A news report says that many wealthy people are giving up their US citizenship in order to live in places that tax them less.
As many as 8,000 US citizens are projected by immigration officials to renounce in 2012, or about 154 a week, versus 3,805 in 2011, or about 73 per week.
“High-net-worth individuals are making decisions that having a US passport just isn’t worth the cost anymore,” said Jim Duggan, a lawyer at Duggan Bertsch, which specializes in protecting assets of the wealthy.
Duggan said scores of tax-haven nations and island regimes around the world eagerly welcome disenchanted rich Yanks with quick citizenship, business deals and protections from the US Justice Department and the IRS.
Among the popular spots: Australia, Norway, Singapore, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Guernsey and Antigua.
This is the logical consequence of what I wrote about last year (see here and here) about the emergence of a transglobal oligarchy that does not feel a sense of belonging to any one place. They are now a new form of international gated community, living together virtually surrounded by their wealth rather than walls, feeling more comfortable with other wealthy people all over the globe who share their goals of making and keeping more money than with those with whom they share history. For the oligarchy, the world is split along economic lines rather than national, ethnic, and religious ones.
In one sense this is a progressive thing, since the older divisions were often the cause of conflicts. The negative aspect is that the transglobal oligarchy is likely to collude in a squeezing of the middle and working classes all over the world, pitting those in one region against the other in their efforts to drive down wages. Class warfare is now occurring on a global scale.