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Which Country Should I Move To?


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#41 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 889

Posted 10 December 2011 - 10:47 AM


The Tories are a euro-skeptic party, who have always opposed joining the Euro, and disliked the EU. We can hardly make conclusions about the EU's economic outlook, based on a statement from David Cameron, which is the same view he's always had.

The Euro makes no sense - snip

Well, I'm making no comment of the pros or cons or the Euro, just saying that "Tories against Euro/EU" isn't news, and doesn't inform us about anything to do with the EU's economic outlook.

plus, I've no doubt some of our German friends are realizing that after two failed attempts at taking over Europe militarily, they might now be able to subjugate it economically).

Nothing like a bit of racism :/


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#42 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5242

Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:29 PM

Maybe income tax is similar, but you guys also have VAT (close to 15% I think?), and I noticed a lot of stuff was taxed either overtly or under the table. Gas, tobacco, and alcohol are good examples. A 6-pack of Coors was $12 last time I went and a can of dip (my friend chews), was $20. I'm surprised the alcoholics and nicotine addicts are not rioting in the streets.

$30,000 here goes a lot farther than $30,000 in Canada.

VAT (called HST) where I live is 13%. I've been to many jurisdictions in the US where the local and state sales taxes combined are not dissimilar.

And yeah, we have "sin" taxes on alcohol and tobacco, but marriage and sex are legal (you can marry who you love and prostitution is legal), and a lot of people avoid the sin taxes by brewing their own (beer and wine) and getting their smokes tax-free from the local rez.

Then again, I don't have to say with an exploitative job I can't stand because I'd lose my health insurance. At the end of the day, things come out pretty even.
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#43 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10234

Posted 10 December 2011 - 01:30 PM

a country that doesn't have HR1540 (please Obama, do the right thing), doesn't have the DMCA (drives me nuts I can't legally get around the DRM on my iTunes music)

These two requirements alone demonstrate to me that you have a very loose grasp on the politics of the rest of the English-speaking world, and just how many freedoms you enjoy as an American citizen.

The United States and Canada may be the only English-speaking countries that don't *already* have the 'indefinite detention' provision of HR1540. When MI-5 beats down your door, there's no ACLU kicking and screaming to find out which middle-eastern nation you have been renditioned to...

The UK has an automatic '3 strikes and your out' policy for copyright violations, with no route to appeal. Australia only just narrowly defeated their 'great firewall of China' legislation...

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#44 Nytegard   Members   -  Reputation: 823

Posted 10 December 2011 - 08:41 PM

Why not just get a job with a large international corporation (heck, even a government job) where you have an opportunity to change countries? Preferably try living in a place on a temporary basis before a permanant move. (Most of the companies I've worked with have had opportunities for people to work abroad for 3-6 months). Heck, I've had problems relocating just within the USA, outside of Canada I'd probably turn it down.

My first job offer out of college was for a company in Iceland. It was because of my experience from going to a college fairly far away from where I lived most of my life that I decided to turn it down, even though at the time I had no other offers. Probably the last thing you want to do is be living in an area without a support system, especially if things go south.

#45 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2435

Posted 11 December 2011 - 02:27 AM

I moved to New Zealand from Ireland. I wouldn't go back, I love it here. It fits most of your criteria, although you will be better paid in australia. It actually wasn't that difficult to get residence either.
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#46 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2172

Posted 11 December 2011 - 03:25 AM

Finland?
That's where Santa lives. He must know something.

#47 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 7743

Posted 11 December 2011 - 04:06 PM


Canada is not a terrible choice. taxes are high

What's that about taxes?

Top personal income tax bracket in Canada: 29% (over $128,800); comparable tax bracket in US: 28% (between $83,600 and $174,400)
So it seems a whole whopping 1% percent higher than the US, right? Now hold on a second... what about above $174,400 for the US?
33%--up to $379,150. And then, 35%. Canada at those levels? Still 29%.

But perchance you were referring to corporate tax rates?
Canada: 16.5% until January 1, 2012, then 15%. US: top bracket is 35%. Ouch!

So: fuck you for spreading disinformation.


According to this: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Canada, the average Canadian family with two kids pays nearly twice as much income tax. I don't care about the highest brackets, because it's not representative of the typical family. Admittedly, the gap is essentially negligable for families with no children.

Plus, sales tax is generally higher and lower income families are spending a larger percentage of their money on necessities (which I presume are tax exempt?) and small-scale creature comforts. then there's the greater presence of excise taxes, and a value added tax on some goods.

frankly, I'm not even saying Canadians pay too much in taxes, I don't believe that the American system is sustainable for all the programs we have. But the average canadian certainly does seem to pay more, all things considered.

#48 Oberon_Command   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1934

Posted 11 December 2011 - 05:38 PM

Finland?
That's where Santa lives. He must know something.


I thought Santa was Canadian.

#49 Prune   Members   -  Reputation: 218

Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:12 PM

I don't believe that the American system is sustainable for all the programs we have.

Huh?
Taxation is not what pays for government spending, because under a fiat system the government is not revenue constrained. It can create money ex nihilo on an as-needed basis. It doesn't need to borrow that money from the public or abroad by issuing debt instruments either--that's purely a political choice. And saying that inflation is the reason this is not done is also false, because inflation depends more on aggregate demand. Macroeconomic debt between treasury and central bank is not real debt in the sense people understand it--it's an accounting fiction and it doesn't have to be "repaid". This misunderstanding of the nature of debt in macroeconomic terms is a good example of the most basic economic fallacy, the fallacy of composition.
http://bilbo.economi...t/blog/?p=11218
http://papers.ssrn.c...ract_id=1905625
It is exactly such misunderstandings by the politicos of some very fundamental aspects of how modern monetary systems actually work that have a lot to do with why the economic crisis was poorly dealt with, and even allowed to happen (the MMT people predicted what happened very well, and also the weak effects of remedial measures such as "quantitative easing"). People still seem to, by inertia, think of money in the outdated tradition of gold-based currency that Nixon nixed decades ago. This is also why we still have persistent myths such as that banks create money by the money multiplier in fractional reserve systems (false because money loaned out by banks (assets) are deposited at other banks (liabilities)--you have to look at the system in totality--and this nets to zero; banks loan out as much as possible during the day and, if needed, borrow on the overnight market to refill their reserves at the central bank, which means they are NOT reserve constrained in practice--another common myth; banks are constrained by the capital/asset ratio instead, and that's what's critical to be enforced).
http://pragcap.com/y...plier-is-a-myth
http://bilbo.economi...et/blog/?p=1623
Also relevant:
http://moslereconomi...er-commodities/
http://www.moslereco...t-Fullwiler.pdf

I actually went to talk to some of the Occupiers in San Francisco on MMT topics and almost got mobbed by Ron Paul supporters. WTF? Ron Paul is as Randian as the most extreme right wingers and I was surprised to see something so Tea-partyesque in the Occupy movement. Fail! Things will never improve as long as people refuse to properly educate themselves and instead pull out opinions out of their asses just because it lines up with their emotional commitment to irrational ideology.

On the positive side, after being quite vocal on Slashdot about MMT under articles which generate discussion on economics and monetary policy, I've noticed several other posters pick up the torch and start correcting the usual misconceptions by referencing MMT. The downside is, nerds have little influence among the circles where it would make a difference.
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#50 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6167

Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:45 AM


a country that doesn't have HR1540 (please Obama, do the right thing), doesn't have the DMCA (drives me nuts I can't legally get around the DRM on my iTunes music)

These two requirements alone demonstrate to me that you have a very loose grasp on the politics of the rest of the English-speaking world, and just how many freedoms you enjoy as an American citizen.

The United States and Canada may be the only English-speaking countries that don't *already* have the 'indefinite detention' provision of HR1540. When MI-5 beats down your door, there's no ACLU kicking and screaming to find out which middle-eastern nation you have been renditioned to...

The UK has an automatic '3 strikes and your out' policy for copyright violations, with no route to appeal. Australia only just narrowly defeated their 'great firewall of China' legislation...


This isn't just english speaking countries, freedom is under heavy attack all across the western world, The war on terror/piracy/whatever has quite rapidly turned into a war on freedom, while the middle east is moving in the right direction we are moving in the wrong one, most likely we'll end up meeting eachother somewhere in the middle :(
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#51 JDX_John   Members   -  Reputation: 284

Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:31 PM

I know that to the US, the EU is just a big country but really, that's totally bogus. You might as well say Australia and New Zealand are the same country, or USA & Canada. There are massive differences politically, culturally, religiously, economically, just to name a few. For instance Germany is in the EU, and so is Estonia - the latter has a GDP/capital 1/3 of the former.

Someone mentioned Germany as bad - that's interesting because the English people I know working there say good things about how well-run things are, and the Germans have a massive reputation for efficiency.

I think everyone is either patriotic to their country, or thinks it is falling apart - or often both at once :)

Personally, I think the OP is far to young to decide he knows enough to turn his back on his home country, but is also very wise to go travelling if he can do so. Don't look to move country - you don't know enough to decide - travel various places instead.

And - saying you'll only go to countries with your language is part of the arrogance that makes Americans rather unpopular.

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#52 Prefect   Members   -  Reputation: 373

Posted 17 December 2011 - 12:46 PM


I don't believe that the American system is sustainable for all the programs we have.

Huh?
Taxation is not what pays for government spending, because under a fiat system the government is not revenue constrained. [...]


Small piece of advice: being correct is not enough in such discussions. If you want to be taken seriously, you also have to make sure that the out-of-band signals you're sending are good. For example: don't sound condescending or offensive. "Huh?" is a bad way to start your comment. It is never a good way to start if your ultimate goal is to convince the other person (or, more likely, some bystanders).

Another point is that your answer could be tailored better to the discussion at hand. Ravyne's belief - as far as I understood - was that it would be impossible to sustain US social programs without raising taxes. To this one could reply that, in fact, a government deficit is a good thing because it provides much needed stimulus to the economy. Of course, lack of knowledge about the mechanisms behind inflation is bound to come up in such a discussion eventually, and it's up to you how you want to deal with that particular problem.

That way, your contribution to the discussion becomes more useful, and everybody benefits from that. It's an uphill battle to at least get everybody to read basic facts about how the monetary system works, such as the one on PragCap or the primer by Randall Wray. You don't help by giving off the vibe of a crazy person (though I admit it often does feel like the inmates are running the asylum).
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#53 Prefect   Members   -  Reputation: 373

Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:04 PM


plus, I've no doubt some of our German friends are realizing that after two failed attempts at taking over Europe militarily, they might now be able to subjugate it economically).

Nothing like a bit of racism :/


How is that racist? He is explicitly not over-generalizing - note the "some of our German friends". And besides, he is fundamentally correct. It has been a common theme in the German media for quite some time that Germany should just buy Greek islands and other assets. It's not just populism either: there has been a report by a German think tank on how a Greek privatisation should be overseen, with the obvious expectations that Germans would buy a large share of the assets which would be sold undoubtedly below value - as always happens in privatisation.

If you are a sociopath - as many high-level managers and politicians are - then this is a very natural thing to want to do from the German perspective. Thanks to net exports, the top 0.1% of Germans hold a lot of financial claims on firms or states in the rest of the EU either directly or indirectly. That is why they do not want to let the Greek and other governments go into bankruptcy: when someone goes into bankruptcy, it is always the creditors who take a loss. (Note how quickly Papandreou was forced to withdraw the idea of a referendum on the austerity measures.) It makes sense to try to convert those financial claims/assets into something more tangible.

The majority of Germans unfortunately do not understand this. To them, the narrative is "we are paying the Greeks to be lazy". They never even get a glimpse of the fact that what is really happening here is class warfare of the German capitalist elite (or at least a significant subgroup) against the rest of the Eurozone, including against German workers. In fact, the class warfare against German workers is the main tool by which they got into their current position of power in the first place.

(In case you haven't heard about it yet, wages in Germany have been stagnant for the last ten years, which created a huge discrepancy between Germany and the rest of the zone. This is what made the German net exports possible, which in turn caused the current account surplus, which led to the accumulation of large financial claims on the rest of the world.)

P.S.: I'm German.
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#54 HahaYouAint   Members   -  Reputation: 154

Posted 17 December 2011 - 03:13 PM

Just move to Mars. =/

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#55 Prune   Members   -  Reputation: 218

Posted 18 December 2011 - 12:32 AM

Small piece of advice: being correct is not enough in such discussions. If you want to be taken seriously, you also have to make sure that the out-of-band signals you're sending are good. For example: don't sound condescending or offensive. "Huh?" is a bad way to start your comment. It is never a good way to start if your ultimate goal is to convince the other person (or, more likely, some bystanders).

The problem with having such a position is that a character flaw should never get in the way of an argument; this is especially the case when I am not relying on my reputation to convince people: that is why I included a number of references in my post.

Another point is that your answer could be tailored better to the discussion at hand. Ravyne's belief - as far as I understood - was that it would be impossible to sustain US social programs without raising taxes. To this one could reply that, in fact, a government deficit is a good thing because it provides much needed stimulus to the economy.

The deficit comment is also something Krugman would say, and he is not an MMTer. So such a statement is not a sufficient differentiation factor, and so I went into more detail.

That way, your contribution to the discussion becomes more useful, and everybody benefits from that. It's an uphill battle to at least get everybody to read basic facts about how the monetary system works, such as the one on PragCap or the primer by Randall Wray.

Your first link leads to the second link I posted--I was being so helpful that I even saved people an extra click.

You don't help by giving off the vibe of a crazy person (though I admit it often does feel like the inmates are running the asylum).

I don't see that I am giving off such a vibe. Are you sure you're not projecting?
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#56 Discount_Flunky   Members   -  Reputation: 102

Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:27 AM

  • Sensible leaders and politics


Your not going to find that anywhere.

#57 Prefect   Members   -  Reputation: 373

Posted 18 December 2011 - 04:27 AM

The problem with having such a position is that a character flaw should never get in the way of an argument; this is especially the case when I am not relying on my reputation to convince people: that is why I included a number of references in my post.


It would be great if the world worked that way. Maybe I'm just around the wrong kind of people, but my impression is that many people do not judge an argument solely on the facts presented, at least not when they see or hear it for the first time. There is a "social proof-based" defensive shield that is instinctively put up, and only after you've passed that will they start to really think things through. Actually, I believe most people (including myself) are like that for many topics.


The deficit comment is also something Krugman would say, and he is not an MMTer. So such a statement is not a sufficient differentiation factor, and so I went into more detail.


You have a point there. Still, it can help to start with a more widely accepted point and then add to that. But you're right, it's important to discuss the difference between typical post-Keynesians like Krugman, who say that there should not be a deficit over the business cycle (i.e. deficits in a downturn should be balanced by surpluses during good times), and the MMT researchers, who have a very convincing argument that increasing government debts (in absolute numbers) are necessary in the long run for a typical country (the only exception being countries like Norway with their massive oil exports).


You don't help by giving off the vibe of a crazy person (though I admit it often does feel like the inmates are running the asylum).

I don't see that I am giving off such a vibe. Are you sure you're not projecting?


I certainly don't think you're a crazy person, and probably I should have worded things differently. What I'm really trying to say is this: try to see things from the perspective of someone who is utterly convinced that sound finance and a return to the gold standard is the way to go. Someone whose entire social circle believes the Robinson Crusoe & Friday story for where money comes from, thinks that deposits create loans, and so on. All those things are wrong, but for someone who has made them part of their identity, they are hard to give up.

To someone like that, the notions of MMT must sound as crazy as the claim that the earth moves around the sun sounded to normal people a few centuries ago.

So if you really want to convince the more open-minded among that group of people, you need to tread carefully and diplomatically. Don't tone down the message itself - it's important that people get exposed to it fully - but be careful in how you present it so as not to drive people away needlessly.
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#58 Eelco   Members   -  Reputation: 301

Posted 18 December 2011 - 10:00 AM



I don't believe that the American system is sustainable for all the programs we have.

Huh?
Taxation is not what pays for government spending, because under a fiat system the government is not revenue constrained. [...]


Small piece of advice: being correct is not enough in such discussions. If you want to be taken seriously, you also have to make sure that the out-of-band signals you're sending are good. For example: don't sound condescending or offensive. "Huh?" is a bad way to start your comment. It is never a good way to start if your ultimate goal is to convince the other person (or, more likely, some bystanders).


Minor irony based on a true story: upon reading that post you quoted I though; oh there we have the local condescending MMT nut again. But 'Prune' didnt ring a bell.

'Prefect', thats the name I was thinking of :).

#59 Prefect   Members   -  Reputation: 373

Posted 18 December 2011 - 12:06 PM

Minor irony based on a true story: upon reading that post you quoted I though; oh there we have the local condescending MMT nut again. But 'Prune' didnt ring a bell.

'Prefect', thats the name I was thinking of :).

I know what you mean. It's easy to get carried away. But I try ;)

(Does calling me a 'nut' make you feel better? Or where does this come from?)
Widelands - laid back, free software strategy

#60 Prune   Members   -  Reputation: 218

Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:12 PM

What I'm really trying to say is this: try to see things from the perspective of someone who is utterly convinced that sound finance and a return to the gold standard is the way to go. Someone whose entire social circle believes the Robinson Crusoe & Friday story for where money comes from, thinks that deposits create loans, and so on.

But here's the thing: such a position was actually where I started from! I even used to be a (mild) fan of Ron Paul, though now I believe he'd be a worse president than freakin' Ru Paul. Then the topic came up when I was chatting with a bona fide genius acquaintance and he easily destroyed every argument I had or copied and pasted in the MSN chat from various sources. And when I say destroyed, I mean nuked to atomic dust. Then I researched MMT, seeking holes to use in my next discussion with said friend, but instead ended up overriding my ego and overcoming my ignorance. And if someone as narcissistic as I am can do it, so can anyone else. It was the same sort of extreme conversion as when I read the interpretation of QM Mohrhoff puts forth and suddenly everything made sense and gained perfect clarity. http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0105097 (also now an expanded form is available as a book on Amazon).

My approach may be a bit condescending, but it's because I have limited patience and I get offended easily. I know it's paying off nonetheless. I've convinced several people on Slashdot to inform themselves and now I have a number of them backing me up and correcting the misguided, so I'm doing my bit to spread the knowledge that in retrospect should be obvious.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Looking for a high-performance, easy to use, and lightweight math library? http://www.cmldev.net/ (note: I'm not associated with that project; just a user)




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