“In Ernest Hemingway’s reminiscence A Movable Feast, one gets a glimpse of life among American expatriate artists and writers living and having adventures in Paris during the Roaring 20s. Today, American expats live all over the world – having adventures in Africa, creating art in Berlin, helping children in Cambodia, discovering ancient spirituality in India, and starting businesses in Tianjin. But all this may soon come to an end.”
Will FATCA mark the end of American global migration?
@ Just Me
Sorry I missed those on the other thread. (It’s hard to keep up at Brock.) I can’t believe how fast the world is descending into a very dark age. 🙁
@Em, it’s the use of credit and massive borrowing that has got us into this mess in the first place. If everyone, individuals, companies and governments only spent what they earned and didn’t borrow the world wouldn’t be trillions and trillions in debt. Unfortunately, we’ve become an “I want it now” society and not one that saves to buy the things they want. When I was a child and wanted something that I couldn’t afford then I saved up for it until I could. Kids these days would throw a fit if you asked them to do that. Those kids become adults with the same attitudes and some of them eventually run the companies and governments. Going back to cash only might be the best thing for us in the long run.
Don’t be sorry. It is good to have these things in multiple threads on IBS, so various folks see them.
Interesting point, you make about credit cards and borrowing. Debt has often been a tool of governments. I was struck by this, when listening to The War on the Prairie. It was a strategy that non other than individual freedom, Thomas Jefferson advocated, for indebting the Indians, As a means to take away their land. Sometimes I think China has borrowed the strategy as a way to conqueror America!
@Em, I see a glimmer of hope in the few small countries that are reducing government control and seeing their economies grow as a result, like Estonia, Georgia, Panama, and to a lesser extent the Nordic countries. I believe the Nordic countries are ahead of the rest of the world in many aspects, and their policies are an indication of what the rest of world will eventually do. For example, Sweden created an extensive welfare state in the 1970s that resulted in a real estate and financial bubble in the 1980s that collapsed, led to a recession, high unemployment, bank bailouts, very high debt, and eventually a series of reforms, like deregulation and privatization of the social security system, which allowed the country to emerge from the crisis in the 1990s. In the 2000s Sweden abolished various taxes and reduced others, and now it is in the process of privatizing some remaining state-owned companies. Today, it manages to maintain a wide safety net for the population while sustaining economic growth, high quality of life and personal freedom.
The US and western Europe are now seeing what Sweden experienced 20-30 years ago. I predict that by 2020 everything should be fine.
@Medea, Exactly. For the last 200 years, the world economy has been based on debt: credit for individuals, stocks for companies, bonds for governments. It is clear now that this model is unsustainable, and I see the world is slowly starting to abandon it. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Spain have recently outlawed government deficits in their constitutions.