Today the Treasury Department published the names of individuals who renounced their U.S. citizenship or terminated their long-term U.S. residency (“expatriated”) during the fourth quarter of 2014. …. The [3,415] total for the year breaks last year’s record number of 2,999 published expatriates. The number of expatriates for 2014 is a 14% increase over 2013. __ http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/02/number-of-americans-.html
Over 3,000 Americans fled Obama’s US in 2014. Of course, that is a drop in the bucket compared with the number fleeing Russia:
According to Russia’s statistics office, more than 203,000 people left the country in the first 9 months of 2014, compared with 186,382 in the whole of 2013 and just 33,578 in 2010. __Leaving Russia — Brains and Capital
The people leaving Russia the fastest are Russia’s professionals, its entrepreneurs, and its creative classes. Opportunities inside Russia are shriveling to nothing.
Russia, China, the middle east, and nations across Asia, Africa, and South America are all experiencing capital flight and brain drain at a far more rapid rate than is the US.
But one does not always need to renounce citizenship in order to create a safe haven, or an “escape hatch.” Many are looking into the “immigrant investor” approach, where citizenship — and sometimes “dual citizenship” — is for sale to “high rollers”:
While some individuals can maintain their citizenship status with their home countries, others from nations that do not allow dual citizenship must turn in their passports in order to adopt a new country.
… In recent years, “there have been many countries offering investment immigration targeted at wealthy individuals,” according to a report by Arton Capital, which advises governments and individuals regarding such programs, and Wealth-X, a research firm. “As a pure investment, some of these programs are very attractive to ultra high net worth individuals.”
That’s because the programs are quite affordable for the world’s uber rich. Required investments range from $500,000 to several million dollars and are often “a very small fraction of someone’s net worth,” said Mykolas Rambus, CEO of Wealth-X. _ http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/01/luxury/wealthy-tax-residence/index.html?iid=EL
And then there is the popular method of acquiring US citizenship for one’s children by intentionally traveling to the US to give birth. This has long been popular with Latin American women, but now pregnant Chinese women are taking up the refrain:
Pregnant Chinese moms are flocking stateside to give birth, lured by rules that grant American citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil. A booming birth tourism industry has sprouted from coast to coast to cater to growing interest — in 2012, about 10,000 Chinese women gave birth in the U.S., more than double the 4,200 in 2008, according to Chinese state media.
Many of the families want an American kid because a foreign passport could be the family’s ticket out of China if they grow weary of pollution or food safety scares. President Xi Jinping’s widespread anti-corruption campaign has given rich Chinese yet another reason to be on edge.
China is experiencing rapidly increasing flight — both human and capital.
Obama can take credit for much of the increase in flight of Americans from the Obamanation. By the same token, Putin deserves most of the credit for the rapid increase in flow of capital and valuable humans from Russia.
“Business is a mess in Russia, businessmen are losing money and as a result lots of people are trying to get their money out and start somewhere else,” __ http://www.financialexpress.com/article/companies/russian-capital-flight-becoming-an-entrepreneur-brain-drain/42091/
A steady drain of wealth and human capital are streaming west from Russia and China. The significant recent drop in oil prices accounts for some of Russia’s lost wealth. The sustained global drop in demand for manufactured goods explains some of China’s disequilibrium.
Most of the world’s wealthy are choosing to live in Europe and the Anglosphere. This is reflected in the growth of spending on luxury goods in the west, compared to China and Russia.
In the United States, spending on personal luxury goods rose a steady 5 percent last year to about $73 billion, Bain estimates, compared with negative growth in previous juggernauts like China and Russia.
… The world’s brain drain — and America’s brain gain — is transferring more wealth and more luxury spending to America, experts said.
“The U.S. is helped by wealthy immigrant flows, giving additional impulse to the luxury market in New York, Miami, even university cities like Boston,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, an expert on luxury spending at Bain.
International tourism to the United States, which has grown steadily to an estimated 74 million visitors last year, has also bolstered luxury spending, experts say. __ NYTimes
Everything changes. The important thing is to attempt to see to the root of why and how things change, so that you can use the changes to the advantage of yourself and those you love and care for.
More: The Russian military is attempting to attract foreign soldiers to fight for the Russian cause. This is a fascinating development. Russia is running short of healthy young men of work, family, and conscription age. Sadly, many years will pass before Russia is considered a promising location to live and work by bright, honest, and ambitious persons.
As of 2015 Russia has made it easier for foreigners to join the Russian military. Now all you have to do is be able to speak passable Russian and have no criminal record and meet physical and educational standards. These recruits join for five years as “contract soldiers” in the military or para-military (Interior Ministry) forces. The navy and air force are particularly short of technically qualified personnel and don’t care if the new guys speak with an accent. Successful completion of the five year contract makes it easier for the foreign soldier to become a Russian citizen. Russia had earlier begun accepting foreigners but only those that could prove some connection to the old Soviet Union. By late 2014 only a few hundred foreigners were serving…
…The most successful recruiter of foreigners have been the United States, which recently had about 50,000 non-citizens in service (out of some 2.2 million active duty and reserve troops, about 2.2 percent of all troops). The navy, not the army, has the largest number (nearly half). That’s something of a navy tradition, as hiring foreigners to serve on U.S. warships is a custom that goes back over a century. Currently, the proportion of foreigners in the U.S. military is historically low. It’s been much higher in the past, often reaching 25 percent or more. This caused alarm, then as now, but there were never a lot of problems with uncertain loyalties.
Further factors militating against immigration into Russia by the bright, competent, ambitious, and honest:
http://www.focus-economics.com/regions/eastern-europe : “Panelists now expect the [Russian] economy to contract 4.1% in 2015. For 2016, economic growth is expected to reach a timid 0.6%”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-09/russia-s-inflation-crisis-and-five-other-countries-that-will-face-rapid-price-increases-this-year : “Thanks to an epic collapse in the ruble, price growth has hit crisis levels in Russia: Inflation reached 15 percent in January. Even worse, there’s little respite in sight… Food prices rose 21 percent in January from last year, with sugar jumping 68 percent. Grains and legumes saw a 45 percent spike, while fruit and vegetable prices climbed 41 percent… The surge in cost of living has come at an especially painful time for Russian consumers, who are already battling a double-whammy to the economy: tumbling oil prices and the sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict (these are the two factors that have been driving the currency’s collapse — which in turn has been spurring inflation — too). ”
Humans tend to be a migratory species, as conditions change around them. A natural restlessness in many people compels them to seek out new territories and new environments. Historically, some nations and empires have been large enough, with ample opportunity, to supply most people with sufficient variety so as not to be forced to change citizenship.
But they never last forever.