Freedom and Opportunity Await Those with the Courage to Leave the U.S.

Freedom, independence, and awareness are undoubtedly in decline in the western world, particularly the U.S. In the last 10-days, Homeland Security has started seizing Internet domains from ‘rogue’ webmasters, and TSA has begun labeling dissenters of its new security procedures as domestic extremists.

It’s as if the government’s actions are being ripped from Atlas Shrugged and 1984… and yet the trend, at least for now, is still more government control, fake security, and reduced freedom.

I recently sent you a controversial article about the nature of patriotism. In the article I suggested that when you find yourself increasingly isolated from your country’s declining values, it’s probably time to pack up and head somewhere else.

Many people found this idea to be cowardly and weak. Obviously I believe the opposite to be true. One of the most difficult things you could ever do is pack up your life, leave everything familiar, and head to a new world full of uncertainty.

Just about everyone reading this had ancestors who did just that. These were not cowards, they were pioneers; they were trading tyranny for opportunity, heading to a land full of bright prospects where they could carve out a life accountable for their own successes and failures.

Granted, we have it easier today than our pioneering ancestors… but leaving behind the familiarity of home is still a difficult concept for most people to commit.

It’s like staying in a bad marriage or dead-end job… people do it because their paralyzing fear of the unknown is often greater than the routine misery to which they’ve already grown accustomed.

Taking action requires a catalyst, and that’s what we’re experiencing today— perhaps a mother who watches a government agent fondle her child, or an entrepreneur whose assets are wrongfully frozen, or a student who realizes that social security will no longer exist when she hits retirement age, etc.

One by one, people will wake up and consider their options. “Stay and fight” is just a bombastic rallying cry of the institutionalized, not a real option. The fact is, there is no enemy, there is no fight… there is only gradual erosion of freedom and opportunity.

Unable to change what we cannot control, productive people will eventually reach a breaking point and leave. The “stay and fight” crowd who remain will congratulate themselves on their patriotism, chastise the “cowards” who have left, and resolve to go down with the mob-mentality, mafia-controlled sinking ship.

This is neither honorable nor courageous, and unless you see Davy Crockett staring back at you in the mirror, the “stay and fight” crowd should question their own actions first — what are you doing to change things? Who exactly are you fighting?

Here’s the bottom line: Your country is controlled by a very small group of people, and you’re not one of them. You cannot control the machine, you can only control where and how to invest your time. Fortunately, there are a lot of options around the world for the open-minded.

After my last missive one commenter lamented, “Leave to where? Guatemala? Panama? What other hellhole can you name, and what do you do when you get there? Raise chickens?” as if every other country on earth is a “hellhole” with no economic prospects for talented, creative people.

Stop listening to what Sean Hannity tells you and see for yourself, the world is full of opportunity. I’ve traveled to around 100 countries and done business in dozens— some of my favorites:

Chile: the new America. Strong, independent, civilized economy, you’ll think you’re in Europe given how modern it is.

Singapore: Too much to say here… you need a job? They’re hiring. You need capital? They’re investing. You hate taxes? So do they. Singapore is ideal for families, and obtaining residency (and citizenship) is simple.

Colombia: Forget everything you’ve ever heard and go see for yourself. With similar geology to Venezuela and peace at hand, the country is poised for a bonanza.

Sri Lanka: Ditto, except that the Sri Lankan government is bending over backwards to provide some of the strongest investor incentives I’ve ever seen. Oh yeah, it’s one of the cheapest (and most beautiful) countries in the world.

Malaysia: Peaceful, beautiful, cheap, and thriving, Malaysia will constantly surprise you and exceed your expectations for its modern-ness and opportunities.

Estonia: With its flat tax structure, streamlined government, and brilliant work force, Estonia provides ample opportunity for entrepreneurs, particularly those looking for entry into Europe’s harmonized customs union.

I could go on — Brazil, Indonesia, Uruguay, Tanzania, China, etc., but you get the idea. Sure, you could pick apart any country for its faults. I call these the “yeah, buts” as in “Estonia? Yeah, but it’s cold.” It’s not going to look like Black Friday shopping in Topeka, but the idea is freedom and opportunity, and once on the ground, you’ll feel it.

In case you’re geographically constrained, you can still take steps to increase your freedom. Start by moving some money to an overseas bank account, and store gold in an offshore vault — this safeguards your wealth from government bureaucrats who could otherwise freeze or confiscate your accounts on a whim.

Also consider buying some land overseas, even if it’s just a small piece. This is a great way to move money, and it gives you a starting point if you ever need a place to go.

Remember, these options are not exclusive to the wealthy — anyone who is willing to reject institutional programming can find opportunity overseas or start protecting what they have at home; it takes an open mind, creativity, readiness to learn new skills, and the will to act.

Simon Black
Whiskey & Gunpowder

December 6, 2010