A thought occurred to me on the immigration issue.
People say that if a wall is built someday along the Mexican or Canadian border, it could be used to keep Americans in rather than foreigners out. This got me thinking about Americans who leave the country, but still have to pay taxes unless they renounce their citizenship, which can be expensive.
Bottom line: the federal government doesn’t care who leaves because they still have access to citizens’ wealth in other countries. It’s gotten to the point where foreign banks will not open accounts for American citizens.
Bottom line: If our government didn’t have the ability to go after the wealth and income of American expats living in other countries – even without renouncing their citizenship – we would probably have emigration restrictions right now. We would not be free to leave like we do currently. What this means is that if anyone finds a way to keep wealth out of the hands of the feds once they’ve left the country, then we will probably see such policies implemented under the pretense of ensuring the rich “pay their fair share,” as evidenced by articles like this.
Just like the income tax was originally only “intended” for the wealthy, so will emigration restrictions at first, until it applies to everyone.
Most likely, this will follow the passage of an “asset tax” to cover the costs of running our welfare-warfare state after an economic downturn in which everything citizens own will be taxed, rather than merely income generated.
That is the day we might see a wall erected like the Berlin Wall, a wall not to keep foreigners out, but to keep its own people in.
Then, like East Germany, we too will have people crossing the border in hot air balloons.