As the debate over the United States’ fiscal cliff continues with seemingly little progress, I can’t help but take a different (albeit predictable) view on the whole thing and how the media is portraying it.
In fact, it is government debacles like this that form the very core of the Nomad Capitalist philosophy: don’t let yourself be eternally tied to any one government.
The United States has long been known around the world as a place for innovators, hard workers, and people seeking a better life to come.
Despite arguably much better options (including, for some aspiring expatriates in the developing world, their own home countries), that luster continues to shine around the world to this day, as investors from China, Costa Rica, and points in between flock to file for EB-5 investment visas and fork over $1 million investments for U.S. green cards.
Once they get one, they’ll become subservient to the U.S. government’s far reaching hand as a thank you for their cash, and for buying into the patina of America as the world’s shining city.
This relates back to the fiscal cliff in that it’s important to not only know your options, but to act on them if you value your freedom. Many savvy American entrepreneurs and innovators are getting a brutal reminder that both they and their capital are at the mercy of an increasingly desperate electorate and government that don’t often have their best interests in mind.
Business owners from small shopkeepers to captains of industry have been publicly wringing their wrists about the higher taxes, health care mandates, and other “pro-consumer” (read: anti-business) regulations that are forthcoming.
I’m here to say it’s time to stop the wrist wringing and to start planning for your escape. If you’re an entrepreneur or innovator, there will always be other options. You’re in control of your destiny.
If you’re worried about rising taxes, a recessionary environment, angry labor unions, and the envy class of so-called “99%-ers” who don’t share your values, start planting flags in other places.
Find another country you could see yourself living in and take steps to acquire residency. For an investment of varying amounts, you can get residency in anywhere from Ireland to Hong Kong to Bulgaria to Costa Rica.
You may not need to live there for that long or at all, but you’ll have the option of a place to go and potentially start the clock on future citizenship if you decide to leave the U.S. for good.
In some cases, you can make an investment to get instant citizenship in nations like St. Kitts and Nevis or Dominica. Even Austria is rumored to have a program to grant citizenship on the quick if you’ve got several million to invest.
And if you’re of Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, or several other heritages with recently departed ancestors (think two generations usually), you may qualify for “citizenship by descent” on that basis. Of course, you should also have a (legal) plan for your money in case capital controls hit.
The U.S. already has strict regulations on taking money out of the country and scrutinizes all international transactions, making it less free than nations like Switzerland or Hong Kong that believe your cash should be freely movable.
Because the United States is the only country in the world that taxes its citizens AND any green card holder or resident (in theory, even a tourist who spends more than 183 days in a year within its borders) on their worldwide income, Americans worried about the impact of the effects of the fiscal cliff and the greater societal undertones at stake are especially in need of a plan.
Americans are the only people that can’t just move to another country to escape high taxation and mandates back home; the IRS will follow them with draconian paperwork and threats of heavy fines for even accidental non-compliance.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Things can change at any moment and you need to take steps to prepare before it’s too late. Despite my general libertarian thinking, I and many others rallied behind the government after 9/11, only to be slapped in the face years later with an out-of-control TSA and a litany of anti-freedom policies.
Don’t get too comfortable or believe it can’t get any worse. Don’t limit yourself or your abilities at the hands of a government that claims to promote freedom but makes more and more difficult for you to have the freedom to leave.
Don’t believe that patriotism is forking over endless amounts of money (when others contribute nothing) to prop up a government, simply because you were evacuated from a womb on American (or any other) soil.
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