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SOVEREIGN MAN

Where freedom still exists

November 24, 2010
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia

One of the few absolutes that we can always count on is that change happens. It’s inevitable– people grow older and change, cultures change, countries change, businesses change, families change, etc.  Change is inevitable, there’s nothing that lasts forever.

You might even find that your own attitude is changing… it’s possible that the erosion of personal and economic freedoms that you’re witnessing in your home country has caused you to reach a breaking point… or at least start to formulate a contingency plan.

If you’re feeling this way, your instincts are telling you that something is wrong and that you need to take action; perhaps that is what led you to this community to begin with. The first steps can be difficult– it’s a big world out there, and it can be tough to know where to begin… does freedom even exist anymore, anywhere?

Yes, it does. No place is perfect, every country has its challenges.  But there are many nations with positive growth trends and governments that don’t treat their people like milk cows.

One of those countries is Chile, and if you’re looking for ideas, I strongly recommend that you consider it. I’ve been writing about Chile off and on for a while now, and for the life of me, I still can’t figure out why it’s not on the radar…

Here’s why I think you should consider it:

1) Freedom is strong. The government runs a no-nonsense operation and leaves everyone the hell alone to go on about their lives. Privacy and freedom are respected– this is not a place that is slowly turning up the heat on the boiling frog.

2) No gestapo. Corruption is extremely low in Chile, and police are actually a well-respected establishment. Rather than threaten and intimidate citizens, Chilean police forces function like well-run private security firms– applying common sense and treating people with dignity and courtesy.

Despite this kinder, gentler approach, crime in Chile is very low.

3) Economics: Chile has a low-debt, independent economy with a steady source of wealth as the world #1 copper exporter. There are also other thriving industries, such as wine, fish, and fruit, as well as an embryonic technology sector. Consequently, its peso has been one of the best performing currencies in the world.

4) Business: There is ample opportunity in Chile.  I know CEOs from fields as diverse as IT to pharmaceuticals that have made a home here due to the substantial incentive packages, strong middle class market, and transparency; the rule of law is clear– you know where you stand without guesswork or bribery.

Furthermore, taxes are reasonable, regulation is manageable, and the legal system sound.  Bottom line, the government looks at businesses and productive people as valued partners, not enemies of the state.

5) Social: Chileans are civilized, tolerant, educated people who are much closer to European heritage than Latin American.  Crime is low, and squalid poverty is largely absent from the cityscape in Santiago.

6) Environmental: Chile is very clean country with clear skies, good water, and easy seasons.  Due to the country’s long, slender shape, there are numerous microclimates and regions, ranging from temperate to sub-arctic, coastal to mountainous.

7) Immigration: Chile is very much like Singapore and Hong Kong in that they want bright, talented people to move here. Consequently, they make it easy for bright, talented people to establish residency for themselves, their families, and their businesses.

8 ) Infrastructure: Roads? Clean and modern. Mobile phones? Cost effective and dependable. Medical care? Great. Internet service? Fast and reliable. Schools? International quality. Building code? Effective and well-tested. International travel? Lan Chile flies from Santiago to numerous worldwide destinations.

I could really go on about Chile– I’m a strong supporter of the country and have selected it as a finalist to locate our sustainable community.

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.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • R.

    Chile is my Nr 1 country for expatriation. I used to like Uruguay, but the came Pepe and screwed it up.

  • Frank

    Not every danger comes from man or government …

    On the global seismic hazard map Chile is one of the deep red areas. In february 2010 Chile was struck by the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, followed by a tsunami.

    In such regions this will never end. The same in Peru, Costa Rica etc. which are geologically along the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates.

    Wikipedia: “Chile has been at a convergent plate boundary that generates megathrust earthquakes since the Paleozoic (500 million years ago). In historical times the Chilean coast has suffered many megathrust earthquakes along this plate boundary, including the strongest earthquake ever measured, which is the 1960 Valdivia earthquake.”

  • Guy R. Jr.

    Regardless of natural consequences that may happen or man-made regulation, I personally do not find any place that will truly be “safe” in the next few decades. Instead of the authority (authority representing the individuals, whoever they may be, attempting to enact regulation and absolute control) dominating the globe through military means, they are doing it through political and economic, which is something that has obviously been made aware of for some time. However, I do not believe many people are aware of the entire situation, especially pertaining to the rise and interests of these intra-governmental unions such as the European Union, Union of South American Nations, and NAFTA. Combined with these new ‘economic problems’ which is pushing, say, the United States for more “economic regulation” and granting powers to the Federal Reserve, our global situation is not going to pan out very well in the future.

    As wonderful as Chile may sound (or even other countries, for that matter), I think it will only be a matter of time until sovereign countries find themselves merged into a single entity, such as these continental unions. Both the beautiful and terrible aspects of these unions is that, for example, the European Union’s central members are represented by ministers of the countries, who are usually appointed by the said country’s legislature (which obviously is not free from corruption, nor can these legislatures be legitimately proven that current modern voting isn’t manipulated).

    I also find this entire economic mess to be orchestrated (among other catastrophes) as a means to eventually make countries dependent on this eventual “push” for continental unions with increased regulation, and eventually merge them into a single entity. Countries in Europe are receiving loans from the EU and IMF. Greece and Ireland is seen as an example, and possibly Portugal along the way. One of the first “pillars” for a totalitarian government is dependency. If you have the people dependent upon the governments and/or the supreme class, they will rely on them indefinitely until they find a means to become self-sufficient or revolt.

    Through controlled conflict comes controlled progress. I think that whoever these key players may be have been purposely causing problems for some time, whether they are economic bubbles or military warfare. Whoever these people are, I know for a fact that if my morals were different and if I had the resources and partners that they do – I’d be doing the same exact thing. Create problems I benefit from and keep the people divided amongst miniscule concerns and ideologies. The sad thing is even if one remains quiet or uninvolved as regulation increases, this authority has in the past and will in the future, one way or another, force their power into one’s life, directly or indirectly.

    Simon, I’m VERY curious to ask: Even as a free traveler with financial abundance, how long do you think even for individuals in a position such as yourself will fall not under a sovereign country’s regulation – but under global regulation and police? At what point would you find that no matter how much money or influence you have or whatever country you are housed in, that if you do not submit to an eventual global authority (or join them), that you will not be free?

    • Catevala

      Excellent Guy. There is something that rings slightly false or at least a bit odd about Simon’s life style and the apparent blind spots he has despite his oft stated opposition to collectivism. I mean it must be nice to be Simon Black. For someone who is as poor as I am, his life sounds like a fairy tale.

  • Jkxyz

    Chile is great. Just hiked a volcano there in Pucon where you can find a private room for $200 a month.

  • eli

    I lived in Chile three times between 2006 – 2008 and seriously considered moving there. There are things going for it, but your points are a little one-sided.
    -although santiago has less poverty, lots of places in chile are still quite poor.
    -although there are many places with great atmosphere, santiago itself, esp. in summer, has AWFUL smog.
    -as far as corruption goes, i visited a neighborhood in stgo that was run by some local druglords. seriously, they’d set up a garage as drug store and had armed guards outside. my guides informed me that the cops _never_ entered the neighborhood unless they really had to.

    and you miss one of the biggest issues of all for me, which is the psychic trauma to the whole country from the pinochet years which will not disappear for another generation yet. this is my opinion, obv., but I felt it when I was there. I’m talking about a general distrust, to fellow citizens and foreigners alike, passed on from parents to children.

  • TomServo

    “Chileans are civilized, tolerant, educated people who are much closer to European heritage than Latin American.”

    Yikes. I’m familiar with the southern cone region and I know what you’re getting at, but don’t you think this sounds a little racist? It makes it seem like Chileans are civilized and educated *because* they are more European than other, more indigenous or mestizo Latin Americans.

    • USAmerican100

      Isn’t not about race, it’s about culture.

  • Doxology9

    TomServo: That was my thought exactly. The rest of the post was really interesting, but that line kind of tainted the whole thing for me.

  • Catevala

    “and you miss one of the biggest issues of all for me, which is the psychic trauma to the whole country from the pinochet years which will not disappear for another generation yet.”

    Yes this did seem odd to me too. It was not that long ago either that they had one of the most extreme and brutal regimes ever on Earth. How can a nation with that sort of recent history be characterized as a place “where there is still freedom”?

  • jondaw

    Re: leaves everyone the hell alone to go on about their lives.

    This is very good as regards individuals and small businesses. It is less good–much less good–as regards corporate deregulation. The effects of such deregulation can be seen spectacularly in the US, where Wall St. has bilked the country of trillions. With all due deference to libertarians, it is not possible to have countries with populations in the millions and with complex economies without an equilibrium of the private and public interest. In theory, at any rate, a government is there to promote the common good or the public purpose. The Latin American countries are largely plutocracies, but it is true that Chile is one of the least predatory ones.

  • USAmerican100

    Chile is good, but also check out Taiwan, you can make $3000 a month there teaching English.

  • Guy Weiner

    Do you still teach in Taiwan? I am thinking of going either there or to Seoul (I have a good friend there)

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