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-By Caleb Jones
Why I'm Leaving
I love the United States. I was born and raised here, and lived 40 years here. There's a lot of good here:
- All of my family and most of my friends and business associates live here.
- The climate here is nice, especially in the Pacific Northwest where I live (other than the rain, which is very annoying, but I'll take rain over sweltering humidity any day).
- Its level of technology and standard of living is very high.
- Its people are (comparatively) open-minded and (comparatively) individualistic.
- It's economy and business climate is (comparatively) good.
- The women here are (comparatively) good-looking and the men here are (comparatively) masculine and cool.
Then why am I leaving despite all this goodness? Because in addition to some great good, this is also a land of great bad.
Here are the six reasons I'm eventually moving out of here.
1. The western world is dying. Asia is rising. I follow opportunity and money. Due to many factors, including demographics, economics, historical trends, and short-sighted decisions made by leaders of the western world, the western world is on the decline. Granted, it's on a very slow decline, and it may be many more years, decades even, before things get really bad in the United States and Europe, but it will happen. It's inevitable.
At the same time, just about all of East Asia, including India but minus Japan, is on the rise. In several decades China will be the greatest economic, cultural, and military power in the world. South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and possibly Taiwan will be bursting with money, and most of southeast Asia will make the shockingly rapid transition from third-world status to first-world status...a transition that has already begun. Australia and New Zealand are also likely to benefit greatly.
I don't love Asia, but I do love money, business, entrepreneurship, and personal freedom, specifically sexual and financial freedom. It simply makes no sense to me to sit in a slowly dying society while watching Asia reap the benefits without me. So I'm going there.
Self-made billionaire Jim Rogers has said, "If you wanted to make it financially in the year 1800, you would have moved to London. If you wanted to make it in 1900, you would have moved to New York. If you want to make it now, you need to move to Asia."
2. Government is becoming too intrusive. As conservatives enact more intrusive, anti-privacy measures to fight the ridiculous war on terror (flown on an airplane lately?), and as liberals create more nanny state programs and shove more politically correct BS down my throat (have you heard those oh-so-important tax-payer-funded radio ads nagging you to wear your seat belt?) the tentacles of government weave themselves more and more into my life.
If I was a convicted felon or other such security risk, that would make sense. But I'm not. I have never broken the law (other than some speeding tickets in my youth), work very hard, am ethical and truthful, pay my taxes, regularly donate money to charity, and though I'm definitely a flawed man, I am a good father, good citizen, and generally good person.
Regardless, Big Brother still wants to treat me like a suspicious criminal, a small child, or a greedy asshole. It still wants to constantly be in my face, wag its finger at me like I'm always doing something wrong, make me spy on my neighbors, make me fill out forms, run my life, scold me like I'm a five year-old, and tell me what to do in even the most minute of areas. And every year it gets worse. No more.
3. We attack too many countries. The United States has become a defacto informal empire, with hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in other countries in hundreds of military bases all over the world. Even American politicians who are considered to be left-wing liberals like Barack Obama overwhelmingly support and increase this militarism. Nobel Peace Prize-winning Obama is in the middle of six wars right now (Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia).
Damn near every year or two we send more troops to attack more countries with whatever excuse we can think of.
Worse, when we attack a country, we sit our troops there forever. We beat Japan and Germany almost 70 years ago, and we still have troops there. We'll have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 100 years, regardless of what any politician promises (if the US is around for that long, that is). Our young guys get shot at, maimed, and killed, and in many cases they aren't even allowed to fire back.
From Clinton in Kosovo, Bush in Iraq, and Obama in Afghanistan, we have bombed and killed hundreds of thousands of women and children. I don't care what the latest excuse is. I cannot look into the eyes of my children and show them that I support a country that does this by continuing to live in it.
4. Taxes are too high. Contrary to popular belief, people living in the United States pay some of the highest taxes in the world. If you're an American, more than half of your income goes to taxes you see and taxes you don't see. If this money was going for things like roads, then fine. But it's not going for roads. It's going for limousines for politicians, bureaucrats to mandate how large your toilet is allowed to be, commercials on how to get more free money from welfare, and Predator drones to blow up more innocent people in distant countries who have never done anything bad to you.
Yes, big corporations can and do dodge most of these taxes, but I'm not a big corporation. I'm just a guy who runs three small businesses out of my house, in all of which I am the sole employee. I will never be able to afford a battery of high-powered tax attorneys to help me avoid all these taxes like Donald Trump does. I work very hard, harder than most people, yet when it comes to tax time I get hammered with some of the highest taxes on the planet. If you live in the US, so do you.
Screw this. Give me a country with a one-page tax return and a flat income tax. (Hong Kong has this and still has the best schools in the world, while we're still down around number 27.)
5. We vote for politicians who are corrupt or incompetent or both, and I'm sick of it. I've written a lot about this here at the blog so I don't need to repeat it. American liberals and conservatives have become addicted to the two-party dictatorship that forces evil or stupid bank-owned politicians down our throats who keep making everything worse. Neither political ideology shows any sign of changing this insanity any time soon. I no longer want any part of this system.
6. I enjoy international travel and other cultures, and I'm ready for a change. I've been in the United States for 40 years straight. 40 years is a long time, and it's time for a change of scenery. Plus I LOVE travelling internationally and it's one of my biggest joys in life. Being a part of different cultures, learning different ways of thinking, eating the amazing food, seeing things you never thought possible...it's all wonderful. I want more.
My current plan, which is subject to change because it's only in its initial phases, is the following. I have children who I love very much, so I need to wait until my kids are grown before I make any significant life transitions. My son is 20 and my daughter 14. My daughter needs to be at least 18, preferably 20, before I leave. That means I've got four to six years to make plans, iron out the details, establish financial, logistical, friendship, and sexual footholds in Asia (all which I've been doing for a while now on a part-time basis).
I will either:
1. Move to Asia and live there full time, while occasionally visiting the US as needed.
2. Get a home in Asia, establish my business and financial home base there, but only live there six months (or so) out of the year, living the other six months in the US. That might be more feasible and less jarring.
The thought of having a cool city high-rise apartment in Asia and a quiet house out in the country somewhere in the US is very appealing...the best of both worlds. Over time as America continues to decline and piss me off, I could start spending more time in my Asian home and less time in my American home, eventually leaving my American home altogether in my old age. I could then possibly get a quiet second home in a third country somewhere else.
I have not decided which option I will take. Either is likely at this point. Option two would be preferable but would also be more complicated and more expensive, and I hate spending money. So we'll see.
Where exactly am I going? Years ago I was bewildered at all the great options, but I've finally I've narrowed it down to just three cities:
- Hong Kong
- Beijing is just too dirty, so that's out.
- Taiwan and South Korea are cool but both of those areas have a slight risk of military problems in the future, so they're out.
- Japan's women are very hot, but Japan is the one part of East Asia that will be on the decline, so that's out.
- Malaysia and Brunei would be fun, but I would like to steer clear of any Muslim countries for obvious reasons, regardless of how progressive they purport to be.
- Why not Australia or New Zealand? Because by moving from the US to either of these countries I'd be trading one quasi-socialist country for another, which would be ruining the entire point.
Hey, don't forget, by living in Asia I'll be within easy flight distance to all of these places, so I'll have access to all of them even if I don't actually live there. I imagine I'll be spending a lot of time in Australia, for example. (In the last six months especially I've made some special efforts to do more business in Oz.)
So it's going to be one of those three cities above. My emotions compel me to live in Shanghai, since that's a hugely exciting city and the highest-growth financial center in the highest-growth country in the world. Hong Kong is where my heart has been for over a decade and I miss it terribly when I'm not there. However I have an odd gut feeling it will likely be Singapore since that's probably the most western-friendly city of the three. At this point I'm just not sure yet. We'll see.
I will at some point, many years down the road, become a dual citizen and get a passport from a country outside of the United States. This is a complicated issue, and there are several ways to do this. It's entirely possible I will get the citizenship in a country that isn't even in Asia. The point is not to become a citizen of Asia, just to live there most of the time, doing "visa runs" as necessary. Also I want a passport other than my US passport, in case the shit really hits the fan here and for some reason the US forbids its citizens from leaving.
Objections I Hear
Here are the objections I regularly hear from some folks when I talk about this. I'll start with the biggest one:
Objection 1: "If you move to , it won't be any better! They have too!"
Yes, I know Singapore has an authoritarian government. Yes, I know China is rife with corrupt politicians. Yes, I know Hong Kong women are often hardcore gold-diggers. Yes, getting an internet connection in places like Malaysia and Thailand is a pain in the ass. Yes, yes, yes.
When you look at Asia, these are the things you see. And they're accurate. When I look at Asia I see these things too. However I also see countries with very low taxes and high technology in the urban areas who don't attack each other and are focused on building trade and good relations with each other. They've got the US matched or beat in all those key areas, hands-down. Moreover these are all countries on the rise, not on the decline like Europe.
As in all areas of my life, do not seek perfect. ("Perfect" is Disney.) I am seeking flawed but better. Would moving from the US to Hong Kong be perfect? Hell no. Would there be problems I'd have to wrestle with? Of course. Would it be better on the overall, especially considering the six problems I outlined above? Hell yes, without question.
There are also many ways around these disadvantages. Hey, it drives me nuts that China filters their damn internet. Really, I'm a small-government libertarian and the entire concept disgusts me. However, that's more China's problem than my problem, because if I lived in Shanghai I'd have access to more than several US VPN connections, so I'd be good to go. See how easy that is to circumvent? A problem, yes, but not a big deal.
Objection 2: "Uh, Americans still have to pay taxes on their income even if they move out of the country."
Heh. Tell you what. You let me worry about that. There are many creative and legal ways around that. I'm well versed on this issue and it's not going to be a problem, believe me. Worst case I can also renounce my American citizenship. I don't ever plan on doing that, but it's an option, especially if the US descends into something really horrible down the road.
Also, I don't mind (too much) paying American taxes on income I earn from American sources. That seems fair to me (sort of...). I'll still likely be earning income from American sources post-move, at least for a few years, so perhaps paying American taxes on that percentage of my income will be okay.
Objection 3: "What about your kids?"
I answered that one above. I'm not leaving my kids. I'm waiting until they're grown. You never know...once they're grown one or both may even join me on my adventure! Both of my kids are sharp, open-minded people as you might imagine, so that's entirely possible.
Follow-Up Objection: "Well what if you have more kids between now and then?"
I don't plan on having more kids, but I love kids and love babies so it's certainly possible if I end up in an OLTR with the right gal. If I do have more kids, baby momma is going to be very informed regarding my plan well beforehand.
She'll have to make the decision to move with me, with the kiddies, before she has any babies. If she does a 180 and decides to stay in the US anyway, I'll deal with that problem then, but it's not a show-stopper. (You would be surprised at the number of women out there who are more than willing to move out of the country with their man to raise children. I was.)
Objection 4: "Wait a minute, I thought you like blonde chicks with big boobs. Where the hell are you going to get that in Asia?"
Good question, and I don't have a completely developed answer to that. Yet. In several years I may be settled down (Blackdragon version) with an OLTR who will be accompanying me in all of this, so it may be far less of a problem than one would anticipate, since all other women on the side would be instantly rendered to short-term FBs.
Anyway, several ideas I've had include: A) bring a hot big-boobed blonde (or two!) with me, B) get my blonde-needs met when I spend time in the US away from my home in Asia, and C) focus on women in the European/Australian/New Zealander expat population living in Asia. (I have seen some cute blondes living in Asia. Not many but a few, so I know they're there.)
Between those ideas and ones I haven't thought of yet, I think I'll be okay. Also remember that my second favorite women are big-boobed Asian women...and with the high population I'll have plenty to choose from other there.
Objection 5: "America isn't on its way out. We'll be fine. You're just being cynical."
I guess you haven't read what I've read. I hope you're willing to bet your entire financial and emotional future on that, because that's exactly what you're doing by staying here.
Good luck. You'll need it.
Objection 6: "You can't escape the coming economic meltdown by moving to Asia. The problem is global and will effect everyone."
To a degree you're correct, but only in the short term and only in a mild fashion. Will China keep having double-digit annual GDP growth? Nope. Eventually it will "slow down" to "just" 9% or 6% growth due to global economic and domestic demographic factors. This is still far beyond America's 2% GDP growth (most of which is due to socialistic and unsustainable government growth, not business or consumer growth) and Europe's zero or negative growth. Yuck. Get me outta here.
In the long-term, which is always how I consider things, Asia will do just fine regardless of any financial meltdowns that occur globally or in the western world. I'm only 40 years old and it's entirely possible I'll live to age 100 or beyond. That means I'm looking at positioning myself for long-term happiness over the next sixty years, not just the next five or ten or so.
Objection 7: "What if you have a serious OLTR or OLTR wife by then and she doesn't want to move with you?"
Do you really even have to ask that question? 🙂
The obvious answer is: Her problem. As always, she's welcome to come with me or not. I'm going regardless. My life belongs to me. No one else.
Plus as I mentioned above, any serious woman in my life is going to know all about this well beforehand. It's not like she won't know it's coming. Hell, every MLTR in my life, plus most of my FBs, already know I'm planning on doing this, and it's still years down the road.
Objection 8: "Asians are . You really want to live there?" (Replace with racist / coarse / rude / try to rip you off / anal / collectivist / gold digging / superstitious / etc.)
There's good and bad to all cultures and all races. In my experience, high-tech urban Asian culture and high-tech urban white culture are about the same if you add everything up on both sides. I've spent a lot of time in Asia and I've seen plenty of good and bad. Trouble is, I see plenty of good and bad here in the US too. Again, taken on the overall, if you add up all the good and bad, it's not going to be any worse. Plus I won't hang out with the asshole Asians, just like I currently don't hang out with asshole white people.
Now pardon me while I go study up on some more East Asia business trends. 🙂
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Socialkenny 2012-08-26 09:46:08
Nice climate!? The first time I ever heard America being known for nice climate. Anywho,I blog about this all the time(American bashing). I hate their laws,legal system and almost everything about America. I was raise and lived my entire life in NYC but has since moved back to my place of birth in the Caribbean. One will only know how bullshit America is when they actually visit other places on the globe. Americans segregate themselves to just America,and they're unable to see true freedom. Here in the Caribbean(and almost the entire globe),I can walk around with 100 cans of beers and drink them unconcealed all I want to,and I don't have to worry about BS tickets. Kids can go into liquor stores and buy alcohol,cigarettes,etc. Not that they use them,but let's say I as a father cannot make it to buy some booze,I can just send my 10 year old son to do that. The list goes on and on. America falsely prides itself on freedom, but it has no freedoms compared to almost every nation on the glob. It's like a guy bragging about having a huge dick,then when his pants come down,his 2 inches is exposed. That is America,hypocrisy to the 10th.degree. And one will only know that America has ZERO freedoms only when they begin to travel internationally.
Chris 2012-08-26 10:08:51
Nice open minded blog. Very valid points in there. I hope its a successful adventure for you.
Kevin Velasco 2012-08-26 10:09:06
Yup, I'm leaving soon too. For anyone who's interested, I highly recommend Googling: "list of freedom indices" "world's most livable cities" "happiest countries in the world" "list of statutory minimum employment leave by country" Out of the 10 countries I've visited so far, I'm real keen on Vancouver, Canada for quite a few reasons. If anyone is curious about my reasons, I could elaborate further.
Magik 2012-08-26 10:58:33
I have been wanting to get a second place in another country for a while now (I live in the US). I am thinking more about South America than Asia, but I'm open to almost anywhere, as long as the cost of living is low to medium, the govt isn't nuts, and it's safe. Can you provide us with any accurate and reliable places for reference and research on this?
Peter 2012-08-26 12:13:22
Thanks for this BD. As I thought, the business side of things is a major factor in your decision. I'm completely of the same mind as far as the political/social issues with North America, but have less ambitious business plans, and don't really see anything critically limiting about the North American job market that would drive me away for that reason. I've picked the most "growth driven" sector that's convenient for me to participate in for my career (Alberta oil & gas) and plan to work in that industry for the next 15 years, until I'm 40, and then be able to retire or semi-retire with a small fortune in a warmer, cheaper, free-er country. Kevin: Yes, could you explain where you are now, and why vancouver is tops for you? I don't know how different we Canadians are from Americans economically, but compared to other cities/nations, Vancouver, and Canada in general, is colder, more socialist, higher taxes, and has more expensive everything, compared to the US. Perhaps it's just the grass being greener, but as a Canadian these are all appealing reasons to consider moving to the US, which I might do if ther right career oportunities arise.
Kevin Velasco 2012-08-26 12:30:37
Which languages do you suggest I start learning to prepare for the upcoming Asian empire? Mandarin?
thechauvinistkaiser 2012-08-26 12:33:19
Blacky, I've always been wondering: What do you do for a living? I'm aware you're an entrepreneur but reading about your attitudes and ideas regarding business has piqued my curiosity and has made me wonder in greater detail
Kevin Velasco 2012-08-26 13:14:05
Peter, my reasons for Vancouver is tops for me: 1. I loved the women there! Diverse selection (different races, artsy types) and favorable ratio. Over a 1 week period, a friend and I cold-approached over 50 women in downtown Vancouver with ease (I suppose it helps that we were "exotic" foreigners who were passing through). 2. More on diversity: I've spent most of my life living in Texas. I can't stand the racism and homophobia here. It made me smile to see diverse groups of friends hanging out in Vancouver. 3. Weed friendliness: I was there on Canada Day and just loved how thousands of people were gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery smoking weed without having to worry about getting arrested and put in jail like here in the U.S. I also loved the vaporizer lounge and New Amsterdam Cafe. 4. Five hour flight to Hawaii (I like traveling to Hawaii when there are cheap deals going on). 5. Same time zone as a lot of my friends and family in the U.S. When I lived in Melbourne, Australia, it was a pain maintaining communication with people back home since it was 18 hours ahead or something ridiculous like that. 6. I like the entire West Coast. Relatively quick, cheap, and convenient travel along the West Coast (compared to Texas / Central U.S.) 7. Vancouver constantly ranks high on Most Livable Cities lists and Canada always ranks higher on Happiest Countries in the World lists. 8. Poker. I'm a professional poker player. I can play the casinos there for income as well as play online poker while in Canada. The U.S. shut down online poker for the major online poker sites (for political/money/greed reasons, obviously). 9. Friendliness: While traveling, some of the friendliest people I've met were from Vancouver. When I got to Vancouver, I encountered tons of friendliness! The U.S. ranks high in terms of unfriendly countries. 10. Beach / Mountains / Forest is awesome. Johnny Soprano recently posted on his Facebook status update that he's been looking for countries that live by ideals similar to the U.S. Constitution and he said Canada was pretty close compared to other places he's been to. Spend more time in the U.S. and you'll see how exhausted, miserable, cynical, and close-minded a lot of the people are here. 2 weeks vacation, rip-off tuition rates for "higher" education, jails full of people who got caught possessing marijuana, rip-off medical bills, 50% of our taxes going to war, the list goes on...
Blackdragon 2012-08-26 15:10:27
@Magik - I have no single source I can recommend, beyond doing your own research by reading books/sites on other countries written by people who are similar to you and are looking for similar things. You can also get lots of information from forums (like alloexpat.com) but like many forums, you have to comb through the crap to get to the good stuff. I too have considered south or central America, but for a high-energy guy like me Asia is more to my liking. I could see retiring to a place like Central/South America though. My brother intends on doing exactly that in about five years. @Kevin - Mandarin! Mandarin, Mandarin, Mandarin. A billion people speak it! Millions of them outside of China! I've been putting off learning the language for a while now because it's such a pain in the ass, but I will get to it. (I can speak very basic words and phrases but that's it.) One of my big long-term goals is to learn to speak rudimentary but conversational Mandarin and Spanish. A man who knows English, Mandarin, and Spanish can go just about anywhere in the world and be able to communicate...you've covered well more than 50% of the planet just with those three languages. @chauvinistkaiser - I do several things because I want my income diversified. I'm primarily a business consultant. I'm also a business speaker and writer and do I often do marketing for other consulting firms for a cut of the fees. The Blackdragon stuff is about a fourth of my income (though that percentage is increasing).
Hannoy 2012-08-26 16:35:19
I suggest you leave America in no time The Black Swan can strike at any time. URSS seemed invincible in the 80´s
Hannoy 2012-08-26 16:44:22
Well it is harder for me to evade the situation is worse here in Brazil The taxes here are so much higher that your basic Jeep is a luxury here you pay six times what a public school teacher pays there.Travel overseas is very expensive the educational system is so bad they would not accept me in other countries Our educational system is based in continental Liberal Arts ( History , Geography ,Literature) and not yours based in Analitycal Science and Tecnology I had no education in how to run a business for example. And leftist goverment is selling Brazil is doing well in the crisis but The Black Swan does not forgive .
sachmo 2012-08-26 17:59:19
I've given a lot of thought to some of the problems coming up over the next decade or two... I think oil will be the first major crisis, which may put a serious strain on international trade, and water will be the 2nd major crisis, based on planetary warming and drought. Both will affect Asian governments disproportionately. There is a decent chance for war. Big countries with large energy, water, and food resources will be the best place to be. Weaker governments may topple. Europe is a mess, owing to their currency problems. Britain is thonly country there, large enough to defend itself, not embroiled in the crisis. Africa, Russia, the middle east in general are not places I would consider living. Brazil I think will do well in south America, owing to it's energy independence. Possibly Argentina. Here and there some small countries may do well, but I think it's something of a crap shoot. Though you may disagree, I think the US and Canada will weather an economic meltdown better than most other countries. Strong energy resources largest reservoirs of fresh water, strong military... China I think will either be forced to become militant expansionary, which seems to be the path they are heading down, or will implode when there is energy scarcityand drought... Just my two cents
Kevin Velasco 2012-08-27 00:42:39
For what it's worth, I majored in Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. I'm currently reading "Leading Issues in Economic Development". What BD is talking about with Asia on the rise is a "take-off" stage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rostow's_stages_of_growth). If you want to profit from such a stage (or at least not go down with the U.S.'s inevitable downfall), being able to speak multiple languages is huge. Next come the skill sets. Good luck!
crunkmaster 2012-08-27 07:24:50
Although i agree with your SOME of your points here, I dont agree that the western World is dying, and would never "jump ship" This may be the case in many southern states... (ive heard florida is a shitshow) but Boston (where I am) is doing just fine. Ive been everywhere (asia many times for extended periods). and always realize 'merica is the best place for a many reasons. I do however realize Im in a very high "brain capital" area of the country, which is inspiring. San Fran is similair. We still win gold medals, oh and we just landed a little "dune buggy" called Curiosity on MARS. Other nations are actually far behind us in tech especially intregards to Bio and Chem. (oh and Asia has copied/infringed the shit out of american tech, I can give plenty of examples) Sometimes its easy to just look at the bad, of which there is plenty w/ america.... but dont let it blind you to the fact that its strong &hard workig INDIVIDUALS and/or TEAMS of inspired citizens working on projects in privat organizations who can make a place great, not some shitball politicians. Many american idiots place such high regard/ weight on politics... very odd... Anyhow America has its problems, but wouldnt give up being a citizen here for anything. Good luck in China, but I hope you see, If we arent part of the solution to fixing the problems that are outlined here, arent we just contributing to the cause? (sorry for grammar/ typos, on a phone)
Wils 2012-08-27 11:51:54
@BD - Hong Kong is not a good choice. I came from HK. Compare to what it used to be, it is definitely on economic and moral decline. Business moved to mainland China, so HK had been on decline economically for over a decade. People are close minded and uneducated, I don't know why you think they have good education there because they don't. Schools in HK don't teach you to think, they teach you to obey. They stuff you with lots of "facts" according to textbooks and test you on how well you memorize. HK is a culture where they put a mosaic on the statue of David. And at a large scale book convention, authorities asked a bookseller to leave because the state of David (in all its glory) is shown on the book cover. The HK government is laughably incompetent, and had been the laughing stock of Asia for more than a decade. The air is polluted in HK. They hide this from their brain dead citizens by using their own set of standards to measure air pollution. The pollution level had been WAAAAAY outside of WHO safety boundaries. HK is not a good choice.
Wils 2012-08-27 12:17:24
@Kevin - I live in Vancouver. You have valid points, but a few things to keep in mind: It is a very boring place to live in. Stuff is expensive; people here cross the border for groceries sometimes, because the price is so much cheaper than what we call a "sale". Our food sucks. Don't get me wrong, we have a diverse culture here, you can easily find authentic cuisine from all over the world. But for some odd reason, the taste of our food lack a certain something. Nothing really wows you. It is strange, and we can't quite put a finger on why. Several friends agreed when I mentioned this. But for something more easily understood, let's compare McD. McD in the states is cheaper AND tastier than McD here. This is a fact. You'd think McD should be the same here in North America. But there is a drastic, instantly noticed difference in taste. Tax is insane. I think Vancouver is a shit place to live. But I don't think I want to live anywhere else for now, because most other places seem worse.
JimmySmash 2012-08-27 15:14:35
BD, all due respect and everything, but where are you getting this "half of income goes to taxes" stuff?
Kevin Velasco 2012-08-27 19:48:33
@Wils: Do you have a Costco membership? The prices at the Costco in downtown Vancouver didn't seem to bad when I was there. As for the food sucking - at least it's not all artificial, genetically modified stuff like in the U.S. (or is it?). I suppose you could become a skilled cooker? I like going out to eat as much as anyone else, but long-term it could be extremely costly and unhealthy. Also, I'm Filipino and when I was in middle & high school, people would call me chink to my face and pull their eyes back to poke fun of me. If I grew up in Vancouver I doubt I would have had those types of experiences that crushed my self-esteem growing up. At the very least, if I had a child that was a minority, I wouldn't want them growing up here. As for it being boring there, I think everywhere could get boring. I personally keep myself entertained by writing/blogging, working on business, and occasionally spending time with women. Sure, tax might be insane but do you have to pay for higher education and health insurance?
Blackdragon 2012-08-27 20:35:19
@crunkmaster - I spent most of the 1990's and some of the early 2000's very politically active. I volunteered, gave political speeches, actively supported and promoted candidates like Jesse Ventura and Ross Perot and others. I worked very hard for many years and donated money trying to "solve the problems". So have many other people. All that work made exactly zero impact. No one is motivated to vote for third parties. Fear dominates the political and economic process. As a result, all the problems we tried to fix in the 1990's are now worse. Gold medals and Mars landers are nice, but they don't make your personal, individual life any better (other than some very temporary warm fuzzies). I put in my time. More than most. I'm done. @JimmySmash - Great question! When you get paid, you first pay a federal income tax. Then you likely pay a state income tax. Then you pay a payroll tax (social security) and a few other little taxes. If you live in a big city, and most Americans do, you also pay a city income tax and/or possibly a county tax. These all get taken out before you actually get your money. Then you take your money and go to the store and buy stuff, and pay a sales tax that you see and various excise and VAT taxes you don’t see (since the companies selling you the stuff are charging these taxes to you, but don’t tell you this). Then you take whatever money you have left and go home and pay your electric bill (pay more taxes tagged onto that) and your cell phone bill (pay more taxes tagged onto that) and various other bills, paying additional taxes on almost all of them. Some of these taxes are broken out on your bill, some are not. Then you pay your rent or your mortgage. Either way, you’re paying a huge property tax, likely several hundred dollars a month!. Then you go get in your car or take a bus, and either way, you’re paying huge gasoline taxes (which represents more of the cost of your gas than the profit of the oil companies). Add ALL of that up, it’s ends up being around 48% of your income if you’re a typical middle-class American. Sometimes more. But wait! The government’s still not done taking your money! We need to bomb more children in Afghanistan and government employees need to throw more parties in Vegas. So whatever money you have left after all that, if any, you put in a savings account for retirement or a rainy day. Uh oh, now you have to pay capital gains tax on any interest you earn on the money you already paid taxes on. And if you die, your dead body has to pay taxes a AGAIN on money you already paid taxes on, instead of giving it to charity or your kids. See why Americans are among the highest-taxed people in the world?
anon 2012-08-28 11:21:28
Other than moving to another country - not ready for that large of a change yet, how do you advise to protect more hard earned money from taxes? Or barring that, can you suggest good reading material about this?
Wils 2012-08-28 12:02:48
@Kevin I do have costco membership, in fact, I live a mere 10 minute drive away from one. And my aunt's family lives even closer, theirs is about a 4 minute drive. And yet, we occasionally drive down to the border for groceries and other stuff. US is cheaper, has a bigger selection, and often taste better than what we get here. (even for items from the same brand) But I guess the option to drive across the border (about 1.5 hours for us taking into account the long lineups at the border) is also pretty awesome. Racism is not a non-issue here. Stuff you described happen in schools here, too. But I think this is probably due to school kids being school kids. Racism here is more passive, less hostile but still pretty open. But mostly not really an issue for us. Tax is pretty heavy, though. Our medical is not bad, it makes me feel somewhat better for the amount of tax we pay. I haven't lived in the states, so when I say boring, I'm mainly comparing to major Asian places like HK and Tokyo. There are just so much more to do in those places, that in comparison Vancouver seem rural and boring. If you are the active sort of guy though, there are a lot of stuff to do, I suppose. Hiking, skiing, boating kind of stuff. You should vacation here for like a month or 2, see if you get bored or not before you move here. I sound pretty negative but when it comes down to it, I still rather stay here than anywhere else in the world.
Isidia 2012-08-29 14:12:13
I live and study in Shanghai right now, so I can understand Mandarin is hard for you. But trust me when I say if you can't learn that language within 1 year or 2, you are either lazy or focus on other things apart from studying it. It's the pronunciation to be the greatest hurdle, after that it's a piece of cake, grammar is so simple, no tenses, no declensions, no moods. For just talking, 1 or 2 years are enough. You may be interested in Cantonese, since Hong Kong speak it, and they like it when you speak that language while dealing with them.
Ellie 2012-08-31 22:39:59
What do you guys will happen to Canada in the future? Will it sink like the US and Europe are, or will it rise like Asia? Our economy is pretty stable, and we have lots of natural resources. On that note, I do want to move out of my country in the near future to experience living in a different part of the world. If things get. If things get bad and Canada is still strong, I can always come back.
maldek 2013-03-02 18:09:56
Living in south america since 2009. Made a clear cut and moved 100%. Here is a short advice: Location in asia: Singapore would be perfect...If you can make it into residency that is. It is getting harder each year. Tax: You will have to send back your citizenship to uncle sam if you want to avoid world wide taxation and the banking troubles you will face as an US guy. Compliance and such you know. At least get a second passport so you have options. Future: You may want to invest some time into the works of Mr. Armstrong http://armstrongeconomics.com/author/armstrongeconomics/
coopersasaurus 2014-02-16 20:42:42
I'm with you...and you seem to have read many things that I have. One point of contention. You reference "bank-owned politicians." I'm afraid it's much, much worse than that. Of the top 10 donors to politicians 6 out of 10 are......Unions!! .....and you guessed it: over 90% of those donations go to Democrats who pass cushy laws for unions. It's just a money-laundering system for the unions. Done in any other context these jokers (both the politicians and union bosses) would be locked up!
7gj7 2014-06-03 05:25:29
I LUV! Hong Kong! Singapore is awesome, but also THE most expensive city in Asia...maybe the whole world. Malaysia is now the #2 retirement spot for Americans, and is actively seeking foreigners to move there. It is technically "Muslim", but the are EXTREMELY open to non-Muslims and people's of all cultures. Indonesia is also "Muslim", but it is VERY hard to tell. If I were you, I would definitely consider Malaysia in your search...and you would probably enjoy Sri Lanka for vacation.
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POB 2014-10-27 13:29:05
Brazil Downsides: 1) We're are going on route to bolivarianism, wich means more and more goverment and a lot less freedom. We don't have organized conservative movements or right-wing parties here. 2) All services suck, specially if you don't live in South or Southeast. 3) Currently on a 40% tax rate (it's inside all payments and bills so you don't see it). 4) Awful transportation system at the majority of the big cities. Airports suck big time, and most are damn old and dated. 5) Strong catholic and religious people. It's not as liberal as it looks regarding sex. 6) Economy sucks here, and will suck for a long time. 7) People here tend to be really dumb about what happens with the rest of the world and are culturally short-minded. 8) Nobody speaks proper english. Upsides: 1) A big country with lots of interesting places to visit and live in. 2) Warm and welcoming people. 3) Really nice weather most of the year. 4) Beautiful women who love to go to the beach and dress on tiny clothes during summertime. 5) Caipirinha, speaking portuguese and beaches.
Chris A. 2015-08-28 11:18:45
I've been hearing about the downfall of America for my whole life and it still keeps chugging. I think Asian economies tend to lack creativity and innovation. They seem to be imitators of the West.
Blackdragon 2015-08-28 12:26:17
I’ve been hearing about the downfall of America for my whole life and it still keeps chugging....and gets demonstrably worse every decade economically. More government debt, more consumer debt, higher real employment, lower real wages, higher real inflation, lower currency value, etc, etc. The Western world will be a slow decline, not a sudden collapse.
I think Asian economies tend to lack creativity and innovation. They seem to be imitators of the West.I agree with that, but that doesn't mean they'll do badly in the coming century.
Dan 2015-09-18 17:51:35
Hey BD, was wondering how come the Philippines wasn’t a top choice for you?
Blackdragon 2015-09-18 18:13:03
Hey BD, was wondering how come the Philippines wasn’t a top choice for you?A. Not high tech enough for me. B. The women are way too ugly. Filipinos are, by far, the least attractive Asians in my opinion (or Pacific Islanders, if you want to get technical.) Other than that, it's a very good third-world option, yes.
Anthony 2015-12-12 02:47:27
Greetings from South Korea. I made my move over here back in 2010 after 2 years of working on Wall St. I was paying taxes to New York(work) and New Jersey(resident). It was a STRUGGLE to save any money. One day, I went home and looked at my passport and realized there was no stamps in it. I hadn't travelled and felt it was something I needed to do. I got tired of talking and reading about Asia and decided to make the move since I was not married and have no kids. 3 years as an ESL teacher and now in my final year of graduate school. What you say about a military conflict is true, but the hot Korean women along with a scholarship from Korea University was enough to bribe me to stay. Furthermore, my life will now be even more global because I just received my 2nd passport from Trinidad & Tobago(my father is from there, citizenship through ancestry) and after I finish my studies, I will be eligible to be a permanent resident in South Korea. I see myself spending 6 months in Korea and 6 months in the US. I like Korea, BUT sometimes this culture can be suffocating as hell (thats why the suicide rate is the highest in the OECD). The U.S. does provide space and who doesn't like the samosas at Whole Foods?? 🙂
Carlito 2016-08-26 19:56:11
Re: Objection 7 “What if you have a serious OLTR or OLTR wife by then and she doesn’t want to move with you?” I don't know man. I think that if I had serious MLTRs/OLTRs it would be hard for me to just leave them all behind. What would happen to those relationships? Would those women just become friends you'd text with occasionally? I know you never want to put yourself in the friendzone with woman you want to fuck, but if you're out of the country for an extended period of time, does that change things? I'm guessing you'd want to resurrect things with them if you ever came back to the states. I have plans of long term travel as well so these questions have been on my mind for a while now.
Blackdragon 2016-08-26 20:06:11
I don’t know man. I think that if I had serious MLTRs/OLTRs it would be hard for me to just leave them all behind.FBs and MLTRs you'd have to leave behind, but an OLTR could come with you if you two were serious enough. And yeah, if you had to leave all of your FBs/MLTRs behind, you'd have to get new ones in your new location, which won't be difficult if you have the usual suite of pickup/dating skills I teach. And if you don't have those skills yet, you'd better master them before you moved out of the country.
What would happen to those relationships?They would all become long distance infrequent FBs.
Would those women just become friends you’d text with occasionally?Most I would next, but some of them, yes. I would keep some of those links for when I visited my home on a regular basis so I could hook up with them again.
I’m guessing you’d want to resurrect things with them if you ever came back to the states.Not resurrect, because I'm never moving back to the states, but play around during my frequent visits, of course. I don't do long distance MLTRs, but long distance FBs are great. I have two or three of those already.
Mickey Singh 2016-10-18 16:41:02
hey blackdrAGON! i love ur relationship views but this article was new for me! i agree with everything you said and im curious pls do get to me about this.. why india? its amazing i agree my parents r from india even though i look greek/meditarian cause punjab was invaded alot Is india a good option as well for a alpha male 2.0 indepdent lifestyle with money finicial goals as well? i speak hindi/punjabi and spanish english .. but how is india on the rise and is it good option if i dont wanna go to other asian countries?
Blackdragon 2016-10-19 02:58:16
Is india a good option as well for a alpha male 2.0 indepdent lifestyle with money finicial goals as well?No. I love Indians, but India as a country is a chaotic, overly bureaucratic, anti-sex shithole where 500 million people defecate in public. Read this for more info on where to move. India is on the rise in the very long term only, as in 50+ years, due to demographic reasons only. In the short and medium term, India is headed for massive problems. Its government won't even let it feed its own people, as just one example. Stay far away from India (other than to visit, which I will at some point).
Anthony 2018-02-17 00:41:17
I'm currently on vacation in Taiwan and this place brings back memories of my trip to Singapore in 2011. After I leave the army in 2021, I am considering moving to Singapore. The decline of the U.S. becomes more evident when you are in this part of the world.
CongJing 2018-06-22 06:42:20
I've been living in mainland China for nearly 15 years. Don't discount it as an option. It's friggin' glorious. It really is. Even you, who has travelled around, are still parroting the American media propaganda. It is not like you think. Not at all. I live in Zhuhai, which is sort of like a Chinese version of Tahiti or Bora Bora. It is 15 minute drive outside of Macao and a 70 minute ferry ride from HK. I have a large home on the beach, with a wine cellar, a huge porch and 270 degree view of the ocean. Weather is comfortable to hot, but you have to expect that in the tropics. I am glad that you are thinking about moving on, and growing in your life. Good for you. Just don't wait too long. HERE is my blog post about why I did what you are planning to do. Best of luck.
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