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Old 02-01-2020, 01:45 PM
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Is it wrong to remain in the United States?


We're heading downhill faster and faster, away from democracy and toward oligarchy. If my employer was as corrupt as our leadership, I'd change jobs, I wouldn't want to be a part of such a thing. But what about when it's your country? Is it wrong to stay?

Staying in order to vote sounds good superficially, but I live in a very blue state and my votes in the presidential election are relatively worthless. I could move a few miles north to Pennsylvania which would make my vote pretty valuable, but if I were going to move for political reasons it'd be to get away from here. And yes, I always vote, though this year it's going to seem like a pretty sad exercise.

Donating sounds good superficially, but with all the corporate and billionaire money on the other side, it's starting to seem more and more just a waste of money. And yes, I have always donated (though this year it's hard to muster the will to do so).

I'm just haunted by the idea that it's wrong of decent people to stay.

What do you think?
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:58 PM
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Where exactly would you go? And why would they let you in?
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:12 PM
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Where exactly would you go? And why would they let you in?
One of the other ex British colonies, perhaps, or Scandinavia, or western Europe. But if noplace else would have me, then I don't have an ethical dilemma anyway.
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:29 PM
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Yes. Yes, everyone should leave now.

Let's everybody march on down into Mexico.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:08 PM
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If all the decent people who can afford to do so leave, that would be a guarantee that things would get worse, wouldn't it?

And then what about all those who can't get out?
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:14 PM
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If you really and truly want to leave its the very right thing to do. If worse comes to worse let me know; I have some juice in Western Asia.

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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
If all the decent people who can afford to do so leave, that would be a guarantee that things would get worse, wouldn't it?

And then what about all those who can't get out?
a) It depends on how much of their money they figure out how to take along with them.

b) It wouldn't be very much different from today.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:17 PM
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It's a bit easier to change jobs than it is nationalities, and yet, people stay with the same company for decades past the time that they really should have left. Not having a job can be worse than having a bad job.

Same with countries. I'd rather live in a bad country than no country at all. You also, unlike in a company, actually have some input over the way the country is run. If you have an opportunity to go somewhere that you think you will like more, then go for it, but I wouldn't go looking because you are disaffected by our political landscape.

Strategic moving for voting, OTOH, may be something we can get behind. Get a couple hundred thousand people to move to South Dakota for six months and a day, and we can get another senate seat, and three electoral votes.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:36 PM
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If the US sucks as badly as the OP seems to think it does, then why do we have a border crisis and millions of uninvited aliens?
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:58 PM
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You can whip yourself into quite a frenzy nowadays paying too much attention to various sources on TV and internet (which frenzy depends which ones ).
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:00 PM
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I'm just haunted by the idea that it's wrong of decent people to stay.
This makes no sense to me. How is decreasing the number of decent people in the country supposed to make anything any better?
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:01 PM
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If you agree with the way things are run, vote.

If you don't like the way things are run, join a political party.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:15 PM
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If the US sucks as badly as the OP seems to think it does, then why do we have a border crisis and millions of uninvited aliens?
Because those people aren't the OP. Duh! They are different people. And different people have different motivations.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:15 PM
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If all the good people had bailed out the US during the bad times, then we'd still have slavery, child laborers, no enfranchisement for women, and no environmental regulations.

I'm not going to start thinking about migrating until bombs are literally fall down on me. Until then, I'm going to do whatever I can to be one of the "good people". And I refuse to fall into despair.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:17 PM
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One of the other ex British colonies, perhaps, or Scandinavia, or western Europe. But if noplace else would have me, then I don't have an ethical dilemma anyway.
Anybody else notice whenever people want to flee the United States it's always to the whitest of countries?
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:22 PM
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This makes no sense to me. How is decreasing the number of decent people in the country supposed to make anything any better?
What I'm struggling with is that I'm contributing to the economy. And I'm an unwitting accomplice in the whole system. I'm paying taxes that support the policies.

I belong to most of the privilege groups including all the important ones, with the exception that I'm not in the top fraction of a percent of wealth where political power is. Tactically, life is comfortable. So it's not how I'm getting treated that's the problem. It's what's being carried out on my behalf.

Kind of like discovering the club you belong to prevents entire categories of people from belonging.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:30 PM
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"As goes the United States, so goes the world. Hunkering down in Canada -- or even New Zealand -- is not an option the way it might once have been. There is nowhere to hide from an unhinged America. There is no benevolent foreign power to step into the breach if America loses its way. Hope is not a strategy"

Opinion piece on CNN.com, from a Canadian who became a naturalized US citizen the day before yesterday.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/01/opini...osh/index.html

That seems pretty well thought out.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:31 PM
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Anybody else notice whenever people want to flee the United States it's always to the whitest of countries?
Ex-British colonies are mostly white? I guess Canada.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:38 PM
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Then of course there's this:

"WASHINGTON—Confirming the challenges associated with preserving liberal democracy, the nation’s top political scientists issued a report Friday that found fighting against the rising tide of authoritarianism sounds like a ton of work. "

https://politics.theonion.com/report...nds-1841390886
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:35 PM
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If the US sucks as badly as the OP seems to think it does, then why do we have a border crisis and millions of uninvited aliens?
Because there are even worse places than the US.

I once looked into going elsewhere. As it happens, no one else wants me. Well, they'd be happy for me to visit as a tourist and spend money, they just don't want me to move in permanently.

For better or worse I'm stuck here.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:42 PM
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The grass isn't always as green on the other side as it may look.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:43 PM
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Assuming the OP is a Trump opponent, I can think of no headline Trump and the Republicans would love to read than, "40 million liberal Democrats decide to leave America permanently, in despair, thus assuring Republican electoral victories forever."
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:44 PM
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No, of course not. If you personally want to leave the US and you are fortunate enough to have the ability to do so, go for it, but there's nothing particularly virtuous about it. Places get worse, not better, when progressive, non-xenophobic people leave in large numbers. Look at Poland and Hungary, and at many states in the southern US.
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:15 PM
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The grass isn't always as green on the other side as it may look.
True. There are assholes everywhere. The stark realization that we have 60 million of them was hard to take. I'm resigning myself to that fact, and although I may leave, it won't be completely because the of the results of the 2020 elections. I'm leaning towards staying, whatever happens. I'll just try to care less.
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:46 PM
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People who can't bear to stay have my sympathy, but I think staying is the more ethical choice. The comparison to a bad employer isn't really applicable, since most employees don't get to vote for company presidents or policies. We need all the good people we can get, doing everything they can to right this wayward ship.

Out of curiosity, if a blue-stater were to buy a second house in a swing state, what else would be required to be able to legally and legitimately vote in the swing state?
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:30 PM
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What I'm struggling with is that I'm contributing to the economy. And I'm an unwitting accomplice in the whole system. I'm paying taxes that support the policies.

I belong to most of the privilege groups including all the important ones, with the exception that I'm not in the top fraction of a percent of wealth where political power is. Tactically, life is comfortable. So it's not how I'm getting treated that's the problem. It's what's being carried out on my behalf.

Kind of like discovering the club you belong to prevents entire categories of people from belonging.
So donate to people who are trying to fix that.

And vote.

And do what else you can to improve things. That's far more ethical, IMO, than ducking out and leaving those who can't to carry the bag.

Sure, if you really want to live somewhere else, and you can go live somewhere else, then go ahead. But I really wouldn't recommend trying to claim it's the only ethical choice.



-- Esprise Me, I think the swing state house would legally have to be claimed as the primary residence. I don't know what the legal requirements are for doing that, and suspect they vary by state; but, if you're going to vote in anything other than the presidential election, I think you ought to actually live there; not necessarily every day of the year, but enough of the year to really get a sense of the place.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:57 PM
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A fairly small number of Americans refused to support the war in Vietnam. By their example of going to Canada, they opened the eyes of America, and brought about the end of the war. So a small number of Americans, by leaving, can have great influence.
  #27  
Old 02-01-2020, 09:19 PM
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Anybody else notice whenever people want to flee the United States it's always to the whitest of countries?
I'm not sure that it's because they are white, but that they already speak a language most Americans sort-of understand.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:24 PM
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I'm not sure that it's because they are white, but that they already speak a language most Americans sort-of understand.
You ever tried to understand Danish or Norwegian?
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:27 PM
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I'm just haunted by the idea that it's wrong of decent people to stay.
No, decent people should stay here and take the country back. Don't hand the country over to people like Donald Trump.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:29 PM
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Anybody else notice whenever people want to flee the United States it's always to the whitest of countries?
Well, we fucked up the countries that aren't white.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:30 PM
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You ever tried to understand Danish or Norwegian?
Heavens yes, some words are similar, but thankfully, most of them speak English. Nederlanders too. Wonderful people.

Until I developed a sensitivity to sunlight, I used to think I'd want to move to Botswana because I have met some lovely people from there as well. Now though, I should just dig a hole and hide.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:41 PM
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SMH. Only on the Dope can you get a debate about the ethics of remaining an American.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:47 PM
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What I'm struggling with is that I'm contributing to the economy. And I'm an unwitting accomplice in the whole system. I'm paying taxes that support the policies.
You still have to file US tax returns even when living overseas, though permanent residents in a foreign country may qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion to protect some of their overseas earnings.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:27 PM
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Where would we go? Given the way the US treats immigration of late, what country would take those of us that left? What jobs would be there for us? How quickly could we assimilate? Would the country we went to be able to take us in without damaging their own interests?

Just vote the bastard out. If he gets another term we have only ourselves to blame.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:13 AM
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In much of the world, folks know they live in police states. Americans mostly haven't figured that out yet. We've seriously considered emigrating but we're rather old and poor for that now. Escape is for youngsters. Anyway, society must totally go to shit before Americans will bother changing things. Tramp may be a trigger.
  #36  
Old 02-02-2020, 03:43 AM
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......Staying in order to vote sounds good superficially, but I live in a very blue state and my votes in the presidential election are relatively worthles....
You still get to vote for state senators, your local (last residence in the U.S.) representative and the president. That is, the federal politicians. You don't get to vote for the mayor and other local politicians, but this may vary depending on your current location.

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What I'm struggling with is that I'm contributing to the economy. And I'm an unwitting accomplice in the whole system. I'm paying taxes that support the policies.....
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You still have to file US tax returns even when living overseas, though permanent residents in a foreign country may qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion to protect some of their overseas earnings.
Make sure to move someplace without a negative interest rate and strong local currency. FEIC is only good for $105,000, which sounds like a lot. Unless you live in a very expensive country with equally high salaries. FATCA sucks. And expect to pay accountants for both your local and U.S. taxes.

It's actually quite different to move overseas unless you have a certain skillset and/or work for an international company who wants you to move. It's better to improve the system from within.
  #37  
Old 02-02-2020, 05:58 AM
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If all the decent people who can afford to do so leave, that would be a guarantee that things would get worse, wouldn't it?

And then what about all those who can't get out?
This.

No, why would you be obligated to leave? It's your country and you are entitled to stay there regardless of what other citizens are like.

And instead of leaving it, why not try to do what you can to improve things there? Why not at least do your little bit to make life better there for those around you?
  #38  
Old 02-02-2020, 06:14 AM
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Here's the kind of thing I think is most relevant:

These are the countries classed as "Full Democracies" in the 2019 Democracy Index, in order starting with the most democratic (see the Wikipedia article on "Democracy Index"):
Norway
Ireland
Sweden
New Zealand
Finland
Ireland
Denmark
Canada
Australia
Switzerland
Netherlands
Luxembourg
Germany
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Austria
Spain
Mauritius
Costa Rica
France
Chile
Portugal

The United States ranks #25, in the "Flawed democracy" category.

These are the top 20 countries in the 2018 Good Country Index ("a measure of what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity" - goodcountry.org), in order starting with the best (see Wikipedia article on "Good Country Index"):
Finland
Netherlands
Ireland
Sweden
Germany
Denmark
Switzerland
Norway
France
Spain
Canada
Bulgaria
Belgium
Estonia
United Kingdom
Luxembourg
New Zealand
Austria
Italy
Australia

The United States ranks #40. Russia ranks #41.

There is a preponderance of white people in these lists, it's true. I wish that weren't the case.

I appreciate the sentiment that we should vote, that we get whom we deserve, that if Trump is elected again it's our fault. But this isn't true. Democracy does not actually function fully here -- we're a minority rule country and becoming more so rapidly (and yet I still always vote). For a good overview see:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...762_story.html

Last edited by Napier; 02-02-2020 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:20 AM
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Look up what a refugee is? Do you qualify - use your own judgement? If yes there is nothing morally incorrect about leaving.

Also if you can overthrow the government and establish another one that seems fine and dandy too with everyone.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:37 AM
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If all the good people had bailed out the US during the bad times, then we'd still have slavery, child laborers, no enfranchisement for women, and no environmental regulations.
We're well on the way to the last one on that list. If the party in power stays there long enough, I'm sure they'll get around to the rest of it.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:40 AM
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Anybody else notice whenever people want to flee the United States it's always to the whitest of countries?
I've noticed this as well. It kind of makes you think they don't really believe what they say. Why not Kenya or Nigeria? I've heard they are poised for massive economic expansion. Or the Middle East? I'm certain these places will receive them with open arms and enthusiastically listen to their complaints once they arrive.

Last edited by LAZombie; 02-02-2020 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:40 AM
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If all the good people had bailed out the US during the bad times, then we'd still have slavery, child laborers, no enfranchisement for women, and no environmental regulations.

I'm not going to start thinking about migrating until bombs are literally fall down on me. Until then, I'm going to do whatever I can to be one of the "good people". And I refuse to fall into despair.
I agree with what you say would have happened if the good people bailed out. But it's not that simple. Slavery, child labor, disenfranchisement for women, and environmental dystopia would have relied on the strength of the US in doing their harm, and the good people that remained would have been contributing to the strength while unable to control its impact.

There's a similar argument about the "adults in the room" so often discussed around POTUS. They are, according to reports, trying to help prevent the worst outcomes. They're the training wheels that reduce the chance of disasters. But in so doing they tend to confer legitimacy and prolong the administration, too. I honestly don't know whether it's better. I know many people debate this in their case. I think there's a similar issue here -- thus the dilemma.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:47 AM
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Look up what a refugee is? Do you qualify - use your own judgement? If yes there is nothing morally incorrect about leaving.

Also if you can overthrow the government and establish another one that seems fine and dandy too with everyone.
I'm not a refugee. I'm white, male, middle aged (or old), American born, English as first language, cisgender, straight, raised culturally Christian (though atheist), college educated, employed, able bodied, born north of the Mason-Dixon, etc etc. I'm all kinds of things that the administration is favoring.

I get the sense that by "refugee" they mean people who cannot safely stay in or return to their nominal country or country of birth, not necessarily people who dislike that others are made unsafe and don't want to participate in the privileged group.

In many ways, people with privilege can apply it to its own undoing. And I do (this is maybe 30% of my day job). But due to the Electoral College, gerrymandering, and increasingly the courts, this doesn't apply to the political process.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:58 AM
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Better to just stick around and quietly despair.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:09 AM
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Because there are even worse places than the US.

I once looked into going elsewhere. As it happens, no one else wants me. Well, they'd be happy for me to visit as a tourist and spend money, they just don't want me to move in permanently.

For better or worse I'm stuck here.
Yeah. I only speak English, and I've struggled and failed to learn a lot of other languages. So I've only looked at English-language countries. Most of them don't want me. Some are a lot worse than here.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:30 AM
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If all the good people had bailed out the US during the bad times, then we'd still have slavery, child laborers, no enfranchisement for women, and no environmental regulations.

I'm not going to start thinking about migrating until bombs are literally fall down on me. Until then, I'm going to do whatever I can to be one of the "good people". And I refuse to fall into despair.
I like your attitude and wish I had the energy to feel that way myself.

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Because there are even worse places than the US.

I once looked into going elsewhere. As it happens, no one else wants me. Well, they'd be happy for me to visit as a tourist and spend money, they just don't want me to move in permanently.

For better or worse I'm stuck here.
It's true, the first world countries don't want a flood of people coming unless we bring skills they need.
I wish I had known this a few decades ago! but in the 20th century, it still seemed like things could get better.

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SMH. Only on the Dope can you get a debate about the ethics of remaining an American.
it's a good thread and the OP has shared some good links. only on the Dope does someone join the conversation just to shake their head.

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We're well on the way to the last one on that list. If the party in power stays there long enough, I'm sure they'll get around to the rest of it.
yes, sadly.

and there is such a thing as a self fulfilling prophecy. The more the good people give up, the more the bad win. I have no doubt there are many more good people than bad - but there are so many that are ignorant they let themselves be led by the bad.

if I won the lottery I would leave and the deciding factor would be healthcare. I don't want to live somewhere you can go bankrupt from medical bills, regardless of what's passing for insurance.
  #47  
Old 02-02-2020, 08:46 AM
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When I read about the rise of the Nazis in pre-WWII Germany, back in high school, I always wondered why the average German didn't just... leave. Well, now I know why- because it's a death by a thousand cuts. Each change is just incremental-nobody notices them, because they're so small. It's only in hindsight that it's possible to see how much things have changed, how different the country has become.

Me, I moved to Canada almost a year ago. I looked around and saw that things weren't going to get better, at least not before they got a lot worse. So far, I gotta say it's looking like I was right. So... yay me?

Obviously, it's very difficult to just move to another country, so I started actively looking for work in other countries. For about six months, it looked likely that I'd be offered a job in Barcelona, but that fell through. When the job in Canada came up in my searches, I jumped on it. I'm not regretting my decision, but I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of the winter here.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
Anybody else notice whenever people want to flee the United States it's always to the whitest of countries?
Not me! I've thought about a permanent move, but my go-to places are in the Caribbean or possibly Mali. I'm white, I live in a mostly white area, but by and large I do not like white folks.
  #49  
Old 02-02-2020, 09:00 AM
Napier is offline
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It's probably not helpful that I'm reading "The Testaments", which is the sequel to "The Handmaid's Tale" which I read maybe a year or two ago.

One of the minor themes has been those who left the United States or "Gilead" for Canada, before things got to the point that people were captive. These expats became some of the resistance operating in Canada and helping rescue refugees. In hindsight, thank goodness they figured out how things were heading and got out when it was safe and easy.

For the record, I'm describing leaving completely, not maintaining US citizenship. Out for a dime, out for a dollar.



Also, I don't dislike all white folks. Some of my best friends are white.

Last edited by Napier; 02-02-2020 at 09:01 AM.
  #50  
Old 02-02-2020, 09:09 AM
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HeyHomie is offline
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I've though about this. I work from home, so I can do my job pretty much anywhere (with reliable WiFi, that is). I can spit out semi-coherent sentences in Spanish, so there are a number of places where I could go where the language barrier would be a bit lower than it would be in, say, Scandinavia.

Problem is, I'd be leaving behind my family, and I'd either have to leave behind my wife, too, or force her to leave her family. Neither of those things will be happening.

Unless and until I genuinely feel like my life is in danger simply for being on the wrong side, I'm staying.

As for voting, there was a time when Missouri was a swing state. Then the majority of the voters here drank the Trump Kool Aid, rendering my vote useless.
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