Friday, June 24, 2016

To The Right, March! (Or: Auslander, Raus!)

Sniff, sniff! Can you smell it?

Something is in the air.

Countries are erecting trade barriers, closing borders, making travel requirements more stringent, and electing increasingly right wing politicians.

Sniff, sniff!

It's the pungent aroma of isolationism, protectionism, and reactionary nationalism!

So! BREXIT, bro!

British teachers working abroad wake up and find their local savings can buy more pounds, as the value of the GBP has fallen about 10 percent. (Digital nomads and sex tourists get slammed as the pound has less value.)

However, I'm sure all the British teachers working and living happily away in Prague and Spain and other places in the EU are breaking into panicky sweats. Freedom of work and travel? Kiss it goodbye. (Although I guess a lot of people will be grandfathered in.)

Stocks markets around the world have taken a nose dive. (Finally my "end of the world" investments might pay off!)

And believe me, the chaos is just getting started if Donald Trump gets elected US president.

So how will this affect English teachers?

Well, for Americans it might be good news, as far as working in the EU. For the last 10 years it's been extremely difficult for Americans to work legally there (and the EU has expanded a lot, as well) and after Britain drops out, they'll have to start hiring native speakers from other countries. (Again. I worked in Prague in 2000, something I would not be able to do now.)

Bad news of course, is that more isolationism and protectionism means less work for English teachers, less buying property abroad, more difficulty with visas and residence permits, more trouble marrying foreigners, general xenophobia, etc.

Et cetera et cetera et cetera.

I mean look how well isolationism is working out for North Korea.

Anyway, I guess, if you look at it in perspective, there's not much to be happy about in the world in general. Terrorism, war, Zika and West Nile virus, the largest refugee displacement in recorded history, wildfires and heat emergencies and floods and earthquakes. We should live so long that we get to worry about free and easy travel.

These cycles of globalism / isolationism have been going on for a long time. Empires have risen and fallen, and the waves of globalism and  international trade and travel always come to an end, with tight borders and rigid trade barriers (and sometimes global wars), until people get sick of that in 20 - 50 years, and start demanding more international freedoms again.

But for the time being?

It looks like the doofuses in the man-o-sphere might get their wish! Maybe in a few years we'll all be penned up back in white America with closed borders, working at the ball-bearing factory and going home to our submissive-by-law wives.

Sounds pretty fucking grim.

As for me, I have no regrets. I had my time. I'm old enough to remember the pre-globalism days -- when you couldn't visit half the world, when traveling through Europe meant a considerable expense changing money every stop, when you couldn't just put a card in any bank machine and take money out.

And I remember when the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet Union dissolved, and how excited people were when China, Cambodia, Vietnam and so forth started opening up. And I remember when people's eyes would get wide with joy and say, "WOW! YOU'RE FROM AMERICA??"

Anyway, I'll have a new purpose. The chronicler of late 20th Century Globalism, @1989 - 2016.

RIP, globalism. We hardly knew ye.


brian said...

Hard to believe, but living in America actually doesn't seem that bad all of a sudden. All this geopolitical and economic turbulence is eerily similar to pre-WW1 times, with the EU playing the role of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, and we all know how that turned out; even better, we have weapons of mass destruction this time! Grab some popcorn and take more survival courses, X; this should be quite the shit show.

englishteacherx said...

they had weapons of mass destruction -- new-fangled gizmos like machine guns and mustard gas -- but they weren't nearly as close to the end of the road as they might have thought.

Deb auchery said...

This british digital nomad is ok with GBP devalued 10pc! I Get paid in GBP, EUR and USD. I will start exporting more from UK. I will also reduce my tipping in Ukraine from 5pc to 1pc and make my girlfriend work harder!

teacheralex said...

Hey X - looking forward to hearing more about your next overseas destination. Though, I imagine there will be less wild drinking and debauchery this time. It comes with the age, right? I think someone has asked this before, but do you have the link to the lesson plan you posted before with the English Teacher resumes?

Anonymous said...

IT's in my first book, which you can get free here: