To Greener Pastures

Tina Turner just announced that she is awaiting approval for Swiss citizenship, and planning on relinquishing her U.S. citizenship. She’s lived in Switzerland for over 15 years [ref].

“I’m very happy in Switzerland and I feel at home here,” Turner said. “I cannot imagine a better place to live.” [ref]

Tina Turner is from Brownsville, Tennessee, and she still maintains contact with the town. Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne was surprised when she heard the news.

Mayor Matherne, however, made a very sage observation: “I think anytime a person, whether they’re world-renowned or the most meek and mild, makes the decision to change their citizenship we need to step back and think what causes that decision.” [ref]

I can’t help but wonder if Turner’s decision also has something to do with the fact that Switzerland has one of the lowest income tax rates in the world.

Switzerland’s maximum rate is just 13.20% on incomes over $179K [ref]. The United States’ top tax rate is currently 35%, on incomes over $373K. Incomes between $171K and $373K pay 33% [ref].

With the direction the United States is heading — Obama at the helm, the Democrats filling the sails with hot air, and Republicans in various states of paddling, being along for the ride or being dragged behind — 35% won’t be the peak rate for long.

I think if I was Tina Turner, Switzerland would be an attractive place to be.

Don’t tell me I’m not patriotic. I love the United States of America. I revere and respect the Constitution. I know that the USA has been the greatest beacon of freedom the world has ever known.

Unfortunately, the beacon is fading, and the ship is sinking.

Don’t tell me I have an obligation to stick around and pay taxes. Why? So government bureaucracies can continue to bloat and waste my money? So Obama and Congress can continue to spend my money on their pet projects? So the USA can keep supplying F-16 fighters and other armaments and financial “aid” to oil-wealthy anti-American inhumane dictatorships in the Middle East and elsewhere? So indolent welfare recipients can watch TV, guzzle soda and beer, and frequent strip clubs? [ref, ref, ref]

Why are you so angry? Are you afraid that my departure will deprive you of handouts? Or increase your tax burden? You should have weighed the consequences before you voted to go “forward” with Obama and friends.

The United States is moving forward all right, forward and downhill at an alarming rate towards greater socialism, and, perhaps years down the road, some form of communism. More and more of the wealthy, the talented, the innovators and producers will seek greener pastures, to escape a dying pasture of brown grass, weeds, briers and thorns.

You may have heard of Ayn Rand. I don’t subscribe to all of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. But I do know that Atlas Shrugged, written over 50 years ago,  is in many ways prophetic — in a practical, not a religious sense.

The premise of the novel is that American Society has become Socialist, run by “looters” who manipulate laws, “nationalize” productive industries and subjugate producers. As a result, many of the leading innovators and industrialists disappear and join a hidden community of refugees determined to build their own society based on individual responsibility, property rights and the rule of law.

John Galt, one of the novel’s main characters, the lead refugee from the fallen society, had much to say about America’s ascent to prosperity and (future) plummet into Socialism.

This greatest of countries was built on my morality — on the inviolate supremacy of man’s right to exist — but you dreaded to admit it and live up to it. You stared at an achievement unequaled in history, you looted its effects and blanked out its cause. In the presence of that monument to human morality, which is a factory, a highway or a bridge — you kept damning this country as immoral and its progress as ‘material greed,’ you kept offering apologies for this country’s greatness to the idol of primordial starvation, to decaying Europe’s idol of a leprous, mystic bum.

This country … was not built by men who sought self-immolation or by men who sought handouts…. In the brilliant rocket-explosion of its youth, this country displayed to an incredulous world what greatness was possible to man, what happiness was possible on earth…. You let them infect you with the worship of need — and this country became a giant in body with a mooching midget in place of its soul, while its living soul was driven underground to labor and feed you in silence, unnamed, unhonored, negated, its soul and hero: the industrialist…

“A country’s political system is based on its code of morality. We will rebuild America’s system on the moral premise which had been its foundation, but which you treated as a guilty underground, in your frantic evasion of the conflict between that premise and your mystic morality: the premise that man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others, that man’s life, his freedom, his happiness are his by inalienable right.

[Atlas Shrugged, pages 1060 to 1061]

The Founder’s vision of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is being subverted by false-utopian progressive notions of (un)fairness and political correctness. As individual rights, liberty, the rule of law and prosperity inevitably deteriorate, those with the means and the determination to continue to pursue their inalienable God-given rights will find refuge elsewhere.

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