by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:
t took nearly ten years but this morning I was sworn in as a citizen of the Dominican Republic.
Many might ask, why would a Canadian citizen want to become a citizen of the Dominican Republic?
The answer is actually quite long and lengthy.
To begin with, as an anarcho-capitalist, I consider governments to be illegitimate and taxation to be theft. However, the entire world, unfortunately, is covered in statism like a giant skin rash… and so, then, the next best option if you want to live somewhat of a normal life and be able to travel is to become a citizen of the best country that suits your personal needs.
I was born in Canada but I would never say I am a “proud Canadian”. The reason is that you cannot be proud of something you had nothing to do with. I was just born there… and that made me a Canadian citizen. Apparently, I owed the government about half of whatever I make in my life for that “privilege”.
There are certainly some things I love about the geographic region of Canada. I’m a life long hockey fan which I consider to be the best sport in the world (along with Mixed Martial Arts)… and Canada is ALL about hockey. It could be dead in the heat of summer (which lasts about six weeks and all anyone talks about is hockey). And, there are plenty of other things to like about Canada too. But given the high level of socialism/statism and the incredibly cold temperatures, it definitely wasn’t enough to make me want to give up half my life earnings just to stay there.
Plus, after having traveled to about 100 countries and having lived in many of them, I know that life almost anywhere else is often just as good or, in many cases, much better than in Canada.
So, that explains why I wanted to look for a new country/government to own me.
If you are going to be owned by someone, the next best thing to do is to choose the best owner!
If you have millions of dollars, finding a good owner is quite easy. Many billionaires have moved to and become citizens of low-tax Singapore for this reason. There are other countries which are even better and have 0% income tax, but almost all require an investment of at least $500,000 and most are well over $1 million.
At the time, when I began shopping for a new owner in 2006, that amount of money was out of my budget.
The Dominican Republic (DR), back then, had a two year residency that would lead to citizenship. And, the costs weren’t too much. So I jumped at it.
But, just as my two year residency was coming up the DR government changed it to three years. “OK, I can wait another year,” I thought.
Then when the three years was nearly up they changed it to four… then five… then seven, and now eight!
I just reached the eighth year of residency last year and finally, I was eligible to be a citizen! I applied over a year ago and as of just today I am finally a citizen of the DR. A total of nearly ten years!
Around Year 5 of the process, I asked my lawyers at one of the top legal firms on the island, why they kept making it harder and harder to become a citizen. Their answer, “The US government is putting pressure on us and most other countries to make it harder to become a citizen.” (Note: this has occurred in almost every country in the world… which has caused countless problems for those trying to attain a second citizenship… it is getting nearly impossible.)
Now, why would the US government do that? The answer is simple. The US government has become one of the most tyrannical and money-thirsty governments in the world. Every quarter, new records are broken of Americans renouncing their citizenship. Even corporations are leaving the US en masse, due to the US now having the highest corporate tax rate in the world.
And the US isn’t far behind on personal income tax, with people in certain states in the US paying more than 50% income tax. And that’s before all the other hundreds of taxes including property tax, capital gains tax, dividends tax, food tax, liquor tax, cigarette tax; they even tax you when you die in the US… it’s called the “estate tax”.
At the end of it, some Americans are likely being taxed at a true rate of upwards of 70%. 100% is communism: So, the US is now 70% communist. Nearly full commie. Never go full commie!
As for Canada, it is similar. A report came out just today entitled, “Study: Canadians spend more on taxes than basic needs“.
It stated, “Last year, Canadian families spent more than 42% of their income on taxes and 38% on food, shelter and clothing combined.”
And it went on to say:
Since 1961, “taxes have grown much more rapidly than any other single expenditure for the average Canadian family,” the report states. Taxes have increased by 1,939% in that timeframe, while the amount spent on housing has gone up by 1,425%, clothing by 746%, and food by 645%.
To compare, the top tax rate in the DR is 25%. That is still 25% too high, in my opinion, but you are only taxed on money made in the DR. For someone like me who makes his income outside of the DR, I therefore have a 0% income tax rate.
As well, the DR is not involved in terrorist activity, like Canada and the US. The DR has not been bombing men, women and children in Libya nor Syria… it’s just nice not to be in any way involved with those acts of murder.
And, in my 10 years of residency in the DR, although I have spent the vast majority of my time across the world, I have actually really grown to love the culture and people.
Racism barely exists in the DR as Dominicans have complexions from the blackest black to the whitest white and they all seem to get along perfectly well. And, others have noticed too. There were nearly 100 other people sworn in with me today and I believe over 40 nationalities were represented, including the US, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Russia and many more.
Perhaps the icing on the cake is that the DR is a small country. You can, very easily, and very quickly get top level connections and I have already gotten those. Through various people I know, I already have connections to most of the top levels of government people. In fact, just today, I sent off some copies of The Market For Liberty (the Spanish translated version done by my friend Jorge Trucco) to various high level government officials.
Apparently, they are open to ideas on how to improve life in the DR (that’s pretty rare for government people) and are open to these ideas of free markets. So, for all of the reasons above I have happily become a citizen of the Dominican Republic, a place that treats me quite a bit better than the place I was born.
And, in our next issue of the TDV newsletter (see more here), I’ll tell subscribers some tips on getting DR residency and citizenship that I have learned over the last decade. (You can get it done in less than a year… but you have to be open to being creative!).
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