When I in December FINALLY abandoned the US Ship of State and moved to Belize - a LOT of conservatives told me the move was a sort of patriotic heresy.
“How dare you leave the greatest country on the planet!!!” - was a recurring theme.
I hate to break it to everybody - but I REALLY do not think that assertion is any longer the case. And it hasn’t been the case - for a LONG time.
I think far too many people are in love with the IDEA of the US. And have remained willfully blind to what the US has actually become.
I am most fortunate that my job allows me - with some losses and limitations once leaving proximity to DC - to be anywhere on the planet. I have repeatedly availed myself - by moving a few times. With ever increasing distance from DC.
A decade ago I moved to Maryland - to be right upon the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. A beautiful locale - still within an hour of DC.
Maryland’s nickname - is The Free State. What an old, ongoing, rolling joke that is. All the way back to at least the Civil War. During which - as a member of the Union - Maryland kept its slaves. Even the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t apply to Maryland and the other Northern slave states.
Today’s Maryland has government - at all levels - that is as obnoxious as you’ve heard. Even where I lived - in allegedly conservative Anne Arundel County.
My property taxes were ABSURD. And when the China Virus hit, you could immediately feel the Maryland lockdowns were going to be punitive.
So I moved to allegedly free Florida. Where I had purchased a small shack on beautiful Goodland Bay - just south of Naples, in allegedly conservative Collier County.
Six months after I bought the place - Hurricane Irma ran four feet of flood water through it. A total loss. I was forced to take a second mortgage - and build new. Again: In allegedly free Florida - in allegedly conservative Collier County.
It can not be overstated how incredibly onerous the county building codes were.
My contractor was a very kind, very good man. He became so frustrated by the process - he actually quit the gig. I had to talk him back off of the ledge and on to the job.
I kept track: I conservatively estimate I wasted $100,000 and many months meeting government building requirements - that made zero building sense.
This titanic scam - is absolutely not limited to southwest Florida. It is ubiquitous throughout the US.
The Plumbers Union bribes the county officials - in exchange for the county imposing a bunch of pointless and very expensive plumbing mandates.
The Electricians Union bribes the county officials - in exchange for the county imposing a bunch of pointless and very expensive electrical mandates.
The Framers Union….
You get the idea. Lather, rinse, repeat - over, and over, and….
I FINALLY built my dream house. Which I was then forced to sell. Because between the building code costs and the property taxes - government had priced me out of it. Yes, the property taxes in allegedly conservative Collier County - were obnoxious.
At this point, I had been looking to leave the US for more than a decade. But here I yet again chickened out. I sold in Florida - and bought in allegedly free Texas, in allegedly conservative Comal County.
I almost immediately realized that too was an error. Because Texas too is in the US.
So, eight months later - I finally made a move that made sense: To Belize.
Meanwhile, I am STILL trying to sell the Texas house. Because it is not easy to unload an abode - in a country that has raised interest rates every month for almost a year. As they try to clean up the mess they made printing trillions of fake dollars.
I have to sell very quickly - which means I’ll probably have to take a whole lot less money - because my EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLAR annual property tax bill soon comes due. This for a 2,400 sq ft house - on 0.79th of an acre - basically in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by hundreds of miles of scrub brush nothing.
Again: In allegedly free Texas - in allegedly conservative Comal County.
I regale you with all of this personal stuff? To demonstrate that when I say that NONE of the US is what it is supposed to be - or once was? I know of what I speak.
And that all these people fleeing the likes of New York and California - for the likes of Florida and Texas? Are simply choosing the lesser of fifty evils.
And most people don’t realize it. Fish don’t know they’re wet - because they’re completely immersed in the water. Americans don’t realize the awful - because they’re completely immersed in it.
It’s part a Boil the Frog Slowly story. For decades, we were being cooked over a stovetop burner set at 3. Things got progressively worse - but slowly enough as to be almost imperceptible. It’s why for so long only old people railed about the nation’s decline - because they’d been witness to decades of its sedate accumulation.
It’s also, I think, a bit of an avalanche story. As the country slides downhill, momentum and accrued awfulness accelerate the descent.
But then came Donald Trump. - who FREAKED OUT the people cooking us. So they cranked up our burner to 8.
Now things are completely out of control.
It took several decades of Big Bank-Big Government crony-subprime awfulness to create the 2008 housing crisis. Which wiped out the planet’s entire economy.
Then things started getting much awful-er - much faster.
Big Government then allowed the Big Banks to write 2010’s Dodd-Frank. A law that DC told US would make things better - that made things much worse.
DC told US Dodd-Frank would end “Too Big to Fail” banks. It actually murdered thousands of small banks - and made Big Banks 30% bigger.
And the frog cooked faster - and the avalanche gathered speed….
It took the Big Bank-Big Government cabal several decades to ruin the economy. It took the cabal only thirteen years to fundamentally transform their messaging about their ruining the economy.
“Last week, CNBC had a Big Investor guest. Nigh all of CNBC's guests are Big Investors - or execs of the Big Businesses in which they invest. This person - or his interlocutor - said something along the lines of ‘We probably don’t need regional banks anymore. We could probably do well with just 3 or 4 Big Banks.’
“Whoever this was - isn’t the only person peddling this corrupt idiocy.
“‘Bigger Banks Are a Necessary Evil’
“‘Time Is Right for a Wave of Bank Consolidation’
“‘US Regional Banks “Need Consolidation,” Canyon’s Lemkin Says:
“‘“We need less banks,” alternative asset manager says Pimco….”’”
As we hurtle to full-on Big Business-Big Government fascism.
It’s ALL only further downhill from here. Then…the crash.
This is the US as it actually is.
Not as we nostalgically remember it.
Not as we wish it to be.
Hence - Belize.
Or wherever you desire your final destination to be…..