Paul's Here

Index of Economic Freedom

21 posts in this topic

Good to see Australia up to 3rd!

Still a long way to go for all and sundry though. :)

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Good to see Australia up to 3rd!

Still a long way to go for all and sundry though. :)

I'm not sure why Hong Kong is listed since it's not a country.

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From the Hong Kong sub-page:

Hong Kong is part of the People's Republic of China, although it remains a separate economic system.

I imagine it's because of that. I do not know enough about the regulations or intricacies involving its autonomy from the central Chinese government to comment further however.

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I looked at their criteria for ranking and I didn't see anything about intellectual freedoms like freedom of the press (something increasingly violated as the Red Chinese have taken over Hong Kong). Sometimes libertarian/conservative types don't really understand that "A free mind and a free market are corollaries."

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I'm not sure why Hong Kong is listed since it's not a country.

I would call it a country. It's economic system is completely different from the PROC, and it even has its own currency. The political system is also independent, except for guaranteed military protection from China.

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The political system is also independent, except for guaranteed military protection from China.

When the enslaver guarantees military protection, my question would be protection from whom, another enslaver?

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When the enslaver guarantees military protection, my question would be protection from whom, another enslaver?

Much in the way prison guards protect inmates from freedom.

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I would call it a country. It's economic system is completely different from the PROC, and it even has its own currency. The political system is also independent, except for guaranteed military protection from China.

The political system of Hong Kong is not independent. The HK great leader is 'elected' by less than 900 people who are allowed to vote. The voters are certain wealthy people and representatives of special interest groups. The wealthy have large investments in China that are at risk. The results are preordained by Beijing, and everyone in Hong Kong knows who will win before there is any farce about a vote or election.

Beijing is doing an experiment, How much socialism does it take to kill an economy, and how much can be looted before the economy collapses. The imposed Mandatory Provident Fund (similar to communist comfort in the US -- often called socialist security) took 45 percent of discretionary income from the people. The required paperwork, and the loss of income, caused the collapse of the Hong Kong economy for almost 8 years. This, in a city/state previously known for the worst depressions to last only 6 months.

Pro-Beijing people bought the newspapers, so there is no published opposition.

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My list of nations with the highest economic (and I even think maybe even political) freedom.

1. Vanuatu

2. Bermuda

3. The Cayman Islands

4. Monaco

5. Andorra

6. The Republic of Chile [the only nowist mixed economy actually heading towards Capitalism]

7. Japan [advanced mixed economy with evolved financial markets where although freedom was being and still is being attacked, Japan is the only nation on earth where the market outpaced increasing welfare statism, I offer an analogy of slaves walking with rocks tied to them, and eventually running and breaking them off. Japan is the only mixed economy where in the economic sense, even though it's an extensive mixed economy, the market outpaced the increasing controls so fast that the government took on the defensive, thanks to conservative 'so be it' politics and relatively static leadership since the end of the occupation in 1952, the Japanese government to this day although pragmatically, is privatizing almost everything in so many ways all the way down to the national post office, which is being done in four months]

The first five are tax havens, Vanuatu is the strongest tax haven with not only banking laws like Switzerland (although Switzerland is losing some privacy now), Bermuda and Cayman but Vanuatu is the only nation to make it illegal for their own law enforcement, banks, individuals, accountants, lawyers and the like to give account information to foreign law enforcement.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andorra

Of interest I think is this page. [i love the beauty of places like Monaco and the fact Western European tax havens are a border away from interesting civilizations, rather than an ocean away]

"The Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra, French: Principauté d'Andorre, Spanish: Principado de Andorra) is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by France and Spain. Once isolated, it is currently a prosperous country mainly because of tourism and its status as a tax haven. It has the highest life expectancy in the world, at 83.51 years.[1]"

"The banking sector, with its tax haven status, also contributes substantially to the economy. Agricultural production is limited—only 2% of the land is arable—and most food has to be imported. The principal livestock activity is domestic sheep raising. Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture."

When I typed Andorra I remembered I didn't know too much about this country, but do remember people that the best way to take advantage of tax havens is that most of them are ex-British. Find an English girl and marry her, your status as English, with a passport, means you can earn income overseas without having to pay taxes -- I think this may apply to the whole UK -- in this case Ireland has lower taxes.

[Andorra is one of those free nations actually close to civilization, and what a better place, bordering Spain and France, what an interesting life it would be to be quasi-free, but freer than most people, and learning interesting things like Spanish and French, and being able to travel these countries and watch their TV stations your whole life and immerse yourself.

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Find an English girl and marry her, your status as English, with a passport, means you can earn income overseas without having to pay taxes

The last time I read about it (some years ago), that is *not* true. From my recollection, unless it's changed, the U.S. demands income taxes even from ex-citizens for 10 years. (The motivation? To discourage and penalize those of huge wealth who left the U.S. for less socialist economies.)

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That is silly! I never knew that! I hope we don't have that in Australia.

Neither Canada or Australia go that far down the path of confiscation. The American IRS is a fearsome institution, one that even Al Capone could not escape. :)

In Australia, those over 60, who have retirement funds (superannuation), pay no taxes on income received from them. Despite the lack of the American Constitution's limits on government, some countries end up being financially kinder to their citizens.

Common Law precedent seems to have it's virtues, because Australia is a very free country. Gun control is a restriction that came in after an even bigger massacre here, than the latest in Virgina. However there are not too many exceptions like this restricting freedom in this country.

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When I typed Andorra I remembered I didn't know too much about this country, but do remember people that the best way to take advantage of tax havens is that most of them are ex-British. Find an English girl and marry her, your status as English, with a passport, means you can earn income overseas without having to pay taxes -- I think this may apply to the whole UK -- in this case Ireland has lower taxes.

Well, what the US does is of little interest in this case, because he was talking about the UK here :) I don't know if that situation is different, but citing the IRS policies here really doesn't address his points.

(Just in case noone noticed that)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andorra

Of interest I think is this page. [i love the beauty of places like Monaco and the fact Western European tax havens are a border away from interesting civilizations, rather than an ocean away]

Find an English girl and marry her, your status as English, with a passport, means you can earn income overseas without having to pay taxes -- I think this may apply to the whole UK -- in this case Ireland has lower taxes.

[Andorra is one of those free nations actually close to civilization, and what a better place, bordering Spain and France, what an interesting life it would be to be quasi-free, but freer than most people, and learning interesting things like Spanish and French, and being able to travel these countries and watch their TV stations your whole life and immerse yourself.

This depends if the UK tax authorities view you as domiciled here. This is a very complex area of law and convincing them you aren't isn't easy. They like to have the tax payers in harness as long as possible.

Damn straight about Andorra though, my medium term plan is to emigrate. Apparently you have to lodge a modest bail type bond (I think about E18,000) with the government, which you get back with interest, when you leave, assuming you've not broken any laws.

Apart from behaving like a complete ape, it's hard to break laws in Andorra, as there are so few. And the skiing is pretty decent. Plus you could watch Barcelona play football if you are so inclined. And scenery wise, it's tough to beat, and the French and Spanish cuisine is great. And tax is virtually non-existent save for modest sales taxes of about 2%.

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Well, what the US does is of little interest in this case, because he was talking about the UK here :)

I was commenting on what appeared to be the idea of a citizen of any other country in the world marrying an English girl etc. In the case of the U.S. and probably in some other cases, it would not be so clear cut.

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Citibank, Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan were bailed out by, not even really by our own government as is reported, but by funds owned by foreign governments. Temasek bought $4.4B of Merrill Lynch after it bought $11.5B of UBS, and I'm not sure how much PRC bought, among other governments, but with what I think is the coming recession, it's a good idea to move assets out of the United States, and by that I don't mean to USVI. The PRC and an "undisclosed" investor from Saudi Arabia, among others, will be in a position to force payment of our national debt - which we cannot pay - and in their position they will run this country politically (in addition to the PRC controlling our manufacturing). Consider that Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Russia each have surpluses of $100B plus, and we have an account balance of worse than -$800B, we're relying on the "good will" of other nations to keep the country running at a deficit. Without the good will, our government will have to look to the accounts of private citizens to pay for every thing you can think of, and even that will be insufficient to prevent everything from coming to a complete stop.

Andorra was mentioned in this thread, and Liechtenstein is a good European location with respect for privacy as well. Thanks to the Patriot Act, investigation of private property/assets is legal and can be frozen even without charging you with a crime. This is a tiny step away from asset seizure when a recession hits. I strongly suggest steering clear of Britishers like Sark, Guernsey and Jersey because, even for trusts, these "tax havens" are being pushed to force beneficial owners of all trust accounts to be revealed on the dubious theory that many trusts are being used by terrorists/money launderers. I strongly suggest forming a trust in another privacy-respecting jurisdiction (if not securing a second passport) to protect assets because there will be no protection in the U.S. should a recession hit.

I think most people take for granted that asset seizure cannot happen here, but protecting your hard-earned dollars is worth investigating. You don't need a billion dollars to create a trust; in Panama, for example, you can start pumping your assets into a trust for less than $5,000, and an annual maintenance of around $1,000. Trusts are the last remaining asset protection format available and recognized worldwide, and if you have assets that are worth shielding to justify these costs, pedal quickly.

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Andorra was mentioned in this thread, and Liechtenstein is a good European location with respect for privacy as well. Thanks to the Patriot Act, investigation of private property/assets is legal and can be frozen even without charging you with a crime. This is a tiny step away from asset seizure when a recession hits. I strongly suggest steering clear of Britishers like Sark, Guernsey and Jersey because, even for trusts, these "tax havens" are being pushed to force beneficial owners of all trust accounts to be revealed on the dubious theory that many trusts are being used by terrorists/money launderers. I strongly suggest forming a trust in another privacy-respecting jurisdiction (if not securing a second passport) to protect assets because there will be no protection in the U.S. should a recession hit.

I think most people take for granted that asset seizure cannot happen here, but protecting your hard-earned dollars is worth investigating. You don't need a billion dollars to create a trust; in Panama, for example, you can start pumping your assets into a trust for less than $5,000, and an annual maintenance of around $1,000. Trusts are the last remaining asset protection format available and recognized worldwide, and if you have assets that are worth shielding to justify these costs, pedal quickly.

This is actually a really smart point. The UK government wasn't above a "windfall tax" (i.e. lets steal some more money) from energy companies when it was first elected on account of them making "excess" profits.

And even more chillingly, the Argentine government a few years back when they went bust, happily helped itself to all the foreign currency assets held by its citizens in Argentine banks.

So this isn't as unlikely as it may at first sound

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I agree that protecting one's wealth is very important and should be taken very seriously. But, without the protection of one's rights, through a defense system, what good will it do someone to stow their money in the last bastions of economic freedom if the protectors of rights are not around to defend one's rights?

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I agree that protecting one's wealth is very important and should be taken very seriously. But, without the protection of one's rights, through a defense system, what good will it do someone to stow their money in the last bastions of economic freedom if the protectors of rights are not around to defend one's rights?

Yes, when one renounces violence one had better have strong friends. I am speaking, however, of what each of us can do personally, directly and immediately - within a short span of time - that will leave our lives to ourselves. It is about doing as much as we can while giving as little thought and time to the rest of 'em as possible. Just because one fights for the future does not mean one's life should be that fight, a self-defeating, Nietzschean approach many take even though the outward-facing and explicit value they hold is life. Last year 400,000 Americans left America for good to various islands, republics and principalities where they could live, some under an anarchic/libertarian premise, but some simply because America is becoming the oak tree in AS in which one ought not to build a treehouse. My view is that the civil defence knowledge against nuclear and, even worse, biological warfare, is sorely lacking, and there is a great deal each of us can do without relying upon the government.

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