Friday, November 12, 2004

Is the Grass Greener in a Bush-less Country?

I guess I wasn't the only one checking the prices on a one way ticket to New Zealand. The ramifications of this will be felt for decades after Bush leaves office. If the most creative people choose to leave the US (or never immigrate to begin with) the economy will feel it and it will trickle down to all Americans, even those in red states.

While no one has good estimates yet on how many Americans may leave the country due at least partially to politics, if Web sites are any indication, the numbers are not paltry, or a few hundred on the fringe. Last Wednesday, Canada's immigration Web site had almost 180,000 visitors -- most from the United States -- six times its normal traffic. On the same day, a site for New Zealand received over 10,000 hits, more than four times its usual count of 2,500. And the people we spoke with were nearly all college-educated, well-employed homeowners -- the kind of people other nations usually welcome.

Terry Murphy, marketing director for the New Zealand Immigration Service in Portland, says he's getting five times the normal volume of calls, with many inquiries from Portland, Seattle, Idaho and Alaska.

He said about 25,000 Americans live in New Zealand now. Normally, 250 apply each year through their skilled migrant category; this year, pre-election, they were already at 350. They expect those numbers to spike as what some call "Bush refugees" send in applications.
via Seattle PI

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.