|Prepare for Departure...|
|Why More and More Americans are Abandoning Their US Citizenship...|
|By Eric Fry;|
In November, millions of Americans will trudge to their local polling places to cast votes in the hope of improving their lives here in the USA. Between now and then, a few hundred Americans will vote with their feet in the hope of improving their lives outside the USA.
Last year, nearly 1,800 Americans surrendered their citizenship. In a nation of 300 million folks, 1,800 émigrés is hardly a rush for the exits. But the recent trend is, nevertheless, intriguing.
As recently as four years ago, only 200 people checked out of America for good. Back then, surrendering US citizenship would have seemed as unthinkable to most Americans as declining a free vacation to Hawaii to pay for a vacation in Newark. It would have seemed as crazy as:
Bottom line: Surrendering US citizen was absolutely unthinkable. But not anymore. Now it is "thinkable," albeit still relatively rare. The absolute numbers are still tiny, but the trend conveys a very large message: Discontent is on the rise.
Increasingly, the used LeSabres and Augusta Municipals are winning the contest. And probably not because they are so alluring, but rather because the "Aston Martin" is starting to sputter like a used moped and "Augusta National's" fairways are starting to sprout more weeds than its deep rough.
To be clear, your California editor remains an American citizen with a valid American passport...and no pending petitions in any American embassies to surrender his citizenship. His observations, therefore, are not personal...but they are heartfelt.
When Americans begin abandoning the "Land of the Free" to seek greater freedom elsewhere, it is time to sit up and pay attention; it is time ask yourself, "Why? Why are they leaving? What's wrong?"
Is it just a "tax thing" or are other forces in play? Is it because folks don't like:
Likewise, Americans who bail on their country may not think things are going to get any worse any time soon, but they clearly do not believe things are going to getbetter. So far, the pitter-patter of footsteps heading for the exits is barely a murmur...but the murmur is getting louder.
You don't have to surrender citizenship, of course, to enjoy the delights of a foreign land. Two years ago, your California editor toted his American passport all the way down to Uruguay and back...just to see what this South American country was all about. He did not learn very much during this visit...other than the fact that no country on earth serves a better steak. (Tie goes to Argentina). But Suzan Haskins, contributing editor to International Living, offers a few additional observations in today's guest column...