dollarvigilante.com / By Jeff Berwick / January 8, 2013
If I had told you twenty years ago that the rich of the West would have to flee to Russia for economic freedom, you might have slapped me for lying.
But that is exactly what is going on today as Western governments get increasingly brazen about their true kleptocratic natures, seeking to “expropriate the expropriators” in order to save their unsustainable welfare (European) and warfare (American) states.
Europe has never been the land of economic freedom, but it wasn’t as bad as the Communist states of the USSR which kept roughly 100 percent of their citizens’ income, a condition commonly known as slavery. Before the fall of Communism, people were actually risking their lives trying to escape places like Russia and East Germany. Now as Russia moves away from economic slavery toward economic freedom and Western Europe takes giant steps toward communism, the rich of the West are both the first targets—and the first escapees.
Famed French actor Gerard Depardieu is the probably the most well-known name among the first defectors fleeing French Socialist President Francois “I Hate The Rich” Hollande. Hollande has literally said, “I don’t like rich” which plays well in France for reasons I’ll explore below. Yet he also has no shame in using the rich’s money – at gunpoint, of course – to fund his socialist redistribution schemes. Hollande wasted absolutely no time in trying to make good on his pledge to raise the top tax rate to 75 percent on French citizens who earn a million euros per year.
Depardieu, who apparently would make a fine Dollar Vigilante, almost as immediately put his Paris mansion up for sale, crossed the French border into the Belgian village of Nechin where a tiny community of French just beyond the reach of French taxation already existed, gave up his French passport, and is in the process of renouncing his French citizenship. Depardieu has already paid roughly $200 million in taxes to the French government over his decades-long and very successful acting career. This year he’s already paid 85 percent of his income.