Americans As Innocents Abroad Is a Recurring Theme

“We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.” — Ronald Reagan, State of the Union, February 6, 1985. Context.

Book Revew: Culture Shock: Innocents Abroad. American Teachers in the American Century.

Innocents Abroad—no, not the one by Mark Twain—shows that Peace Corps volunteers, missionary teachers, and even Teddy Roosevelt’s imperialists in the 20th-century’s third world had much in common, not only in being overwhelmingly white, young, and inexperienced but also in their worldviews. To write this book, Jonathan Zimmerman patiently made his way through scads of diaries and letters from teachers, sorting out the debates about education stirred up by rote memorization, corporal punishment, vocational training, church-state relationships, and whether or not to be publicly proud of America. The result is accurate, if not fully processed.

Digital Nomads Combine Work and Travel

Unsettled, a new start-up, “organizes 30-day co-working experiences around the world for creative people, entrepreneurs and other professionals seeking to combine work, travel and redefining themselves. The company is one of dozens of new work-tourism programs that aim to help workers known as digital nomads navigate living and working in far-off places.” — NYT.

Nomad List ranks destinations that are accommodating to digital nomads, based on factors like cost of living, internet speed and weather.; and groups like

Other resources: Remote Year and Hacker Paradise.

Nomad Cruise organizes two-week networking cruises for digital nomads twice a year.

Roam is a network of co-living properties in Miami, Bali, Madrid, London and eight additional places

Record Number of Americans Renounce US Citizenship

The number of Americans renouncing their US citizenship has leaped by 58 percent since 2014, to at least 5,411. The reason is money.

WPost: “The United States is one of the only countries in the world that requires its citizens and permanent residents to file taxes even when they live abroad. Eritrea is the only other country to have a similar policy. This unusual policy a relic of the Civil War and the Revenue Act of 1862, which called for the taxing of U.S. citizens abroad — in part to punish men who fled the country to avoid joining the Union army.

“This is no new policy — Americans abroad have always been covered by federal tax laws. However, things changed in 2010, when the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was enacted. This law essentially requires foreign financial institutions to check whether an account holder is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. In some cases, Dunn said, they would ask for proof that the account holder is not a U.S. citizen.

“The end result here is that whereas in the past a U.S. citizen abroad might be able to get away with not filing their U.S. taxes, that has become vastly less likely under these new circumstances. In some cases, this can be extremely costly…”

DRILL DEEPER:

Should Global Strategy Return to Spheres of Influence?

Robert Kagan, in a dramatically titled article, “Backing into World War III,” is upset that Donald Trump is thinking of abandoning the foreign policy concensus of the last 70 years and conceding Russia’s sphere of influence or dominance of Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic Republics, Eastern and Central Europe and China’s influence or dominance of Asia, in both cases closing off American trade and influence.

For the United States to accept a return to spheres of influence would not calm the international waters. It would merely return the world to the condition it was in at the end of the 19th century, with competing great powers clashing over inevitably intersecting and overlapping spheres.

These unsettled, disordered conditions produced the fertile ground for the two destructive world wars of the first half of the 20th century. The collapse of the British-dominated world order on the oceans, the disruption of the uneasy balance of power on the European continent as a powerful unified Germany took shape, and the rise of Japanese power in East Asia all contributed to a highly competitive international environment in which dissatisfied great powers took the opportunity to pursue their ambitions in the absence of any power or group of powers to unite in checking them.

The result was an unprecedented global calamity and death on an epic scale. It has been the great accomplishment of the U.S.-led world order in the 70 years since the end of World War II that this kind of competition has been held in check and great power conflicts have been avoided.

It will be more than a shame if Americans were to destroy what they created—and not because it was no longer possible to sustain but simply because they chose to stop trying.

Why Critics of Globalization Are Wrong

Why they’re wrong | The Economist

www.economist.com/…/21707926-globalisations-critics-say-it-benefits-only-elite-fact…

Oct 1, 2016 – Globalisation’s critics say it benefits only the elite. … on imported food, echoing arguments made in The Economist, a fledgling newspaper.

Globalisation and its critics | The Economist

www.economist.com/node/795995

Sep 27, 2001 – PUBLICATION of this survey had originally been intended to coincide with the … To its fiercest critics, globalisation, the march of international …

Online Gathering Place for Expats

The Wall Street Journal hosts an informative “expat” group on Facebook, with currently about 8,000 members. It links to articles about “hardship posts”; cultural differences in definitions of trash; best books for expats; links to expat blogs; retiring abroad; raising trilingual children; quality of life for Americans in India; difficulty adjusting when returning to home country from long-term assignments; expats in Mongolia; “what a Bedoin taught me about being a nomad”; and many more.