Friday, September 14, 2012

Election Rituals: Repeating the Move North Myth

Every four years, Canadians and others ponder: will herds of Americans move north if a certain Presidential candidate wins?  I was asked about this in 2004 and maybe 2008.  This year, someone again is asking folks at my old school about it.

Here is my standard answer: No.  As my school's office manager (an American) put it, people move across the border for love or money.  Either they want to move to be with someone or because there is a job for them.  I moved north of the Wall border because I had a great job.  I stayed north and moved slightly west for a better job.  I did not move north to escape Bush.

Moving across an international boundary is actually pretty darned complicated and costly.  The paperwork to become a permanent resident in Canada can be more than $2k for a family of three, and it can take years.  When you enter the new country, you lose your old credit rating and are seen as a flight risk, so getting credit cards is hardly trivial, getting a car loan is more costly (oh, and moving a car across that border that is still being paid off is mucho complicated), and even buying a house can be a bit problematic. 

But I guess the media outlets like to return to the old well and perpetuating old myths since it requires less work.  Speaking of which, time to get back to my day job.

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