Global Citizen. Really?

It’s the goal of @pbenedictii, the new Headmaster of my old Episcopal prep school, St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton:

Q. What would you say is your priority?

A. We have to prepare our students to be global citizens and will change the curriculum to understand that citizenship.

Meanwhile across town we have the blog of Charles Rubin, tax attorney and expert on international tax matters.  Following his blog, and other information tidbits on the subject that creep onto the internet, it becomes clear that our country has no intentions of making it easy for its citizens to relocate themselves, make a living in another place, and move the fruits of their labour to that place if they so wish.  That comes through our restrictive tax laws, our chauvinistic treatment of dual citizenship, and the plethora of legal and regulatory restrictions unique to this country which tend both to exclude others and give those therein an “inside track” for success that is really not transferable elsewhere (although those born and raised here are notorious for “blowing their lead” in this regard).

The ability to do this is, IMHO, a reasonable prerequisite for “global citizenship”, an iffy concept from a purely legal standpoint.  If we look at things as they are from that standpoint, what we have is a global citizenship with some very restrictive internal passports, a concept familiar to those in place like the old Soviet Union.

My suggestion to the new Headmaster would be to have Mr. Rubin out to explain some of these aspects to the “global citizens” being developed.  Since one of the goals of a school like St. Andrew’s is to prepare people for success, a good overview of the government’s response to that success would be in order.  Who knows, perhaps a St. Andrew’s graduate could help do something about it.

2 Replies to “Global Citizen. Really?”

  1. Don,

    You’re proposing a world tax regime, then, for those cosmopolitan corporations which do business in the US, but locate themselves, notionally and apparently legally, in e.g. Freeport, Grand Bahama?

    Congratulations! I would never have thought of it, and I’m sure you’re right that your good Headmaster wouldn’t have, either.




    1. What a silly extrapolation…

      It’s certainly true that corporations like Google and Apple do just the thing. They additionally support fashionable causes, which gain them favourable publicity, which in turn deflects attention from what they’re doing corporately.

      But I wasn’t discussing corporations but individuals, and not necessarily the enormously wealthy but those who might want to move about without getting entangled in this country’s Byzantine treatment of expatriates.

      I’ll bet, however, that such treatment isn’t the case where you’re from.

      Inapplicable CW won’t cut it.


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