The Great Wall of…Red Tape


Immigration, as a political issue, can only be solved by solutions such as the Iron Curtain or the Great Wall of China.

By Winter Trabex @ Art of Not Being Governed

People are always making choices, every second of every day. Some people choose to live in different countries than the ones in which they were born. Indeed, the tendency for people to migrate from one place to another- normally called travel- provides a unique opportunity for individuals to vote with their feet. They can choose which country offers them the most appealing situation and move there.

For despotic, totalitarian countries, this means those with the ability to move- those with money- will be the first ones to leave. In every case throughout history, this has resulted in a brain drain: the most brilliant minds of any one nation left for friendlier shores. This was the case with the German “rocket men” of the 1950’s (i.e., Werner Von Braun and company).

Today, it appears that many American citizens who could have kept filing returns with the IRS every year have now abdicated their citizenship while living abroad. The culprit: a law called the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act. The act requires every nation to report to the IRS if any American citizen has more than fifty thousand dollars in any bank. Though it cannot be imagined that every country in the world would comply with this edict, it appears that the burden of reporting to the IRS from abroad has come to outweigh the advantages of US citizenship.

This is occurring even as more and more undocumented (illegal) immigrants enter the country. Without documentation, they cannot get a bank account, or a job that asks for photo ID, or drive a vehicle legally. They must either break the law or rely on relatives who are documented to help them along. For the present, it appears that the federal government is so inefficient that it cannot hire out a private firm to help nationalize everyone. They also cannot admit that a driver’s license, a bank account, and a job that requires photo ID are not necessarily needed to survive.

In the meantime, individual human beings are caught in the endless repeating loop of submitting paperwork, waiting, calling people, submitting more paperwork, showing up for meetings, all while the light remains red. The irony here is that even while the government becomes concerned that it is losing taxable revenue from citizens living abroad, it does nothing to increase the ability of immigrants to earn more money from a paycheck, which would cause them to pay more taxes.

Instead, the government has decided to start laying its own Great Wall, one brick at a time. The wall is not being built to keep Mongolian invaders away. Rather, it is being built to prevent people from having economic success. That is the only result the government has thus far consistently been able to provide. It appears that is the result it will be able to give for the future. The Wall is composed of incompetent bureaucrats, paper-pushing drones in third-floor offices, Republican politicians who want to deport all immigrants and Democrat politicians who want to put undocumented immigrants on welfare.

Nobody is talking about crafting policies that would get the government out of their lives so that they can start earning a paycheck for themselves. Nobody is talking about lowering taxes for citizens living abroad. The only solutions being put forward are bad ones. No one in any position of power appears concerned for the singular, unique, special lives of real people who deal with the problems presented to them by bad government policy.


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This article originally appeared at Art of Not Being Governed