Previously by Jeff Berwick: There’s Still Hope
You know how they say history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme? Well, it’s absolutely true, especially in the case of governments. States pull the same nonsense repeatedly throughout history, but they don’t do it in exactly the same way, so most of the history-challenged populace never catches on.
Take the case of border closures and travel restrictions. The most famous examples are with the socialist Eastern bloc countries of the 20th century. East Germany’s Berlin Wall was the least subtle means of keeping the slaves on the plantation. Socialist countries had many other sneaky means of restricting egress, as well. The administrative ones were the most formidable, partly because their existence did not have to be admitted officially. Costs for visas to the West were high and applications could be hindered, rejected, or simply ignored.
The USSA has its own stew of travel prevention. Back when the USSA was still the less sinister USA, the state focused on restricting economic opportunities by hindering the masses of people trying to get in. The state still considers illegal immigration a “problem”, but as the government becomes simultaneously more fascist and more socialist, a growing number of people are trying to get out. And the state is already weaving a web to prevent its livestock from escaping so easily.
Consider Senate Bill 1812, foisted on the world in November 2011 by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Los Angeles). The bill’s stated purpose was to authorize Federal aid to highways, but it also contained a provision to deny passports to US citizens who owed $50,000 or more to the IRS. It passed the Senate in March, 2012, and is waiting for approval in the House. So if you become too delinquent with paying your extortion money to the state, then you will be trapped. Do not be surprised if over time the threshold for passport denial is lowered from the owing of $50,000 to a much, much lower figure.
Tax debt isn’t the only kind that can get you stranded in the USSA. Another way of increasing the number of people who can’t leave the USSA plantation is by expanding the definition of a criminal offense to include almost anything and everything that one might want to do. In fact, the system is set-up so there is no way to live without breaking one of their arbitrary and capricious rules.
One example of this is by destroying the economy and then making you a criminal for suffering economically from crises created by the government and central bank. With the announcement of QE3 expect the Fed to buy up about $1 trillion in toxic Mortgage-Backed Securities to bail out the likes of Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. Then expect the Fed to criminalize delinquency, default and foreclosure. Roughly 20% of home “owners” would find themselves classed as criminals. The FHAH could go after so-called strategic defaulters. “Jingle mail” – mailing the keys back to the bank and walking away from the house – could land you in jail. The upshot is that those caught up in the central bank-created housing crisis could find themselves permanently barred from leaving the country.
And then there are those caught up in the other impossible-to-escape debt trap: student loans. The Fed controls the entire student loan market and it is impossible to get rid of these obligations through bankruptcy. You’d have more luck convincing the IRS to write off the taxes you owe. Expect student loan debt to be used just like tax debt to deny passports to USSA citizens. Nearly 30% of these loans are delinquent while about half of all graduates can’t find work. These people will be prohibited from ever leaving the United States to seek opportunity elsewhere. They may actually start to think life in the FEMA camps the government has prepared for them is their best option. Their parents may disagree about that, but may also have no choice but to join them. Parents who cosign for student loans are also on the hook for repayment and could be subject to the same passport restrictions.
Eventually no one will be able to obtain a passport and many of them will even feel like it is a justified punishment for their transgressions. In some ways, it’s a mental Berlin Wall, but because it isn’t physical the US government can point and say, “Hey, look, it’s not like we’ve got you caged in."
By the time all is said and done the USSA will truly resemble the former USSR in yet another way. None of the slaves will be allowed to leave and not many of the slaves will even realize why or how they were trapped or that they are even trapped at all.
“Getting Your Gold Out of Dodge” is available here. It is free to TDV and TDV Golden Trader subscribers or for a one-time price of $44.95 USD. It may be the best use of your fiat Federal Reserve Notes you’ve ever spent. Reprinted with permission from The Dollar Vigilante.
Jeff Berwick [send him mail] is an anarcho-capitalist freedom fighter and Chief Editor of the libertarian, Austrian economics grounded newsletter, The Dollar Vigilante. The Dollar Vigilante focuses on strategies, investments and expatriation opportunities to survive & prosper during and after the US dollar collapse.