Not long ago, we published an article entitled, "Are You Already in Jail?," which reviewed the once-great "Free World" countries, discussing the fact that, as they have deteriorated into increasingly socialist and/or fascist police states, other parts of the world have either remained static or have become more free, with greater opportunity than before.
As always, some readers responded positively, describing their successful exits from such countries and describing how rewarding their new lives are in their new countries. However, there were inevitably responses from those who either feel that they cannot make the transition or have tried and failed.
Two of these respondents are real stand-outs, as their experiences and perceptions personify the two categories of people who have accepted that they will "go down with the ship." They are reprinted here, not to diminish the validity of their respective messages, but to offer sympathy for their plight as they see it. By examining their perceptions, we can offer other readers insight as to dealing with doubts that they themselves may have.
I Can't Face Leaving
"Truth is, the ones that want to leave cannot because of funds; the ones that can, don't, because their income would cease as soon as they leave the 1st world prison. (businesses or other 1st world pensions or investments there), with no promise of continued permission to pursue a business in the 'new country.' Permission or visas are the big question for nearly all people that want to leave, but will they have to try to come back after visas and or other 'permissions' are revoked or not given? So it is again only for the 1% you talk to, that can afford to not work or do business for the rest of their lives, not for the minions who are getting bled to death."
This respondent's view is by far the most common amongst those who fear exiting their home country. In reading it carefully, we see that she would find it easier to accept a slow loss of freedoms and wealth (however large or small that wealth may be) than to make a sudden, great leap of faith. She describes some of the details of her fears; however, each of these details are, in most cases, easy to overcome. Her greatest fears therefore, would seem to be uncertainty and change.
I Tried to Leave and Failed
"Very true. It's a long leap to leave a good paying job and sell everything you have just to have what you think is more 'freedom' somewhere else. We moved to the only place we felt that could work (Ireland), since they *sort of* speak English there and ended up leaving after 8 months when we realized we couldn't even make 1/4 of what we are capable of in the States even with a broad range of skills between my wife and I.
Wherever you decide to make your escape to, you should plan on having some passive income before taking the plunge to move abroad, or take your retirement money with you and live off of that until finding a way to make money where you are at.
While the 'Land of the Free' isn't what it once was, it still has a lot to offer, and there ain't no denying that. Best wishes to anyone that can find a place they can call home and make it work for them. As for us and having a small child, we will just have to hunker down if SHTF, unless it gets too bad, and then it may just be too late to leave. Do any of you have extended family that is onboard with moving abroad to escape the coming collapse?"
These two responses were from people who have no plan to leave, and to my mind, they explain why 99% will never leave, no matter what happens. They will instead risk going down the drain, in the vain hope that their countries will somehow reverse direction and once again be free, rewarding places to live.
There can be no question that a major reason for remaining is fear, and, unquestionably, the great majority of people seem to need a firm promise that there is more money and a better life for them somewhere else, just waiting for them to get on the plane. In the absence of this promise, they choose to stay with the status quo, even though they know that that status quo is disappearing.
Who is Moving Where?
There is no demographic information on those who are exiting the more troubled countries, in favour of greener pastures. Whilst it is unquestionably true that the numbers expatriating vastly exceed the official numbers, no government agency is about to reveal information as to what demographic categories they fall into.
It is true, however, for those of us who are citizens of a "target" country (a country that is a chosen destination for those exiting a troubled country), that there do seem to be identifiable trends in the new arrivals we meet.
The first trend is in those at retirement age, who have managed to acquire wealth in spite of the trend toward socialism in many countries of the former "free" world. These folks have the opportunity to buy their freedom—to possibly purchase a second passport; to purchase a residence, etc. In addition, they have the ability to live on some form of savings or income that continues after their exit from their home country.
The second trend is in those who are young, very possibly unattached people, who have little to lose and little to hold them where they are. They generally are either not on a "career" path, or they can pursue their career in another jurisdiction. They tend to begin their internationalisation with as little as a work permit in a growing jurisdiction (Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, etc.) or a backpack in a low-income, low expectation jurisdiction (Ecuador, Mexico, etc.).
It is significant to note that neither of the above detractors falls within either of these demographics. Both detractors are people who, whilst acknowledging the "1st world prison," fear the loss of businesses, investments, and/or pensions, or fear subjecting their dependents with the gamble of a new life elsewhere. They choose instead the gamble of collapse at home.
Their choice should not be dismissed as cowardly, as they have clearly thought deeply about the possibility of expatriation, and some have even made the attempt, even if it were an unsuccessful one.
And the Band Played On
One key comment stands out in the above quotes:
"… we will just have to hunker down if SHTF, unless it gets too bad, and then it may just be too late to leave. Do any of you have extended family that is onboard with moving abroad to escape the coming collapse?"
This comment brings to mind the sinking of the Titanic, during which the band continued playing, even whilst the ship was going down, in order to calm the passengers.
Surely, the knowledge that not enough lifeboats existed for all passengers to be saved, contributed to the musicians' decision to go down with the ship. This is important to bear in mind, as, clearly, there are many people who recognise a significant danger in their home countries, but do not recognise that a true lifeboat awaits them.
In internationalisation, each person creates his lifeboat through his personal choices—and by overcoming fear and change.
Editor's Note: You can find the most up-to-date, accurate, and comprehensive information from Casey Research on internationalization here.