[Editors' Note: The following post is by TDV contributor Wendy McElroy]
This holiday season, give the gift of freedom. Include a passport among the gifts you give your children this Christmas. Not an American passport, but one from the several countries that make it easy to acquire residency status even if you do not live there. For example, Paraguay requires only a two day visit to apply for a passport, and the residency status so acquired is permanent even for those who never return. While taking a family vacation, you can protect your children from an unpredictable and alarming world.
Why do your children need dual status? Because they should not have to pay the price for a run-away government that is burdening their futures with debt and displaying an increasing contempt for their civil rights. If America is rocked by the imminent social and economic upheaval that so many forecast, then your children's freedom and safety may depend upon their ability to leave and be immediately welcomed elsewhere. Protect them from statism just as you vaccinate them against disease.
America's War on Children
One front of the war is economic. As of November 16 at 12:38:023 a.m. GMT, the United States debt was $16,248,670,479,820.44 or $51,767.45 per person, including for each child. The debt has increased by billions of dollars a day for the last several years. As your children grow, they become more indebted.
Only one of three outcomes is possible: the debt can be paid through massive inflation and taxation; the interest can continue to be paid through massive inflation and taxation; or, a repudiation can occur. Even if the payment of principal were possible, what's left of the US economy would be destroyed for many years to come. Politicians prefer to pay the interest by placing a ruinous lien upon your children's future earnings. The least palatable option to politicians is repudiation. Nevertheless, a de facto repudiation of debt may occur on a large scale simply because the money is running out. Indeed, repudiation happens in microcosm each time a city declares bankruptcy. But the process will be slow; government will grab every cent it can to keep its crumbling edifice erect.
Consider just one way the death throes of debt are harming your children. The IRS is implementing policies that would allow it to double-tax or confiscate American assets and investments anywhere in the world. Rather than meet expensive reporting requirements, many financial institutions now refuse to deal with Americans even in mundane matters like opening a savings account. A foreign passport, however, means that a college account, a trust fund, or other financial hedges can be opened in your children's names, now or in coming years.
Part of the war on children and parents involves violating civil liberties. The government's view of children's rights revolves around a paranoid crusade to protect them from abuse or neglect, which are broadly defined and are identified through symptoms that include difficulty in sleeping. A simple injury treated by a doctor can prompt an interview with Child Protective Services; such professionals are legally obliged to report the injury to authorities. Parents have become criminal suspects with the state assuming loco parentis and making decisions for the child even over the parents' protest.
The state is a wretched guardian – ask any child who has been institutionalized or gone through the foster system. Now the state is stripping rights away even from well-cared for children. For example, Texas has started to microchip grade-school children with RFIDs to track them from class to class, from the cafeteria to the bathroom. The reason? TV station KENS5 explained: “The district loses $175,000 a day in state funding because of tardy or absent kids…The district bean-counters expect to gain more than $250,000 in attendance revenue from the state, and $1.2 million from Medicaid, because the district will be tracking special-needs kids, too.” Apparently school officials view George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as an instruction manual, not a cautionary tale.
America has a particularly brutal record on children. The Equal Justice Initiative reported that “nearly 3000 nationwide have been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Children as young as 13 years old have been tried as adults and sentenced to die in prison, typically without any consideration of their age or circumstances of the offense.” This is consistent with America being the world's 'leader' in imprisonments with approximately 2.2 million people being currently incarcerated – an increase of over 500% in the past thirty years.
An alternate passport gives options to children and parents.
An American Passport…or not?
Whether to get an American passport as well is a judgment call. The process is intrusive, but there are considerable advantages. Indeed, an American passport is a legal requirement for re-entry into the States. But there is no necessary conflict in holding two passports.
In fact, conferring dual status upon your child while he or she is a child eliminates conflict. According to the State Department, applying for foreign “citizenship” may cause a person to lose American status if the application is voluntary and with the intention of relinquishing American citizenship. Such intention is not likely to be ascribed to a child. Of course, merely maintaining a residency status along with a passport is probably sufficient to offer financial and personal safety.
It may never be easier than right now to procure foreign passports for your family. Certainly, it has never been more necessary.
Wendy McElroy is a renowned individualist anarchist and individualist feminist. She was a co-founder along with Carl Watner and George H. Smith of The Voluntaryist in 1982, and is the author/editor of twelve books, the latest of which is "The Art of Being Free". Follow her work at http://www.wendymcelroy.com.
TDV is my favorite newsletter of course. By far. But there are other newsletters I love to read. I read this recently in one of my favorite other newsletters:
"…There's no shortage of snake oil salesmen ready to pounce on that fear and 'sell' you a passport… which will likely just become a high-priced souvenir.
"I'd encourage you first to step back and take a rational look at the options, and be mindful that there are likely better, more cost-effective solutions for you."
Good point! And I hope they're right about another passport becoming "a high-priced souvenir." Hell, I wish to God that passports weren't necessary at all. The damned things are essentially reminders that violent thieves with guns control our movements, after all.
Here's the thing. I like my life in America. I'm not talking about the police state ruled by warmongering thieves. I'm talking about the language, the accents, the food, the good ol' middle Ameican life of Main Streets and leafy suburbs. I'm talking about grocery shopping at giant, well stocked and amazingly pleasant supermarkets on the weekends, cruising for burgers on smooth roads (which would be cheaper if they were provided by the market instead of taxes) late at night. I'm talking about picking up supplies at Target, the modern general store. I'm talking about the apple pie I'm eating as I type this. I chose to live in Minnesota, for crying out loud. I eat up this Garrison Keillor stuff with an almost frightening zeal.
I am pissed beyond telling that I feel that I have to be willing to leave it all at the drop of a hat and then stay out for many years to come. I'm sick to death of feeling so torn, of feeling I have to be ready to abandon the physical trappings and the culture that I've come to love.
But I am scared to death of the yahoos running this place…and of how asleep Americans seem to be.
But I also already have a non-US passport. I find that fact helps me breathe a bit easier.
A lucky break for me. Though I've been in the US since I was two years old, I just never got around to getting my citizenship. Nearly 35 years later and I'm still a citizen of a small Caribbean backwater who lives as a green card-holder in the US. I wouldn't have it any other way. As sick and nervous as I am about the life in the US –with the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security and the increasingly militarized local police forces– I breathe a lot more easily because in the end, I have an out. Though being here has its (growing) risks, I have an out. I am not a citizen. It's not as easy as I wish, but when the time comes, I can hand over my green card (as another anarcho-capitalist immigrant Permanent Tourist friend and colleague has). By a quirk of birth, even though I'm a US resident, my geopolitical risk is already somewhat managed.
300 million others in the US can't say the same.
Getting another passport (along with citizenship) isn't quick. Nor is it "cheap". But odds are it will be awfully useful to have in the near future. Will it save your life? I honestly hope it doesn't come to that. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. At the very least it's a form of insurance and a useful tool for those who have the will and the means to get their wealth out of the reach of the vampiric US government.
But it's just one tool. One thing to do among many for you to protect yourself and your money from geopolitical danger. If you have significant assets, not only do you want to consider getting a second (or third, or fourth) passport…
If you are of more modest means…or if, like your pissed off editor, you just don't want to leave…then you will find useful (and very modestly priced) tips and articles about enjoying life in this economically collapsing police state in our newest letter: TDV Homegrown.
You read our daily missives because we understand how liberty, freedom and free exchange of private property lead to more wealth, higher standards of living, peace and happiness. Everything we do is to offer our readers ways to live amazingly happy lives despite the predations of the elected violent men in nice suits who would destroy it all.
Editor, The Dollar Vigilante