My God, Europe Is Better Value for Money

It’s Hump Day, and we’re all the better for it.

Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol:

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mr. Dickens did this to remove all doubt about Jacob Marley’s status.

Permit me to do the same regarding taxes.

I don’t think any single living person – or dead one, regarding inheritance taxes – should pay a single tax to any parasitic warmonger lording over their lands currently or at any time in the future.

I’m happy the Propublica report revealed billionaires avoiding tax not because I think “they deserve it” or that “they’re better than us peasants.”

It’s because I’m thrilled at least someone has figured it out.  I hope the general public figures it out, too.

Regarding the poor, some say they must pay some tax to have “skin in the game.”

I think it’s a stupid argument.

I don’t want the poor to spend any money at the direction of any bureaucrat.  They’ve got enough problems of their own.

With all that said, let me spell out what I think about living in Europe versus the United States.

Talking My Own Book

Andrew Henderson of Nomad Capitalist is one of my favorite YouTubers.  I watch his videos religiously.

I pay attention to what he says because he’s an American who renounced his citizenship, just like I did, and doesn’t just about it.  Therefore, he brings much-needed real-world experience to the international game.

Most Americans who comment on living abroad are the first to run back to the States at the first sign of trouble.

Andrew has been out of the country for a long time.  I left over two decades ago and have not been a US citizen for one decade.

So it’s fair to argue that since my options are “limited,” I’ll have to say Europe’s better.

First, my options have expanded.  And second, I’ve argued for a long time that it’s a fabulous place to live despite Europe’s left-leaning elites.

Five days ago, Andrew uploaded a video titled “Clarifying My Thoughts on EU Citizenship.”

He concluded that you should only get an EU passport if you want to live in the EU.

I agree with him.

I also think if you can get an EU passport, moving to the EU is an excellent idea if you compare it to living in the United States.

More Subjectivity

I like old stuff.

Castles, cathedrals, pubs, highlands, lowlands, you name it.  If it’s old, I’ll usually want to be there.

Running my eyes over old maps and books, in an ancient pub, drinking a pint of beer first brewed in the Middle Ages is my idea of heaven.

Reading the Blue Plaques on the houses of famous people while walking around London was a weekly pleasure.

Strolling into the British Museum or the Louvre or the Uffizi and seeing our heritage and history on display is a treat too few people avail themselves of.

So Central and South America never did it for me.  I don’t feel the same way about the Aztecs and the Incas as I do about the Romans and the Lombards.

And though I’ve lived in Asia for nearly 13 years, I’ve never become an Asiaphile.  And I certainly don’t think Eastern philosophy and history are superior to Western.

Again, all that’s highly subjective.

So Europe has always been my sweet spot.

And for years, I’d say to friends, “If you’re paying the same total tax I am, Europe just offers more.”

What Does Europe Offer?

Again, let me remind you that I don’t think anyone should pay taxes.

But we don’t live in that world right now.

Since we don’t, to me, it’s got to be about value for money.

America is now insanely expensive, and there’s not much you get for the ludicrous taxes you pay.

If all the things I named above don’t float your boat, that’s fine.

Some prefer new cities to old ones, and Americana in general to the Old World.

But at what cost?

Let me show you something from the Tax Foundation they printed on November 1st:

If Joke Biden gets his way, the US will be the highest taxed population in the OECD.

And these numbers don’t include property tax, which much of Europe doesn’t charge!

Who is the OECD?

What the OECD says it does on its About page:

From improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion, we provide a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting.

What the OECD actually does:

OECD support produces $850m extra tax

OECD Announces Global Tax Deal

OECD makes climate change agreement ahead of COP26

The OECD’s headquarters are in Paris.  Quelle surprise!

I find it funny when Americans are trying to impress Europeans with higher taxes.

It’s insane.

People ran to America because taxes were low, and they had a chance to escape Europe’s crazy taxes.

My ancestors did it.

Now you’re getting people who want to dip their hands into the Treasury.  That’s what the welfare state does, whether it’s America’s, Germany’s, England’s.

Nevertheless, if America has higher taxes than Europe, you can live cheaper and get all the cultural goodies on the side.

Europeans have cornered the lifestyle market, I think.  They work to live, not the other way around.

Wrap Up

Governments have had a tough time raising taxes in democracies.  Most people don’t want to pay them.

So governments have had to steal from the public via inflation.

Murray Rothbard elucidated that argument perfectly in an essay called “Taking Money Back,” first published in The Freeman in October 1995.

I think you should read that right now.  It’ll clear up much of what’s happening.

Until tomorrow.

All the best,

Sean

You May Also Be Interested In:

Get in while you still can

In August, pandemic worries paired with a weakening U.S. dollar sent gold prices soaring to over $2,000 an ounce for the first time in history. Silver also rallied to $28 an ounce, a 140% increase from its 2020 low.