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American Dream Abroad
Teleworking From the "New Sunbelt"

Every once in a while an MSM outlet will carry a story about the growing number of Americans retiring abroad. We are big fans of this trend, not least because a retire abroad movement could help develop poorer economies and save US crucial health care dollars all while improving quality of life for retirees. But the latest story on this phenomenon was especially important for how it hinted at the wider possibilities that could come from this trend. Yahoo: 

While stories about Americans retiring to Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico have been around for awhile, there are a few places…not getting a lot of play. [Kathleen Peddicord] identifies Colombia (“a really good choice nobody is talking about yet”) and Uruguay (“especially if you want a relaxed, peaceful lifestyle in Latin America” but with a “very European feel”) as the next “new Sun Belt” hot spots.

And while we’re on hot spots, the ability to communicate with family and friends via Skype and Apple’s FaceTime have made far-flung, adventurous retirement destinations all feel a little bit closer to home.

Skype doesn’t just let you communicate with family and friends: it also allows you to communicate with co-workers. One of the things that the “retire abroad” movement hasn’t yet picked up on is that you don’t need to be retired to take advantage of the very real benefits of living in Panama or Ecuador. We now have the technology that would allow many American companies to send employees of any age to the “new sun belt” to code or research or crunch numbers during the weekdays and scuba-dive on the weekends. It’s time we take advantage of it.

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  • free_agent

    The trouble with telework from the boondocks is that you can’t hunt for a new job from there. As long as you’re working, you have to maintain a foothold in a location with many alternative employers.

  • qet

    Maybe we can get some cross-talk going between Via Meadia and other corners of the TAI world. In the current issue of TAI, Jakub Grygiel deplores the MOOC mania (of which Via Meadia is so fond), arguing that MOOCs do not foster the “intersubjectivity” that face-to-face classrooms do. Does Grygiel’s analysis apply equally to the modern, computer- and Internet-centered workplace? Is intersubjectivity valuable to computer- and Internet-using workers just as it is to college students? How about it, Via Meadia?

    • Damir Marusic

      For what it’s worth, TAI has never been a particularly doctrinaire sort of place, one way or another. The debate about MOOCs is one we’ve been having internally for quite a while. The short posts reflect a house voice which most strongly channels Walter Mead’s view of things, but we are more than pleased to run Dr. Grygiel’s essay—as forceful a polemic against MOOCs as you’re likely to find—in our pages as well.

      • qet

        Thanks, Damir. I wouldn’t be a subscriber if TAI were doctrinaire. But neither does TAI publish arguments it believes are poorly conceived. Any chance we will see the VM House/WRM address the Grygiel arguments in future posts on MOOCs and/or telework? That would be some fine intersubjectivity right there.

  • Jim__L

    Because what this country needs most is for most of our government expenditures to be funneled overseas! Yeah!

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