Asians Bidding The West Adieu

I tend to think that we can learn immeasurably more about how our economy and society is changing just by watching the actions that people take in response to events then we can by reading thousands of learned opinion pieces or listening to the self-proclaimed elite. That’s why I found this article on Reuterseu so gripping:

“Go East” is a message being heeded by many Asian professionals in the United States and Europe who see brighter job prospects in a region that is expected to outperform the rest of the world for economic growth.

Zhang Zheng Han, 26, is one of a growing flock of highly educated Asians living in the West who have bought one-way tickets home, lured by job opportunities, family ties and a comfortable lifestyle.

“Right now no nation is changing as swiftly as China,” he said. “There are so many opportunities for people in my generation.”

After getting his masters degree in engineering from the UK’s Nottingham University, he came back to China and immediately began work for a stem cell research firm.

Other Asians should follow, according to American investor Jim Rogers, who co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros. He thinks this century will be China’s and now lives in ethnically Chinese Singapore, where his young kids are learning Mandarin.

“If you’re in London you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time … You gotta move east,” he told Reuters TV recently.

The trend of reverse migration has accelerated in the past few months as the financial crisis has hit the United States and Europe harder than many Asian economies. This influx will serve Asia well as it needs skilled managers to leverage further growth, experts say.

When people vote with their feet, I think that’s worth noting. It seems as if humans have a sixth sense when it comes to searching out opportunity or maybe they smell stagnation and decay and that makes them move on. Whatever, it seems that instinct that led so many to America at one time and lured them to the West once they arrived might be at work again. If it is, I’m not sure that’s a good omen of us.

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