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Finding the best country in the world to live in

2 min read

People are sometimes a little taken aback by my criticism of the US, just as they used to be about my criticism of the UK when I lived there. In both cases, it’s not that I don’t like the place — I just see all kinds of opportunities for them to be better.

I sometimes wonder what a perfect place to live might look like. Some things I’d like to see:

  • Universal healthcare
  • A solid social safety net
  • Integrated, well-run public transit
  • Walkable cities
  • No guns
  • Progressive, inclusive policies overall

Which describes a few social democratic countries really well. But then I’d like to add:

  • Good weather
  • Delicious, fresh food
  • Affordable housing
  • No state religion (officially or effectively)
  • No monarchy
  • Permissive immigration
  • Low discrepancy between rich and poor

And it all starts to fall apart a bit more. I think there will be countries that tick all of those boxes (maybe some do already); over time more and more places will become this.

But if you leave aside the obvious ties of family and friends (not small reasons to stay in a place), and toss aside patriotism and nationalism (which are two cultural values that I genuinely think are useless), where’s the best place to be now?

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