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Author Topic: A Good Country to Emigrate To?  (Read 5365 times)

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Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« on: January 01, 2014, 11:12:47 PM »
One American here, tired of the right-wingers and perpetual dysfunction of American politics--not to mention paying for a global empire he doesn't want.

So for you non-Americans out there...tell me about your country.  Try to sell me on it.  Go on...

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 12:56:59 PM »
Clarification (since I can't edit posts yet): I'm not really looking for a political debate here...more like compare-and-contrast of how various countries around the world handle these sorts of things, as told from folks who actually live under the systems (as opposed to American talking heads who spin things to fit their own agendas).

Offline Sho

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 04:15:17 AM »
Well, I'm gonna go ahead and say that every country has it's dysfunctions…but if you're looking for a more liberal country than America, there's always Canada.

But if you look at the Toronto mayor, you'll see that no country is without its dysfunctions. Really, pretty much every country has good things and bad things, and you're never going to find a flawless match. That being said? I enjoyed living in Canada (lived there for almost five years), though wasn't a huge fan of the taxes they require. Free healthcare was nice, if you were a citizen.

But honestly - few passports are more valuable than American passports partially because of the reason that you can say how much you hate the country/its politics. In short, America allows a degree of political freedom that many other countries do not (though there are some out there).

If you're serious about this, I'd suggest doing some research into the EU, England, and Canada. Though they all have their own problems, as well.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 05:25:08 AM »
New Zealand seems nice.  I looked a little into that but it's pretty far.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 11:50:48 AM »
I lived in Europe several years ago, currently live in the US.  Like Sho said, there are pros and cons to every country.

In reality, this issue is heavily tied to your socioeconomic position. 

All things considered though, even if you are unable to move, I'd say you're pretty lucky to be an American, compared to many other places in the world.

Offline Hemingway

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 12:04:19 PM »
The nordic countries generally rank among the best places in the world to live by several standards - but they also tend to be hellishly expensive. The issue is compounded by the fact it can be difficult to find a job nowadays, at least in some places. I'd probably look at closer places. Like Sho said, there's Canada.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 12:14:15 PM »
I've had friends who have been interested in emigrating before.  I cannot stress heavily enough the need to research this thoroughly.  It's not a simple matter of packing your bags, walking up to the customs desk at the border and renouncing your citizenship.  Most countries (Canada included) require some indication that you are going to be a productive member of society (i.e., that you've got the possibility of employment), and there are months if not years-worth of paperwork that has to be processed.  Even in the case of marriage, the red tape is daunting.  (As it turned out, one of my friends who was marrying a Canadian ended up with her fiance moving down to the US, and another of my friends was actually turned back at the border in the moving truck.)

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 01:18:43 PM »
Don't know how invested you are in your chosen career, but some careers offer a great many chances to immigrate and travel abroad such as teachers and nurses.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 01:44:48 PM »
Don't know how invested you are in your chosen career,sayiome careers offer a great many chances to immigrate and travel abroad such as teachers and nurses.

This isn't as easy as people think, unless you are already working for an American company that is looking for employees abroad.  I am not saying it is impossible, but if one is looking to emigrate and locate a job independently, they will actually likely be far better off investing that same amount of energy into finding a stable job with benefits in the US.

Offline Lux12

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 05:56:29 PM »
Any Scandinavian country so long as you don't mind the frigid winters. I'm considering it myself.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 06:10:26 PM »
Brazil: Great country, great people, awesome landscapes, poor infrastructure, rotten politicians...

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 07:23:55 PM »
Czech republic. It sucks as much as it does everywhere else, if not more, but at least the chicks are hot. O8)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2014, 07:27:11 PM »
Any Scandinavian country so long as you don't mind the frigid winters. I'm considering it myself.

Ha! *looks around for snow, spotting only wet autumnal darkness* Some parts of western and southern Scandinavia - much of the coastal regions of Norway, for instance, and most of Denmark - get much more rain than snow in most winters. Though I'd recommend knowing how to drive in a snowy winter climate, if one were planning to use a car (highly useful considering the distances and the landscape).

Scandinavia is beautiful but expensive, and I definitely recommend trying to find somewhere to live before making the move - the urban property market here can feel a bit stuffed, it's not easy to find small and inexpensive apartments in big cities around here (if you have like half a million bucks ready to invest in a condo on arrival, then no problem...).

Also, be ready to learn the local language - we're good at English, some of us very good, and readily use it, but speaking the native tongue fluently opens up many more doors, and if planning to form a family then yes, absolutely... (Swedish, Norwegian and Danish are sort of mutually intelligible much of the time, at least with a bit of effort - Finnish is a completely different beast, it's not an Indo-European language at all, though Finland is culturally and socially solidly Scandinavian)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 08:05:56 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Lazaria

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 07:46:48 PM »
British expat here; good bits about the U.S and A?

Lower tax rate, chatty people, Mexican-American food, different cuisines, great future prospects (especially if you've studied and practice multinational auditing), constantly mistaken for a Harry Potter character, lovely weather and health coverage in case you're an independent contractor/didn't have access to medical insurance (now).

Not so good?

Crime rate (depending on where you live), easy access to guns (personal one for me, may not be for you), alarmingly divided populace (again depends on where you live or who you talk to). 

So in a nutshell I'll recommend what some folks have already mentioned; depends really on what you want to do and exactly what you are seeking. In my personal experience I've discovered even moving from one city to another (let alone switching states) can also help you meeting like minded individuals or finding what you call a 'place of belonging'. 

Offline Lux12

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 08:09:48 PM »
Ha! *looks around for snow, spotting only wet autumnal darkness* Some parts of western and southern Scandinavia - much of the coastal regions of Norway, for instance, and most of Denmark - get much more rain than snow in most winters. Though I'd recommend knowing how to drive in a snowy winter climate, if one were planning to use a car (highly useful considering the distances and the landscape).

Scandinavia is beautiful but expensive, and I definitely recommend trying to find somewhere to live before making the move - the urban property market here can feel a bit stuffed, it's not easy to find small and inexpensive apartments in big cities around here (if you have like half a million bucks ready to invest in a condo on arrival, then no problem...).

Also, be ready to learn the local language - we're good at English, some of us very good, but speaking the native tongue fluently opens up many more doors, and if planning to form a family then yes, absolutely... (Swedish, Norwegian and Danish are sort of mutually intelligible much of the time, at least with a bit of effort - Finnish is a completely different beast, it's not an Indo-European language at all, though Finland is culturally and socially solidly Scandinavian)
I am just so sick of living in this hypocritical country with all of its little prejudices it tries to dress up nicely so no one will notice. It kills me to know that this country I live in was the one that inspired a wave of revolutions in the name of democracy and liberty and yet there are others with a better human rights record than this. I know not everyone in Scandinavia is running around raising tankards of mead to Thor or Ukko, but I get the impression there at least my paganism would be accepted for what it is. I may be a man but knowing that these countries have some of the best records on women's rights in the modern era is a major selling point for me. Not to mention that they seem to lack anything close to this irritating partisan divide we have here in the states. As far as wet autumnal darkness is concerned, I welcome it. I like walking in the rain. Especially after dark. Not even to any particular place. Just wandering about in the restful blackness with rhythm of the droplets falling from the sky is one of those little pleasures in life for me. At the risk of sounding stereotypically Gothic, I prefer to wake up to a gray sky and the soothing music of droplets falling from the heavens. Torrential  downpour or not, I prefer cloudy days. If it's cooler than the place I live now year round that's another plus because I simply cannot stand the heat especially if I'm trying to get to bed.  Not to mention that (and perhaps I'm dealing in stereotypes here), that the local music scene seems more to my liking. The idea that I might get Nightwish in fairly regular rotation on radio stations is something that would make me grin from ear to ear and probably cheer like  a madman if it were so in the states. If everything I heard is correct, the various countries up there in Scandinavia have had a fine tuned national healthcare service for some time. There me be worse places to live than the U.S. but I have grown so very sick of my homeland in so many ways.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 08:20:01 PM »
Not to mention that they seem to lack anything close to this irritating partisan divide we have here in the states.

Like we discussed in the other thread, this should be no surprise, given the largely homogenous demographic of Scandinavian societies, as compared to the hugely diverse USA.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 09:51:20 PM »
I've had friends who have been interested in emigrating before.  I cannot stress heavily enough the need to research this thoroughly.  It's not a simple matter of packing your bags, walking up to the customs desk at the border and renouncing your citizenship.  Most countries (Canada included) require some indication that you are going to be a productive member of society (i.e., that you've got the possibility of employment), and there are months if not years-worth of paperwork that has to be processed.  Even in the case of marriage, the red tape is daunting.  (As it turned out, one of my friends who was marrying a Canadian ended up with her fiance moving down to the US, and another of my friends was actually turned back at the border in the moving truck.)
I cannot second or third this entire bit enough. As an individual working through the Immigration process myself, the entire thing is daunting. But if you truly want it, you will fight and struggle for it.

Even then, though, it takes a bit of a hope and a prayer.  :-\

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2014, 06:47:48 AM »
        Are you talking about a place to plan to get a new citizenship, or just to live and work?  I wasn't really sure.

        It really depends what you're looking to do there, and what sort of resources and qualifications you have to begin with.  There are lots of interesting places for various tastes, but an American at the bottom in many of them, is only somewhat better than one at the bottom in the US.  It can be a very substantial "somewhat" if you're actually on the verge of losing everything, as you can probably get a roof over your head and at least some savings teaching.  Still, you want to know how your industry works there and where you fit into it.  That is, if you have time and contacts to find out.   

         It also depends what you want for a social life (or not).  Some of us are happy being hermits, some want a busy social life, and some really want a vibrant expat community of their own social class in town.  Those are very different sets of needs.  There are quite a few developing countries where you could live if you don't need some of them -- and some where you just couldn't.  Or...  I make very little money and this town bores me, but I pass the time mostly geeking out in some fashion.  I don't drink or knock myself out with weekend sports (though I could do those here), and I don't care so much if I blow a lot of time reading news or playing old strategy games (or the occasional good fit roleplay).  I don't eat myself too much about having limited face to face contact outside of my job.  There is also the question:  Are you going to the first place for it to be "the" place, or is it a stepping stone on the way to something better?  And there are a lot of other interests you might or might not want or need to have around. 

          So you might start with a more particular list of what is really important to you in a living situation.  Not every country will easily place you near all of them.  If you need to be in a bustling major city where you can buy English magazines and get Western fast food, or if you must have wired internet...  Or green space, or clear skies, or be allowed to drive yourself....  Or have public transit because you won't drive  yourself and don't like to walk for miles first...  All of those things will narrow it down at the level of whole countries or regions...

            But the map is not the territory.  It's great if you can skype with some people there or email, etc. -- But some things you will never appreciate until you go and try.  And what particular place and people you land in a country will affect your individual experience in huge ways that you might never have foreseen.   
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 06:50:21 AM by kylie »

Offline Retribution

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2014, 08:39:45 AM »
British expat here; good bits about the U.S and A?

Lower tax rate, chatty people, Mexican-American food, different cuisines, great future prospects (especially if you've studied and practice multinational auditing), constantly mistaken for a Harry Potter character, lovely weather and health coverage in case you're an independent contractor/didn't have access to medical insurance (now).

Not so good?

Crime rate (depending on where you live), easy access to guns (personal one for me, may not be for you), alarmingly divided populace (again depends on where you live or who you talk to). 

So in a nutshell I'll recommend what some folks have already mentioned; depends really on what you want to do and exactly what you are seeking. In my personal experience I've discovered even moving from one city to another (let alone switching states) can also help you meeting like minded individuals or finding what you call a 'place of belonging'.

I have never been out of this country, but my differing political opinions aside (am a life long gun owner) this seems to be a nice summary of the US. The divide in the populace to me seems to be the largest issue in the US. There is absolutely no live and let live from either side. But you were asking about other nations....

I have not been out of the country, but I have found traveling to other states is often times like visiting other countries. I have a pretty thick Ozark accent for example and way back in the day I dated a woman from New England. Do you know we actually had a little bit of a language barrier? Despite living in a northern state my family is from the Ozarks so I have a twang since you mimic what you hear. Hell, my own son has the same twang from growing up around me and if you go a bit further north I actually have problems understanding the people. So I go through all of this to illustrate a simple switch of state or region can make a vast difference.

Also as I read this thread and others of similar bent the impression I get is of back in the 60s. I have some vague recollections of the early 70s which were well in the shadow of the 60s. Living in a commune, going to see a guru all of those sorts of things were all in vogue. Seeking a place where ones enlightened views would be appreciated. But now, if you read or listen to anything those who lived in these sorts of communities have to say the gist is it was not all it was cracked up to be. We all have a tendency to chase Shangrala. Be careful, there is a lot of struggle in life and dealing with it is generally what life is about.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2014, 09:45:59 AM »
A few more considerations in making your decision:

1.  Unless you end up working for a globally-known European/Asian company overseas, or an American company with an overseas branch, you run the risk of having a diminished resume upon later return to the US.  There are certainly exceptions, but realize that unless you are planning to take on a well-known position overseas (such as an internationally-recognized teaching program, like what kylie mentioned), you'll basically be making your move permanent, and inadvertently losing the many opportunity perks of being an American - which there are many.

2.  Realize that Europe has a tremendous number of people struggling with poverty and unemployment, much the same way people are here.  Also consider that unless you have highly marketable skills, that many European employers feel no shame in favoring their own nationality over a foreigner - especially when it comes to hiring a graduate from a European university over an American one.  As fashionable as it is to diss the US nowadays, you would be incredibly hard-pressed to find another country as tolerant and accepting.

My honest opinion is that this concept of emigrating from the US is just a cool thing to say these days.  If you put in as much energy and creativity into doing all of the above, in the United States, you'll find yourself a quality of life for you and your family that exceeds many in Europe, and that's a fact.

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2014, 11:49:17 AM »
A few more considerations in making your decision:

...

My honest opinion is that this concept of emigrating from the US is just a cool thing to say these days.  If you put in as much energy and creativity into doing all of the above, in the United States, you'll find yourself a quality of life for you and your family that exceeds many in Europe, and that's a fact.

You and some others have raised some excellent points, so I'll speak to my reasons for wanting to leave the U.S.  It's not so much where it is now (although it's already fallen a couple notches from where it was circa 1970), but where it's headed.  I'm seeing a lot of parallels between America today and the Weimar Republic of Germany.  Persistent, large deficits, an increasingly ineffective and bumbling government, a trenchant right-wing activism, declining civil liberties, increased corporatism and militarism.  Minus some of the racial/ethnic chauvinism, much of the rhetoric from the American Right parallels that of the National Socialists before their rise to power.  The American Right is more concerned with expanding corporate power than state power...but in the final analysis, corporations and state are more or less joined at the hip these days anyway.  And we've already seen the classes of people the Right here wants to vilify--rather than Jews, it's working-class people, the disabled, ethnic minorities.  The scapegoating is there, as it was in Germany as the Thirties progressed and Hitler rose out of the beer halls.

Perhaps you disagree with my prognosis, and that's fine.  I'm not going to claim the outcome I've outlined is certain; no one can predict the future with total accuracy, including me.  But at the very least, I suspect you'll concede what I've discussed is a rather unsettling trend.  And when you've got something like that brewing...let's just say it was much easier for a Jew to emigrate from Germany in the late 1920s than in 1940.  And even if I'm not in the American Right's groups of Untermensch, you can bet there'll be migration restrictions and capital controls and all manner of legal measures taken to thwart anyone who wants to do the unpatriotic act of emigration.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2014, 11:52:24 AM »
Out of curiosity, what emigration-related research have you already done?

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2014, 12:06:56 PM »
Out of curiosity, what emigration-related research have you already done?

I've looked at statistics like economic freedom




press freedom


and other human rights indicators. 


Places that are doing at least decently economically



with a sensible balance between the State, the corporation and the individual, that offer universal healthcare or a close derivative thereof.  I won't go into details, but I've already taken steps to move my financial life offshore. 

Let's just say I've done a lot of empirical research.  My purpose for starting this thread was anecdotal research, to get some human impressions of life in other nations beyond statistics.  Numbers are important, but there's some things that can't be plotted onto a chart.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2014, 12:15:36 PM »
Perhaps you disagree with my prognosis, and that's fine.  I'm not going to claim the outcome I've outlined is certain; no one can predict the future with total accuracy, including me.  But at the very least, I suspect you'll concede what I've discussed is a rather unsettling trend.  And when you've got something like that brewing...let's just say it was much easier for a Jew to emigrate from Germany in the late 1920s than in 1940.  And even if I'm not in the American Right's groups of Untermensch, you can bet there'll be migration restrictions and capital controls and all manner of legal measures taken to thwart anyone who wants to do the unpatriotic act of emigration.

There may be some truth to your predictions, but you are looking at it from a very linear perspective, which unilaterally vilifies the Right.  Someone of a different political persuasion could easily reach your same conclusions, while vilifying the Left.  I am of neither perspective myself, which is perhaps why I see this as being a bias in your outlook.

Even if your conclusions are validated, how does emigrating from the US benefit you?  Strong European economies such as Germany and the UK, are losing their sovereignty to the EU, analogous to the manner in which authority is increasingly being localized in the American federal government.  The EU is taking the same ill-fated financial path you describe about the US.

You are unnecessarily turning the issue of emigration into a political one.

With regard to your research data:

1)  How is prison population a representation of human rights?  India has less than 50 prisoners per 100,000 as compared to the US which has 700+ per 100,000.  This is supposed to lead us to what conclusion?

2)  Economic freedom seems to show the US as being the best of the lot, based on your figure.

I won't go into details, but I've already taken steps to move my financial life offshore.

Please take my advice when I say that unless you are already secure in your employment, and have significant portfolio assets, that this is an incredibly bad idea.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2014, 12:21:15 PM »
Okay, but what about looking into the actual process of emigrating?  Have you looked into various countries' immigration policies, what visas are available, what the naturalization processes are, etc.?

Just to be clear, I'm not going to try to talk you out of it.  Just making sure you have a reasonable grasp of what you're doing.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 12:31:56 PM by Oniya »