Bruce Ackermann of Yale University needs to join the Isaac Brock Society Hall of Shame

New article from Bruce Ackermann of Yale University in LA Times. Call for increased enforcement of the Reid Amendment.

Payback for a Facebook tax refugee: Renouncing U.S. citizenship, as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin did, should come with tough restrictions on returning to the land that nurtured the wealth.

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18 thoughts on “Bruce Ackermann of Yale University needs to join the Isaac Brock Society Hall of Shame

  1. An academic saying the stupidest things, proves that there really is an education bubble. Yes, he goes in the Hall of Shame, and what is more, he will never probably get out because academics are rarely the sort that are open-minded enough to change their minds when confronted with the truth.

  2. I would like to do another Kristina Keneally post especially if this story starts to get traction in Australia which it doesn’t appear to be getting yet. Eduardo Severin = Kristina Keneally

  3. I left the following comment. It’s either stuck in their moderation queue or they deleted it. I saw it show up after I pressed “post”, but now it’s gone.

    This list hardly contains a “hefty proportion of super-rich cosmopolitans”. It consists of politicians who had to renounce to get elected, activists protesting U.S. bellicosity, and immigrants/immigrants’ kids who settled in their ancestral countries. And that’s just the ones who make it into Wikipedia. There’s thousands more ordinary renunciants you’ll never hear of. People who had already settled abroad and wanted to be able to vote where they lived, in a country which didn’t allow dual citizenship. And people ashamed at the decline of the U.S. into a global bully who no longer wanted anything to do with it.

    Emigration is a human right. It’s right there in the UDHR and the ICCPR: “Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own”. If you want Saverin to pay more tax, instead of making jingoistic proposals to mess with the visa system, maybe you should ask yourselves why your country offers this sweetheart 0% capital gains tax rate to non-resident aliens. Their investments benefit (the same as non-resident citizens’ investments do) from U.S. taxpayer-funded infrastructure. In Brazil it doesn’t matter if your passport is American or Brazilian and whether you live in Denmark or Caymans: if you invest in Brazil while not living there, you pay capital gains tax.

    My last sentence got cut off by their 1400 character limit: “And conversely if you don’t invest there, you DON’T pay capital gains tax.”

  4. This Ackermann guy provides a prime example of how the ability to sport a high-class academic brand and to spout drivel in top mainstream media entails neither critical intelligence nor basic humanity.

  5. @Eric, your post is up now. I had a lot of trouble getting under the 1400 characters but did post. A few others, not sure if they are Brockers or not.

  6. Interesting comments on the Reed amendment by Mark Nestman:

    “However, 15 years after its original enactment, regulations under the Reed amendment have not been promulgated, nor has its power ever officially been invoked. One reason is that the law is so extreme that even that paragon of civil liberties, former Attorney General Janet Reno, questioned its constitutionality.

    Another reason is that the law is obsolete. The law that imposes an exit tax and otherwise discourages expatriation no longer requires that a person’s expatriation be “tax-motivated” to come into effect. Anyone who meets the criteria to be defined as a “covered expatriate” is subject to it. Among other consequences, covered expatriates must pay an “exit tax” on unrealized gains that exceed $636,000 (indexed annually for inflation). Your motivation for expatriation is irrelevant.

    These facts haven’t stopped U.S. consular officials from occasionally denying visa applications from former U.S. citizens, apparently using the Reed amendment as legal authority for doing so. In another case, U.S. customs officials used the Reed amendment as justification to deny a former U.S. citizen permission to board a U.S.-borne jet. Fortunately, the situation was quickly resolved in favor of the former U.S. citizen seeking to re-enter the United States.

    The officials apparently made no effort to determine if the targeted individuals had renounced—or merely relinquished—their U.S. citizenship. In addition, the State Department lumps any U.S. citizen who expatriates into a single category, which it calls “renunciants.”

    These facts make the distinction I’ve made between renunciation and relinquishment largely irrelevant. As the procedure for renunciation is simpler, and removes any question of intent, I no longer see any reason to avoid this option. In the unlikely event you’re denied permission to reenter the United States due to the Reed amendment, it won’t matter if you relinquished or renounced. ”
    The rest is here:

    I think we (as former US citizens) are more likely to be denied entry to the USA for stealing a bag of peanuts 50 years ago than we are due to the Reed amandment.

  7. Thanks nobledreamer.

    On a similar note, NYT is running a piece on dual citizenship. Aside from the always-excellent Peter Spiro it’s full of the usual people who either don’t realise that people emigrate from the US as well as immigrating, or who get all jingoistic when they find out and accuse us of being rich elite traitors. And the comments section is even worse.

  8. You mean this guy gets paid writing this rubbish op-ed? Retribution is the only language this guy understands, someone has to pay or be punished..

    If you leave Club America, we’re going to slam the door behind you and lock it tight – all sour grapes. This is suppose to be the America the world is suppose to look up to, the shining beacon of hope? Professor go back to your law books and write an op-ed about America 2012 and its conveyor belt justice system with overuse of plea bargaining as a short cut to justice than take cheap shots at American emigrants.

    And why do people emigrate? Some for family, and others because they believe there are better opportunities abroad. America does not want to accept World 2012 where you can be better off abroad than sticking to the US.

    Remember when a corporation is in trouble and ready to go bust, often the good people leave first. Are renunciations really any different? Once again we’ll repeat, most people don’t renounce because of taxes, the Facebook kid is an exception.

    I’d have far more respect for America if it bid its emigrants farewell, good luck and you’re always welcome back without prejudice.

  9. @John

    Remember when a corporation is in trouble and ready to go bust, often the good people leave first. Are renunciations really any different? … I’d have far more respect for America if it bid its emigrants farewell, good luck and you’re always welcome back without prejudice.

    Great analogy. In the tech industry we call it The Dead Sea Effect. If a company makes it hard for people to come and go, eventually they end up only with people who couldn’t get a job anywhere else, building up their own little fiefdom of systems that only they know how to maintain (making them unfireable). The employees who left tend to end up resentful. Eventually the company goes bankrupt under the weight of all the accumulated deadwood.

    Wheras a company which takes advantage of its “corporate alumni network” has a much easier time making sales to other companies, and often benefits from “brain circulation” when former employees who have gained a lot more experience elsewhere decide that they’d like to give things another spin at their old company.

  10. Great parallel to large corporations. A good one was RIM. When things turned south, all of their executives started fleeing. I’ve seen this over and over again, from large companies to small companies.

    Re: the article. I think this is a real reason WHY the US State Department keeps the number of renunciations low. Because it DOES give the impression that only rich people renounce. Oh! How I could love to se the “real” statistics. Maybe someone could sue under the Freedom of Information Act

  11. @all

    I came across the following video of Professor Akermann:

    It is clear to me that his article is a “knee jerk” reaction to something that he has never thought about. In this respect he is like the rest of the homelanders.

    I believe that if Mr. Akermann understood this situation he might see things differently and could be a helpful.

    I think that a friendly letter should be drafted to him – watch the video. I believe he is somebody who would listen.

    Maybe, then he would write a “follow up.”

  12. Such voices as Ackerman’s and similar ones being voiced in the mainstream press is a sign of just how far America has strayed from its traditional libertarian values.

    Having observed this, I am all the more pleased that I renounced some years ago.

  13. @John

    Just want to add: How easily people forget that America was founded by people leaving some other place, and looking for something better.

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