Sunday, May 2, 2010

Americans at Home

I adore Slate's Bogus Trend Story feature, so I was delighted to see that this week's offering has an IC theme. Jack Shafer rips into the NYT claim that Americans are de-patriating at a rapid clip like a hammerhead into a bag of chum, although he starts off with a deceptively friendly caveat:

Before we set fire to this article and throw it out the window, let's commend it for not misrepresenting itself. It states that "more" Americans are giving up citizenship in the headline, and that appears to be substantiated in the piece, which reports that 743 expatriates surrendered their "U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status" in 2009. The figure in 2008 was 235. More is more.

But, as Shafer wisely points out, two years do not a trend make. And examining a wider pool reveals mixed results. The numbers don't steadily increase; they fluctuate. Expatriates occupy a unique position in international communication, the hinterlands of cross-cultural exchange. But those districts aren't as overrun with ex-Americans as the Times story might have you believe.

No comments:

Post a Comment