WWYD: Husband Can’t Find a Job — Except In Asia

Someone wrote to Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax today about an unwanted adventure:

I am writing because my husband and I are facing a huge dilemma. He cannot find a job in the United States. He recently got a job offer in Asia and wants us to go. I have conflicting emotions about this, as I do not speak the language and feel it would be very isolating for me. I would be leaving all my family and friends. We have no kids, and my husband thinks now is the time to take a risk. Any advice?

“Conflicting emotions”? The only evident emotions are negative ones, specifically fear of loneliness and the unfamiliar. And that’s totally fair. Big changes, like living abroad, are not for everyone. Perhaps the LW is an introvert and requires the support of the family and friends s/he would be leaving behind. S/he doesn’t mention a job but it might also be hard to earn money abroad, and not having the structure of work in a foreign place can be doubly daunting.

Cities That Are Not New York: Singapore, Cont’d!

Earlier today Mike concluded that “Singapore is not the answer” but I don’t know, Mike, are you sure? Yeah, it is authoritarian-socialist, not democratic-socialist, like the warmer and fuzzier Scandinavian countries. Artists and gum-chewers alike may find themselves feeling creatively stifled. Normal people can afford to live there, though, in part because housing is considered a right, not a privilege:

Singapore seems to have handled massive urbanization while keeping things relatively affordable. The country also is generally well regarded for its emphasis on urban design.

What does Singapore have going for it? Massive public investment in housing, at levels that are frankly unthinkable in North America. More than 80 percent of the population live in their version of public housing. Which, since it’s occupied by the large bulk of the middle class and not just the poor, doesn’t carry the same connotations as public housing does in North America.

Opportunities Overseas

The Washington Post had a piece this weekend about Americans who are leaving the country to do the same: look for jobs that pay a decent salary and provide good benefits rather than continue their fruitless job hunt, or settle for a jobs that underpay.