It’s been almost 50 years since President JFK told an enthusiastic German audience that the US had “..never had to put up a wall to keep our people in.”

There are walls and there are walls.  The sentiment, at any rate, indeed seems like a very distant memory now.

The impulse to punish people for leaving the country strikes me as a primitive one, even if it’s directed only at a wealthy few.  Because it doesn’t remain so limited.  These things take on a life of their own.



Filed under financial crisis

2 responses to “Vindictive

  1. Min

    I agree that the idea of preventing someone like Saverin from returning to the U. S. is not good as punishment. However, in a global economy taxation needs a long reach. Capital gains on unsold assets are unrealized income. Selling the assets currently triggers the capital gains tax on them. IIUC, renouncing citizenship would also trigger a tax on them. It certainly makes sense to tax unrealized income accrued as a citizen. There is a big difference between leaving the country and renouncing citizenship.


    • I understand your point, not that I agree with everything. But I do agree that leaving the country is not the same as renouncing citizenship.

      I have a couple of quibbles. First, it’s always been a “global economy”. Second, if taxation needs such a long reach why don’t other countries do the same as the US?

      This isn’t really about taxation. This is about a country that is using coercive measures to keep its people bound to it. That is always a very bad sign.


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