Not all immigration stories involve pulling oneself up by bootstraps. Marcus East didn’t come to America for a better life. He already had a Cambridge education and a top job in technology for brand-name companies in the UK. But he knew that moving to America would push him further.
“There is a sense in the UK and in northern Europe that in very well-established nations with incredible welfare and free healthcare, free education, free housing, young people don’t necessarily feel the pressure to work in the same way that they have in the US,” says East. “And that wasn’t something that necessarily drew me here, but it’s one of the things that I think keeps me here. The lack of safety nets I think inspires people to work harder and perhaps do some of their best work.”
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