Monday, November 26, 2012

Young Americans Find Jobs By Self-Deporting

When we Americans read that young people in economic wastelands like Spain and Greece are leaving their countries to search for opportunity, we often feel smug.

Yet, young Americans have also been self-deporting in greater numbers.

They are seeking economic opportunity, even economic freedom. They want to escape from a nation where big government is suffocating the economy with taxes and regulations.

Robert Samuelson wrote this morning:

The recovery's languor is striking. Bernanke, speaking to the New York Economic Club, noted that the economy's annual growth rate had averaged only about 2 percent since the recession officially ended in mid-2009. By contrast, the average growth rate of post-World War II recoveries at a similar stage is almost 4.5 percent. This means the economy is producing about $1.4 trillion less of everything, from Big Macs to cars, than it would if we'd had an average recovery.

More and more young Americans are escaping from Barack Obama’s America.

Some few are moving to South America and to Europe, but most are going where the action is, and that means the Far East.

In yesterday’s Washington Post, Emily Matchar painted a grim picture of American self-deportation.

In her words:

According to State Department estimates, 6.3 million Americans are studying or working abroad, the highest number ever recorded. What’s more, the percentage of Americans ages 25 to 34 who are planning to move overseas has quintupled in two years, from less than 1 percent to 5.1 percent. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 40 percent are interested in moving abroad, up from 12 percent in 2007.

In the past, Americans often took foreign jobs for the adventure or because their career field demanded overseas work. Today, these young people are leaving because they can’t find jobs in the United States. They’re leaving because the jobs they do find often don’t offer benefits such as health insurance. They’re leaving because the gloomy atmosphere of the American economy makes it hard to break through with a new innovative idea or business model. “This is a huge movement,” says Bob Adams, president and chief executive of America Wave, an organization that studies overseas relocation.

Matachar herself moved to Hong Kong when her philosophy professor husband could not find a job in America. She is thrilled at having made the move.

Other Americans living abroad paint a picture of Asian economies that offer opportunity. In these nations policy favors economic growth, not dependency.

Many young Americans, in Matchar’s words: “… have lost faith in the United States as a place of innovation and possibility….”

Of course, very large numbers of young Americans voted for the culture that they are now trying to escape.

Call it social justice.


JP said...

My response:

It's worth thinking about.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks for linking Jeremy Grantham... one of the most respected investment advisers.

Anonymous said...

I don't have much ability to discern truth, except to see every "expert" has their own hamemr, and thus sees everything as a nail. "Why" is a very big three letter word, and most likely shows more about the writer's biases than any reality.

Yes, sure, many people move because of opportunity, as economics wants in a mobile loyalty-free worker economy, but that doesn't make it fed policy or big government as the reason they see better opportunity elsewhere.

I like "Of two minds" blog for consistent balanced criticism without the spin of money trying to assert its own power.

My own little spin is that we've built an economy on growth and cheap energy, and there can be no sturdy recovery of the old status quo unless we get back the old cheap energy growth model, and if that's no longer possible, then anything that "looks like growth" probably isn't - rather is just cannibalism, large capital eating small capital for another year's profits. So the economic dilemma is how local competes with global without being eaten.

The scary thing for me is the debt issue, but not sovereign federal debt, but every other kind of debt. In a growing economy "investing with debt" can get you ahead, but in a stagnant economy, debt traps people, unless it can be defaulted, and there's a divergence in ability of individuals to escape their debt obligations. So perhaps all this federal money printing will restart a growth economy for another 5-10 years (as a limit), but I think those who take on debt are carrying a large burden for those of us who refuse that risk.


Anonymous said...

Funny that the "perspective" the media puts on it would've made you think more people left under Bush.