by Jeff Thomas - feature writer for Strategic Wealth Preservation, Doug Casey's International Man and 321gold.com
As regular readers of my missives will know, I enthusiastically recommend the concept of internationalisation – the diversification into multiple jurisdictions to avoid being the possession of any one government.
Recently, I was asked if this didn’t make an individual the possession of several governments, instead of just one, and the answer is no.
Most all governments understand that, if they don’t have total control of you, it’s unwise to squeeze you too hard. If, for example, you were to live multi-nationally – that is, if you lived as a guest or part- time resident in one or more countries – you’d actually be treated better than those who are citizens. In order to attract you, the local government would very likely offer you tax breaks plus benefits the average citizen does not receive.
They’re not equally generous to their own citizens, because they don’t have to be. They already own them.
If you were to fully diversify yourself – have a passport from one country, live in another, gain your income in a third and do your banking in a fourth – you’d have even greater ownership of yourself.
If you were to create an ability to physically live in multiple countries each year, you’d be in the catbird seat, as you could avoid becoming a casualty in any one country.
As the reader will know, much of the world is approaching a state of economic crisis. If he’s a resident of a jurisdiction that will be impacted by this crisis in a major way, such as the EU, US or Canada, it’s likely that he’s preparing himself to a greater or lesser degree for that eventuality.
Possibly, he’s stockpiling food in the cellar, buying some guns and storing some gold and silver away so that he’ll be better off than others when the crisis reaches his door.
As we get closer to a widespread economic collapse, choosing where to put your money is crucial to ensuring it doesn't get caught in the crosshairs.
The trouble with guns is that, even though we like to think that we’d defend our home in an emergency, the odds of surviving even one event are slim. If it’s against some raiders looking for food, they’ll arrive without warning, and it’s unlikely that you, your spouse and your children will be trained well enough to reach for the loaded assault rifles in a flash. Even if they did, there’s little likelihood that they’d all survive a firefight.
And if it’s a SWAT team that have come because your neighbours have reported you for stockpiling food (which can be confiscated under the National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order), you’ll be even less likely to take a stand. If you did, it would be your last.
As to monetary preparation, the idea of having real money (gold and silver) in an economic crisis is quite a good one, and when the value of fiat currency plummets, most supermarket owners and gas station attendants will learn what a silver Eagle or a Maple Leaf looks like pretty quickly and will come to welcome it as payment.
The trouble is, it wouldn’t take long before your neighbours discovered that you were the only one around who always seemed to have real money, at a time when they did not – a time when their children are doing without food.
The same neighbour who, at present, happily lets you borrow his lawnmower, may be decidedly less friendly when he has no food and you do.
Of course, there would be many people who would just suffer through the crisis, and even if they resented your continued buying power, it’s possible that many would not aggress against you.
The trouble is, if only two percent of the population decided to take what you have by force, that would be two percent too many, and odds are their numbers would be quite a bit higher than two percent.
After a crisis has really taken hold and the majority of people are truly worried if they’re going to survive, it would be predictable that you could drive to the supermarket, pay out some silver for a few bags of groceries, head for the parking lot and find that there are several people standing by your car, waiting for you.
If you were to get past that problem intact even once, it’s safe to say that, having survived, you’d find yourself saying, "I need to get out of here. This is more than I can live with."
Unfortunately, at that point, it would be too late to begin the process of seeking out another country in which to sit out the crisis.
To be sure, there are many jurisdictions out there that will be unaffected by the coming crisis and will remain calm, pleasant places in which to live when the fur starts to fly. Additionally, there will be those countries that will actually thrive as a result of the crisis. It would be wise to have an alternate residence (even a small one) in one such country. That would mean that, when the moment came when you wanted to press the "Escape" key, all you’d need to do would be to pack a carry-on and head for the airport and you’d be safely out.
But to acquire such an alternate residence, you’d have to first research the places that you think might be better in a crisis. Then you’d need to pick the one you were happiest in. Then you’d need to travel there, learn about real estate opportunities, make a purchase and begin spending some time there, periodically, even if it’s just on holidays.
At present, North Americans and Europeans are welcomed virtually everywhere, and in most countries, they’re welcome to buy residential property. But when the crisis is under way, there will be an exodus from the countries that are most heavily impacted, all headed for the more desirable countries. It won’t take long before those countries pull in the welcome mat and say, "Only those who have previously been granted the right to reside may land."
What this means is that, by the time you look out into the parking lot and see the people lying in wait at your car, you’ll realize that it’s time to press the "Escape" key.
Unfortunately, if you hadn’t spent the necessary months of preparation, that key will not function.
Forty years ago, I had an old Serbian friend who told me, "I’ve been very fortunate. I was a successful jeweller in Paris when I was young, but I knew the Germans would be coming, so my wife and I got out early.
"In 1959, we were less lucky. We had moved to Cuba and had again been successful, but I didn’t understand that Batista would just get on a plane and leave. So, we packed a bag and got the first plane out. We left our store and our beautiful house behind, but we escaped with our money and jewellery, and again we started over. Now, we’re old and we hope to remain where we are here in this country, but we have learned always to prepare."
Throughout the millennia, history has had a consistent habit of repeating itself. Countries that were once prosperous fall into economic decline and, eventually, crisis.
A very few people get out early. Others prepare and are then able to escape once the crisis is under way. But those who do nothing to prepare, or who attempt to create an exit at the last minute are very likely to find themselves trapped.
The "Escape" key works only if it has been programmed in advance.
Editor's Note: Unfortunately, there's little any individual can practically do to change the trajectory of these trends in motion.
The best you can and should do is to stay informed so that you can protect yourself in the best way possible, and even profit from the situation. We think everyone should own some physical gold.
Gold is the ultimate form of wealth insurance. It has preserved wealth through every kind of crisis imaginable. It will preserve wealth during the next crisis, too.
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