Expatriation is about opportunity (lessons from Eduardo Saverin)

By Adan Richardson

Renouncing US citizenship:  The new breed of robber baron or a postmodern role model?

Many Americans took it personally when Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin became a citizen of Singapore and renounced his US citizenship.

But why?

Outraged citizens seemed to feel that something had been taken from them…that they had given Eduardo the gift of success and that he had left them in the cold without even a simple “thank you”.

This expert from an article by Ayesha and Parag Khanna perfectly expresses my thoughts on the subject.

“Few Americans even knew that Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin lived in Singapore until it was revealed this month

Singapore. For some THIS is the land of opportunity.
photo by Sprengben 

that he had given up his U.S. passport and had become a citizen of the Asian city-state.

Saverin has been pilloried by critics who accuse him of dropping American citizenship in order to avoid paying tens of millions in U.S. taxes after Facebook’s initial public offering. New York Senator Charles Schumer has proposed legislation that would bar former citizens like Saverin from reentering the U.S. if they are deemed to have renounced citizenship in order to avoid taxes. “This is a great American success story,” Schumer said, “gone horribly wrong.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Saverin and expatriates like him are practicing a perfectly rational arbitrage in a world of diverse systems and growing opportunity. Rather than question the loyalty of such global citizens, Congress should examine what their choices tell us about how Americans can succeed in the knowledge economy of the future.Migration is about opportunity, not loyalty.

For the past generation, Eastern talent has been educated in the West and stayed, rising to the top of professions from medicine to academia, and founding more than 40 percent of Silicon Valley startups. But now many of those immigrants are going home, lured by Asia’s economic growth, infrastructure spending, and improved governance. A report released Tuesday by the Partnership for a New American Economy cites the grave challenge to the U.S. economy from the aggressive efforts of Asian nations—particularly China—to lure back their expatriate students and graduates in the U.S. You don’t even have to be Asian to find work in the continent’s shiny new corporate parks and research labs. China is launching a new scheme to recruit the best and brightest talent from all races and nations on permanent visas. Call it a “red card.”

American expatriates represent just 1 percent of its population, far less than other developed societies. Geography is one significant reason. Americans have gotten used to believing they sit in the center of the world, but in fact the U.S. is the last major nation to complete the day (Brazil’s east coast is an hour ahead of New York). It is parochial, not to mention impractical, to believe that the rest of the world will wait for American instructions as it goes about its day. Instead, more and more traders and investors are moving to California so they can speak to Asian clients and partners at more reasonable hours.

To live in the future, you have to move to it”….Via Why Eduardo Saverin Has Company in Singapore | NewAmerica.net

As the famous Judge Learned Hand so well put it, “Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes”

No, you may not have as much to lose by staying where you are as the co-founder of Facebook did.  You may not have as much to gain by leaving either…and certainly Singapore isn’t the answer for everyone!

The point is that there is opportunity everywhere, and that anything that impedes you from seeking it (or anyone that resents you for doing so) should be overcome or ignored.

This is the mission of the Q Wealth Report, to arm you with knowledge and equip you with the tools to follow your opportunities.  Join our mailing list or become a member today to find out how even the “little guy” can benefit from international diversification.