No, not me…well, ok, I have left America for the time being, but this post isn’t about me, it’s some dude, Paul Toth. I caught his post on this blog called the Nervous Breakdown a while back. I wanted to post more of a discussion on it, but now thinking I’ll save that for later. There’s interesting stuff in here, some of which rings true, and some of which i definitely don’t agree with. But I do think it’s worth discussing why some people are choosing to leave the U.S. these days.

Toth’s reasons?….:

In a word, inequity. As capitalism continues running amok like a rabid dog, I simply cannot take one day longer without a plan for escape, my fingers caked with mud from the tunneling. While a Democrat may very well become president, he or she will inherit more problems than Bush inherited wealth. That only makes sense, for Bush certainly wouldn’t favor distributing the only thing of which he has an abundance, that being wealth. Still, months to go before I sleep and my awakening in a land that, at this time, I care not to disclose.

And his response to a common criticism:

I know many will claim that I’m abandoning the United States, rather than helping change it for the better. There is no better. There never will be a better. “Change” will forever remain the mantra of politicians who cannot deliver it, even if they wish to do so. On the positive side, no one who so readily and publicly vomits his ignorance as Bush could possibly emerge from the gene pool. However, should such an anti-miracle occur, voters will elect this unlikely specimen with whom they would prefer to share a barbecue.

And the classic criticism of America, recently given new life by Susan Jacoby in her new book:

To make it worse, in no other country is intelligence so despised. Don’t look for wise men or women here; they’re in bunkers, beneath the underground railroad, listening to the transportation of money to the mountain. They live as if midgets beneath a model train set, the ambience provided by the rumbling wheels of faux free enterprise. The only thing free about enterprise? It’s free of risk for those with nothing to lose because they’ve more than enough to suffer any loss.

Question for discussion: Do we have an obligation to stay in the country we’re born in if it’s having problems? Should Iraqi professionals have stayed there to prevent brain-drain? Should people who like intellectuals stay in the States and try to revive a culture of learning?