Canada: €300,000 for permanent residency, various pathways to full citizenship.
Monaco: €500,000 deposit in a Monaco bank account for permanent residency, minimum 6 month each year in residence in this expensive Mediterranean coastal nation. No actual path to citizenship.
Dubai: 3 year renewable residency visa for $300,000 investment into Dubai property. No pathway to citizenship.
Cyprus: Permanent residency for a €300,000 investment.
Bulgaria: €511,000 investment with zero interest Bulgarian government bonds or one time fee of €180,000. After 5 years procedure provided for permanent residency.
Costa Rica: Pensioners who can show $1,000 in monthly income qualify for permanent residency in this retirement mecca. Young people who can demonstrate guaranteed $2,500 in monthly income also qualify for permanent residency. A one-time $200,000 investment into an approved business also meets requirements for permanent residency.
England: Initial £1 million investment into government bonds, then citizenship after 5 year residency period. For £5 million investment the citizenship path is shortened to 3 years. For £10 million the wait is 2 years. Other requirements also apply.
Ranking of the 'least corrupt' countries from worldaudit.org:
United States ranked #15.
Greece has been pummeled by extreme austerity measures meant to correct the vicious debt-cycle built into their economy after decades of tax evasion and spurious governmental book-keeping. They've weathered rough economic times since austerity began in 2009, and are now starting to declare a 'light at the end of the tunnel.' (For more on this, see
"Greece will be offering residence to non-EU investors purchasing or renting property over 250,000 euros ($326,000), in a bid to revive its moribund real estate industry, officials said on Monday.
The initiative, voted into law by parliament last week, comes in response to strong demand from Arab, Chinese and Russian investors, the officials from the interior ministry and property groups told a news conference.
Valid for five years and open to renewal, the residence plan follows similar measures adopted by Hungary, Spain and Portugal in the past.
“Finally, the property market can move out of its paralysis a little,” Stratos Paradias, head of the confederation of Greek home owners, told AFP."
George Mason University has conducted research to compare various attributes of each of the American 50 states and measure them as to which are "more free" and "less free."
From the report:
"We ground our conception of freedom on an individual rights framework. In our view, individuals should be allowed to dispose of their lives, liberties, and property as they see fit, so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. This understanding of freedom follows from the natural-rights liberal thought of John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and Robert Nozick, but it is also consistent with the rights-generating rule-utilitarianism of Herbert Spencer and others. "
Top 10 Most Free States
1. North Dakota
2. South Dakota
4. New Hampshire
Bottom Ten Least Free States
42. West Virginia
46. Rhode Island
48. New Jersey
50.New York State
"Little surprise... that Americans hold the government and financial institutions in very low regard. Surveys by the Gallup Organization last year found that 60 percent of Americans believe corruption is widespread among businesses, while only about one in five has much trust in banks. As for politicians, 54 percent of those surveyed rated members of Congress “very low” on honesty and ethical standards."
The article on American corruption is derived from "Corruption Perception" polling data at Transparency International
"Since 2001, Washington has enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate of its peer group. Over the course of the entire decade, it ranked second in job growth, trailing only Houston. That wasn’t just because of the federal agencies and gigantic contractors of Washington stereotype. The region has also been a hotbed of entrepreneurship—much of it, to be sure, dependent on federal dollars. During the 2000s, it had 385 firms named to the Inc. 500 lists of fastest-growing companies in America, according to Kauffman Foundation research—by far the most of any metro area. From 2000 through 2011, according to rankings developed by Praxis Strategy Group, Washington’s low-profile but powerful tech sector had the country’s second-highest job growth, after Seattle’s. The region is also one of America’s top life-sciences centers.
Then there’s economic output. During the 2000s, per-capita GDP grew faster in Washington than in any of its peer regions except the Bay Area. Today, Washington’s per-capita GDP is the country’s second-highest—again, after the Bay Area. Unlike Washington, however, the Bay Area hemorrhaged jobs over the course of the decade. Related to Washington’s impressive output is its astonishing median household income, the highest of any metro area with more than 1 million people. A remarkable seven of the ten highest-income counties in America are in metro Washington. And during the 2000s, per-capita income rose in Washington faster than in any of its peer metros."
Interesting article on the viability of socialist safety-net priorities and economic freedom.
"Thirty years Ago Margaret Thatcher turned Britain into the world’s leading centre of “thinking the unthinkable”. Today that distinction has passed to Sweden. The streets of Stockholm are awash with the blood of sacred cows. The think-tanks are brimful of new ideas. The erstwhile champion of the “third way” is now pursuing a far more interesting brand of politics.
Sweden has reduced public spending as a proportion of GDP from 67% in 1993 to 49% today. It could soon have a smaller state than Britain. It has also cut the top marginal tax rate by 27 percentage points since 1983, to 57%, and scrapped a mare’s nest of taxes on property, gifts, wealth and inheritance. This year it is cutting the corporate-tax rate from 26.3% to 22%.
....The Nordic countries have a collective population of only 26m. Finland is the only one of them that is a member of both the European Union and the euro area. Sweden is in the EU but outside the euro and has a freely floating currency. Denmark, too, is in the EU and outside the euro area but pegs its currency to the euro. Norway has remained outside the EU.
But there are compelling reasons for paying attention to these small countries on the edge of Europe. The first is that they have reached the future first. They are grappling with problems that other countries too will have to deal with in due course, such as what to do when you reach the limits of big government and how to organise society when almost all women work. And the Nordics are coming up with highly innovative solutions that reject the tired orthodoxies of left and right."
Complete article at The Economist.
Caution: On the other hand, Sweden has a extremely heavy-hand on homeschoolers, something taken for granted in many countries is absolutely verboten among the Swedes. Home School Legal Defense Fund
The Lonely Planet web site on cutting through the violence statistics and making comparisons: is an American in Mexico safer than one in Houston, Texas, for example? How many Americans are murdered while in Mexico (and why?)
Particularly interesting are the anecdotes in the comment section which are full of stories on crime in Mexico, the majority saying it is rare unless you are in contact with the Cartel drug trade.
The NPR Blog on this statistical anomaly and what it might mean.
Interesting polling numbers from PEW Research ("Image of the U.S."). While there are a lot of negative (i.e., less than 50% positive responses, especially in the category of "Is the United States considerate of other countries... only China and Brazil barely edged above the 50% positive mark) it is in the area of American movies, technology, and music that the higher positive remarks from people from around the globe.
For example, these are the Greek stats:
Polling results from 2012
Opinion of the United States: 35% Favorable
Opinion of Americans: 44% Favorable
U.S. Consideration of other Countries interests: 19% Great Deal/Fair Amount
Confidence ion the U. S. President: 30% Confidence
U. S. Anti-Terrorism Efforts: 29% Favor
American ideals and Customs: 25% Good
American Democracy: 29% like
American Business: 29% Like
American Music, Movies and Television: 62% Like
American Technological and Scientific Advances: 73% Admire
Pew Research web site with complete polling results.
Forbes article on the basics of why (and why not) for moving to New Zealand, an English-speaking island.
"...Getting a three-month visitor visa is a snap [for Americans]. You can renew the permit twice within an 18-month period.
...A big decision is whether to go for permanent residency. By remaining visitors, Americans escape a lot of red tape, but they are unable to work or take advantage of New Zealand's health care system."
New Zealand has only 4.4 million people living there, generally in the northern cities.
In 2010, population estimates put the city of Auckland as easily the heaviest populated place in the country, with 1,397,300 people.
[Below: New Zealand from a NASA fly over.]
thelocal.se web site ("Sweden's news in English") has a succinct "ten tips for moving to Sweden" page. The highlights of the article are:
10 practical tips when you've moved to Sweden
1. Staying legal while in Sweden
2. Register with Skatteverket (Swedish Tax Agency)
3. Getting insured
4. Getting a resident ID card
5. Opening a bank account
6. Find a job or starting your own company
7. Find a place to live
8. Learning the Swedish language
9. Paying your taxes in Sweden
10. Getting a driver's license
This interesting website describes the differences (and advantages/disadvantages) of living in Australia from the point of view of an American who has been there for about ten years. Titled "Tips for Americans Moving to Australia " it is not about the legal mechanics of migration, but the experience of the Australian culture, and this writer has done a good job selling Australia as a good place to live.
The writer describes Australian attitudes toward politeness (a stronger element in Australian society than in the United States); honesty (apparently held as a more definitive virtue in Australia, versus the United States); and that Australians have a more benign expression of political differences between themselves.
There's a great deal more to the writer's description of the land (he compares the climate as similar to Southern California, though the sun is significantly more dangerous with too much exposure.) Altogether a thorough overview of one mans experience of the differences between Australian and the United States.
Below: NASA photo of the Great barrier Reef, Australia.
Article at Wall Street Journal with a fairly logical doom-and-gloom projection of the American economic future: "A nicer term for what's about to sock the middle class is 'entitlement reform.'
From Washington Post article "Need a job? Move abroad":
"According to State Department estimates, 6.3 million Americans are studying or working abroad, the highest number ever recorded. What’s more, the percentage of Americans ages 25 to 34 who are planning to move overseas has quintupled in two years, from less than 1 percent to 5.1 percent. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 40 percent are interested in moving abroad, up from 12 percent in 2007. "
The Associated Press has this:
In an attempt to reduce the country's bloated stock of unsold homes, the government is set to offer permanent residency to any foreigner provided they buy a house or apartment worth more than (EURO)160,000 ($200,000).
...Spain is in the midst of a double-dip recession with 25 percent unemployment, though Rajoy said he believes Spain has managed to avoid a financial implosion and will start growing again in late 2013 and in 2014.
"I'm convinced that the worst is over," Rajoy told reporters after meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Travel and Leisure Magazine on the most dangerous locations to go and hope to return from. Article online here with photo slideshow.
Fascinating article by Dan Buettner at the New York Times about the longevity of residents on the island of Ikaria. But not only that, but the remarkable recovery of a man expecting to die from cancer who moved there and then promptly has now lived to to 97 (outliving his doctors who gave him 6-months to live) but helping to demonstrate how diet, stress levels, and exercise combine to maximize live span:
"Six months came and went. Moraitis didn’t die. Instead, he reaped his garden and, feeling emboldened, cleaned up the family vineyard as well. Easing himself into the island routine, he woke up when he felt like it, worked in the vineyards until midafternoon, made himself lunch and then took a long nap. In the evenings, he often walked to the local tavern, where he played dominoes past midnight. The years passed. His health continued to improve. He added a couple of rooms to his parents’ home so his children could visit. He built up the vineyard until it produced 400 gallons of wine a year. Today, three and a half decades later, he’s 97 years old — according to an official document he disputes; he says he’s 102 — and cancer-free. He never went through chemotherapy, took drugs or sought therapy of any sort. All he did was move home to Ikaria. "
"The United States, long considered a champion of economic freedom, plunged to No. 18 in new rankings published in the 2012 Economic Freedom of the World, an annual report co-authored by Florida State University economics Professor James Gwartney."
Free podcast on this subject at the Cato Institute website
Their website contains a plethora of information, with an effort at non-partisan analysis of the political freedoms enjoyed (or withheld) from an exhaustive list of countries from around the world. For example, their "2012 Freedom in the world" report provides a simple ranking system dividing countries by a criteria of three types: free, partly free, not free.
For example: Australia FREE; Columbia PARTLY FREE; Angola NOT FREE.
Complete article here.
"Nearly 60 percent of Americans would move from their communities right now if they could, according to a new survey by the YMCA.
But with economic and other financial considerations preventing them from doing so, nearly two-thirds said they will become more involved in their community in the coming year in hopes of improving quality of life. "