Dateline: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia We frequently discuss variations on the concept of the “haves” versus the “have nots”. Of course, the global fairness police are doing everything they can to make you pay more of your “fair share” to help these so-called “have nots”. Governments around the world have taken aim at anyone with wealth and/or income to make these people feel that it is THEIR fault that people aren’t getting enough to eat or can’t pay their student loans. Politicians have mastered the art of sidestepping THEIR involvement in the creation of poverty and malfeasance. Namely, the government creates a bunch of laws and regulations that stop people from acting in their own best interest and negative consequences ensue. One of the have vs. have not discussions we have is the idea that, in this era of totally insolvent governments, almost anyone can be deemed rich for purposes of confiscating assets. When capital controls were imposed in Greece, it was suggested that bank accounts with as little as $9,000 could be seized to help bail-in the system. Several years ago, Cyprus drew the line in the sand at 100,000 euros. Everyone else lost their shirt. The same way that there are very few locks that will keep the most determined criminal out of your house, there really are no safeguards to stop a government determined to steal your money.
How to protect personal freedom with safe havens
In the same way, there are few safeguards to stop a government determined on stealing your civil liberties. As my friend Jeffrey Tucker says, a piece of paper called a Constitution is meaningless if politicians can violate it at will and without consequence. Let’s face it: there are bankrupt countries that are out for blood and will use any half-cocked law to empty your savings the same way there are countries that want to control your every move. On the other hand, there are countries that – believe it or not – still do believe in capital and personal freedom. These countries are what I call “the New Safe Havens”. They change from time to time as a new country steps up and realizes that freedom is the best path to prosperity. And on the other hand, sometimes a country goes from the nice list to the naughty list. No safe haven is perfect for everything. Singapore is a mecca for storing wealth but the idea of being fined for sipping bottled water in the subway makes it less attractive as a personal freedom haven. The idea behind flag theory is to diversify your life in a way that you get maximum benefits and follow my five magic words: “go where you’re treated best”. In the same vein, as haves versus have nots, you can determine personal freedom in a country by evaluating the military. If a country is filled with citizens ginned up to bomb places halfway around the world on a never-ending basis, that should tell you something about the people, the government, and the mentality there. The more bombing and droning that goes on, the less personal freedom. Just as Edward Snowden. Countries with small militaries tend to respect personal freedom more. These countries also spend a lot less because they have none of the bloat of military spending to worry about. More than half of the United States’ discretionary spending budget goes to military spending. In fact, the United States spends more – $610 billion – on its military than the next seven countries combined. That includes more – a lot more – than “evil China” and “evil Russia”. Heck, the budget for one model of fighter plane in just ONE YEAR topped $11 billion. Do you think a country like that has any incentive to increase personal freedom or lower your taxes? Of course not.
What country doesn’t have a military? (A list)
Call me a tax haven-loving pacifist commie, but if countries with small militaries are better on the wallet and for freedom, then countries with no military may be even better. Here are a few countries, courtesy of ZeroHedge: Andorra One of my New Safe Havens, Andorra is a Nomad Capitalists wet dream. Nestled in the heart of Europe, Andorra has long enjoyed zero income tax and is a shopping paradise for those in high-tax Spain and France. Andorra won’t remain income-tax-free forever. Sadly, the European Union hates competition so much that it can’t stand the idea that 79,000 people on its continent would be able to live without becoming a wage slave to the government (or that any wage slaves in Spain or elsewhere could move there and escape their bankrupt system). That said, Andorra not only offers (for the most part) quality offshore banks and a high level of live-and-let-live personal freedom, it also has no military.
Liechtenstein is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. It not only has no military; it has no currency or immigration department, either (it outsources both to Switzerland). Ever since 1868, Liechtenstein has relied only on a small national police force to protect its 62 square miles. Ask a so-called fiscal conservative who loves wasting money on huge military expenditures and they’d tell you Liechtenstein is a sitting duck without its own fighting force. However, the principality has had no military since 1868, and doesn’t seem to be much of a target. In fact, one murder – ironically of an offshore banker – shook the country to its core recently. Liechtensteinians are more comfortable with their high-quality, highly private private banks and tax haven image than they are with needing an army.
The Marshall Islands
What have we here? Another offshore jurisdiction with no military. I’m beginning to spot a trend. The Marshall Islands have had no military since their independence in 1983; the United States provides their protection. US conservatives would complain that it is US taxpayers footing the bill to defend the tax haven island chain, but of course not only are the Marshall Islands not a huge target, but US imperialism doesn’t miss any chances to safeguard territory it can call its own. For that, the US has only itself to blame.
Remember Operation Urgent Fury? Grenada has been a country with no military ever since then in 1983. Much like I’ve always thought suburban cities should pool resources to create shared police and fire services, Grenada is part of the Caribbean’s Regional Security System that ensures any threats are mitigated. (Again, isn’t funny how few threats there are.) Grenada has taken the positive step of re-opening their citizenship by investment program in which foreign investors can get a second passport, which shows they realize where their bread is buttered. Grenada has realized that taking foreign cash and opening their economy is more important than wasting money on a bureaucratic military. Other countries like Samoa and Nauru – both “non-compliant” tax havens according to the goons at the OECD – make the list. Hopefully you’re getting the picture that these small countries deemed dangerous by high-tax countries are actually among the most peaceful countries on earth. It’s sadly ironic how the countries that steal and waste their citizens’ money the most have such a need to pick on the countries that do those things the least. Economic freedom is personal freedom, and these countries with no military understand that. Unfortunately, chances are your country doesn’t.