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October 02, 2011

Float The Rich [John E.]

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, thinks we're headed for a billionaire exodus. While this might be welcome news for the thousands of innocent straw men that have been needlessly slaughtered in teleprompter speechifying over the past few years, the good folks over at the IRS probably aren't thrilled.

So, where will they be going? Belize? Switzerland? Nope.

In the old days, every member of the middle class thought he or she had a chance of becoming rich. In that sort of optimistic environment, you don't want to urinate in the pool that you hope to someday swim in. But lately there's more fatalism in the air, thanks to our crushing debt and the hobo militias that I assume are forming all over the country. The middle class will soon trade their unrealistic dreams of wealth for the opportunity to transfer money from total strangers to themselves—a process often referred to as fairness. That's when the rich will get serious about an escape plan, just like the brave little sea creatures billions of years ago.

But where can the rich go? Their choices include nations that have swarms of malaria-infested mosquitoes, bad TV, deadly climates, decapitation issues, French people, bland food and other signs of inhospitableness. When you consider these factors plus wars, pollution, terrorism, floods, droughts, earthquakes and tornadoes, I think you'll agree that most of the surveyed land on Earth is unfit for fancy people.

This is where technology trends come in. We've already entered the era of megaships, including plans for island-size vessels with permanent homes and businesses. We'll soon see rapid advances in high-speed Internet for seafaring vessels, floating fisheries, hydroponic gardens, energy generated from waves, and desalination. The only other element needed to trigger mass migration of the wealthy to the oceans is a financial motive. If a billionaire can escape taxation by leaving his dirt-based country behind, he'll save more than enough money to pay for his floating fortress of awesomeness.

Okay, but what about the rest of us? What if I want to aimlessly drift along the North Atlantic Current until global warming shuts it all down? Well, there's always Seasteading if you can handle being trapped on a floating libertarian utopia with a bunch of yammering Paulbots. Otherwise, it looks like we'll have to go with makeshift rafts. I'm told Glenn Beck's non-hybrid survival seeds will grow in the open ocean, though. So that's a plus.

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posted by Guest Blogger at 01:46 PM

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