Jeff D. Opdyke is the editor of the Profit Seeker at TheSovereignInvestor.com
Now, I’m scared…
And if you, too, care about preserving your personal wealth, then a new report released this month by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should leave you paralyzed with fear and desperate to find measures to counteract the attack that will soon take aim at your pocketbook.
In the 100-plus-page report dryly titled Fiscal Monitor: Taxing Times, the IMF has essentially given lawmakers from deeply indebted countries a paint-by-numbers kit on how to extract larger tax revenues from anyone with any level of wealth. Though the IMF’s language is couched in faux-objectivity, the underlying message is shockingly clear: Many developed nations, especially the United States, have abundant opportunities “to raise revenue from the top of the income distribution,” using a variety of methods including the direct confiscation of personal wealth.
But it’s best that I let the report speak for itself and let you come to your own conclusions…
“The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a ‘capital levy’ – a one-off tax on private wealth – as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability. The appeal is that such a tax, if it is implemented before avoidance is possible and there is a belief that it will never be repeated, does not distort behavior (and may be seen by some as fair). … The conditions for success are strong, but also need to be weighed against the risks of the alternatives, which include repudiating public debt or inflating it away.”
Consider what that paragraph above is really saying. Its sentiment is clear: You, the developed countries of the world that have done such a masterful job of suffocating yourselves with more debt than you will ever be able to repay, have three options. You can default on your debt down to a level that is manageable … you can inflate the hell out of your economy and in that process destroy your currency and probably spark a bout of hyperinflation … or you can claim eminent domain over a portion of your citizens’ personal wealth and simply take it for the needs of the state.
And look at what the endgame is: “debt sustainability.” Not debt eradication. Not learning to live within the revenue stream you generate as a country. Just the ability to continue relying on debt … largely to pay for bloated welfare programs that will be the death of many Western economies in the not-too-distant future – and that just gets us to a point sometime in the future when debt levels are too high again and government once again imposes a capital levy.
Please understand that the IMF is not some wacky band of fringe-dwelling lunatics peddling daft ideas to no one of importance. It’s the central banker to the world, and it’s funded by the so-called G20 nations, the world’s 20 largest economies. What the IMF suggests is taken quite seriously inside the halls of congresses and parliaments throughout the developed world. Its reports often serve as the backbone for the various financial policies that lawmakers undertake across the globe.
The organization doesn’t publish random musings. It deliberately sends messages to those with the greatest influence in shaping the world’s monetary and taxation policies. The message it’s sending with this new report is that the developed world is in a seriously bad way, and that the radical steps required to keep the cart on the rails mean that anyone with any wealth will have to part with what they’ve worked so hard to accumulate … for the good of the state.
Scariest of all in the IMF’s assessment is the phrase: “If it is implemented before avoidance is possible.” The IMF reflexively recognizes that the medicine it prescribes will not go down without force, and that those of us who can will rapidly seek ways to keep the government’s greedy paws away from our personal wealth. To counter that, the IMF implicitly advocates a blitzkrieg approach to governmental thievery. Imagine waking up some random Monday to find that the federal government has imposed a week-long “bank holiday” that limits your access to your own money to maybe $200 a day through an ATM, and that the government is imposing a new “wealth tax” that requires every American with a positive net worth to give 10% of that wealth to the government.
Can’t happen here in America?
Be Prepared for What’s Coming …
Do not think that this won’t hit you. The IMF is not calling on governments to soak the hated 1%. The IMF recognizes that not even the developed world’s richest denizens have enough cash to refloat the sunken system. So … everyone with a positive net worth will have to relinquish a portion of their wealth.
Your takeaway from all of this should be crystalline at this point: You absolutely must begin putting in place the plan B you could very well need one day to survive the legalized thievery that, with this IMF report, is now an official part of government dialogue.
You must have some portion of your wealth in assets not easily taxed or taken, like gold and silver bullion or, more importantly, collectible gold and silver coins. You need money available to you offshore to reach in the event of a bank holiday and in case you decide the financial pain associated with your nationality is suddenly too much to bear. And you should at least begin the process of considering where you would feel comfortable living outside America if life inside America becomes financially unbearable.
The IMF is telling you what is coming. And I’m telling you the wealth confiscation is nothing to brush aside as impossible in America. We are a deeply, deeply troubled country. And deeply troubled countries always resort to unexpected solutions.
You’ve been warned. Until next time, stay Sovereign. Jeff D. Opdyke’s article first appeared here.