Bob Barr

Still, talk of the country suddenly sliding into the abyss or turning overnight into a Third World nation, are comments irresponsible in their own right. And concluding that living in another country would provide a greater degree of freedom or fiscal responsibility, is just plain silly.

Renouncing one’s citizenship and taking up residence in Singapore – as did Facebook billionaire Eduardo Saverin earlier this year – may save you some taxes, but at what price? Singapore may provide a wonderfully serene neighborhood for someone able to purchase a huge and secluded estate, but for non-billionaires, the degree of individual freedom lost in moving from the United States to the small city-state of Singapore, would be a shock most would come to quickly regret.

Some of the more interesting phenomena in this game of looking for Nirvana in foreign climes, are plans to establish what the Guardian calls “neo-liberal start up cit[ies]” in the Central American country of Honduras. Recently, at least two groups – Future Cities Development Corporation and Free Cities Group (or, “Grupo Ciudades Libres” in Spanish) – launched plans to lay the legal and political foundation for a libertarian-leaning city in Honduras. Unfortunately, that country’s extremely high level of crime, and the inability to pin down the Honduran government’s promises to allow the interlopers to run things as they wished, have slowed such plans considerably.

There are many beautiful and enticing places in countries in the Caribbean, Central America, and elsewhere. However, the reality is that these societies do not possess the legal and political infrastructure that offers fundamentally sound and dependable mechanisms through which property, contractual, and individual rights can be protected against individual or government looters. Without such systems, the thrill of re-locating to a foreign Shangri-La soon wanes.

Despite the many and serious problems we face here in our country, the system of governance envisioned by our Founding Fathers, and which remains largely in place more than two and a quarter centuries later, remains the best you’ll find, anywhere. America is, as Ronald Reagan so eloquently stated nearly a half century ago in 1964, “the last best hope of man on earth.” Let’s work to defend and preserve it; not abandon it.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.