Doug Casey Debunks The Common Excuses for "Staying" In One Country

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Doug Casey via,

Tell a person that it's a big beautiful world, full of fresh opportunities and a sense of freedom that is just not available by staying put and you will inevitably be treated to a litany of reasons why expanding your life into more than one country just isn't practical.

Let's consider some of those commonly stated reasons, and why they might be unjustified. While largely directed at Americans, these are also applicable to pretty much anyone from any country (for example, Britain... or Germany).

"America is the best country in the world. I'd be a fool to leave."

That was absolutely true, not so very long ago. America certainly was the best – and it was unique. But it no longer exists, except as an ideal. The geography it occupied has been co-opted by the United States, which today is just another nation-state. And, most unfortunately, one that's become especially predatory toward its citizens.

"My parents and grandparents were born here; I have roots in this country."

An understandable emotion; everyone has an atavistic affinity for his place of birth, including your most distant relatives born long, long ago, and far, far away. I suppose if Lucy, apparently the first more-or-less human we know of, had been able to speak, she might have pled roots if you'd asked her to leave her valley in East Africa. If you buy this argument, then it's clear your forefathers, who came from Europe, Asia, or Africa, were made of sterner stuff than you are.

"I'm not going to be unpatriotic."

Patriotism is one of those things very few even question and even fewer examine closely. I'm a patriot, you're a nationalist, he's a jingoist. But let's put such a tendentious and emotion-laden subject aside. Today a true patriot – an effective patriot – would be accumulating capital elsewhere, to have assets he can repatriate and use for rebuilding when the time is right. And a real patriot understands that America is not a place; it's an idea. It deserves to be spread.

"I can't leave my aging mother behind."

Not to sound callous, but your aging parent will soon leave you behind. Why not offer her the chance to come along, though? She might enjoy a good live-in maid in your own house (which I challenge you to get in the U.S.) more than a sterile, dismal, and overpriced old people's home, where she's likely to wind up.

"I might not be able to earn a living."

Spoken like a person with little imagination and even less self-confidence. And likely little experience or knowledge of economics. Everyone, everywhere, has to produce at least as much as he consumes – that won't change whether you stay in your living room or go to Timbuktu. In point of fact, though, it tends to be easier to earn big money in a foreign country, because you will have knowledge, experience, skills, and connections the locals don't.

"I don't have enough capital to make a move."

Well, that was one thing that kept serfs down on the farm. Capital gives you freedom. On the other hand, a certain amount of poverty can underwrite your freedom, since possessions act as chains for many.

"I'm afraid I won't fit in."

The real danger that's headed your way is not fitting in at home. This objection is often proffered by people who've never traveled abroad. Here's a suggestion. If you don't have a valid passport, apply for one tomorrow morning. Then, at the next opportunity, book a trip to somewhere that seems interesting. Make an effort to meet people. Find out if you're really as abject a wallflower as you fear.

"I don't speak the language."

It's said that Sir Richard Burton, the 19th century explorer, spoke 10 languages fluently and 15 more "reasonably well." I've always liked that distinction although, personally, I'm not a good linguist. And it gets harder to learn a language as you get older – although it's also true that learning a new language actually keeps your brain limber. In point of fact, though, English is the world's language. Almost anyone who is anyone, and the typical school kid, has some grasp of it.

"I'm too old to make such a big change."

Yes, I guess it makes more sense to just take a seat and await the arrival of the Grim Reaper. Or perhaps, is your life already so exciting and wonderful that you can't handle a little change? Better, I think, that you might adopt the attitude of the 85-year-old woman who has just transplanted herself to Argentina from the frozen north. Even after many years of adventure, she simply feels ready for a change and was getting tired of the same old people with the same old stories and habits.

"I've got to wait until the kids are out of school. It would disrupt their lives."

This is actually one of the lamest excuses in the book. I'm sympathetic to the view that kids ought to live with wolves for a couple of years to get a proper grounding in life – although I'm not advocating anything that radical. It's one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids: to live in another culture, learn a new language, and associate with a better class of people (as an expat, you'll almost automatically move to the upper rungs – arguably a big plus). After a little whining, the kids will love it. When they're grown, if they discover you passed up the opportunity, they won't forgive you.

"I don't want to give up my U.S. citizenship."

There's no need to. Anyway, if you have a lot of deferred income and untaxed gains, it can be punitive to do so; the U.S. government wants to keep you as a milk cow. But then, you may cotton to the idea of living free of any taxing government while having the travel documents offered by several. And you may want to save your children from becoming cannon fodder or indentured servants should the U.S. re-institute the draft or start a program of "national service" – which is not unlikely.

But these arguments are unimportant. The real problem is one of psychology. In that regard, I like to point to my old friend Paul Terhorst, who 30 years ago was the youngest partner at a national accounting firm. He and his wife, Vicki, decided that "keeping up with the Joneses" for the rest of their lives just wasn't for them. They sold everything – cars, house, clothes, artwork, the works – and decided to live around the world. Paul then had the time to read books, play chess, and generally enjoy himself. He wrote about it in Cashing In on the American Dream: How to Retire at 35. As a bonus, the advantages of not being a tax resident anywhere and having time to scope out proper investments has put Paul way ahead in the money game. He typically spends about half his year in Argentina; we usually have lunch every week when in residence.

I could go on. But perhaps it's pointless to offer rational counters to irrational fears and preconceptions. As Gibbon noted with his signature brand of irony, "The power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous."

Let me be clear: in my view, the time to internationally diversify your life is getting short. And the reasons for looking abroad are changing.

In the past, the best argument for expatriation was an automatic increase in one's standard of living. In the '50s and '60s, a book called Europe on $5 a Day accurately reflected all-in costs for a tourist. In those days a middle-class American could live like a king in Europe. But those days are long gone. Now it's the rare American who can afford to visit Europe except on a cheesy package tour. That situation may actually improve soon, if only because the standard of living in Europe is likely to fall even faster than in the U.S. But the improvement will be temporary. One thing you can plan your life around is that, for the average American, foreign travel is going to become much more expensive in the next few years as the dollar loses value at an accelerating rate.

Affordability is going to be a real problem for Americans, who've long been used to being the world's "rich guys." But an even bigger problem will be presented by foreign exchange controls of some nature, which the government will impose in its efforts to "do something." FX controls – perhaps in the form of taxes on money that goes abroad, perhaps restrictions on amounts and reasons, perhaps the requirement of official approval, perhaps all of these things – are a natural progression during the next stage of the crisis. After all, only rich people can afford to send money abroad, and only the unpatriotic would think of doing so.

How and Where

I would like to reemphasize that it’s pure foolishness to have your loyalties dictated by the lines on a map or the dictates of some ruler. The nation-state itself is on its way out. The world will increasingly be aligned with what we call phyles, groups of people who consider themselves countrymen based on their interests and values, not on which government's ID they share. I believe the sooner you start thinking that way, the freer, the richer, and the more secure you will become.

The most important first step is to get out of the danger zone. Let’s list the steps in order of importance.

  1. Establish a financial account in a second country and transfer assets to it immediately.

  2. Purchase a crib in a suitable third country, somewhere you might enjoy whether in good times or bad.

  3. Get moving toward an alternative citizenship in a fourth country; you don't want to be stuck geographically, and you don't want to live like a refugee.

  4. Keep your eyes open for business and investment opportunities in those four countries, plus the other 195; you'll greatly increase your perspective and your chances of success.

Where to go?

The personal conclusion I came to was Argentina (followed by Uruguay), where I spend a good part of my year and even more now that my house at La Estancia de Cafayate is completed.

In general, I would suggest you look most seriously at countries whose governments aren't overly cozy with the U.S. and whose people maintain an inbred suspicion of the police, the military, and the fiscal authorities. These criteria tilt the scales against past favorites like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the UK.

And one more piece of sage advice: stop thinking like your neighbors, which is to say stop thinking and acting like a serf. Most people – although they can be perfectly affable and even seem sensible – have the attitudes of medieval peasants that objected to going further than a day's round-trip from their hut, for fear the stories of dragons that live over the hill might be true. We covered the modern versions of that objection a bit earlier.

I'm not saying that you'll make your fortune and find happiness by venturing out. But you'll greatly increase your odds of doing so, greatly increase your security, and, I suspect, have a much more interesting time.

Let me end by reminding you what Rick Blaine, Bogart's character in Casablanca, had to say in only a slightly different context. Appropriately, Rick was an early but also an archetypical international man. Let's just imagine he's talking about what will happen if you don't effectively internationalize yourself now. He said: "You may not regret it now, but you'll regret it soon. And for the rest of your life."

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Hyjinx's picture

Where to then?

Aristotle of Greece's picture
Aristotle of Greece (not verified) Hyjinx Jun 28, 2016 10:04 PM


NidStyles's picture

Yes goy, be a traitor. Leave the nation and let the"refugees" have it. Forget being loyal to your nation...

Jubal Early's picture

What if your country has already become ZOG?  What if your country is not only ZOG, but it is the #1 Zio-puppet regime on the planet, and not only are millions gladly subsidizing the Zionist overloads, but they willingly send their children off to die or get maimed in Zio-wars.  What then?  If you leave that makes you a Goy? Give me a break.

cdevidal's picture

Biggest problem I have with this is it's hard to work a homestead while you're bouncing between countries.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

He forget to add that having a good butler @ both cribs is a wise choice.

stacking12321's picture

having a good butler at places like philipines, burma, panama, argentina is surprisingly affordable.

in some places you don't have to be rich to live it up.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

When people use the word "crib" instead of living accomidations, I have trouble treating anything they write with any sort of respect.

Seek_Truth's picture

And the pain of having to find butlers, maids and other staff that will work for bread and water, and if they work hard enough- a candy cane for Christmas!

Can't we just bring back slavery already?

stacking12321's picture

comparing work that is freely offered and freely accepted with slavery, reveals a certain sickness in your thinking.

if you're offering someone work for low-ish wages and they accept it, that's proof positive that they don't have a better offer, and they are increasing their lot in life for accepting it.

maybe you think it's better in such a situation that the person should starve instead, because such a wage doesn't allow them to have a cell phone, a tee vee, and a car in the driveway, but not everyone needs or wants what you do.

Seek_Truth's picture

Even though you've got a positively dreadful attitude, I'd be willing to allow you to trim my toenails.

I'd allow you to keep them for their value in keratin, plus a shiny US quarter a day.

Do we have a deal?

When can you begin?

I'm assuming you've got no friends or relatives who'd like to find some suitable employment, too?

If you work out well enough, there's opportunity for advancement- I might allow you to be my groom of the stool someday.


stacking12321's picture

no, and that's the whole point - you're kinda a lowlife with nothing to offer me, so we don't have a deal.

maybe learn a useful trade and make something out of yourself first instead of trolling the internet and trying to convince people how godly you are.

Seek_Truth's picture

You are one humorless dolt.


PS- You are on a wide and spacious road, with lots of company. You ignore the priceless spiritual reality of eternity in exchange for a mere common 70 or 80 years of physical. You may as well be a toenail groomer, it suits you well.

stacking12321's picture

and you are one self-absorbed prick.


there is no "humor" in the fact that you take a condescending and insulting tone out of one side of your mouth, while out of the other side of your mouth you talk about "spiritual reality of eternity".

you are one fucked up dude. stop masturbating to pictures of jesus and go get yourself laid for real.


Seek_Truth's picture

It's called sarcasm, moron.

You're obviously too much of a dimwit to get it.

Christians aren't humorless, and we have sex with our wives, too.

Here's a clue for you- something new to you- no need to masturbate when you have a beautiful wife that you love and that loves you in return.

You are obviously a miserable wretch who wouldn't understand that.

I dedicate this sketch to you and other losers like you:


White Mountains's picture

Typical SJW (Social Justice Warrior).  Always falls back on name calling and anger when his safe space is threatened by truth and reality.

Seek_Truth's picture

IF you are talking about ME,

Get your eyes examined, or learn reading comprehension.

Where do you get the idea that I have anything to do with SJWs?

Do you even know what sarcasm is?

Can you not detect it?

Are you afraid of banter?

Look in the mirror, sonny.

Grin Bagel's picture

So, what exactly do you produce, Doug? An overpriced remote gated rip-off center for wheeler-dealers who couldn't make it doing honest work back home and want to prey on a less educated populace of colonially tramatized people ?  Have you no shame?

DCFusor's picture

Agreed.  To what planet should I go to be "safe"?  Casey ain't gonna get me there talking his book, is he.  As if location solves human-nature class problems.  Just as dumb as thinking tech can.  And I'm a techie.

nibiru's picture

Lesson 1 - never trust your government

Lesson 2 - learn economics 

Lesson 3 - try to not be screwed by the central bank and the government


The 3 lessons that should be taught in school.

snodgrass's picture

Does anyone but me find this guy obnoxious? If you want to go, go, just shut up about it you fuckin coward.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Personally I feel 'coward' has nothing to do with it.

However, he certainly isn't speaking to the middle class here. And by 'middle class' I'm speaking about the average Jane and Joe who rent a home and two cars from the bank and barely make ends meet because their wages have not gone up since the 70's when adjusted for inflation.

Sparehead's picture

Good point, he makes more sense when you consider he's addressing people with some wealth. Most working folks don't have nearly enough reason to consider a make or break emigration.

ACES FULL's picture

I think I will just stay here and try to be a positive force. I'm far from perfect but I strive to become a better person every day. If you are sincere in your efforts people will notice and hopefully it becomes contagious.

Singelguy's picture

That sounds very noble but once the FSA exceeds 51% of the voting population, there will be no turning back. The deficits and money printing will grow until the whole system collapses, probably civil war and ten when its over, the good people like you can pick up the pieces, assuming you survive.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

There are two majorities to worry about:

1)  Size of the FSA.  You pointed out this one.   Although we can debate just how to count bailouts, printings to WS Fucks as anything but a bailout.

2)  Equally important is the opposite part of the equation.  How much is owned by the .01% or even 1%.  When the game is swayed so much to one side, the other side will eventually work to even it out, through violence or handouts...

We are on the bad side of both equations.

Killdo's picture

don't forget lots of Americans can easily get European citizenships - i.e. anyone with any German blood or Greek or any other I think. Even if your great, great, great-grandfather came from Irland etc - it's pretty easy to get.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

It usually requires a multiple year stint in the country with all the paperwork to indicate it.

It may have been easy 20+ years ago, but it is definitely not easy now.  Many European countries (especially Eastern European) are trying to keep the rifraf from coming to their countries and sucking their social benefits, which means they have to clamp down on westerners as well.

HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) Cognitive Dissonance Jun 28, 2016 11:45 PM

Oh bullshit. He says if you are young, and I agree, leaving the US is a smart move. People are limited by the fucking chain-link fences in their minds and he is talking about this a much more elegant manner than myself.

Robert Young Pelton says, basically, the same exact thing. He advises young men to get a passport, a $1000, and a plane ticket and just leave the country. I concur. For those of you not familiar with RYP he wrote a book, "The World's Most Dangerous Places."

Seek_Truth's picture

People who write articles like this are painting a target on their back.

FIAT CON's picture

Oh, he has been doing this for a very long time, he knows whats going on. He is a very interesting Guy!

 I admire him.... His thoughts basically go 180 deg. against what your .gov school system has indoctrinated into you.


Normalcy Bias's picture

Isn't this playing directly into the Globalists' hands?

Their objective is to erode national pride and sovereignty to the point where neither matter and no one cares, and the very wealthy can exploit the lowest common denominator in labor and resources on a whim around the globe without things like pesky sovereign governments and human rights impeding their looting!

Sounds like PARADISE!

DollarMenu's picture

Well, IMO, Casey is just trying to be another one of the elitist .01%.

He could care less about any country, he has to stay moving to keep his taxes down.

He could give a rats ass about the people around him, they are all subject to his purchasing power.

Neighbors? Church? Local politics?

Not for him, he cares only for himself.

He tells himself he has the free, glamorous life, but really, living out of different rooms every night/week//month?

Not for me Casey boy.

Ace006's picture

Good one. I hope the door doesn't hit him in the ass on his way out.

rejected's picture

Russia is giving away (more like leasing) to anyone who will work ......... Well thet eliminates most Americans. Never mind!

ajkreider's picture

So, the conclusion of the author, after Brexit, is that the nation-state is dead?  Isn't that exactly the wrong conclusion?

And while I'm at it, "purchase a crib in a foreign country"?  Nice to see ZH looking out for the downtrodden.  Is it any wonder why the 1% are reviled by the masses?

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

If it comes to that, there is likely to be a cardboard box laying vacant somewhere.

Seek_Truth's picture

A cardboard box?

You'd be the lucky one, then.

We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank.

We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out.

When we got home, our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!

thisguyoverhere's picture

No shite, right? These pampered phuks have never put on steel toed boots for a trade me thinks. Its easy to pontificate without the experience of your audience, but it does not remove one from the error of hubris.

So Doug you do the speakers circuit for a living, and shuffle paper while the rest of the world burns.

And that in your opinion gives you the right to lecture other citizens, how??

Having money is just that, having money. Money does not magically convey perseverance, work ethic, critical thinking, wisdom, wit, temperance, love nor empathy.

White Mountains's picture

Is it the duty of everyone to look out for the downtrodden?  If so, there are several Middle Eastern immigrants that can use the space on your livingroom couch for a spell.

YourAverageJoe's picture

So Doug, what overseas bank wants this American as a customer?

Sparehead's picture

Most of them, you just need to give up your citizenship first.

stacking12321's picture

not quite.

you just need to gain a 2nd citizenship, and open a bank account as a citizen of the other country, not as a usa citizen.

you can keep the usa citizenship.

Déjà view's picture

A second passport has for example Chicago, U.S. listed as PLACE OF BIRTH...goose is cooked. Any respectable bank will NOT touch that HOT Potato...better have ALL docs to prove otherwise.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Author makes it sound like choosing where to live is a mere portfolio allocation decision, and that where you live during a crisis is something you can change once it has become apparent that you are in the midst of a crisis.  Such theoretical hedges usually turn out to be ineffective.  Live where you love to live, surrounded by people you enjoy living with.  That is the place where you will be inspired, should the need arise, to also be the most resilient.

medium giraffe's picture

Me? Oh, I travel, hither and thither, cast by the whimsey of the wind, with a song in my heart.  Oh to never grow up, to dilly and dally forever, fly away I say, without  a care, wheeeeee............ to be so gaily buffetted by the fates. You try.... ooooooh, you should.  Oooooh say you will, oh please.


What a total cunt.

TradingTroll's picture

Could someone please get him to stop droning on?


Let's see. Instead of USD people will buy Euro? Hah! Yen? Hahaha. Yuan? Nope. It keeps devaluing. Maybe the Pound? Whoa!  Not one of those currencies is as liquid as the USD.


The USD will need to be replaced  by a comparable that doesn't yet exist. Maybe it will show up but we don't even see it yet. Who knows when that will be.


stacking12321's picture

it will be in the next 5-10 years, probably sooner, and it'll be the yuan.

yes, really.

despite china's numerous problems, they are a nation of producers, they've amassed a huge stockpile of gold and natural resources and mining companies around the world and claims to future african exports. and they've made huge inroads in global acceptance of their currency.

china is a juggernaut that will not be stopped.

HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) stacking12321 Jun 28, 2016 11:51 PM

I agree. China has been very clear about their intention to be the next world reserve currency. Given that the USSA has been run into the ground, I see that as a very real possibility. When? Sooner rather than later.

Europe and the US are going to kill their middle class and be unable to sustain the free $hit feeders. Both the USSA and EUSSA have invited the savage hordes to show up and suck off the government teat. That works out well until the middle class is killed off and the teat dries up.

The end result will not be pretty.

Lost in translation's picture

This is my view, also. US is not sustainable: militarily, economically, or politically. Too many droolers on the dole, too few producers being financially bled to death.

Like all corrupt and immoral empires, US will end.