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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A new generation of expatriates

Recently, several reports have appeared about very wealthy Americans renouncing their citizenship. By "very wealthy", I mean people at the Bill Gates/Warren Buffet level.

Such actions anger many Americans, understandably so. In this instance, though, the primary motivation may be financial.

The USA is virtually the only nation that taxes wealth accumulated overseas. Of course, this amounts to double taxation, since the nations in which the money is made usually tax it as well (albeit often at lower rates).

Business activity in the US is moribund, and despite the propaganda emitted by the Administration's media arm, the outlook for the next few years is not promising. Many investors are finding better opportunities abroad; in fact, we are witnessing one of the greatest flights of capital in decades.

While it is not safe to assume that these new expatriates are unpatriotic, it is safe to assume that their first loyalty is to their money. They know they'll be able to keep more of it, and make more of it, outside the USA.

You can expect the "unpatriotic" card played by the mass media. Regardless of whether or not that's the whole story, it will be used as cover for the mass exodus of capital, which will exacerbate the weakening of our economy.

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