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It's Official - America Now Enforces Capital Controls

Tyler Durden's picture




 

It couldn't have happened to a nicer country. On March 18, with very little pomp and circumstance, president Obama passed the most recent stimulus act, the $17.5 billion Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (H.R. 2487), brilliantly goalseeked by the administration's millionaire cronies to abbreviate as HIRE. As it was merely the latest in an endless stream of acts destined to expand the government payroll to infinity, nobody cared about it, or actually read it. Because if anyone had read it, the act would have been known as the Capital Controls Act, as one of the lesser, but infinitely more important provisions on page 27, known as Offset Provisions - Subtitle A—Foreign Account Tax Compliance, institutes just that. In brief, the Provision requires that foreign banks not only withhold 30% of all outgoing capital flows (likely remitting the collection promptly back to the US Treasury) but also disclose the full details of non-exempt account-holders to the US and the IRS. And should this provision be deemed illegal by a given foreign nation's domestic laws (think Switzerland), well the foreign financial institution is required to close the account. It's the law. If you thought you could move your capital to the non-sequestration safety of non-US financial institutions, sorry you lose - the law now says so. Capital Controls are now here and are now fully enforced by the law.

Let's parse through the just passed law, which has been mentioned by exactly zero mainstream media outlets.

Here is the default new state of capital outflows:

(a) IN GENERAL.—The Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting after chapter 3 the following new chapter:

‘‘CHAPTER 4—TAXES TO ENFORCE REPORTING ON CERTAIN FOREIGN ACCOUNTS
‘‘Sec. 1471. Withholdable payments to foreign financial institutions.
‘‘Sec. 1472. Withholdable payments to other foreign entities.
‘‘Sec. 1473. Definitions.
‘‘Sec. 1474. Special rules.
‘‘SEC. 1471. WITHHOLDABLE PAYMENTS TO FOREIGN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.

‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—In the case of any withholdable payment to a foreign financial institution which does not meet the requirements of subsection (b), the withholding agent with respect to such payment shall deduct and withhold from such payment a tax equal to 30 percent of the amount of such payment.

Clarifying who this law applies to:

‘‘(C) in the case of any United States account maintained by such institution, to report on an annual basis the information described in subsection (c) with respect to such account,
‘‘(D) to deduct and withhold a tax equal to 30 percent of—

‘‘(i) any passthru payment which is made by such institution to a recalcitrant account holder or another foreign financial institution which does not meet the requirements of this subsection, and

‘‘(ii) in the case of any passthru payment which is made by such institution to a foreign financial institution which has in effect an election under paragraph (3) with respect to such payment, so much of such payment as is allocable to accounts held by recalcitrant account holders or foreign financial institutions which do not meet the requirements of this subsection.

What happens if this brand new law impinges and/or is in blatant contradiction with existing foreign laws?

‘‘(F) in any case in which any foreign law would (but for a waiver described in clause (i)) prevent the reporting of any information referred to in this subsection or subsection (c) with respect to any United States account maintained by such institution—

‘‘(i) to attempt to obtain a valid and effective waiver of such law from each holder of such account, and
‘‘(ii) if a waiver described in clause (i) is not obtained from each such holder within a reasonable period of time, to close such account.

Not only are capital flows now to be overseen and controlled by the government and the IRS, but holders of foreign accounts can kiss any semblance of privacy goodbye:

‘‘(c) INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE REPORTED ON UNITED STATES ACCOUNTS.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The agreement described in subsection (b) shall require the foreign financial institution to report the following with respect to each United States account maintained by such institution:
‘‘(A) The name, address, and TIN of each account holder which is a specified United States person and, in the case of any account holder which is a United States owned foreign entity, the name, address, and TIN of each substantial United States owner of such entity.
‘‘(B) The account number.
‘‘(C) The account balance or value (determined at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may provide).
‘‘(D) Except to the extent provided by the Secretary, the gross receipts and gross withdrawals or payments from the account (determined for such period and in such manner as the Secretary may provide)
.

The only exemption to the rule? If you hold the meager sum of $50,000 or less in foreign accounts.

‘‘(B) EXCEPTION FOR CERTAIN ACCOUNTS HELD BY INDIVIDUALS.—Unless the foreign financial institution elects to not have this subparagraph apply, such term shall not include any depository account maintained by such financial institution if—
‘‘(i) each holder of such account is a natural person,and
‘‘(ii) with respect to each holder of such account, the aggregate value of all depository accounts held (in whole or in part) by such holder and maintained by the same financial institution which maintains such account does not exceed $50,000.

And, while we are on the topic of definitions, here is how "financial account" is defined by the US:

‘‘(2) FINANCIAL ACCOUNT.—Except as otherwise provided by the Secretary, the term ‘financial account’ means, with respect to any financial institution—
‘‘(A) any depository account maintained by such financial institution,
‘‘(B) any custodial account maintained by such financial institution, and
‘‘(C) any equity or debt interest in such financial institution (other than interests which are regularly traded on an established securities market). Any equity or debt interest which constitutes a financial account under subparagraph (C) with respect to any financial institution shall be treated for purposes of this section as maintained by such financial institution.

In case you find you do not like to be subject to capital controls, you are now deemed a "Recalcitrant Account Holder."

‘‘(6) RECALCITRANT ACCOUNT HOLDER.—The term ‘recalcitrant account holder’ means any account holder which—
‘‘(A) fails to comply with reasonable requests for the information referred to in subsection (b)(1)(A) or (c)(1)(A),
or ‘‘(B) fails to provide a waiver described in subsection (b)(1)(F) upon request.

But guess what - if you are a foreign Central Bank, or if the Secretary determined that you are "a low risk for tax evasion" (unlike the Secretary himself) you still can do whatever the hell you want:

‘‘(f) EXCEPTION FOR CERTAIN PAYMENTS.—Subsection (a) shall not apply to any payment to the extent that the beneficial owner
of such payment is—
‘‘(1) any foreign government, any political subdivision of a foreign government, or any wholly owned agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing,
‘‘(2) any international organization or any wholly owned agency or instrumentality thereof,
‘‘(3) any foreign central bank of issue, or
‘‘(4) any other class of persons identified by the Secretary for purposes of this subsection as posing a low risk of tax evasion.

One thing we are confused about is whether this law is a preamble, or already incorporates, the flow of non-cash assets, such as commodities, and, thus, gold. If an account transfers, via physical or paper delivery, gold from a domestic account to a foreign one, we are not sure if the language deems this a 30% taxable transaction, although preliminary discussions with lawyers indicates this is likely the case.

And so the noose on capital mobility tightens, as very soon the only option US citizens have when it comes to investing their money, will be in government mandated retirement annuities, which will likely be the next step in the capital control escalation, which will culminate with every single free dollar required to be reinvested into the US, likely in the form of purchasing US Treasury emissions such as Treasuries, TIPS and other worthless pieces of paper. 

Congratulations bankrupt America - you are now one step closer to a thoroughly non-free market.

Full HIRE Act text:

 

h/t Jørgen and Panama Investor Blog

 

 

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Sun, 03/28/2010 - 15:32 | 278850 Segestan
Segestan's picture

People like Gerald Celente say the US is going to see a tax revolt.... something will break when every screw is being twisted.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:29 | 278908 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Brinker just went over the tax implications of Healthcare.for upper bracket earners in high tax states, the total tax rate will end up between 57 and 67 percent

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 19:14 | 840659 Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

The tax revolt has already started.  It's called the Tea Party.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 10:20 | 1161412 tom88norman
tom88norman's picture

Yeah I think you've got a good point there. A tax revolt started at some level as soon as the Tea Party did.

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Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:08 | 279134 MarketTruth
MarketTruth's picture

Speaking of Celente.... and Capitol Controls.... Rent/watch the movie Rollover. Here is a highlight:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUsj7EdZigM

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 23:13 | 279153 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Got guns?  Got God?  Got stormtroopers.

Feds raid Michigan Militia:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/03/28/militia.arrests/?hpt=Sbin

No details of the charges against any of those taken into custody were immediately available.

The arrest warrants remain under court-ordered seal, FBI spokesman Jason Pack said Sunday.

 

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:45 | 279447 Votewithabullet
Votewithabullet's picture

Got guns? Got god? Got video on Youtube? Dumm dum dum dum.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 00:17 | 279358 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Come on, folks, let's try to use a little common sense here.

This is about cutting down on tax evasion, not "capital controls".  Read past the paranoid headline, look at the text and try to think.

There's no prohibition against moving money out, as long as you report it - and the reporting requirement has already been in law for some time now.  If you have a foreign account over 10K$ (if memory serves), you have to report it yearly.  Been that way for years.

Get a grip, folks.

Here's KPMG's breakdown of the HIRE act:

Foreign account tax compliance measures, including:
• the imposition of 30-percent withholding requirements on certain payments made to foreign financial institutions unless those institutions agree to adhere to certain reporting requirements for U.S. account holders;
• the imposition of 30-percent withholding requirements on certain payments made to non-financial foreign entities unless those entities comply with certain reporting requirements as to U.S. owners;
• the repeal of preferred treatment for foreign-targeted bearer bonds;
• a requirement that individuals holding more than $50,000 in reportable foreign assets report information about such assets on their U.S. tax returns, and a penalty of up to $50,000 for failure to so report;
• penalties of 40 percent for under-payments attributable to undisclosed foreign financial assets;
• a presumption that where a U.S. person transfers property to a foreign trust, the trust has a U.S. beneficiary;

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 07:21 | 279495 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Freedom's just another word for, nothin' left to lose

Nothin and that's all that 'Bama left me.

I never did understand that first line. If that's what freedom means, well, I guess we're all free now.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 12:34 | 279746 Dark Space
Dark Space's picture

I don't think the lyrics have 'Bama in them - unless you're listening to some Jimmy Buffet cover I just don't know.

 

But he is looking at "Freedom" through bohemian styled rose-colored glasses (i.e. I live out of my saddlebags in the woods, own nothing, completely free b/c you can't take anything away from me), not the "Freedom" you fight for ;-0

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 01:49 | 1282087 Karston1234
Karston1234's picture

This was really a very interesting article that I really do appreciate.
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Tue, 04/06/2010 - 16:46 | 289052 PD Quig
PD Quig's picture

You must have missed the memo where you are going to be taxed out of your ever lovin' little mind. Of course this is JUST about tax evasion, and sure the legal substructure was already established. Now all that's needed is the final coup de grace where no speck of income goes uncollected, where every dime washes through the machine and comes out a penny on the other side, the 9 cents having been taken to pay off the politicians, the government worker class, the core constituents, and ideological brothers and sisters.

I guess you missed the memo where the government just took what will soon amount to control of the most important facet of life: health (because "when they've got your health, they've got just about everything").

You missed the trendline break, my friend. This is all going in the wrong direction fast.

Sat, 04/17/2010 - 00:58 | 305295 yomamma
yomamma's picture

That's right, PD Quig. We are going to see a tax rate hike.

 

You, I'm assuming, are a high-end earner. Otherwise, I don't know what you're quaking in your boots about given the fact that there was a tax reduction for nearly 92% of Americans.

 

I'm in the high (but not the highest) bracket. But really though, what the hell are we in the upper tiers of the tax system using all of that extra money for when the wage-slaves of the service sector and the victims of long-range, multi-sector cyclical unemployment are unable to get a job, much less to even get by (even with the help of a stretched-to-the-bone government assistance program).

 

We're all members of this nation, we're all in the rut we're in together, but we benefit and suffer from it differentially. I'm able to continue paying my rents, going out to eat, being able to have a few drinks for a night out, and meet with clients in a laundered suit. Many are not. A vastly disproportionate many. The fact that I can still hold on to my luxuries, help some friends out so they can hold on to theirs- it means I've got a sizable crop of cash...and an obligation to pay more given the diminishing marginal return I get from having extra capital. So I tighten my belt a bit and don't do as much as I used to. So what? I'm still in the caste with privileged (likely undeserved) access.

 

If there are designs beyond capital controls on outbound monetary flows which are built to prevent our American leisure class and our corporate plutocracy from losing even one fractional unit of their fortunes to an illegal tax shelter, I don't see them yet. But FINALLY someone has begun the process of shutting down some of the structural compromises of the tax system.

 

We'll know when the burden is too much, but right now we're not even seeing a hint of the cosmic-level, police state taxation model which you seem to say is on the table right now. You may want to breath into your mask and wash it out to prevent any fogging-up the next time you decide to dive deep into the Mariana Trench of Bullsh@t which you picked this gem up from.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 15:36 | 278854 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Almost midnight.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 17:03 | 278941 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Very true.  11:57.  Years ago was the time to start moving something out of the USA.

If you have not yet done so, better get started ASAP.

Also pick up any guns and ammo while you still can.  Almost a guarantee that is on Obama's radar. Might as well have some gold too.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:37 | 279031 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Or just get the hell out of the USA. Remember Germany? First they take your money, then they take your lives.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:54 | 279057 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Yeah but it's a rough would out there moving out with some assets helps.  Things are getting worse but still time to gather a few assets. Though I agree that people should be eyeing the door.  Who knows when Uncle Sugar will go totally insane...well more totally insane then he already is.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 23:48 | 279339 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Correction:

Germany? First they take your money and guns, then they take your lives.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 15:39 | 278857 BrianOFlanagan
BrianOFlanagan's picture

step by step, piece by piece our freedoms are being taken away and nobody notices or cares, except the "dolts".

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 17:08 | 278944 knukles
knukles's picture

Dolts...and conspiracy theorists, tin foil (mad) hatters, Tea Partiers, nut cases, left or right wingers, criminals, Marxists, fascists, loons...you name it.

Every time one warns of trends, events such as these, the response is derision.  Once it proves true, the response is a shrug.  And a warning anew is met with accusations of dolts, conspiracy theorists, tin foil.....

You get the picture. 

Time to conclude that all I can save is myself.  So what do I do with my portfolio now?  Seems is a crystal clear historical precedent...Britain in the Post War era. 
Many say "No!" or "It can't. This is America!"

We're Americans, history don't apply to us.  Does it?

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:21 | 279092 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

Brian: 

The old "saw" that says: "Those that cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it." is too, too true.  A generation ago the historians, Will & Ariel Durant made the observation in their little final book, "The Lessons of History" that governments have tended to swing from the "right" to the "left" and back again.  Since we elect a new President every four years we don't have to have a little shooting war each time we want to change ours. 

Obama, is on the extreme left and he is going after the offshore transfers upon which tax never gets paid.  Certainly it is a restriction on the freedom of every citizen.  The implications of his ways of getting things done, particually since he hasn't gone after the existing criminality in some of those in his administration is scary. 

But, after the (personal opinion) goofeyness of the way the last administration went into the middle east with the large hidden budgets thrown at military activities (part of the inflation/deficit issue), and circumstances, the extreme response doesn't seem to great a suprising. 

We are "living in interesting times".

It is all going to be alright.  The only thing that most US citizens apparently care about anyway is "Dancing with the Stars".

 

 

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:27 | 279441 delacroix
delacroix's picture

Iraq was pillaged immediately, where do you think the treasures went? not to the people, who finance the operation. saddam had personal wealth, comparable to the worlds richest men. where did it go? who cleaned out his rafidian bank account.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 15:46 | 278862 Carl Marks
Carl Marks's picture

The parasites are killing the host. Take from the middle class and give to the parasite class. We're all parasites now.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:00 | 278863 bc0203
bc0203's picture

This just sounds more like a method to ensure that people don't evade taxes by holding investments abroad.  I'm sure we'll see them taking additional steps, such as offering "rewards" to people who come forward with information about US citizens who have hidden foreign investments abroad, just like the Germans did recently.

What should concern anyone of considerable personal net worth (unfortunately, I'm not of this class) is that they wouldn't be pinning the assets of the wealthy down like this unless they were planning to tax the hell out of them.  

To quote the movie Crimson Tide, "You don't put on a condom unless you're going to f*ck."

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 15:52 | 278867 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It's just a way to make sure that also the rich pay taxes. sounds logic to me.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:38 | 279036 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

HAHAHAHAHHHHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAHHAAHHAAAAAA....

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:46 | 279042 mouser98
mouser98's picture

+1000

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:54 | 279059 geopol
geopol's picture

Now,, that,, was content free....

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 15:53 | 278869 Comrade de Chaos
Comrade de Chaos's picture

the most valuable commodity is information and whoever control it, dictates the structure of the social fabric. at any rate, the above looks like a rather desperate step in a long string of incoming desperate steps once the liquidity provision program is over. Can't define it as soft landing anymore, let's attempt a stupid / government lending. 

all HAIL yeah we can movement, cause we can !

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 15:58 | 278874 theworldisnotenough
theworldisnotenough's picture

Peter Schiff was right, again...

This is a dangerous game this administration is playing. Pinning in high earners with capital controls prompts the next logical response. Moving their capital out of the US for investment overseas. Which prompts the next response from the administration, taxing the hell out of money leaving the country. At some point people that can afford to not be productive and still pay their bills will do exactly that. The "Going Galt" scenario is becoming more and more likely.  Elections have consequences.

 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 17:12 | 278947 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I am 54.  I decided 6 months ago to write "Retired" on any forms I now have to fill out.

I cannot see how ANYONE would run the risks and high taxes to open a business or hire anyone (a small business anyway).

Health Care?  I'm just going to pay the fine.  "Run naked".  Fc*k 'em.  Get my health care done in Peru.

.....

I can only conclude that this all DELIBERATE.  A final rape of America before they get down to the serious business of totalitarianism.

Remember, the Germans voted in Adolf Hitler.  They wanted hope, and they got their change.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:57 | 279226 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Took a college course on propaganda.  Saw old clips of Adolph making stirring speeches to apparently adoring crowds....

.....

.....

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 12:40 | 279751 Dicite justitiam
Dicite justitiam's picture

That dude was good.

I remember from reading Shiller's massive tome about the third Reich that after one of Hitler's first putsches he was thrilled to know that he had it.  Dude could channel Wagner with his oratory.  Obama doesn't compare.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:32 | 279444 delacroix
delacroix's picture

 DoChen you should apply for dual citizenship. the israelis have no problem doing it. I don't know about peru, but there has to be a south or central american country, where it's easy, and inexpensive. did you say your wife was peruvian? that should make it easier

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 15:58 | 278875 Jesse
Jesse's picture

Not to be nitpicky, but these are not "capital controls."

Capital controls are restrictions on moving currency in and out of a country, in order to help to manage against volatile swings in valuation.

These are tax controls on foreign held assets, part of the admittedly widening grip of the US on its citizens wealth.  It is almost assuredly in anticipation of a 'capital flight' from those who wish to evade taxes as you suggest.

China has capital controls.  One cannot take their currency out of country when you leave.  But given the huge amount of eurodollars and their relative free flow, it is a bit misleading to say that 'capital controls' are now in place.

It sounds nitpicky again, I know.  But it is important. Because if the US ever does put in genuine capital controls, you know the dollar is on the precipice.

As it is this is just the taxman doing his thing, trying to crack the tax shelters, and upsetting some nations that made an industry out of it.

 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:22 | 278893 Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

They are indeed capital controls -- by proxy. The net result of these regulations is that many foreign banks will now simply refuse to do business with U.S. citizens to avoid the hassles and reporting requirements. The extremely wealthy will always find ways to move their assets, this law is aimed at the less-connected who may want to trake some retirement savings and invest overseas as a hedge. Without a foreign checking account or a local credit card, expats live at the mercy of the ATM machines. Ever try to buy a car or rent an apartment when the most you can pull out of ATMs is $500 a day?

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:11 | 279078 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

"Ever try to buy a car or rent an apartment when the most you can pull out of ATMs is $500 a day?"

You don't need to be an expat to feel queasy by the above situation. One reason I'm pulling all but a modest amount out of my checking account and bringing it home. It may be risky to keep bundles of cash at home but when I can only access $300 per day from the ATM it takes a long time to get it all.

 

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 09:04 | 279525 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

One bank run per month, one vault to keep it in and plenty of guns/ammo and dogs to keep any eye on it all.

The other bank take care of auto draft bills and no atms have been touched in over 6 years now. All cash, all the time.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:46 | 279111 silence
silence's picture

But then that's what it is always about - catching all the less-connected...

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:31 | 278910 G. Marx
G. Marx's picture

 

Yes indeed, how silly of us to think that after we pay taxes on what we earn, what's left is actually ours for our own "pursuit of happiness" or even thrift. For you see, from the time we earn to the time we spend, our monies are merely loaned to us by the state, we should be all so grateful to political machinery which allows us to have any wealth at all (especially when there might be just one other person with one less dollar than the rest of us). And what's even more comforting to know, is that there will always be those willing apologist who will quickly jump quickly into the fray and utilize the Jedi mind trick to help reassure us that we should "...move along, these aren't the droids you're looking for."

It goes without saying that one can't be taxed too much, now can they? And heaven forbid the thought that the tax code in the US is a facillitor of the grand ponzi scheme at work, because we all know it isn't, correct? I'd ship you my copy of the tax code, but the postage would be a killer, sorry.

 

"The fact is that liberty, in any true sense, is a concept that lies quite beyond the reach of the inferior man's mind. He can imagine and even esteem, in his way, certain false forms of liberty - for example, the right to choose between two political mountebanks, and to yell for the more obviously dishonest - but the reality is incomprehensible to him. And no wonder, for genuine liberty demands of its votaries a quality he lacks completely, and that is courage. The man who loves it must be willing to fight for it; blood, said Jefferson, is its natural manure. More, he must be able to endure it - an even more arduous business. Liberty means self-reliance, it means resolution, it means the capacity for doing without." - H.L. Mencken

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:44 | 278924 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

Great post.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 17:53 | 278972 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

The stickey phase "All men are created equal" led Abe L. to pursuade previous Americans that slavery was wrong --- even though popular and spreading ---

Maybe the individual right to pursue happiness without infringing on others life or liberty ---- may yet be used to convince today's American that economic control by the Government is wrong

That was Lincoln's key --- that slavery was wrong --- today's Americans are not convinced that social planning is wrong ---the best that can be said today is that the republican's offer a different set of controls on your pursuit of happiness than the dems.

This is especially apparant when you look at the bastions of free enterprise system --- banks and the investment market--- selling worthless securities as sound investments (MBS) or selling a security you they do not own (Naked Short Selling) withe the blessing of the SEC and DTCC --- Is that America's example of the pursuit of happiness?

"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed. l

 

 

 

 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:09 | 278991 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Lincoln didn't believe that slavery was wrong.  Those are bedtime stories government schools spread to justify murdering hundreds of thousands of people to collect taxes.  Read his first inaugural address: http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres31.html

 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:28 | 279015 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Fourth Lincoln-Douglas Debate

I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. [Cheers and laughter.]

http://www.nps.gov/liho/historyculture/debate4.htm

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:50 | 279050 mouser98
mouser98's picture

i wonder how that got left out of my high school history book?

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:18 | 279146 seventree
seventree's picture

I don't believe it's engraved on the Lincoln Memorial anywhere either. Probably wasn't room.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:43 | 279263 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

If you go to the basement section of the Lincoln Memorial, there is quite a bit that shows his racist views.  Worth the visit.  I was surprised to see these there

Mon, 01/24/2011 - 15:37 | 899685 web dizajn
web dizajn's picture

I thought that was pretty much general knowledge web dizajn He was not only a racist but also willing to let as many Americans die as necessary for him to remain in power

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:52 | 279178 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Ah yes, and the Native Americans, were third in line in this pecking order.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:51 | 279271 swamp
swamp's picture

And women are still last while most men still applaud it.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 23:36 | 279328 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

if they would just shutup for a few minutes we'd rethink it

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 15:27 | 279901 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Ya, that's it.  It's all their fault for expressing an opinion... when the O2 should be for you.  Hellva concept

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:53 | 279276 Hulk
Hulk's picture

American Indians owned slaves. No kidding

Also interesting to note that slavery lasted until WWII

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:24 | 279154 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

If we don't get the principle that it is our freedom that we are trying to save --- then we will never get the high ground

 

 

from his Cooper Union Speech

 http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/cooper.htm

 

Nor can we justifiably withhold this, on any ground save our conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it, are themselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationality - its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension - its enlargement. All they ask, we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask, they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being right; but, thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this? Wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone where it is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from its actual presence in the nation; but can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it to spread into the National Territories, and to overrun us here in these Free States? If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored - contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man - such as a policy of "don't care" on a question about which all true men do care - such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance - such as invocations to Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and undo what Washington did. Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:28 | 279157 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

I guess what I am saying is that if you cannot subtitute ---- Socialism, Communism, Rule by royalty ---- for slavery in the above speech by A. Lincoln then we are lost

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 11:20 | 279664 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Slavery, as an institution was dying by the time the Great Consolidator came along.

Slave owners were discovering that slaves do the the barest minimum of work. With no incentive to improve their economic status, there are no productivity gains, supporting slaves becomes inefficient and uneconomical.

If he had any real interest in ending slavery, Lincoln could have settled by buying the freedom of all slaves, far more cheaply than war.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 18:37 | 280044 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

No actually it was spreading or Abe would not have been elected

Sun, 03/27/2011 - 15:34 | 351863 Sun_Tzu
Sun_Tzu's picture

I also believe slavery was dying in the US -- for economic reasons -- and would have ended without war, just as it did in Brazil.  Unfortunately, we still have the vestiges of institutionalized slavery in the form of the Selective Service System.  It may be reactivated at any time. 

Meanwhile, more to the point of the article, what's left of our economic freedom is also disappearing.  When we have lost our remaining economic freedoms, the rest of our property rights, and can lose total control of our lives through direct military slavery at any time, we're hardly better off than the slaves of old.

Disclaimer: I'm not an economist or even a history buff -- I run a news site for mobile devices -- so what do I know?

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 00:26 | 279364 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

Particularly like liberty=choice between two mountebanks

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:03 | 278986 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

Jesse, I love your blog for your great posts and it's nostalgic ambience.  It harkens back to the days of the bourgousie, when there were things more moral than todays coke fed greedy hedgefunds.

This nostalgism is out of place when applied to the US tax code with its hundreds of thousands of lines of perverted congress-negotiated code, where the ultra rich get special loop holes and exemptions written to assist their rent seeking adventures.

But the worst thing about your post is the statement "this is just the taxman doing his thing, trying to crack the tax shelters" when you surely know what kind of a burden this US tax insanity adds to all the US expats.  The US is virtually the only country that taxes its expats on worldwide income, and these latest measures are literally driving many US citizens to drop their citizenship.  Yet you brush this all off as long as they catch the "tax cheats".

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:10 | 278993 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

Mark Nestmann had a nice piece about the HIRE act:

http://nestmannblog.sovereignsociety.com/2010/03/congress-enacts-obamas-...

 

Also read this Nestman piece about the new Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

http://nestmannblog.sovereignsociety.com/2010/03/secret-treasury-agency-...

http://nestmannblog.sovereignsociety.com/2010/03/secret-treasury-agency-...

"In an announcement in the Federal Register, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Treasury Department's "financial intelligence unit," issued proposed regulations to become effective in the next two months.  That's well before the June 30, 2010 filing deadline for Treasury Form TD F 90-22.1, the "foreign bank account reporting" form, or FBAR.  That means they would apply retroactively to 2009. 

FinCEN's proposed rules present a worst-case scenario for any U.S. citizen or permanent resident seeking offshore privacy.  They greatly expand the types of offshore financial relationships that you need to acknowledge.  Moreover, the FBAR isn't considered a "tax return."  That means that Barney Fife or any other law enforcement officer in the United States can browse through FBAR filings.  So can law enforcement officials in many other countries. "

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:22 | 279148 seventree
seventree's picture

FBAR??! Leave the unnecessary word Up out of FUBAR and there we are...

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:09 | 279234 J.Caesar
J.Caesar's picture

Bonis nocet quisqus malis pepercit.  Publius Syrus

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 12:51 | 279761 Dicite justitiam
Dicite justitiam's picture

and, discite justitiam, sucka (not you).

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 00:20 | 279360 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

ROFL.  Don't try to inject rationality, or logical thought, into this thread, JL.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 06:39 | 279488 JuicyTheAnimal
JuicyTheAnimal's picture

I have to agree with Jesse here.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:02 | 278878 Crummy
Crummy's picture

We always do everything "better".

Nazis came up with asking people for their papers and we were like, "Fuck that half-assed pussy shit, we're going to ask the papers for their papers, too!"

Fuck yeah!

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:23 | 279244 Johnny Dangereaux
Johnny Dangereaux's picture

Nice link.

 

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 00:49 | 279380 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

Wow (22,532 comments...fuck yeah)

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:07 | 278881 Harbourcity
Harbourcity's picture

Does this include the elitist?

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:07 | 278882 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

It is not a shocker. Right now people are considering ways to leave this nation in droves. To keep the doctors and skilled laborers inside the borders. The problem is that no matter how high the tax or difficulty in leaving, those with actual skills or talents and the will to do so will flee. Capital controls be damned. For foreigners it is a recognition that liquidation of US assets must accelerate. I wonder how long it will be until the fire sale hits one night as China drops a bomb on the U.S. at 2 a.m. ET....

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:35 | 278917 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

SITUATION WANTED

Professional couple with decades of excellent work history, stellar credit and six-figure-plus earning power (Business owner / Nuclear Engineer / IT guru, BSN / Nurse Educator / CCRN) seek stable and friendly environment to live, work, and raise children. Model: Constitutional Republic similar to early nineteenth century USA.

Requirements: Low taxes / small government; functioning judicial system; respect for individual rights and property; low public sector employment; free market economic environment; electoral transparency; private ownership of firearms; broad acceptance of English; sound currency.

Positives: Non-interventionist public policy; energy and agricultural independence; strict public sector religious neutrality; temperate climate.

Disqualifiers: Militarized / aggressive police force; divisive immigrant contingent; activist or discriminatory government; socialized health care system.

This is not a joke.  If you believe your locality / state / nation has what we are looking for, please respond to SituationWanted@comcast.net.  Serious inquiries only please.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 17:18 | 278950 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I KNOW I saw that English-speaking, low taxation, small government, low corruption country, but I keep looking at the map and cannot find it again...

Maybe Singapore is the closest to matching what you want.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:24 | 279013 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

I think you'll need a time machine...

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 11:25 | 279671 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

OECD for the win. Nowhere left for the rats to run

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 17:48 | 278964 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Does not exist.  All requirements cannot be met.  Agree that Singapore is probably the closet but gun ownership is a no there as in most of the world.  Also Singapore fails on energy and agg independent and temperate climate (hot and humid).

But having siad that if you find a place please share!

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:26 | 279099 if
if's picture

Singapore is oppressive on top of the gun ownership restrictions.

Switzerland is by far the closest match but it comes with brutal winters.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:57 | 279124 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Oh don't get me wrong I know the rules are fiercely enforced.  I've talked to people who have spent some time there.  Having looked at them and talking to people I could abide them.  I basically have no vices, no drugs, non smoker, rarely drink, don't chew gum, don't like Durian, don't spit in public, etc.  I'm about as straight arrow as you can get.  Though the wacky rule about no pornography on the hard-drive is downright silly, but they are fine with it being streamed...

It's far from perfect but I think it might be the better choices for me (young American with IT background).  Now Switzerland sounds great, but from what I understand it's quite difficult to get a work visa.  I also don't speak any of the languages.  Don't get me wrong Switzerland has been on my list, but the immigration policy makes it rough for an American like me.  If you know of a way to slide in please post it and let me know.  Would love to look further at Switzerland.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:30 | 279159 if
if's picture

Unless you are EU or very wealthy it can be difficult to get a residency/work permit in CH.  Cost of living is also relatively high.  Easiest entry is an employer transfer or marriage to EU/CH girl. 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:14 | 279192 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Well wealthy is out.  I have a line on EU citizenship but right now I would have to sack my US citizenship which I can't do right now, no dual option from the country my grandparents were from.

Hmmm marry an EU girl "Hey cutie, want to marry this IT professional?  I need citizenship to get out of my sinking ship, so you want to get hitched?  I can make a good living!"  hmmm might take some work but sure that can work as a pickup line :)

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:42 | 279213 merehuman
merehuman's picture

this german has been in usa since 63. This has been home to me and i would rather die trying to fight the monster. All bravado aside i do plan to stand my ground. Learned the things we run from tend to follow us. I resolve to plant more potatoes because there will be a lot of hungry folk before long.

Was gonna protest DC , but as one ZH responder stated...fight it out at the state level..... has a point. Its only an hour drive and makes sense. After 30 years am giving up business and retiring early. Activism time has come.

To run..tho i could... NO WAY

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:01 | 279229 Shameful
Shameful's picture

I have a lot of respect for that, I really do. 

I won't join you for my own reasons.  I've heard enough stories from my family about totalitarian states.  It breaks one of two ways, civil war and states stop paying axes or using the Dollar, or we have a police state probably in a Stalin or Mao vein based on whom the political elite quote.  After all they talk abut over population, so I would not be surprised to see forced sterilization or liquidation of "undesirables".  Either way a lot of violence will be happening and it will hardly be a safe place, especially since my profession makes me city bound.

Quite honestly I'm terrified about what is happening.  I feel better that I've prepared as much as I can, but I'm worried.  I worry about what will happen when the dollar dies and we see people take toe the streets because they can't buy the goods their used to.  I worry about the atmosphere of treating people who speak out as dissidents and there is legislation to remove the rights of "dissidents" and subject them to "enhanced interrogation" and military tribunals without being able to see a judge.

I lost a lot of family to the Soviets.  My family learned the hard way, when the devil is at your door you run out the back with whatever you can carry.  The devil may chase you, or he may just terrorize and torment those who stay behind or those that fight.  Maybe that makes me a coward, and I'm willing to live with that label.

I respect those who are going to stick it out and fight.  It's just not me.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 00:53 | 279386 frippy
frippy's picture

+1000000

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:31 | 279443 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

x1

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 07:14 | 279494 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

http://nestmannblog.sovereignsociety.com/2010/03/back-door-to-a-eu-passp...

This is an important development if you're a U.S. citizen interested in acquiring a Dutch passport.  Based on this court decision, your application for residence in the Dutch Caribbean territories must be treated the same way one from a European Dutch applicant would be treated, with the same rights to appeal an adverse decision.  You still must demonstrate good character and a clean criminal record, but the process is somewhat less cumbersome than if you don't have U.S. or Dutch nationality.  And, after five years of continuous legal residence, good conduct and integration into the community, you're eligible to apply for a Dutch passport. 

 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:41 | 279260 velobabe
velobabe's picture

Easiest entry is an employer transfer or marriage to EU/CH girl.

let's add girl with boy. so EU/CH girl/boy. fair†

i raised my daughter to seek out the EU in our town. anyway she informed me of the fact that european men don't get circumcised, who da think!

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:54 | 279277 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Well sure, that is only fair.  Does not help me since I'm only into girls :)

lol well I knew because I had that awkward experience with a few girls "What the hells is this?!?!"  Still have a few traditions form the home country.

Though not sure how long the EU will hold together.  After all Portugal still has to ride it's funding maelstrom.  And then the two big elephants in the room Italy and Spain.  I don't think the IMF can patch up those kind of holes.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 01:02 | 279394 Renfield
Renfield's picture

Uncut rocks. Guy retains that extra soupcon of sensitivity. ;-)

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:01 | 279185 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

@ Shameful,

 

Well, look at Paraguay then, you can hang out with Bush down at the Pub.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiyKtlwqXIg

 

http://www.counterpunch.org/cp10202006.html

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:47 | 279195 Shameful
Shameful's picture

I never really saw him as a pub guy...especially if he is hiding out on his compound.  Though I suppose I could try to be a good neighbor "Hey W!  I got some tequila who is up for a party!?!"

Didn't Paulson get a place down there to?  I know rumor is Ken Lay is down there to.  To bad I'm not in the league of those illustrious "gentlemen".

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:59 | 279282 Hulk
Hulk's picture

 I basically have no vices, no drugs, non smoker, rarely drink, don't chew gum, don't like Durian, don't spit in public, etc

Just wait until you hit your thirties!

Heavy drinking just around the corner....

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 23:19 | 279312 Shameful
Shameful's picture

lol maybe, my family has a history flirting with alcohol abuse and I flirted with it a bit myself...it's the NE Euro blood I think, I do have a taste for vodka :)  Actually I used to hit the bars a fair amount...for booze and chasing girls.  I actually stopped doing that about a year ago and stopped drinking...almost all my disposable income is rolling into PMs now. I found myself at the bar thinking "You know if I hadn't drank tonight I could have gotten a couple ounces of silver..." 

Last time I went on a drunken bender was 10 days in Cancun last summer.  Buddy of mine hooked me up with a nearly free Club Med vacation ($10 a day in the VIP suite) and I drank morning to night...I couldn't help myself, it was free!  The drinks just kept coming as fast as I could drink them...sitting on the beach, inhaling vodka, hitting on French ladies, it was a great vacation!

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 08:05 | 279504 Cookie
Cookie's picture

I was an expat with my own business in Singapore for 7 years, given your needs I am certain there is nowhere better, especially with IT. They make it very easy to do business.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:49 | 279449 delacroix
delacroix's picture

check out nicaragua and costa rica,  the population of nicaragua, is only 5 million, and  its not hard to pickup enough spanish to get by. an electronic translator is under $50 gas is $4 gal, but the cars are more efficient, and simple

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:58 | 279451 delacroix
delacroix's picture

check out nicaragua and costa rica,  the population of nicaragua, is only 5 million, and  its not hard to pickup enough spanish to get by. an electronic translator is under $50 gas is $4 gal, but the cars are more efficient, and simple.  maybe uruguay

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:48 | 279448 KevinB
KevinB's picture

Well, Canada fails on the small gov't low taxes, but you can actually own guns; you just have to register them. Pretty cold in winter, though.

How about New Zealand? Pretty small society, but you can always pop over to Brisbane for the weekend, and have a spot of fun.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:17 | 279001 perchprism
perchprism's picture

 

When you find Galt's Gulch, please be kind enough to let the rest of us know.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:24 | 279011 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Perhaps a few states can be persuaded to create it?  One can hope.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 00:59 | 279393 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

New Hampshire= Free State Initiative

Michigan= Nothing To Lose

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 01:04 | 279398 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

New Hampshire and Wyoming have the 'free state project':

http://www.freestatewyoming.org

http://freestateproject.org/

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 08:13 | 279506 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

I like Wyoming / Montana, but they are landlocked and so are doomed.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 11:18 | 279656 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Maybe they could sell clocks, watches, chocolate, fondue, pocket knife/multi-tools and Sig Sauer machine guns. Then they might have a chance. They'd come to you!

Oh, ja. Das ist zehr sexy:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIG_550

Carry a rifle and pay no tax.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:44 | 279172 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

I can only speak as to the people who I know who face the harshest penalties. 2 doctors I know are gone by year end. One business owner who liquidated what is left of his portfolio last month, gone. Those three are heading to Costa Rica but they already own property there.

Costa Rica appears to be set, along with the Antilles to become the new Switzerland for Americans. Sort of like when prisoners would break out of Nazi Germany and try to flee.

Although I tend to exaggerate on that point, travel restrictions based on "international security" will be next.

I've seen this movie before. In 1950, it did not end well for the Prussians.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 23:05 | 279291 swamp
swamp's picture

Yes, likely coming. Live near a harbor and be ready with a boat crew and yacht.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 02:30 | 279429 AR15AU
AR15AU's picture

Ha... but muling cash around on foot is going to create so many jobs...  ;) 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:31 | 279026 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

This SITUATION WANTED fits the description of the US when my grandfather fled Russia (coming revolution) and my husband's grandmother fled Italy (facism).

I would add to the Requirements:  No central bank

And no, it is not a joke.  If Iceland successfully avoids the IMF, I'll consider going there.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:13 | 279083 cbaba
cbaba's picture

You can try Turkey,

its an excellent place , crisis didnt not hit as hard as other european countries,banks are in very good condition, they had this crisis in 2000 and it costed more than 100 bilion dollars. Government nationalized problem banks, at that time control rules put into action saved the banks in this recession.

You can open account in any currency you want, even open a gold account in the bank if you want, your account will show grams of gold. You can enjoy the good weather on the south, sea and sunshine will make you happy.

 

 

 

 

 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:23 | 279151 Mercury
Mercury's picture

New Zealand has to come close.  They even have a trader for a president. Beaches and skiing.  Not sure about the guns though.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:45 | 279266 velobabe
velobabe's picture

bikinis and boards

thats my philosophy. hey i ride my bike to the golf course with my clubs on my back.

hey bike with board to the beach. sm. b b b

sharin the love MERCURY, rising higher and higher†

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:55 | 279280 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Already in the process of making that move.  You can have guns (all mine are legal there), but I don't think you can import them.  Sport shooting is allowed, but as I understand it, you cannot shoot even in self-defense.

They also have socialized medicine, though there is a private market as well.

Tax rate is about 40% but they don't have state taxes so the US is only slightly lower now and soon will be much higher.

Banks are conservative and stable.

Property is in a bubble.

It's a long process to immigrate though.  I'll be hitting the 1 year mark soon since the start of my process.  Have to be a resident for 5 years before can become a citizen

Plan ahead.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:02 | 279184 David449420
David449420's picture

.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:05 | 279188 David449420
David449420's picture

Wonderful Pipe Dream.  Good Luck on the job search.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 01:08 | 279399 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Sortable index of countries based on level of freedom in various categories:

http://www.freeexistence.org/freedom.shtml

 

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 01:15 | 279402 Renfield
Renfield's picture

Can't get it to work - I can input my preferences but the ranking screen just stays blank...

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 01:57 | 279416 TheGoodDoctor
TheGoodDoctor's picture

Maybe that means there are no free countries?

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:15 | 279439 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Dunno...works for me. It says you have to have Javascript enabled, maybe that's the issue?

You can also just download the excel file from that page and do your own sorting.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 02:05 | 279420 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Cool site.  It tells me I should look at Singapore and Hong Kong...sorta what I was looking at though less HK.  Might need to look at their arragement with mainland China. 

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 08:18 | 279508 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Great Link!  Thanks!

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 17:51 | 278967 Shameful
Shameful's picture

A brain drain will kill this country dead.  It's been so good because of the inflow of skilled labor.  That labor starts to leave and the tax and skill base goes with it.

But don't worry we are going to get "immigration reform" aka amnesty.  So while the skilled labor flees it will be replaced by unskilled labor or those seeking to feed of the system.  I swear to God it's like they are purposely trying to wreck the place.

If only they would use the Constanza method, just do the opposite of what they are planning...

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:57 | 279062 mouser98
mouser98's picture

we might get amnesty but the other side of that "immigration reform" will be to close the door to emigration.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:00 | 279182 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

This effectively closed emigration for most skilled portions of the workforce. Very few have the prerequisite for fleeing:

Property ownership overseas.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 01:57 | 279414 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

"A brain drain will kill this country dead."

Speaking of brain drain:

Tyler: "But guess what - if you are a foreign Central Bank, or if the Secretary determined that you are "a low risk for tax evasion" (unlike the Secretary himself)..."

What an astute observation about our pal Turbo Tax Timmay G! I love the way Tyler slips those little zingers in...

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:13 | 278890 chet
chet's picture

I don't feel bad that wealthy people have to pay taxes.  I pay my taxes.  They can pay their taxes.  We can certainly argue about the proper level of tax rates, but we should have the discussion without squirreling money away with Swiss douchebags.

If paying taxes is enough to make them move to a compound on some third-world island somewhere to count piles like Scrooge McDuck, then they weren't very good countrymen anyway.  Fuck em.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:58 | 279064 mouser98
mouser98's picture

to quote GG:

HAHHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHA

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:21 | 278895 BlackBeard
BlackBeard's picture

Wow....that's so...Greek of you Obama....

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:21 | 278896 Carl Marks
Carl Marks's picture

The Administration is expecting a brain drain and capital flight as a result of its tax and social policies. This is not just aimed at tax cheats but also to those who would give up their citizenship. You can leave but you have to leave something with us.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:31 | 278912 Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

" This is not just aimed at tax cheats but also to those who would give up their citizenship."

They plugged that hole in 2008. If an American has a net worth over $600K and renounces their citizenship or leaves the U.S. permanently, then they are assessed a tax on the total of all their assets including unrealized gains, payable immediately. There is no judicial revue, it's all handled by some friendly bureaucrat at the Ministry of Records (aka the IRS). The same law also gives ICE the authority to question and/or detain U.S. citizens leaving the country at any port (airports, docks, highway border crossings, etc.). "Mr. Smith, I see you have a large quantity of gold and silver coins. We're going to to have to confiscate those...".

 

 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 16:57 | 278936 AnonymousAnarchist
AnonymousAnarchist's picture

Yep. These are all steps along the way. Eventually, you won't be able to take any wealth across the border that you can't carry while jumping a fence or crossing a river.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 17:57 | 278961 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Thats the other advantage of Au, it doesn't show up on my NetWorth statement....

PMs can be taken out of the country, presently, without raising any red flags

Wouldn't be surprised if that changed in the future, at which point other methods could be devised..

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:40 | 279039 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

Am I wrong?  I thought there was a $10,000 limit on taking gold out of the country...

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 18:58 | 279063 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Thankfully you are mistaken.  So if you take 10k or more out of country you have to let Uncle Sugar know.  You can dance around it by using legal tender coins like the Maple Leaf or American Eagle which are currency denominated, if not then you report at bullion prices.  But even still you could leave with 100k, and it's legal just TSA might raise some eyebrows.  Really at this point if carrying 10k in bullion or even tender coins I would decree, TSA is not staffed by the brightest people and I doubt most know what the spot price of gold is.  But better safe then sorry. 

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:02 | 279072 mouser98
mouser98's picture

if you have a friend in the country that you are moving to, just mail the AU to him in small parcels, let the USPS do all the work for ya.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 23:16 | 279306 swamp
swamp's picture

Obviously you haven't done this because you failed to mention customs forms.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:13 | 279084 Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

So you take $9,990 of gold out of the U.S., now what? If a foreign bank will not exchange that gold for their currency, or open a bank account to safely store it, what exactly have you accomplished? These new laws are aimed at preventing Americans from holding foreign deposit accounts. No expat in their right mind would try to walk around or store cash or PMs in a foreign country.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:23 | 279095 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Shitcan your citizenship.  If you are in gold and it's on your person tell the IRS to kiss off.  What are they going to do, send a CIA/IRS hit team to kill you or introduce you to extraordinary rendition?  Well okay maybe they will but not if you are small time. Also the very fact that is possible should make you think "Huh my gov will kill and kidnap with impunity...maybe I ought to think about what options I have.  After all what will they do when they close us off?"

Also I may not be the most traveled person in the forum, but gold is gold is gold and there is market for it pretty much all over the world.  I suppose if you went to the arctic or the deepest parts of Africa you might not, but go to even the developing world and you can sell it.

And it's possible to get other citizenship, for a lot of people.  My dad could qualify for another citizenship but would have to give up his US.  He has thought about iit, and if they put in crazy controls he probably will.  Still waiting on a court ruling as that nation is considering allowing almost universal dual citizenship.

But by all means stay in the US.  I don't need the competition out there.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:53 | 279224 dumpster
dumpster's picture

dollars to donuts these guys making up reason not to keep gold.. are the ones that could not spring for 10 oz,

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:07 | 279231 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Well 10oz is pricey.  I'm past that, but then I make a good income, I have no dependants, and literally I'm living like a monk.  I found the cheapest places to eat, I stopped going out to bars, stopped drinking cold, stopped buying designer clothes, stopped buying video games, clipping coupons, roommate.  Really anything to save a few bucks.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice if you want something...and I want a hoard of PMs!

If a person is willing to adjust their lifestyle most anyone can scrap some money together to buy gold and/or silver.  It's an investment in the future.  I know that if/when things go crazy I'll have a little security.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 23:38 | 279333 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

future security for what???  you already stopped living

 

just stash enough that you can carry and run and keep making friends

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 00:13 | 279356 Shameful
Shameful's picture

It's a matter of perspective.  I'm happy with what I have.  My parents didn't have much when I was growing up so cutting back is certainly not all that painful.  I joke about the monk part because I live more frugally then some of my friends who make 40% of what I do.  I would rather save and have something if I need it then just have a memory full of nights at a bar having fun and a closet full of designer clothes.  Just because I'm young and American does not mean that I can shirk all responsibility and just party.  Maybe that makes me strange but I'm actually reasonably happy with my life and I get a sense of satisfaction from saving. 

I'm looking at having the money to start a whole new life in a foreign country and I would rather err on the side of caution and have to much rather than to little.  Hell my savings rate is going to let me go to Asia this summer for a few weeks and not go 1 penny into debt.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:35 | 279445 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

You tell the TSA agent that they are chocolate coins.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 19:28 | 279102 Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

"it's legal just TSA might raise some eyebrows.  Really at this point if carrying 10k in bullion or even tender coins I would decree, TSA is not staffed by the brightest people and I doubt most know what the spot price of gold is.  But better safe then sorry. "

You may want to rethink that assumption in light of what many police departments are doing these days - it's called confiscation:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91555835

The TSA would call the local police to check out your "suspicious" stash of coins or cash. The police might let you go on your way (you probably missed your flight BTW), or they might just take your coins/cash and tell you to hire a lawyer if you want them back. The odds are not in your favor.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 20:04 | 279131 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Can you at least post a story about the TSA?  Why would the TSA call about coins?  Can you point to a single time it has ever happened?  Again they don't know value of coins, and in the scheme of things declaring is not a big deal.  Also explain how coins are suspicious.  Cash is way more suspicious then coins and people fly with large sums of cash every day.  You don't hear about to many gold deals done with Maple Leafs.  "Hey Fat Tony, you got the Maple Leafs for this shipment of smack?!?"  Really what is the TSA going to say about coins?  "OMG these coins could be made of plutonium we better call the cops!!!"

There is plenty in this world to be scared of but making up silly scenarios gets us no where.

"You can't fly because the TSA will force you to have sex with the drug dogs for hours if you try to carry a Kuggerrand on a plane!"

Again dude, feel free to stay here.  But if you are so worried about the encroaching police state why not leave now?

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 21:17 | 279194 David449420
David449420's picture

Nice Body slam.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:56 | 279274 velobabe
velobabe's picture

Nice Body slam.

NICE BODY.

zh has so become the BIGGEST MAN CAVE on earth.

take it from an alien looking down on the calamity, men keyboarding.

KEYBOARDING MEN, pay attention, it use to be strictly exclusive to females,

this could be the new conspiracy. i dare you to junk me! bet on the odds.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 23:22 | 279318 swamp
swamp's picture

Before females in the USA keyboarded, predominately males in Europe keyboarded.

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 03:36 | 279446 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

And it was Al Gore that invented the keyboard.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:22 | 279243 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Comments on leaving the USSA with gold and/or cash.

Each person can take up to $10,000 (total of liquidity) without having to do anything.  Make sure if you take $9000 in Au and take $3000 in cash make sure to fill out the Customs form!

I have taken Au out of the country twice.  The first time was over $10,000 worth.  American Airlines just gave me a blank look when I asked them for the form.  I then had to track down Customs there at the airport.  I then asked the lady for the form for taking out over $10,000.  She gave me a blank look as well.  I showed her my gold.  She made a couple of calls (this was a weekend).  She then tracked down the form, which I filled out.  She made another call.  She then turned to me and asked me how much it was worth.  I told the truth.  "Right answer", she told me.  She gave me a photocopy in case TSA would give me a problem.  I had the gold in my travel-on bag.  Went right through the TSA x-ray machine, noboby even blinked.

Second time my wife and I evenly split up 10 oz so we did NOT have to fill out the form.  TSA never blinked that second time either.

FWIW.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 22:30 | 279252 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Thank you!  That pretty much matches up with the experience I have read about on various forums, as I have researched this.  Glad to know that it's still good to go.

Again most people are ignorant about gold so it's not like there is a band of gold hungry maniacs looking to steal it.  Most people don't know what an ounce of gold is worth.  I saw a video a few months ago where a guy was asking people about what they thought a maple leaf was worth...so guesses ranged from like $0.50 to $200.  People are to paranoid about gold being taken right now. Maybe it will come to that, but right now it's pretty safe to haul around.

Sun, 03/28/2010 - 23:18 | 279310 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Great info. I have done the exact same thing, same amounts, domestically and the Maples have gone through the xray machine without anyone blinking.

Wonder what the future holds? Wish I could trust swiss relatives!

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