As Donald Trump and his ilk boast building a giant wall to keep immigrants out of the United States, more Americans than ever before are fleeing.
According to a new analysis, the number of American citizens turning their backs on the United States has skyrocketed in the last decade, breaking records each year.
Since 2008, the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship has increased 18 fold, making 2015 the third record-breaking year in a row.
As the US government continues to spread war across the globe and pass legislation granting tax breaks to mega-corporations while squeezing small businesses for every last dime, people are saying ‘enough is enough.’
According to CNNMoney, unlike most other countries, the U.S. taxes its citizens on all income, no matter where it’s earned or where they live. For Americans living abroad, that results in a mountain of paperwork so complex that they are often forced to seek professional help, forking out high fees for accountants and lawyers.
This excessive burden of handing over 30-40% of one’s income is unsustainable, and we are now seeing its effect.
However, those who are renouncing their citizenship do so because they can afford to flee to another country. As they leave, the tax burden will continue to be passed on to the middle class as the state attempts to squeeze more blood from a turnip.
The irony here is that those who are fleeing are not the super rich elite as they could care less about the tax laws — that they wrote. Just last week, the Free Thought Project reported on the newly established tax haven for the super-rich — located inside the US.
The words of Andrew Penney, managing director of Rothschild & Co., are extremely clear to the elite, who need not flee; the U.S. is now the world’s biggest tax haven. In a draft for a presentation in San Francisco, Penny wrote that the U.S. “is effectively the biggest tax haven in the world.”
In the meantime, that same skewed tax code is forcing small business owners out of the country just so they can make ends meat.
Small business owners and the upper middle class aren’t the only ones fleeing at record rates either. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, more Mexican immigrants are leaving the United States than are coming into the country.
This negative shift in border flow is happening for the first time in over four decades. It seems the Land of the Free, is quickly becoming the land to escape from.
If history is any indicator, the American empire will continue to expand and as a result so will domestic tyranny and taxation. This mass exodus of people out of the US is the canary in the coal mine for what’s to come.
As politicians and their supporters push to close the borders, remember one thing. A wall big enough to keep them out, is also big enough to keep you in.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been seeking refuge for close to three years inside Ecuador’s Embassy in London where he has political asylum. Facing both investigations in Sweden and the US, he claims that he is doing well despite his circumstances.
Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning on claims of sexual misconduct, however no charges have been formally filed against him. In the US, a secret grand jury is investigating him for his role in publishing a collection of leaked documents regarding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well as state department modes of communication known as cables.
And despite Assange’s asylum, WikiLeaks continues to disclose documents from leaked drafts of the British nuclear submarine whistleblower William McNeilly, and hidden information about a European union plan that seeks to use military force in order to curb the influx of migrants from Libya. Of the latter, WikiLeaks said, “The documents lay out a military operation against cross-Mediterranean refugee transport networks and infrastructure. It details plans to conduct military operations to destroy boats used for transporting migrants and refugees in Libyan territory, thereby preventing them from reaching Europe.
WikiLeaks has also published leaked chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a secretive trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries, including the United States. It would allow them to cover 40 percent of the global economy. The agreement was reached just this past October, after seven years of negotiations.
But as these matters of economic concern continue to be negotiated amongst the countries, details continue to be hidden from the public while WikiLeaks discloses information, like the “Investment Chapter,” which discusses the US negotiators’ motive to allow corporations to sue governments if their laws disrupt future profits a company has declared. Assange says the plan could “chill” the approval of health and environmental administrations.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! sat down at the Edcuadorean Embassy in London for an exclusive interview with Assange to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the US debate of what WikiLeaks has revealed concerning the treaty.
“It is very well guarded from the press and the majority of people and even from congressmen. But 600 U.S. companies are part of the process and have been given access to various parts of the TPP,” Assange says of the partnership. “Essentially, every aspect of the modern economy, even banking services, are in the TPP.
And so, that is erecting and embedding new, ultramodern neoliberal structure in U.S. law and in the laws of the other countries that are participating, and is putting it in a treaty form. And by putting it in a treaty form, that means—with 14 countries involved, means it’s very, very hard to overturn.”
To provide an example of how corporations can sue governments, Assange provides this example:
What if the government or a state government decides it wants to build a hospital somewhere, and there’s a private hospital, has been erected nearby? Well, the TPP gives the constructor of the private hospital the right to sue the government over the expected—the loss in expected future profits. This is expected future profits. This is not an actual loss that has been sustained, where there’s desire to be compensated; this is a claim about the future.
And to put this idea into practice, he discusses how similar measures have already been taken to affect environmental and health regulation laws, including in Togo, Australia, and Uruguay, which are all being sued by tobacco companies in order to keep health warnings off of cigarette packages. “Maybe the government is too powerful, and companies should have a right to sue the government under various circumstances. But it’s only multinationals that get this right,” Assange says. “Now, it’s not so easy to get up these cases and win them. However, the chilling effect, the concern that there might be such a case, is severe. Each one of these cases, on average, governments spend more than $10 million for each case, to defend it, even successfully. So, if you have, you know, a city council or a state considering legislation, and then there’s a threat from one of these multinationals about expected future profits, they know that even if they have the law on their side, even if this TPP is on their side, they can expect to suffer.”
Written by Alexa Erickson of www.collective-evolution.com
It was just yesterday when we documented the continuing slide in the loonie, which is suffering mightily in the face of oil’s inexorable decline.
As regular readers are no doubt acutely aware, Canada is struggling through a dramatic economic adjustment, especially in Alberta, the heart of the country’s oil patch. Amid the ongoing crude carnage the province has seen soaring property crime, rising food bank usage and, sadly, elevated suicide rates, as Albertans struggle to comprehend how things up north could have gone south (so to speak) so quickly.
The plunging loonie “can only serve to worsen the death of the ‘Canadian Dream'” we said on Tuesday.
As it turns out, we were right.
The currency’s decline is having a pronounced effect on Canadians’ grocery bills.
As Bloomberg reminds us, Canada imports around 80% of its fresh fruits and vegetables. When the loonie slides, prices for those goods soar. “With lower-income households tending to spend a larger portion of income on food, this side effect of a soft currency brings them the most acute stress” Bloomberg continues.
Of course with the layoffs piling up, you can expect more households to fall into the “lower-income” category where they will have to fight to afford things like $3 cucumbers, $8 cauliflower, and $15 Frosted Flakes.
As Bloomberg notes, James Price, director of Capital Markets Products at Richardson GMP, recently joked during an interview on BloombergTV Canada that “we’re going to be paying a buck a banana pretty soon.”
Have a look at the following tweets which underscore just how bad it is in Canada’s grocery aisles. And no, its not just Nunavut: it from coast to coast:
No “Jack Nasty” it’s not The Great Depression, but as we highlighted three weeks ago, it is Canada’s depression and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. “Last year, fruits and veggies jumped in price between 9.1 and 10.1 per cent, according to an annual report by the Food Institute at the University of Guelph,” CBC said on Tuesday. “The study predicts these foods will continue to increase above inflation this year, by up to 4.5 per cent for some items.”
If you thought we were being hyperbolic when we suggested that if oil prices don’t rise soon, Canadians may well eat themselves to death, consider the following from Diana Bronson, the executive director of Food Secure Canada:
“Lower- and middle-class people — many who can’t find a job that will pay them enough to ensure that they can afford a healthy diet for their families” — also feel the pinch of rising food prices”
“The wrong kind of food is cheap, and the right kind of food is still expensive.”
In other words, some now fear that the hardest hit parts of the country may experience a spike in obesity rates as Canadians resort to cheap, unhealthy foods. As we put it, “in Alberta it’s ‘feast or famine’ in the most literal sense of the phrase as those who can still afford to buy food will drown their sorrows in cheap lunch meat and off-brand ice cream while the most hard hit members of society are forced to tap increasingly overwhelmed food banks.”
And the rub is that there’s really nothing anyone can do about it.
Were the Bank of Canada to adopt pro-cyclical measures to shore up the loonie, they would risk choking off economic growth just as the crude downturn takes a giant bite out of the economy – no food pun intended.