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Want To Renounce Your American Citizenship? That'll Be $2,350.00 Please.
If ever you needed proof that the USA is a protection racket…
Protection rackets were an interesting business model.
A local mafia thug (we’ll call him Vinny) walks into a barbershop or druggist and says, “Listen, Luigi, I love your business. Would be a real shame if something ever happened to it. Tell you what. You pay me 10% of your profits every Friday, and me and the boys will make sure nobody ever touches you.”
If Luigi is smart, he pays the money. If he is brave or stupid, he might say, “You know Vinny, we’ve been open for twenty years and we’ve never been robbed, so thanks but no thanks.”
No longer the smiling protector, Vinny’s face darkens with anger. “Luigi, paisano! I am sorry if I didn’t make myself clear. If you don’t pay me fifteen percent of your profits every Friday, I can’t say that some of my boys might not get out of control and, you know… well… you know. I hate to think what might happen. These guys, they’re animals! You’ve got a good business here.”
Maybe Luigi kisses the ring and starts faithfully paying the vig every Friday. Or maybe he’s brave or stupid and refuses. If so, Vinny sends his heavies to beat him up. When that doesn’t work, they chop off Luigi’s pinky with his own barbershop scissors before dunking his bleeding hand in aftershave. One of the younger thugs runs off with his eldest daughter. They break into his safe and steal his life savings. Eventually, they burn his business to the ground.
If this story sounds familiar, it’s because it is.
This is America’s story.
Born to be exploited
No one in history chose to be born in America.
Babies don’t get to pick their nation of origin.
It is completely outside of their control.
Every natural-born American’s mother — be they a Mexican border-crosser looking for a better life or a card-carrying member of the Daughters of the American Revolution trying to protect their elevated place in society — gave birth to them on American soil.
From the moment you are born on American soil, a protection racket called the American RepublicTM has the legal right to tax your global income, with or without your consent. If you resist, there will be Vinny-style punishments including privation, poverty, and imprisonment. You will not have a say in how much the mafia will take. You will not have a say in how that money is spent.
And if you try to escape the protection racket by renouncing your American citizenship and moving to whatever foreign nation treats you best, your domestic mafia exacts one final toll:
You have to pay a renunciation fee of $2,350.
It’s the highest exit fee in the world — some twenty times than the average.
That’s right: You have to pay to leave a protection racket you never signed up for in the first place.
It gets worse
Not only do you have to pay a $2,350 renunciation fee to leave a nation that taxes you heavily, spies on you constantly, enacts laws against your best interest, loads you with six-figure debt just to get educated, bankrupts you the second you can’t afford your private medical debt, and extracts your life’s wealth and time via inflation, extractive corporate profits, unproductive interest, and endless rent-seeking corporations, but the American mafia makes the renunciation process as difficult as possible:
You have to fill out an inordinate amount of paperwork.
You have to submit a huge number of documents.
You have to swear an oath.
You have to appear in person before an enforcer of the mafia bureaucracy.
That is, of course, if one of the mafia’s enforcers can bother to make time for you. There are currently more than five million Americans living abroad, and over 30,000 are waiting to renounce their citizenship. But they can’t. Because Vinny is too busy eating a pastrami sandwich at the taxpayer’s expense.
It’s not in the American mafia’s interests to speed up the process, either. The longer they have Luigi in their protection racket, the more they can squeeze out of him.
But let’s say you miraculously manage to meet with Vinny, pay him the lecherous renunciation fee, swear the papers, and sign the oath.
You’re free to go, right?
The Goodbye Tax
In addition to your renunciation fee, Vinny wants one final chance to tax you.
It’s called an Exit Tax, and capital gains taxes amounting to a whopping 23.8% of everything you own globally if it’s over $2 million (which, within a few more years of this crazy new real estate world, will essentially mean everyone who owns a house.)
That’s one-quarter of all you’ve managed to retain despite the endless exploitation you’ve already endured.
Okay, so you pay the exit tax.
Now you’re no longer an American.
But don’t think for a second that you’re truly free of America.
Just because you’re no longer a citizen doesn’t mean you still don’t “owe” Vinny.
The State Department explains:
“Persons who wish to renounce U.S. citizenship should be aware of the fact that renunciation of U.S. citizenship may have no effect on their U.S. tax or military service obligations.”
What this means is that if the American war machine decides tomorrow to invade another Middle Eastern nation and chooses to conscript, no longer being American doesn’t mean you might not still have to be riddled by bullets for a cause you care nothing about.
The mafia state continues:
“In addition, the act of renouncing U.S. citizenship does not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed or may commit in the future which violate United States law, or escape the repayment of financial obligations…”
This might not seem like a big deal, but as corporations begin to overtly exert power over the courts (as in Chevron’s illegal imprisonment, heavy fining, and disbarment of Steven Donzinger), this law will become a way to trap ex-American citizens forever.
Imagine, for instance, if a corporate-corrupted judge says you owe a corporation several million dollars for, say, publicly (but truthfully) disparaging their brand. You decide it makes more sense to move to France. This law allows them to pursue legal action and steal your money no matter where you move. Even if you do so after ditching America.
And if you’re simply leaving because your tax burden is too heavy, they can continue to tax you for ten years.
(Meanwhile, anti-human corporations like Burger King can flip their “nationality” with the stroke of a pen and save billions in tax.)
The Social Contract
“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
In 1762, Jean-Jacques Rousseau published a little book entitled The Social Contract, about how to organize a nation in the face of anti-commons enemies such as monarchs and corporations. He asserted that the people alone were sovereign, and the idea was so revolutionary that it led to, well, a revolution.
A social contract is a deal that society makes with itself. Rousseau envisioned a nation where everyone was free because they all sacrificed the same number of rights and took up the same number of responsibilities.
In other words, it is self-rule by mutual consent.
But that, of course, is not at all how America operates. The Founding Fathers were terrified of democracy, so they set up a Republic where rich men and their corporations could grow even richer. Sure, the public could have elections, but they would never interfere with the wishes of the capital class.
And so it has remained.
Instead, a tiny subset of the richest people in the nation determines all laws and policy decisions. Elites build monopolies to gain an advantage over their competition. In bad times they use taxpayer money to bail themselves out. When times are good, they buy up more assets with the money they printed and further squeeze the working class.
There is nothing mutual or consensual about the political system in which Americans find themselves.
The Boomer social contract
The average American was never so economically free as directly after World War II.
An entire army of battle-hardened warriors came home from Europe, and the American government was rightly terrified to upset them. These were the same men and women, after all, who crushed Hitler and Mussolini and Hirohito.
So the government made them and their Boomer kids a deal.
They gave them nearly-free education.
And good-paying jobs with good benefits — so good that just one full-time worker could support a whole family.
And affordable houses, for just 2–3Xs their annual single-earner salary.
And buy-it-for-life quality goods.
As they aged, they gave them free healthcare.
And they rigged the real estate market so demand drastically exceeded supply so they could sell their overpriced houses for lottery-level figures.
And who gets to foot the bill for all this largesse?
You do, of course.
The Corporate Social Contract
The Boomer Social Contract is now officially over.
You and I live under a new social contract, wholly determined by the billionaire elites who wield multinational corporations as weapons against democracy.
Free education? Try six-figure student debt.
Good paying jobs? Try competing against robots for gig work.
Affordable houses? Try three decades of bank-servitude for homeowners and a lifetime of rent-serfdom for the working masses.
Buy-it-for-life quality goods? Try subscription serfdom where you own nothing and perpetually pay to enjoy inferior quality wares.
Free healthcare? Try medical bankruptcy with hundreds of thousands of other American families each year.
Extracting wealth from future generations? Sure, if you can ride a meme stock or meme coin and get out before the Ponzi collapses.
Selling your house for millions someday? Sure, but only to a corporation that will then rent-slave your kids — and that’s if you can afford to hold on against ever-rising land taxes.
And who will profit from all this exploitation of the contributor class?
The corporate extractor class.
We need a new social contract
Rousseau envisioned not corporate rule by coerced “consent,” but self-rule by mutual consent.
What would such a social contract look like today?
You will have an equal say in how your nation is run.
This is the absolute first step toward freedom: Direct or direct-proportional democracy. No more fake “democracy.” One voice, one vote.
You will receive 100% of the wealth you create.
No more economic exploitation of the working class. Corporate profit — the ultimate inefficiency — is henceforth banned. All the wealth to all the workers.
No one will be able to extract from you, nor will you be able to extract from anyone else.
Interest and rent-seeking “work” will no longer exist. Everyone will be a productive contributor, and no one will be a passive extractor.
Your money will retain its value.
Because interest and rent-seeking have been banned, and money is now democratically created instead of printed by private interests, inflation will disappear and your savings will always be sound.
Homeownership will be easily within reach.
How affordable would houses be if for-profit land-lording was illegal, interest was banned, and you got to keep 100% of the wealth you create instead of it going to corporate shareholders? We’d be back to 2–3X single-earner multiples in no time.
These are just five of the benefits we would see under a government of the people, by the people, for the people. And no, corporations are not people. There would be hundreds more. (You will finally have a say in how your nation spends your tax dollars, for one.)
The question is: How the heck do we get there?
How to get a new social contract
There are only two ways to achieve true self-rule by mutual consent:
Revolution is undesirable (all war is murder) and likely impossible. The elites can easily fund a free war against the commons with taxpayer dollars, enlisting the military and militarized police to quell any uprising by the masses. So long as the soldiers and cops are paid, the people do not stand a chance. The only way a bloodless revolution is possible would be if the entire military revolted against the government, imposed benevolent martial law, and oversaw a peaceful transfer of power from the corporate elites to the people.
Revival is far more preferable but even harder to achieve. It requires a revolution of the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of Americans. They must understand the coercive social contract under which they live. They must see the nation’s current trajectory will lead to the total destruction of the American state. They must all seize upon a common vision of the future. They must surrender the right to make a killing so that everyone can make a living. They must realize that the economy that doesn’t work for everyone is a war, not a game. They must all be ready and willing to lay down an equal number of rights and pick up an equal number of responsibilities.
And this, we all know, Americans do not do. They have long since abandoned the ancient definition of freedom — the ability to do what is right regardless of circumstance — and have instead conflated freedom with autonomy, the desire to do whatever they want regardless of others.
And so it seems the Second American Revolution may never actually happen.
But without revolution or revival, the people are left with only two choices:
They can continue to live and work and suffer and die under tyranny.
They can renounce their citizenship and move to wherever they are treated best.
But first, they will have to pay Vinny his $2,350.