Previously by Jeff Berwick: The TDV Year Ahead
What’s patriotism got to, got to do with it? What’s patriotism but some outdated notion What’s patriotism got to, got to do with it? Theft is how nations will reward your devotion OOoooooohhh!
The increasingly thieving nation-states of the Western world ought to heed the words of TDV contributor Peter Kofod: "As with clay. The more you squeeze, the more escapes." Governments have started to squeeze more money from their richest tax serfs. But those serfs aren't sticking around to be squeezed… Apparently, people are waking up. But they're still very brainwashed. So while they know that getting raped a lot is very bad, they are settling for getting raped a bit less—and still aren't quite ready to aim for getting raped as little as possible or not at all.
The floodgates are opening. Fleeing one's home country and giving up citizenship in one's native tax farm is getting to be all the rage among those with assets to protect. Just a few years ago, giving up citizenship in an "advanced" first world Western nation was something only eccentrics or pioneers did. But now those Western nations are requiring more and more money from their wealthiest subjects in order to keep their unsustainable welfare (Europe) or warfare (US) states going. The state robbery is getting so outrageous that big names from the mainstream are breaking away from the worst offenders: currently the US and France.
But here is where it gets a little strange. Those big names fleeing the worst of the western world are heading to only a slightly better condition somewhere else. They're jumping out of the flame into the frying pan instead of trying to get clear of the stove entirely. So they leave France for Russia or the UK, or the US for Switzerland, while places like Paraguay, the Domincan Republic and St Kitts go underutilized, except by savvy TDV readers.
WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
If anyone knows a thing or two about getting away from abusive partners, it's Tina Turner. The relationship between her and her abusive husband and manager, Ike Turner, was immortalized in the film What's Love Got To Do With It. What's funny is how the Ike and Tina story closely parallels America's relationship with its citizens. At one time Ike (the US) helped Tina (the citizens) on the path to success. But over time Ike became more of a bully and grew jealous of the attention Tina was getting. In the end, Tina had to find the strength to realize she was better off without Ike and went to realize even greater success without him. The US has indeed slowly transformed from Prince Charming into a boozy, bitter bully of a husband who comes home reeking of cheap rotgut and cheaper prostitutes. He's looking to take his frustration out on his poor wife's face. And since the bum has no job, he will once again be rifling through her purse to take whatever money she's managed to scrape together so he can keep his bookie off his back for another few days.
Now Tina is seeking citizenship in Switzerland where she's lived for the past several years. And Tina isn't just seeking dual citizenship here. She is going to be renouncing her US citizenship and turning in her US passport. This isn't polyandry. It's a divorce. She's been seeing this other fellow for a while and according to Tina it's true love. "I'm very happy in Switzerland and I feel at home here," the rock icon said, "I cannot imagine a better place to live."
While Tina's new nation-state-spouse won't be quite so violent and thieving with her as her old one, it will still be a little bit rough at times and pilfer the occasional few coins from her purse. The federal income tax in Switzerland has a maximum rate of 11.5%. Rates vary widely depending on which canton we're dealing with. Tina will be residing in a suburb of Zurich in which the top rate is 13%. Individual cantons may impose an inherentance tax, but the trend has been to abolish those. There are various allowances depending on the relationship with the deceased, but here is a schedule of Zurich's inherentance taxes:
She hasn't yet mentioned taxes as a reason for this, but we can't help but notice that her federal and local income taxes would be considerably lower as a Swiss citizen—and the state won't take all her stuff from her estate after she dies. I don't mean to question Tina's motives. According to her she just feels more at home in Switzerland at this point. But her move comes amidst a growing number of other such nation-state hopping, others of which are so clearly based on rising taxes (government theft) that those involved don't even bother trying to hide their motivation. I am speaking, of course, of France from which wealthy French are fleeing as quickly as they possibly can to outrun the socialist Hollande government's naked grab for three quarters of their money (and why TDV will soon be launching a French language website in France).
RATS LEAVING THE SINKING SHIP
Even a former top political rat is getting out while he can. Nicolas Sarkozy is taking his money and his trophy singer/model wife and heading for the UK of all places. It's a little ironic because the tiny former French president gave himself a raise as one of his first acts in office…and he still can draw from a mayoral pension from his stint as mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine. This is a man who funds a comfortable life with stolen loot. When rats like Sarkozy start swimming away, you know something awful is about to happen to the ship.
France's wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault, filed for a Belgian citizenship and passport almost as soon as the election results came in. The Belgian Office of Foreigners reminds us that they may yet block Mr. Arnault's request for a passport. But that hasn't stopped Mr. Arnault from officially transferring his assets to Belgium. It's a shame that all these people didn't subscribe to TDV years ago. We not only could have told them that this was coming, but we could also have given them much better places to go. Not that we need their business!
The floodgates have truly opened up and we are so overwhelmed with interest in foreign passports and expatriation information that we have to keep hiring and training new employees to keep up with the demand. So our apologies if we haven't gotten back to your inquiry yet. It's like the entire world is waking up all at once. People everywhere are realizing that they need to get out. And this trend will only accelerate. Don't think, however, that governments aren't noticing! Sadly, in a year or two they will have put barriers to egress in place. People and their assets will be trapped in their collapsing nation-states with capital controls and travel restrictions. It's clear that people realize the danger here…which explains why TDV is currently one of the fastest growing companies on Earth.
And while France leads the way in chasing its wealthy from its national borders, in the US citizens have long moved from state to state within the continent-spanning nation-state in order to minimize abuse at the hands of the taxman.
ESCAPE FROM KALIFORNIA
When it comes to high profile rich people leaving state borders for tax reasons, California may be the US answer to France. Two very rich golfers have admitted that Californian taxes made them want to run screaming for the hills. While golfer Phil Mickelson apologized like a punk for publicly airing his tax grievances, Tiger Wood readily admits exactly why he left high tax California for zero income tax Florida. You have to wonder about Mickelson's apologizing for being upset about what he says is a 63% tax bite. Maybe California's elected mafia (the state government) gave him a call and told him to apologize like a good little flunky.
In the end, however, Phil and Tiger and any person of worth moving around within the US for tax purposes is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. That whole ship is going down. And in this case the crew will start setting fire to the lifeboats to make sure no one can leave. Tina Turner had the right idea. But the wrong destination. To take sensible steps in the right direction when it comes to internationalization and expatriation, start here.
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.