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Journal Journal: We're not leaving yet.... 11

My fiance and I have been thinking about leaving the US for a while now, although we have not decided for sure that we will leave. We definitely know that we will be here until she is done with her education (~2-4 more years).

The apparent Bush win is only reducing our confidence in the people of this country (But honestly a Kerry win wouldn't have been very encouraging, unless it was a blowout). But fear of four more years of this administration is not what is motivating us. It is really fear of what the populous that elected him will elect next and how long all this neo-conservative shit will last. We really feel that the administration is a symptom of the problems, not the source. It is a real shame, our constitution is so nice, and I don't think the fundamentals of any other country are as good as they are here, but the practical matters are becoming overwhelmingly important.

Something that is bothering me more and more is that I think the economic collapse of the states is likely in the next 15-40 years, and I don't want my (unborn) kids to have to be at the heart of that. And even if there is no collapse, there will certainly be very high taxes, without high levels of government services provided at some point during their lives given the willingness of 'conservatives' in the government to run enormous deficits (which are just a tax on the future).

Politically, we are both quasi-socialist civil libertarians, and a government which fits that bill is a plus, the civil liberties being a higher priority than the socialism. We are also both atheists and would prefer a place where religion is not thrust upon you in your daily life (we don't mind if most of our neighbors are devoutly religious, as long as they aren't trying to convert our kids/us and the public policy is not influenced too much by religion). We also need a place were being intelligent is not looked down on. Good publicly available education is a must. And we must be able to find work. My fiance is a Ph.D. student in cosmology and would like to be a professor (we would be happy to start out somewhere else with her as a post-doc though). A research university is preferable to an instruction only institution, but instruction only is alright as well. My job is a lower priority (especially if you can live a modest life on one income). I am a scientific programmer/computational scientist/aerospace engineer. I am also willing to go back to school to teach high school math or physics.

That covers the necessities. Now on to the things that would be nice, but not essential. Cold winters are better than hot summers. We like densely populated small urban areas (think American college towns), cultural diversity being a plus. We intend to learn local languages, but we currently only speak English, and very limited Spanish, so being able to get by only knowing English (or perhaps even living someplace where all business is conducted in English) is a plus. We are also both fairly avid cyclists, so some place with good cycling in the area (and practical commuting by cycle) would be nice.

We are thinking about Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, The Netherlands, Germany, and France.

Other suggestions and comments on the countries I have listed are encouraged.

Oh yeah, if all you are going to say is good riddance, don't bother replying...

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