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Regardless of what the propaganda says, this is not how a free society treats people

Travel South America

May 17, 2012
Undisclosed Location, United States

I’ve been in the US for a little more than 24-hours. And having flipped through the TV channels trying to figure out what useless drivel big media is passing off as ‘news’, I realized that I’m going to vomit if I hear the word “fair” one more time.

This concept of ‘fair’ seems to be dominating discussion of the US government’s dismal fiscal condition. The talking heads say that it’s ‘fair’ for wealthy Americans to pay higher taxes and bail the country out… or that everyone needs to pay his/her ‘fair’ share.

The whole logic is absurd: you do not ‘fix’ the country’s fiscal imbalances by giving the idiots in charge even more resources to squander… it’s like dumping gasoline on a forest fire. Somehow the debate seems to have missed this point.

This ‘fair’ nonsense is also very dangerous.  Just ask any three-year old– ‘fair’ is completely arbitrary. It’s like a Wiki version morality… if enough people agree on it, it’s fair.

In this case, ‘fair’ is defined in the sole discretion of those who are the direct beneficiaries of confiscating other people’s money. But let’s look at the numbers:

According to the IRS statistical database, the top 1% of income earners in the United States pays roughly 40% of all US individual income tax. They also get audited at least 5-times more than anyone else. Fair?

The other major complaint seems to be that the wealthy are ‘abusing’ capital gains rules in order to pay a 15% rate instead of a 35% rate. Duh. That’s why they’re wealthy, and stay wealthy… they don’t WORK for a living, they OWN assets which are subject to capital gains.

It seems so bizarre that a country once regarded as the freest, most economically enviable in the world would treat its productive citizens with such hostility.

This is where Eduardo Saverin comes in. The Facebook co-founder, who finds himself a few billion dollars richer this week, recently renounced his US citizenship. And, to the intelligentsia, it’s not ‘fair’.

‘Saverin needs to pay his fair share! He owes America more,’ they whine, completely ignorant that the 30-year old is already forking over a $500+ million exit tax (which may end up in the billions).

Apparently it’s not good enough that the company Saverin co-founded has created tens of thousands of jobs, spawned entire industries, and produced oodles of new millionaires. Oh yeah, it’s also made things damn easy for the CIA, NSA, and FBI. You’d think Uncle Sam would pin a medal on his chest.

But no. Saverin left behind a lot of value and decided to move on to greener pastures in Singapore. Now the do-gooders in Congress are cooking up new legislation (the EX-PATRIOT Act) designed to permanently bar ‘renunciants’ like Saverin from re-entering the United States.

It’s interesting that, rather than change their ways of doing business and introducing legislation that provides incentives for productive people to come here and stay here, they maintain policies that chase people away, and introduce new ones to lock the door after they’re gone.

The lesson here (especially for natural-born citizens) is this: simply by accident of birth, you are born with a lifelong obligation that you never signed up for to finance the corrupt misdealings of the political class. And if you choose to abandon this obligation, they will bar you from ever entering your homeland again.

Regardless of what the propaganda says, this is not how a free society treats people. It might look and feel like a representative democracy on the surface, but under the hood it’s the modern day equivalent of feudal serfdom.

The land of the free has certainly fallen a long way.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Henrique

    Atlas shrugged in real life .

    • StuckInUK4Now

      Except for one thing.

      There’s no sign of John Galt.

      We’re stuck with the Wesley Mouch and Eugene Lawson types in politics and the James Taggart and Orren Boyle types in the corporate world. 

    • Grose1950

       One important fallacy of Atlas Shrugged: the tyrannists will NEVER admit they’re lost and ask the productive for help. They will blame the problems on the productive and eliminate disbelievers.

  • AC

    Don’t forget.. that’s a 15% tax on income in which you have already paid a tax!

  • Dave13

    What a stupid article.

    Hilarious that the writer doesn’t count himself as the intelligentsia.
    If everyone went through life with this sort of self centred approach we’d all be screwed.

    If America follows this way of thinking then it will lead to economic and social isolation, fine when you are on top, but in 50 years…!?

  • H4890

    The US has become a sick, socialistic country. The ideologic plague has spread  from europe to the us and will crush people there as well.

    At least it could be worse. The US could be like sweden where everyone is a slave to the state (more than 50% of income is stolen).

  • southern bell


    • SuperLuminal Elf

      Toy might WANT to stop calling yourself a US citizen; by identifying yourself as one, you admit, via the alleged Law of Presumption, to agreeing with and voluntarily being subject to the very rapacity this entire article & subsequent thread is exposing and abhores. Try “American National” on for size; see if it fits .. more to it than that, of course, but all real change starts w/a Shift in Thinking, a Change of Consciousness … :>

  • http://www.bzemic.com/impossibleInstinct/ steve ward

    what is wrong with the government, i’m starting to believe that the government is no longer part of this country?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZBQMRPHUXITBQS46WWQYFMBZQE David B

       You are correct in your observations, the government is running amok. Below are some great quotes from Thomas Jefferson a real American Patriot! It all rings so true more than ever today!

      “The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits”.

      “I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is
      necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. (Back then!)”

      “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty”.

                           Thomas Jefferson

    • Gene

       The way I see it, there’s Washington DC, and then there’s America. DC is Rome, the rest of America is like a bunch of far-flung occupied territories forced to send treasure to the Emperor. It can’t last, because the imperial court is not serving the interests of its subjects.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZBQMRPHUXITBQS46WWQYFMBZQE David B

    I just retired after 25 years in the U.S. Army. I can’t renounce my citizenship, because I would lose my retirement OR I WOULD. It’s quite an emotional thing to get over when you come to realize the U.S. is NOT what the propaganda says. Land of the free! NOT! The taxes (beat an audit this year), the socialism, the overwhelming Hollywood influence, moral degradation, drugs, gangs, attack on Christianity (and I’m not a Christian), crime (my car was stolen last year), government intrusion …its all so extremely heartbreaking and depressing for me to witness in my life. NOT how I grew up in America. America is absolutely on the decline economically, culturally and politically. It’s not just Obama, he is merely representative of how the country has and is changing for the worst. We were truly the land of opportunity and THE place people wanted to go to be FREE… My fellow Americans, wake up! I pray for America, but I will no longer live here. I can’t renounce my citizenship or I would, but I’m moving for the rest of my life to another country. My travels in the military and on vacation showed me places that beat America hands down – no competition. …BYE! and GOOD LUCK!

    • Jones345

      Could you tell us where is the place that beat America hands down? And why?

      • Gene

         Wow there are tons of places on this planet I’d rather live than the US…where to start? I would post a few but I’d rather a bunch of American refugees not move there and ruin like they’ve ruined America. Best to keep the best places out of print. It seems to be an American instinct to ruin paradise..with fast food, christianity, and military occupation.

      • Dave18z5

        Sorry, I won’t tell you where I’m headed. I know that’s really uncool on my part and I apologize. I will tell you I plan to reside in two different locations and travel between the two to maximize seasonal differences and my hobbies. I’ll say one is in Europe, as I’m able to escape most of their tax laws, and to let know property tax in most of Europe is surprisingly VERY low.  Neither location is in the U.S., but of course I’ll come to visit family members on occasion. I’d recommend research and then a short vacation to check a place out. If you’re interested in the location then rent a place for a while to see if you really like it and can adjust.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZBQMRPHUXITBQS46WWQYFMBZQE David B

         My earlier comment was sent to the “moderator” not sure why? nothing vulgar.

        So real quick…I will not say where I’m headed, apologize I know that’s uncool on my part. I will say I will be traveling between two locations throughout the year for hobbies and seasons, and that one location is in Europe. Surprisingly, many countries in Europe have VERY low property taxes, and for the most part I will avoid the tax burden of the host country and the U.S. Plus, the standard of living is high and comfortable. The rat race in the U.S. is not how I want to live my life. I’d recommend doing some research and taking a short exploratory vacation to your choices. When your ready RENT a place first and see if its really for you. If you like it, then you may want to purchase and grow some roots. When I say there are countries that beat the U.S. hands down I mean it 100%…BUT remember this is my personal opinion based on factors that were important to me. 

      • Barry Fruitman

        A new definition of “irony”: moving to Europe to get away from all the socialism.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZBQMRPHUXITBQS46WWQYFMBZQE David B

        I know it sounds crazy going to Europe to avoid the socialism and the intrusiveness of the United States. The way I set up my life the U.S. and my host countries have limited control over me…I stay in a gray area. Legally, yes the U.S. still has some control over me (its hard to go entirely “off the grid” when collecting a military pension), but legally I avoid certain taxes (not all) of the U.S. and my overseas host countries (Europe & Central America). Like I mentioned I pay VERY LOW property taxes overseas and have no pay roll tax. I have little obligation to either countries and just live as a citizen of planet Earth…very nice feeling, but it took at least 25 years to accomplish.  

    • Tom H

      Any clues as to where? Top three perhaps? Thanks

  • Electric Liberty

    Speaking of Fair.  I do like the “Fair Tax”.   Then it’s irrelevant whether or not you’re a citizen, if you’re in the country, you pay taxes on what you consume.  Somehow, those who talk about fair, don’t think flat and free of loopholes is fair.  They want the rich and successful to pay more.  I don’t have a problem with the rich.  I have a problem with those who use government to get rich.

  • Shaun

    two words: GREAT post. People need to wake the hell up. I read the article about Saverin this a.m. and was blown away by the arrogance and ignorance of this countries leaders. 

    • Gene

       Agree with you completely. Excellent article..but it’s one that will anger those who still have their brains firmly planted in the bubble.

  • Jones345

    Just out of curiosity, Simon, why do you still keep your US citizenship since you have multiple ones already and it’d be good to relinquish your tax burden for good if you do so?

  • Anon

     Simon says:

    “The other major complaint seems to be that the wealthy are ‘abusing’
    capital gains rules in order to pay a 15% rate instead of a 35% rate.
    Duh. That’s why they’re wealthy, and stay wealthy… they don’t WORK for a
    living, they OWN assets which are subject to capital gains”.

    Much as I like your writing and style, you lose it bigtime with the statement above.

    The SOLE reason a tax rate discrepancy exists is because some rich ahole BRIBED a government official (most likely a politician).

    Tax rates and DEDUCTIONS should be blind to the economic status of a person. As soon as the Pandora’s box of “fairness” is introduced the system will be hopelessly gamed.


    • Xelera

      So we should not give the wealthy an incentive to dump their wealth into the economy instead of sit on it? You can only tax income once… but you can tax growth as long as it continues to grow, year in and year out.

    • Xelera

      Also… so which of the 47 million Americans that paid no income tax last year, bribed the government, and what did they bribe them with? Ah yes, their vote…

  • Gene

    ” you do not ‘fix’ the country’s fiscal imbalances by giving the idiots in charge even more resources to squander”

    THANK YOU. The US is doomed until more people start figuring out this seemingly obvious point.

  • Gene

    ” simply by accident of birth, you are born with a lifelong obligation
    that you never signed up for to finance the corrupt misdealings of the
    political class.”

    The “intelligentsia” would cite “Social Contract Theory” here. The social contract might be an ok discussion if you are walking down the Champs-Élysées with Rousseau in the early 1800’s; but the social contract was ALWAYS nothing more than an intellectualized fiction. It’s only purpose now is to give 5nd grade public school teachers something to indoctrinate their victims er, students with.

  • Twkleinstuber

              You are absolutely 100% dead on with regards to this story. The “main-stream” media are clueless as are the majority of the American “sheeple”.
     Gene’s second sentence below is sooo correct !

  • Jeanne N

    What seems to be missing from this discussion is the root of the Fairness principle.  People seem to be missing this point.  It comes from Marxism.  It was used to bring down the Russian Empire.  It is time to stand up to the bullys and tell them we reject these Marxist-Socialist principles.

  • Thomas_Gordon

    1913 was the beginning of the end of America. The two-headed one-party system is completely controlled by Wall Street. The US economy is based on perpetual war (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghan etc. etc.). The wars are funded by perpetual debt, courtesy of the FED banking cartel.

    The FED is currently cannibalizing the dollar, which will eventually need to be replaced by a new currency (Ameros or SDR’s). This will pave the way for the creation of a new political entity (perhaps a North American Union).

    The dollar and America as we once knew it, is toast in the making.

    My allegiance is to the principles upon which America was founded, not the corrupt and tyrannical empire it has since become.

    Many Homelanders are blind to this. Like mushrooms, they are kept in the dark and fed only horse $@*& by the main stream media.

    I didn’t leave my country. My country left me.

    Renouncing citizenship was only a formality.

  • Barry Fruitman

    “Fair” may be relative but I can’t imagine any definition of the word where people who work for a living pay more than 2x the tax rate of people who sit on their wealth.

    Do the top 1% pay 40% of the tax dollars because of an unfair tax system, or because their income is so wildly disproportionate?

    • http://www.igotageek.net/ James

      I agree. I’m disgusted at the amount of taxes I have to pay, relative to what I make. There’s a tax on everything, locality tax, township tax, county tax, and the list goes on…we get taxed when we spend money, we get taxed when we make money. Taxes taxes taxes, I’m fucking sick of taxes. The whole system needs to be wiped clean and started over again by someone who can take a look at the current state of affairs and realize that it’s completely fucked. But the decision makers are the wealthy ones, with nothing to worry about! 

      Growing up I was told many lies, but the most significant lie I’ve had beaten into my head since I was a child is the illusion of Freedom and Democracy. I’ve always been told ‘America is the land of the free’ ‘Power to the people!’ etc….I believed the bullshit. So much so that I joined the Army, and went to Iraq for 15 consecutive months and risked my life daily by being over in that shit hole. It shames me to say that I now HATE my country, as do many other vets. This country is based off of lies, greed, and oppression. Who makes the rules? The highest bidder. 

      Sorry, I’m getting off of my soap box now.

  • Ph3v3r

    If things were FAIR, the CIA, NSA, and FBI would all be cutting him a CHECK for how much easier Facebook has made their jobs!  (Not to mention erasing that tax liability somehow.)

    Trust me when I say, if Halliburton owned Facebook it would be BOHICA time for the US Government!!!

    Come to think of it, that’s something I’d almost PAY to see.  NOT Halliburton owning Facebook, but BOHICA for all those politicians and former Goldman Sachs types whining about not getting more of Saverin’s money.  ESPECIALLY Timothy “Owed-The-Dept-$40 Grand-When-I-Got-The-Job-Haha” Geithner and Charlie “Slam-the-Exit-Tax-Through-But-Can’t-Be-Bothered-To-Pay-My-OWN-Taxes” Rangel.

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