the dollar vigilante blog
TDV Week in Review September 9th, 2012
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Three days back in the US and a few weeks to go. Am I glutton for punishment? Am I not always going on about how much I hate this country and how much it sucks?
Actually, no. Despite its political problems America has long been the nation with the most entrepreneurial, capitalist spirit. Therefore America has a lot of stuff, most of it very nice stuff. The roads are wide and smooth, the shopping is plentiful and convenient and most places I see look very well kept. Sure the federal government's continual growth and increasing interference will eventually smother the economy to death...but the American economy has had centuries of profit-seeking value addition. And it shows! Despite the laughably large government debt, the thousands of pages of laws and regulations and the squandering of wealth on war and forced transfers, America is still a beautiful country where one can live in tremendous physical comfort.
Emotional comfort, however, is much harder to come by in the United States. While I was still living full-time in the US, my most frequent emotions were anxiety and outrage. Living inside the US with the US government felt like being in a horror movie, trapped in a room with a guy turning into a werewolf. I just had the constant sense that things were getting worse and that it would all end very badly for me. Now I experience America the way a tourist would and can relax a bit while I'm here.
I worry, however, that eventually I'll have to stop entering the US entirely. We pundits in the liberty movement are always going on about the American police state...but all of us know that we haven't seen anything yet. The state is going to be moving forward with some truly impressive, integrated and far-reaching surveillance capabilities. The FBI, for example, recently began to install a $1 billion facial recognition system across the US. And they're going to be linking it with the hundreds of pictures and information we all already freely provide on social networking media.
It's creepy nonsense like this that made me start looking at my options outside the US. Note that even though my precious physical person is currently (and temporarily) located in the US, news of this advance in state surveillance doesn't bother me nearly as much as it would have when I was a full-time US resident. That's been the greatest benefit to becoming a Permanent Tourist. I now see America for what it is: just one nation among hundreds which I can visit and enjoy. I no longer feel trapped, waiting to have all my money stolen by the IRS or for government contractors to install cameras in my bedroom. At some point the police state will get so bad in the US that I will have to cross it off my list of places to visit. I can only hope that at that point most of my loved ones have gotten out, too.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
Jim Karger details the flawed nature of the common American, more likely to burn a book than to read one.
“Most Americans will tell you straight-faced that the US is the 'land of the free', even though it has more people incarcerated nominally and as a percentage of its population than any other country in the world. They will insist that America is the 'land of opportunity' even as one-fourth of the work force is employed in jobs that pay less than $22,000, the poverty line for a family of four, half are on the government dole, and most of those will die virtually penniless.
These are fools. And voters.”
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
Slavey responds to two posts, one from TDV’s Facebook page and one a response to last week’s column. Slavey, the preeminent anarcho-capitalist advice columnist, in turn details a five-step program for surviving life in the USSA.
“Stop taking politics seriously. While there might be a few idealistic people running for office, for the most part they’re slick, they’re manipulative, they’re sociopaths, and they’re in it for themselves and the friends they can do favors for. As a middle class person, there’s nothing realistic you can do to change anything the government does, so just stop thinking of what they do as anything more than entertainment.”
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
Fresh off a trip to Paraguay, TDV’s Jeff Berwick looks into some second passport options currently available to prospective expats, including Ireland and Antigua.
“This week Antigua is considering following in the footsteps of St. Kitts & Nevis. The Antigua Labor Party (ALP) is now embracing an Economic Citizenship Program (ECP) as a way to turn around the country's ailing economy. Antigua's government has noticed that St. Kitts & Nevis has raised $100 million with their version of an ECP. Though, Lester Bird of the ALP stated that the program would have to be higher than a one-time contribution of $250,000 and $20,000 per year like it is in St. Kitts & Nevis in order to 'jump-start the economy', which means Antigua's expensive economic citizenship programs will be one of the more expensive ones available.”
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
In anticipation of Obama’s false promise and lie-ridden acceptance speech, Jim Karger does the President the service of re-writing his acceptance speech.
“I sent this script to Obama, knowing that while he won't use it verbatim, he may adopt its fundamental premise: Obama will win if he attacks Romney as just another silver spoon bully whose real desire is as it has always been — make the rich richer even if it means starving the poor. Throw enough crap on the wall it would take two lifetimes to scrape it off.”
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
In this week’s Feedback, Jim, Gary, and Jeff respond to TDV reader’s question, comments, concerns, challenges, and queries about the week’s posts. Topics include Acapulco, Panama, a defense of the illiterate, and as always, if you’re going run, where do you run to?
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
The Weekend Vigilante finds Jeff and Gary on a TDV road trip to San Diego. Some topics broached include the rise of the USSA with Soviet-era poster boys Romney and Ryan, keeping the government from your gold, and much more.
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