By Dave Hodges
Are you tired of living under relative tyranny where every email is read, every phone call is recorded and your every movement is tracked and dissident journalists are harassed and even murdered by federal agencies such as the rogue NSA, CIA and IRS? Are you thinking about escaping our corrupt and criminal government?
Americans are leaving the country at record speed and the annual rate of expatriation is growing as over 150,000 Americans departed the former land of liberty for greener pastures overseas in the past year. In fact, there are now over five million Americans who are choosing to live outside the United States. Just why are Americans leaving this land of “freedom” and opportunity in record numbers, with no end in sight?
Would you renounce your U.S. citizenship if it meant you’d be sending less of your hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam? Do you want affordable health care? Do you desire to live a long and healthy life? Do you want your children to have an affordable college education? Do you want to retire in relative comfort? Do you desire to live your life with more freedoms that you presently enjoy and not have to worry about government harassment? On balance, should most Americans stay or go?
There are reasons and myths which both favor and discourage expatriation. Below, I have listed a set of generalized statements about the viability of leaving America and these notions are examined.
The Highest Taxes In the World
The number one reason that Americans are fleeing the country is because of high taxes. The income tax rate rose this year to 39.6% from 35% for individuals earning more than $400,000 a year and married couples earning more than $450,000. Also, 77% of Americans will pay higher federal tax rates because the cuts in Social Security payroll taxes expired when Congress passed its tax package this past New Year’s Day. The Tax Policy Center estimates that those who earn more than $1 million would pay an average of $170,341 more in taxes. If you are middle class or poor, you may not have the means to leave, and your taxes have not been as dramatically impacted as the wealthy. It is a fact that expatriation does favor the upper middle class because one has to have a significant income to benefit from a potential move. In other words, if you are the owner of an Obama phone, you are better off staying in the country because you have little to tax.
We Complain About Loss of Freedom, but This Is Not the Real Motivation To Leave
Because of the manufactured terror threat, we have lost Habeus Corpus, free speech rights to the United Nations, and every form of due process that we once cherished under our Constitution. And if you don’t like the unfolding criminal enterprise brand of government which has suddenly appeared before our collective eyes, please be aware that the bankers have rolled out a technocratic police state which would make Stalin envious. Both the emerging police state and the impending martial law advocates are bolstered by the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has purchased 1.6 billion rounds, oops, make that 2.2 billion rounds of high tech bullets engraved with the names of citizens who dare to oppose this tyranny! However, if freedom was the main motivator to get people to act either by escaping the government or by standing up to the criminal elements in the government, there would have been a civil war a long time ago. The loss of liberty is rarely a primary motivator for ordinary citizens to act.
We may complain about the loss of liberty, but it is not motivating many, if any, American citizens to leave the country for these reasons.
We Can’t Leave Our Great US Pensions Behind
It is a myth that America has a good set of retirement systems. You are not getting the best pension package compared to other Western nations as America ranks dead last in overall pension benefits. And this is in the backdrop of the nothing-to-lose, second-term Obama Administration, who is preparing to seize your 401k pensions. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew has already raided federal pension funds this past month so the government does not exceed the debt ceiling.
There are no golden years in America unless you are in the infamous 1%.
Americans Stay for Higher Pay
Americans no longer live in the highest salary paying country in the world. In fact, the United States does not even crack the top ten list of the highest salary paying countries on the planet in which Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Japan, Norway, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom round out the top ten and pay their workers more than workers in the United States. In fact, the United States only ranks 20th in terms of overall gross pay! One would be very naive to call America the land of opportunity.
If We Leave Our Children’s Education Will Suffer
The Education Policy Institute assessed the affordability of higher education costs and found that the United States ranks 13th in higher education affordability. At a time when our schools are producing students which are performing last in math and science as compared to other industrialized nations, leaving the country, in many cases, would benefit a child’s educational attainment. And do not forget, this next year the Common Core Standards come online and they will dramatically increase the dumbing down of American students.
Most Americans mistakenly think they will help their children to rise above the rest by going to college. That type of thinking can be a financial death trap. To those who think your children can borrow their way to a degree, think again. Today’s U.S. college loan practices, which serve to underwrite much of the cost of a college education, are the most predatory in the world. As of last year, bankruptcy cannot cancel out a student loan debt, and delinquent college students can now go to jail for nonpayment. In fact, several federal agencies have even “SWAT teamed” many delinquent student loan defaulters. Nowhere else in the world can we find evidence of these types of predatory practices being used against college students as we do here in the United States.
Even those who are degreed and/or skilled in fields such as engineering or information technology skills, are really wasting their time working in the United States. Eight of the world’s ten highest-paying countries for information technology (IT) managers are in Western Europe, according to a new survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. The survey found that Swiss managers are paid the most, followed by those in Germany and Denmark. In fact, IT management is another field where U.S. workers fail to crack the top ten in income, the United States ranks 14th in IT management compensation. Even debt-ridden Spain, Italy and Greece pay their IT managers more than what Americans earn on average. If your child is striving to become a high tech employee, they would be better leaving the country. We Cannot Leave This Good Health Care Behind
The United States spends more than the next 12 nations for health care. However, it seems as if we are spending more and enjoying it less as, despite our exorbitant spending on health care, the United States ranks 50th in the world in life expectancy.Cuba, Puerto Rico and Spain have higher life expectancies than the United States. Americans live in the only country in the world where its citizens cannot bargain shop for its medicines in foreign countries because the pharmaceuticals have convinced Congress to establish a pharmaceutical monopoly over U.S. citizens. Death by doctor has increased to 225,000 per year. Healthcare would be an excellent reason to leave.
Other Factors to Consider
Although our education is substandard, our earning power is substandard, our tax rates are exorbitant and we increasingly live in a rapidly emerging police state, there are emotional factors to consider before one truly contemplates leaving the country.
In a study done on the nature of tweeting and tweets expressing happiness, it was found that happy tweets decline significantly when people are more than 62 miles from their original home. Home is where the heart is, and it will hard for many of us to leave our attachments behind as we immigrate to a foreign country.
According to a University of California Riverside research study, about 40% of our capacity for happiness is actually within our power to change. This speaks strongly to the notion that life is what you make it.
Twenty percent of wealthy Americans’ happiness levels would not be impacted by the coming economic catastrophe according to happiness researchers. If a person is in the upper portion of the 80% which would be impacted in a dire economic downturn, they might benefit from expatriation. However, for the majority of the 80%, they do not have the means to expatriate and to maintain their present standard of living. For the non-elite who would be expatriating, they do so because they want their children to have a better life than they would if they stayed in America.
Just how happy are Americans? In a research study comparing the answers to the following happiness question, countries were ranked. See where America falls on the list.
“Taking all things together, would you say you are: very happy, quite happy, not very happy, or not at all happy?”
13. United States
Source: World Values Survey 2011
America is not the happiest nation on the earth, but we are happier than 180 other nations. Leaving our shores to an undetermined future will not guarantee happiness. And don’t forget the immigration rule of thumb. Generally, the first immigration generations suffers economically, socially and politically. The real gains are usually realized by the second generation in the immigrant class. So, leaving will not necessarily be a panacea.
The real game changer on whether an increasing number of Americans should leave comes down to the intentions of the powers that be and their willingness to engage in mass detentions and/or mass murder as the present tyranny is fully implemented. Certainly, with the NDAA, Executive Order 13603, the Military Commissions Act and add to the fact that we are now witnessing the persecution of whistleblowers; and we are now seeing the murder of investigative journalists like Andrew Breitbart and Michael Hastings, members of the alternative media should consider leaving before martial law is imposed.
As some of us try and determine the real intentions of the banksters who have hijacked our government with regard to how they will deal with the majority of watch dog journalists, this is the deciding factor on whether some of us should leave the country and fade into oblivion. Will the coming martial law bring genocide to our shores for the masses who cannot or will not be “re-educated”? It is clear with DHS arming themselves to the teeth as we are seeing the roll out of all the precursors needed to impose a brutal martial law (e.g. presence of massive amount of foreign troops in our country). It would be remiss to not thoroughly assess this possibility.
Using the perspective of history combined with an analysis of contemporary events, a threat analysis to various segments of the population will be offered in a future article.
Dave is an award winning psychology, statistics and research professor, a college basketball coach, a mental health counselor, a political activist and writer who has published dozens of editorials and articles in several publications such as Freedoms Phoenix, News With Views and The Arizona Republic.
I predict that the lifetime love of country propaganda we have been exposed to all of our lives will result in a massive loss of life in America and I fully expect to be one of them. I have the means to escape to a safer government, but not the willingness to escape the fight, as the love of what I was taught America was, still burns bright in my soul. At my age, I prefer to go down fighting for what I believe in as apposed to adjusting to being an immigrant somewhere else. Make no mistake about it folks, there is not going to be many places where American’s are welcomed with open arms, and only very wealthy people will have the resources to protect themselves from that factor. Buying my future safety, is repugnant to my nature, and so is running from a good fight!