Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.BrExit Looks Set to Win EU Referendum, Final Opinion Polls Give LEAVE Lead Over REMAIN - Nadeem_Walayat
2.BrExit Morning - New Dawn for Britain, Independence Day! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.LEAVE Wins EU Referendum - Sterling and FTSE Hit Hard, Pollsters, Bookies and Markets All WRONG! - Nadeem_Walayat
4.BrExit to Save Europe from Climate Change Refugee Migration Apocalypse - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Trading BrExit - Stocks, Bonds, Sterling, Opinion Polls, Bookmaker Odds and My Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
6.EU Referendum Latest Opinion Polls Show LEAVE Halting REMAINs Surge - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Gold And Silver – Insanity Is World “Norm.” Keep Stacking! - Michael_Noonan
8.Trading BrExit - British Pound Plunges, FTSE Stock Futures Slump on LEAVE Shock Referendum Win - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Gold And Silver: Security, And BREXIT - Michael_Noonan
10.BrExit Vote - "The Trend is Set" -- And What You Should Pay Attention to Next - EWI
Free Silver
Last 7 days
Stock Market Rally Runs Out of Steam - 29th June 16
Rapid Growth:The Financial Trends Of Online Gaming - 29th June 16
FTSE and Sterling Brexit Trading, Deconstruction of the EU Referendum Result - 29th June 16
Stock Market Bounce May be Over - 28th June 16
Stock Market Meltdown Likely to Drive Gold Towards $1,500 - 28th June 16
Brexit Victory over the EU Globalists - 28th June 16
Brexit Psyop: Greenspan Falsely Blames the Brits for the Crash and Chaos to Follow - 28th June 16
Greenspan Calls Brexit a ‘Terrible Outcome’ as Euro Area Tested - 27th June 16
Stock Market SPX Below Mid-Cycle Support - 27th June 16
Best Holidays for Summer 2016 - 27th June 16
Another Stocks Bear Market? - 27th June 16
BBC EU Referendum Result Highlights - YouGov, Markets, Bookmakers, Pollsters ALL WRONG! - 26th June 16
Investors Map Post-Brexit Strategies Amid Global Market Upheaval - 26th June 16
Gold Price Weekly COT Update - 26th June 16
First the UK, then Scotland ... then Texas? - 26th June 16
Stocks Bear Market Resumes or Just More Noise - 26th June 16
Gold And Silver: Security, And BREXIT - 25th June 16
Dow, Euro & Brexit Recap - 25th June 16
Resistance Holding Gold Stocks after Brexit - 25th June 16
Venezuela vs. Ecuador (Chavismo vs. Chavismo Dollarized) - 25th June 16
Gold, Silver And PM Stocks Summer Doldrums Risk - 24th June 16
Here’s Why China “Economic Hard-Landing” Worries Are Overblown - 24th June 16
Jubilee Jolt: Markets Crash, Gold Skyrockets as Britain Takes Brexit - 24th June 16
BrExit Morning - New Dawn for Britain, Independence Day! - 24th June 16
LEAVE Wins EU Referendum - Sterling and FTSE Hit Hard, Pollsters, Bookies and Markets All WRONG! - 24th June 16
Trading BrExit - British Pound Plunges, FTSE Stock Futures Slump on LEAVE Shock Referendum Win - 24th June 16
EU Referendum Shock Results Putting BrExit LEAVE in the Lead Hitting Sterling Hard - 24th June 16
Final Opinion Poll Gives REMAIN 52% Lead, Bookmakers, Markets and Pollsters ALL Back REMAIN Win - 23rd June 16
Does BREXIT Matter? Outlook for Sterling - 23rd June 16
Keep Calm and Vote BrExit - Last Chance to Break Free of EU Superstate - 23rd June 16
Here’s the Foreign Policy Trump and Clinton Really Want - 23rd June 16
Details Behind Semiconductor Stocks Leadership - 23rd June 16
Trading BrExit - Stocks, Bonds, Sterling, Opinion Polls, Bookmaker Odds and My Forecast - 23rd June 16
BrExit Looks Set to Win EU Referendum, Final Opinion Polls Give LEAVE Lead Over REMAIN - 22nd June 16
Proof that the Gold Bears are Wrong - 22nd June 16
Here’s a Trillion-Dollar Investment Opportunity for Those Few with No Debt - 22nd June 16
BrExit to Save Europe from Climate Change Refugee Migration Apocalypse - 22nd June 16
Increase In U.S. Rig Count Will Not Cap Oil Prices - 22nd June 16
Are Copper and China Stocks Set to Rally? - 22nd June 16
SPX May Break Its Trendline - 22nd June 16
Believe it or Not: More Kids Live At Home Now than Since The Great Depression - 21st June 16
EU Referendum Latest Opinion Polls Show LEAVE Halting REMAINs Surge - 21st June 16
British Pound Outlook - BREXIT, Europe and You - Does your vote matter? - 21st June 16
Fascist Victory Behind the European Union - 21st June 16
EU Referendum Opinion Polls Analysis Shows Strong Momentum in REMAINs Favour - 21st June 16
Is It Time to Dump Gold and Buy Platinum? - 21st June 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Market Volaility

Should Americans Emigrate or Defect?

Politics / US Politics Feb 12, 2013 - 11:18 AM GMT

By: Jeff_Berwick

Politics

Wendy McElroy writes: Anyone planning to permanently leave the US should give deep thought to whether they are emigrating or defecting.

The two concepts have so much in common that they tend to blur together. They may be best viewed as two extremes of the same axis upon which people can 'grade' themselves. But there is a significant difference between the attitude, motives, and actions of a straightforward emigrant versus a defector. And where you stand on the axis affects the most important aspect of who you are: How do you evaluate yourself?


Both emigrants and defectors physically leave a nation to relocate permanently elsewhere. But the key difference between emigration and defection is the motive. Emigrants usually relocate to be with family or for economic reasons. The motives can have political overtones; for example, some portion of the family may have left due to religious persecution or the homeland may have a disastrous tax rate. By contrast, defection is a political or moral act of renunciation aimed at the abandoned state. It is an active shunning of citizenship that is independent from family or economic concerns. Emigration focuses primarily on arriving to embrace something; defection focuses primarily on leaving in protest. They are not mutually exclusive, however.

Another key difference is that emigration is generally a lawful process. Or, at least, the emigration does not require an active challenge to the laws of the deserted nation. Defection is flatly illegal.

Typically, laws against migration are meant to discourage people from leaving, especially people who enrich the nation in which they reside through their wealth, productivity and skills. East Germany is an example. After WWII, the Soviet Union dominated the Eastern sector of Germany, with Western nations (mainly America) dominating the West; the city of Berlin was split in two. Emigration became an immediate problem for the Soviet sector. In his book Closed Borders: The Contemporary Assault on Freedom of Movement (Yale, 1989) Alan Dowty estimated that almost 20% of East Germany's population had left by 1950. The educated and the young, professionals and skilled workers formed a disproportionately large part of the migration. The words “brain drain” were spoken. In the early 1950s, a Soviet-style shutdown killed migration to the West. But Berlin remained a problem. The complex division and politics of the city served as a migration loophole. In 1961, East Germany began stretching the barbed-wire that would be extended to include the Berlin Wall.

From one day to the next, East Berliners who walked westward ceased to be covert emigrants and became defectors to be shot on sight. East Berlin was not merely determined to forcibly retain the best, the brightest, the most productive. It was tired of the political embarrassment of the best, the brightest, the most productive renouncing the communist state in a visible, tangible manner. Thus, the choice between emigration and defection was yanked from individuals and placed into the hands of the state. It is the tendency of totalitarian governments to slam shut the exit door. And it sometimes slams abruptly.

America still allows emigration; the door has not yet slammed. But America punishes the act and it is proposing legislation to punish it more. For example, a bill called the Ex-PATRIOT Act is in the Senate. Its full name is the Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy Act, and it would ban anyone who expatriates from ever setting foot again on American soil. As the law stands today, the “exit tax” for those who emigrate without renouncing citizenship is to be saddled with a US tax liability in perpetuity; in short, double taxation. The “exit tax” for those who renounce citizenship is the complexity of the process and a confiscation of wealth from those who have it. This is a fiscal Berlin Wall. Those who quietly leave and “stay gone” without notifying the U.S. state are similar to pre-wall East Berliners. They fall somewhat between emigrants and defectors, with their main reason for silence being to escape notice. Hopefully, the door for them to do so will remain open.

[Editor's Note: In order to renounce citizenship -- and we really can't blame you if the thought has crossed your mind -- requires you to have a citizenship someplace else. Sadly, you cannot be stateless in this world...yet. So as part of your own "permanent exit strategy", make sure to look into other citizenship and passport options, particularly if you are a US citizen. TDV has options in countries that will be much kinder to you and your capital than the US ever was. Click here to learn more.]

The two categories of escapees differ in another important manner: the attitude expressed toward them by the abandoned state. This is a key indicator of whether the door “out” is preparing to close. When emigration is considered to be an act of political rebuke and embarrassment, the emigrant is viewed as a defector.

Mexico does not care if its citizens go to California or Texas and send money back home to relatives. Mexico ignores these emigrants because they entail no political embarrassment or economic cost. America cares,  and for at least two reasons. First, those who emigrate – even without vocally defecting – are exploding the myth that America is the land of opportunity and freedom; they are a political rebuke. Second, the US is losing the best, the brightest, the most productive by losing businessmen, the wealthy, the skilled and the educated; the escapees are an economic and intellectual drain. Words like “traitor” and “unpatriotic” are being attached to high-profile emigrants like Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who fled for economic reasons. In the eyes of America, emigration is becoming defection. And totalitarian states do not tolerate defectors.

America has spent trillions of dollars to establish Homeland Security guards at entry and exit points, to build barriers across its borders, and to process anyone who wants in or out of its jurisdiction. This is not an accidental act. Any state powerful enough to shut people out is powerful enough to shut people in.

America is like the postwar city of Berlin. Borders are still open and they offer relatively free passage, officially or unofficially. But the wall is being built to close that porous border. Those who are planning to leave should decide if they are an emigrant or a defector. Otherwise the decision may be taken out of their hands and decided by the state. 

Wendy McElroy is a renowned individualist anarchist and individualist feminist. She was a co-founder along with Carl Watner and George H. Smith of The Voluntaryist in 1982, and is the author/editor of twelve books, the latest of which is "The Art of Being Free". Follow her work at http://www.wendymcelroy.com.

Anarcho-Capitalist.  Libertarian.  Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks.  Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast.  Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media.

© 2013 Copyright Jeff Berwick - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Jeff Berwick Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife