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February 29, 2012

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Hey, Half Sigma, forget ostentatious displays of wealth, you should be focusing on the pain of the 'struggling' rich:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-29/wall-street-bonus-withdrawal-means-trading-aspen-for-cheap-chex.html

"Schiff, 46, is facing another kind of jam this year: Paid a lower bonus, he said the $350,000 he earns, enough to put him in the country’s top 1 percent by income, doesn’t cover his family’s private-school tuition, a Kent, Connecticut, summer rental and the upgrade they would like from their 1,200-square- foot Brooklyn duplex.

The malaise is shared by Schiff, the New York-based marketing director for Euro Pacific Capital, where his brother is CEO.

“I can’t imagine what I’m going to do,” Schiff said. “I’m crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand.”

The family rents a three-bedroom summer house in Connecticut and will go there again this year for one month instead of four."

[...]


"Scheiner said he spends about $500 a month to park one of his two Audis in a garage and at least $7,500 a year each for memberships at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester and a gun club in upstate New York. A labradoodle named Zelda and a rescued bichon frise, Duke, cost $17,000 a year, including food, health care, boarding and a daily dog-walker who charges $17 each per outing, he said.

Still, he sold two motorcycles he didn’t use and called his Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet “the Volkswagen of supercars.”

***

These are the people you're stubbornly, stupidly shilling for by supporting Republican policies, Half Sigma: a guy who makes $350K/y whining about having to wash his own dishes, a guy for whom driving a Porsche is an embarrassment.

These are the people who wouldn't think twice about exporting an American job overseas or importing 3rd world country H1B visas to work at half the rate you will, if only it meant that they can avoid the unthinkable horrors of driving a lesser luxury car, spending only one month vacationing, and yes, washing dishes.

At some point, your ethno-political masochism will finally relent and you'll realize you've been getting screwed, but also that you've been a willing participant in your screwing all along.

The problem with the US is that it's a cultural hell. The culture and society are crazy and the people are crazy. I feel a tremendous weight lift off me when I get off the plane in a foreign country. Even uber-PC Canada. I make an exception for the one Arab country I have been to, which curiously had the same kind of repressive vibe the US has. Economically, the US is better for almost all people- only in a few skills are you likely to make more money working elsewhere- and if you spend some time elsewhere you get a better idea of the cultural problems, but there is a reason people want to leave.

The Gulf Side of Florida is very white, as is the panhandle. (thus MNBC's recent comment about "cracker counties" in Western Florida.)

Even Tampa metro is 81% white and only 10% black.

Americans moving to a 3rd world country for retirement reminds me of the concept of outsourcing by many US manufacturers. If they had just looked at moving operations to a cheaper part of America, they probably could have kept the job in the US. Nake Capitalism constantly harps on this pont how outsourcing manufacturing costs equate to maybe 10% of total product cost, and it was Wall st that sold companies on that idea. I do think part time living in a country like Argentina is appealing and not as big of a risk.

I mentioned in a prior post about the Pac Northwest & northern Rocky states. It just takes research. I think some of the talk of living long term or retiring abroad in the manoshpere is from men who want to jump the ladder in the social heirarchy for greater poon w/o extra work.

OK but where do you go during that disgustingly humid summer?

My grandparents semi-retired to Florida for a while. After my grandfather died, my grandmother moved back to the northeast.

She said that the medical care in Florida is atrocious compared to what she could get in the great university-affiliated hospitals in places like New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

People always underestimate the shock associated with moving to a different country.

North and South Carolina have coastal regions which are 80% white 10% black. Have never been, but I hear it's nice.

"I’m crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand."

Where do morons like this come from? Practically entire Europe lives in smaller quarters (that's > 100 square meters) and everyone has dishwashers.

"that disgustingly humid summer."

Elmore Leonard once described a character as having "that pale countenance of the full-time Florida resident."


Half Sigma’s post was wrong in 2007, and it’s more wrong now. (For the record, I understand that “Half Sigma” is a fiction that spews a handful of contradictory tropes to generate hits and tips and links, but I’ll bite.)

The largest error in HS’s old post is assuming that only a person who is wealthy or comfortable in Western terms could move to a foreign country. You can move by packing one suitcase and buying one discount air ticket.

HS assumes that a Westerner abroad would have to earn money in the local, low-wage labor force. Completely wrong. With internet and Skype, you can work in your choice of multiple industries, charging Western clients Western fees. Google “location independent” or “digital nomad.” (Personally, I am not a fan of The Four-Hour Work Week, but some of the ideas Ferris regurgitated in the book are legit.)

The second-largest error in the old post is using the catch-all label of “poor country.” Most of the countries to which Westerners would move are middle-income countries like Malaysia or Argentina in which things work more or less like in the G-8 but with a few unexpected exceptions (which are part of the fun of living abroad).

HS wrote that “one of the reasons why people move to the United States is for absolute wealth and not relative wealth. People prefer to be in the bottom 10% and have enough food to eat rather than be in the middle in a country where people are starving to death.” HS is probably correct about people’s desire for absolute wealth, but contemporary famine is almost entirely a man-made phenomenon, as even the cry-babies at the UN admitted more than a decade ago. There are only a handful of places in the world where people are actually starving, and I don’t recommend moving there.

HS wrote that “an American moving to a poor country would be moving only for the selfish reason of retiring, and he'd be abandoning his family in the States.” Different people would have different reasons. In any event, an American who works abroad and sends money back to the US is not abandoning his family. He’s working.

>> Another reason why people move to the
>> United States is so their children can have a
>> better life. You may think it's cool
>> to retire to Vietnam, but what kind
>> of life would your children have there?

An excellent one in which they were educated at one of the Viet-French lycees and picked up three languages before they were 12. Imagine the strength of the college admissions essays of kids with truly trans-national experience as opposed to the phony, packaged programs that rich parents buy to pad out the kids’ resume.

>>Just because you move to some third
>> world country doesn't mean your frame
>>of reference will change. Will you think
>> of yourself as the Big Man of the
>> Philippines, or the loser who
>> couldn't hack it in the U.S.

This is HS’ best point. Some people are wired to conceive of success in the narrowest terms – especially, “making it in New York/London/Sydney” – and they can’t change the mindset. But that seems like a life of guaranteed disappointment.

HS states that expats will probably hang around with other expats. Indubitably. HS thinks you will be among the poorest-paid expats. This is so patently untrue that it makes me think that HS has never visited a foreign country with an appreciable expat community.

To make a long story short, expat enclaves tend to have two crowds: the “corporate” and NGO expats on expense accounts, and the “self-funded” expats who teach or run small businesses. As with any Bell curve (a topic HS likes in some circumstances but ditches in favor of Manichaeism in others), you will probably be in the middle.

While HS raises the spectre of balky utilities, many “developing” countries have better and cheaper phone and internet surface than the US. The electricity supply is usually fine (why else would HP and Dell site factories there), as are the roads.

HS wrote, “The only purpose of having a big house is so you can show it off to people.” To each his own, I guess.

>> Things you take for granted in the
>> United States, like toilet paper,
>> may not be commonly
>> used in the foreign country. You'd
>> have to buy your toilet paper in
>> a store servicing
>> foreign residents, and the
>> toilet paper would be imported
>> from the United States
>> and would cost more money
>> than it did back home!

Most consumer products in the developing world come from the same place as the American products: China. The closer your country is to China, the less the products cost. The lower the average local wage, the less those products cost. Also, products created in the low-wage economy and which are marketed to locals (food being the primary item in non-island nations) are incredibly cheap.

HS’ biggest howler is, “As a rich American (at least in the eyes of the locals), you'd be in constant danger walking the streets, especially if it's in a country where white people aren't common.” This is classic American projection of its own paranoia. Much of the world is factors safer than the US. Moreover, locals know that harming a Westerner can lead to big problems. Your biggest danger in, say, Egypt is traffic.

>> Do you plan on ever visiting your
>> family back home in the States. Then
>> you have to
>> pay for expensive international
>> airline tickets (the cost of which is
>> usually inversely
>> correlated with the wealth of
>> the country you're traveling from)

As a rule of thumb, it’s a thousand bucks roundtrip, and HS is referring to an inverse correlation that exists only in his mind. Air fares are controlled by load factors, overflight fees, taxes, fuel costs and gate dominance.

In response to HS’ post titled “Worst states to retire,” I posted a comment near the bottom that explained in some detail how you could live quite well abroad for about $25,000 a year, working about 40-60 hours a _month_. It’s eminently doable.

One thing that American retirees can get in other countries but not in America is inexpensive domestic labor. By retiring to Thailand or Costa Rica you no longer have to bother with cooking and cleaning and gardening. Just hire people for what amounts to pocket change to do all that work for you.

Let's not forget about Maricopa, AZ, the foreclosure capital of the US, according to the New York Times and Nightline.

6 year old, 2500 s.f. houses for $60k? Maricopa's got that. Retire for cheap there.

Remember that hot places are better than cold, because a/c is a lot cheaper than heat. Solar radiation can be reflected to a large extent, they got that new reflective insulation you can put up in your attic. Ground source heat pumps are very efficient for a/c.

I agree with Trasymachus, the problem with the US is not economics (despite the problems you probably still can make a living better than most other places), it's the culture. Feminism all but destroyed men-women relations and if you're single it's much harder here than in most other countries, also most people are superficial and ignorant or terribly infantilized, there is all this repression about what you can do, say or even think (chink in the armor?), there is all this status-mongering even among middle class SWPLs, food quality in general is not good compared to Europe, etc. I know Americans living in Brazil and in Costa Rica, they are not complaining. Yes, there is crime, that is a problem, but depending where you live and the precautions you take it's not that bad. Some parts of LA and NY are pretty dangerous too...

"I mentioned in a prior post about the Pac Northwest & northern Rocky states. It just takes research. I think some of the talk of living long term or retiring abroad in the manoshpere is from men who want to jump the ladder in the social heirarchy for greater poon w/o extra work."

Tell me about it. I spent two months bumming around Australia, Thailand, and NZ after college. Thailand -- lots of middle-aged European and American guys there, nerdy, prole-ish background (but with money), who suddenly became 'lady killers' when they touched down. Gee, I wonder why...

Thailand was fun. For about a week. Then it was just depressing.

In India full-time servants can be hired at $5-8 a day. Imagine having 4-10 people at your beck and call...

[HS: Managing a bunch of people I don't really need for anything sounds more like a job than retirement.]

"... also most people are superficial and ignorant or terribly infantilized, there is all this repression about what you can do, say or even think (chink in the armor?)..."

Yeah, that's how I remember the US.

I second the recommendation of the Florida panhandle. It's a wonderful place and if you can bear the sticky humidity it's actually not that hot. You won't generally see 100 + degree temperatures since the gulf keeps the weather cooler. The inland south is much hotter and more miserable in the summer months. Some counties in the western part of the panhandle are 90+ percentage white.

I actually am an expat and for the most part agree with Half Sigma. Living abroad can be really cheap, yes, but then you have to be willing to live the local lifestyle (eat local food, live in a local-style house, etc.) Very few Americans will do this. Instead, they want to eat imported food, live in a Western-style house and receive Western-level medical care: this is very expensive. Cheerios cost $10/box at my grocery store. It's true services are inexpensive.

Judge Absalom is just wrong about the cost of products. For example, some stuff costs more in China itself (like electronics) than in the US even though it's made in China, for a variety of reasons. (Also, in the original post

The big problem is one of cultural adjustment. Americans in general are really provincial and have not traveled much, so they don't realize what this means. If you live in a foreign country, it's not just the food, weather, infrastructure, etc. that are foreign. The way people think and do things is fundamentally different. You will be an outsider, awkward at all social interactions, unable to accomplish simple tasks, and never quite understanding what's going on. This can be exciting for the right type of person, but very few people are in fact that type (especially not retirees!! are they kidding?).

Posted by: Shawn
"In India full-time servants can be hired at $5-8 a day. Imagine having 4-10 people at your beck and call..."

(straight) from the horse's mouth.
You said it.
If you're the type of person who gets a Hard-On by being able to snap your fingers while having a servant respond, "Yes master, Yes sir"....well than a 3rd world country would be a very nice place to live.

However that's not for me.
I'm with HS on this one, No thanks, I don't need that.

The panhandle is full of low IQ whites though. New Hampshire/Maine/Vermont are the best places to live in the US.

Why not move to China? That's where all the action is economically and they are not a dying civilization.

Here is an American who says he has to work far less in China to enjoy the same standards of living as in the US:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Ksabrs45/videos

Make sure to check out his videos, they are very informative because they present the Chinese society from the point of view of someone who shares many of our ideas. He is a HBD believer from what I can tell, and doesn't really believe in Liberal Democracy.

"New Hampshire/Maine/Vermont are the best places to live in the US."

If you like freezing your ass off and you like high taxes (ME, VT).

@Matt in RTP - I used to cruise the roosh v forum for country reviews & still do some searches when planning a trip (Roosh writes very well). I love foreign travel, and his reviews are deep dives into locations. Sadly, the travel threads mostly boiled down to how can guys making 30K/year go to a country & roll in it or black guys trying to find the easiest spot to use 'exotic appeal' to get asian/hispanic/white women. It is very comical to read them constantly trash married 'chumps' while they toil away in a crappy job anxiously awaiting their next trip to a 3rd world country where they can "kill it".

Yet another reason to avoid the subway. As a New Englander myself I will say that even we have areas that people know to avoid. And yes, they are minority-majority areas, and some are even majority white.

"Anyone else think they made that up?"

Yes. Many blacks are known to leverage their protected status and stigma of racism against whomever they perceive to slight them. This can also be seen in workplace misunderstandings too.

I think this was just a misunderstanding between the parties involved, and subway etiquette is very important. Being circumspect of one's book bag is part of this etiquette, and considering the crowded nature of subways being hit with book bags is bound to happen. Did he apologize afterward, or just stand there as if he had no idea what to say.

"Don't most gays hate blacks anyway?"

No, blacks hating gays can be attributed to blacks' Christian upbringing. This learned homophobia has its roots in slavery, when slave owners coerced their slaves into Christianity. Of course, modern advances in theology suggest that homophobia and Christianity are incompatible (research what Peter J.Gomes said on the issue), just as how the Quakers and others proved slavery and Christianity to be incompatible. Despite this, of course, defenders of slavery "refuted" this argument by also using the Bible.

Also, keep in mind that Peter J.Gomes was a Baptist.

We can also speculate what would happen if Jesus ran across a homophobic person harassing a gay person or couple. Jesus in Mark 7:18-19 may have repudiated the kosher laws, so why not prohibitions on homosexuality given the proper context? Of course, this is just theoretical speculation, and Jesus was executed before such a context could arise, if it would in the first place.

The previous comment was for Onestdv's post, sorry about that.

"The panhandle is full of low IQ whites though. New Hampshire/Maine/Vermont are the best places to live in the US."

Even here in New England are places worth avoiding, and there's even a town near Andover that's majority Latino/a. Even some of the majority white areas are worth avoiding, but mostly because they are majority white prole. Cambridge is quite class diverse, with some disadvantaged neighborhoods a few blocks away from Harvard's dorms, though these are due for hipster and trustafarian gentrification sometime soon.

Maine is great, and New Hampshire too depending on where you go. The White Mountain area is good, as are the Bar Harbor and the Cranberry Islands. You can even take a boat from Bar Harbor to Nova Scotia.

Also, I met a man from Africa who told me that if I went to where he's from I would not want to return to the West. He mentioned the beautiful women, men always upgrading their cars (he specifically mentioned Mercedes), etc. I he was either fluffing or had an exceptional experience unlike the typical African. He was, admittedly, somewhat wealthy even by western standards, so probably the later. He unwittingly obfuscated the reality of third world poverty and lack of security by presenting his experience as the norm instead of the exception.

Having servants would be amazing, what are you guys talking about? Dishes, laundry, and cooking take up like 85% of the free time of american women, unless they're really fast and good at chores. This is basically what destroys marriages half the time.

"If you like freezing your ass off and you like high taxes (ME, VT)."

Taxes in ME aren't that bad. Anyway, cold weather is pretty bearable if you are of Nordic extraction, and it tends to keep the NAMs away.

Jay M's prattle about Jesus hating homophobia is a perfect example of what Larry Auster said recently at VFR:

"If a leftist met Jesus, all he would see would be another opportunity to advance leftism. He would twist everything Jesus said about the kingdom of God into a call for the Communist destruction of society."

Miami and Broward are crawling, crawling, with negroid trash.

The panhandle is MUCH more White, but I'm sure the black undertow will someday cause the N Florida Whitopias to dissipate.

"Anyway, cold weather is pretty bearable if you are of Nordic extraction, and it tends to keep the NAMs away."

Someone who's never been to Chicago in the winter.

"These are the people you're stubbornly, stupidly shilling for by supporting Republican policies, Half Sigma: a guy who makes $350K/y whining about having to wash his own dishes, a guy for whom driving a Porsche is an embarrassment.

These are the people who wouldn't think twice about exporting an American job overseas or importing 3rd world country H1B visas to work at half the rate you will,"

@ Patrick, Yes, but have the Democrats stopped H!B's or outsourcing? Yes, they do want higher taxes on the rich, but so does Half Sigma.

Here's a tip: Elites retire or move to New Zealand, London or Greece. The top 1% will have estates in Bavaria, Roma or London. Any neophyte in history can deduce this plain fact.

Miami is for middle-class or high prole.

"Jay M's prattle about Jesus hating homophobia is a perfect example of what Larry Auster said recently at VFR"

I didn't say that Jesus hated homophobia (the only "evidence" available is deductive reasoning), only he lacked the context to denounce it, assuming that is what he would do, which we don't know. We think he just might have. He could have even pointed to Leviticus, but he didn't denounce those eating non-Kosher food with this method so there's no guarantee he would regarding homosexuality either. Jesus had a context to repudiate Kosher laws, but you should also keep in mind that many people with their theology degrees from good theology schools state that homophobia and Christianity aren't compatible.

Also remember this is their area of expertise. Would you pretend to know the laws of physics better than Stephen Hawking, or astrophysics better than Neil Degrasse Tyson? Neither would I.

"Someone who's never been to Chicago in the winter."

Been there, been to Quebec, even lived in Moscow. People who can't take cold are just inferior beings in my book.

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