Monday, February 08, 2016


One of the latest trends in socio-political engineering that I am noticing is the "Returning American Ex-pat" article.

I have noticed several of these little jewels pop-up in various social media, to the point where I could probably put together a bingo card of their high-points.

These articles usually -- allegedly -- written by Young Americans, who have just returned from living in Europe.  Northern Europe, to be precise.

The last one I skimmed, the writer had come back to the United States from Norway, before that was Denmark, and Sweden.  I think the most southerly European nation these sub-set of articles referenced was Switzerland.

Anyhoo, these articles usually start off with the writer describing moving to whichever Nordic country they chose and the culture shock they experienced when they arrived.

This culture shock, they will explain, is from the shorter work-week of this country, followed by mention of the mandatory vacation days.  Soon thereafter comes the extolling of the country's universal health care, free education, and various and sundry "social safety nets".

They then mention their looking into this miracle, gloss quickly over the "government runs EVERYTHING" point, and describe how the richest entities happily pay "their fair share".

The latest articles wax eloquent about how the heroic government keeps the banks and corporations from profiting off of anyone, and how there are no poor people there.

Matter-of-fact, the last one I read -- she had just come back from Norway -- hit heavily on the "responsible capitalism".  That being "capitalism" under the complete and total control of the government and the national unions.

The articles then end up with the author describing their return to the United States of America, and how -- compared to the Nordic Model paradise they had just left -- the United States is a third world nation.


Two points immediately come to mind when I see one of these thinly-veiled propaganda pieces.

Point One:  Why is the author still State-side?  If Norway, or Sweden, or Denmark, or Iceland, or wherethehellever is so much better than here -- emigrate.  Pull up stakes and get gone permanently.  Vamoose.  Shoo.  Scram.  "Delta is ready when you are."

Why. Did. You. Come. Back? Seriously?

If the U.S. is so bad that you have to drip existential angst all over the Internet at the thought of the place you just left, you owe it to your mental health, your karma (and probably your credit score) to surrender your US citizenship and go back.

Second:I was raised in third world countries.  I grew up in Africa; hit puberty in the Middle East.  I have scars, nightmares, and a medical file more than a metre thick (No, I'm not exaggerating.  Hell, the "parasite infestation" part of my medical file is four fingers deep) that attests to the fact that I have a thorough, intimate knowledge of the third world.

And, pookie, if you think that the United States of America is "like a third world nation" then you either need to actually -- you know -- go to a genuine third world country; or you need your headspace and timing re-adjusted.

I'm not sure what irritates me the most about these articles:  That they're such an obvious and clumsy bit of socio-political engineering propaganda; or that no matter how clumsy they are, people or going to take them at face value -- right down to the "America is a third world nation" part.




Rev. Paul said...

Aside from the obvious propaganda nature of these set pieces, they have no socially redeeming virtue. (The propaganda's not a "virtue" either, but ...)

The blatantly-obvious flaw in the deliberate dumbing-down of the American school curriculum for the last hundred years is that the politicians who've grown up during this time aren't any better-educated than the sheeple they're supposed to oversee.

Stupidity often provides its own reward, and Progressivism proves the point. If only we'd just succumb and turn into West Sweden, then all would be right with the world, right? Right?

Aesop said...

I'm guessing they helpfully leave out that, due the recent tidal wave of "immigrants", little details like Stockholm now having apparently surpassed Pretoria as the rape capital of the world, or 100% of the rapes being traceable to a certain demographic, and suchlike other sundry social tidbits.

Writing articles that heap such unmitigated BS in public should be legally recognized as a renouncement of US citizenship and formal request to permanently emigrate, and their passports should be stamped one-way outbound only, which decision could only be reviewed or appealed after a 7-year absence from the mother country.

The Youreapeons could use the fresh bloodlines, and we could use the extra fresh air and space that would result.

Cath said...

I am Norwegian, and I live in Norway. I've never lived in the US, only visited a couple of times. I've noticed these stories; we are all very flattered that someone from the big US writes about our very tiny corner of the world, so they tend to end up in our newspapers too, at some point ("Breaking news: Someone in the US has written something about us").

We get the same sort of stories from expats coming home from the US, wildly excited about the cost (or lack thereof) of living, price of cars and fuel, the climate, the friendliness of the people, the excellent customer service, the world class universities and hospitals and so on. I think we are all excited about things that are different, and it does us good to meet people from elsewhere. In the end, though, it seems we want our friends and family and the things familiar to us, so we go back home, after all.

Tim Covington said...

I've run across people who feel this way. And, I've asked them why don't they permanently move to those countries. The answer is always the same. Those countries don't want them. They can (or will) not meet the emigration criteria those countries have.

Don Lewis said...


Welcome back Sir. You have been sorely missed. You are easily one of the best Will Rogers humorists writing today. Exceptional.

Godspeed to you Sir.

Educated Savage said...

I wonder how many of these people have had to support themselves monetarily before they write this kind of thing?

Evyl Robot Michael said...

Try having friends that tell you this $#!+ to your face. Yes, perhaps sometimes I'm a little too patient with my friends who have received serious head injuries. But, bravo on your write up.

Sherm said...

My daughter, living and working in Belgium as a school teacher, is very aware that 56% of her income is paid in taxes. The only thing I know she'd like to bring back to the US is the machine in the grocery store that squeezes fresh orange juice for you.

Forkboy said...

Those articles lost me when I started playing the can it scale game, in your Norway example that translates to bigger than Montana, but smaller than California, and with the population of less people than Colorado, but more than South Carolina.

I'm not knocking Norway, but the scale up would make the entire thing larger by a few orders of magnitude. And based on what I've seen with other programs, at that point it collapses under the weight of it's own overhead.

Old NFO said...

Propaganda is right... And it IS interesting that they're all coming out in an election year... Funny that... You're also right, they've never been NEAR a true third world country. Forkboy raises an interesting point too, I hadn't actually thought about it in those terms, but he is on the money with that comparison. Also, the EU is buttressing most of those countries with MIE requirements to ensure the VAT stays within Europe.

Brighid said...

+1 for Forkboy said...

Having been that American, that is the one that moves to and lives in a Northern European country (Scotland) for a number of years, seven, and then moves back to the US....I have little patience with such propaganda. (the NHS isn't that bad, I'll admit) But then I moved back because I disliked the fact that I was as liable to get arrested as my mugger if I kicked him in the balls.
I think what is happening is that these people move to the EU in their early twenties: young, idealistic, their 'social' overhead is low, their income and therefore the tax bite is equally low, the debts they need to pay off are low. The socialist ideal is at its best for them. They move back, for whatever (sub voce, actual job opportunities as opposed to fluffy internships) reason, in their late thirties.... And they start to encounter what it actually costs to have those job opportunities that will support someone in their career, with a family, in their forties and fifties.
Does that excuse them? Absolutely not. But, I think the EU may be functioning rather like college at this point. And that is NOT a compliment to either.

Knucklehead said...

Forkboy's point is one I have tried to put across many times in discussions about how wonderful Scandinavian socialism is. The Scandinavian countries are (arguably): Sweden (9.8m), Denmark (5.6m), and Norway (5.2 m). That's 20.6m million people. Expand that to the Nordic countries (add Finland (5.5m), Iceland and Greenland (0.4m) and we can stretch that to approx. 26.5 million people. Each of these countries would generally be considered "socialist" or, at the very least, having a very generous welfare system.

Compare that to the US where the NYC metro area alone has over 20.1m people, LA metro area - 18.5, Chicago -10.7... you get the idea. The US is somewhere around 321.4m people. That's more than 12 times the population size of the Nordic countries combined. More than an order of magnitude. What they do is not scaleable to a nation the size of the US.

Dad29 said...


Yup, my magic winkie machine is working. New computer, heeeeeeeeeere's LawDog!!

Welcome back.

Old Radar Tech said...

Very glad to see you back in the net, Mr. 'Dawg. It will really help my extended enforced rest period (courtesy of an abdominal aorta that decided to check out early). I must say, though, it's probably a good thing the doc pulled the staples last week.

Rick Street said...

If they are sure America is that bad, then just leave.
Do not let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you on the way out.

Guffaw in AZ said...

AMEN, brother!


PS - I'm stealing (borrowing) this!

Anonymous said...

Lurker here, who kept checking back hopefully every half-year or so. Glad to see you back, and am looking forward to more stories of Africa, work, and other...

Joe in PNG said...

Another American Expat in the 3rd world here. And, the first thing I pretty much always do upon the annual return to the USA is weep tears of joy at having a McDonalds close to home.

The thing that I want to know about these expats is how long were they there, and who was paying them. Most foreign places look wonderful during your first few months, and pretty much every city is tolerable if you're getting a hefty salary.

Anonymous said...

Good article on why Sweden got rich. Via instapundit.

Europe has pretty much gotten a free ride on defense from the us.

Norway was doing really well due to oil.

They were also homogeneous cultures.

Swedish have also done well in the us.

Europe has a poor history of assimilation, unlike the us.

Most Europeans dont get the us. They think our leadership are Cowboys.

PA State Cop said...

Let me help you with your bags.

Having been in some third world locations thanks to Uncle Sam, I like it here fine. Thank you.

Hawk said...

I keep telling the idiots, that there is always a cost. The 'free college'? Better hope you do well on the assessment test or you dont get to go to college at all. (thats how they keep the costs down) Same with the 'free healthcare', there is a sliding scale on the kind of aid you get to keep costs down. If you got a rare or high risk disease and older you are more likely to get pallative care than stuff that ll cure and Ive seen the low quality of dentistry that comes from third world countries. ARGG! just ARRG!