April 8, 2014
Pop quiz: how much do you weigh in kilograms?
If you live in just about every country on the planet, you know the answer immediately.
But if you live in the United States, you’re probably pulling out a calculator right now. That’s because the US is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t use the metric system.
And now that Myanmar is going metric, the only other country in the world besides the US to NOT use the metric system is the tiny African republic of Liberia.
Besides being metric-free, there’s another area that the US is almost alone in the world: taxation.
The Land of the Free is one of the only countries on the planet that taxes its non-resident citizens on their worldwide income.
For most nationalities, if you don’t live in the country of your citizenship, your home government doesn’t tax you.
So if you’re a French national living in, say, Abu Dhabi, you’re subject to income taxes in Abu Dhabi (which happen to be zero). Not France.
But in the Land of the Free, the US government wants its fair share of your labor no matter where in the world you live.
One of the only other countries on the planet where this is true is Eritrea. (In case you have to look that up, it’s by Ethiopia on the Red Sea.)
Eritrea’s government charges its non-resident citizens a discounted tax rate of just 2%. That’s it.
But here’s what’s amazing: in 2011, the United Nations caught wind of this 2% tax on Eritrean nationals living overseas and found it woefully immoral.
So immoral, in fact, that the UN Security Council passed resolution 2023 that year, condemning the Eritrean government for imposing a tax on non-resident citizens.
The resolution states that: “Eritrea shall cease using extortion, threats of violence, fraud and other illicit means to collect taxes outside of Eritrea from its nationals or other individuals of Eritrean descent.”
Incredible. The UN Security Council considered a 2% tax on Eritrean citizens living abroad to be ‘extortion’.
Even more incredible? The United States of America VOTED FOR the resolution.
Let that last part sink in.
The US government is establishing IRS field offices around the globe to demand taxation from its non-resident citizens… yet simultaneously condemns Eritrea’s government for taxing expats at just 2%.
The Eritrean tax authority’s tactics of “extortion, threats of violence,” etc. are worth denouncing in the UN. But it’s perfectly acceptable for the US government to throw people in jail simply for failing to file an offshore disclosure form.
It’s an unbelievable level of arrogance and hypocrisy… all to keep financing a bankrupt government’s wish list of more bombs, more drones, and more thugs just a little while longer.