Chuck Schumer, you are a hero for standing up for what’s right. Let’s bring meaning back to American citizenship.
I’m venting again, but I just read this absolutely asinine article by two individuals who are planning to also become Singaporean. I don’t know if these two are rich, but they are defending Eduardo Savarin and attacking Chuck Schumer for the Ex-Patriot Act, which will prevent wealthy tax dodgers from re-entering the country if they avoid taxes by renouncing their U.S. citizenships.
Saverin and expatriates like him are practicing a perfectly rational arbitrage in a world of diverse systems and growing opportunity. Rather than question the loyalty of such global citizens, Congress should examine what their choices tell us about how Americans can succeed in the knowledge economy of the future.
Migration is about opportunity, not loyalty.
I’m disgusted by this. Absolutely disgusted. Schumer wasn’t talking about migration; he was talking about citizenship. Citizenship should be about loyalty, not opportunity. Citizenship should not be for sale.
Granted most immigrants these days come here for opportunity. But in most cases, they don’t come to avoid a tax bill; they come because they are fleeing poverty, escaping oppressive regimes, and desiring freedom. Poor immigrants come for safety and basic survival when their countries can’t provide it. Facebook never in a million years would have started in a country like Singapore where people get caned for chewing gum in public. It would have never even started in a tech-savvy country like India where people segregate by caste. The idea of people posting their own lives and creating their platforms is very American, and the structure succeeded because of American laws and social networks, funded by American tax dollars. To make treat citizenship as a commodity is a complete corruption of values.
On this Memorial Day, let’s remember those who died for our country. Let’s remember that not everyone has reduced citizenship to a tradable commodity. Let’s be thankful that we have heroes like Chuck Schumer who are willing to stand up for what’s right.
(Also see What Money Can’t Buy by Michael Sandel.)