I Want to Move to Poland

A mix of old and new: Warsaw's financial center
A mix of old and new: Warsaw’s financial center

One of my daily reads is the excellent website Quartz. It’s a fascinating mix of business, economics, finance, and other sorts of things that are right up my alley. It is modern journalism at its finest and if you want to learn about (and understand) the world today, you really should read it, too. (For the record, I’m not a paid representative of Quartz and no one working there asked me to say this.)

I have read two pieces on Quartz recently about Poland, a country I have yet to visit (but would really like to visit). The first is by programmer/project manager Sean Crabtree and is called I left America for the real land of promise – Poland.

After seven years living in New York City’s hustle and bustle, working as a digital products manager for a major media company, my wife and I decided to leave and see the world. If you’d told either of us that within a year we’d be living full lives with satisfying jobs in southern Poland, we never would’ve believed you. After a year and a half here, we have no plans of returning to the US.

We chose Kraków because we have close friends here, who also left New York City in 2010 after not finding work for nine long months. Now they own a translating, teaching and proofreading business and are so busy with clients that they constantly have to turn down work. When they first announced their intention to move to Poland, I was taken aback by what seemed to be a radical plan, but now it makes perfect sense. They left their (home)land of opportunity for one that’s truly earning that reputation.

Basically, Crabtree works in the technology industry in Poland and that is amazing. I don’t speak Polish, but I would be willing to give it a try if I lived in Poland.

The next piece I read on Poland was published today and is called What’s behind the Polish economic miracle? The interesting stuff comes at the end of the article.

One, ironically enough, that Balcerowicz’s [a former central banker of Poland] warnings against ideology apply across the board. His tight money policy as a central banker from 2002 to 2007 (and Polish banks’ strict lending standards) likely helped Poland avoid asset bubbles as the country was awash in foreign credit from 2004-8, but would have likely been problematic if adopted during the crisis.

Two, that structures can be as important as decision-making: The institutions Balcerowicz helped create as a liberalizing reformer in the nineties, particularly a free-floating currency, were key to the robust performance of his country during the crisis.

And finally, that austerity doesn’t necessarily create the best climate for structural reform: It’s easy to criticize Greece, as Balcerwociz does, for being slow to adopt changes to its labor markets and social contract, but those kinds of changes often require accommodating monetary policy to diminish their economic and political costs.

Basically, Poland is amazing. And I want to live there. You really can’t blame me for saying this, as I live in a country that has possibly the worst economic policy in decades. My country, the United States, is going to go bankrupt quite soon. Remember how I was devastated about the election results? I haven’t discussed politics very much on this blog, but the main reason I’m devastated is because of this administration’s inane economic policy and insistence of spending, spending, and more spending.

Okay, I’m getting a bit off-topic here. Bottom line: I love Poland and want to move there. My criticisms of economic policy can wait for another post.

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4 thoughts on “I Want to Move to Poland

  1. I’ve heard that our governments has good reviews through the world and this was funny for me, but this what quartz wrote is horrible. Poles like to grumble and lament, but this government is one of the worst eer. Naturally we are in much better position as Greece (I live in Poland and I’ve got also family in Greece, so i know what i say).

    Briefly about our, polish miracle:

    Rate of unemployment – 13%, average salary for young graduate just after studies in south Poland (corporation, banking sector, search engine optimization or marketing in internet) – 300 – 600 euro netto. One person room for rent in Cracow it;’s about 150 – 170 euro. In Poznan and Wroclav it’s more.

    Dramatically aging society, declining health care (for simple gastroscopy people wait in queues 6 – 8 months, arthroscopy – 12 to 18) and flats, this is tragedy.

    Poland is developing, and has done much in recent twenty years, but foreign magazines quotes only statistics. GDP is growing? Yes, it’s. Prises are growing? Yes, they’re, faster than salaries.

    One liter of oil in Poland is more expensive than in USA 🙂 And who in America work for lower than 1000 USD? I think some 70% of polish society live on such wages.

    Naturally there is Warsaw… Poland is a Warsaw (for long time nothing) rest of big cities (5 maybe 6) and the rest of country…

    1. Thanks for this comment, it’s interesting to hear the perspective of someone who actually lives in Poland! 🙂

      People definitely have a tendency to romanticize places they haven’t been to. My country (USA) has a lot of anxiety right now, if you ask me. We’re deeply divided politically (Obama barely won reelection in November) and there’s a lot of uncertainty about our future, which leads people here to look longingly at other countries that appear to be in a better situation than we are.

  2. “We’re deeply divided politically”

    I’ve heard that, and sometimes i’ve read also about USA problems.

    Three years ago polish president L. Kaczynski with his wife and many other generals, bishops, senators etc. etc. died in catastrophe in forest near Smolensk. There is strong suspicion that it could be an assasinations, some bombs or sth like that. Russians naturally did everything to make this case hard to solve. This lays in the nature of Moscow.

    After catastrophe some leader of leftist party want to reyoice death of president his own country and invite his friends to soup, where he could serve guests “Smolensk duck” (dead prsesident was “Kaczynski”, “kaczka” means “duck” in polish) and “bloody Marry” (president’s wife has name Maria). This guy is member of our parliament.

    The brother of dead president (former prime minister) after three years consistently maintains that prime minister and current presidents are spies (German or Russian). He speaks this with open mouth in public and reject any sort of reconciliation. He is a leader of party which is backed by 25% voters. It’s second strength in Poland (Law and Justice).

    Try to imagine that Barrack Obama dies in airplane accident in Mexico with wife and many generals and politicians and Mitt Romney says: “That’s superb! Let’s have a toast!” 🙂

    1. I remember when Kaczynski died – I was at university and I woke up to the news of the plane crash all over the internet 😦

      Political division certainly isn’t limited to the US, based on what you’ve said!

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