We’re getting ever closer to 2013, and as you begin to consider your New Year’s resolutions, why not make personal freedom your primary variable? Resolve to live better, freer, happier. Resolve to get a second passport. Resolve to get out of the USSA where your money, and life, is yours. Resolve to leave the state behind. In the meantime, subscribe to one of the many TDV products to help facilitate the process.
Now, on to the feedback…
Can’t A Little Bit Of Environmental Law Be Helpful?
To slander all environmental laws with one broad brusthstroke is foolish. There are just and reasonable ones, as well as quite the opposite.
For example, if I’m your neighbor, do I have the right to gather a large pile of tires in my yard and set them on fire, covering your house in soot and pollute your air?
“Reflector”, you are dealing with anarchists here. We think that ALL laws are inherently derivatives of political violence and we therefore see nothing reedeemable in any of them. There are maybe one or two rules that we can like…but we don’t want the monopolized violence of the state enforcing them as laws. We think everyone has these rules — let’s not call them “laws” since they transcend those figments of political violence — figured out by the age of two: don’t initiate violence against people or their property or take their stuff without their consent. That’s it.
But what about all the other stuff? Like when what I do has an effect on you and your stuff? Well, do you really need someone with a monopoly on violence to make rules about that? Can’t individuals work things out or use private arbitration to determine fault and reparation? Turns out they can! Really, really big transnational shipping companies do it all the time. “Private law?”, you are undoubtedly gasping right now. “Why not?”, we reply. Instead of having money stolen from you in the form of taxes to pay for slow, inefficient courts and police whom the law let invade your property for your personal choices, you can have the market provide arbitration services and pay for them as you need.
Sure the guy you’re taking to court could ignore your requests to meet with an arbitrator. Or he could appeal and pay to initiate proceedings with another arbitrator. Or even just ignore the results if he kept losing the appeal. But then his reputation would take a hit and he’d find it hard to conduct other transactions. People would abide the rulings of private arbitration for the same reason they mostly pay back their creditors even without the threat of state-provided debtors prisons: they are rated on how fairly they deal with people and their history of fair dealing affects their ability to get what they want from others in the future.
Anarchists understand that the markets –people negotiating with each other to exchange value– already run fine without the state. All the state can do is add layer upon layer of violence-back complexity in an effort to fit every individual situation into a rigid system. And they do so at great expense. Those courts and police aren’t cheap! (California police officers make, on average, $92,976. One highway patrolman even made more than $400,000 last year!) Those courts and police are also protected from competition and can’t go out of business no matter how inefficient or unjust they are (consider all the innocent people DNA evidence keeps exonerating or the people locked up for using marijuana to get high instead of the infinitely more dangerous but legal alcohol). I also have to point out that the state isn’t exactly handling things justly in terms of pollution right now. The worst polluters are the state-granted protection rackets known as coroporations who buy favors and license to harm you and your property with pollution from the state itself.
There has been much anarchist and anarcho-capitalist examination on just how pollution would be handled in a truly free society. (Stefan Molyneux’s –the premier modern anarchist philosopher– stuff in book and Youtube video form is especially good and emminently digestible.) Insurance companies would end up meting out economic incentives to keep lots of things from harming people. And in a truly free market, the insurance companies that actually serve their customers would thrive and displace those companies that didn’t…unlike in our current statist mess in which insurance companies often don’t serve their customers because those companies can hide behind the regulatory skirts of the state to protect them from market forces that reward cheaper, better competition. So we toss environmental law on the same heap as all the other laws and set the whole thing on fire. If some of the soot from the fire lands on your house, I’m sure we could work it out.
GUNS, POT, AND HEALTHCARE FOR EXPATS
Two of my hobbies are gun collecting and growing/smoking cannabis. I am 67 years old and am married to a lady age 66. Also, I have a form of inflammatory arthritis that requires me to see a rheumatologist every two months, and at our ages my wife and I are likely to be needing good medical care. We are both retired engineers. I assume that our Medicare/Blue-Cross medical insurance would be useless outside the USA. I have approximately $800,000, of which about half is in a pre-tax IRA of some sort.
Are there any countries with a reasonable cost of living (Monaco is out!) that I could emigrate to and continue to pursue my “hobbies” of gun collecting and smoking cannabis where access to decent medical care is available and isn’t exorbitantly expensive?
In terms of smoking cannabis, hopefully you are aware that even despite the recent legalization by the States of Colorado and Washington, there are few governments on Earth that punish smoking or eating flowers with more gusto than the US Government. No-knock raids are just a part of life in the land of the free now and should they find you with flowers you will almost certainly be kidnapped or killed. So, in that respect, almost anywhere you think to go would be better. As example, in Mexico, all plant possession is legal. Or if for example, you were to live at Galt’s Gulch in Chile amongst other freedom minded people the chances of your neighbors calling in state thugs because they see you growing vast crops of marijuana on your property are slim and none. In fact, you’d likely find a lot of new friends looking to buy some off you. It should also be mentioned that Ecuador just completely legalized marijuana.
So, let’s move on to your other hobby: guns. This gets a bit more tricky as many countries have laws against owning firearms… or at least, without getting permission (a license) first from the state. In Mexico, you can legally own a firearm if you are a resident or citizen and get a license. But, again, the chance of cops coming around to your house and raiding it is about 0%. They just don’t do that. A lot of people own guns in Mexico and most are likely illegally owned. People just don’t care about the rules made up by the state here. Chile, in fact, has very lax gun laws and gun ownership is quite widespread.
If you were to move to Chile and become a resident, you could register two handguns per person in your household. After that, you have to get a sportsman’s license and you can register up to six more guns: rifles, shotguns or pistols. A sportsman’s license requires one to join and be an active member of a gun club, which typically costs US$400 to join and another USD$400 per year. We are seriously considering opening a gun club at Galt’s Gulch for this reason.
The estimaed total number of guns held by civilians in Chile is 1.5 to 2 million. The rate of private gun ownership in Chile is 10.72 per 100 people. In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178, Chile comes in at number 40. Not too bad at all.
You can even import your guns and ammunition to Chile if you have a few favorites you want to take with you. To go through the entire process from importing the gun, to registering the gun, to buying ammunition for the gun you will have to go through a process and paperwork, but it is easily possible.
And both Chile and Mexico both have a very affordable cost of living. So, between those two countries, they definitely tick most of the boxes.
Oh, and by the way, you need to cash out your IRAs soon… or at least put them into a self-directed IRA and get the assets outside of the country. You could even buy a lot at Galt’s Gulch inside of a self-directed IRA program. More on IRAs below.
WHOM WOULD YOU BRING BACK TO LIFE?
You have Jesus, Jefferson and Tolkien on your top 5 to bring-back-to-life list….who would be the other two?
I have to admit, you caught me. I really only have ever had those 3 on my list!
First, I want to make a comment, however. I wrote that I’d like to bring Jesus back to see what became of his legacy and also to see how the “Roman Catholic church” has twisted most of his words. I received a lot of hate-mail from Roman Catholics. So, I’d like to correct that statement. I’d like to bring Jesus back so he can see how every church and almost everyone has twisted his words to their own purpose. Sorry for just picking on one church!
As for the other two? Well, I’d probably just bring back Bill Hicks and George Carlin. Not because they’d be surprised at what is going on in today’s world… but because I miss their comedic commentary on this passing parade! Thankfully we still have Doug Stanhope… but judging by the way he lives, even that could be fleeting.
KEEPING THE GOVERNMENT FROM YOUR PENSION
As we have seen, the Argentine government confiscated Argentinians’ privately held pension funds.
We are now seeing stories in the real (read independent) news in the US that the US Imperial Federal Government is now scheming a way to take the IRAs and 401ks of its citizens as well. With your self directed 401/IRA, what strategies can be done to ensure that the US Imperial Federal Government can’t get at it?
I thank you for your help in this matter,
The writing is seriously on the wall. With the “fiscal cliff” an issue right now and what will almost assuredly be deteorating economic conditions in the US (leading to decreased revenue from increasing tax theft extortion) and a government intent on spending its way into prosperity (when was the last time that worked?) the US government is looking at that giant pot of un-extorted funds sitting there the way a wolf looks at an overfed, drowsy sheep.
I’ll give you one example from my own personal life of what I’ve done. I was born in the tax farm called Kanada and stupidly invested in the Kanadian version of IRAs (called RRSPs) when I was younger as that is what the government and all the government-licensed investment advisors told me to do. By 2005 I realized I had to get them out before the coming dollar collapse and The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI). But, 2005 and 2006 were very good years for me as I was heavily invested (and still am) in the junior gold and silver mining sector so I told myself that the next major correction in those stocks I’d take them out of the plan so I would have less tax to pay.
In 2008 many of these stocks were decimated in a brutal crash. That was not great for me, but it did provide perfect timing so I cashed everything out and took a tax hit. The great thing for me, however, was that two years later most of those stocks (which I continued to own) had rallied up near their prior peaks. So, I had nearly perfect timing.
Now in 2012 I don’t suggest anyway wait too long to do the same. This financial system is in its final death throes and many Western governments are seriously considering nationalizing your tax-sheltered retirement funds and forcing you into government bonds… paying about 0% currently. At a time when the monetary base (inflation) is increasing at over 13% per year. It doesn’t take very long in that type of environment to have the majority of your purchasing power stolen away.
The other thing about an IRA or RRSP is that you are mostly forced to keep the funds in your own country… which is a bad thing. So, by cashing them out and taking the tax hit you can at least diversify internationally… buy precious metals worldwide (see TDV’s Special Report, “Getting Your Gold Out Of Dodge” for more on that – it’s free to TDV subscribers, by the way).
If you just can’t stand to take the tax hit, then you still have another option. By converting your IRA into a “Self-Directed IRA” you are allowed to purchase almost any asset on the globe from within the IRA. You could buy race horses in Dubai… or gold in Switzerland… or even property in Chile at Galt’s Gulch.
Then, if/when the government comes for your IRA assets and tells you that you have to sell your other assets and buy government bonds with it, you can tell them that they can try to repatriate your land in Chile to the US, if they want. But it’s pretty hard to move a few acres of land.
So, if you want to stay in an IRA, convert it to self-directed AND, also, every year, figure out the best tax rate at which to withdraw funds from it and take funds out of the IRA every year until, eventually, you have no funds in the IRA and have managed your tax theft obligations optimally.