Sunday, August 19, 2007

Oh, go internationalize yourself!

During a psychotic week on the stock market and amidst a credit crunch and the threatened collapse of commercial paper, this article, The Greater Depression, got posted at Free Republic. Here's the key point:
So what should you be doing about all this? I suggest you really internationalize yourself. I think what you ought to have is your citizenship in one country, your bank account in another country, your investments in a third, and live in a fourth. You've got to internationalize yourself. Most people out there are like medieval serfs, psychologically and physically: they're born some place, they don't go very far from it and that's where they die, and they're going to get exactly what they deserve.
So how did freepers respond to this?

Surprisingly—to me, anyway—some freepers are Great Depression deniers. I honestly didn't know such people existed.
The Great Depression was perhaps the most overrated financial disaster in history. Sure, unemployment was higher than average and people lost money in the stock market. Still, the vast majority of people were unaffected by the Great Depression.
And then there are those who seem to view an economic depression as a much-needed high colonic for the greater public good.
Actually, thinking about it, a Depression might wring a lot of crap out of society that has been building up since 1960.
One freeper managed to overcome the mandatory FRingoism to consider just where on the planet he would flee to.
I think I would go to Singapore or Hong Kong and maybe Switzerland.
They are expensive.
But in a depression, law and order breaks down and Singapore and Hong Kong and Switzerland take law and order very seriously.
They also have state of the art infrastructure and technology and have some level of English proficiency.
(It's very considerate of the inhabitants of your designated flee-to country to have a level of English proficiency that you deem satisfactory.)

This scenario elicited a query from a much more pragmatic freeper: "How you planning on getting and staying in?"

Indeed, that is the question. Most Americans, particularly those who want to build border fences enforced by shoot-to-kill patrols, don't realize what is required to get non-tourist visas for places like Singapore or Hong Kong or Switzerland. We're so obsessed with keeping people out that we never consider what's required for "getting and staying in" any other country.

It's pretty basic. At a minimum, you'll need: a stash of cash, the amount of which varies by country; a job, if you're seeking a work visa; a health insurance policy; and a clean criminal record. In Belgium, you'll also need to remember which recycling goes into the blue plastic bags and which recycling goes into the yellow plastic bags. Belgian authorities are very emphatic about this on their website.

Of course, if you already have a stash of cash, a job, and health insurance and are not serving time, you might as well stay put. Unless you just can't resist the blue and yellow plastic recycling bags in Belgium: they're free and are delivered monthly to your residence. Now that's great service.

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