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ChrisGraley (29.69)

Anyone with any opinion, what so ever, about anything, should read this.

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July 11, 2009 – Comments (30)

For the last couple of months I've seriously been thinking about expatriating from the US. Actually I've thought about it on and off for the last 20 years, but I've now been thinking about it again really seriously.

What usually pushes me over the edge, is when I realize that things in this country are beyond fixable. What normally calms me back down is when I look at a lot of the alternatives and they are beyond fixable as well. Well this time, I decided that I was my own biggest obstacle, and I was going to find a solution to what I previously thought was an un-solvable problem. I was going to bail from the sinking ship and find solid land somewhere. I wasn't gonna swim past the land because it didn't have cable tv.

The more I looked at the problem, the more I realized that I'm part of it. I'm looking for my new place to live and comparing it to my current lifestyle. I've moved many times in my life and there always seemed to be a change in lifestyle. Some things were good and others were bad. The biggest hurdle to me with every country that I looked at was safety and security for my family. Then I realized that I'm not as safe and secure here as I used to be. Economically I have little hope for security. No matter how well I manage my own family's assets, I will still have to pay my share for what my own country does and what other families do. Even if the government and entire population changes tomorrow, we still have to pay for a thousand yesterdays. Previously, I've been enamored with moving to Islands in the Caribbian, but I would get scared off when I realize that I'm living in a hurricane zone, on a fault line, and on an active volcano. I've looked at the European countries as well, but they seem just as bad, (and even worse in some cases),  in their uncontrolled spending. Even though I can buy a little time living there, eventually they will have their own baby boomer crisis where the people paying in are fewer than the people being paid out to. Probably the biggest security worry in the other places was the threat of a family member being killed by a lunatic. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that anyone in my family can be targeted and killed right here, in this country simply because we are US citizens. If if that wasn't the case we have enough of a risk with our own domestic lunatics.

Despite all of those things I still have a responsibility to protect my family, and any choices that I make have to protect the family's safety, security, belief system, and prosperity. I've been thinking long and hard about those 4 things and until today the thing I looked at the most was the family belief system. We simply had to be in a place we people that agreed with us. Then it hit me! That was the biggest problem all along! In fact most of the world's problems are because we can't globally agree on a belief system. Not only that, but we can't agree locally on a belief system either. It's not a problem that is just here in the US, it's a problem everywhere. Politics, religion, education, economics, etc...

Once I had that revelation, the little light bulb turned on. I know this sounds Libertarian of me, but I'm  concentrating on family sovereignty. Now before all the Libertarians jump in to pat me on the back, I don't care what position any government takes in the world about anything. They can repress, regulate, control, oppress, or progress their population as much as they want to. My family is only going to choose to participate to the point that it benefits us and our beliefs. I'm not going to get too specific, because this is the internet and I'm sure the government probably has this post on their radar, but I'm going off grid. I'm getting 3 passports from 3 other countrie. I'm buying a boat in a 4th country through an anonymous corporation. I'm setting up yet another country as an internet presence where I'll do business and I'm banking out of about 4 more countries.When something I don't like about any of those countries bothers me, I'm cutting them off and moving to another one. I'm going to renounce my US citizenship, but pay all my taxes before I leave. (including the penalty for expatriating.) If I have any luck, they will understand that I'm leaving due to poor politics and not as a tax dodge, but if they don't, they can decide to ban me from the country. Then I will be unable to visit my extended family. It's a risk I have to take at this point.

Now for those of you that have stayed with me this long, I'm going to finally discuss the headline of this blog and I feel it's most appropriate to CAPS. It's the reason that I'm as guilty as everybody else. It's also most of the cause of all the evil in the world. It's the undisputable belief. It's your religion, or politics, or economic opinion, etc... Everyone has a tenant that they feel is crucial to having a proper excistence on this planet. Most of us have several. We tend to join groups of people that have the same opinion and we tend to argue with people that don't have the same opinion. In any such group, the sheer number of people equates to a power base for the leadership. It's the abuse of that power base that causes the world's problems. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." The fact is in everything but physical science and mathmatics and sometimes even in those, the most established tenants are proven to be false almost all of the time. We tend to grow smarter as a population and learn things like the Sun doesn't revolve around the Earth. Even the guys that lose these arguments have sound theories based on fact. Some of us learn it right away, others of us fight the idea for decades.

This is just something to throw out to everyone. You can have a personal opinion on anything, but the moment that you identify yourself as part of a group, you lose control. Most of us feel obligated to defend the group. We have leaders of these groups saying we have an obligation to do so. free your mind and the rest will follow.

 

 

30 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 11, 2009 at 11:04 PM, Dividends4ever (< 20) wrote:

Pretty intense article. I know a few people who feel the same way. The problem is I dont think the government will ever let you truly leave. They always want something from you. Just my opinion. www.compdivplan.com 

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#2) On July 11, 2009 at 11:15 PM, catoismymotor (39.02) wrote:

I don't have enough beer in the house to become drunk enough to even begin to have delusions that I believe this is an understandable idea. The Thomas Crown Affair was a movie, not a roadmap to a successful happy ending. It sounds at this point like you have the wheels in motion to make this idea a reality. All I can do is wish you all the best.

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#3) On July 11, 2009 at 11:20 PM, DaretothREdux (40.00) wrote:

Sounds like your a libertarian and don't know it. You just aren't willing to organize, but the principle is the same: you want to be left alone, believing as you see fit and you don't want anything from anybody.

Dare

Good luck whatever you decide.

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#4) On July 11, 2009 at 11:36 PM, jatt22 (50.88) wrote:

after reading  i  felt  like  u  dunno  wanna  be  in  any  religion  any  group  or  in  any  economic state ( where there is problem )  ,  an i  dunno  think  its  possible  dat  a  person  can  ignore  all  those  parts  of  life  cuz  any  where  u  will  go  something  will come  up  in  front  of  u  an  if  u  brave  enough  to ignore  all  dat  , how  can  u  expect  dat  ur  whole  family   follow  u on same ideas .  good  luck

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#5) On July 11, 2009 at 11:39 PM, ralphmachio (24.85) wrote:

That's an interesting perspective Dividends.  So we are born here, no thanks to the government, you instantly get a social security number, put through education/indoctrination by those who have never known anything but what they are teaching you, as was taught to them, we work, and give over 30% of our labour to the irs, then we die.  If we try and leave, we are still essentially treated as property of the state?   

Have I got that story just about right?  

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#6) On July 11, 2009 at 11:46 PM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

Don't forgit the New Agers and the 2012 myan calender of the end or beginning of a whole new world.

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#7) On July 11, 2009 at 11:55 PM, catoismymotor (39.02) wrote:

Dang it, Chris! Now you got me thinking more and more about this idea. I am a Libertarian, and I am not going to jump on you for expressing this idea. Even in an annoymous forum such as this it can take serious guts to voice an idea. I understand what it feels like to believe you are being attaked daily on multiple fronts by multiple opponents. Truely I do. One day a number of years ago I decided, when I was "mad as hell and not going to take it any more", to assess my opponents and attack them in a specific order. First I would go after the biggest and badest of the lot, the federal government. Once I drew blood (figuratively) from them I would move on to the state and local government. When I felt I had them confused I would focus on the organized religions that told me I am a bad person for not believing in God in their fashon. They are easy to deal with, much like dispatching a roach. Once the dust settled I would refocus my attention on the one making the most aggressive moves towards me and fight, fight, fight! This is my life, my land, my goverment. I have a stack of trophy letters from member of Congress and the Senate letting me know that my persistance in fighting an issue made a difference. I do wish you all the luck in the world. I have to admit that I wish you would stay, dig in your heels and not let the bastards get you down. You are obviously an intellegent man. Those of us that are in the fight to reverse the tide of the nanny state need intellegent and driven individuals in the fray. Before you get on your boat and make sail for Brigadoon please think of what was, what could be again if you were to stay.

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#8) On July 11, 2009 at 11:57 PM, catoismymotor (39.02) wrote:

Jatt22 is apparently a fan of the LOLcats. U can haz chez berger now.

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#9) On July 12, 2009 at 12:00 AM, MattH42004 (30.15) wrote:

I think most of the principles your espousing, i.e., I don't like the direction of my central government, I worry about their encroaching on my liberties, I worry about excessive taxation, however, I don't want to leave the perceived security of the U.S., formed the foundation for THIS. I have no idea if that experiment is working out the way its founders planned, but if it is it would present a much easier transition for you. In any event, this was interesting reading and I certainly wish you the best of luck. 

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#10) On July 12, 2009 at 12:16 AM, mas113m (< 20) wrote:

  I am also a Libertarian, and have been considering moving. I have lived and worked in a few different countries and loved it. I was paid above American wages in beautiful countries where the dollar goes much further. I always figured that I would retire in one of these places.

Lately, it has occured to me, why leave? I am now leaning towards staying. Why? Because I want my free loot! Why wouldn't I just move to the US Virgin Islands, buy some property with cash, and work part time to live. I could still have some investment income, and qualify for food stamps etc. In the era of Obama, I might as well be part of the problem, as there will be no chance for a solution. I could live a nice life in a tropical paradise, while milking the system. Why be a producer in America when they will be punished, and why leave when the taking is so good?

Atlas may be shrugging, and I have no idea who John Galt is,

mason

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#11) On July 12, 2009 at 12:18 AM, DaretothREdux (40.00) wrote:

Cato,

I started to tear up after your second comment. Something in my gut just tells me that one of these days all of us willing to fight and die for liberty will get together in a big way and make something extraordinary happen. Whether we are side by side or one following the other, I am happy to have people like you on my side.

Dare

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#12) On July 12, 2009 at 12:27 AM, ChrisGraley (29.69) wrote:

Thanks for all the comments guys, and I hope that my post doesn't come off as attacking Libertarians.I just wanted to make it clear that I don't want to be associated to any other group than my family. The fact that you give any group any power seems to lead to corruption.This shouldn't be a sad story. In fact in my familily, I think it will have a good result. We aren't going to put ourselves in position to submit to any power.

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#13) On July 12, 2009 at 12:44 AM, whereaminow (21.14) wrote:

I have a friend that moved to Costa Rica. He bought a few condos, rented the others out and makes his home there. He is very happy, travels a lot and has made a great deal off of his initial investment.  I think he saved about $250,000 before he moved.  Meanwhile he was still making about $200,000 per year between him and his wife's salary during the transition period.  Money makes it much easier and I think he did it right.  He was about 28 when he bolted 5 years ago, I think.  He's doing well and loves it.

I have heard good things about Switzerland as well.

Obviously, I live overseas but I haven't settled yet.  I love San Diego and will eventually own a home there unless things get totalitarian.

Cape Town, South Africa was the nicest place I ever visited. I lived for almost 2 years in Pretoria, South Africa.  The country is absolutely spectacular and all of the people in that rainbow nation are wonderful.  Unfortunately, the government there is about as corrupt as it gets.  Still, it would be high on my list.

Finally, in order to complete the move you must renounce your citizenship, otherwise you will always be subject to U.S. taxes and imprisonment.  America is one of only a handful of countries that attempts to tax its citizens who live overseas.

Good luck and best wishes to you and your family.

David in Qatar

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#14) On July 12, 2009 at 1:59 AM, uclayoda87 (29.18) wrote:

Sorry for the late post, but sometimes i'm slow to read the blogs.

First I expatriated from California to Washington State, which really are two different worlds, although technically in the same country.  I was fed up with California's taxes and self-destructive lifestyle.  I left in 1997 and I don't regret the move.  More recently, i considered taking a locum position in New Zealand or Australia for less money, but now New Zealand is not accepting work visas although Australia and Canada are still possibilities.

In central WA, we are in an agricultural area with multiple small businesses and people who still believe in a work ethic.  It's not perfect, there is some crime and poverty, but the environment is very clean and the cost of living is very low, when compared to California.  I have managed to save enough to be able to stop working for 5+ years, covering all my current expenses, and not take any government handouts.

I am a physician (the mole) who can barely remember the last time in my life when taking night call was not part of my routine (1985).  With the changes in healthcare which are about to happen, a part-time practice to cover the costs of daily living may be my best bet.  A lot more free time to enjoy my family and this environment.  I also have the opportunity to teach medical students and residents, who have not yet lost the thrill of medicine.  But most of these bright people don't want to give up a life to practice medicine, so their hours and income will likely be much less.  They don't seem to care about money, but they do want to live well.  Working at least part time until they are 70 years old may be in their future.

The productive in this society, whether they be individuals or small businesses, are going to be hurt by the administrations new social order.  This will eventually change because when more people are hurt than helped, the government will lose the support of the governed.  Until then we wait, hopefully out of harms way, for the time when rational thought, ethics and common sense become acceptable norms in our society.

The government will eventually learn:  When you play whack the mole, no one wants to play the mole.  You know when things are getting interesting when democrats in California are talking about a flat 6% income tax and decreased business taxes!

 

Democrats For a Flat Tax? - WSJ.com

 

Some California legislators realize revenue from the rich is too volatile. ... The Wall Street Journal. OPINION: CROSS COUNTRY; JULY 11, 2009. Democrats For a Flat Tax? Some California legislators realize revenue from the rich is too ... Report this comment
#15) On July 12, 2009 at 2:08 AM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

Chris:

I have examined the subject of expatriating thoroughly.  Be sure you understand the difference between relocating and abrogating your citizenship.

You can move almost anywhere.  But wherever you go, you are subject to US taxes earned anywhere in the world.  Only country that does that, by the way.

You are free of this only by abrogating your citizenship and becoming a citizen of another country.  This is NOT easy.  There generally is a loooong wait.

There are two exceptions.  Barbuda (I think) and St. Kitts/Nevis.  You can become a citizen of St. Kitts in 30-45 days.  Then you can give up your American citizenship.  St. Kitts is a lovely country with great people and a lovely climate.  Very safe.

There are costs.  You must buy a $250K+ home.  There are frictional costs...about $50K...to get the job done.  And you must pay US income taxes on any US-sited income, even though you aren't a US citizen.  Sell everything you can.

And our dear departed Pres Bush signed a law in June 2008, designed to compensate veterans in several ways, that included an amendment that decreed any expat had to mark all US assets of any kind to market and pay cap gains tax as if they had been sold on the day before leaving.

There is a $600K gain threshhold before this takes effect.

But I've run the numbers.  The savings on taxes aren't that great, as long as dividends and cap gains are taxed at 15%.  Once that's gone, the tax savings are greater.

But if you ever read the words "tax on assets", book American Airlines from Miami to St. Kitts and get in the program.

Google "St. Kitts Citizenship" and you'll get the whole picture.  Stay at the Marriott while you explore the situation.  I may be there to offer you a drink and dinner.

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#16) On July 12, 2009 at 6:41 AM, portefeuille (99.61) wrote:

I don't feel as "part of a group". Only somewhat "European" and "logical" ...

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#17) On July 12, 2009 at 6:49 AM, portefeuille (99.61) wrote:

For one aspect of the European perspective see this post.

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#18) On July 12, 2009 at 7:13 AM, Mary953 (80.87) wrote:

I read Atlas Shrugged when I was in high school.  I realized then that it wasn't necessary for laws to benefit the majority to be passed.  It was only necessary for the majority to believe they were going to be benefitted.  And most people want to believe that there really is "a free lunch" out there somewhere.

The greatest cost to our country from this current path is not in bailouts and Wall Street gyrations.  It is from the possible loss of individuals like Chris and Donnernv.  It is the realization by our best and brightest medical minds that a parttime "hunkered-down" existance (like that lived by my own physician) is the only way to survive with a love of medicine intact.  It comes from Cato and Dare and a legion of thinkers ready for 'the good fight' while others like David and Mason look at each new place and evaluate its potential as a possible future home. 

Wait a bit please before you take action.  Consider it planning or cooling off time if necessary.  I hate what is happening in this country at the moment, but I would wait a bit longer before I change the United States from "The Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free"  to the "Birthplace of the Brave and the Departure Point of the Free."

And to those non-US citizens who are by now thinking "Get over yourselves,"  please be a bit patient.  This country is undergoing a sea-change.  It is a struggle and we are engaged in an ideological fight to see which road our country will follow.  Consider it the opportunity to watch as you pass a traffic accident, or to ignore these blogs and go on your way.  We know that this is an international blog.  We also know that there are many fine minds reading and commenting here - an excellent place to bounce ideas back and forth.  Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are encouraged from our earliest days.  We are assembling. We are speaking with each other.  It is not a closed discussion.

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#19) On July 12, 2009 at 7:42 AM, kaskoosek (63.83) wrote:

Reading saunafool's article

 

I realized there are many stupid liberals on reddit.

Beleiving that a free market system is going to bring you Utopia is deeply flawed. 

There advantages and disadvantages to both a sosialist and a capitalist system. 

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#20) On July 12, 2009 at 7:47 AM, kaskoosek (63.83) wrote:

"stupid liberals on reddit."

I don't know what to call them.

The "free market" nuts. 

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#21) On July 12, 2009 at 8:24 AM, dudemonkey (39.74) wrote:

I'm in near-complete agreement with you.  I've long planned to leave the country for retirement and over the past 4 years I've been taking steps to speed that up. 

We've got a place picked out and we're slowly buying assets in our target country.  I don't see good things happening here  in the next few decades.  I had a ray of hope when Obama was elected because it showed the political will to demand a change among the American voters, but Obama has been a disappointment in the "change" department so far, in my opinion.

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#22) On July 12, 2009 at 8:53 AM, kaskoosek (63.83) wrote:

dudemonkey

 

May I ask which country

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#23) On July 12, 2009 at 10:12 AM, ChrisGraley (29.69) wrote:

kaskoosek, until he actually makes the change, he can't answer that.

The government is watching.

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#24) On July 12, 2009 at 1:48 PM, RonChapmanJr (89.98) wrote:

Chris wrote - "We aren't going to put ourselves in position to submit to any power."

That is impossible, it doesn't matter where you live.  If that is what you are hoping to find in some other country, you can give up now.  Your best bet is to choose which power you want to submit to as that is better than being forced to submit to one you do not like.

ron

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#25) On July 12, 2009 at 9:23 PM, theHedgehog (< 20) wrote:

You can have a personal opinion on anything, but the moment that you identify yourself as part of a group, you lose control.

And it seems you've joined the "Hate America First" group.  Good luck with that one.

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#26) On July 12, 2009 at 10:38 PM, ChrisGraley (29.69) wrote:

And it seems you've joined the "Hate America First" group.  Good luck with that one

I don't hate it at all. I fear what it has become and the burden that we have created on the next generation.

I fear that the country will soon be in the same spot that California is now and we are to the point that even if the enitire world decided to bail us out, (which would never happen,) the entire world GDP is not enough money to do so.

Like everyone else, I have a responsibility to my family. Do you steal money from your kids? Before you answer that, consider that they are the ones paying for today's government spending, not our current and future tax dollars. Those dollars were spent long ago.

My best analogy is the we are all currently standing on a train track. Eventually a train is going to come and this train doesn't have any brakes. Now you have a choice to keep standing on the track if you want to, but should you keep your wife and kids standing on the track in front of you?

 

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#27) On July 12, 2009 at 10:45 PM, vmh104 (< 20) wrote:

I'm going to renounce my US citizenship

Idiot. That's not an option. As a US citizen you have to obey US laws and renouncing your citizenship is not a choice you can make. The only way for you to lose your US citzenship is to volunteer in a foreign army.

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#28) On July 13, 2009 at 6:57 AM, dudemonkey (39.74) wrote:

May I ask which country

I'm looking seriously at Brazil.

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#29) On July 13, 2009 at 8:00 AM, dudemonkey (39.74) wrote:

I'm looking seriously at Brazil.

For retirement purposes, that is.  I think the US still has a chance and I'm looking to stick it out for as long as is reasonable.  However, the clock is ticking and blind patriotism isn't going to get us out of the messes we're in.

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#30) On July 13, 2009 at 1:13 PM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

vmh104:

The "idiot" comment is ill-founded.  Google it.  There is a well-established official way to give up your citizenship.

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