsourcing.

                But I've talked to plenty of poor, ignorant teabaggers, and what they are most pissed about is paying taxes, paying for food stamps and welfare, etc.   They are mad about not having money to spend on themselves because they have to pay taxes.  They want smaller government so they don't have to pay.  So that "their money goes further".  

                I agree 100% that the top 1%ers who are funding and running the Tea Party can easily afford the taxes they pay personally.  The Koch Bros want zero corporate taxes and regulations so they can turn 10 Billion into 100 Billion, and not because they can't afford their lifestyle.

                But the rank and file voters that put Tea party republicans in power want low taxes, low spending, low wages, they want everything to cost the absolute minimum.  They all want THEIR money to go further, by not giving any of THEIR money to anyone else.

                Which is exactly the same thing as moving to Cambodia and saying "Wow, everything in this third world country is so cheap!".

                •  I don't believe you. How many (roughly) (0+ / 0-)

                  "poor ignorant teabaggers" have you actually talked to?  Don't lie.

                  How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

                  by ceebee7 on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:44:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Some friends from college are right wing religious (0+ / 0-)

                  Evangelicals, one works as a climatologist , another is a scientist.  Their politics and their teabauchery is because they are religious fundamentalists . They find some way to separate their careers and knowledge from their religious beliefs. Most of their fundy friends are also upper middle class and have quite a bit of money.

                  Check out huge mega churches in some areas and you will see some expensive cars in the parking lots and people very well dressed. In fact, most of the Evangelicals i have known, I met in college and they are making a lot of money now.

                  Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

                  by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 06:20:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Businessmen right? (0+ / 0-)

                    It doesn't take brains to say "Outsource it to China!"

                  •  Oh and P.S. (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm not surprised there are fundie climatologists and "scientists".  They were probably recruited into those positions.  Climate change deniers have to come from somewhere.

                    Is your friend one of the "scientists" who claims that global warming is a left-wing hoax with no science to back it up? Is he funded by the Koch Brothers?  I'm sure being a Koch toadie pays quite well.

                    •  No he believes in ciimate change, he is not a (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Norm in Chicago

                      denier. He became a right wing Evangelical when he was a freshman in college because of Campus Crusade for Christ. Plus he was a shy kid from Boston going to college in PA. He found is easier to meet friends through the campus bible studies and church. He continued that way after college, moving to Chicago. But somehow he is able to separate his scientific knowledge and expertise from his religious beliefs and it is like he has 2 completely separate lives. He is an interesting man. He is a kind and gentle man and he has kept in touch and values his friends , christian and non christian ...He does no judge others who do not believe as he does. That helps him be successful at work and in friendships.

                      The other scientist works for Lockhead Martin or some outfit like that and calls herself a rocket scientist.   I am not close to her anymore  but just get a christmas card.
                      So I am not sure what her climate change views are

                      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

                      by wishingwell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 03:07:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Whatever, dude. (0+ / 0-)

              If my place of work allowed unions (it does not), I wouldn't care how much it cost to be a member, I'd join in a second.

              Don't get me started about birth control.  (I do happen to be female.)

              The other stuff is rather hodgepodge, so yeah.

              Whatever you seem to be on about, your line for black & white is distorted.  We may be on the same side, but I'd never know it by your rhetoric.

              I am a poor, black female who would totally move to Canada given the opportunity.  That does not make me a member of the Tea Party, no matter your reductionist theorizing.

      •  At least for right now it's cheap outside the USA. (0+ / 0-)

        Since I retired in ASEAN nine years ago, the US$ has sunk 30% relative to the local currency. Few retirees have returned to the USA over this devaluation, but many are suffering from it. I predict further US$ devaluation to where it will not be too many years before 3rd world living expenses are comparable to heartland USA living expenses. Expat Americans, both retirees and workers, are going to get hammered.

        I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

        by shann on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:18:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  wow, just wow (6+ / 0-)

      Since when does enjoying other cultures and places enough to want to live there make anyone a "traitor"? Even deciding that someplace else is a better fit doesn't make anyone a traitor. Nor does choosing a place where one's shrinking retirement funds might stretch a little more than they do here.

      Norm, Norm, get thee to a dictionary and look up "traitor." Breathe. Take a walk in a park. Get a massage. Pet a puppy. Your language is more suited to redstate than here. Seriously. Next it'll be "you're either with me or agin me," since you've pretty much already turned to that time-tested pot-stirrer, "America--love it or leave it." It must feel really good to be so holy and pure. Still, a friendly suggestion from someone who may yet choose to be your definition of a piece of trash: you might want to examine that purity just a wee bit.

    •  OK, that's enough, asshole (0+ / 0-)

      Traitor?

      I fought, bled, and damn near died for the US.

      I paid the max into Social Security or damn close to it virtually every year of my working life, half of which was in the US, and half of which was spent working abroad running humanitarian assistance programs in some pretty awful places - almost always for or with the support of the USG.

      And you want to call me a traitor because I choose to live overseas?

      Go fuck yourself...

      I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

      by Wayward Wind on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:46:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lost in this analysis (6+ / 0-)

    is that you wouldn't be able to live as well in Mexico or Columbia or most other countries on if you hadn't started out in the US. Most Mexicans don't live nearly as well as US expats retiring to Cancun, for example. The reason is most of these countries have a much lower stanard of living, even factoring in things like universal healthcare. The reason your money goes so much father is that very few people there have that much money.

    •  Except that Colombian Americans are doing just (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      novapsyche, blueoasis

      that, living better in Colombia than they can in America; we have real estate agenices in NJ to deal with all the Colombians heading back. When queried, they say they are fed up with racism, low wages, and breaking their backs 70 hrs a week and still can't get by. Strictly anecdotal, but I am close to this community and this was in fact a feature story on NPR. There is something to it. Now, it ain't for me. I'm a native gringo, and nothing in Colombia would make me move there, even though I could as my wife is a citizen. Moreover, she is not ready, nor am I , to give up on this country just yet. But I do admit it is getting hard and we are clearly losing the war to the right wingers, who have stacked the courts. Unions? gone. Pensions? gone. civil servant protections? gone. living wages? almost gone. right to choose? going fast. and so on.

      •  I don't think this is the norm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Toldyouso

        There still appears to be much more immigration into the US from Columbia than returning. And of course, I doubt a lot of these Columbians moving back could ever have afforded to return to Columbia and live a better life had they not come here to work for a few years. It's quite common for people from Latin America to come, work for several years, send most of the money back home and have the spouse buy a home that they otherwise could not have afforded, and then return.

        •  The people movingback were not rich. (0+ / 0-)

          They were housekeepers and such. They saw no way to get ahead here. They said they worked a lot of hours and had to pay a lot to live in poor conditions here. I can only attest to what was reported. I do know I have lots of Colombian in laws who seem to have loads of time to visit here and always go back. All of them are healthy too. Most have small businesses, are accountants, engineers and one is a radiologist. They live much better lifestyles in those professions than they could ever afford here.

    •  Shhh, they don't want facts (0+ / 0-)

      They don't want to be told things like that.  They just want to move overseas so that they can be the new 1% and pretend that they did it all by themselves.

      •  you raise vaild points Norm; there's no getting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chrisculpepper, NoMoreLies

        around it. But we are losing the fight here. it's obvious. The 1 percent are shitting on us and getting away with it.

        •  So we should become the overseas 1%? (0+ / 0-)

          The only way the arguments of these expats works out, is if they become the 1% of their new third world home and become the exploiters themselves.  Shitting on the Cambodian peasants is the only way their money will go farther, and they know it.

          So we should respond to being exploited by doing the same to others?  I reject that completely.

          •  As i said, valid points. But not all expats are (4+ / 0-)

            living like the 1 percent in the 3rd world. Some are living in developed countries that are sane. like Canada, NZ or Australia. Or Europe. They are living a modest lifestyle that used to be possible here. I do my part to fight the right wing here, because I can't go anywhere anyway. But we're not winning Norm. We are being ridiculed. In my case, as a school employee, I am being blamed for society's ills as well as having my standard of living attacked. I am not shocked some folks are fed up and getting out. And not all are heading for Asia or Latin America.

          •  This is nonsense. Those who move (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            retLT, 2andfro, blueoasis

            out of the country are hardly going to have enough money wherever they settle to constitute "the 1%" in THAT country.  Where are you getting your logic????

            How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

            by ceebee7 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:20:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They're not making a lateral move (0+ / 0-)

              Living simply can easily provide a 10% or 50% boost in purchasing power.  

              But people who are moving overseas so that their money goes farther aren't doing it so that $100,000 saved for retirement feels like $110,000.  They're doing it so that it feels like a million.  Or 10 million.  And that doesn't happen without exploiting people.

              •  Um, how would you know why all those expats (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                novapsyche, ceebee7

                are leaving the good ol' US of A,  Norm? You speak with great authority, as if you've personally interviewed a few thousand. Then you trot out your self-congratulatory shtick about living simply. Well, I live simply. I worked hard. I left a major metro area for a rural one where I have no mortgage. I drive a 15-yr-old car. I grow, freeze, and can some of my own food. I buy most non-edible material goods at thrift stores and yard sales.

                As an employee of my own very small corporation, I functionally paid both the employee and employer contributions to Social Security, and yes, I'm looking forward to getting that money back. I've been thinking about retiring outside the US for years and haven't made up my mind. Who are you to preach to me about my motives? I don't believe I've discussed them with you, and sorry, but you don't sound clairvoyant. Living like landed gentry has never been an ambition of mine. I do want a cushion--the safety net that's been shredded systematically here. The safety net that everyone deserves. With my minimal consumer habits, my staying stateside won't do a thing to provide that safety net to anyone else. But you know what? My US$ just might make that sort of difference for someone in another country.

                Your certainty about why people leave, where they go, and how they live when they do--along with your "all anyone has to do is follow my example and live simply" comment--is stunningly smug. Again, let me suggest that you might benefit from a reexamination of your premise and your conclusion.

                •  You must love outsourcing then (0+ / 0-)

                  Just think how much good Walmart does when it spends US$ in other countries.  Yes indeed, sweat shops are a good thing, otherwise those poor people would have nothing.  Walmart makes such a difference by outsourcing.
                  Your corporation will also find lower tax rates overseas, so you can give yourself a raise.  Bonus.

                  But where exactly has your safety net been shredded?  You're self employed, so you never had a pension.  Your social security benefits haven't been cut.  And now you can buy subsidized health insurance.

                  You're free to move overseas, but the only safety net you'll have are the SS checks from the country you left behind.  Irony, no?

              •  Of your very many assertions, not one has (0+ / 0-)

                been accompanied by any citation to verifiable fact.  Thus, all you have is opinions.  And my opinion is that most of your opinions are overly simplistic and based on generalizations, and thus worthless.

                Nice talkin' to ya.

                How children dance to the unlived lives of their parents. Rilke

                by ceebee7 on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:50:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  yup, Dr., and I woul find it hard to live in a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger

      country where there were so much poor, even if I could hide behind my walled enclave....  not for me.

      Addressed to Pope Francis: "Don't tell me what you believe........show me what you DO ........and I will tell you what you believe." (~Meteor Blades)

      by SeaTurtle on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:43:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope to move to Germany within 4–5 years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darmok

    for personal enjoyment and to improve my German language skills rather than as a political move. I'm a front-end web developer / product designer, so I'm hoping I'd be able to find work more easily than without those skills.

    I've studied German in various capacities: one semester in college, one 3 month live class, continued study on Duolingo, and a monthly speakers meetup. I'd be in a really great position if I could get certified at a B1 level. I'm probably A2 on paper, but I suck at tests so I'd need to study.

  •  I have written so many times (3+ / 0-)

    here at Kos - that I would leave in a second if I were younger and in better health.  I am a disabled Vietnam veteran who served honorably.  I salute you, Vet63 and others (vetwife) who discuss truth to power - and the deplorable way veterans are treated in our country, the USA.

    The USA has fallen.  No longer admirable and spectacular.

    My preference would be France - a country with high quality of life, family friendly and worker friendly policies, solidarity and a strong social safety net, the best healthcare in the world, wonderful and superior beauty, style, taste, graciousness, class, admirable values, good wages, family-centered programs (post natal in-home services, home visits by MD's, etc.)

    Vive la France!

    •  Not to mention (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeaTurtle, novapsyche, retLT, blueoasis

      there is the worship of youth and money and superficiality in  US culture.  Older persons are ridiculed and disrespected and become invisible.  I know.  It is happening to me as I age.  The US has a cruel undercurrent of resentment of the weak, the poor, the old, the sick, the unattractive and the different.  Sad.

      •  & the insanity of the gun culture ! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle, novapsyche, blueoasis
      •  Youth is at a premium everywhere (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1

        it's the nature of life. At least we do have programs like social security and medicare to help the elderly keep out of poverty. Many countries don't.

      •  I remember when I started going bald, i was only (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        19 or 20. I remember feeling like my youth got robbed, and to tell you the truth, it was. But I also remember my dermatologist telling me this wasn't such a big deal in Europe. I noticed this among South Americans as well. They seemed to understand that some men go bald. But in this country? In the pre Michale Jordan days? You might as well hang up your spurs one the hairline went. it's a little better nowadays, but there is still stigma against anything perceived as ageing, even tho baldness can start in the teens ( about 20% ) it is associated with the elderly, probably because more people start losing their hair after 40 or even 50. Some lucky few start balding in the 60's. And of course, a lot of people don't lose their hair at all. In other words, it really isn't strictly an aging issue. BUt believe me, you become acutely aware of how age is perceived in our culture when something like hair loss begins, this is true as well with graying but that is a much simpler problem to hide.

        •  Any woman or man will fall in love w/YOU (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yonit, leftangler

          and not your hair.

          And if they can't get past that, you don't want 'em.

        •  It's a genetic issue, not an aging one. But some (0+ / 0-)

          folks judge fertility & vitality by such markers.

          It's all superficial.  Like jgkojak said, you don't want someone who's going to judge you solely on such a trait.  Only those who value superficiality would do so.

          Of course, I say that as a middle-aged American female who has elected to shave her head.

    •  France has its positives and negatives (0+ / 0-)

      But if you're tolerant, willing to work at learning the language, and flexible about the numerous and sometimes puzzling Gallic idiosyncrasies, it can be a very nice place, indeed. It's a fundamentally different perspective than so much of the U.S.: yes, it's a high-tax place, but you get a lot for the taxes you pay.

  •  I've met many people that have retired (0+ / 0-)

    to Costa Rica and Belize.

    I have not kept in touch with many of them but I do wonder how these American colonies are doing

  •  I got to plug the Cape Verde Islands (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mallyroyal, blueoasis

    a country that is climbing up quickly and is very welcoming of foreigners

  •  My best wishes to those who leave but (2+ / 0-)

    some of us are just stuck....  I woke up this morning and wondered... a new thought in my mind when I open my eyes and worry for my 9 year old.

    The right is about as wrong as it gets and please help veterans ...Thanks ! United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:41:44 AM PDT

  •  Mrs Rambler and I (5+ / 0-)

    are just back from a 2 week exploratory trip to Ecuador. We wanted to see if it might be somewhere we could live comfortably on our Social Security. It is. The only thing holding us back is our children and grandson. We may become part-time expats, spending 4-5 months abroad and the rest of the year living in a camper in the States. We loved Ecuador. And a couple can live there in comfort for less than $2000/month.

    "You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You're dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!" - Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

    by rambler american on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:45:28 AM PDT

  •  I'm not smart enough for Europe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie, blueoasis

    I don't have any special knowledge or skills, so there'd be plenty of local competition no matter where I moved ... except to places that don't need draftsmen.  But then I live in San Diego, so moving most anywhere just in the US would be like getting a 50% raise thanks to the lower cost of living.  Low cost of living, slow pace of life, and a culture where people are more interested in enjoying themselves then in making something of themselves - despite the fact that I myself am a total stick in the mud - is the kind of place I need to live.  I'm 30 years old and I am so tired: of work, of other people, of myself ... the list goes on.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:22:21 AM PDT

    •  Not necessarily (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know what the COL is in SD but it's pretty high here in NYC, and was getting that way in Seattle when I left there 2 years ago. I'm sure that LA, Chicago and other big cities are expensive too. If you're willing to live in smaller cities or way out in the burbs, it might be better. But a lot of people who are used to living in cities don't want to make that adjustment. Myself, I'd probably like it, but I need to be near my family these days.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 03:28:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You lost me at "how lucky we are to live here" (0+ / 0-)

    Please speak for yourself. I'm not clear on why one is so lucky to be born here. Sure, there are far worse places, but there was a time when that was not the measure of this country: x place is worse!

    Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

    by pajoly on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:24:40 AM PDT

  •  No sympathy for ex-pats (0+ / 0-)

    Cowards, all of you.

    Unless you are going overseas to receive life-saving medical treatment, etc.  

    STAND AND FIGHT with the rest of us-

    otherwise, I lump you  in with the greedy corporatists and Republicans who tout the tax benefits of living overseas - no difference.

    •  What about moving for enjoyment rather than (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darmok, Yonit, SeaTurtle, blueoasis

      escape, like I hope to do? I would like to move to Germany, but not as some political statement or giving up on America. I want to strengthen my German language skills, and if I move in 4 years I'll only be 31.

      All I'm saying is people move to another country for reasons beyond political motivations, and the animosity written here is astounding and absurd.

      •  I agree but the animosity (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattc129, ozsea1

        cuts both ways. Many of these comments, as is typical for this diary, are ludicriously hostile to the US and don't reflect the reality of living abroad at all. These diaries always boil down into a "US is teh suckiest place on earth" fest. I've got no problem with people wanting to live abroad for economic or personal reasons. Maybe they just want to try something new. But lots of these comments simply ignore often harsh realities of other nations. I can't say that the US is the best place on earth for everyone, but I will say that most of us would probably be worse off to a substantial degree if we were born somewhere else. I woudn't want a re-roll on the dice on that issue. It's possible, I could have been born in Sweden and be better off, but its more likely I'd have been born into poverty in Africa, Latin America or Asia. Or into violence in the Middle East/North Africa. Or into dictatorship in China or de facto dicatorship in Russia. Or a persecuted religious minority in many countries.

      •  Get overseas if you can (5+ / 0-)

        It's a great experience and the younger you are, the easier it is.

        More Americans should try living abroad at some point.  It makes you appreciate things that we take for granted, but it also shows you that there is more to the world than how it's viewed by American media.

    •  Who's asking for sympathy? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeaTurtle, 2andfro, blueoasis

      There are all kinds of reasons to live abroad and who are you to decide what's right for everyone else?  

      And even if someone is moving for the sole purpose of escaping, again, so what?  For all you know, they've spent years/decades fighting the good fight but at some point, people have a right to look after themselves.

    •  some people consider themselves (3+ / 0-)

      earthlings and global citizens. For most, citizenship is an accident of time and place. It need not determine the trajectory of a life. Our species is tribal by nature, but it has been millennia since many were fated to maintain their natal clan or tribal identify forever if they wished not to. People change religions, swap families of birth for families of choice, change jobs, change residences, change relationship status--change everything from hair color to core beliefs. There is no requirement to remain what we were born (except in situations like a Hindu caste society). Seeking anything, or anyplace, that is a better fit than what we were born into or chose before we encountered wider options in no way makes any of us a "coward." That blinkered accusation is as sad as it is false.

  •  I am just curious to see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattc129

    how this place will be when the majority is "minority".  Why would I want to leave when there is so much promise at that point.  I just hope they treat others with more respect than they have been treated.  I hope that they will not act like Israel does with the Palestinians and treat them like they were treated in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.   I will wait it out with anticipation of great things.

  •  Perhaps being a "perpetual traveler" is (0+ / 0-)

    the answer.   Stay as long in one place until the little realities start to grate, and then move on to another location for a while.  

    I read somewhere that booking a tiny stateroom on an ocean liner is more pleasant and less costly than living in assisted living, and generous tips for the staff will ensure that most needs are met with enthusiasm.  You don't have to be fully ambulatory, but you get to travel the world.

    If you already have a base in the US, you could do a few long term house swaps until you find a place that suits you.  

  •  Nice work, Vet63. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    novapsyche, blueoasis

    Love the St Francis quote.

  •  There have been periods before (5+ / 0-)

    when it was fashionable to be an expat, Hemingway wrote about this era. WWII sent all of those folks streaming home in a hurry. The present moment is troubling, granted. But what other white majority nation has elected a black president? Where else have gay rights flourished, even in the face of a reactionary backlash.
        The rule of law is a funny thing, you don't really consider it until you need it. Ecuador? Colombia? Chile? Are you fucking kidding me? They were throwing people like us out of helicopters into the ocean in Chile 25 years ago. If you really intend to buy property, or practice free speech (as you are accustomed) you would be wise to choose carefully.
         I like a lot of places I have visited, but even in western europe, the sexism, racism and cultural chauvinism are pretty breathtaking. Forget about eastern europe, literal fascism on the rise in parts of it. Asia? Maybe Hong Kong or Singapore, but you better bring your checkbook. Otherwise, Vietnam, Cambodia, China? Yeah right. Good luck.
        There is Canada, New Zealand, Australia (to some extent shockingly reactionary place), but for the most part, these places are as or more expensive than here. America is still a good bet, it's my flag too, and I ain't leaving.

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeaTurtle, gramofsam1

      Many people also overlook how hard it is to get a decent job in other countries. Many are very protectionist about their jobs. We willingly outsource legal work to India, but India doesn't allow foreign lawyers to set up shop even if they move to India, build a new building using Indian construction workers, and hire India lawyers, secretaries and support staff.

  •  Have a laugh when most come back... (0+ / 0-)
  •  2 1/2 years, and a friend might be able to leav... (0+ / 0-)

    2 1/2 years, and a friend might be able to leave my spare room for his own place by the end of summer.

    I understand you're tired - I'm tired too.

    But there are some good outcomes.

    Maybe, by the end of summer. Maybe.

  •  Thailand, maybe Myanmar. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roonie, blueoasis

    No, I'm not crazy in saying Myanmar. Freedom is on the loose in that country, and all th militarymilitary oligarchs want to do is hold onto theironey and stay out of prison. And the people are too sweet for words.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:13:08 AM PDT

  •  It's not a great wave. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger

    People who don't like the US can move to Israel (with the current conflict), to Ukraine, or maybe to some EU countries like Greece or Spain (25% unemployment rates).

    There are far many people waiting to get into the U.S. than trying to get out.

  •  That was the choice in the sixties too, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nannyberry, blueoasis

    stay and fight for change, or boogie. Many of those who left wound up fighting for different change (environmental) in their destination countries, though the ones I know seem to be less stressed than those who stayed.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:35:29 AM PDT

  •  This is my country. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Kong, corncam

    Right or wrong, for good or for ill, this is my country, and its people are my people.

    My duty and my responsibility is to work to make it live out the true meaning of its creed.

    It's a pretty heavy lift, I must admit.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:48:35 AM PDT

  •  I haven't seen anybody mention (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    my possible choice, which is (currently, at least) Uruguay. A small country which doesn't seem to see the need for going around blowing its own horn and bothering others, fairly quiet and reasonably prosperous, with a decent climate and at least presently a reasonable government. My Spanish is rusty but can be improved on easily enough. It's just a long way from the grandkids......

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:18:08 PM PDT

  •  Nowhere is safe as long as America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    retains the right to act with impunity, as the Lone Empire, taking all data, selling everyone as a commodity, seeing only power and money and threat as the highest currencies.

    People who leave here now are being incredibly selfish and short sighted. If you leave for the reasons I am reading about here, you are surrendering to the most banal machine ever created by mankind, the Corporate Oligarchy, and it may, or it may not keep you hidden for a while longer, but in a short time, there is no "overseas." Just like there are no aliense which are going to swoop down and save us, and no Supernatural being to stop all stupidity.

    The only thing now which will save the people of the world is to stay here in the world's largest economy and fight like hell. We have done it before, and won, but leaving only makes the job harder for the rest of us who know we must stay, morally, no matter what the fears are.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:43:22 PM PDT

    •  Also regarding the "taking all data". (0+ / 0-)

      You think US is bad? Try moving to Russian or China.

      Not to say that US can't be better, US should always do better. Not so much out of some "exceptionalism" but something that every country should strive for (instead of "Hey! I'm not as bad as you!").

  •  BSL. (0+ / 0-)

    My wife and I are the "parents" of a pit bull.  Half the English speaking world bans them.

    If not, we'd likely be looking abroad.

    "A good president does what's possible and a great president changes what's possible." --sterno

    by sk4p on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:21:19 PM PDT

  •  I'm Sticking Around...... (4+ / 0-)

    London & Stonehenge are great, been there, done that.  And I love Italy & Paris.

    But I'm still an American.  This is my country, & I won't be shoved out by the likes of Ted Cruz, Michelle Bachmann, Louie
    Gohmert & Rand Paul.

    They will NOT have their way w/ me.  

  •  I am leaving too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle, blueoasis

    I am planning my retirement in Thailand at age 62 in eight years.  I can afford to retire there with a reduced social security and pension.  Could never do it here in New York where I was born and reared.

    "Attempting to debate with a person who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine

    by liberalconservative on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 02:50:16 PM PDT

  •  The only country I could fairly easily move to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    because I was born there and have the rights of citizenship isn't exactly one I'd like to live in these days, because in certain ways it's even worse than the US, Israel. Plus I'm guessing that my less than far-right views on the situation there wouldn't be taken too kindly by people who've lived there for years.

    Most of all, though, the last place I'd want to move to these days would be a place where political division and debate is if anything even nastier than in the US, and the country appears to be moving further to the right. That would be like moving to the US in late 2001. Who wants that?

    That said, I haven't been there in over 10 years and would like to go back to visit and see my family. Plus, it might not be the worst thing in the world for me to live there for a year or two, to see if I liked it, and always have the option of returning to the US--once Dems take back the house and kick the GOP's ass.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 03:23:37 PM PDT

    •  Well Israel does have a left wing, too, eh? (0+ / 0-)

      "my less than far-right views on the situation there wouldn't be taken too kindly"

      You would probably know better than I, but doesn't Tel Aviv have a large number of liberals who chafe as much as you or I against "the black-hat crowd," as I've heard the ultra-orthodox referred to?  

      I understand, of course, the many other reasons you might have for not wanting to go...

      •  I suspect that its left isn't so left on this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Whamadoodle

        But I could be wrong. The Israelis I know aren't part of the left, although some lean there, but rather mostly middle class regular people who have been radicalized on this issue. I basically can't talk to them about this. I'm not sure I'd want to live in a country where I felt like I was living in a deep red state no matter where I was with my opinions REALLY unwelcome.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:16:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hm, yeah--well they do elect red leaders, true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie

          It is funny to me--I could make Aliyah and emigrate to there, too, I have Jewish parentage. However, I don't, because it bothers me to think of the settlements, and for the same reason (that they tend to vote right-wing hawk) that you mention. So I don't go, and probably won't (besides, like another poster above, I can't STAND hot weather).

          But then I think: well, that leaves it all to the people who ARE right-wing hawks, to the people who don't care about others, to be the ones who emigrate there. So the people who say "I'm not going, because I care" are leaving the whole place to those who DON'T care. I have never stopped puzzling over that issue.

          Another, possibly unconnected, thought: I read an article about I/P some years ago, that said (as near as I can recall to quote it): "Israeli Jews always assumed that American Jews would check their liberalism at the door. But to their horror, American Jews checked their ZIONISM at the door."

          •  I'd visit before considering emigration (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Whamadoodle

            Summers can be quite hot, like NYC in August, but without the rain and clouds. It's not too bad in the inland north, in the Galilee and Golan Heights. Further south in the Negev to Eilat it can be like the Mojave, but very dry. Think Las Vegas without the casinos but with resorts, on the sea (whose waters are oddly quite cold year round). But the coast is quite humid and muggy.

            Of course, weather's not the main reason to not emigrate. I used to visit quite often, when I was younger. I had lots of family there. Still do. But people get older and things change. And I find it weird to know that I can stay and have a great time in the Tel Aviv area, where they all live, while 50 miles away people are living miserably and getting killed, and you barely even know it.

            Israel is sort of like one giant gated community that way.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 06:22:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whew--I'll bet. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kovie

              Well I do hope to visit, because as a student of history, I studied the Middle East a little, so Jerusalem has a lot of color for me. Yes, I don't think I'll ever emigrate there, though...

              •  Don't expect you to or was suggesting it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Whamadoodle

                A visit, though, during less difficult times, and perhaps not in high summer, would be extremely rewarding and instructive, provided that you saw the whole country and perhaps some of Jordan and Egypt too. The country and people are quite fascinating. The food's pretty good too.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 09:29:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I did manage to go to Egypt--it was amazing (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kovie

                  One of the most life-changing trips of my life. I still regret that I didn't go into debt for the extra leg in Israel, 'cos it was just ONE year before the 2001 troubles (was that the year?) started there.

                  And yes, my girlfriend and I are raring to see Jordan as well, it looks fantastic.

                  (And and and, yes, one of my travel magazines just did a piece on Tel Aviv's food scene...)

  •  Where does one go... (0+ / 0-)

    ...outside this country that he or she is not immediately relegated to the "Ugly American" trash heap the first time they protest something going on in their adopted country's government?

    Ich bin ein Wisconsiner!

    by Apphouse50 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 05:19:01 PM PDT

    •  Rule # 1 for living abroad (0+ / 0-)

      Never get involved in local politics or issues.

      You can live in a country for years and never be "in the loop."

      Even if you are on what you believe is the right side of an issue, it is far more likely that you will be viewed as interfering rather than helping.

      I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

      by Wayward Wind on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:55:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I were any European country, I'd be careful (6+ / 0-)

    who I let in, to be honest. I know this sounds elitist, but having grown up in Wisconsin, under largely Democratic/Liberal policies, our state (and Liberal Minnesota) had built a high quality of living for the Midwest. Good schools, stable economy, healthy environment. This in fact attracted business, and produced jobs.

    The downside is that this quality of life lured residents from failed red state policies north. And when these conservatives began to vote, they began to implement the very same policies that sank their former states. They don't even realize that the liberal policies and taxes were the reason the state economy was doing well. Enter Walker.

  •  too bad so many would give up before the left (0+ / 0-)

    does something about rw radio - the single most effective weapon the right has and the cause of much of the crap of the last 25 years.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:09:19 PM PDT

  •  My retirement plan (0+ / 0-)

    Is to die at my desk, right here in the USA. That may or may not make Norm happy. Ultimately, though, I don't give a flying Philadelphia fuck.

  •  I have a friend who moved to Australia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Whamadoodle

    Because he married an Australian whom he met while she was residing in the US.  He loves it, and even obtained dual citizenship.  I would love to move to Europe, especially Germany or someplace in Scandinavia (sorry--most people would seek out warmer climes, but I'm a total coldie.  It's the only way!).  I don't see the opportunity for that any time soon, though.  

    The trick to living in the US, I might add, is obvious: live in a part that sucks less.  Meaning, a large metropolitan area in a 'blue' state that, though relatively pricey, has a strong job market and access to public services.  

    Even though we do have a good chance of making headway in terms of social issues on a nationwide scale (with the LGBT movement leading the way!), I am just not optimistic with regard to economic progress.  Widening economic disparities will further polarize this country, and the federal government will continue to lose legitimacy as gridlock continues (and a Millennial love affair with libertarianism does not bode well, either).  It follows that where you live in the country will be crucial to your well-being.  For me, since I am from the West, and I would only want to stay out here, that means Colorado, California, or the Pacific Northwest.  And that's it, buddy!

    Col. Brandt: "What do you think we'll do when we lose the war?" Capt. Kiesel: "Prepare for the next one." --from "Cross of Iron"

    by ConservatismSuxx on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:49:45 PM PDT

  •  To be honest, I don't get it (0+ / 0-)

    I love your commitment, don't get me wrong; your heart sounds like it's in the right place. But what is it about America, this collection of arbitrarily-drawn borders, carved out of Native American land by conquest, that makes it imperative that your good works can only be done by staying right here?

    I understand, too, that it doesn't do if someone is RUNNING to another country. But if there's no running away involved, if someone isn't being cowardly, and just feels that it would be nice to live in such and such another country, then why can't work be done to help the homeless, help the vets, fight corruption, uphold the rule of law against wickedness, and all of that from wherever one is?

    I've lived in three different countries in my life; just as I've never understood wanting to restrict other people's freedom to move here, so I've never understood why I can't just live and work elsewhere too, when I like.

  •  There is no perfect place (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger, kefauver

    South America, I have been several times and am looking at Peru or Ecuador or Colombia.  However, running into expats there, a lot of the retired ones seem to have a blind eye to the fact that life is easier because we instantly catapult into the upper 5%.  Life is a lot less stressful when we are "wealthy."  Life isn't less stressful for the person trying to sell apples on the sidewalk 16 hours a day.  We should keep that in perspective.  Same is doubly true with some of the Asian countries I know people are moving to.

    I don't have much experience with Europe, but it is interesting reading of others' experiences.  A couple of years ago I read an article by in an English language version of an Arabic online publication by a Saudi who was talking about immigration restrictions with different countries.  It basically said that the more benefits a government gives to the people who live their, the more difficult it is to gain citizenship.  The less public benefits, the easier it is to immigrate.

    Life offers us no easy choices.  As Cormac McCarthy puts it:  The world is this way and not some other way.  I guess the question to ask yourself is if you want to move because life will be better in some other place, or are you just running from your problems?

    PS-I feel you with your son, my brother is also homeless at the moment and calls up demanding money to feed his addictions.  Fifteen years of trying to help someone get off the street takes a huge emotional toll.  I definitely want to run from my problems.

    "When people have nothing left to lose, they lose it." - Gerald Celente

    by DrFaustus on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:29:28 PM PDT

    •  You do not need a perfect place, you need a (0+ / 0-)

      match. I am probably the only poster here who can thrive in ASEAN, it sure as hell is not perfect, but it matches my requirements and my disposition matches its requirements. So, look for a match, not the impossible perfection.

      I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

      by shann on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 11:49:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just me but (0+ / 0-)

    I would settle for moving to the West Coast and get away from all the idiots who are trying to screw screwing working people out of a living wage or access to affordable health care.  Or at least be where factual debate is the norm and right-wing zealotry and ignorance are only meaningless drivel from a powerless minority.

    Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

    by Tx LIberal on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:27:42 AM PDT

  •  As long as you are not Jewish (0+ / 0-)

    you should be OK in France and Germany.

    I only add this snark to make a point. This is a GREAT country  whose founding ideals are absolutely amazing and especially considering the time they were formed. The great thing is that we always TRY to live up to our ideals. Sometimes we fall short. But we try. I am not knocking other countries, but the open anti semitism (in France in particular) is nothing I would wish to be among.

  •  It seems like some conflation is happening (0+ / 0-)

    because people have been expatriating for a long time from the States for one reason or another.  You can add health care and a better standard of living to the mix, but the dollar (if you have enough of them) will always get you a lot more in a lot of other very livable countries.

    If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. -George Washington

    by Tank Mountaine on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 12:51:44 PM PDT

  •  Someone has to do it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster

    I realized long ago that the fight to keep this country being a good place will never, ever stop. And that we can't ever stop as a result. I'd like to say that its a job for the younger generations but that actually includes me so I'm kinda stuck on my own rhetoric and excuses.

    In any event. Even if all I can do is to keep a voice against the negativity going, that's something. Also, all my stuff is here. do you have any idea how hard it would be to get my six-feet tall pokemon cardboard promotional displays to another country? Yeah, screw that.

    Looks like I'm stuck!

    No light, no dark, no up, no down. No life. No time. Without end. My people called it The Void. The Eternals called it The Howling. But some people call it The Tea Party.

    by kamrom on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:09:39 PM PDT

  •  What might force me to leave (0+ / 0-)

    are the budget cuts to medical research and the terrible working conditions for primary care physicians (my wife's profession). My family has been here a long time (one ancestor arrived in 1610 or 1611) but I have to make a living!

    We might retire to Israel but that is a long way off.

  •  i'd definitely move if it was an option (0+ / 0-)

    US "law enforcement" and our "justice" system scares the sh*t outta me.

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:48:56 PM PDT

  •  Costa Rico, Belize, or Vancouver; cool places (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:40:21 PM PDT

  •  All the people I've known who moved overseas (0+ / 0-)

    Did so to avoid taxes. I no longer have anything to do with them and their awesome selfishness.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 06:38:47 PM PDT

  •  Wow... (0+ / 0-)

    When I was in the military, I spent a lot of time overseas. And I loved it. I DID spend time in a couple of war zones, but for the most part, I really enjoyed it. While in the military, I had friends of different colors and religions; it was a truly diverse experience.

     There is a certain freedom that people of color feel when they live overseas; I can't quite put my finger on it, but it has to do with how you are treated- differently-you're treated much better than at home.

    I have brown skin and curly black hair, which means that here at home, certain things are a given- I'm pretty close to being on the No-fly list. I will never be able to catch a cab in New York or L.A. I always get followed by security in nice stores. Many people will assume that I don't speak English even though I have a Master's Degree. Many times they either think I'm a Muslim immigrant or illegal alien from somewhere in Latin America (even though I was born in Washington, DC). In other words, in this society, despite being educated and well-spoken, and having friends of different skin tones and beliefs, I'm always going to be treated like an "other". It comes with the territory here at here at home. Overseas, I never really had to think about it.

    I know that things are not perfect in many of the places  I lived. But I enjoyed the freedom. When I say freedom I mean the freedom from instant judgement; freedom from immediate exclusion. The constrictions of race in American society are greater than one may believe; I guess it's something that has to be experienced. Don't get me wrong-There is racism in many places around the globe; it just that it doesn't weigh as heavily as it does here in the States.

    Although America is my place of birth, my home, If I had the opportunity to go back overseas to live and work, I certainly would welcome the opportunity.

  •  I've been thinking a lot about this, lately. (0+ / 0-)

    A woman I'm interested in has citizenship in England and France and my mother objects to the prospect of my moving "you have a duty to help make this country work. Your family has been here 384 years."

    Frankly, I'm disgusted by the prevalent values in our South. I think Europe is doing a lot better than we are in a lot of ways. If William weren't related (albeit distantly), I could oppose the British monarchy without reservation. If there were no monarchy, I could emigrate without reservation.

    Unfortunately, I do have reservations, but the America I'm fighting for seems increasingly the view of a very small minority. I'm not sure there are enough hours in the day to show Americans and Christians where they are wrong and to do it in a way that would engender change instead of hostility.

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 04:02:02 AM PDT

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