Dateline: Bogota, Colombia
Allow me to propose a business arrangement to you…
I’d like to create a business partnership with you that starts at birth and will last your entire life. Of course, I’ll tell you this partnership will be in your best interest.
It will start at age five when I will tell your parents that, as part of our partnership, you will be required to attend schools that I created and learn cirriculum that my friends and I determine.
You’ll continue attending school for twelve or thirteen years, at which point the friends who funded my little business venture will convince you that you need to attend university if you ever want to “be competitive in the global workplace”.
In order to do that, you’ll borrow money from my friends at whatever interest rate they choose, all in an effort to get our business venture off the ground in the future.
If you don’t repay my friends the money they loaned you, I will make your life miserable by making sure you can’t drive a car or get another job.
Because of our business arrangement, you’ll be stuck with me. Forever.
And when you finally graduate from university and begin a life in debt, I’ll be there to cash in and begin our grand partnership, in which you will work for me for free for several years.
After that, you’ll earn a wage in a form of money that I control and can devalue at will. Our partnership agreement will prohibit me from lowering your salary below a certain level, but I can always go into business with more people by simply printing more of my own money and causing your salary to effectively decline.
Such actions will also cause your investments to decline and your cost of living to rise.
And all throughout your life, I will provide you with “protection” from unnamed and unseen “Bad guys”, along with giving you a sense of belonging… all in exchange for half of what you earn.
Now, no one in their right mind would take that business deal voluntarily. You’d be crazy to do so.
But that’s exactly what governments around the world do to enslave their citizens.
I had a fantastic Italian dinner with a Colombian lawyer friend of mine here in Bogota earlier this week. This lawyer friend of mine started out as a young lawyer who didn’t practice law. In fact, she went to work for a large multinational corporation that was rolling out their services here in Colombia.
Then she started a software company that did well, but ultimately failed due to issues with employment taxes and the workforce here.
All along the way, the government made her life difficult. They made the lives of her parents, who own an extensive collection of rental properties, difficult. They taxed all of them, made sure to get their cut first, and then marveled at the wreckage.
But my friend is resilient and decided to take her honors law degree and begin her practice as a lawyer.
There was only one problem.
In Colombia, lawyers are required to spend two years working for the government in whatever capacity they are needed. It’s like the Peace Corps for young attorneys, who get set up as public defenders and other areas that “serve the public good”.
The only caveat to all of this is, they don’t get paid. Not one centavo.
When I asked my friend how she is surviving, she told me she’s living off of her savings from past business ventures and her job with the multinational.
She is effectively a slave for the government until THEY allow her to go out and practice law on her own. It’s like forced servitude that proves nothing but gives the governments lots of free help.
They might even say it’s her “civic duty”.
Of course, this kind of governments servitude is hardly uncommon. In a number of countries, military service is forced. Israel is just one example where both young men and women have to join the armed forces or some paramilitary volunteer unit for anywhere from 18 to 24 months, but there are many others. Sweden even recently reintroduced a form of conscription.
In practically every western country on earth, your government forces you to go through some draconian, laborious process to become sanctioned for almost any job you might want to get. Where I grew up in Ohio, anyone who wanted to get a job cutting hair had to sit through dozens of hours of state-sanctioned education to be certified by BOTCH.
A fitting acronym for an organization that has an entire section of the Ohio state code devoted to defining what a manicure is.
And, of course, once you finally get a job, start a business, and get to work making money, your “business partner” the government is there with its hand out. In some countries with the right idea, these taxes are being lowered.
However, many of the bankrupt western nations are stuck in a never-ending cycle of having to raise taxes on “the rich”. Just the other day, another US billionaire came out demanding that the government raise taxes on wealthy US persons.
The only problem is the government is running out of rich people. In an effort to attract capital, countries like the United Kingdom have allowed wealthy foreigners to pay “rent” to live in London or other global cities without being taxed on their worldwide income.
Which means that the definition of who is “rich” will expand, until more and more of us find ourselves working for the government for free in order to fulfill our “civic duty”.
Your government has already determined that it has the legal and moral right to enter into a unilateral business partnership with you where it gets all of the benefits and you do all of the work.
The US government is unique in that it is so bold to demand that you pay tribute to it even after you leave the city walls.
Most people find this perfectly acceptable because they were raised to tear up whenever some waved a flag in a public ceremony in some historic square.
But have no doubt: the government will never hesitate to raise the bar in your obligations to them. So long as you carry their passport and call yourself American, British, or Colombian, you will be their slave.
You will pay them what they demand.
And they will change the rules at any time.
The key to being free is to diversifying away from the places that desperately need your money and your labor to prop up their declining empires and save their hide.
Removing emotion from the equation will allow you to truly be free. That’s why successful people are the ones who take action to protect themselves.