A very happy fourth of July to my American friends, colleagues, and readers. On this most patriotic of patriotic days in the US of A, I am going to write a very patriotic-themed post on … Canada. The reason is simple. Tomorrow, I will leave this hockey-loving, maple-syrup-drinking, igloo-dwelling nation for one that produces no hockey, no maple syrup, and no igloos.
Living and working in China will of course be very different than living and working in suburbia Canadiana. But more than lifestyle and cultural changes, a question that has come up in my mind is whether I should be working for “the enemy” at all. After all, China is seen by many in the West as their primary adversary on the international stage. One that sells cheap crappy goods. One that sells unsafe toys. One that unfairly manipulates its currency to maintain an economic advantage. And one that continues to “steals jobs” from the West.
With the disappearance of Nortel, the continuing implosion of Research in Motion, and the shuttering of many design offices (including mine), Canada is in a period of hi-tech decline while China is in a period of rapid hi-tech growth and expansion. By leaving Canada and working to build up advanced hi-tech capability in China, am I not contributing to the decline by assisting in the “job stealing”? Is there not a hint of being a seditious traitor by turning my back on a country that has nurtured me for more than three decades and working for “the other side”? Well, I guess there is, but I decided to choose career over country.
I wasn’t given a lucrative economic incentive to work in China, yet, I’m going anyway. But what about you, dear readers? Would you turn your back on your country and work in China? Is there a dollar figure or job position where you can imagine yourself “selling out”? I’d love to hear your opinion on this in the comments section.
What The Flux is a semi-regular weekendish feature on EngineeringBlogs.org that follows the follies and jollies of an engineer in industry, yours truly.