Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Brain Drain Tax

Back in the 1960's, I recall #1 all time Hall O' Fame Science Fiction Writer Robert A Heinlein saying that as the United States drifts toward socialism, and as USSR is gradually forced to accept degrees of capitalism, USSR would surpass the US in the degree of freedom by, I think it was, approximately 1980. While part of sci-fi writers jobs is to suggest possible futures, this area is fraught with danger. While Heinlein came very close to being right, after President Reagan drove them broke trying to keep up with us in the arms race Russian President Vladimir Putin (Modern Russia's near-equivalent to Germany's Adolf Hitler), is now saying "we'll have no more of this freedom crap" or words of similar meaning.

Putin appears to be restarting the Cold War. That's a big danger now, because recent weak-kneed US Administrations have no will, nor do they really have enough extorted cash, to engage in such a battle. President-elect Obama gives indications that he'd rather switch than fight. Or, the masochist's version: he'd rather be switched than fight.

Meanwhile, the wheels of the bus go round and round, and the bus has long since turned left. We can thank every Administration since Reagan's for that. By the end of Obama's term, the argument may not be about who will win, but how the spoils will be divided, and whether it'll be Putin or Obama who'll be selected World Dictator for Life. These, of course, are merely pessimistic musings on my part. I hope I'm wrong.

The world's productive individuals, those of them who are not scrambling over each other's backs for government bailout cash, are wondering where they stand.

There's been a lot of banter on the net and probably in other venues about "going John Galt." Since entrepreneurs who earn $250k and over have been declared the enemy by Obama, it's no surprise that small business owners in that category, or are working toward that category, are concerned.

Some, according to this entry on the Instapundit blogsite, are planning to "relax." That is, simply lay off employees and work only hard enough to stay below that threshold.

Others speak of liquidating their assets and leaving the country. There are many parts of the world, while perhaps even more socialistic than the US, offer pleasant country areas in which an individual or family can live in peace, tinkering, painting or writing with out much interference from that government.

Well, it's going to be tougher to outsmart the Reich than it used to be. According to a New York Post story, Americans who want to leave America and to retire to Italy (for example) will have to pay a hefty tax.

Thanks can be given to a bill that passed Congress recently and was quietly signed by President Bush two weeks ago.

Called the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Act of 2008 (the HEART bill, for short), the main part of the new law deservedly gives benefits to soldiers. But the last part of the bill, under "revenue provisions," sticks it to anyone who no longer wants to live the American dream.

Now, one has to be very crafty about getting his assets liquidated and removed from the country. Even British rock stars and Canadian actors will have to pay the tax to return to their own countries.

This, of course, is patterned directly after the taxes that needed to be paid by citizens of the USSR who wanted to expatriate during the Cold War. Which brings me back to Heinlein's prediction. Pay attention to science fiction writers. Sometimes they're right.

Tip of the old gray fedora to Noodle Food and Instapundit for

People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


Oswald Bastable said...

Speaking of the Master- remember Nehemiah Scudder- elected 2012.

No prizes for guessing who could fit the bill...

MK said...

All socialist governments are afraid of allowing their subjects to travel freely and take the money they worked for elsewhere.

It's unlikely though, that Russia will offer more freedom to its citizens than the US, even under Obama. Unless you're one of Putin's chums that is.

Col. Hogan said...


The question isn't how much freedom Putin will allow, but rather how much Obama will destroy.

Col. Hogan said...


I'm trying to remember which book that's from, since my Heinlein books are stored away. I'm guessing Farnham's Freehold, but I'm not sure......

Oswald Bastable said...

"If this goes on-" was the book, but the name pops up in quite a few others.

Joe Blow said...

All Heinlein books are great but mainly the ones up to the early 60's. I have re-read Starship Troopers about 14 times and now know from another blog that it has Objectivism slant.

T. F. Stern said...

Mk said, "All socialist governments are afraid of allowing their subjects to travel freely and take the money they worked for elsewhere."

Add to that the fear of their citizenry holding firearms as those who might be able to defend themselves from their own government. For years we hear the NRA going on about "hunters and sportsman" when instead the real reason for firearms is to protect individuals from the bad guys; burglary and robbery suspects come in the back door while the government breaks down the front door.

Col. Hogan said...


Ok, Now I'll have to go through my boxes of boox and dig out the old Heinleins. I think I have all of them.

Col. Hogan said...


I reread Starship Troopers after I saw the movie, a few years ago. I have a serious bone to pick with the producers of that stupid movie.

I know what they were doing though: warning us about the developing American war machine. After some of these recent "wars of choice," they kind of have a point.

Col. Hogan said...


I resigned from NRA after the (I think it was) 1966 gun law, which NRA signed onto. They've compromised bits of the Second Amendment on a number of occasions since, and I haven't gone back. I prefer Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO), who recognize that gun ownership is mostly a self defense issue, and who do not compromise gun owners' rights away (that I've heard of).

I like hunting, and if I wasn't so much an urban critter, I'd do it, but the same gun that one might use to fill the freezer, is always there as an equalizer in an attack on your person or your family.

Joe Blow said...

Yeah I am starting to see that the NRA is a big machine to get your donations and is mainly about hunting and collecting guns. I dont hunt but needed the NRA membership to join a range.
Mike in Florida

Col. Hogan said...


One thing about NRA, their magazines were top notch. I haven't seen one in a while, but I always enjoyed them. Might be reason enough to join....