Move South, Young Man!
Posted January 18, 2023
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has instituted a new round of protections for residents against the biosecurity state. No vaccine mandates. No stay-at-home orders. No travel restrictions. No forced masking. No business closures. No school closures. No church closures. No medical emergencies justifying attacks on property and freedom — ever. He says it is permanent.
What a relief! He seems to be the only governor in the country to fully understand the level of trauma to which we’ve been subjected. Sadly, Florida cannot be protected against inflation, economic crisis, and generalized cultural and psychological trauma spilling over from the preposterous and evil Covid junta. But he is doing his best.
Texas will probably follow, then South and North Carolina, and Kentucky and Tennessee, and so on it will go in the slow-motion break up of the old United States.
Of course, this will only increase the dramatic demographic shift in this country, from New York and Illinois, and really all blue states, to Florida and other red states. This is serious and it is huge. It will permanently change the politics of this country.
One might suppose that blue states would fight for residents with similar protections, tax cuts, and deregulation. Incredibly, the opposite will happen. As more and more residents flee, taxes will go up. As the wealth runs dry, governments become more controlling, more grasping, more invasive. They will take what they can get while they can.
This is how political communities die. There is no one with any power, or never enough of them, to turn the corner and do the right thing. They figure that their final doom will come long after they are gone, so who really cares? This is where we are in the Northeast today. New York City is a disaster unless you are ensconced in a fancy apartment in certain neighborhoods and never enter the rest of the city.
Central Park still looks pretty from the 40th floor, especially when your food is delivered to you.
Comparing New York City with Miami — let’s just say that there is no comparison. One is bright, gleaming, warm, and happy, not to mention affordable. The other is crime-ridden, stinky, filled with bums, dreary, and breaks the bank. Where is the future? It seems very obvious. The City — the great City of legend, the center of the world — is dying and there is no way to fix it.
In the last month, I’ve spent a full two weeks in Mexico City, partly just to get away from the mess in the U.S. but also because I’ve been trying to figure out the mystery of the place. You will spend half or less on food and housing. Maybe only a third. The people are happy and nice and mind their own business. The city’s infrastructure works. The place smells great. Instead of pot, you get flowers. Instead of bums, you have merchants. Everyone is selling something.
The food is also healthy and fresh. The fruits are amazing, the coffee is perfect, the tortillas are all handmade, the meat grass-fed, and so on. You can join an amazing gym for $10 a month. You can really have it all, as remarkable as that seems. It feels like prosperity.
You hear about crime but being all over the city for two weeks, I felt it not at all. I cannot even imagine what people are talking about. Sure there are periodic exchanges of fire between the cartels and the government but hey, at least the government has some competition. Could be worse: the government has a complete monopoly on power like in the U.S.
In any case, the story of Mexico City’s revival I’ve reconstructed as best I can. When Covid hit, Mexico was one of the few nations in the world that stayed wholly open to foreigners. Millions of Americans of some wealth and means fled there. They found that the place was great. They came back home to more Covid nonsense and went back.
Amnesty for All!
At some point, Mexico faced a dilemma about what to do with all these American residents. So they made a decision: offer a special Covid deal. They gave everyone residency permission just for the asking. Many people took them up on it.
Even now, just going across the border gets you six months. Leave and come back and you get another six months. Many Americans have been living here like this for a long time. They have no intention of taking up permanent residency in the U.S.
All the Mexican government cares about is that you spend money there. Just keep working at your U.S. job and spending money in Mexico. You don’t need to pay taxes, just support their businesses, and it's all good.
As a result, Mexico City is home to vast numbers of young Americans. Go into certain neighborhoods, like Zona Rosa around the Angel of Independence, and you find designer dogs, high fashion, hipster bars, farm-to-table eateries, outdoor markets with handmade goods, and a huge community.
Don’t go to practice your Spanish: everyone speaks English!
In many ways, it feels like the Left Bank in Paris in the 1920s, but with more money and less erudition.
You might say: if it is so great, why are so many moving here? Truth is that they are not. The border problem is not from Mexico. It is through Mexico from Guatemala, Haiti, and other places. Mexico is glad for them to go too. Why the U.S. puts up with it is another question.
The Great Shift
It’s striking to me that I’ve seen basically no mention of this huge phenomenon in the U.S. press. The brain drain out of the U.S. is real and growing. It is headed relentlessly South, to Florida but also to Mexico, Costa Rica, and even Puerto Rico and Panama. Everyone I know who has made the shift has said that the main reason is high living on little money plus a feeling of freedom that no longer exists in most places in the U.S.
Remarkable, isn’t it? And maybe it is not THE answer. Maybe there will be crime or inflation or some other civil upheaval in Mexico and elsewhere. Maybe. But for now, it seems stable and luxurious, and charming. If this keeps up, this nation will be listed not as developing but developed. The dollars pouring in are doing a world of good, despite what people say.
After two weeks there, and now back in the shivering northeast, and dealing with the demoralization of the people, the masking, the suspicions, and the broken systems everywhere, I do wonder why I left Mexico City. If I’m feeling this way — I’m as true blue American as they come — I can only imagine what it must be like for digital workers under the age of 30.
The great migration has begun. With no end in sight.