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Dear Americans

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An American, originally from New York City and now living in Vermont, mused in the blog post <a href="https://kottke.org/20/04/why-has-germany-been-effective-at-limiting-covid-19-deaths" author="Jason Kottke">Why Has Germany Been Effective at Limiting Covid-19 Deaths?</a>, <bq>I canít be the only American whose response to the pandemic is to think seriously about moving to a country with a functioning government, good healthcare for everyone, and a real social safety net.</bq> No, thank you. The world neither wants nor needs American refugees.<fn> They would almost certainly be the most entitled refugees the world has ever seen. And talk about integration! Learning the local language? Forget about it. Even the ones I've met who've moved without an impetus of desperation mostly just keep speaking English "because everybody just speaks it anyway". Please, think again. Try to see your choice through the lens of the rest of the world. You live in a country that has arrogated more power and wealth to itself than any other in history. And you've done nothing with it but piss it away on bombs and billionaires. What makes you think things would go any better anywhere else? What makes you think you're not fundamentally broken and you won't just bring your problematic lifestyle to wherever you are? Don't underestimate how much a part of the U.S. you are, despite you likely thinking that you're opposed to everything that is the American way. America is quite different from most other OECD countries---which is why things have fallen apart there so much worse than anywhere else. You are part of a populace that is woefully and---let's not kid ourselves, willfully---brainwashed. Just moving your ass to a different, better country will not make you happy. You will be miserable because that country will fail to live up to the lunatic expectations engendered in you by America (why <i>can't</i> I go shopping at 3AM?) and you'll make everyone around you miserable with your complaints. You'll nearly inevitably end up in an enclave of English-speaking refugees, complaining about the locals and reminiscing about an America that never was, where Slurpees were giant-sized and gasoline was cheap and everything was sunshine and rainbows. You'll have forgotten why you left---because that's how memory works. If you want to leave only now, then it likely wasn't the reprehensible ethics and utterly amoral behavior that's been evident since at least post-WWII that finally put you off of America. No, it was when America's behavior finally affected <i>you</i> personally. You let your leaders run roughshod over most of their population---to say nothing of the rest of the world---as long as you got your slice of the "American way of life." It's only once they finally broke their end of the agreement to <i>you</i> (like they'd already broken it to 99% of the unwashed masses) that your wandering eye started roving to greener pastures. So just sit tight. Perhaps soon, and assuming their own plans for handling this pandemic go reasonably well, Europe or China may execute a reverse Marshall Plan to get the U.S. back on its feet. And don't worry too much... ...we all need you to redeem those T-Bills somehow. <hr> <ft>I use the term <i>refugee</i> to distinguish between fleeing a tire-fire of a country and honestly just wanting to live somewhere else. That is, quite frankly, what I did when I moved to Switzerland almost 171/2 years ago. I've always been a Swiss citizen, though, so it's not like I chose a country at random.</ft>