The Privilege of Immigration: The Honor of ‘Elsewhere’

Earlier this month I went back to the United States for both work and family reasons.  On that trip I was reacquainted with a guilty pleasure available exclusively to immigrants.  When asked where I lived, I must admit that I found myself enjoying a child-like inner smirk as I realized that I get to say, in all honesty, that I live in Dublin.

Now, it may be that it’s Dublin, and the city holds an allure for many people, but, as someone who has always loved to travel, I think it has more to do with the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to live overseas. While it’s true that we made the decision to move, I do believe that luck has a lot to do with this privilege.

And, for those of us who have emigrated by choice, I also think that living in another country is a life altering privilege that should not be taken for granted.  We, voluntary migrants, should enjoy every moment of our time abroad (embrace your inner smirk), and realize that our perspective will be permanently altered by this experience.

There are no great lessons from me here.  Except to say that, as we come up on our three year anniversary, I’m grateful that my trip home prompted me to once again acknowledge the privileged experience of living in another culture.

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:

 

* Renting Abroad, Home Maintenance and Property Management in a Foreign Country

* Corporate Taxes Abroad, and the Con Artistry of Luring Foreign Investment

Posted in Home & A Sense of Place, Immigration & Emigration, International Moving, Irish Life & Society, Modern Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ruminations On Land: Thoughts On the Value Of The World

Walking the dog today, in the first real sunshine we’ve had in weeks, I once again found myself thinking about the country I’d moved to.  It wasn’t the people or the government that troubled me; my mind was on the land itself.

I stopped and stamped my feet.  ‘Twas a good solid piece of land. What would I pay for it?  What is it worth? Could I ever “own” it?  What does it mean to possess land?  Would I be responsible for it – a steward? What then?  How do I ask it what’s wrong with it, or tuck it in at night. How could I protect this one tiny patch of Ireland?

I can hear me now:

“Make sure you wear your hedgerow.”

“Don’t talk to strange developers.”

Ludicrous.

So then what?

Moving from the U.S., one of the first questions we heard was, “are you going to buy”.  In Ireland, property ownership has a special significance.  But back in the States, it’s simply assumed.  Somehow, if you don’t own your own place, or at least dream of property ownership, you are considered less, uneducated, unengaged, or worse.  “You’re non-aspirational, aren’t you?” – as if contentment is something they might accidentally step in.

In a country as big as the United States, land becomes just another asset heaped on a society already blessed with staggering natural and economic resources.  It gets taken for granted.  Not so in Ireland.

In Ireland, the desire to own land and become a part of the landed classes is a kind of virus (gone well beyond the “fever” stage).  During our first few months in Ireland, we kept hearing that everybody in Ireland wants to own property (and they’re frequently unskilled at the practice of being a landlord) because, for so long, the Irish weren’t permitted to own property.  Apparently, their colonial masters consigned them to perpetual tenancy. As with many things in Ireland, that’s true, and not so true.  The wealthy Irish could always own land.  This begs the question:

“Is land ownership the domain of the wealthy and the privileged?

Last summer I asked, where will Ireland’s next boom come from? The unspoken question then was, “what does Ireland have to offer”?  Now, as I consider a country as lush and breathtaking as Ireland, where millions of visitors arrive ever year, lusting for a glimpse of our storied green hills, the answer seems obvious.  Ireland has land.  But we’re an island, and a relatively small one; our natural resources are extremely limited.  In theory, that should make them even more valuable, right?  It does, but…

That raises the question of land preservation. If land is Ireland’s one true natural asset, should anyone (and everyone) be allowed to own it?  Or should it be part of a public/government trust? “But”, scream the Irish, “we can’t trust our land to the thieving politicians.”  True, but which citizens get to own it?  “But”, scream the Irish, “we can’t trust our land to the thieving bankers and the elites.” Fair enough, but…

What about mixed public/private, ownership?  If public/private is our choice, then, once again, the uber-wealthy are the only ones who can afford to buy it and then grant it back for the public good, and the rest of us are still dependent on the “cream of society” to do the “right” thing.

So who owns the land?

Who should own the land?

The truth is, I don’t know the answer to these questions. But I know that land is a limited resource, for which the concept of ownership seems preposterous.  Isn’t land conflict how most wars get started, and not just here on an island?

Then again, I guess it’s all one giant island, isn’t it?

 

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:

* Renting Abroad, Home Maintenance and Property Management in a Foreign Country

* Corporate Taxes Abroad, and the Con Artistry of Luring Foreign Investment

Posted in Dublin Attractions, Home & A Sense of Place, Irish Countryside, Irish Economy, Irish History, Irish Life & Society, Modern Life, Politics, Things to See in Ireland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Local: Where Are You From

In a country as small as Ireland, where local parish control of life (so called “parish pump politics”) was, and is, still so important, the seat of knowledge, the gathering place (the pub), became known as, “The Local”.  But for migrants (emigrants and immigrants) moving from/to any country, there is more to those words than meets the eye. Earning the label of a “local” is often a lifetime achievement, and is often a badge of distinction that only the immigrant’s ancestors will enjoy.  Yet understanding the importance of all things local raises issues far beyond personal identity.

Though Ireland has always been a small country with a strong sense of local/parish identity and intense regional distinctions, much of the power to govern and control has moved from the local level (Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, etc.) to the national level (Dublin).  Here again, Ireland’s strong sense of local identity doesn’t exactly match up with the reality of its governance or actual life on the ground.  For emigrants moving to Ireland (and elsewhere), it’s important to know what aspects of life are controlled locally, and what matters are under federal control.

It’s not enough to simply say Ireland (or any country) is one thing.  As someone who emigrated from the United States, I often wind up conversing about life in the U.S. Over the years, I’ve heard many people say something along the lines of “Oh, I love the States. I would move there in a minute.”  Following up, I always ask, “Have you been there?”  Often the answer is a resounding, “no”.  These people have formed their impressions solely based on the juggernaut of American public relations.  Of those that have been to the U.S., I’m always amazed at the number of people who have only visited New York and Orlando and are convinced they “know America”. For the Irish, that’s like someone visiting Dublin and claiming full knowledge of the culture.

In Ireland, you’ll often hear that Dublin is not Ireland, and that you must head west to see and know the “real Ireland”.  Galway, Cork, Connemara, Killarney, and many others are proudly, defiantly their own place.  Mayo is remote, self-sufficient, coastal, and just a stone’s throw from Boston.  Donegal is the harsh, brutal north.  And Cork is, well, it’s Cork.  Because there has been talk of secession, and the locals often consider themselves to be more “real” than others (particularly Dubliners), Cork is often referred to as “The Republic of Cork”.

It seems the seeds of rebellion are never thrown out, just quietly preserved.  Once a country has rebelled, there may always be a bit of the rebel tucked away in some dusty cupboard of the soul.  Even in modern, complacent, compliant, authority-obsessed Ireland there’s still a sense of uneasy détente – a feeling of unrest and disquiet roiling just beneath the public facade.  It’s largely the local traits, customs, and priorities that dictate the thickness and condition of that veneer, controlling how often unrest and disquiet break through the surface.

But locality is more than just a place.  It’s people too.  Being a true “local” demands knowledge of people, stakes, history, and a deep sense of place grounded in that history (e.g. “That stone bridge was the site of a crucial battle during the uprising of XXXX. My second uncle’s brother-in-law’s great grandfather was killed there. He’d just stepped out of McGinty’s Pub where he was having a few jars…”]

But if you’ve moved somewhere new, and you genuinely want to get to know the locals, how do you yourself become a “local?  Get involved in the community.  It helps to have children.  Parents bond over their kids, and share an unspoken hope for the future of their community – a sense of stakes.

Sadly, I think one of the things undermining our sense of local identity is the fact that so many young people have deserted Ireland in the past few years.  As young people flee and older generations die off, the middle generations, who raised their children hoping that they would carry on their local community, have seen those hopes dashed as their children have emigrated to Australia, Canada, and the U.S.  In the wake of that loss, a sense of “what’s the point” has taken hold, and more and more people have stopped fighting to maintain local control of the issues that affect their lives.

This loss of local control is yet another way that Ireland (like many other countries) doesn’t legislate (or live) the way that it imagines it does. While regionalism is still quite strong in the Irish heart, practical local control is largely a thing of the past. In a young country like Ireland, with a storied history of emigration rather than immigration, I’m anxious to see how the recent influx of immigrants alters the sense of local identity.

Living in Dublin, it’s interesting to see how certain parts of the city have started to be identified based on the immigrant owned markets and businesses in various neighborhoods.  The city now has a number of strong Eastern European communities, and a growing Brazilian population. But whether those businesses, neighborhoods, and localities will ever wield any practical/functional control in civic life is yet to be seen.

Immigrants must be willing to accept the fact that, hard as we try, we may never be considered “locals”.  Then again, we share a different sense of place.  Without ties to a romanticized past that often has nothing to do with real modern life, we may be the only population capable of encouraging our new homes to move forward in ways that the “locals” cannot or will not.

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:

* Renting Abroad, Home Maintenance and Property Management in a Foreign Country

* Corporate Taxes Abroad, and the Con Artistry of Luring Foreign Investment

Posted in Dublin Life, Home & A Sense of Place, Immigration & Emigration, Irish Countryside, Irish History, Irish Life & Society, Modern Life, Pubs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Where Are We Going: Expectations of Life & Country

For migrants (emigrants and immigrants), notions of “destination” and “direction” are key. They are going someplace new, but, more importantly, they must concern themselves with where that place, their new home, is going. Is it going where they want it to go? Is it headed in the direction they think it is? Truly? Beyond the news, and the public relations and tourism hype, is their newly adopted country headed in the direction that they think it is, or should be, going?

Emigrants have a right to know, truthfully, what they are getting into. That said, for emigrants, knowing the truth of their new home is next to impossible. The Internet makes it possible to do research. But most of that is a marketing and public relations veneer. It is what they want us to know, and what visitors believe/see. And that may, or may not, reflect the practical, everyday truth of life in that place. To be fair, it’s okay, if the country is not going where we think it should, or if it’s going nowhere at all. Cultures expect different things out of life. I’m talking about much more than the painfully trite difference between people who “live to work” and those who “work to live.”

Ireland is a beautiful green country of friendly, warm-hearted people who are easygoing and enjoy a very casual and relaxed existence. That’s all true. Ireland is a great small country for business, and is rapidly on its way back to economic greatness. Bushwah.

Ireland (and the Irish) repeatedly proclaims that the Emerald Isle will be the “best small country for business”.  Little tip: every small country believes this. An Irish friend of mine who lived in Edinburgh tells me that Scotland says the same thing. But the entrepreneurial spirit is simply not in the Irish national soul. There are Irish entrepreneurs (and good ones) to be sure, but the national mindset, current laws, policies, and standards are psychically at odds with the entrepreneurial spirit.

Despite its claims that it wants to be a Mecca for business, Ireland currently has laws on the books that restrict small business owners and some of their descendents from taking advantage of certain social benefits that accrue to most other working citizens. These are not old, long-forgotten statutes. Some of these restrictions have just been reconsidered and upheld. Additionally, the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare recently recommended that the PRSI (pay related social insurance) tax for self-employed individuals be increased by 1.5% (over the standard 4% rate imposed on others). But, going beyond even these structural social concerns, Ireland’s basic business infrastructure is not what its marketing and PR would have us believe.

For a country that is so vital to the European tech sector, or believes itself to be, Ireland’s level of connectivity (reliable high speed Internet service) is appalling. Additionally, the number of Irish businesses that still don’t have even a rudimentary Web presence is staggering. And, all too often, those that do boast embarrassingly Internet illiterate designs. While I understand that many of these businesses are older, traditional establishments, and not every business needs to be “cutting edge”, taken collectively, none of this sounds like the workings of a culture that fundamentally “gets” self-employment, small business, the entrepreneur, and technology.  Again, that’s okay.

The Irish can be whatever they want.  But problems arise when Ireland (and other countries that believe their own hype) make decisions based on perceived self-image and grand hopes for the future instead of reality. Irish leaders act as if the country is just a couple profitable corporate relocations away from economic nirvana. While it’s great to have ambitions, countries with longer institutional memories and more experience with self-governance have learned to temper the impact that ambition has on policy. They plan for the future based on pragmatic asset projections.

Sadly, Ireland may be a long time in emerging from its current economic slump. I fear that the Irish will founder on the shores of their own leadership, as they continue their policy of ad hoc taxation and spur of the moment financing, to the long-term detriment of the economy. The Irish people may have to endure another meltdown or two before Irish leadership has enough experience in the bank to knowledgeably lead the country to a promising future. And that’s nobody’s “fault”. Ireland is simply a young country.

That’s something I would never have realized until I actually lived here, listened to the news every day, and talked to enough people. Before I moved to Dublin, the questions necessary to achieve this insight simply wouldn’t have occurred to me.

You never really know the truth of a country until you live there. Do your research before you go. But the only way to know the difference between real life and the rationalizations and false perceptions of locals is to reach out to expats, both recent arrivals and the old hands. Find out if the myths of place are true. Do laws, regulations, and actual practice support the public relations and marketing?

Don’t just consider the differences between fact and fiction, think about what those differences represent? Why are the country and its people lying to themselves, or misrepresenting themselves to the world, in this particular way? Are they ashamed of something? Do they want to be something that they are not capable of becoming, and, if so, what (or who) is stopping them? Where in their history did they turn away from what they want to be, or say they want to be, and why?

If you are okay with the truth of life in your new home country, whatever that may be, that’s grand. But make sure that you really dig for the truth before you trade one set of misperceptions for another.

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:
* Renting Abroad, Home Maintenance and Property Management in a Foreign Country
* Corporate Taxes Abroad, and the Con Artistry of Luring Foreign Investment

Posted in Dublin Life, Emigrant/Immigrant Life, Immigration & Emigration, Irish Economy, Irish Life & Society, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Right Question: Cultural Nuance For Migrants (and Others)

A thought has been gnawing at me. A question. Several, actually.

I was recently at a gathering of folks from the travel industry, and struck up a conversation with a woman who has been, for lack of a better term, a serial emigrant for most of her adult life.  Over the course of her career, she has lived in five or six countries, returning to Ireland in between foreign work assignments.

As we talked, the subject of conversation turned to meeting people and getting to know the locals in a new country.  When I stated that the all important, first, “getting to know you” question will be vastly different whether it’s being asked in America, or Ireland, she remarked that in one of her postings, the form and format of this first question is absolutely critical.

In the United States, when you meet someone new, the first question (or one of the first) will be, “What do you do?”  It’s a clear reflection of the American work ethic that the most pressing question Americans have about a stranger is, “What do they do for a living”.  From this, all manner of inferences about class, education, values, politics, and worldview may be inferred. Whether those assumptions are right, wrong, or somewhere in between, is irrelevant. To me, the interesting thing is the consistency of that question.

In Ireland, the first question tends to be “Where are you from?”  Here again, conclusions are drawn.  Though I will say that in a country as small as Ireland, location-based inferences about family, religion, class, and social status tend to be reasonably accurate.  But, here again, I’m fascinated by the consistency of that question.

The woman I met at the party said that, living in Lebanon you don’t outright ask where a person is from.  The answer to that question reveals way too much about a person’s religion.  Nevertheless, the question is still out there.  People want to know.  So, instead of asking one blunt question, conversations have evolved to include a series of small, seemingly facile (weather, hobbies, job, sports interests, etc.) introductory questions that, over time, may eventually get to the same thing, but spare both parties the embarrassment of having “the question that must not be asked” lying there on the table like a stunned carp.

So, before we all head off to our various families for the holidays, or prepare for the onslaught of returning family, I’d love to know what others have experienced along these lines.  Tell us:

  • What’s the first question to be asked in your home country?
  • What about where you live now?
  • How quickly did it take you to pick up the social clues, and realize that there is a difference?
  • Had it never occurred to you that there might be a difference?
  • Are there any stigmas attached to those first questions (back at home, or abroad)?
  • Have those questions had any effect on your perception or experience of the country?

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:

  • Of Life & Country – Migrant Expectations
  • Colonialism & Post-Colonial Dependence – Bailouts and Global Welfare
  • Corporate Taxes Abroad, and the Con Artistry of Luring Foreign Investment
Posted in Emigrant/Immigrant Life, Home & A Sense of Place | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

We Come Bearing Gifts: Immigrant Contributions to Society

When I wrote about  an incident of racial profiling that my wife and I suffered in Dublin, much of the feedback from Irish locals was along the lines of “Well of course we dislike ‘them’ (immigrants).   They’re taking all the jobs.”  This has always seemed an odd and troubling argument, particularly when it surfaces, as it often does, in this society that has historically used emigration to insinuate itself into nearly every corner of the globe.

Yes, there are legitimate reasons why the Irish have had such a longstanding tradition of leaving their home, and starting fresh elsewhere. And I don’t doubt that Irish immigrants have accounted themselves well overall.  But, the notion that immigrants are a drain on an already strained system instinctively turns mind to thoughts of all the things that immigrants contribute to their new homes.

A woefully incomplete list, just off the top of my head (and in no particular order), includes:

  • Food – How many of our favorite restaurants, foods, and beverages including pasta, imported beer, salsa, tortillas, Naan, pita bread, sushi, hummus, chorizo, and others) are now widely available thanks largely to the influence of a robust immigrant community?  Granted, many of these food imports may may largely be the result of capitalism and market expansion, but the initial toehold for things such as curry in the U.K., salsa in the U.S. (and many others) were established largely because a few ethnic groceries and restaurants could afford to sell and stock those items thanks to an immigrant customer base that would buy them, and thanks to restaurant workers and entrepreneurs who could produce authentic food.  Over time, these populations have altered the face of local food cultures to the point that we now take these foods for granted.
  • Arts & Crafts, Design, and Clothing – As immigrants move into an area and begin to feel more and more accepted, they gradually share their sense of style, design, and creative expression.  Eventually, when there is enough demand, they open businesses, and make requests of existing arts and crafts businesses.  As businesses grow, and thrive, immigrant clothing, jewelry, art, music, and design are seen and noticed in the workplace, in restaurants, churches, and on public transportation.  Before long, they are emulated and displayed in trendy mainstream outlets.

If you’ve ever bought an elaborately designed scarf in an upmarket shop, I’d be willing to bet that either your purchase, or something else on the same rack, has roots going back to another culture.

  • Real Estate – Everyone has to live somewhere.  And as life improves in their new home, most immigrants will look for ways to “buy in” to their community.  And buy they must, as few if any of them will be in a position to inherit property in their new homes.
  • Help Locals Find Better Jobs - Because they are often simply grateful for the chance to work at all, many immigrants willingly work service sector jobs that locals are unwilling to take on.  While some of these jobs are often exploitative, there is a need and a place for low paying, low skill jobs. And they do keep the economy working.

Well, when immigrants come in and work those low skill jobs as a way of gaining an economic foothold, they may well free up a slightly more skilled local worker who can then move up to the next skill/income rung in the local economy.

If all things are working properly, as the service sector fuels the economy, medium and higher skill jobs should be created.  But if the economy is to remain viable, the lower tier jobs must be backfilled (often with immigrants).

  • Increased consumer base – From the moment immigrants arrive in their new country they increase the market for local businesses. And, as their circumstances improve in their new homes, their spending will most likely increase and fuel the local economy.
  • Golden Expats – In today’s world of global outsourcing, many temporary and permanent emigrants head overseas on generous “expat packages” which include high-end housing and transportation allowances.  The result is an entire immigrant population with loads of disposable income, and the means to do their bit for the real estate and automotive sectors.  Additionally, some of these executives are expected to “entertain” as well, and must maintain a certain standard of living – generally one that drives the economy quite nicely.
  • New Business startups – In addition to starting ethic and culturally-centered business (as mentioned above), some emigrants head overseas frustrated with the restrictive business climate in their home country.  When these immigrants settle somewhere, they’ll put their entrepreneurial drive and ingenuity to work in their new home. And when these businesses hit their stride, they’ll create jobs, and fund untold opportunities for suppliers, and potentially inspire other new market startup businesses.
  •  Tourism – As immigrants get to know their new home, and have friends and family come to visit them, they contribute to the tourist economy by visiting all of the things that locals take for granted.  Let’s be honest, when is the last time the average 40-someting tech manager from Stepaside took the family to the Cliffs of Moher? I’ve been to Cork City twice in two months. Enough said.
  • Active Citizens – Traditionally, once they qualify for citizenship and enjoy voting privileges, immigrants tend to have a higher voter turnout rate than other “locals”, making them among the more engaged members of their communities.

Given these and other examples, it’s hard to deny that immigrants can, and do, contribute to their new homes in many positive ways.  But, ultimately it is through personal engagement, and day-to-day interactions hat they have their greatest impact, breaking down the barriers of misunderstanding.

Travel and assimilation can, and should be, the ultimate salve for xenophobia.  It’s hard to hate people when they have a face, and you’ve swapped rugby talk at the bus stop, or shared complaints about government incompetence, or the latest water restrictions.

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:

  • Corporate Taxes Abroad, and the Con Artistry of Luring Foreign Investment
Posted in Dublin Life, Emigrant/Immigrant Life, Home & A Sense of Place, Immigration & Emigration, International Moving, Irish Economy, Irish Life & Society, Modern Life, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Size Matters: The Peaks and Pitfalls Of Downsizing or Supersizing Your Country

It’s safe to say that when we moved from the United States to Ireland, we downshifted to a much smaller country and a much smaller economy.  But, while Ireland may have fewer resources than the U.S., this immigrant uncovered a host of upsides, both psychic and social, to living in a smaller country.

In our first year in Ireland, I became acutely aware that something in my life was missing. Indeed, not living in a superpower, I no longer felt the overwhelming need to prove myself or try to solve everyone’s problems.  There is liberation in knowing that you aren’t the biggest and toughest guy on the block.  You don’t have to pretend, or even try.  Granted, if you are number two in that class (the “other” superpower) then you might feel a need to compete.  But when you are as far down the list as Ireland, there’s simply no point. And, hot damn, that is a breath of fresh air.

Back in the United States, everything seemed to be about competing to be the top, the best.  Truly, I believe “American exceptionalism” is more of a burden than a benefit. Over time, it has combined with the American grails of individual freedom and personal liberty, and fostered a society that simply doesn’t see those in need.  Don’t get me wrong; on an individual basis there is plenty of compassion and volunteerism in the U.S. But collectively, the system caters to the middle, and forgets the extremes. For the wealthy, that’s fine.  They have the cash to care for themselves.  But the poor and the weak simply get forgotten.

And, it’s not just in the U.S. that this happens.  If you’ve ever waited on line in China, you know that any sense of fairness and order gets tossed out the window as twenty-year olds elbow their way past pensioners, in a wild scrum to claim what’s “theirs”.  And, in places as crowded as China and India, it’s hard to fault this attitude.  In those cultures, if you don’t rigorously tend to you and yours, you simply miss opportunities.

In a place as small, or smaller, than Ireland, it’s much more difficult to collectively ignore the individual.  The buffer between “haves” and “have nots” sems much thinner. Oh, it’s still there.  But, since we relocated to Dublin, I’ve felt a much stronger sense of social responsibility, and an unspoken agreement that, ”of course you look out for others, and make sure that everyone has access.” Now, that may just be the difference between the U.S., and Europe, and may not be a size thing at all.  But there are some aspects of life in Ireland that are purely size dependent.

Here in Ireland, one thing that I was not prepared for was the lack of market standing on a national scale.  In this country of four million (about the size of Indiana, both geographically, and in terms of population), it’s not uncommon to have certain items disappear in stores from week to week.  Brands simply go missing, and then turn up again later. I asked the manager of a major local grocery store about this.  He told me that Ireland just can’t compete with other countries. When a wholesaler runs low on an item, like any good businessman/woman, they tend to their best customers (in this case Germany, the U.K., and European chains).  We’ve since heard news reports that this happens even in the pharmaceutical industry here.  Ireland, as a country, and the HSE (Health Services Executive) as a collective national pool, just don’t have the muscle to leverage the best pricing or ensure a consistent supply.  Ireland is nobody’s best customer. By and large, it’s not a problem.  If you have the money to stock up, you simply do that when the shelves are full.  But, for potential emigrants, it is one more thing to think about when considering your new home.

Overall, I’ve certainly noticed, and enjoyed, the lack of entitlement that comes from living in a modest-sized country.  That modesty seems, in many ways, to trickle down through much of the society.

So, for potential emigrants, I would caution you to be ware of not just the “health” of the economy.  Think about the scope and scale of the country where you are headed.  What will they have more, or less, of than where you live now?  Can you live without those things?  In what other ways does the size of the country you’re moving to affect the local culture? If you are moving to a more aggressive society, are you prepared to stand up for yourself?  Do you want to live a more, or less, individual-centered existence?

Though it may seem glaringly obvious, let it be said that the size of a country is critical. But, more importantly, the little things motivated and manipulated by that size are crucial concepts that affect the lives of immigrants (and others) on a daily basis.

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:

  • Corporate Taxes Abroad, and the Con Artistry of Luring Foreign Investment

Ireland’s Upward Only Rent Review

Posted in Dublin Life, Emigrant/Immigrant Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments