A record number of Americans are renouncing their U.S. citizenship in order to avoid confiscatory taxes.
And 100,000 individuals have signed up with Mars One, a company seeking volunteers for a one-way trip to be permanent settlers on the Red Planet.
Both of these facts indicate that the best in the human spirit is still alive.
America is a country built by immigrants, but immigrants did not come here to build this country. Rather, they wanted—and still want today—to better their own lives and pursue their own dreams.
They wanted to prosper through their own productive efforts and were tired of rapacious overlords limiting their economic liberty and looting the fruits of their labor. They wanted to explore and to tame frontiers. They wanted to create new societies that reflected their values. And they welcomed the challenge of acting as the entrepreneurs of their own lives.
Hunting down producers
Today over six million Americans work overseas; after all, we are in a global economy with opportunities crossing national boundaries.
But the United States is the only major nation to tax its citizens no matter where they live. On top of that, as part of its envy-driven war on producers, the Obama regime’s 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act puts new, onerous regulations and taxes on overseas Americans, strong-arming foreign institutions into cooperating with U.S. tax collectors bent on squeezing every dollar—Euro, yuan, yen—possible out of these producers.
Tired of rapacious overlords limiting their economic liberty and looting the fruits of their labor, more than a thousand Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship in the second quarter of 2013 alone.
These now-non-Americans are true patriots of liberty, standing up for the right to prosper through their own productive efforts and depriving the beast on the Potomac of victims.
Rising on red hills
The wonderful, universal spirit that gave birth to America is also manifest in Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp’s Mars One plan to send humans to colonize the Red Planet in the next decade. Mars One will select 40 astronauts this year out of the 100,000 who applied, with the aim of launching four of them in September 2022.
Cynics might scoff about sci-fi geeks who can’t find their way out of their parents’ basements much less to another planet. But those desiring to leave Earth want to explore and to tame a frontier planet. They want to create new societies that reflect their values. And they welcome the challenge of acting as the entrepreneurs of their own lives.
The many entrepreneurs planning space missions have the intelligence, drive, and even the money to make such missions possible. SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who already has launched rockets to the International Space Station, says he plans to die on Mars. And what more fulfilling end of a life than to look at a city on the red hills of that planet that he and others like him have built.
That pioneer spirit is reflected in the lyrics of one of America’s most inspiring songs:
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
Let’s hope that spirit will again triumph on this planet as well!
Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society.
For further information:
*Edward Hudgins, “ From Apollo 11 to Martian Missions. ” July 18, 2013.
*Edward Hudgins, “ Atlas Shrugging in Late 2012. ” December 14, 2012.
*Edward Hudgins, “ Taxed to Shrug. ” April 17, 2012.
*Edward Hudgins, “ Atlas Chased. ” August 6, 2004.
*Edward Hudgins, “ The Spiritual Significance of Mars. ” August 12, 2003.
Edward Hudgins is research director at the Heartland Institute and former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society.