Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A world where countries compete for citizens...

One of the themes that continually emerged during my trip to Estonia was their almost shared vision for a new type of "borderless world."

Now, when they say "borderless," I don't think they mean "no boundaries."  My sense is that they are just talking about the passing of the age of the nation-state.

There's a class of people in Estonia (and in many other places as well) who live a digitally-connected, globalized lifestyle.

Companies like Teleport and Jobbatical are based on this.

What they envision is a highly mobile workforce that can move around from place to place, looking for a combination of the right salary, culture, environment, and more and those people becoming citizens and sources of tax revenue.

It's almost like what has happened with financial capital, highly mobile and going after the best deal.

And people will optimize for their lifestyle.  If you like cleanliness, order, winter sports, and fish, you might move to Norway, but if you like beaches, music, and a slower pace, you might move to Jamaica.

The EU is a microcosm of this as entrepreneurs leave certain areas and go to other areas. It happens within the US.

Now, of course, countries will compete only for the most desirable citizens (however they define that) and it begs the questions of
1. how do you become a "desirable" citizen to be competed for like capital or a multi-national corporation
2. what happens to those who are "less desirable"?

I don't know the answers, but I know that the mobility that was once reserved for the super-rich is pushing down educated, connected, and mobile workers of a certain ilk...that's going to have an impact one way or another.

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