How Global is Global?

This is going to be a bit of a departure from what I usually post about, but it’s something that’s been on my mind. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the global environment is pretty wide open these days. You can have video conversations with people on the other side of the world. You can send a message to somebody across the ocean and have it get to them in the blink of an eye. One thing I find very strange is how incredibly difficult it is to relocate from one country to another.

One argument you often see people make (and I think it is quite possibly one of the most absurd comments ever) is the old “well if you don’t like if here in country x then why don’t you just move somewhere else?” It’s always said. It doesn’t matter who has the power or who wants things to change. Somebody is always going to tell people to take their ball and play somewhere else if they don’t like the way that person wants to play ball.

I live in the United States and have lived here my entire life. Personally, however, I am very fascinated with Europe. I think the European mentality fits the way I think much better. I’ve done a fair amount of research on what would need to be done in order to relocate overseas (even though I would probably never actually do it) and it is an incredibly difficult process. The process of getting a work visa to work in another country or getting citizenship in another country is insanely hard. Why do countries make it so hard? It would be nearly impossible to renounce citizenship and move to another country and then stay there without working until you could establish citizenship.

Are countries afraid that there will be an influx of people coming in and taking jobs if they lower their relocation requirements? Do they not trust the businesses to make the right choice? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I can open a shop, create a web site for it and sale my product over the internet to people all over the world. With how open everything is in the global market digitally why are we so intent on closing our physical borders?

I guess this is just something I don’t understand. Like I said earlier, I think a lot of it stems on fear. Many countries are still struggling with economic difficulties. They’re afraid of losing jobs when they don’t necessarily have enough jobs for their current citizens as it is. In some ways I guess that is a valid argument. It is hard to know for sure what would happen. I would like to think that if every first world country loosened their restrictions that at some point equilibrium would be established. We all know, however, that the fear is introduced when you factor in the unknown and the variables that don’t necessarily fall into the calculation of people simply moving from one first world nation to another first world nation.

It’s very intriguing. Even though television shows like Star Trek show a technologically advanced world where we all share a common bond of being the same species, it seems in the real world that the more technology is developed and furthered the more countries actually try to close their borders. I don’t know if I am alone in my thinking on this. It is just something I have had on my mind lately and I thought I would toss it out there to get the perspective of other people. Also, maybe it is not necessarily that other countries are closing their borders off from each other as much as they are closing it off from us (and of course by us…I mean the United States). That would not be too terribly hard to believe. The United States on the whole as a country is not very liked by the rest of the world. Our foreign policy and the general attitude of superiority that many Americans portray does not necessarily make us the most like able country in the world.

If any of you from Europe (or anywhere else outside of our bubble over here) is reading this, I would love to hear your view. Are countries, despite the increasing development of global technology, rapidly closing themselves off from the rest of the world in terms of who they allow to relocate or are they primarily just closing themselves off from US? I also don’t want to look like I’m not being all inclusive in my post. I know the United States is just as exclusionary in our regulatory policies on allowing immigrants as any other country.

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