Immigrants in the early 20th century celebrated US citizenship. The threat of illness, death, and separation from their wives and children failed to deter these Europeans who fled their home countries for the promise of a better future.
To them, the United States was a safe, free haven distant from the brutal tyrants and collectivist academics across the Atlantic. My ancestors knew that Ellis Island was the beginning of everything they’d ever wanted. Angelo LaSorsa put one foot on the ground and realized immediately that he had, as H. L. Mencken was to put it, “won a small precarious territory from the great mob of his inferiors.” And he flourished. He saw New York as innocent ground, not yet soiled by the likes of Wilson and the latter Roosevelt.
Unfortunately the Statue of Liberty’s invitation—its call for “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses”—transformed into a national pastime. The tired remained in bed. The poor stayed in poverty. The huddled masses continued huddling. And the country deteriorated. The population forgot its past. It began to believe that this newfound freedom was merely an idle state to be enjoyed instead of something to be vigilantly defended.
Laziness turned into a symptom, and welfare was the government’s solution. It was assumed that the wealthy businessman’s earnings could mitigate stagnation’s effects, which it did for a while. But enough time passed. Enough heads took a good look around.
The elites are finally admitting this country ain’t what it used to be.
Singer-songwriter Denise Rich ruffled the government’s feathers Monday when news outlets noticed she’d renounced her US citizenship months earlier in an apparent move to evade taxation on her hefty estate. Rich’s spokeswoman insists the relocation is about wanting to live near her family in Austria. The fact that she plans to reside in London even though her new citizenship is in Austria—which conveniently offers tax breaks to citizens who spend half the year abroad—says otherwise.
Good riddance to the entire situation. A famous Democrat is leaving the country, which leaves the government with less tax revenue. I couldn’t be happier from a philosophical standpoint. But now we have one less successful person doing their thing in the economy.
Eduardo Saverin is the most notable tax expatriate this year. The Facebook cofounder renounced his US citizenship after learning that his earnings on the company’s IPO would be taxed upwards of $67 million. Since Singapore has no capital gains tax, Saverin moved. Now he gets to keep everything he earned. Saverin now seems interested only in Brazilian start-ups looking to get involved in the Asian market, so American companies can forget about any extra investment opportunities his wealth would have provided to them.
This was bad news for American entrepreneurs, but we saw no apologies from DC’s parasitic bureaucrats. Instead of loosening the tax collector’s death grip around our only source of economic growth, maggots such as Senator Chuck Schumer decided it’d be best to prevent wealthy expatriates from ever returning to the country.
Acts of personal sovereignty such as Rich’s and Saverin’s threaten government officials because they imply that individuals will move as they wish. It suggests that successful businessmen really will leave the farm when they’re pushed around for too long.
In ways, Americans are even starting to self-secede. In Charles Murray’s newest book, Coming Apart. Murray explains how American communities are increasingly isolated from one another. The modern economy’s dependence on creativity began separating concrete doers from abstract thinkers in ways it had never done before. Creative minds didn’t want to live around people who slowed them down, and thus they relocated to new habitats where others were less likely to dictate their actions. Murray summarizes:
…they didn’t just separate themselves from the poor. They separated themselves from just about everyone who isn’t as rich and well educated as they are.
Is this not a cultural renouncement of citizenship?
Murray views this pattern negatively, but I feel an immense sense of happiness about what’s happening. It’s reassuring that the America where people cared about whom they associated with is still vital, living in the backdrop of our psyches yet remaining quiet and in constant watch for the egalitarian police.
It tells me that people will do everything they can to avoid unnecessary barriers on the path to success, and whether that’s renouncing your citizenship or moving to a neighborhood filled with people like you, nothing is so frustrating as being grouped together with a bunch of bumbling fools who insist you’re all brethren.
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