Those who are bearish on the notion of American power and concerned about our waning influence overseas have no doubt taken note of this year’s NPI Passport Index, where the US is now ranked 43.
If it’s any consolation, our neighbor to the north didn’t make the grade either, but at 41, they’re still two places ahead of us.
And this is hardly a new development.
For the fifth year running, American passports have failed to make the list of the top 40 ranked best passports in the world.
It’s bad enough that we’re being beaten by the Canadians and Australians, but we’re also outranked by countries like Malaysia and Chile, not to mention 11 countries that, until the 90s, were still under communist rule.
So much for the land of freedom and liberty – and the reason?
See, the NPI index doesn’t just measure travel freedom. It also measures overall freedom.
After all, what’s the point of going anywhere if the IRS is going to follow you around the world wherever you go?
Hence the growing trend of Americans renouncing their citizenship and starting new lives overseas.
Not all that long ago, the notion of renouncing your US citizenship and becoming a citizen of a foreign country was seen as an extreme move – but not anymore.
Perceptions are changing, just as our views of American politics and what it means to be truly American in the 21st century have changed.
Because, while the partisan bickering continues, smart folk are realizing it doesn’t really matter who’s calling the shots in Washington.
Americans will continue to pay higher taxes and enjoy diminishing freedoms compared to counties we’re constantly told aren’t as free as our own.
So a new pioneering generation has begun hitching their wagons and looking across the Atlantic at low-tax European countries instead.
The only problem now is that these countries are beginning to close the shutters.
According to Andrew Henderson, the founder of global citizenship consulting firm Nomad Capitalist, “The sun is setting on Europe’s golden visa programs. Ireland has shut its program down, Portugal is shutting its program down, and Spain is set to follow.”
All eyes now are on the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta. This low-tax, English-speaking country will gladly give you an EU passport – and all the rights and freedoms that come with it – but only if you can afford the price.
But, as Andrew Henderson, author, investor, and founder of the global citizenship consultancy company Nomad Capitalist notes, “It’s only a matter of time before Malta closes too, so you need to move quickly.”
As other programs shut, Malta’s fast becoming the only game in town as wealthy investors clamor to obtain citizenship for themselves and their families before it’s too late.
History is often known for its ironic twists. One can scarcely think of a more damning indictment of the current state of US politics than the vision of huddled Americans on a tiny island in Europe yearning to breathe free.