Friday, November 9, 2012

Three reasons to renounce U.S. citizenship

Keyword searches on Google for "renounce citizenship" have soared in the past week. IMHO, these are three of the main reasons, especially the first:

1.  "I can't stand Obamanomics for another four years--the man's driving this country to bankruptcy!"

2.  "Taxes were too high already and they're going to go higher so I'm renouncing citizenship and I'll soon be outta here!" 

3.  "Between Homeland 'Security,' the TSA, and the Patriot Act, privacy is being lost, so it's ¡Adios! to Big Brother."

Are any of the above reasons for renouncing citizenship valid? 

Personally, in regard to the first item above, I see no hope from either party. Neither will face the fact that the only way to start paying off the national debt is to reduce entitlements. But the big problem is, if you do renounce your U.S. citizenship, where will you go?

I'd like to hear some suggestions from you readers!


  1. Both Canada and Europe have data protection laws as well as privacy commissioners. Germany, the Czech Republic, and Romania (among others) have declared mandatory data retention unconstitutional.

  2. Debt too high? Absolutely. Entitlements need to be reduced? Yes. The only way to pay off the debt is to slash entitlements? No way.

  3. Hi Mr. Luna. Thank you for all your books and for your blog and for answering questions.

    Recent news reports show that these are the most prosperous nations now:
    1 - Norway
    2 - Denmark
    3 - Sweden
    4 - Australia
    5 - New Zealand
    6 - Canada
    7 - Finland
    8 - Netherlands
    9 - Switzerland
    10 - Ireland

    I have been considering leaving the US for some time.

    I don't have any money, and I don't have a German mother or father, or an Irish parent or grandparent. Especially if I had Irish roots, I would be applying for Irish citizenship. I mean, I really wish that I had an Irish grandfather so that I could become a citizen. Everyone wants to be friends with an Irishman it seems, and with an Irish passport, most folks are not going to fight with you as opposed to showing the US passport in some cases.

    Israel does have citizenship via the Law of Return program. One would have to convert to Judaism, even a reform program of study would be okay. That would take 1-2 years, then one would have to move and live in Israel for 1 year, then get your passport!

    However, for me, the idea of using an Israeli passport has more cons than pros, and so I don't consider that.

    Now, I'm writing some of my thoughts. If I was retiring or retired, I might consider the Philippines or some central or south American country.

    And, not for me, but some might even consider getting married to someone in another country.

    Others are saying that they will just take out lots of loans for education in a medical field, immigrating to another country, and not paying back the US loans.
    Certainly, I have considered moving to China and becoming an English as a Second or Other Language teacher, or to some other Asian country.

    I like Iceland and how they told the global elite to jump in the lake. I like the idea of all the hot baths there.

    I don't have any idea on how to move to Australia, New Zealand, or to one of the Scandinavian countries. And by move, I mean to become a resident and then citizen.

    Realistically, I may be heading to Canada. For me being from the South, and learning French in school, I speak Spanish with a French accent and it's really easier for me to speak English, so that's one reason to consider Canada.

    Well, I hope that more folks can add comments so that we can have a good discussion about all of this.

  4. 1. "I can't stand Obamanomics for another four years--the man's driving this country to bankruptcy!"

    This is no basis for changing citizenship. The country's debt has grown under virtually every president, democrat or republican. Obama grew the debt to pay for 2 needless wars he didn't start and to bail out the US auto industry, which is no repaying the debt. Bush 43 grew the debt to pay for 2 needless wars. A surplus was projected at the end of the Clinton years, the first time in years that had happened.

    2. "Taxes were too high already and they're going to go higher so I'm renouncing citizenship and I'll soon be outta here!"

    This is no basis for changing citizenship. Tax rates are among the *lowest* they've ever been. The top income tax rate in the 70's was 70%, not the current 35%. Employee (but not employer) payroll taxes were cut nearly 1/3 (6.7% to 4.7%) a couple of years ago. The UK used to have a 96% rate for top earners. Actual effective rates for most people are around 25%.

    3. "Between Homeland 'Security,' the TSA, and the Patriot Act, privacy is being lost, so it's ¡Adios! to Big Brother."

    This is no basis for changing citizenship. Your privacy is being impacted by those things, but even more it's being lost by advancing electronics, database consolidation, and the voluntary dossier compilation known as Facebook (among other things).

    Yes, this is admittedly a simplistic overview of these topics, but you get the point.

  5. Readers, please pay attention to the question, which is, "if you do renounce your U.S. citizenship, where will you go?"

    I am not saying anyone should do that. I merely ask that IF you do, where would go go.

  6. If I renounced my citizenship, I'd head for Gilligan's Island...if I knew how to get there!

  7. When I was a small child (in the 1970's) I remember my mother repeatedly saying she wanted to move to a place in South America that was referred to as "Little America". Anyone ever heard of it?

  8. For the reader looking for "Little America" it sounds like your mother was likely speaking of a city in Sao Paulo, Brazil called Americana. This city is where many in the South fled to after the South lost the Civil War. Between 5,000 and 10,000 Americans left the South and landed there, and the descendants still celebrate July 4th as Independence Day, from what I have read about it.

    Rosalyn and Jimmy Carter went there after leaving the White House for a visit, and while they were there the former First Lady was able to locate the grave site of a relative of hers who had moved to Americana and then later died there.

    Americana is a unique enclave of Americans in Brazil, a place where some of the children there did not learn to speak Portuguese until they started school, from what I have read.

    For more details, try searching for "Americana, Brazil" and see what comes up. And to learn where exactly it is (Brazil is a very big country!) try putting that into Google Maps or another mapping resource.

  9. I know of two Little Americas. One is a place in Wyoming, the other was a series of Antarctic exploration bases, located on the Ross Ice Shelf. (They were abandoned in 1930.)

  10. One reason for giving up my US citizenship I can think of is the fact I've always wanted to do away with my social security number, forever.

    Canada I would never consider. Socialist, plus one can be arrested for "thought crimes".

    For privacy I've considered a few places: Central or South America- but I fear the narco trafficking and possible influx of other Americans in case the "SHTF" in the future. One place I've been and enjoyed very much was the Rif mountains in Morocco. The village I stayed had no grid, well water only, and the only way in was a narrow rocky trail only feet or mules could get through. A person lives off the land and their animals and never shows an ID- I don''t even think the villagers HAVE identification let alone have to show one. For me this is ultimate privacy.

  11. In response to "This is no basis for changing citizenship. Tax rates are among the *lowest* they've ever been.", I'd like you to see this chart

    Overall tax burden has gone up steadily over the years, although they have dropped recently. You can't just look at the top tax bracket and say that taxes have gone down. You have to account for a host of other taxes, which have gone up.

  12. If is a big word and I cannot imagine renouncing my US citizenship (undoubtedly my most valuable possession).

    That said, your question was where and the answer would depend upon my resources. If I had none, I would have to head to either Canada or Mexico, the only countries which border us. If I had unlimited funds or had time to prepare, I would follow the advice the book Emergency by Neil Straus and buy a second citizenship (and passport) from St Kitts.

    Once I had a non-us passport and citizenship. I would probably go to Europe. Most likely France, due to the variety of climate and the fact that I took a year of French in high school.

    As an alternative, I would consider being a PT (permanent tourist) moving from one country to another every two or three months.

  13. Chile is known for a low tax rate and a free market (when was the last time USA had an actual free market?) It is a small country so that the big guys leave it alone.

  14. Relocating to Canada

    Here is a guest writer on Ferfal's website, and he writes:
    "...there is a very strong socialist presence in Canada, and socialized medicine has been the law in Canada for many years. Still interested? Some official sites to get you started are Citizenship and Immigration Canada, at , or Immigrate to Canada, at . There are initiatives for people starting a business in Canada that might be of interest to you, as well."

  15. I'm thinking Andorra, Malta or Uruguay...

  16. For those thar want to expariate by don't have a lot of cash, go to Belize as a tourist. Just before your tourist visa expires, apply for a residence permit. You will have to renew it monthly for a year. After a year you can apply for a permenent residecy permit and after a few years you can apply for citizenship. It's not as fast as the QRP program but it's cheaper and leads to citizenship.

  17. "if you do renounce your U.S. citizenship, where will you go?"

    In Europe (except the U.K.) is common to show identity cards, and have your information recorded, for almost all things. To pay via Western Union, to buy a prepaid debit card, to get a library card... In Europe there is no such thing as the first amendment, or the second, or the right to speak anonymously. Laws may consider you guilty of defamation even when you can prove you say the truth. There is also a strong attitude towards socialism and weak libertarian ones. Schengen countries require your fingerprint to get a password. In some countries, e.g. the U.K. you must surrender your secret password to the police. In Italy there is no banking secrecy, every transaction is instantly reported to authorities. No low-cost, low-profile LLCs. Registering a car in the name of a company and use it yourself may lead you into tax troubles. Most of the tricks and loopholes explained in How To Be Invisible are simply not applicable: Europe has a strong tradition of control and surveillance on citizens since Roman times.

    I'd try to get U.S. citizenship, if this didn't mean to be fingerprinted and if the U.S. didn't want to tax their citizens on their worldwide income wherever they are actually resident and this income is generated.


  18. No place is perfect, so one has to keep that in mind. Personally, I'm heading for Panama. (No need to renounce citizenship)

  19. I seriously considered Belize and there was a book I obtained with very comprehensive details. I decided against it on the advice of Mennonite friends who lived there for over a decade.

    They shared that crime was a serious concern and that they could more easily blend in in the U.S. (as white people with primarily blond hair). It is easier to stay under the radar here than there.

    Uruguay might be worth a look and possibly Iceland since they actually did something about the wealthy elite who want to control the world.

    Canada takes orders from the U.S. (NAU / NAFTA). Might be hard to get to Mexico, but if you can get that far you can probably keep going. Best way would be in a private vehicle that makes regular trips further south.

    The important thing for Americans is to get out of the cities and even consider being off grid in a rural area as far from any large city as you can get. Choose wisely. You need access to plenty of water, soil that produces well, and weather you can deal with no matter what circumstances arise.


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