Monday, April 1, 2013

Don't Bug Out, Bug In

Guess you can't trust them foreigners after all:
The Cayman Islands are poised to break with decades of secrecy by opening thousands of companies and hedge funds domiciled on the offshore Caribbean territory to greater scrutiny. The British overseas territory, which wants to shed its reputation for clandestine financial activity, is introducing sweeping reforms that will make public the names of thousands of previously hidden companies and their directors. 
So will Switzerland, Uruguay, Lichtenstein, and any other "haven" that has what big nations want. Which is always what cracks me up whenever I read the writings of groups like the Sovereign Society or guys like Doug Casey, American ex-pats who are sure that if the USA should become a totalitarian hell-hole, they will be able to live as they do today* among the good people of exotic lands, and that you should plan to join them, after paying your annual subscription, of course.  I suspect it's not going to work that way at all.

Just as the Caymans will give up just about the only thing it has going for it economically** other than the ability to sell overpriced, imported lobsters to fat, sunburned Americans and skinny, sunburned everyone else getting off boats only to eat, gawk and get back on, so will every other nation change how it does business when such is 'recommended' by Uncle Sam and his first-world fellow travelers.  Do those well-to-do Americans, the envy of their new neighbors for many reasons, really think that, should the American government put a bounty on them for tax evasion, real or imagined, the governments of these tiny nations won't turn them over, in chains, at the embassy gates?  As Shakespeare never said, "Thou foolest none but thineself, Bro."

It reminds me of the fellow, whose writing long ago I lost, who boasted in all earnest that should TSHTF in the US of A, he was going to cruise the California coast in a small boat, his hull filled with canned goods, enjoying sunrises enhanced by the residue of distant burning.  Try it off the coast of Somalia*** for a year and let me know how that goes. Pirates are likely faster and better armed than you.

No, should the last best hope on earth become a totalitarian hellhole, I suspect the best place to bug to will be the middle of the US of A.  With 2/3 of Americans living in cities, most of those living within 100 miles of the coast, the government will need less manpower to control 19 million people in the 6720 square miles of the NYC metro area than it will to control 2.5 million Kansans covering 86,000 square miles, and will therefore focus its nefarious efforts back east. Population density**** is a wonderful thing.

Should EMP or whatever the Preppers' fear du jure actually materialize, an American will be far safer surrounded by other Americans, especially armed ones he knows well, than he would be far from America, surrounded by people who don't like Americans and who will have lost perhaps their last reason to fear them.

* Wisely, agreeably, and well, as Dr. Keynes once suggested.

**No direct taxation and financial secrecy have resulted in the registration of 1.7694063 companies for each resident of the island. Change those two things, and there becomes exactly zero reason to do business there except to write off timeshares.
*** It would have to be sunsets there, I suppose.
**** Or its lack.