The Corner

A Gated Community in Mogadishu?

Michael, as it happens, I touched tangentially on this subject in my weekend column. After pointing out that the US dollar is worth half of what it was Down Under a decade ago, I continued:

By the way, that decline in the U.S./Australian exchange isn’t the only one. Ten years ago the U.S. dollar was worth 1.6 Canadian; now it’s at par. A decade ago, the dollar was worth over ten Swedish Kroner, now 6.7; 1.8 Singapore dollars, now 1.2. I get asked with distressing frequency by Americans where I would recommend fleeing to. The reality is, given the dollar’s decline over the last decade, that most Americans can no longer afford to flee to any place worth fleeing to. What’s left is the non-flee option: taking a stand here…

Etc. But maybe I’m thinking too narrowly. I bought a timeshare in Ougadougou 15 years ago, and it’s increased in value by $27.86, so who knows?

In his novel about America in the year 2030, Albert Brooks (no right-winger) posits a land riven by inter-generational conflict where seniors are preyed on by young ‘uns resentful at having been born too late for the American Dream. In Brooks’ scenario, the escape route for codgers is an unending cruise: cash in your assets and live on a floating palace – life as an eternal NR cruise but without having to get up early for Steyn and McCarthy’s panel discussion on the Iranian nuclear program.

I thought this was just a dystopian fancy of the author’s, but it’s already here. While down in Australia, I was invited to a party on The World, which had berthed in Sydney for a few days. It’s life beyond the gated community: The floated community.

Look for more of this in the years ahead. And presumably, if you spend most of your year in international waters, there are potential tax advantages – as long as you can stay one step ahead of the Somali pirates.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More