China’s not an easy place to live. Wealthy Chinese parents are becoming increasingly concerned about raising kids in an environment with filthy air, not to mention a critical lack of clean water and constant food and beverage safety scandals. __ https://news.yahoo.com/chinas-millionaires-leaving-china-080000378.html
Wealthy Chinese also understand that the government can take everything away at a moment’s notice, toss them in prison, and use them as organ donors without so much as a “by your leave.”
The number of rich people leaving China was the most among all countries. India came in second with 61,000 people relocating to other parts of the world between 2000 and 2014. France was third with 42,000 outgoing millionaires, followed by 23,000 leaving Italy and 20,000 leaving Russia.
Keep in mind that the numbers above refer to wealthy persons emigrating — often using investor visa programs. The graphic below looks a all categories of emigrants.
If a person can move to a cleaner, safer place, with more opportunity, they are likely to do so. Most Chinese and Russians lack the money or the employability to let them make the big plunge to Europe or the Anglosphere. It is sometimes easier to migrate to the desired country “in stages.”
Much of Europe now counts as a single territorial unit in terms of freedom of movement and capital mobility. Some countries use their privileged position as entry points to sell access and citizenship.
In Latvia, for example, anyone who buys property worth at least 50,000 Lats (US$96,000) in provincial cities, and 100,000 Lats (US$192,000) in Riga, receives a five-year residency permit that allows them access to other countries in Europe. Since 2012, Portugal has a “golden visa” guaranteeing two-year residence in return for a 500,000 euro investment in real estate investment or a one million euro investment that creates 30 jobs. By March 2014, 542 visas were issued, with 433 going to Chinese applicants. In 2013, Spain and Greece adopted similar programs for real estate investments of 500,000 euros and 250,000 euros, respectively. The same year Hungary gave a residence permit in return for an investment of 250,000 euros and a payment to “partners” of the government for at least 40,000 euros…
… Indeed, the competition for the rich is creating a downward pressure on the price of entry. In 2012, Portugal offered 500,000 euros for residency; the next year, Greece asked for only 250,000 euros.
The above graphic reveals why so many Russian scientists, engineers, and others on the cutting edge of knowledge, creativity, and innovation are forced to move abroad in order to exercise their talents.
Where to Migrate if You Like Trees
You can view the green tree-covered areas as places with higher average H2O precipitation (rain and/or snow), than those areas that are not green.
And here is one website’s compilation of the top 30 countries in the world to live:
By using customised methodology, you could create virtually any ranking you choose — just as when ranking the top universities.
Interestingly, China is ranked # 30 in the list above, not so very far below many of the countries that wealthy Chinese are so eager to migrate to. That suggests more than one problem with the methodology used, as does the fact that several highly ranked nations are uncomfortably close to either the Muslim apocalypse, or in awkward proximity to would-be hegemons of a quasi-totalitarian nature (such as China).
Regardless, there is no accounting for taste. Take the above list as an example, and aim to improve on it.
China’s precarious economy, and the risk of more rapid capital flight and brain drain:
Debt was already a problem in the Chinese growth model more than ten years ago (and is a problem in several advanced economies too, who are going to find it nearly impossible to grow out of their debt burdens without implicit or explicit debt forgiveness). Those analysts who do not understand why this is the case probably do not understand why the balance sheet will continue to be a heavy constraint on Chinese growth and will underestimate the difficulty of the challenge facing Xi Jinping and his administration, which means among other things that they will be too quick to criticize Beijing for failed policies when growth drops below their projections.
__ More from Michael Pettis
Another fascinating viewpoint on China’s conundrum
More on the coming disintegration of Russia, which will drive ever more emigration of the wealthy, talented, and ambitious:
Russia will collapse …
“There will not be an uprising against Moscow, but Moscow’s withering ability to support and control the Russian Federation will leave a vacuum,” Stratfor warns. “What will exist in this vacuum will be the individual fragments of the Russian Federation.”
Sanctions, declining oil prices, a plunging ruble, rising military expenses, and increasing internal discord will weaken the hold of Russia’s central government over the world’s largest country. Russia will not officially split into multiple countries, but Moscow’s power may loosen to the point that Russia will effectively become a string of semi-autonomous regions that might not even get along with one another.
“We expect Moscow’s authority to weaken substantially, leading to the formal and informal fragmentation of Russia” the report states, adding, “It is unlikely that the Russian Federation will survive in its current form.”