Economic freedom depends upon personal choice, voluntary exchange and open markets. These traits barely exist in America today.
For the two decades spanning 1980-2000, the U.S. ranked in the Top-3 of all countries in economic freedom, usually falling behind — but sometimes surpassing – Hong Kong and/or Singapore. If you are in the U.S. now, expatriation is the only way to have true economic freedom.
Americans are renouncing their U.S. citizenship in record numbers. In seven of the last eight years, the number of U.S. citizens who have expatriated exceeded the previous year’s total.
The number of expatriations began accelerating in 2010 when the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) became law. That act was designed to collect tax revenue from American citizens working and living abroad by requiring foreign institutions to report assets and income or withhold 30 percent taxes on the holdings. By renouncing citizenship, Americans are no longer subject to U.S. taxes.
The total number of Americans renouncing citizenship is expected to top 6,800 this year, up from 5,411 in 2016, according to data from the Department of Treasury. The only year since 2008 in which there was a decrease in expatriation was in 2012. But 2013 more than compensated with expatriations more than doubling 2011’s total.
But economic freedom in America began its precipitous decline under the reign of George Bush the lesser and the controls instituted during his regime’s faux War on Terror. The so-called War on Terror is really a war on freedom in America – as is the faux War on Drugs.
The War on Terror was used as a pretext to pass laws like the USA Patriot Act with its FinCEN, Suspicious Activity and Currency Transaction Reports that require financial institutions to spy on you and report your banking and spending activities to government.
Then along came Barack Obama and his regulatory regime which rewarded crony multinational corporations and trade unions at the expense of small businesses — which led to a reduction in consumer choices and competition – and his war on cash in an effort to drive all transactions into the electronic realm.
As a result, the U.S. fell from No. 2 on the economic freedom scale in 2000 to 19th by 2011, according to the Annual Report of Economic Freedom of the World. This year the U.S. jumped five spots over last year and comes in at No. 11. This is a testament to the effects of the rollback of the regulatory regime that President Donald Trump has begun.
But there is much work to be done. The U.S. still trails Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, U.K., Mauritius, Georgia, Australia and Estonia. Other countries of note and their rankings are Germany (23rd), South Korea (32nd), Japan (39th), France (52nd), Italy (54th), Mexico (76th), India (95th), Russia (100th), China (112th), and Brazil (137th). The 10 lowest-rated countries are: Iran, Chad, Myanmar, Syria, Libya, Argentina, Algeria, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and, lastly, Venezuela.
The U.S. hasn’t enjoyed a true free market in more than 150 years. The U.S. system is much closer to fascism than free market, thanks to government controls, mandates and subsidies that drive up prices of all consumer goods, including the essentials like food, clothing and shelter.
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