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.