Trump change: Could Longyearbyen’s economy be saved by U.S. residents fleeing from President Donald?


We might see such much winning after the election we really do get tired of it.

Americans are pondering fleeing their homeland in record numbers if Donald Trump’s hairpiece actually ends up hanging in the master bedroom of the White House after this November’s presidential election. And while Canada is the nearest and most obvious possibility, word is getting out that Svalbard might be the easiest to emigrate to and offer a lifestyle that’s definitely not The Donald’s.

“Even the inhospitable climate in Svalbard will be an environment that is easier to endure than Trump’s America,” notes an article posted last week at Mashable titled “Five countries that will welcome you if Trump becomes president. Moreover, it is probably the easiest place in the world to move to. No residence permit or visa is necessary.”


Google searches for “Move to Canada” hit an all-time high the day after Donald Trump won most of the “Super Tuesday” primaries. The Canadian government’s webstie also experienced glitches due to an overwhelming number of people trying to access it.

Overlooking the fact Svalbard isn’t a country (unless you’re a ham radio operator), the article does note the easy residency requirements come with certain drawbacks.

“Disgruntled Americans that choose to take up in Svalbard are not entitled to social services. All residents of Svalbard must be able to provide for themselves financially and those who cannot may be ‘expelled or refused entry into Svalbard.’ You should also be able to defend yourself against polar bears. Other than that, everybody who can handle living in the Arctic is welcome.”

The increasing ratio of foreign residents in Longyearbyen isn’t exactly thrilling Norway’s government. But if the town attracts the “right” kind of fleeing Americans who are full of entrepreneurial ideas, maybe they’ll prove to be the answer to how the local economy recovers after the loss of a quarter of the town’s 2,200 residents due to the near total shutdown of coal mining.

And while conservatives’ “facts” are a bit freaky (“take a stroll through the ‘no-go zone’ when you get there”), in reality they’d likely find this place a paradise due to lifestyle factors such as:

• Gun ownership is virtually mandatory, since you need one outside the city limits to ward off polar bears. And there’s no liberal squeamishness about guns in schools – teachers tote them during recess and when taking the kids out on field trips.

• We relish tearing holes into our pristine environment in order to extract coal, even if we don’t think other places should. (The shutdown is due to a price crash, not any that bogus greenie and climate change stuff). We also discharge our raw sewage into the seawater along our beaches because treating it would deny the millions of seabirds that breed here annually a glorious food source.

• Zero-tolerance policies for society’s losers rock! Druggie? Exiled! Boozer? Voted off the island? Elderly or infirm? Don’t let the door hit you in your far-too-slow-to-move ass.

• We love eating non-PC foods like fresh whale caught in local waters.

• Most of the population is hugely into hunting – even the kindergarteners have their own reindeer hunting quota. And those tykes skin and butcher Santa’s former little helpers as well. Good thing they know how to live off the land because we don’t believe in absurdities like school lunch programs (see next item). And ever read stories of kids with lemonade stands getting busted for not having permits? Hah! Here you can hang a reindeer carcass outside your balcony for days and serve the rotting flesh at a public event – indeed, people will gobble it up even faster knowing the source.

• Low taxes. Yes, here in Norway – and with a system folks like Ben Carson, Herman Cain and SimCity would approve of. Svalbard residents generally pay about a 16 percent flat income tax (compared to 28 percent plus a 25 percent VAT on the mainland). Of course, that means we don’t have lots of wasteful government programs like those school lunches, welfare, hospitals equipped to deliver babies, substance abuse programs and homeless shelters.

The latter might be a thing, however, since available housing at the moment is rather scarce here. That will improve somewhat this summer when Store Norske finishes its massive downsizing, shedding all but 100 of what used to be a 400-person workforce a few years ago, freeing up apartments used as employee housing. Meanwhile, the lack of living space might be fine with Bundy standoff types desiring to rough it outdoors (although those snacks and latrine trenches are likely to attract polar bears), but we’re guessing they’re the type inclined to support The Donald.

Fortunately, it looks like those who might flee aren’t looking to Svalbard as their first choice. Mashable noted Google searches for “Move to Canada” set an all-time one-day record the day after His Royal Hairness domined the “Super Tuesday” primaries a couple of weeks ago. In addition, the Canadian government’s website was overwhelmed due to the number of people looking for information about moving there.

“You may experience delays while using the website,” an error message posted at the website at 12:06 a.m. Eastern Standard Time the day after Super Tuesday. “We are working to resolve this issue. Thank you for your patience.”

Other destinations suggested by Mashable include New Zealand (which has “developed an entire webpage to make leaving as easy as possible” for Americans), Ireland (“consistently ranked some of the friendliest people in the world”) and Sweden (“often lauded for its generous immigration policies).