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This survey will make you want to leave immediately

February 17, 2010
Bangkok, Thailand

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… and I found myself wondering out loud- “Are these people insane??”

Apparently, yes.

I was watching Richard Edelman this morning on Bloomberg Television discussing the latest results of his research and PR firm’s annual “trust survey.”  Edelman takes a scientific poll each year, drawing on a global pool of educated, well-informed people from G20 nations.

The theme is always the same– trust.  Edelman’s research gives an indication of the public’s confidence in the private sector, the banking industry, NGOs, the mainstream media, and of course, the government.

For example, I wasn’t surprised to hear that public trust had fallen for corporations and the financial sector since last year. Edelman’s data suggest that people are more leery of business than in the aftermath of the Enron scandal, and only 29% of respondents trust what a CEO says about his/her company.

Given what has happened with the Goldman/AIG sweetheart deals, the Toyota recall, the socialization of Chrysler and GM, etc., this sentiment is to be expected.

What was shocking to me, though, was that the US public’s trust in their government and political leaders actually increased from last year– 46% of Americans trust in their government to do the right thing, which is more than the French (43%), German (46%), British (38%) and Russian (38%) believe.

What’s more, Americans’ trust in their government increased by over half of 2009’s level– a 53% increase, proportionally, from last year.  Who were they interviewing?? Barack Obama’s kindergarten teacher? The guy who owns a warehouse full of “Real Change We Can Believe In” bumper stickers?

Among major nations, only the Chinese at 74% had more confidence in their government.

Economically, 65% of respondents worldwide, including 61% in the United States, said that they want governments to *increase* control over all industries, and fewer than half of the Americans polled believe that the free market should be allowed to operate without significant government influence.

These indications are really unfortunate, because when the people ask for more government control, they will absolutely get what they deserve.  And once power has been vested to the government by the people, it almost takes a revolution to wrestle it back.

If you’re one of the minority who can properly identify runaway governments as the problem and not the solution, you should really think hard about your options.

Expatriation is often too radical a concept for most people, especially those who find themselves chained to geography by factors like job, money, and family.

Personally I would argue that family is one of the chief reasons to expatriate, and that most people would have more financial success and live a better, cleaner lifestyle overseas.

If fear and uncertainty are preventing you from making a move, I would advise that you at least get your feet wet by internationalizing yourself in baby steps.

For example, definitely consider purchasing foreign property as a first step– buying property is definitely the best way to move money between countries.  It also makes for a great investment, provides you with an emergency landing pad, and frankly gives you a reason to travel from time to time.

Do your research and buy in a free country that has a stable economy and fiscal discipline.

Panama is an excellent example– the country’s debt level is currently a manageable 45% of GDP, and the government is astutely borrowing a bit of very cheap money to make lucrative infrastructure investments that will yield a soundly positive ROI.

Furthermore, as the country continues to experience a solid growth rate and manage its debt levels, Panama’s proportion of external debt to GDP should continue to decline in the foreseeable future.

In fact, Panama is one of just a handful of countries that experienced positive GDP growth last year, and you can see evidence of this on the ground. There are currently some attractive investment opportunities in the property market, as well as fairly straightforward bank financing available.

I promised a few weeks ago to bring you some inside information about Panama’s property market, and I intend on doing that tomorrow. More to follow.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

If you liked this post, please click the box below. You can watch a compelling video you’ll find very interesting.

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Just think about this for a couple of minutes. What if the U.S. Dollar wasn’t the world’s reserve currency? Ponder that… what if…

Empires Rise, they peak, they decline, they collapse, this is the cycle of history.

This historical pattern has formed and is already underway in many parts of the world, including the United States.

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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.

  • Antonio

    Hell Simon it’s my first time here posting I’m a very open minded individual but lately even that seems wrong these days here in the us. I took your advice on flagging (doing baby steps). Mr. O’Neil has been a great help accomplishing this task. Now I’m about to be a father of a baby boy, I want to expat real soon I can’t let my child grow in a place where health is soon having more government control and the education is among the worst. I’m starting my own company base out of … and usually we cover a lot of indicators mostly economical but I have to point out that this is as real as it gets. You hit the nail right on. The misses and I are interested in doing just so, we looking forward to it and soon acquiring properties abroad. Thanks for your insight and newsletters.

    Best Regards


    • Kevincharles


      I am interested in moving overseas. I have not started researching what country nor work options just yet.
      What business is it that you plan on starting?
      Also, do you have any positions open in your new venture?
      I am keeping all options open, and interested in all advice.

  • Bobby Casey

    I agree that many with a family use this as their excuse. As you stated, I used it as my reason. I wanted more opportunity and more experiences in life. I wanted this for me and my family. World travel is the best education.

    This survey is not at all surprising. This is called the media ‘fleecing’ of America.

    • lrm

      Not true; family can also mean [as in my case]a sick mother who lives alone,or it can mean extended family [as in my husband’s case],who our children are very close to….not seeing them several times a year is something to consider.

      I say this as one who has lived and studied in africa,asia and travelled extensively-israel,caribbean,etc. It is not necessarily an ‘excuse’,but a ‘factor’ or ‘variable’ to consider.

      Please do not place judgements on others choices.
      For some people,too,family is health,and people literally can find ill health if they break up their close network.

      Now,I agree with you,sometimes people do not realize that it is possible to move with children,and are stuck in a security feedback loop-ie,jobs,schools,house,etc.

      And people often do not know that their children will love being abroad,especially younger children [under age 12],and that they can find great schools,communities and healthcare in a place other than the US.

      That is all true,but to malign or belittle people’s consideration of family is not for you to do. To each his own.

  • Me

    Lemmings of a cliff!!
    Nice to know that there are those of us that refuse to participate.

  • Andrew

    No longer do I automatically believe what any major media outlet, like Bloomberg, proffers as news. Reputable though Edelman himself may be, his poll may have been partial, flawed, slanted, or outright false. His mere appearance on mainstream television subjects him or his associates to pressures and other influences by statist and globalist entities.

    Even if we accept the numbers as accurate, do they tell us anything about how deeply the 46% trust their government, or, more importantly, about how passionately remaining Americans distrust their government?

    Nonetheless, whatever the truth, it is “obvious to the casual observer” that committed freedom lovers are a rare breed.

    • lrm

      Agreed;thanks for your comments. All sides can get ‘worked into a frenzy’ over ‘news reports’ and ‘statistics’.

  • Cathy

    Dear Simon,

    The US of A is definitely a scary place right now. But as much as I want to believe that Panama is a safe haven, I’m still doubting. 45% debt/gdp might sound manageable to you but sounds horrific to me. When the nadir of depression 2.0 hits, won’t declining world trade and the halt of the gringo migration inflict significant damage on the Panamanian economy? I also worry about any kind of resentment towards “outsiders” that may develop. Can you address any of these thoughts? I really would love to be talked out of my fears…

    Also, just a quick aside, I smell a rat about the whole Toyota recall fiasco. Others seem to be catching on to the frame. Please see http://biggovernment.com/brjohnson/2010/02/17/toyota-and-the-union-backed-government-led-witch-hunt/

    Thanks for your fantastic service.

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