On Tax Day 2012 we’re greeted with the news that some 1,800 Americans, a record number, last year renounced their citizenship or turned in Green Cards . The principal reason was to avoid high American taxes. Particularly onerous is the fact that the United States, unique among advanced countries, taxes its citizens on income that they earn while working overseas.
This is yet another example of Atlas shrugging, of individuals opting out of systems that penalize them for seeking their own prosperity through their own productive efforts. In recent years, for example, Norway lost its richest citizen, who decided he would rather be a citizen of Cyprus than the target of a government that saw him as a cash cow to be milked dry. (See my article “ Ragnar Shrugged ” May 24, 2006. )