How often in this century have we been regaled by Hollywood's finest telling us of their plans to move to Canada if the Republicans won a presidential election (or some other catastrophe befell the left)?
One wonders why these social justice warriors don't speak of moving to the Dominican Republic or some other country where their wealth could do a great amount of good. But that would be expecting them to walk the walk. In any event, the great diaspora has never happened.
There is a great irony in all this adulation of Canada (and other developed countries). The people from the lands that the left admires are coming here! Canadians are far more likely to move to this benighted land than we are to move there. It's not even close. You can see the Pew Research data for yourself: https://www.pewresearch.org/global/interactives/global-migrant-stocks-map/ You will have to adjust for the populations of the two countries of, course. The trend with other developed countries is similar.
This data includes those who were born in one country but have lived in the other for at least one year (expats). Obviously, this includes many who moved long ago, but it does not include children of expats born here. The Pew website allows you to go back to 2010, 2000 or 1990 and see the data for those years as well. There has been very little change over time.
Interestingly, this one-sided movement is not unique to Canada. It is true for every developed country for which Pew gives numbers (which is basically all developed countries, but for the very sparsely populated ones of Cyprus, Iceland, Luxembourg and Estonia; what data we do have for those counties suggest they line up with all the others.)
The ratios range from as "low" as 10 to as high as 626. Not one developed country bucks this trend. Not even Nirvana Norway. I should think these inequalities would be of concern to the left. Inequalities are usually a cause for alarm among those on the left. But I have heard no cries, to date, about these particular inequalities.
Moving up the scale, we find that Australians have been 10 times more likely to move here than we have been to move there, Japanese have been 16 times more likely, Germans and French both 18 times, Spanish and the British both 19 times, the aforementioned Canadians 25 times, Italians 35 times, Swiss 40 times, Dutch 58 times, Israelis 64 times, Turks 75 times, Swedes 83 times, and Norwegians 95 times.
Then we break the 100 mark. South Koreans have been 104 times more likely to have moved here than we have been to move there, New Zealanders 105 times, Belgians and Singaporeans 106 times, Finns 120 times, Danes 173 times, Austrians 190 times, Greeks 228, Irish 324, Czechs 366, and Portuguese 626 times more likely to move here than we have been to move there.
I leave it for those who consider the U.S. to be behind in so many ways compared to the rest of the developed world to explain why it is that these advanced, intelligent, and so-superior people want to come here. One critic tried to suggest it was because of American wealth.
But five of the countries listed above have per capita GDP greater than that of the U.S. (on average, 35.7% higher) and the next 10 below us in per capita GDP are closer to us than we are to the five above us (we are only 20.7% higher in per capita GDP than the average of the 10 countries below us.) Those seeking wealth have many more options than just the U.S.
The same critic tried to suggest that it was the wide open space of this nation that explains the migration trend. But eight of the developed nations are less densely populated than is the U.S. Those seeking space have many more options than just the U.S.
Another critic suggested that it's because people are coming here for college or university education. But those numbers account for only a small percentage of all expats. And in any event, wouldn't the draw of our colleges and universities be to the credit of the United States?
The numbers above suggest an awful lot of "voting with their feet" is going on. And those feet are coming to the U.S. in much greater numbers than they are going the other way. Just how do the America bashers explain that?
I am reminded of something Tony Blair once said. "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in and how many want out."
Phil Kershner is a United Church of Christ pastor in Marine, Illinois. Prior to going into pastoral ministry he was a high school math and history teacher for 17 years. He has a master's degree in history from Loyola University in Chicago and a master's degree in divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis. He is married to Sandee Kershner and they have two daughters, Ashlyn and Lauren. In late 2018 he published Why The United States is A Morally Good Country: A View From the Center. Read Phil Kershner's Reports — More Here.
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