Every time I mention my plans to move out of the United States in a few years, as I did in the last post, I suddenly get a lot of comments and email about it…namely people either objecting or enthusasticially asking me lots of questions. I’ve mentioned this a lot but I’ve never really talked about it in detail. Today’s the day I explain exactly what I’m planning, and why.
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
Other possibilities might be somewhere very cheap like Thailand or Cambodia, but that’s less likely. Other new growth cities in China, like Guangzhou or Shenzhen, are possibilities I might consider, but again it’s doubtful. Other cities I’ve considered:
- 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 <country>, it won’t be any better! They have <specific problem> 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 <negative quality>. You really want to live there?” (Replace <negative quality> 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.