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Date US Metaculites Face Emigration Crisis


The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated that there are times where many Americans would find it difficult to leave the US for many other countries they would otherwise desire to travel to. But is it possible that one day, normal Americans will find it very difficult to quickly and legally leave the US for any other country?

While seemingly farfetched, this is the reality that residents of many Soviet-bloc countries had faced historically, and one that still afflicts residents of countries like North Korea today.

Define an emigration crisis as:

  • An American citizen in good standing with a valid passport cannot purchase a plane ticket and leave the country to any other country within 48 hours.

When will American Metaculus users face an emigration crisis?

To operationalize this further,

  • For something to count as an emigration crisis, consider the hypothetical situation where >=10 Metaculus users will make good-faith attempts to leave the country as quickly as they can in the 48-hour period.

  • If >50% of them do not succeed in doing so within 48 hours, this will count as an emigration crisis for Metaculus users.

We ask you to predict the first such date where Metaculus users will face an emigration crisis by the above definition. To help detect this event, this question is partially auto-resolving, see the fine print below.

On the first day before 2030/12/31 when the 50th percentile of the result of this question, with >50 predictions, is in the past:

With 50% chance, the resolution date is set to resolve to that date.

With a 45% chance, this will go to a panel of 3 Metaculus moderators who have not predicted on this question, to decide whether to a) resolve the question to that date, b) to resolve the question to a different (earlier) date c) to reopen the question d) to leave the question closed and decide on the spirit of the resolution criteria later or e) to resolve the question ambiguous.

With 5% chance, Metaculus moderators will make a best-effort attempt to survey 10+ Metaculus users who have attempted to leave America on or around that date, and resolve this based on the hypothetical criteria above. If this is deemed impossible, the question resolves ambiguously.

If the 50th percentile is still after 2030/12/31 on 2051/01/01, this question resolves to >December 31st, 2030.

The question closes retroactively to 2 days before the question resolution.

All times in American Eastern Time.

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