The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

When Medicare is destroyed is only a matter of when

Folks, this won’t pass this year, but a version of it will pass:

That plan would transform Medicare from a government insurance program to one in which seniors would chose from private, federally subsidized coverage. Americans 55 and older would stay in the current system.

Remember, Obama’s health care reform was essentially the Republican plan from the 90s.  The Republicans, whom everyone was sneering at for running crazies, have put in place a team of hard right ideologues, who have moved DC significantly to the right even of where it was.  At some point they will pass this, because they want it badly, and the Democrats have no alternative vision other than “right wing, but not as right wing”, which goes nowhere.

I’ve said this before: get out.  If you can’t get out, get your kids out.  This is not going to end well.  Obama has institutionalized Bush rather than rolling him back, and in some areas, such as civil liberties and unilateral Presidential war powers, has actually moved further to the right than Bush was.  It is not impossible that this will get better in the next couple decades (as 5 year old Ian once argued, almost nothing is impossible), but it is unlikely.  Americans spent the last 35 years spending their retirement, their children’s retirement and running infrastructure and capital into the ground, and they were good with that.  Every effort to repeal Prop 13, for example, failed miserably.  America is the culture of the free lunch, what Americans don’t realize is that they’re the free lunch.

That doesn’t mean the US couldn’t fix its problems, in theory, but the point is that socially and politically, the US does not want to fix its problems.  It wants to continue to make them worse.  Yes, a majority of Americans may prefer different policies on some issues, but they aren’t willing to MAKE it happen or to actually pay for it (see Prop 13 above).  They aren’t willing to die for it, and at this point, that’s what it would take because your elites see no reason not take everything you have and turn you into slaves in all but name.  You will be debt slaves, who own almost nothing, not your house, not your phone, not your car, not your books.  Anything which can be rented to you, rather than than sold, will be.

Welcome to the Repo culture.  Everything you have, everything you are, can be taken away from you, and you are nothing but a series of revenue streams to your lords and masters.  Fail to pay, and you won’t even be allowed to be a debt and wage slave, you’ll be in a cardboard box or a debtor’s prison.

Modern Americans are mostly descended from people who didn’t say “this pisshole country is worth fighting for”, they’re descended from people who said “screw this, I’m outta here”.  Emulate them and leave, if you can’t leave do the other thing they were willing to do: prepare for a revolution and be willing to die in it.

Or accept your fate as slaves.

Your choice.


1984 Was Not A Manual


In Light of the Budget Deal: Obama’s Personality


  1. Tom Hickey

    “I’ve said this before: get out.  If you can’t get out, get your kids out.  This is not going to end well. ”


    Unless you want to stay in the belly of the tiger and fight. I remember during the Nixon years making plans to emigrate but then decided to stay and fight.

    But if you are young, there are better opportunities abroad. I have been saying this for years based on young people I know of that emigrated and leapfrogged to relatively high position in their thirties that they would not have been eligible for in the US until their fifties.

    Some of my friends and acquaintances are also emigrating for retirement. There are so many American retirement enclaves abroad, it’s not even necessary to learn a new language.

  2. Sigh. I wish I could say you’re full of shit, Ian, but I can’t. I think you’re right.

  3. Z

    Dire but very likely true.


  4. “Emulate them and leave”

    And go where? The “conservatives” are in charge and the cuts are in progress throughout the first world. The USA has an exceptionally toxic set of people and policies, but it’s not like matters are all that much better in the UK.

    “if you can’t leave do the other thing they were willing to do: prepare for a revolution and be willing to die in it.”

    Looks like us corvids are going to be feeding very well.

  5. Ian Welsh

    A lot of countries are starting from a lot better place.

  6. Julien

    Americans 55 and older would stay in the current system.

    I was wondering how they were going to sell that shit-sandwich to the old folks. Now I know. What was the name of that movie with the box, where pushing a button would give you oodles of money, but someone else, somewhere else would die? Looks like someone saw it and said to themselves: “That’s a great policy idea.”

  7. Notorious P.A.T.

    Has anyone seen this list of Obama’s “accomplishments” that is being passed around?

    I can’t wait to not vote for that a**hole.

  8. college kid

    OK ill bite. where can a young man form a top 20 university with an english degree emigrate?

    i dont know any other languages


    Europe doesnt seem much better and is harder to get to

    some South American hide out?

  9. Cloud

    You seem to be speaking to the remaining intact middle class. One can neither emigrate nor plan for revolution when one is living from month to month; no skills or qualifications that a foreign country wouldn’t laugh at, no savings, too enervated and beaten down and poisoned to do anything autonomous or creative.

    Still, I agree. But the timeless snag is that those who are most able to form a vanguard are the least inclined to; neither can the working class take them seriously if they try to (‘poseur rich liberal!’, etc.; and often the working class is right.)

  10. StewartM

    That plan would transform Medicare from a government insurance program to one in which seniors would chose from private, federally subsidized coverage.

    As Jon Walker of FDL said, the Dems have made fighting this plan all the harder politically by their embracing essentially the same system under Obamacare. If Obamacare’s supposed to be so great for everyone else, how can it not be great for seniors too?

    I wish to gawd you were wrong, Ian. But I think not. Already in Wisconsin and elsewhere we see rightwing politicians act with blatant disregard towards public opinion. What that seems to say loud and clear is that in the post-Citizens United world, they see that public opinion no longer matters. This is echoed in US leadership’s willingness to accept prolonged periods of actual 10 %-plus unemployment.

    Observers have commentated how China’s leadership feels compelled to produce 7 % a year GDP growth due to fear of what might happen to them if China’s economy stagnates. Does this mean that the leadership of a brutal dictatorship, China, fears the potential reaction of its own people more so than the leadership of a supposed democracy, the US? That would seem to be the case.


  11. Frank A.

    I’m too old and too pissed off to chase the end of a rainbow in another country. Not that it is not appealing, I have been fortunate to have traveled often and widely during my lifetime. But we have kids and grandkids here and my promise to them is to take out at least one of the elitist SOBs with me. Hopefully I can take out more than one.

  12. TW Andrews

    Yes. When my 1-year old daughter is school age, we’ll all be moving to Switzerland, where my wife grew up and where she and my daughter are citizens.

  13. Frank, no. That’s the tea party solution, and it will only make it worse for the rest of us.

    oh, wait, what am I saying? Go for it! Food!

  14. Tom Hickey

    If you are thinking of emigrating, you have to do your research, or even relocating within the US, you have to do your research. There is no generally ideal place, but there is good fits for you. You have to find them. Begin with a list of prioritized criteria. If you don’t want to learn another language that means you have to cross off a lot possibilities unless you can find an English-speaking enclaves there. Most countries worth considering have been found already have enclaves.

    Simon Black has been researching and writing about places to emigrate for some time at A lot of the stuff there is out of paradigm, but it’s a start to thinking about alternatives.

    A better way in my view is to link into networks promoting the values and lifestyle you espouse. There are people and networks all over the world that are into just about everything. Just takes some googling.

  15. Helium

    Does this mean that the leadership of a brutal dictatorship, China, fears the potential reaction of its own people more so than the leadership of a supposed democracy, the US?

    “Supposed” being the operative word. The Congress has a turnover rate low enough to have made a Supreme Soviet member envious. The formalities of a representative government are there, but the longer I’ve watched the system in action the more it looks like a straight-up oligarchy packed around with an elaborate set of codes of silence, national myths and taboos.

  16. nick

    we are attempting to get czech visas. anyone curious let me know or just start with i’m surely no expert, and no it won’t be a walk in the park.

  17. alyosha

    One more site that could help (just recently discovered), is Overseas Exile. The articles are geared toward people (including students) looking for ways to get out.

    Earlier today, I forwarded an article by Ian written just after Citizens United to an attorney relation who’s worried about the kind of world his one year old daughter will inherit. I should’ve waited another day, could’ve appended this posting.

    I must admit, I’m turning 56 this year, and am slightly relieved to be slinking past the cutoff into geezer territory on this one.

  18. Notorious P.A.T.

    “Hopefully I can take out more than one.”

    I don’t like violence, but when someone says “it’s you or me”, you might as well walk through the door they opened.

  19. El Gringo Colombiano

    Ian, as a Canadian, how would u rate Canada, Toronto metro area in particular? IMHO Canada seems to be a good place to be a citizen for the next 100 years. Canada has massive oil & other natural resources, especially relative to a small population of 34M. The Canadian political parties seem much more progressive then the USian type. No need (or way less need under Canadian health care system) to earmark a massive $100-300K medical fund for medical tourism in Thailand in case u get a life-threatening illness & ur USian private insurer screws u over & denies coverage. No fear of going bankrupt due to US empire. No risk of ur your C$ money losing significant purchasing power over a 5 yr or less period, because the US$ is no longer used as much as world reserve currency . CAN runs a trade surplus, instead of the neverending US trade deficit with US politrickians unwilling to even listen to superrich Warren Buffet (US pols usually d*ckride Billionaires faithfully) on his Import Certificates idea to get a trade balance. Even tho CAN has huge banks, apparently they are much better regulated, & don’t get endless bailouts, & don’t run the CAN treasury department. Seems that the CAN elite universities are public & less costly & more accessible to the Avg Joe family with a supersmart Joe Jr kid, than the US elite univs Harvard/Stanford types, that are unfordable to most US families, yet a necessary “tollbooth” for some US elite jobs.

    Probably the only risk is that future US neocons will try to annex Canada to obtain the oil/other resources? Does the Canadian government worry about this risk? Does Canada have a defensive nuke “deterrent”?

    That would be a nightmarish scenario. Go through all the Immigration paperwork over years to hopefully successfully imigrate to Canada (not an automatic sure thing), get settled in there, only to get ReBorg’d into the US in 2025 or whenever.

  20. Ian Welsh

    Canada is starting from a better place, but it is heading right wing. Toronto just elected a wingnut mayor who is privatizing all over the place and there’s still a housing bubble which needs to burst. Unfortunately, Canada is a dingy tied to the Titanic of the US.

    That said, Canada could do ok, but it’s not yet clear that it will. We are in an excellent position to do so, having lots of oil, resources, a small population and a lot of technical expertise in various fields. The population is essentially left wing: about 60% of the population would never vote conservative. But it is a question of leadership and so far, it’s not stepping up and we’re hamstrung by our electoral system. Still, I think healthcare is likely to remain widely available longer than in the US.

    There’s nowhere that’s ideal. But I think there are a number of places that are /better/ than the US. Whether they’re better for you, of course, is another question.

  21. S Brennan

    I can’t get out, I tried in the early 80’s , but emigration was much tougher back then worldwide, again in ’93 a Swedish company wanted me badly, but no work permit,
    though I have a highly technical background, every Canadian labor survey after an acceptance letter said no.

    So…unlike the wealthy that can get citizenship at will…with a suitcase of 250,000.00 USD bills borrowed for few weeks I’ll answer:

    “OK ill bite. where can a young man form a top 20 university with an English degree emigrate?”

    For a good life, if I were younger, I’d look to South America…in particular Chile & Argentina, both are very European in the good sense, on the move and very much of mind to reject all forms of Fascism.

  22. Exactly where can I go, my husband works for a state that pays less than 18k a year. I am disable and make less than 12K ( that is total Social Security and Medicare for the year) and with my medical bills, and the debt we are paying off we really don’t have much in savings. A couple hundred isn’t gonna get us far. We are literally living month to month and some months it’s ramon noodles and canned tuna. ( If the govt. does shut down this month, I won’t be able to pay my utilities and or default on my debt. I think I will default, fuck the bankers they already got enough money from the govt.)

    I would love to get the hell out of here, but I am sure there are many people like myself, that right now can’t afford to do it. So, what can we do to survive, that’s what we should be talking about. IF we can figure out how to survive the coming years because it will be a matter of survival. Getting out is just not an option for some of us, so maybe we should talk of a way of surviving instead. I agree, with everything you say Ian. It’s just not all of us can leave.

  23. Shoes 4 Industry

    I am baffled why NO ONE, NO ONE has attempted to explain the American public the basic concepts of INSURANCE and ECONOMICS, in plain and simple terms and concepts.

    MediCare is insurance, people pay into it. Insurance is SHARED RISK. The larger the risk pool the lower the risk is for all involved. LOWER the age of Medicare, include younger, healthier people and the costs go down for everyone. Problem solved.

    Economics. When people (the lower and middle class that is) have money, they spend it. They don’t necessarily invest or speculate or even save that much. The more they have, the more they spend on good and services that go to CREATING JOBS and increase profits for all the businesses they use and beyond. Give the poor more money (flows to the top).
    Job Problem Solved.

    Don’t get me started on the OBESITY EPIDEMIC!

  24. Americans, in some measure, chose this. Understanding that, and understanding why, is the key. It’s a mistake to absolve the public of culpability; just as it’s a mistake to accuse it of being “sheeple”.

  25. guest

    Enough of the drama, folks. Ian is right that things will only get worse here. Maybe unbearable, maybe not. But so what? Maybe it’s time to run for the life boats, but lets face it, there aren’t that many life boats and most of us are stuck. So stop wringing your hands. KLCarten, sounds like you’re stuck. Deal with it. I’m pushing 50, single, no kids, no house, $150k in the bank, good paying civil service job. And guess what? I’m stuck too. Brennan above says he’s stuck, and he sounds eminently more emigrable than either of us. There are a lot worse fates.

    As far as I can see it, Yerp is more fucked than us already, and who would have guessed that 5 years ago? Not me, that’s for sure. Almost overnight Ireland went from low taxes and low deficits to eternal debt slavery to the Bundesbank. So who’s to say Canada, Australia or NZ can’t turn on a dime into worse places also? All those resources, and low population. Who could imagine all that wealth getting stolen by the multinationals with an assist from the US military if they won’t let themselves be swindled peacefully?

    If that’s your dream to emigrate somewhere exotic and you’re really brave, go for it. Better to fail doing something you wanted than to fail not having tried. But if you can’t, take comfort that your chances aren’t a whole lot better elsewhere.

    The world economy is in decline because we are over populated and we have depleted our resources. Make your peace with dying and/or declining living standards. It won’t save you, but it will save you some stress. We were mostly fortunate to have been born into relative prosperity and mobility, and to have had opportunities to travel and learn more than most of our fore-bearers. At times like this I like to remember the gist of the speech the inventor from Blade Runner gave to the dying replicants… right before they broke his neck. But he had a good point. (And in the end vagina-matized Harrison Ford lays down his arms goes off with that crazy Sean Young. I wonder how that turned out.)

    Most of the post Depression generations have been lazy and stupid and the authors of their/our own demises. So don’t forget the schadenfreud of watching them flip out, lash out and flame out. They don’t and won’t ever understand how they did this to themselves, which will heighten their suffering even more(!). Grumpy old Ian never remembers to stop and smell the schadenfreud. Ever since Bush v Gore, I have made a point of painting a bleak picture of the future that my conservative siblings and parent have created for their children at holiday and other family gatherings. And the last couple years I can tell it’s finally starting to hit the spot (hehehe). Don’t feel bad about it, enjoy it.

  26. Formerly T-Bear

    Quite possibly the window of opportunity is being shut at this moment. There is a clampdown about sources of income and the requirement for showing a 1099 for anything over $600 is currently being considered (as I read some reports from the U.S.). The money-laundering inspired control over movement of funds is nearly universally applied, all movement must be accounted for from some appropriate authority, traceability is required. The IRA now requires all foreign accounts be reported on the tax form, foreign income is taxable for individuals (but not for corporations – see GE’s tax schedule) least some sum goes insidiously unpaid. The financial surveillance is even greater than that of CCTV in downtown London; it is ubiquitous, it is total. Unless one possesses easily transportable and convertible form of wealth, anyone emigrating will be sharply watched and funds suddenly appearing must be accountable from their source. Methinks leaving the U.S. will be like leaving the Soviet Union in its day; doable but at a cost. For most, it is probably too late to consider.

  27. Morocco Bama

    Ah, Ian, it’s for posts like this that I keep returning. Excellent analysis, and my sentiments exactly. Keep shaking the banana tree…eventually the fruit, if there is any, has to come down.

    I imagine you’ve pissed some folks off again with this…I haven’t read the comments yet, but I believe I can predict some of them. Good for you….piss them off….piss them off good. Get in their face and scream “IS THERE ANYBODY IN THERE?”

    But where to….that’s the question? Mars has yet to be terraformed, and Pluto’s no longer a planet. I hope that theory of multiple universes is true, because suddenly this one has diminished substantially.

  28. Morocco Bama

    I’m too old and too pissed off to chase the end of a rainbow in another country.

    But this country, if it isn’t already, is quickly becoming No Country For Old Men. We’ve been handed the Anton Chigurh coin flip of fate.

  29. Morocco Bama

    Lisa, that’s exactly what doesn’t work….hasn’t worked. This is why I say I like Ian’s post. The Plutocracy, aka Anton Chigurh, has handed us the coin. We can play their little game and flip it it to determine our fate, or we can say, you don’t call the shots and get them before they get us. No amount of bargaining with Chigurh was going to get his targets out of sure death, or the flip.

  30. Carlos

    Amen helleluliah I agree absolutely…

  31. Morocco Bama,

    I don’t think massive civil disobedience has been tried in this country since the late 60s-early 70s. Since civil rights & Vietnam. (And obviously the thousands in Wisconsin didn’t get their due.) I don’t know how many people will show up in New York on the 15th. I don’t know if they’ll have an impact, or if the elites have become so adept at ignoring everything but their own self-interest that it won’t matter. I don’t know. I just know I have to do something more than sit on my ass complaining. And squirreling away money in “safe” places. There are many ways to protest, not just one. There are many ways to tell both parties to go screw themselves. But if you’re advocating popping people in the head, I can’t get with that.

  32. Morocco Bama

    I’m not advocating popping people in the head, but as it stands, people are getting popped in the head, and we’re standing by while our erstwhile representatives precipitate it. If we were to do anything that would be even remotely threatening to the Plutocratic Oligarchy’s interests, you can be damn sure they would pop our heads. Would you pop back, or would you deny it’s happening, at that point? Do you think it couldn’t happen here? Is there a line in the proverbial sand….one, that if crossed, means your previous inhibitions no longer apply? If so, what is that line? Should there be a line?

  33. Do you think it couldn’t happen here? Is there a line in the proverbial sand….one, that if crossed, means your previous inhibitions no longer apply? If so, what is that line? Should there be a line?

    Not sure this is what you’re asking, but do you mean what would I do if a demonstration turned violent and the police started attacking us? Or do you mean what happens if they just start checking their watch lists and carting us off from our homes en masse? (And of course it can happen here; it’s already happening.)

  34. Shoto

    Re: StewartM’s comment above: “Already in Wisconsin and elsewhere we see rightwing politicians act with blatant disregard towards public opinion.” That’s most definitely true. I would also add, however, that they’re clearly demonstrating they don’t give a shit about what’s legal, either. Basically, they’re saying, “Fuck you. So sue us…”

    And to the Braintrust on this site: Is there an Internet repository that summarizes the pros and cons of various countries to which one might be inclined to emigrate? I would be most grateful for such a list, as would many others, I’m sure.

    Best to you all…

  35. The Truth Fairy

    It’s all out War on the Poor in Ameica, which includes children and the elderly. The Corporations no longer need cheap labor or even moderately educated work force. So it’s “kill ’em off quick” and move on. Why bother spending tax dollars on a those who cannot provide for themselves? They are nothing but and expendable economic liability. They’ve sucked the marrow out of the middle class. That’s not coming back. It’s genocide time in America! A government that was designed to protect the citizens from the avarice of the corporations has been total and completely co-oped by the very same corporations. The Supreme Court is a joke that’s not funny. Congress is nothing more than corporate thugs and union busters. The poor and the elderly are the government’s scapegoats, the root of all that ails the country. “On Nation Under God” my ass.

  36. Notorious P.A.T.

    ““On Nation Under God” my ass.”

    But that’s what God does, at least the one in the Bible: when people displease him, he eradicates them wholesale.

  37. The Truth Fairy

    Actually, I was referring to holier than thou, right-wing (and left-wing for that matter), self-professed “Christians” behaving in the most un-christian, un-godly manner possible!

    If there was a “God”, you’re right, he’d be pissed.

  38. Celsius 233

    I left in 2003; worked for 5 years as an EFL teacher and retired on my pittance of S.S.
    After just over 8 years of expatness, I am horrified to see what the American people have allowed to happen to themselves.
    But that’s exactly why I left; with the war in Iraq just launched it was clear the direction the U.S. PEOPLE were going and I wanted none of it.
    I miss my beautiful country; but not the people and especially what they’ve willfully done to their government and fellow citizens. Shame! You have no right to hold your head high.

  39. Anonidan

    I got out rather improbably and not on purpose via the following route: exchange student to France in high school (1980s), undergrad degree in U.S., worked a few years saved some money, another degree in the U.K., graduate doctoral degree (on scholarship and research/ teaching work) in Toronto, Canada, post-doc and eventual permanent faculty position in Norway.

    I’m in the humanities, not known for being particularly transferable (the sciences are much more international, and most of the other international faculty at my university are in the sciences). So I was extremely lucky and for many people luck is as much as part of it as effort.

    But if anything was decisive, it was the exchange year in high school. After that I was always aware of, looking for and willing to take opportunities abroad.

    If you can’t get out, look for exchange programs for your children. American Field Service, Youth for Understanding, Rotary Clubs and whatever else you can find. Some of these are options for everyone; some will require some family savings and/or means. The earlier, the better. The most likely voluntary migrant is the person with migrant experience.

  40. Celsius 233

    Anonidan PERMALINK
    April 7, 2011
    I got out rather improbably and not on purpose via the following route:
    Although I swore that if GB attacked Iraq, I would leave the country, I had no idea how that would happen. Three weeks after the March attack I was offered a job overseas in Asia; here I still am.

    Nice post bye the way…

  41. Morocco Bama

    I guess the parents are left to suffer the consequences back home, though, huh? That’s nice if you’re an orphan and have no familial attachments, but when you have an extended family, with whom you are close, migrating becomes a much more difficult venture. If you’re flying back and forth to see each other, considering the severity of what we are discussing here, eventually that will no longer be an option. Many take air travel for granted. Like Antibiotics, it’s only here for a small window of time, after which, it’s going away. As history has proven, what is now, will not always be, by any stretch of the imagination.

  42. Theoretically, Ian, you’re right. But I’m not sure that you’re in that strong a strategic position, writing from Canada. All I can think is that is that Mexican saying, “Poor Mexico. So far from God. So close to the US.”

    You’re actually predicting a rather impressive degree of social cohesion, one where countries continue to play by Queensberry rules no matter how bad things get. Would you say the evidence supports that outcome?

  43. Formerly T-Bear

    @ quixote

    The line was from the office of the Governor Lew Wallace in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was actually:

    “Poor New Mexico, So far from Heaven, so close to Texas” but the gold within is claimed by many.

  44. someofparts

    For those of us who cannot get out, moving within the country might help. It looks like state policies for the immediate future will be a patchwork, with some states holding the line on quality of life a bit better than their neighbors. So, even if a person couldn’t make it out of the U.S., they might at least make it out of Arizona.

    Also, Celsius, where would you suggest a person could live passably well on modest SS?

    Thanks to everyone on the thread who has provided links.

  45. awesome guy

    Someofparts, the cost of living in the deep south and midwestern states tend to be lower than the two coasts. I tend to think that the political climate in the south may not be to your liking, but then again the winters are milder and there are college towns like Oxford, MS and Austin, TX which might appeal to you.

  46. For those of us who cannot get out, moving within the country might help. It looks like state policies for the immediate future will be a patchwork, with some states holding the line on quality of life a bit better than their neighbors.

    As ever, I think living in a city is the best bet. I live in Baltimore, in a neighborhood where I can walk everywhere — to grocery stores, a Farmers’ Market, library, restaurants, museum, hospital, train station, theaters, buses, etc. — in short, all the amenities that a civilized place provides. Great neighbors, on whom we’re going to have to depend more and more, are also critical, and luckily we have those. The cost of living here is still low. (Okay, y’all, don’t make cracks about The Wire — I thought it was the best thing ever on TV, and yes, there are parts of Baltimore that look like that, but that’s not the whole city.) When oil goes through the roof and all those suburbanites (those who still have jobs) realize they can’t afford their commutes anymore, they’ll be coming back to the city in droves.

  47. Celsius 233

    Also, Celsius, where would you suggest a person could live passably well on modest SS?
    Thailand, Belize, Myanmar, and I would think some parts of Africa.
    I started a blog a few years ago about the very subject, but never followed through.
    To an extent I understand when people say they can’t leave; but I would suggest those people don’t believe or see the urgency.
    For me; I just couldn’t any longer support what the U.S. has become. Most of the precursors in pre-WWII Germany are evident in the U.S. It’s not exactly the same for a number of reasons; technology is one and the illusion of free speech is still there. The lies, propaganda, perpetual war, and the wanton criminality of the elite classes goes unpunished.
    Finally, we have gone from a nation of laws to become a nation of men; very corrupt men.

  48. Shoes4Industry

    It’s slow-motion genocide in America. But unlike Nazi Germany in WWII, the governing class is using a crock-pot instead of an oven to SLOWLY kill off those in the society they deem unfit to exist. The elderly, the sick or conically ill, the poor, children, the unemployed and anyone they can’t make a buck off of. America’s biggest growth industry is death.

  49. Formerly T-Bear

    @ 233ºC just above

    I would add that most of Europe is available outside the national and regional (and other political) capitals for modest costs of living, particularly in agriculturally based areas, e.g. provincial France, most of Germany outside large cities, most of Spain and Portugal again outside the major cities, Italy the same as well as most of eastern Europe and Turkey. Not well reported, most populations are soundly socialist which belies the “centre right” national government’s hold on power across the European Union, e.g. Burlesqueconi (in Italy), Sarcomacozy (in France), Murkle (in Germany) and the new shower of righties in London; the usual suspect NATO lapdogs of war. Europeans have something that is often overlooked, the culture is profoundly stable as is marked in cultures that last millennia, and there is also a profound aversion to war in the populous. Those political characteristics enshrined in the US constitution are central to political being in Europe and have been built upon to include social and economic rights as well, by far encompassing a fuller range of protections than afforded in the US Constitution. That is not something to disallow or ignore in looking at available prospects.

  50. someofparts

    Thankyou for that insight about Europe T-Bear. Just because the culture outside of urban areas is unfit for my habitation in parts of the U.S. doesn’t mean that is the case in Europe. Honestly I’ve looked everywhere and keep coming back to France. Paris would be my first choice, but other towns around the country seem to have the same charms I see in Paris.

  51. Sam Adams

    I’m looking at Brittany and Normandy areas.

  52. Celsius 233

    Formerly T-Bear PERMALINK
    April 8, 2011
    @ 233ºC just above
    Interesting. If I weren’t married to a Thai national I’d likely check out other areas. Apparently Indonesia just changed it’s residency laws for the better regarding foreign nationals.
    A note of interest here;
    Rent a house for about $75-150USD/month
    Lunch from $.50-.70 per person (noodles, rice dish, etc.)
    Very nice dinner for 2 (4 dishes) w/fresh fish, chicken, soup, rice & a beer $10-14
    Normal dinner for 2 (3 dishes) $3-4 or less; up to you
    Lg bottle of decent beer $1
    Electricity $15-20/month; w/air-con $30 (We don’t need it)
    Water $2-3/month
    Garbage $.70/month
    Bus/van to BKK (90 km) $3-4
    These are not BKK prices; these are rural prices well away from tourist areas. Cheers

  53. Z


    “It’s slow-motion genocide in America. But unlike Nazi Germany in WWII, the governing class is using a crock-pot instead of an oven to SLOWLY kill off those in the society they deem unfit to exist. The elderly, the sick or conically ill, the poor, children, the unemployed and anyone they can’t make a buck off of. America’s biggest growth industry is death.”

    I couldn’t agree more. They term it austerity, but that’s what it is.


  54. Batard

    Well, one thing that could happen is that China could have a very big demographic population problem. Remember, they’ve had a one child policy for many years and at some point that will skew their demographics to having an extremely large number of old people. However, as big as that population is, it might not matter as even with one child they would have far more people than us. Another is that there will be a large US population that will be older and we know older people vote more. So things could turn on a dime if people start seeing their friends dying right and left. Overnight we could see a dramatic political change if people are not being taken care of medically and people start seeing their friends dying left in right. That is, assuming the voting booths are not rigged like in the rest of the world.

    And I’m inclined to believe we are going through a Milton Friedman type Shock Doctrine program right now. That happened in Chile 40 years ago and you indeed have remarked already that Chile is one of the better places to live. We have had a problem in this country whereby we have had to import Mexican immigrants to do the real work of the country when we should be doing it ourselves so we have probably become too soft because look at how far we are ahead of the undeveloped world. The work that used to be done by ordinary Americans when I was in my teens Americans just won’t do anymore. And I don’t think that in itself is sustainable. Perhaps I am an optimist although as a human being I will say I have not been the model of working although I was injured by the system long ago and it took years to pull my mind together about many things, something I am still working on.

    But 1957 is the highest point in the numbers of baby boomers being born, meaning someone would be 52, 53 or 54 now if they were born in that year. After that the numbers start get less. So we already have half of the baby boomers covered by Medicare – they are late for keeping about half of us out.

    But if one needs to see where the problem in our medical care system lies, see the link that shows US medical costs compared to other countries at this blog post:

    But I have my doubts too and I often feel that you are exactly right. But what if you aren’t?

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