Dateline: Athens, Greece As a nomad, I am constantly crossing borders that people and governments have fought to create for hundreds of years. While those borders are only imaginary lines drawn on a map, they do have an impact on the decisions you make about going where you’re treated best. You see, the way a nation formed has a great influence on their current mindset and how favorable they are to investors and entrepreneurs alike. In the past, the belief was that strong nations were created out of war. In Charles Tilly’s book Coercion, Capital and European States, he argues that many European countries became nation-states between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries all thanks to war. With the external threat of war from their neighbors, these governments were able to create powerful institutions like armies and the police. These institutions needed financial support, which led to more effective taxation, which in turn created large bureaucracies capable of extracting revenue to pay for the coercion that allowed the state to grow. Of course, the key to all this nation-building was the threat of international warfare. War definitely sums up a lot of European history. But the conditions that created the European nation-states were specific to the region and time in which they were formed. Fortunately, that’s not the model the rest of the world has used, and it’s not the model that’s in place today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6xi8_7Fy6Y
Nation-building for the 21st century
Nations created from war is a form of nation-building that is in the past. We don’t live in the feudal era anymore. All that wars do now is waste a lot of money — your money. Some countries are still stuck in the mentality that they need wars to fuel their economy, justify taxation, and build the state. But other countries know better. There is a new form of nation-building for the 21st century — a new path of economically powered nation-states. With pro-business policies, small countries have learned to make do without excessive taxation or unnecessary war. These countries talk about education and other services before income tax. And they become more prosperous because — rather than focusing on who their enemies are — they focus on attracting the best and the brightest to contribute to their country. The practice is the embodiment of the Law of Abundance in a country’s political DNA. For instance, while the US pushes people away and makes life difficult for those who want to immigrate there, Singapore constantly innovates and is driven by markets. Even better, they aren’t constantly at war. The same goes for Switzerland. While the rest of Europe was at war for all those centuries, Switzerland took a neutral position and focused on prosperity. The result of such a decision is notable. And for investors and freedom lovers like you and me, prosperity is best long term in peaceful places. Even China understands this new model for nation-building. China is building economically. They haven’t tried to conquer Africa. They’ve invested. They’ve headed international infrastructure developments that will improve trade and strengthen their economy. They don’t need war. They’re innovating.
Some countries are just stuck in the past
Unfortunately, the US is still stuck in the old mentality. Besides constantly going to war, the US has an outdated way of looking at the world. Their idea of international relations is to toss money around to other countries when they’re broke to curry favor. That doesn’t work anymore. Even worse, they don’t innovate. The one good thing Obama did was implement the new entrepreneur visa… after dozens of other countries did it. That’s the scope of innovation. They went from the Wright Brothers to copying former Soviet republics in a few generations. Then take a place like Los Angeles. I’ve always said LA is an overrated place. The airport is a dump, the streets are a disaster, nothing really works, and a lot of stuff is out of date because it’s too expensive to fix it (i.e. restaurant logos, etc.). But they have great marketing, so people call it “vintage” when they wouldn’t say the same about Dubuque, Iowa. But the bottom line is that there is no innovation and nothing screams pro-business in these places. These nations that became strong because of war are beginning to lag in this new era when war is no longer needed to build a country.
The one thing for a good investment
So, the “one” thing you should look for as you seek out the places where you and your money will be treated best is a forward-thinking country. Don’t go for the countries that are stuck in the feudal beliefs that war, taxes, Big Government and a police state are needed to keep “their people” in check. Those countries are good at taxing away your money, don’t even think they’ll make a good investment. Instead, look for country’s that understand the 21st century model of economic development through business friendly policies. They’ll be easy to find. They’re the ones who are inviting you, your money and your business in with low taxes and favorable second residency and citizenship programs. The countries that want you are the countries that you should want too. So go ahead, look for them. You’ll be surprised by how many countries actually live in the 21st century.