Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hayek on Where to Move if Government Gets Out of Control in the United States

I have up to now stayed away from naming a country to move to if things get to oppressive in the United States. As with timing on when to leave, to a large degree factors that need to be considered will have to be done in at a personal level.

If you don't like cold weather, you may not be happy in, say, Switzerland, regardless of what positives it offers. On the other hand, if you hate hot weather, then Mexico is not going to be the place for you. Within these individual factors, there are some general guidelines that make sense.

In the June 9 issue of the EPJ Daily Alert, I discussed some of these guidelines:

People often ask me what countries are the best to move to if it
becomes time to leave the United States. I generally shy away from
naming a specific countries, because it is in many ways  a very
personal choice depending on the person's occupation and likes and

That said, I have developed a few guidelines. I think the smaller the
country the better. I'm talking very small.Very small countries are
the least likely to be bureaucratic for many reasons, including the
fact that small countries likely don't have the funds to be very
bureaucratic and it almost seems absurd that they would require huge
bureaucratic red tape for say getting a barbers license, or pretty
much anything else, when there are so few people that will need to be
In his book The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek appears to be backing me up on this thinking.

In a different context, Thomas DiLorenzo quotes this fascinating Hayek comment:

We shall not rebuild civilization on the large scale. It is no accident that on the whole there was more beauty and decency to be found in the life of the small peoples, and that among the large ones there was more happiness and content in proportion as they had avoided the deadly blight of centralization. . .Nowhere has democracy ever worked well without a great measure of local self-government. . .Where the scope of the political measures becomes so large that the necessary knowledge is almost exclusively possessed by the bureaucracy, the creative impulses of the private person must flag. I believe that here the experience of the small countries like Holland and Switzerland contains much from which even the most fortunate larger countries like Great Britain can learn. We shall all be the gainers if we can create a world fit for small states to live in.
When it's time to move away the world's only super-power, think small.


  1. Fantastic idea.

    Take a merry band of misfits and go all Lord of the Flies to a completely defenseless, barren wasteland with no natural resources so that when (not if) the Stormtroopers come they might just ignore your cozy little oblivion out in the middle of nowhere.

    This kind of sideways thinking leads only to self-defeat and is what makes me laugh reading this site.

  2. Where would you move Wenzel?

  3. The decision of when to leave is difficult. Gary North wrote an article back on May 28 about trigger points leading up to devastating events that I found interesting. Your point about small countries is an excellent criterion to use. What small countries could you point to? I appreciate your efforts, Wenzel, and admire your work. Thank you.

  4. Great post and great article by Gary North Anonymous(8:48).

  5. God, who is the F#$@ing anonymous troll who constantly misrepresents your positions and leaves ignorant and snarky comments? I really wish you would search out the IP addresses of people that are doing this (a site I visit would "red tag" trolls so all of their posts had some appropriate "name" attached, like "fascist warmonger" or "commie lover") and "tag" them.

    Costa Rica seems nice. Chile has some pluses. If Africa is your thing, Botswana and Zambia and even Namibia are growing, and they are near South Africa (which is one of my favorite places in the world!)

    Dale Fitz

  6. I have a house in the Bahamas but that's for relaxation. Having traveled a good bit of the world, I can't think of any country where I would want to live that is not saddled with some sort of corrupt government or another.

    I am not sure what you are expecting that you can avoid by leaving. If the US collapses, it will take the rest of the world with it. I would rather be an American among other American's then in some foreign land that probably will develop a hatred of Americans for the damage done to their economy.

    Stay and fight Wenzel. This country is going to need smart articulate people with new ideas, or at least ideas that may have gone out of style long ago. The collapse will probably be more like a long painful decline.

  7. anon @7:46
    They might have said that about Hong Kong.

  8. The Anonymous @7:46 p.m. truly seems like someone who clings to stereotypes, can't think outside of the box and is likely a Clover. I do pity them.

    Conversations With a Clover….

    So anyway, Chile sounds good, here's a freedom minded perspective of some places to consider:

    Six or Eight Best Places in the World

    Does the US government want to prevent you from leaving?

  9. Frank G said... "Stay and fight Wenzel."

    Reminded me of this one:

    “Stay and fight”: Is this realistic?

    Also, The White Rose didn't fare well.

  10. @Anon 10:29: Thanks for the read. My comment is more on a philosophical or ideological level vs actually picking up arms and fighting. I have no interest in that, nor would I ever advice anyone to do so. My main point is that there really is no where to run to protect yourself. If the US were Italy or Greece, then one could easily leave and go else where and move on and have a good life. However, a US melt down is equivalent to a global meltdown, so there is no where to hide from its effects. All the governments of the world will find themselves under incredible financial duress which will no doubt lead to all sorts of atrocities against its citizens and especially foreigners. There is no where to run to.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. If you're Jewish, Israel is not a bad choice, even with the socialist history of the state.

    The Bank of Israel is a paragon of virtue compared to the Fed, and indeed the shekel is today one of the strongest currencies in the world. Tel Aviv is a major center of high tech and the economy is fairly strong right now. The standard of living is quite high, and has made huge strides just since I moved here.

    English is common in the professional and high tech world, and every company I have worked at has a large amount of English chatter.

    That's not to say that I'm oblivious to the problems. The BofI did inflate a real estate bubble in the after of Lehman. Stupid idiots. And the economy is still hobbled by fairly sizable government intervention and robust bureaucracy.

    The weather is very moderate in the winter. Summers in Tel Aviv are hot and humid. Inland, it is drier, and more similar to southern California (where I grew up), but a little cooler or warmer.

    Because of the diamond industry here, there is a pretty decent availability of physical gold and silver. I have a friend who has been able to consistently buy gold (usually krugerrands) at 2% above spot from local sources, a virtually impossible spread to get in the US for single ounce quantities.

    I've been here since 1993, and haven't even stepped foot in the US since 2005 (at the absolute apex of the bubble). I have no interest in returning. In 2005, bad got much worse. The Feds imposed ridiculous restrictions on pseudoephedrine. The liquids ban was imposed. The travel security theater went from absurd to Kafka-eqsue.

    In Israel, they don't grope or porno-scan you.

    I've wondered if an Israeli passport will allow easier access to Swiss and other banking that want nothing to do with holders of American passports. Maybe someone reading this can find out.

    Oh, and despite what everyone seems to think, I really doubt the government is doing anything more than huffing and puffing regarding Iran. While there is concern about Iran (maybe "concern" is too soft a word), any sort of attack would be the height of insanity, and I don't think the government is quite that insane.

  13. Forget the Swiss and Europe....move to West Alabama. I go to the country club, $135 a month. 18 hole golf course, nice pool, 35 acre lake to fish in, weight room, tennis courts, club house, beer on Sunday....F*** the Fed and the Gov't. I hit the pool every morning, swim some laps, then I get out and sit by the pool side and read Rothbard and Chordorov, "why should I vote myself into slavery"!!! Then I just sit there and think about it all...

    After that I drink a cup of coffee, then I hit the local bank and trade Fed Reserve notes for nickles!!!!

  14. I did not get a chance to comment but great piece on the Murdoch-WSJ-NYT's mud slingin' fest. I linked to it on my blog.

    Stay and fight for the idealist who is not prepared for the onslaught of civil war/prole behavior of...hungry, desperate, raging, out of control people. What faces those who stay? Google the beat down at a mcdonalds from a few months ago.

    Protect and defend is a lost cause as well. the police will not be protecting or defending.

  15. a word of warning on switzerland. this small country is still quite business friendly and people enjoys liberties like deciding where to put your pension money, where to get healthcare (which is private) etc, but the criminal justice system is questionable to say the least. moreover, the federal state is, with the excuse of "harmonization", in a continuous process of removing powers from cantons and taking it over. with a good success i have to say. the recent decision from the government (still not ratified by parliament) to shut down nuclear power plants clearly shows that these folks have lost touch with reality and are just chasing a re-election, no matter the cost to the economy. finally, bear in mind tnat switzerland is a very efficient surveillance state. if you care about privacy, this place is not for you. crime rate is very low, so cops and prosecutors must find a way to spend their time, like prosecute and convict foreigners for BS crimes.
    i actually have a theory. the best is to emigrate every 10 years or so. takes quite a long time for a central state to zero in on you, and 10 years is in my experience the time span in which you enjoy the most freedoms and the less hassle from central bureaucracies. unfortunately even small countries like switzerland have massive and powerful central bureaucracies, which are unfortunately very efficient. big states are very inefficent and takes them a long time to realize you exist. by that time, you better have the suitcase ready.

  16. Small in geography?

    Or small in population?

    If you want tiny population...why not...Canada?

  17. The average IQ of Costa Rica is only 82, and the average IQ of Mexico is only 87. Both are dysfunctional societies.

    Look at the Wikipedia page for IQ and the Wealth of Nations.

    You really need to choose a country that has an average IQ of 98 or more, otherwise the country is going to be dysfunctional.

  18. I can't believe anyone chose Africa as a safe place to hide. Having lived in south central Africa for 6 months, I can tell you any white person will be the first person killed and robbed when the bottom falls out. There is no place to hide. Stand and fight.

  19. GREAT IDEA! Then, when the Scum Bags running this "Little Slice of Paradise" that you've decided on find out you're there, you can just offer them half of your net worth and maybe they'll leave you alone. What a JACKASS piece of advise! All you Fools that are expatriating are going to wake up one day alone in a strange place and ask yourselves, "What the Fuck was I thinking?" You think they will just welcome you with open arms and let you live peacefully for the rest of your life? You are ALL out of your minds! You missed the whole point of America. Instead of running away with your ball, you should be staying and playing and pouring resources into the fight to beat these "creatures" back. That's one of the main reasons they are winning. Fools like you! Go! But when the rest of us win this country and life back from them, don't think all you "Pussies" that left the job to others will be welcomed back with open arms. Stay there! Yes, things will get ugly for a bit, but in the end, we won't be THROWING ROCKS like the rest of the planet. We have a more permanent solution waiting for the Pieces of Shit running this country into the ground. And THIS time it's not gonna stop til the job is FINISHED.

  20. Frank G said... "My comment is more on a philosophical or ideological level vs actually picking up arms and fighting."

    That was clear.
    The White Rose was philosopical.

    There are many People who say there are places to "run" to, here is one:

    Flight AND Fight

    Of course, you might be better off where you know the lay of the land, but being where the starting point is that you're more free than in the U.S. on many - or a majority of levels - might be a good idea, for instance:

    Japan is Freer Than the USA #3

    The concern many People have is that in a foreign country there could be reprisals against Americans.
    The bigger concerns should be the reprisals of the haves-nots in the U.S., against those percieved to be the haves,... and the haves, redistributing from everyone.
    I think history (old and recent) shows this to be the case. YMMV. [Sip on that, country club man.]

  21. Maybe once the national government collapses under its own weight, we can go back to being the United States and we won't have to relocate. Well, maybe the people in the larger, more bureaucratic states like California or New York. But those of us in flyover country have already found small, slightly less bureaucratic states to live in.

  22. It always disturbs me when someone uses the word 'gonna' in text... if words are any reflection of education and if education gives us a more informed view of any situation, this places you at the bottom of the ladder.

  23. Switzerland is not that cold. I lived in Zurich all last year. It felt small and cozy - with the right clothes, boots, hat.

    Kept my Swiss cell and bank account just in case I need to get the hell out of dodge.

  24. Ha, and can you just imagine the Queen song, "We Are The Champions" blaring after the chest pounding by Anonymous @ 11:27 AM ?

    I don't think anyone here missed, "the whole point of America" - it *was* the land of opportunity and freedom - now that seems to be fading fast and is only to be found elsewhere.
    Que the song, "The Day The Music Died"

  25. The whole point to what was supposed to be a small, limited, Constitutional Federal Government with remaining powers left to the States was to let the States experiment in various size governments & taxes, while permitting the people to "vote with their feet" and move to a State of their choosing. But after the Civil War, States Rights basically became squashed by an increasingly out of control & Unconstitutional Federal Government that is now so big, so bloated, so corrupt, so fiscally strained & so police-like that it is bound to collapse sooner rather than later. Since the Federal Government has squashed the States, our only option now is to move out of the nation, not between the States, to find a better place to live.

    But where? Part of the problem is distance, since few want to totally abandon friends & family here in the Big Brother USSA (United Socialist States of America). It would have to be a nation relatively close by. Another factor is affordability, since most don't have large amounts of money, unless they simply don't mind "starting over" in another country. Finally, it would have to be a country that is more free and stable.

    It is also hard to predict what will happen in another country when (not if) the USSA collapses. When that occurs, the world itself will surely convulse.

    Many big business people are already touting Nicaragua, Costa Rica or Panama as places to seriously look into. They are also already moving assets outside the USSA as fast as possible, afraid of Big Brother's greedy clutches as the Federal Government implodes.

    I don't blame them. Our Founding Fathers would be ashamed at what we have morphed into in this once great nation!

  26. If you are looking for a small safe country to move to. I suggest you consult the Global Peace Index. The institute's 2011 Global Peace Index (GPI), which measures the levels of domestic and international conflict, safety, security, and militarization in 153 countries along 23 indices, such as the number of conflicts with other countries this year to date, the level of domestic social unrest, and the amount of money spent on the military. The U.S. is listed as #82. The country I am moving to is Uruguay which is #21. Population, 3,340,000. Size of Missouri. We have maybe 43-45% of Americans that vote. They have 96%. No debt, a Republic, no tax for income from another country, no military, friendly police force, major issues are voted on by the people, not the legislators!
    That would have killed Obamacare. Oh, they believe in our 2nd Amendment so I can carry my gun there also. Permit in 1-2 days including rifles, shotguns and pistols. No hurricanes, no earthquakes and no tornado's.

  27. It appears that most posting here have forgotten the capital controls that are secretly being put into place in the U.S. The longer you remain in the U.S. the harder it will be to qualify for residency in another country. Yes, other countries, unlike the U.S., have qualifications you must meet before they will allow you to become a resident. The financial qualifications are on the rise, and with what our tyrannical government is doing to us here in the U.S., there won't be many that will be able to financially qualify for residency.

    The U.S. government is working very hard at making it almost impossible to exit this cesspool. They are throwing up many big roadblocks so they can keep you here to be there tax slave!

  28. Those of you thinking of another country should go try one for 6 mos. Then you will appreciate the US.
    Our Government is screwed up because the populace has become complacent and lazy!! We must realize that our wages are in the adjustment cycle with the rest of the world and the unions don't want to realize that and are tainted by forces to destroy America. Freedom is the ability to work for who you want and for how much..

  29. I've been out of the USA for over 5 years and must say I miss it, just not the government we have elected to continue taking us to the edge of a cliff so large none of us will be able to survive. I cry for my grown children that are trying so hard to survive...really not possible. What has beocme of the country I have loved for 75 years. Moving to Nevis or St. Kitts.

  30. I don't think 'Anonymous' (11:27) gets it. It's ignorant, red-necked, jingo-Fascists like him that I'm trying to get away from. I can deal with the collectivists, but you can't reason with a sociopath like him.

  31. Belize has an immigration policy for people with $2,000/mo. which looks good on paper, but the government is so corrupt that you cannot do anything but live passively. The police are told not to respond to your complaints so your property is taken as the police watch. The pay offs and thefts make any business impossible.