A plea for NYTs comments.

Guys and Gals, we have an opportunity to weigh in with comments to David Jolly’s NYTs article on Tax Complexity for American’s abroad.  It is not often the New York Times, the newspaper of record in America, does an article on our issues.  It would be a shame to miss the chance for some reasoned comments from Isaac Brock readers and commentators.

The article is now on their
IHT Rendezvous - Join the Conversationblog, and can be accessed under the title Americans, The Taxman Cometh.  You will have to create a free account, but you can remain anonymous if fear is the reason you are being silent.  There are only six comments so far, and I know this group is capable of far more than that!   Thank you!

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22 thoughts on “A plea for NYTs comments.

  1. I posted a comment – Actually registered just to comment on this article (will comment on future articles on the subject as well of course). Hope that others will do the same! Cheers

  2. Thanks Don. I saw your comment, and I recommended it. I just hope more folks will make the effort. I know it seems almost fruitless sometimes, as who will notice or care….but, the point I think we sometimes miss, is the comment as feedback to the Journalist, is almost a medal of sorts that says this story resonants with my readers. Maybe I should maintain an interest and write more in the future.

    If no one bothers to say anything, the author might shrug and think they will look for another subject next time. They don’t report just for altruist purposes. They have egos too, and like to see that their stories have “purchase” with the readers they are trying to reach. Comments are the direct feedback these days that the media of old did not have. It has become the “coin of the media realm.” They feel like a winner if they stir a lot of feedback or lots of twitter traffic. It goes into their journalistic “relevance bank account”, so to speak. That is why I have made much more of an effort than I ever would have in the past even at the expense of LCUs. First I didn’t out of fear, and then I didn’t out of complacency, and finally when I begin to look at it as “tipping” for service, I have kept it up as much as time allows. And if comments aren’t available, I try to direct email the author(s) with a compliment. That works too! Not always, but enough times that it will surprise you. Honey gets the fly, as they say.

  3. @Just me,

    You are right. Journalists who cover the plight of American expats need and deserve constructive feedback.

    Expats have no voice in government, but we can get our message out through journalists, particularly through expat journalists who are in the same boat.

  4. @Just Me,

    I just wrote two or three, can’t remember now. Didn’t notice the 1500 character limit. I think it’s up to 18 comments now and many of us are there.

    Thanks for describing the effect on the author – had not thought of that! 🙂

  5. @noble dreamer…18… well.. That is great. Guess I need to check back and do some more “recommends”.

    I actually like the 1500 character limit with the count down. It forces me to be more brief. Also, from a practical stand point most of us are skimmers and if it is too long, we skim and skip over good points, and others tune me out when I drone on!

    Spread the word and the link! I want David to know we are listening. BTW, have you found him on twitter?

  6. CNBC is also running Atossa Abrahamanian’s Reuters article. You can leave comments there if you want:
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/47064295/page/2/

    Of course CNBC lists comments in the order they are received (with the earliest ones first), rather than in order of how popular they are. (See the following comic strip for a concise explanation of why this is a bad thing:)
    http://xkcd.com/1019/

    So of course the comments section immediately started filling up with the usual sheep-like comments from people who don’t understand the issue but are threatened by the idea: “I think if you are cheap and make millions of dollars from the usa and want to leave to avoid taxes you should not be able to do business here ever” and “There is no shortage of people in this country. Good riddance to those unwilling to pay their taxes.” and “Would it be better if someone spends all their years working abroad and comes back here after paying no taxes and gets the benefits of the US? Get rid of your US citizenship at your own peril. “

  7. “Get rid of your US citizenship at your own peril.”

    That one was my favorite. Hilarious.

  8. @Eric…
    That’s the popular media for you, playing to an uninformed crowd, but therein is the opportunity to open an eye or two, while ignoring the “true believers. All the more reason to put in comments to counter that ignorance, without getting into the gutter or name calling. Hard to do, and hard not to be hyperbolic either… I will take a deep breath and try to add something here later this afternoon after I get my chores done…

  9. @ Just Me

    I tried to do a “recommend” and nothing happened and so I ended up tweeting anybody’s comments who I tried to recommend. What am I doing wrong?

  10. Nobledreamer…

    David is @davjolly on twitter.

    To recommend on the rendezvous blog, you have to be signed into the account, and then it works.

    I see it is up to 32 comments now, and I just recommended your 3!

  11. @ Just Me

    Thanks, on that! 😉

    Aha, I must not have been signed in. Oh well, bombarding Twitter with our responses….

    Thank you!

  12. Bravo!! Great initiative. The comments are loud and clear and plentiful. If I wasn’t racing into the office, I would join, but I did thumbs-up on the posts I could get through.

  13. “screw “dunn” and the rest of this big-bellied, selfish traitors who flee the country which gave them succor, protected them and their porcine offspring and only asked they pay the due chump change (i.e. taxes). whining vermin. don’t let the door hit you on the way out. ”

    Wow, there are a lot of idiots on that article! I bet that this guy doesn’t even have a passport 😛

  14. I sent an email to David Jolly and actually got a response today!

    I wrote: I just read your article on the new tax requirements for US persons living abroad "For Americans Abroad, Taxes Just Got More Complicated".

    I live in Canada and am in the OVDI amnesty program after being misled (according to Nina Olson) by the IRS, in believing that lesser penalties under the IRM were no longer available. I’d like to bring your attention to a related issue, the fact that US citizenship renunciation and relinquishments are rapidly on the rise globally. Many believe that the US government is misrepresenting these numbers which have increased dramatically over the last year. I am providing a link to Isaac Brock Society with links to other sites including the US National Register that records renunciations and to others that have found some basis for some scepticism regarding the US governments assessment of these numbers http://isaacbrocksociety.com/2012/04/06/2012s-q1-has-come-to-a-close-what-are-those-expatriation-numbers/ I think that the topic could benefit from some investigative journalism. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

    His response: Hi,
    Thanks for your message. I’m passing it along to my colleague Brian Knowlton, who is working on a story along these lines.
    Best regards,
    David

    …I guess we need to keep an eye out for anything from Brian Knowlton.

  15. @bubblebustin

    GREAT! Well done. Thanks for taking the initiative. It is very rewarding when a journalist takes time to respond. They are few and far between unfortunately, but just the same I make the effort. Even a brief acknowledgement is much appreciated, and frankly it makes you much more of a loyal reader and follower. More journalist should take that lesson. I have several now that I follow and read regularly just because them made the effort to respond.

  16. Thanks @just me. The media doing a proper coverage of what we’re going through would give us all a big helping of encouragement. For my own health’s sake I know I need some- I went to the doctor today and happened to be having my blood pressure taken while telling him about what the IRS is doing its US citizens. My BP went off the chart! Nothing like being under attack to keep one in a heightened state of anxiety. I had to buy a bp monitor and now have to check it throughout the day. I should do a reading with each Brock post and rate them on the bp scale!

  17. More correspondence with David Jolly:
    I asked: “I don’t know how FATCA can ever be enforceable, as there are so many US persons out there with no outward signs of being American opening bank accounts all the time! Are banks going to require a customer to produce their parents birth certificates in the vetting process?”
    His response: “In fact, the answer to this question: “Are banks going to require a customer to produce their parents birth certificates in the vetting process?” Is probably yes, by all indications.”

  18. Just some followup with evidence that comments and emails have impact…..

    BTW… Please note: This blog has been updated April 25th with comments directly related to much of the feedback David has received. I hadn’t noticed it, as we do move on not looking back, but I think it shows that he has picked up the Minnow’s issue, and whether or not we are just unintended collateral damage in search of bigger prey (Whales)… Read again here…

    one other readers have also picked up: whether Congress actually expected to generate substantial revenue by adding to the burdens of expat life or whether the minnows were just caught up in a net meant for bigger fish.

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