Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not for sale.

For the longest time, online pal Claire used to have splashed across the masthead of her blog "Hell yes, I'm an American." Sadly, this seems like an odd statement for a resident of Mordor. But I sure as hell can empathize.

I was talking to my good friend Bill The Accountant on the phone the other night. He's realizing that his master's in Accounting isn't going to do him as much good as at the firm he's with as a master's in Taxation. So he's re-enrolled, and is on track to get his second master's in about 18 months, maybe less. I suggested that, with the results of the most recent election, more people than ever will need assistance with tax preparation. He agreed.

Anyway, he was talking about one of his tax professors, who was discussing how the goal of the tax accountant is to ethically represent his client, not by providing a tax statement with the least taxes possible, but by providing a tax statement that is as accurate as possible. A good tax accountant also can provide advice to his client, however.

Bill's professor had a client who came to her and asked about how to avoid the most taxes on his prospective income. He had done a lot of work on a device that he was about to patent, he said, and he expected a great deal of revenue from this patent, as it was in demand, and buyers were waiting in the wings. A price of $4.M was being thrown about. She advised him to move to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerates, and give up his United States citizenship and obtain U.A.E. citizenship. You see, there is no income tax in the U.A.E.

He did just that, and saved a ton of money when his patent came in and he sold it.

"I couldn't do that," I told him.

"Sure you could," said Bill, who's no stranger to patriotism, himself. "After you thought about it, you could."

"Give up my birthright, as an American? Throw away my claim as a citizen of the greatest nation this planet has ever seen? I could not," I insisted.

"Look, it's not like the kids would have to give up their citizenship. Just you and your wife," said Bill. "And you could easily come back to visit. Do you realize how you could live over there with four million dollars? All the comforts, with paid help? You couldn't withhold that from your family. Not if you think about it."

"Nope. Not for sale. And if my citizenship were for sale, it would take a helluva lot more than $4 million," I said.

"Yeah, because you'd do it for $20 mil, right?" he jeered.

"I wouldn't even open discussions before they offered $100 million," I said with prim indignance.

"Well, now that we've established that..." he said.

"We're just dickering over the price," I sighed. I suppose it's possible that every man has one. But I didn't say I'd do it. Just think about it.

For all its warts, this nation has been pretty damned good to me. Why would I want to give that up? Men and women have died --in my lifetime-- to protect the way of life that I enjoy here in this nation. Many others have and do risk their lives to do so. Take a hard look at life elsewhere, and think about how good we've got it.

Hell yes, I'm an American.

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4 Comments:

At Monday, November 17, 2008 11:34:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Agreed Matt! I spent 22 years defending these rights, I'm not about to desert them... It's not about money to me, it's about honor and patriotism. Obviously, some people are greedy as hell, and could care less about the USA (Of course, when they get overseas and REALLY try to live there, all kinds of other things rear their heads...)

 
At Monday, November 17, 2008 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Anthony said...

Even with the ever growing infringements on our personal rights I would not give up citizenship to this country. Even with the threat of socialism on the horizon I would not give up citizenship. You see this is my country, and like the founders before me I would rather die than give up my country. All men have a price to leave this great nation, however for some that price is death.

 
At Monday, November 17, 2008 8:55:00 PM, Blogger Sabra said...

Well, as a woman, I can say without hesitation I'd never give up my citizenship, especially not for the UAE. I don't even know where to start with that one, but how about this: Women in Arab countries almost never retain custody of their children after divorce. And of course there are niggling little things like honor killings to concern oneself with.

Much as I concern myself with taxes (and this sort of thing is one gigantic reason I support the Fair Tax, by the way), there are far more important reasons to stay American.

 
At Monday, November 17, 2008 9:18:00 PM, Anonymous TBeck said...

I wonder if said entreprenuer has considered the risks of being a rich, ex-pat infidel who can't go home again if the region goes to Helena Handbasket.

Some things, like the safety and security of my family, are not negotiable.

Besides, if he was smarter he would arrange to be paid royalties on the patent instead of selling it outright. That way he gets a steady cash flow as opposed to a single windfall.

 

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