Badger made the following comment which is well worth pulling out of our busy comment stream:
The ‘lords’ and ‘masters’ grant or deny us travel passes, and grant or deny us the ability to change our status – via US citizenship.
Basically, we haven’t left serfdom, peonage and indentured servitude behind us – the ‘lord/s’ of the manor (Congress) give or deny us the right to travel via the US – while at the same time forcing us to use only the US passport to enter the US. We can be separated from seeing our families there. The lords reserve the right to enact restrictions on what we do with our bodies, the labour of those bodies, and the goods(assets) we produce with that labour – outside the US – forever. The status does not end with our death – the same goods and assets we report all our lives – are then reported on again – via our estates. We are to keep abreast of, and follow closely, the lord and master’s laws – from remote locations abroad – even those who – born in a non-English speaking country, or with print or intellectual disabilities, or limited education and means, may not have the ability to do that.
The IRS manual – written in technical language that most people are illiterate in – dictates how we will be governed remotely from abroad, and we must be ready at all times to respond if they rule – even retroactively – on any matter. Any significant dispute requires an expensive intermediary – and can be lengthy – and so justice would be unaffordable to most. For example: an RRSP without the proper form filed at the proper time – requires a special ruling letter – at a cost of about 2000.
The lords and masters reserve the right to enumerate and seize the assets we have produced with our own labour – or in the case of joint, spousal, children’s or non-personal accounts – through us, gain knowledge about, and fine or seize the assets and fruits of the labour of other non-US individuals outside the US. (Under FATCA – if a US ‘person’ is associated with a non-personal account actually belonging to a non-US citizen – what happens in a withholding?). The lords and masters reserve the right to count and potentially seize the same asset over and over again – the same account – like an RRSP is scrutinized repeatedly – though it hasn’t changed and cannot be accessed. The same RRSP – could potentially be held for 45 plus years before being eligible to access – reported and scrutinized, and subject to penalties – more than 45 times via FBARs and FATCA – over a lifetime. More in the case of TFSAs or other savings with additional reporting obligations.
If we make an error on the FBARs or FATCA or myriad of other asset reporting – no matter how small, or do not report, the penalties – which the IRS acknowledges can greatly exceed the value of the legal accounts – can lead us into ‘debt bondage’ whereupon we may need to sell or mortgage our homes, or seek extra work to pay off the penalties as they assess them.
As the same entirely legal, post-tax asset can be subjected to multiple draconian penalties – to undertake to pay them off would take a lifetime.
The ‘lords’ and ‘masters’ enact laws that control our bodies, labour, actions and product – from ‘abroad’ without our consent. We can only invest the fruits of our legal labour as they direct.
Our children and grandchildren are born into the same servitude without their consent, and we cannot protect them by renouncing for them. There is nothing we can do to save them from the same indenture.
We can buy our way out (manumission): by complying for 5 years – and by asking abjectly for permission – and a fee – be allowed to be set free.
Or, if we don’t comply for 5 years, have too many assets, or don’t get their consent to change our status – they will impose an ‘exit tax’ – and thereby pay off what they assess our labour and goods to be worth – in lieu of the rest of the lifetime of potential production that we take with us. In spite of that labour and goods being produced entirely in another country.
If we are subject to the exit tax, we are also ‘shamed’ publicly – and names entered onto an official list. The scarlet letter.
I look forward to a kind of emancipation day with all my heart. I do not enjoy security of my person and labour anymore. As in Canada: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” Security of the person in section 7 consists of rights to privacy of the body and its health and of the right protecting the “psychological integrity” of an individual. That is, the right protects against significant government-inflicted harm (stress) to the mental state of the individual. (Blencoe v. B.C. (Human Rights Commission), 2000).
I do not enjoy peace of mind anymore. And as a low wage earner – dependent on another for my upkeep – now my non-US spouse is also indentured. I tried to do the drudgery – but find it too complex – and endure anxiety attacks, intrusive thoughts, and depression – that make it hard to cope.
And so our savings are going into complying – so that I can be free.
My family endured the Great Depression, and survived slavery. Who knew that bringing us to live in another country would lead us into FATCA and the current state of things for US ‘persons’ abroad – subject to arbitrary and punitive remote control
of our person and labour.
@Badger – that’s a very heartfelt and detailed portrait of the 21st century bondage we’re facing as long as we remain associated with the U.S. The founding fathers must be spinning in their graves – so much hypocrisy to go around.
I honestly see no hope whatsoever for America – it is now in a slow, empire’s-end death-spiral, well on its way to becoming the world’s biggest, most corrupt failed-state in human history. That is what American exceptionalism will mean in this decade.
In a way, we are lucky to be going through this now, a few years before things really start to fall apart. We have the advantage of foresight – of literally being able to predict the dystopian future that is a certainty. Our homeland brothers and sisters will be ever so envious that we got out when we still could, just like the handful of Jews, East Germans and Soviet bloc refugees that came before us. For most Americans, however, it’s Eyes Wide Shut – for them it will be far too little, too late.
Your post, as Deckard said, is so heartfelt. I ask myself, probably for the 1000th time since all of this started, how did this all happen? When did it start? And why? It has played havoc with my health, and my heart. Certainly has wrecked havoc on any kind thoughts I may have still held toward my country of birth. It is just so unbelieveably sad. Not a day goes by that I am not thinking of this. It is difficult to find joy in my life because of it.
I do find myself again and again going back to 9/11. I could most definitely be wrong about this; but, I believe that was the ‘beginning of the end’ so to speak. I think both America and Americans were changed forever by that day. That is why I believe the terrorists won. America now feels that injustice is ‘allowable’ if it protects the homeland.
Thanks so much, badger, Deckard and tiger, All. Not much more to express on why we no longer respect, trust, have faith in the land of our birth — for ourselves / for our children (including the one I am not given the right to renounce on his behalf).
It was so heartening to see that Mr. Mopsick posted:
APRIL 18, 2012 AT 11:57 AM
@all: You are very welcome!. The more I see of the injustice of citizen-based taxation, the more I realize this law cannot be allowed to stand!!
30 Year IRS Vet
I appreciate the fellow feeling, Deckard and tiger, calgary411 and All. Some days it just gets to be overwhelming, and the nights are almost worse. Thank you for the venue and the support.