The last time I actually lived in the u.s. was a couple of months in 2003.. since that only a few short visits, the last of which was in 2017. I recently had a visit from a long-time friend from Los Angeles. I would consider him my closest living friend. We have known each other since 1980. I had been hoping for this visit for a number of years now, and it finally happened. He stayed down here about a couple of months, including two or three weeks in Buenos Aires. He even considered buying a house here.
In our numerous conversations about the state of the world, sandwiched between a lot of reminiscing and a lot of ideas about politics, two major topics struck me as being key:
1. In the so-called "First World" (a term that no longer applies really) people have come to expect that they can have anything. If someone wants shrimp and crab and salmon, those imported items are abundantly available. Culinary choices from any country are readily available too. In fact, all consumer goods from pretty much anywhere in the world (mostly China) can be purchased fairly reasonably due to dominance of certain currencies. And there is the belief that people living in those charmed and privileged countries are entitled to this availability and can reasonable expect it to continue.
2. The "rest of the world" is somehow inferior to the u.s., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the EU, and maybe a few Asian countries that can claim high prosperity. "The rest of the world" is considered to be backwaters of chaos and poverty, and somehow not up to par. And of course all of the people in "the rest of the world" would give their right arms to be able to immigrate to those prosperous "First World" countries, the assumption being that their salaries and lifestyles will similar to what is seen in North American and European films and television series.
Also among gay people there seems to be a preference for cities, as the only places where they can get what they want in life, including access to lots of other gay people they might want to meet.
I wonder if some people have considered that it might be time to rethink it all in light of the many paradigm-shattering changes of the last 20 years, including shocking levels of poverty and homelessness in places like London, Los Angeles, Miami, etc., the scourge of opiate addiction in the US, the extremely high cost of housing, surprising jumps in inflation in the u.s. and some countries in Europe, coupled with the potential collapse of currencies, and current potential for the unthinkable: nuclear war and ecological & climate collapse.