While Singapore isn’t exactly my cup of tea as a permanent residence, it’s always a pleasure arriving here for business.
I flew to Singapore from Indonesia this morning. The government-owned Jakarta airport, not satisfied with their own government’s visa-on-arrival fee, has made sure to gouge you for another “departure fee” – payable in cash – as you leave. They get you coming and going, as they say. This departure fee actually includes “10% value-added tax”; you’re literally paying tax… on a tax.
At least the departure tax system in countries like Indonesia and the Philippines is transparent. In The Land of the Free, airlines are forced to boil every Gestapo fee into the fare and now are even prohibited from marketing fares without said fees.
It’s the ultimate way for the government to have the private sector do their dirty work and bury the evidence.
It’s ironic that I bring up a departure tax on a day when there’s new buzz about a coming global wealth tax. And I believe that opening an offshore bank account in Singapore is just the first step in protecting yourself. In fact, I think more radical steps will be required of you in the future.
The western world is bankrupt. If it weren’t for the US government’s ability to toy with its horrible monetary policy and prop up its dollar while manipulating gold, the US dollar would have already collapsed. (You may recall last time I was in Singapore, gold was taking a dive as I stood in an underground gold vault)
As the entire United States slouches closer and closer to the fate of Detroit, already desperate, scheming politicians will ramp up the lies to get their hands on anything they can easily grab.
A global wealth tax is one way they’ll try to do just that.
The International Monetary Fund and others recently suggested that many developed nations aren’t taxing their citizens enough. I can already see ears in Congress perking up at the idea that income tax rates in the USSA should REALLY be anywhere from 56% to 71%.
The current “half slavery” top tax rates of around 50% aren’t enough for these international thieves. After all, they figure it’s their money.
The most recent report from the IMF not only suggests a global wealth tax but that the USSA return to income tax rates last seen over thirty years ago. Of course, the progressive community – largely just a group of overly emotional, jealous haters – couldn’t be more thrilled with the idea.
It’s ironic that these are the same people who constantly complain about conservatives “living in the past”. Yet tax-the-rich statists DO live in the past; low tax rates are the wave of the future…
Just not for Americans or other westerners. Sovereign insolvency has its consequences.
The chilling nature of a global wealth tax is the scope it would have on capital. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that while Americans are focused on ObamaCare and Iran, forces from the new mayor of New York City to bond fund gurus are calling for the “rich” to pay more.
Meanwhile, petitions from statist hacks like this one say money is “available in abundance”, and since stealing from the “rich” is so easy, there’s no reason not to do so to fix problems such as “national governments [not being able to] pay their debts” and a billion people living in poverty.
Last I checked, people living in poverty in the places I visit are begging for “rich” people to bring their money and give them jobs. But that gets in the way of the communist narrative – which is nothing more than envy.
So until these faux do-gooders decide to REALLY see things from the perspective of those who want to raise their economic status, you have to prepare for their “democratic” assault on your cash. I believe that, long-term, that will mean taking some measures you may consider drastic.
While I suggest you take action to protect your assets now – even if you don’t have a lot – I believe that “taking action” will increasingly take on a whole new meaning as governments ramp up the pressure.
What is reasonable action today may not be enough five years from you. You have to constantly be vigilant.
So here’s how to avoid the coming global wealth tax:
Have an offshore bank account in a place like Singapore. While today’s newspaper here had an article discussing why Swiss bank account holders shouldn’t flock to Singapore in search of now-gone Swiss-style bank secrecy, secrecy isn’t the point of having assets in another jurisdiction.
Owning non-reportable assets like offshore gold or foreign real estate is also a way to legally stash wealth that is harder to grab. While I’m not a doomsdayer, I see great benefits in owning productive, high yield farmland in less influential countries. You can always live on the farmland if things really get bad, and countries like Brazil, Nicaragua, and Ecuador offer cheap farmland.
Having some Bitcoins can’t hurt, either. I look at Bitcoin the same way I do any other asset class and encourage diversification. While I do think governments will intensify their regulation of Bitcoin – perhaps at the request of Bitcoin entrepreneurs – for at least the mid-term it’s a reasonable strategy. My issue with Bitcoin is not about Bitcoin itself, but about the lack of guidance from US tax authorities on cryptocurrencies.
Ultimately, however, I believe that the coming global wealth tax will force more people to do some that even many readers of this site aren’t prepared to do today: renounce US citizenship.
Things are going to get worse. If goons like the IMF have their way, much worse. Your pocket is going to be picked like never before. While US influence in the world is declining, word has yet to get back to the government who is still acting like it rules the world.
They will have no compunction about using their bullying tactics to convince other countries to help them take whatever money they want from you – whether it’s 71% tax rates on your worldwide income, a wealth tax on assets, or outright confiscation.
US citizenship is already an albatross. There are ways to minimize your exposure to the financial hurt if you’re in the middle class or run an offshore business. Those “loopholes”, as politicians like to call them, are what will be targeted along with such a global wealth tax.
They’re going to make it impossible for you or your capital to leave without adhering to their tax mandate du jour. What they’re doing now will look like a picnic with Yogi Bear.
I do believe there will be places to stand up to a global wealth tax. There will be emerging countries – and even developed ones like Singapore – that protect their own against increasingly socialist monetary policy.
However, simply living in these places won’t be enough. Citizens will be viewed as milk cows no matter where they live. You’ll not only need citizenship elsewhere, but you may have no choice but to renounce your citizenship in your home country.
If Singapore decides to keep taxes on Singaporeans low and fight against global taxation, their aid will go to their own citizens. Americans or Canadians or Brits who simply live in Singapore will have to deal with their home countries.
I’ve long said that the harder a country is to find on the map, the more I’d like to be from there. Paraguay isn’t exactly chasing its citizens around the world for a nickel.
In addition to a possible global wealth tax, I do believe other western nations will consider citizenship-based taxation. The US is currently the only country to do this, but I’d be far from surprised if a place like the UK adopted this model.
So while I think Americans of wealth will have the hardest adjustment going forward, other past their prime countries may get in on the act as well. All I can say is, be vigilant.