Thursday, February 8, 2007

German Brain Drain

The New York Times has an interesting report about Germans fleeing their country for greener economic pastures. We here have commented on the trend of wealthy people in Europe and elsewhere moving their assets to low tax jurisdictions, and the uproar this caused, especially in France. Imagine what is happening now that educated professionals are joining the very wealthy in seeking more accommodating locations.

Among the more popular programs on German television is “Goodbye Deutschland!: The Emigrants,” a 12-part series chronicling several families who have forsaken Germany for South Africa or southern Spain.
The trigger for this latest bout of angst was the release last fall of new government statistics showing that 144,800 Germans emigrated in 2005, up from 109,500 in 2001. At the same time, only 128,100 Germans returned, a decline of nearly 50,000 from the year before. That made it the first year in nearly four decades that more people left than came home.

These emigrants are not just teenagers looking for adventure abroad, but doctors, engineers, executives, and entrepreneurs. The life blood of a nation. Germany is now worried about replacing its educated classes as the current crop retire, but no amount of patriotic platitudes will convince people to stay when they know that they can have a better life somewhere else.


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