Record Numbers Fleeing from US Citizenship

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. __

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. _

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,” __

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: : “Panelists now expect the [Russian] economy to contract 4.1% in 2015. For 2016, economic growth is expected to reach a timid 0.6%” : “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.

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8 Responses to Record Numbers Fleeing from US Citizenship

  1. A.B Prosper says:

    Ah globalism Its kind of humorous actually, everybody running around like chickens with heads cut off hoping to find a safe haven.

    US? Turning Totalitarian may have civil war

    Russia? A hot mess, may fall apart or turn totalitarian.

    China? Dead ecology messed up economy

    Europe? Overrun with Muslims, no jobs

    India ? Filthy and overcrowded

    and the res of the world is just unstable and or disease ridden.

    When the proverbial balloon goes up, really no where will be a safe haven for a few isolated locations and you’d better hope the neighbors like you

    As you say its never too late for a dangerous childhood.

    • alfin2101 says:

      You have the right idea about a dangerous childhood. But the concept needs to be broadened into a networked form, over time. Think it through.

      US civil war? Putin and earlier “KGB cohorts” have been trying to engineer open racial conflict in the US since the 1960s, but it is not clear that they will be successful in the near future.

      Corrupt ideological rogue states have used oil profits to finance violent revolutionary movements abroad for years (Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Arab Gulf states etc.). But now that oil prices are lower, they are having some difficulty getting the money to terror insurgency groups in sufficient quantities. Enjoy the respite while it lasts.

      It is not nearly so difficult for reasonably affluent persons to find locations with solid foundations as most doomers seem to think. At this stage, most doomers need to broaden their reading and dig much more deeply than the “for profit doomers” would have them dig.

      Professional doomer-for-hire writers such as Orlov, Kuntsler, Cobb, Grantham, Martensen, etc. have missed several important trends recently which should cause most bright and observant people to question their competence, to some degree. Yet they keep playing the same tune regardless of how real world circumstances shift beneath their feet.

  2. A.B Prosper says:

    I think I get where you are going with this. Around these parts we call it “Tribe Up” . The American solo/family survivor model is at best foolish. On a positive note , there is a lot of effort going into understanding that problem space and I suspect that more people are better prepared in that vein than expected. Tribes/Groups/Clans are much stronger than nuclear families.

    As I often explain to people, the nuclear family is smallest stable unit and the least powerful which is why the governments have been pushing it. It can sustain society but its easy to control. Extended families are tolerated to some degree but tribes and clans are not which is why bigger personal networks are important. People who don’t have your best outcomes in mind want you to have smaller families therefore you are better served with a bigger one.

    As for US civil issues, the Russians would happily take advantage of them if they could as would the Chinese or several other groups. However you are thinking the old Cold War model. They won’t be doing that in the US as they have no need to. What would they offer other than I suppose explosives or support weapons . We probably have more Kalashnikov rifles and Makarov pistols than they do and more people with urban warfare experience.

    Not only is it expensive for them as you mentioned but unnecessary. The real threat to them European based Americans have a society that is becoming as sick as theirs with a lower fertility rate and in not that many decades we will resemble Brazil and may not even have working nukes or much of a military.

    The problems the US faces are entirely internal not caused by the Russians and mainly to do with toxic mix of declining incomes , leftist overreach and demographic strife. We already have Hispanic on Black ethnic cleansing here in California, mostly unreported and in slo-mo and imploding trust levels and dying infrastructure That is certain to increase and they don’t need to do anything at all.

    I suppose you could sort of blame the old USSR for some of this, they promulgated cultural Marxism much as we did capitalism and socially it looks like they won that round. Modern Russia, though has little to nothing to do with any issues we face.

    Right now I don’t expect a war for a few decades and we may dodge one , thus my use of the world “possible” what we have is the exploratory, preparation phase . Build networks and communication, create ideology and battle space, decide on strategy.

    My guess is that if big if anything happens it will be a fairly nasty one, “to the Hilt and the Knife as they say you can Google “Bracken’s C.W Cube.” for one view it matters to you.

    That said divestment of power to the States or simply collapse are also possible.

    Interestingly in any of those scenarios, if Russia has even a modest recovery, they win. well subject to whatever China does anyway.

    • alfin2101 says:

      No, you don’t quite see — yet. But I suspect you will eventually if you persist.

      Russian funding of US political groups did not stop 25 years ago.

      In the shadow world of cyberwar and espionage, Russia holds its own with the best of them, just like in the cold war. The pressure exerted and cash dispensed falls across a broad spectrum of influence — political, economic, industrial. You are still not thinking deeply enough or far enough back.

      For inflaming ethnic hatred a more subtle approach than you suggest is called for and utilised. Very little financing and very few actual arms are needed, although items such as RPGs and light artillery are not as easily come by on the US market without an arms dealer with a good supplier.

      No, the greatest need is for propaganda, carefully targeted within the communities themselves. That is a very subtle area of influence, which Russians have been working for over 60 years. They never stopped working it.

      The professional doomers which are followed closely by the amateur doomers lack depth, to the extent that they are even honest. Broaden your horizons.

      • A.B Prosper says:

        Oh sure, I don’t even react to this as hostile as is expected, normal conduct between both our nations

        On our end our hands are all over the Ukraine and Right Sector and likely all over a lot or other places. Pussy Riot and FEMEN are right out of the CIA playbook, stirring up social strife and promulgating our ideology . We’ve been doing this since the CIA used modern art against Soviet Realism maybe before.

        Another example of our dirty tricks aimed more indirectly is that at least one of Julian Assange’s accusers is a CIA operative.

        What was it Clausewitz said ” war is politics by other means.” mayhaps the opposite is also true. So its no surprise that they are doing these things. So are we.

        As for anti-fracking pay offs, Its also no different than what we do every day . Every company and nation with an interest in oil wants to damage fracking. Many people who just fear the effects on the water supply want protections. Its a natural overlap of interests, dirty tricks and politics.

        Yakov Smirnoff might joke “In Soviet Russia, Corporations , State owned. In America, States, Corporation Owned.”

        We have a lot more freedom to speak and more prosperity but its the same thing really and , two oligarchies both basically run the same way for the same ends naturally at odds.

        Russia has R/T we have ABC and so on. And as I said yes we do have free speech more than in Russia, its doesn’t actually do us any good though and our mass media propaganda is on nearly par with Pravda. Its all narrative, all the way down.

        Both nations are sickly and one hopes that neither party reaches the point where it goes to hot war and nukes are used, Beyond that, I honestly don’t think I’d worry much. Russia will toss gas on our internal fires but they weren’t caused by them and our own natural stupidity will get us one way or another. So will there’s

        What will happen in Russia? Honestly I don’t know but as I don’t live there or in Europe its only an academic concern to me and my guess is life will get worse for Russians faster than Americans but at the end of the day both will be be a shell of themselves.

        Its sad really, he we both made better choices, we could have been friends

        • alfin2101 says:

          Ah, but A. B., we are good friends with those who slip the noose of the mafia / KGB state. Some become such good friends that they get married and have children together. It can be a very nice thing for many, this Russian – Western rapprochement.

          As you say, everyone has problems. Jack has terminal cancer and is soon to die. Jill has sensitive skin and must use a lotion once a week. Everyone has problems.

          The places you get your news may generate these false equivalencies or not. But I continue to suggest that you need to branch out a bit.

          [Note: This comment has been edited for purposes of clarification.]

          • A.B Prosper says:

            And as for marriage, lucky you. I have an eye on a lovely Ukrainian women I know . Don’t have the resources right now though and in my experience women from that region are fairly transactional. Worth it though from what I can tell.

            I read a lot about my country from a lot of sources and live here in of the bigger more multi-cultural and screwed up states and as such, no offense here I suspect you grossly overestimate the US’s future chances.

            To use your metaphor its not so much that Russia has cancer and we have skin disease, more that Russia has cancer and we have early onset cirrhosis from alcoholism are in denial. Our problems are treatable if we stop drinking, eat right, behave right and have a course of antibiotics to cure the opportunistic multiculturalism and leftism infections .
            As said we have a better road up and out than they do. I just hope that neither road is paved in blood and tears and that one of us can make it.

            Anyway thanks as always for the enjoyable disussion

          • alfin2101 says:

            Well, I’m too much of a polygamist to marry just one woman. Fortunately, some Russian women are quite understanding in that regard — unlike spoiled, demanding, and manipulative western women. 😉

            When they say that women are from Venus and men are from Mars, they are quite wrong. The two species are actually from two distinctly different galaxies!

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