So, if you’ve been hearing crickets chirp around here lately, it’s because Trey and I had a couple weeks off and totally neglected writing. It’s not like we’ve been sitting around on our bums though. In fact, we just spent the entire past weekend down in Staunton, Virginia holed up in a lovely Best Western writing the first draft of an absolutely killer guide book that we will be releasing soon about what it’s really like to live in Panama.
There are a lot of folks out there who publish these sorts of “Panama Guides”as a way to sell Panama real estate. Nothing wrong with that of course, but that’s not what this will be about. What we decided to do is completely different: Give readers a completely realistic picture of what it’s like to live here — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The purpose is to help those considering a move to Panama (particularly families) make a much more informed decision, so if they do decide to pull the trigger, they can do so with eyes wide open and without making many of the mistakes we’ve made over the collective 8 years we’ve been living here. Stay tuned, because we are really excited about this and think it will be completely unlike any of the Panama guides out there today.
And speaking of moving abroad….
CNBC wrote yesterday that more and more Americans are not just moving abroad, but renouncing their citizenship altogether because of the country’s insane tax policies. What these former U.S. citizens have concluded if you can believe it, is that American citizenship has become more of a liability than a privilege. Let that sink in for a second, because it’s a potentially huge sea change in the American mindset… Last year, more than 1100 of them became so fed up, frustrated and disgusted with their own government, that they did something that many of us would consider extreme. They gave up their citizenship.
Meanwhile up on Capitol Hill, the tax policy insanity continues, this time with legislation that gives the IRS the authority to revoke the passports and deny travel rights to U.S. citizens who the IRS merely claims owe delinquent taxes. In suitably Orwellian fashion, the bill is entitled the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.” The Daily Economist reports that the legislation doesn’t require the taxpayer to be guilty of, or even charged with tax evasion, fraud, or any criminal offense — only that the citizen is alleged by the IRS to owe back taxes. Yes, empowering the IRS to deny fundamental constitutional rights on a whim is completely illegal, and completely contrary to our guaranteed constitutional protections, but that’s the world Americans are living in these days. Not surprisingly, the bill passed the Senate and is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives in the coming weeks.
And Americans aren’t just considering moving abroad for tax reasons either. According to Bob Adams, more and more younger Americans are ready to throw in the towel and decamp for greener pastures as well. Adams’ firm Retirement Wave released an incredible Zogby survey last year that showed that among the 42 million Americans in the 25-34 year old age group, more than 5% were seriously considering moving abroad “for reasons other than the requirements of the military, the government or their job.” Behind the 25-34 year old age group, the numbers were even higher: Among the 18-24 year old demographic, close to 40% are open to the idea of leaving the U.S.. In 2007, the total was only 15%.
Keep in mind that these are America’s most energetic, innovative and creative citizens. They are demoralized by their economic prospects, burdened by student loans, crushed under a mountain of national debt, appalled at the encroachment of government into every aspect of their lives, and seriously concerned about the erosion of their constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties. As Adams concludes, “the most industrious people don’t always hit the streets to demonstrate; they hit the road.”
As we evangelize often, the best opportunities are increasingly in emerging economies around the world. Younger Americans, entrepreneurs, and risk takers who hunger for the economic and personal freedoms upon which America was founded aren’t going to wait around. They are going to do exactly what America’s founders did. They will pack their bags and leave.