The Benefits of an Inefficient Government

The photo below shows a scrap of paper with the word “Liat” on it. LIAT is an airline that services the Eastern Caribbean, seventeen islands in all. It does this rather badly. LIAT has a very poor reputation amongst both locals and visitors in the Caribbean Islands.

LIAT flights are scheduled, just as those of other airlines, but the orderliness and businesslike management of the airline essentially ends there. Flights arrive and depart at erratic, unscheduled times, as a matter of course. Often entire flights are cancelled without even the airport staff being informed.

Flight staff have been known to strike, take sick days or simply not appear as scheduled. Frequently, baggage is misplaced or sent to an incorrect destination.

Passengers are commonly stranded in whatever airport they happen to be when a plane does not appear, and when frustrated passengers ask when the flight will take place, they are told, quite honestly, “I haven’t any idea.”

If a mealtime arrives when stranded passengers are sitting in the departure lounge waiting for the plane to arrive, a LIAT representative goes from passenger to passenger, apologising for the continued delays and handing out vouchers for a free meal anywhere in the departure lounge. The “voucher” is like the one pictured above: a scrap of paper torn from a page, on which the representative writes, by hand, “Liat.”

Of course, to the weary traveler, this is absurd. If the airline is so disorganised that it resorts to writing a voucher by hand, the traveler could just as easily write his own voucher, and of course, many people do just that. However, LIAT does make good on the vouchers, paying the restaurants for all meals that have been served to passengers who hand them in as payment.

Should passengers still be waiting for the plane to arrive after midnight, the LIAT representative rounds up several taxis and arranges for the passengers to be taken to local hotels. As can be expected, this is also done in a very disorganised manner and the passenger may count himself lucky if he rests his head by 2:00 AM in a hotel that he might not have chosen for himself, had he had the choice.

So, how on earth is it possible for such an airline to exist in the modern world? Surely, it should be bankrupt by now. The key is that LIAT is not a normal business. It’s owned almost entirely (85%) by seven governments (all of them islands in the Eastern Caribbean), with the controlling shares (73%) being held by three island nations. These three, of course, call the shots as to the management of the airline, resulting in the chaos seen at LIAT.

This is a reminder that governments, being monopolies, don’t need to place a priority on efficiency and customer service. They can operate ineffectively and at a financial loss because the taxpayer will be picking up the tab, no matter how great and no matter how senseless the loss may be.

A Nuisance That’s an Opportunity

Now, to those who live in a large, highly organised country, who visit such a destination on holiday, this is quite a nuisance. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were to comment, “I could never live there; their government is so inefficient, they can’t even run their own airline.”

Quite understandable, and yet, for those internationalising, this situation should be looked upon from a different perspective. Today, those who are internationalising their lives are generally doing so because they are seeking to remove themselves from the overreach of their own home governments.

In many countries (particularly in Europe and North America), governments have become so adept at efficiency and control that their citizens are becoming enslaved by their own governments, unable to live in a state of relative freedom, due to the ever-expanding controls.

To be sure, we all like to be surrounded with efficiency in our day-to-day lives, but when a government becomes so efficient that it can chip away at our freedoms, we take a different view. It’s axiomatic that, as Thomas Jefferson said,

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.”

And today, as stated above, the world’s largest governments have reached that point. As a result, we’re seeing a dramatic increase in the number of people who are opting out and seeking to internationalise themselves. And here we reach the principle point of this article.

When beginning the internationalisation process, most people seek to replicate all of the conveniences that they presently have, but to have them in a jurisdiction where the government is less controlling and parasitic. These jurisdictions do exist, but they’re rare.

Size Matters

It’s quite true that there are some jurisdictions (mostly small ones) that have highly efficient governments and are excellent places to live. But in most cases, the internationalist must expect to pay a premium to live in one of them. If he can afford to make this choice, he will do well.

However, the great majority of those presently seeking to internationalise are saying, “I can’t afford to live in an ideal location (Hong Kong, Zurich, the Cayman Islands, etc.) Does that mean that I’m simply to become a casualty in my home country?”

The answer is an emphatic “no”; however, what it may mean is a trade-off. There are many countries in the world where the government is not as invasive as in the above-mentioned jurisdictions. But realistically, this, generally, is not for lack of trying.

It can generally be assumed that, the larger the country, the more likely the government is a controlling one, sometimes obsessively so. However, the less prosperous the country is, the less tax the government is able to extract from its people and therefore, the less efficient it is likely to be. (In those countries that internationalists are presently exiting, it is their very prosperity that has allowed the governments to successfully become overreaching.)

Therefore, those internationalising may well choose to live in Argentina, Ecuador,Thailand, etc., in part, because of an increase in freedom. It should be borne in mind that in each of these countries, those in power may be no better than those in power in their home countries; however, they lack the tax dollars and the accompanying infrastructure to enforce restrictive laws. Often, their residents habitually ignore laws.

This is not a freedom that should be taken lightly. Often, whilst a less efficient, less sophisticated jurisdiction may seem like a step down and that the standard of livingmay in some cases be diminished, the quality of life may be enhanced.

Countless individuals who at first were skittish about making the leap have reported a year or two later that their lives had been literally transformed. Their initial fear of living in a place where they couldn’t find a Starbucks, or, for that matter, one where the airlines were inefficient, was washed away with the realisation that those priorities had become secondary to the acquisition of a new life that was, quite simply, happier.

Those who are travelling in search of a new home, rather than travelling on holiday, must take with them a new perspective. To be sure, this is a trade-off, but often, the very things that create concern for someone on holiday are symptomatic of an opportunity with regard to internationalisation.

For many, increased freedom tends, ultimately, to override the desire for convenience and efficiency and replace it with greater contentment.

Editor’s Note: There are many attractive jurisdictions that are cause for optimism. Some are ideal places to reside. Others are great places to park some savings or to invest in. Others are optimal for conducting business. Yet others are perfect for obtaining a second passport. You can find out our favorite jurisdictions by clicking here to watch this free video.

Meet the Jewish grand poobah of the First Church of Cannabis

“To the Cannabiterians, God is love, “and we celebrate love in our life’s great adventure.”
“To free up weekends, services will be held on Wednesdays. (“We don’t want to take away business from the other guys,” laughed Levin.) Instead of a confessional, the sanctuary will have a “life podium,” upon which church members will celebrate lessons they learned in seven categories — live, love, laugh, learn, create, grow, and teach — one for each day of the week.

Instead of a Ten Commandments, the church offers a Deity Dozen, including: Don’t be an asshole; the day starts with your smile every morning; never start a fight, only finish them; and laugh often, share humor.”

This “church” is not new or novel, reverends Cheech & Chong have been preaching this same message back in the day. ♥☼♥

108 Greeks executed for abusing the welfare system!


Thousands of years ago in Ancient Greece, it was a commonly held belief that the gods walked the earth among us humans.

And that perhaps even Zeus himself might show up at your doorstep disguised as a vagabond.

From this sprang the legendary sense of Greek hospitality, known as ‘xenia’.

It meant that a complete stranger could walk into your home unannounced, and you had an obligation as the host to take care of him.

To feed him. To house him. To bathe him. To let him freeload for as long as he needed.

And since no Greek was willing to risk the wrath of the gods by being a bad host, xenia was one of their most important customs.

Homer tells us of one famous instance of xenia in his epic poem The Odyssey.

You’ll probably remember it from high school– the never-ending saga of Odysseus, King of Ithaca, as he makes his way home from the Trojan War.

The war lasted ten years. Then Odysseus’ journey home lasted another ten years.

And I think it’s the perfect analogy to the situation Greece finds itself in now.

After the war, Odysseus’ fleet is blown off course by a massive storm during the voyage home, resulting in one misadventure after another.

They’re captured by a savage Cyclops from whom they narrowly escape after blinding him with a wooden stake to the eye.

His men become enchanted by magic fruit, causing them to completely lose their senses.

Later they encounter cannibals who destroy nearly the entire fleet.

Then the witch-goddess Circe turns half of his men into swine, and reverses her spell only when Odysseus agrees to be her sex slave.

They pass by dangerous sirens, narrowly avoiding disaster by strapping their captain to the mast and stuffing their ears with beeswax.

They barely fend off the six-headed monster Scylla, and then nearly all die at the whirlpool Charybdis, after which Odysseus is taken prisoner once again.

He ultimately escapes, then almost dies (again) in a terrible storm (again) and gets shipwrecked (again), this time on the island of Scherie.

It’s always something with this guy.

I mean… seriously. Odysseus goes from one disaster to the next. Just like Greece today.

Greece is in a never-ending crisis, going one misadventure to another.

And right before they collapse, someone always comes to the rescue. The IMF writes a temporary bailout check, and Greece just barely escapes disaster… only to fall into another disaster.

It happens over and over like a never-ending odyssey. Except that eventually it does end. And rather poorly.

When Odysseus finally makes it back home to Ithaca after two decades away, he finds that he’s completely broke because 108 Greek men had been staying at his house and mooching off the estate.

And as was Greek custom at the time, his wife Penelope had an obligation to take care of these men, all of whom abused the xenia tradition for their personal benefit.

Modern Greece is legendary for its absurd public benefits.

Hairdressers get to retire with full benefits on a taxpayer-funded public pension at age 50; dead people receive welfare benefits.

This modern-day version of ‘xenia’ is an insane, easily abused system that’s brought Greece to bankruptcy.

Odysseus responded by killing every one of 108 men who milked the system.

The Greek government is certainly set on doing the same. But since they can’t identify any single perpetrator, they’re going after the entire nation.

The capital controls the Greek government has implemented are punitive to nearly every man, woman, and child in the country. People can’t even access bank safety deposit boxes.

And there’s clearly more punishment to come.

This theme is not new. For thousands of years, nations have gone bankrupt from their own stupidity.

And on the way down, they impose an escalating series of controls designed to keep the party going for just a little bit longer.

Wage controls. Price controls. Capital controls. People controls.

Greece is once again in this position, along with nearly every government in the West.

Even the US has been narrowly escaping collapse for years. Government shutdowns are narrowly averted by some last-minute magic trick. Temporary emergency measures bail out the banking system. Etc.

It’s an odyssey. But it too shall come to an end… rather poorly for those involved.

Doug Casey on a Man Who Starved the Beast of $100 Million!

Doug Casey on a Man Who Starved the Beast of $100 Million

John Templeton was one of the greatest stock pickers of the last century.

He began his fortune in a crisis market.

The year was 1939. The Great Depression was still on, and Nazi Germany had just invaded Poland and kicked off World War II.

It was in this environment of fear and pessimism that Templeton (just a few years out of college) invested $10,000 in 104 US stocks selling for $1 or less.

Templeton figured that things couldn’t possibly get any worse. He knew that a double dose of fear had brought down the market and the US economy was going to recover sooner or later.

Four years later, his profits would prove him right. He sold his portfolio for a 300% gain. It was the beginning of what would turn into one of the largest investment empires in the world.

There’s another angle to Templeton’s story though. One the media often overlooks or puts a negative spin on.

Unlike most Americans – then and now – Templeton had a global outlook on life and investing. He looked beyond artificial lines on a map to make the most of his personal freedom and financial opportunity. He was a true international man.

In 1962 Templeton renounced his US citizenship. He became a citizen of the Bahamas, which has no income tax.

Over time, the move prevented the State from confiscating at least $100 million from him through taxation. It’s $100 million that would have otherwise gone to more welfare, warfare, and other wasteful shenanigans.

Proponents of big government think he deserves condemnation. I think he deserves applause.

To honor the anniversary of his death, I am bringing you an obituary for him written by Doug Casey. I think you’ll find it insightful.

John Templeton, R.I.P.

By Doug Casey

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do an obit for John Templeton until I started reading some in the press. They all dutifully cover his investment acumen, charitable endeavors, sterling character, and such. No one had an unkind word to say about him. Nor do I, even though righteously defaming the inflated reputations of the dead has become something of a hobby for me.

I actually met with him in his office in the Bahamas back in the late ‘70s, and was immensely flattered that he had a copy of my book The International Man on his shelf. We spoke of the Philippine stock market, which I’d just looked into on a recent trip; he was having trouble getting meaningful data on it. He was a personable and nice man.

What I want to note here is a glaring omission in most of his obits that I consider at once suspicious and dishonest. In the Wall Street Journal, the long obit mentions he was born in Tennessee in one section, that he moved to the Bahamas in 1968 in another section (ostensibly to insulate himself from the rumor mill of New York), and that he became a British subject in 1968 in a different part of the article. The New York Times and Washington Post each only made similar brief mention of the fact he was an ex-American. All these papers seemed to treat the fact he renounced his citizenship as almost a tawdry matter of shame, best not discussed.

In point of fact, his renunciation of his US citizenship was a major reason for Templeton becoming as wealthy as he was. If he’d had to pay the federal and state governments anywhere from 20% to over 70% of his income (depending on variations of the tax code over his working career), his wealth would have compounded at a much lower rate. On average, he seems to have compounded his investments around 15% per year. If he’d been paying taxes, the effective rate of growth would have been about half that much. The difference over the course of 50 years is stunning; in fact, 29 times higher.

American taxes, which Templeton had the prudence and courage to escape while it was still possible, are a major reason why the US is having its lunch eaten by rising powers like the Chinese. Chinese taxes are low and, even then, few Chinese feel any moral compunction to pay them. A Chinese of equal intelligence and vigor to an American should therefore be able to compound his wealth, in that high-growth economy, far faster than an American.

To make the point, let’s give them both $10,000 and 50 years to compound it at a net of 7.5% for the American, and 15% for the Chinese. The difference, $371,897 versus $10,836,574 is shocking. Now consider the Chinese will devolve 100% of the money to his children. The American may – depending on the size of his estate, place of residence, and the allowable exemption – have to pay 50% on whatever he has.

Which is to say that the children of the Chinese entrepreneur will start out with a huge capital advantage over their US counterparts. If you think the US has competitive problems now, just wait until the next generation of compounding becomes evident. Aggravated by ever greater demands of a bankrupt US government.

Unfortunately, today’s American John Templetons can’t easily follow the master’s example. If you renounce your citizenship, you may have to first pay a huge exit tax equivalent to about half of your net worth for the privilege.

And things are getting worse, not better.

John Templeton, R.I.P. He was a wise, and patriotic, man to have denied all that he did to the State.


Ahh but love is the key that sets us free! Quite trite and meaningless when spoken aloud, yet revolutionary in it’s execution. Love is an extraordinary sword that cuts both ways. Start choppin’. ♥


Tube BombDelivery


What do you think it means that the United States in 2014 carried out 443 drone attacks?

There were 377 in Pakistan, 59 in Yemen, and 7 in Somalia and what is striking is the fact that we are not at war with any of those nations.

And even more confusing Pakistan, we are told, is an ally.

So what are we doing?

Now there was a time in our history where we declared war against some country BEFORE we bombed the shit out of them.

But Tubularsock thinks that that must be one of those quaint old-fashioned ideas.

You know, like honesty, integrity, and honor. Which are all passé if we ever really had them in the first place. But Tubularsock remembers a day when at least we thought we had them.

Today we know we don’t. And Tubularsock thinks that without a guiding principle we…

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