November 25, 2011
I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am to be back in the land of the free… and yes, I’m talking about Chile.
I arrived a few days ago to beautiful summertime weather (remember, the seasons are flipped down here in the southern hemisphere). As usual, the customs officials at the airport were speedy, courteous, and efficient. From plane to cab I was out of there in 20-minutes– with luggage. This is par for the course in Chile.
It’s so nice to be in a place where you’re treated like a human being and agents of the government don’t go around robbing, molesting, and pepper-spraying peaceful citizens.
This is one of the many, many reasons why we’ve selected Chile as the home for our resilient community, and I’m happy to be back in-country so that I can dedicate myself to furthering this effort over the next several months.
[Editor’s note: Sovereign Man: Confidential members are reminded that Simon will be unveiling details of the resilient community during this month’s call on Wednesday November 30th. If you’d like to hear the details but aren’t a member yet, we encourage you to sign up for a risk-free trial today.]
When you step back and think about it, it’s extraordinary that we’re even talking about such a thing. Just five years ago, anyone who talked about a global economic slowdown was laughed out of the room. Today we are facing an all-out collapse of the fiat system. How quickly things change.
One of the best books on the subject that I’ve read lately is John Mauldin’s appropriately titled Endgame; John is one of the most accomplished and knowledgable financial writers on the planet, and he clearly explains why the end of the global debt supercycle is a foregone conclusion.
(FYI, the book is an easy read and I highly recommend picking up a few copies to give as gifts to all of your friends who still don’t get it…)
Last weekend, John and I had the chance to share a bowl of chips and salsa in an uptown Dallas bar and trade views about which governments might collapse and which have a shot at survival.
It was simultaneously depressing and hilarious… and I was certainly glad to be heading off to our farm in Chile afterwards. More on that next week– first, a few questions:
Trisha asks, “Simon- you probably heard that the Anonymous group posted the pepper-spraying policeman’s personal contact information on their website. What do you think of that approach?”
Hey, you know what they tell criminals– if you do the crime, you do the time. In this case, if you spray a peaceful crowd with a ‘less-than-lethal’ lachrymatory agent at point blank range, you get publicly shamed.
Police generally go unpunished for such actions. Whenever a cop is caught on tape tormenting peaceful protestors, the politicians and administrative officials always say that they’ll conduct a ‘full investigation’.
And then nothing happens. Months go by and the incident is forgotten. This is the unwritten rule between police thugs and the state– you protect my interests, and I’ll let you get away with brutalizing citizens to your heart’s content.
Assault is assault. We go to jail. They go on paid administrative leave. It’s a broken system, and Anonymous simply circumvented it. Outing the guy online to billions of people isn’t exactly Hammurabi’s code, but it’s a good start.
Next, Doug asks, “Simon, what’s the downside to obtaining a second citizenship? Obviously there’s some cost and time involved, but what else should I be concerned about?”
The advantages of having a second passport are extraordinary– more freedom, more opportunity, more options; most of all, it’s a great insurance policy against sovereign calamity.
Most North Americans and Western Europeans are blind to these advantages. They don’t understand why they’d ever need another passport because they already live in the pinnacle of civilization… or so they think.
Russians, Chinese, Argentines… these sorts of folks have personally experienced the ramrod fist of government. And they’re not taking chances.
Slowly, the developed West will begin to understand that their home government is their greatest threat. Unfortunately most of the second passport opportunities will be closed by then.
To address ‘disadvantages’, there may be some depending on the country. For example, if you obtain US citizenship as your second passport, you’re signing up for taxation on your worldwide income. Congratulations.
If you obtain Israeli citizenship, you (and/or your kids) may be obligated to military service. If you obtain Dutch citizenship, you may have to renounce your other one.
Taxes, conscription, and dual nationality limitations are generally the three big categories to watch out for, though most issues can be sidestepped with some planning.
Last, Neil asks, “Hello Simon, since you travel everywhere, I thought you could help me with this question: where in Latin America has the most potential to support an upscale (U.S. quality) veterinary hospital / dog kennel? I’d like to start such a business abroad.”
Candidly, the best market right now for upscale pet care is in Asia, specifically mainland China and Taiwan. I was just recently in both Shanghai and Taipei, and the streets are lined with luxury stores selling high priced pet accessories, poodle perms, and gourmet doggy biscuits.
The level to which the Chinese and Taiwanese are spoiling their pets is mind-boggling… so there’s serious opportunity there.
If Latin America is where you’d like to end up, though, I’d focus on Panama, Brazil, and Chile. The pet culture is not as extreme in these countries, however the growing middle class and disposable income levels certainly warrant higher quality services.