Independence Day reflection: Our Freedom to Move

Happy Independence Day, USA! We celebrate 240 years of independence this year. But we’re still the very best of friends with the country we declared our independence from, Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom. Because we’re such good allies and friends, many Americans have been paying attention to all the news about the so-called “Brexit” – the UK voting to leave the European Union. And because that has impacted the financial markets, including interest rates, it might even indirectly factor into your home-buying and financing plans.

This got us thinking about a very important freedom we have here in America, in our continent-wide (and beyond) nation. Freedom of Movement. Something we don’t often think about in the US, but is now a big issue in Europe. Because it’s about “movement” in the sense of moving from one place to another, and we’re a company in the moving industry ready to help you move with the right supplies and guidance, we’ve decided to explore this idea, this freedom, in our Fourth of July article for this year.

US Flag overlaid with words Freedom of Movement, packing boxes, and a celebratory female figure leaping for joy

What is all the hub-bub about leaving the EU? Why did the UK vote? We try to stay out of politics, even here in the USA (and we certainly have a lot of that happening this year!) but since we Americans are close to our allies in Britain, let’s take a look at one of the reasons some UK citizens voted “Leave”

One hot issue has to do with “Freedom of Movement” – That’s not about a right to travel, that’s about the right to move to, live, work in, start a business in, invest in, any part of that continent-wide association. Imagine if you had to get permission to move from one side of our continent to the other!

On June 30, 2016, the following headline appeared on the BBC website: “Brexit: Freedom of movement ‘on the table’ for forthcoming talks.” It quotes French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, who stressed the urgency of examining the conditions under which said “freedom” is allowed. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Conditions for Freedom of Movement of people

  • Conditions for Freedom of Movement of goods

  • Conditions for Freedom of Movement of capital

The Brexit dilemma refers to countries within the EU. Up till now, they’ve all had that freedom of movement to and from the UK. If the UK leaves the EU, there’s a problem with how people from the UK might need to get permits to work where they now are live elsewhere in Europe, while the opposite may happen for the many workers from other EU countries who currently live and work in the UK. Hopefully our European friends and allies of the UK and the EU can work that out. However, in some parts of the world, freedom of movement even within one’s own country poses a formidable challenge. Consider the plight of citizens of the People’s Republic of China, whose household registration system – called Hukou – limits internal migration within their own nation!

Freedom of movement is yet another reason to celebrate our country, and to be thankful for being an American Citizen. On this day, July 4, 2016, citizens of the United States of America celebrate Independence Day. This independence encompasses freedom of movement throughout our country. A freedom without conditions. We don’t have to get permission to move from one side of the continent to the other, or to or from our outlying states and territories. That’s a freedom we should never take for granted.

If we choose to move to Massachusetts from Texas, from New York to Alaska, from Hawaii to Virginia, from Florida to Oregon, from Puerto Rico to New Hampshire, or anywhere else in the USA, we can do so. No permission needed.

Sure, we’ll eventually have to get new driver licenses, pay different local and state taxes, and if we work in a licensed profession like nursing or engineering, get licensed in the new state – but we don’t have to get any “residency permit” or work visa. Yes, if starting or expanding a business into a different state, there are some new business licenses needed. (Trust us, we know, we just expanded into Southeast Florida, do we know from forms! We’ve done all that and are open to serve you from there now too.)

In our wonderfully diverse and grand country, we have so many places to choose where to raise our families, seek our fortunes, try our luck, make our own adventure.

We just have to up and move! No “approvals” needed.

All we need to do that, at least the physical “move our stuff” part of it, are packing supplies and boxes. Lots and lots of them. And perhaps, someone to help you pack them, find the best moving company for your needs and budget, recommend to you a good real estate professional.

At Discount Packing Supplies, we’ve got you covered. We even can arrange storage space, in case you have not yet settled into a new home. And help you plan and manage your entire move, with our free consultations and free relocation management.

Enjoy your Freedom of Movement. Happy Independence Day from all of us at Discount Packing Supplies of Eastern Massachusetts, and Discount Packing Supplies of Southeast Florida!