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Author Topic: A Good Country to Emigrate To?  (Read 5372 times)

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Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #100 on: January 07, 2014, 08:32:27 PM »
I understand what you are saying.  My area of contention is - should we acknowledge that some people are only capable of blue collar work (as you claim), and modify the economic system to match the reality that they will systemically be unable to find work, OR do we take this on as a challenge, and embrace a society where computers perform previously blue-collar work, and transform our education system to train this previously uneducated labor force into alternative roles.  These alternate roles would be the result of entrepreneurs progressing society at an exponentially greater rate than previous decades, due to improved efficiency of labor.

I realize that all factors being taken into consideration, the 2nd suggestion is rather unlikely.  However, I think it's worth an honest effort in improving the various institutions in our society, before flat out giving up on our economic system.

The problem is that there simply won't be economically viable (under our current model) work for these people to do.  How many "niche" jobs can you create?  At what point will you simply be creating make-work to keep employment numbers juiced so you don't have legions of poor people with pitchforks and AK-47s?

Dispensing a basic amount of wealth as a social benefit doesn't necessarily scupper the whole idea of employment.  Let's say we paid every adult citizen of America $1000 a month (along with universal healthcare and free college education).  $1000 monthly isn't that much money--that's $12,000 a year, when the poverty level is $10,400.  We establish a per-child allowance.  We also:

1) Eliminate all welfare and food stamp programs.
2) Eliminate unemployment and disability insurance.
3) Repeal the minimum wage
4) Eliminate Social Security (we would need to phase this in so as not to cut off existing seniors or people close to collecting SS)
5) Establish a $12,000 standard deduction for all individuals for income tax (means the universal income is tax-free).
6) Repeal most tax writeoffs and subsidies for individuals and business.

That right there is quite a concession to conservatives.  They get rid of the whole cumbersome social welfare apparatus, Social Security and the minimum wage.  They get a simplified tax code.  That's a lot of stuff they've been hankering for for quite some time now.

Now, let's consider the biggest objection the Right is likely to present: "But then no one will want to work, everyone will be lazy weed-smoking Xbox-playing couch-surfing bums living on Mom's couch!"

Yes, there are a few people who would drop out of the workforce to sit on the dole.  But I submit that someone who is willing to sit back and settle for $12K a year is the type of person who will be among the first to become unemployable and lose their job to a machine anyway.  If you truly don't have anything more than that to contribute to the world, you're really not needed anyway...and we might as well give you a check so you can buy basic goods and services and keep the economy going--and not revolt. 

I think most people would want more than that out of life, and they would be free to go for it.  And people who did want to pursue the arts and things computers aren't good at--those niche jobs you mentioned--would have new freedom to do so without being tied to a cubicle full time.  Maybe a person with sick parents would go to part-time work and spend the rest of their time caring for their elders rather than shuffling Mom and Pop off to a nursing home because they don't have time. 

The end of industrial work does not mean the end of human purpose and dignity.  To the contrary, the end of work as we know it can enhance these qualities of the human experience, and give us better lives.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #101 on: January 07, 2014, 08:42:44 PM »
The only justification for such a model is the self-rationalization in your mind.

Until you provide any source at all suggesting the feasibility/evidence of such a model, there really isn't a point in discussing it.

Eliminating social security?  Repealing the minimum wage?  You're really opening up a can of worms here, and without any sort of reference, there's a million things to discuss.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #102 on: January 07, 2014, 08:53:24 PM »
How about relaunching, or splitting off, this line of discussion in a thread of its own? This is a set of problem knots that are fairly common to much of the western world, and they might appear in China too, in time. Doesn't have anything much to do with the US vs specific other countries to live in.

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #103 on: January 07, 2014, 08:54:36 PM »
The only justification for such a model is the self-rationalization in your mind.

Until you provide any source at all suggesting the feasibility/evidence of such a model, there really isn't a point in discussing it.

Eliminating social security?  Repealing the minimum wage?  You're really opening up a can of worms here, and without any sort of reference, there's a million things to discuss.

I understand, it's a radical shift.  So was the discovery of agriculture.  People...stay in one place, all the time, scratching dirt instead of following the animals around?  Unthinkable!  Or how about industrialism...leave the comfort of home and your own land to toil for hours to make someone else rich, and they give you a piece of paper that you take to a bank rather than food and shelter?  Inconceivable!  Except that it happened.  Technology is utterly transformative that way.  It fundamentally and radically alters the way we do things, the manner in which we live our lives.  It makes scant provision for "we've always done things this way" or "this is the way things 'have' to be."  The industrial model was created by technology, and it can and will be (is being!) destroyed by technology and replaced with something radically different.

To circle back to the topic of emigration, one reason I want to leave the U.S. is because I think it's ill-prepared to adapt to the new technological model.  We don't want anything to be a social benefit here, even medicine.  In America, your net worth is strictly a product of the free market, what someone is willing to pay you.  I think Europe, for example, is going to be more amenable to adapting to distribution of wealth as a social benefit because they already distribute healthcare and post-secondary education as such.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #104 on: January 07, 2014, 09:36:22 PM »
I understand, it's a radical shift.  So was the discovery of agriculture.  People...stay in one place, all the time, scratching dirt instead of following the animals around?  Unthinkable!  Or how about industrialism...leave the comfort of home and your own land to toil for hours to make someone else rich, and they give you a piece of paper that you take to a bank rather than food and shelter?  Inconceivable!  Except that it happened.  Technology is utterly transformative that way.  It fundamentally and radically alters the way we do things, the manner in which we live our lives.  It makes scant provision for "we've always done things this way" or "this is the way things 'have' to be."  The industrial model was created by technology, and it can and will be (is being!) destroyed by technology and replaced with something radically different.


True, and to just add two more powerful trends:

-Money flows are steadily going more and more electronic. Banks, some financial dealers and some shops want money to be *only* electronic, to squeeze off the use of physical money. That's no big problem if you're solidly established and make many thousands of dollars a month and personally enjoy a solid cash inflow, but if you're actually one of those bilions who have to count up your money sometimes, and who may have to add cash to your main account to meet some bills that can't wait, then the absence of physical bills, of a reliable and quick channel to handle that kind and get it in, will create trouble. These days, many service providers, landlords, subscription givers, phone operators etc are quite inflexible about a bill getting paid just two or three days too late, so if you don't have the money in there, on your account, to pay - tough luck! (having a wad of bills in your pocket isn't really much use if you want to get the bill paid asap and you don't wish to pay a near-prohibitive fee for actually sending money over the counter at the bank). And if the money (dole, wages, health benefits) a person gets is some kind of welfare or dole, or unrelaible income from some kind of day-to-day work, they will be very vulnerable to any soet of techniocal glitch that could mean the money doesn't go in on their account on time.

-Also, education and personal/work identification records are moving more and more towards online. That means people who don't know how to handle a computerized process safely, who don't have the skills with the internet, or the solid experience, risk getting shut out sometimes.

Now imagine if there's a web or eklectricity outage in a future hi-tech society and many people are unable to get hold of any money or any personal records they need at all - because both money and grades, attestations etc only exist online?? That would be disastrous, and it would hit hardest at those who didn't have a regular job, and who might also be ill - those who would most need the online system to be working.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 11:40:43 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #105 on: January 07, 2014, 11:37:33 PM »
I understand, it's a radical shift.

Where did you get this economic model from?

Maybe you can explain these things to me:

1)  Two 45 year olds could live in a house with a 20 year old, each get this free $1000 per month, and have a household income of $36,000 - tax free?  Pretty sweet deal, right?
 
2)  For these blue-collar workers unable to find employment, and subsisting on this $1000/month, do you really believe that these people have the financial discipline to set aside a retirement fund?  What happens if their retirement fund is $0 at age 65.  They have no social security, and SOL at age 85 when they can't work?  (Totally unrelated point - if such a society exists, in all likelyhood, our markets would be diametrically different, which you haven't taken into account).

3)  You're getting rid of disability insurance - so how does one go about getting long-term nursing care for being disabled?  Usually this is included in most people's current employer provided insurance.  If you are planning to include this within your broad "universal healthcare" suggestion, you clearly haven't done your research.  That is economically unsustainable based on my understanding of how you are describing the economic climate of this future time period, and until you provide any sources, it's difficult to take this seriously.

I don't even know why I am bothering to point out the flaws, considering it seems this is a figment of your imagination.  My point isn't to criticize your views, but only to show that you're not considering a host of different factors.

Many of your suggestions here seem to be very libertarian in nature, which surprises me, since you seem to be quite averse to many right-leaning principles.

Offline consortium11

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #106 on: January 08, 2014, 04:38:30 AM »
Until you provide any source at all suggesting the feasibility/evidence of such a model, there really isn't a point in discussing it.

Switzerland are about to have a vote on whether they should offer a universal income of roughly $2,800 a month for each adult; there's been a fair amount of discussion and debate on that across the web.

Offline ofDelusions

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #107 on: January 08, 2014, 04:51:32 AM »
Switzerland are about to have a vote on whether they should offer a universal income of roughly $2,800 a month for each adult; there's been a fair amount of discussion and debate on that across the web.

There is also some discussion about "Citizen wage" in here in Finland. Though here it is mainly to make welfare less bureucratic and easier to access. And as someone who might end living looong time on welfare if I can't get rid of my mental health issues, I support less bureucracy >.<


 

3)  You're getting rid of disability insurance - so how does one go about getting long-term nursing care for being disabled?  Usually this is included in most people's current employer provided insurance.  If you are planning to include this within your broad "universal healthcare" suggestion, you clearly haven't done your research.  That is economically unsustainable based on my understanding of how you are describing the economic climate of this future time period, and until you provide any sources, it's difficult to take this seriously.

How is that unsustainable when that is rather close to how things are done in Nordic Countries for example?

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #108 on: January 08, 2014, 09:58:17 AM »
Where did you get this economic model from?
  From the Swiss initiative (already brought up by another poster) and some logical extrapolation of current trends.

Quote
1)  Two 45 year olds could live in a house with a 20 year old, each get this free $1000 per month, and have a household income of $36,000 - tax free?  Pretty sweet deal, right?

Sure, and why not?  Part of the whole rationale behind this approach is that we no longer micromanage people.  We don't pay social workers out to snoop on people to see how many are living under the same roof, or how "needy" they are.  We simply hand people a check.  Much less bureaucracy, much more efficiency.  Not to mention freedom.  And no disincentive for people to find employment--you still get your exact same universal income whether you work or not.  If anything, this would enhance the tax base--no more working under the table to avoid the welfare office/unemployment office knowing you have income.  Some people probably would bunch up under the same roof--and why not?  Why should we care?
 
Quote
2)  For these blue-collar workers unable to find employment, and subsisting on this $1000/month, do you really believe that these people have the financial discipline to set aside a retirement fund?  What happens if their retirement fund is $0 at age 65.  They have no social security, and SOL at age 85 when they can't work?  (Totally unrelated point - if such a society exists, in all likelyhood, our markets would be diametrically different, which you haven't taken into account).

You're still thinking under the current paradigm.  The person would continue to get their $1000 a month, until death.  What need is there to "save for retirement?"  Yes, if a person wants a higher standard of living, they can exchange their labor for additional income, and save whatever portion of that income they want, just as they do today.  The difference is we're not employing legions of bureaucrats with complex algorithms and big pensions to decide exactly how much each person is "entitled" to based on reams of rules, policies, guidelines and procedures.

Quote
3)  You're getting rid of disability insurance - so how does one go about getting long-term nursing care for being disabled?  Usually this is included in most people's current employer provided insurance.  If you are planning to include this within your broad "universal healthcare" suggestion, you clearly haven't done your research.  That is economically unsustainable based on my understanding of how you are describing the economic climate of this future time period, and until you provide any sources, it's difficult to take this seriously.

I think we have to ask ourselves why healthcare is so expensive in the first place.  The reason is that medicine is basically a guild, with a very small number (relative to the general population) of practitioners with highly specialized knowledge, able to command a high premium for this knowledge.  Machines/AI is going to bring the cost of everything down.  Most routine medicine will be practiced by robots.  The knowledge humans currently spend the better part of a decade in medical school carefully and laboriously gleaning, will be imaged into the exabyte drive of a med-robot in a matter of minutes.  We already have robot surgeons assisting humans, and algorithms in supercomputers examining X-rays and spotting cancer cells that human eyes miss.  Powers of supercomputers today will be in every doctor's office ten years from now, and in the palm of your hand twenty years hence.  Yes, there will still be a role for humans, but it will be an auxiliary role where mundane, day-to-day medicine is concerned.

We will also be practicing more medicine ourselves.  Twice over the past year, I self-diagnosed and treated medical conditions I had based on Internet research.  Last century, I would have either had to make a time-consuming trip to a library, or gone to a physician.  (I did have to go to an urgent care once, but only to obtain a prescription--if the substance I needed hadn't been scheduled by bureaucrats, I could have just obtained it myself at the local drugstore). 

Quote
I don't even know why I am bothering to point out the flaws, considering it seems this is a figment of your imagination.  My point isn't to criticize your views, but only to show that you're not considering a host of different factors.

Everything we see around us and take for granted was once a "figment of (someone's) imagination."  The forum we're on right here once existed only in Vekseid's mind, yet here we are.  And yes, I'm sure there are factors I'm not considering, and that what I've proposed here would need to be adjusted and tweaked, probably many times, along the path to implementation.  What doesn't?

Quote
Many of your suggestions here seem to be very libertarian in nature, which surprises me, since you seem to be quite averse to many right-leaning principles.

I'm a pragmatist.  If I had to describe myself politically, it would be "technocratic, a little Left of Center, with skepticism of Big Anything."  I don't like the Right because they seem hell-bent on concentrating as much wealth as possible in the hands of as few people as possible.  That's a prescription for disaster.  America is already in the danger zone insofar as poverty and inequality of wealth is concerned, and the Right wants more and more inequality.  However, I'm also skeptical of the hardcore Left and Progressives.  I don't think government micromanagement and tweaking of everything is the answer, either.  I think the State has a role to play, but it should act behind the scenes, at high levels, and leave everyday decisions to individuals.  Hence, my idea to redistribute wealth, but to do so without creating a bureaucratic colossus.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #109 on: January 08, 2014, 10:36:27 AM »
Um - as someone who has had friends investigated by DFS (their child has PDD/NOD and actually got taken from them for a time), and has also had a roommate tailed by social services to 'make sure she was disabled' (with the hilarious report that she 'hadn't reported having a child' - the child was mine walking with her to the store so she could go to get help if my roommate fell and needed assistance), I can assure you that we do 'pay people' to do exactly that.

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #110 on: January 08, 2014, 10:38:43 AM »
Um - as someone who has had friends investigated by DFS (their child has PDD/NOD and actually got taken from them for a time), and has also had a roommate tailed by social services to 'make sure she was disabled' (with the hilarious report that she 'hadn't reported having a child' - the child was mine walking with her to the store so she could go to get help if my roommate fell and needed assistance), I can assure you that we do 'pay people' to do exactly that.

Oh, I know we do now.  I was talking about life under my scenario, not the status quoMea culpa if that was unclear.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #111 on: January 08, 2014, 12:04:32 PM »
From the Swiss initiative (already brought up by another poster) and some logical extrapolation of current trends.

Thanks, after having read a bit about this, I can see why it would be feasible in theory.  It is definitely an interesting idea.

But I think one of the main reasons these types of initiatives work in Nordic countries is due to the overwhelming homogeneity of their populations.  Compared to the United States, those countries have comparatively low immigrant population.  Even among immigrant populations themselves, many more of our immigrants are from 3rd world countries, meaning that given quality of life differences, abuse is much more likely in our case.

I think a more accurate example would be the UK - a European national with strong welfare benefits, along with an open-door immigration policy that has welcomed people from all over the world, and has become multicultural.  Their system is experiencing considerable abuse due to the influx of Eastern European and Asian immigrants who are not accustomed to first world life, and are perfect content living on the bare minimum of UK standards.

After researching this concept, I can certainly see its merits now, but why do you feel this type of model would work in the United States? 

I think we have to ask ourselves why healthcare is so expensive in the first place.  The reason is that medicine is basically a guild, with a very small number (relative to the general population) of practitioners with highly specialized knowledge, able to command a high premium for this knowledge.  Machines/AI is going to bring the cost of everything down.

This has nothing to do with why healthcare is expensive in the US, and it is unfortunate that you blame physician compensation as being the number one culprit.  If you read that ACA thread, I've explained how the insurance system as a whole is largely to blame.  Actually the doctors get cut a rather raw deal.  Unrelated point - If you're coming out of med school with $300,000 in debt (not always unusual), and earning $250,000, that isn't exactly a outlandish lifestyle to say the least.  As a result, the problem is multi-factorial, and spans multiple areas (education, healthcare)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 12:06:23 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline ofDelusions

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #112 on: January 08, 2014, 12:27:22 PM »
I think a more accurate example would be the UK - a European national with strong welfare benefits, along with an open-door immigration policy that has welcomed people from all over the world, and has become multicultural.  Their system is experiencing considerable abuse due to the influx of Eastern European and Asian immigrants who are not accustomed to first world life, and are perfect content living on the bare minimum of UK standards.


While some 'abuse' surely happens the problem is much overreported by the media. Its also that it is a lot harder for an imigrant from Africa to get a job in here.


Offline consortium11

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #113 on: January 08, 2014, 06:22:40 PM »
But I think one of the main reasons these types of initiatives work in Nordic countries is due to the overwhelming homogeneity of their populations.  Compared to the United States, those countries have comparatively low immigrant population.  Even among immigrant populations themselves, many more of our immigrants are from 3rd world countries, meaning that given quality of life differences, abuse is much more likely in our case.

1) Switzerland isn't Nordic in geographical location, culture or economic structure. It's often held up as a direct contrast to the Nordic countries.

2) Switzerland is far from being homogenous. It's not a nation state, has four official languages (roughly matching the ethnic and cultural background of different areas of the country), almost a quarter to the population are resident foreigners, about 35% of the population have an immigrant background... and roughly 40% of the resident foreigners come from non-EU/EFTA countries. In contrast the UK has a higher percentage of non-EU/EFTA countries resident foreigners (roughly 68% of the resident foreigners) but a much lower percentage of resident foreigners in total (around 11.3%)... which means overall Switzerland has a higher percentage of foreign residents and a higher percentage of foreign residents from outside the EU.

Moreover, while Switzerland does have a high number of immigrants from France, Germany and Italy it also has large populations from the Balkans, Sri Lanka (primarily Tamils) and Iraqi's who mostly moved there during the various wars in those areas.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #114 on: January 08, 2014, 06:26:28 PM »
Switzerland =/= Sweden.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #115 on: January 08, 2014, 06:32:31 PM »
I am fully aware that Switzerland isn't Scandanavian or Nordic - I was incorrectly thinking of some articles I had read attempting to compare the Finnish education system to the US, and one of the main criticisms was the racial and demographic differences.  My apologies.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #116 on: January 08, 2014, 06:36:55 PM »
One makes clocks, chocolate, and mercenary soldiers. The other makes blond+blue-eyed supermodels. It's an easy mistake to make, don't worry. ;D

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #117 on: January 08, 2014, 07:29:44 PM »
Also, be wary of Swaziland in that "confusing country name" mash up.  No chocolate, clocks, mercenaries, or supermodels -  makes raw sugar, beet, cane and odoriferous substances., apparently.

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #118 on: January 09, 2014, 11:22:10 AM »
How about relaunching, or splitting off, this line of discussion in a thread of its own? This is a set of problem knots that are fairly common to much of the western world, and they might appear in China too, in time. Doesn't have anything much to do with the US vs specific other countries to live in.

Except that it does--though I probably poorly articulated that part of it.

I think that some countries will do better at adapting to these trends than others.  I think that the U.S., being basically a right-wing country, is too heavily invested in the industrial, winner-take-all every-person-for-themselves economic model to adapt to this change.  Most other countries believe in dispensing more than air and the "right" to be strip-searched and have your email read as social benefits.

America did a boffo job of implementing and leveraging the industrial model back in the 19th and 20th centuries, but that social and economic model is ill-suited to this century.  History is full of empires that benefited from a given technology or circumstance, but then fell by the wayside as technology and other variables changed and progressed.  I believe America is destined to meet the same fate.

Offline Lord Pendragon

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #119 on: January 13, 2014, 12:23:43 AM »
Well as a gay guy in Pakistan, nearly all of the options seem to be good to me... lol

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #120 on: January 13, 2014, 11:06:08 AM »
People are now applying to "settle" the planet Mars, and do it on tv, but joining in there is not an alternative I would recommend...  ;)

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #121 on: January 13, 2014, 11:42:39 AM »
People are now applying to "settle" the planet Mars, and do it on tv, but joining in there is not an alternative I would recommend...  ;)

If Mars were an Earth-like world, I'd be among the first in line.  But it's not, and it will be centuries, millennia even, before it can be terraformed into anything resembling Earth. 

I think this is more publicity stunt than anything.  I'm a great fan of the 20th-century science fiction epics involving settling other worlds.  But the initial exploration and colonization of other planets will be done by machines, not humans.  In the 2020s and 2030s, we'll send semi-autonomous robots to Mars to build habitat and construct the infrastructure necessary for human colonists.  The humans probably won't follow until the late 2030s or even the 2040s.  They'll land and the robots will give them the keys to their new homes...which, while a little Spartan, will not be mere Quonset huts.

Offline alextaylor

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #122 on: January 14, 2014, 09:34:33 AM »
I'll try to sell my country: Malaysia

Pros
 - Very good grasp of English, former English colony. Almost all good businesses and entertainment utilize English.
 - Middle of the line economy. Economy is bad enough that you'll have no trouble seeking employment, and if you're skilled, it's extremely easy to find a high paying job. Economy is good enough that you can buy things from other countries easily.
 - Brain drain means that you have very little competition.
 - Oil country. If you do any job that involves engineering, you can easily make a lot of money offshore.
 - Good entertainment, if you like food and parties and movies.
 - Very friendly to white people. Want to get laid with a total stranger? Just be white, male or female.

Bad
 - Unstable politics. Not as bad as the region, but not exactly a democracy.
 - High corruption. If you're doing business or working in industries, expect to bribe a few people. Unlike Indonesia, we've got a ton of bureaucracy too, so a lot of stuff can be tracked.
 - High crime rate. Expect to bribe police too. But this has been clamped down on because of how much it hurt elections last year.
 - Some of the most expensive alcohol and cars in the world.
 - Horrible drivers and poor public transport.
 - Food and culture isn't as good as Europe. Somewhere during our modernization, we went the nerdy Asian route and decided that the arts were worth burning in pursuit of progress. It's picking up, though, as engineers leave their jobs to start restaurants.
 - Unfriendly to negroes, but not outright hostile.


Generally, if you're a free spirit like me who enjoys a Wild West lifestyle, it's a great place to turn the world into your oyster without getting shot. It's been said that anyone with a little bravery and charisma can become a millionaire within 20 years.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #123 on: January 14, 2014, 01:07:19 PM »
Unfriendly to negroes, but not outright hostile.

Blacks here in the US don't like being called this word, but not sure how things are there.

Offline Mistyy

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #124 on: January 17, 2014, 06:40:28 AM »
I'll try to sell my country: Malaysia

Pros
 - Very good grasp of English, former English colony. Almost all good businesses and entertainment utilize English.
 - Middle of the line economy. Economy is bad enough that you'll have no trouble seeking employment, and if you're skilled, it's extremely easy to find a high paying job. Economy is good enough that you can buy things from other countries easily.
 - Brain drain means that you have very little competition.
 - Oil country. If you do any job that involves engineering, you can easily make a lot of money offshore.
 - Good entertainment, if you like food and parties and movies.
 - Very friendly to white people. Want to get laid with a total stranger? Just be white, male or female.

Bad
 - Unstable politics. Not as bad as the region, but not exactly a democracy.
 - High corruption. If you're doing business or working in industries, expect to bribe a few people. Unlike Indonesia, we've got a ton of bureaucracy too, so a lot of stuff can be tracked.
 - High crime rate. Expect to bribe police too. But this has been clamped down on because of how much it hurt elections last year.
 - Some of the most expensive alcohol and cars in the world.
 - Horrible drivers and poor public transport.
 - Food and culture isn't as good as Europe. Somewhere during our modernization, we went the nerdy Asian route and decided that the arts were worth burning in pursuit of progress. It's picking up, though, as engineers leave their jobs to start restaurants.
 - Unfriendly to negroes, but not outright hostile.


Generally, if you're a free spirit like me who enjoys a Wild West lifestyle, it's a great place to turn the world into your oyster without getting shot. It's been said that anyone with a little bravery and charisma can become a millionaire within 20 years.

Honestly Malaysia is one of the countries I've been thinking of getting to once I get my masters degree. My country(Finland) isn't bad but I REALLY hate the weather here and somewhat depressing atmosphere(News full of negative things etc..) I really appreciate what this country has given me like free education, student allowance so I don't have to work while I study, and the list goes on. But the feeling of cycling to the university in -20 celsius(-4.0 F) is not a nice one. Is it easy for an European to get a job in Malaysia with a STEM degree from one of the best universities in Europe? Well there's some time for my graduation but I've just been thinking about these things.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 06:59:53 AM by Mistyy »