Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Is it “Un-American” to Go Offshore? The Thin Line Between Financial Patriotism and Financial Suicide

December 17, 2009 by  

Is it “Un-American” to Go Offshore? The Thin Line Between Financial Patriotism and Financial Suicide

For an extreme example of offshore phobia, take the case of White House National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers.

When good old Larry was President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury in 1994, he went off the deep end referring to American expatriates as “tax traitors.” He was subsequently made to apologize by his boss for that over-the-top comment.

This idea that it is unpatriotic for otherwise good Americans to have foreign bank accounts, own foreign investments and real estate and live in foreign lands has long been the unspoken policy of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other government agencies. I know this from personal experience.

Specifically, I recall a conference of several hundred lawyers and bankers in Miami. The assistant to the U.S. Attorney General took the stage and publicly stated that anytime an individual had offshore accounts, he or she was assumed—by the Department of Justice—to be engaged in something that was probably illegal.

So much for the rule of law and the presumption of innocence.

But, as they say about us humans, “Old habits die hard.”

Americans Neglect a World of Opportunity

Despite the occasional financial excursion abroad, human nature dictates that most folks prefer to make and save money at home. We tend to be comfortable with the familiar and seemingly less threatening domestic economy of our home nation, even if the government is as near to bankruptcy as America and the United Kingdom.

In 2009, only 74 million, or about 26 percent of Americans, even had passports (and another million Americans living near the Mexican and Canadian borders had "passport cards")—yet this was a historically high percentage.

To be sure, Americans are happy with their home. That happiness—or perhaps complacency—might be the biggest stumbling block when it comes to considering all the possibilities… even when it comes to a simple passport.

But the anti-offshore arguments of the America Left seem to fit into this “America First” theme, and both that and “Buy American” are wrong-headed ideas. I love my country too much to believe such nonsense.

As one who believes in the principle of free international trade and its decided benefits for all parties, the political resurgence of “Buy American” under Obama and the Democrats should concern Americans.

Harry Binswanger, PhD., of the Ayn Rand Institute writes, "According to a recent poll, 80% of Americans think it their patriotic duty to give preference to American-made products. But ‘Buy American’ is wholly un-American in both its economics and its philosophy.

"America’s distinction among all the nations of the world is that it enshrined political and economic freedom.

“Although we have departed greatly from our original laissez-faire principles, to the whole world America still symbolizes capitalism. Americanism means understanding that a free market, domestically and internationally, is the only path to general prosperity."

The Practical Reasons

But beyond the principles involved there are good, practical reasons why Americans who are aware should now “go offshore” financially, with simple financial survival being first among them.

At a time when the U.S. government is deeply in debt (nearly $13 trillion in U.S. dollars)… with Obama’s pending plans for more taxes on high income earners… capital gains and estate taxes looming… and with major and minor banks teetering on the brink, prudence dictates offshore planning and activity.

So-called “patriotism” does not require us to commit financial suicide when there are reasonable escape exits to better places.

When people open their eyes to the rest of the world they find greater asset protection, stronger financial privacy, higher returns in carefully selected markets, more diversification of investments and, among currencies, increased safety and security, both personal and financial and deferred taxes on annuities and life insurance.

In contrast to Bank of America, CitiBank and AIG, the offshore banks and insurance companies recommended by The Sovereign Society aren’t exposed to the risky investments of third-world debt and Wall Street’s esoteric derivatives.

These banks are located in politically neutral countries that don’t employ interventionist foreign policy, making them much less likely to be terror targets.

Unfortunately, relatively few Americans are taking advantage of the fruits of global diversification. I think you owe it to yourself and to your family to at least consider the advantages of global banking and financial services. At the very least, you should hold a portion of your assets offshore… just in case.

For the very good reasons I have enumerated—and for self-interest as well—none of us can afford to be xenophobic in this 21st century.

Sincerely,
Bob Bauman
P.S. You can learn all about the world’s foremost legitimate and legal offshore financial centers in my just published 4th edition of Where to Stash Your Cash Legally: Offshore Financial Centers of the World.

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to yousoundoff@personalliberty.com by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Is it “Un-American” to Go Offshore? The Thin Line Between Financial Patriotism and Financial Suicide”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.