Should Canadians boycott the USA?

I wrote the following comment at Beating the Index, after Mich asked us what we thought of an oil company operating in Texas:

Hi Mich:
I gave up my US citizenship on February 28 2011, and I am very angry with the United States and its attempt to persecute Canadian residents, about 1 million of us, with extra-territorial taxation and persecution through laws that are intended to attack money launderers, drug dealers, and terrorists. Many innocent Canadians with dual citizenship with the US have become fearful of not even being able to cross the border to visit their families now, and Canada’s finance minister, Jim Flahrety, has told the IRS to back off of innocent Canadians who are not tax cheats.

When you expatriate from a country because you think that the people running it are persecuting you, treating you in an unfair manner, do you think that’s gonna be the first place you would want to invest? I’ve decided to stop even travelling to the US, except for family emergencies where the risk reward ratio makes sense. I did invest in Texas a few years ago, but thanks again to the US Federal government, I was basically fleeced for 70K. No thanks. Never again.

I think EGL could turn out to be a good investment, but with the OWS movement and an administration that wants to tax the rich, is not nationalization of the resource sector not far off? Paint me as paranoid, but the US federal government has caused me great suffering by threatening me, someone who’s lived in Canada now 25 years, I feel like requesting my fellow Canadians to keep their money at home and to boycott the USA until they [the Yanks] can figure out that it is not right to attack innocent Canadians.

Thanks for letting me rant a little. I just think people should know about this.

The right of expatriation II: The Ninth Amendment

In an earlier post, I argued against that there is indeed a right of expatriation enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.  Now I believe that I’ve found the same right in the United States Constitution–the Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Now since the American Revolution was the colonists’ major assertion of the right to expatriate from Britain and the King of England, it only makes sense that the Ninth Amendment must be interpreted as protecting that same right in the case of anyone who wishes to expatriate from the United States.

The right of expatriation

Thanks to a reader comment I was able to find an excellent resource for expatriating from the United States: .  The website is by US expatriates who wish to extend the wisdom of their experience to others who are contemplating the voluntary loss of their US citizenship.  In addition, they provided some interesting research on the history of expatriation in the United States.

According to, the United States is only one of two countries that requires not only residents but citizens living abroad to pay income taxes.  The only other country is Eritrea, which has made it a practice to harass loved ones in your country until you pay up.  The authors write:

Interestingly, a Canadian court in Toronto ruled in 2007 that the imposition of the 2% tax on its citizens abroad was illegal and that a dual Canadian-Eritrean citizen should be paid back the money he had given.

So in becoming a Canadian citizen on Monday, I will also hope that the Canadian government would protect me, if necessary, from the tax regime of the IRS, which may attempt to tax my Canadian sources of income, and if I were to die, to tax my inheritance in such a way as would strip my wife’s rights as a Canadian citizen to inherit her husband’s property (nearly all my assets are Canadian based)., however, asks the question if there is a right of expatriation in the US Constitution:  “It’s not there. And it’s not in the Declaration of Independence, either.”  Now here I have to differ.  Consider these lines:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

So begins the Declaration of Independence.  Now in asserting the right of the people of the 13 colonies to expatriate from England, the Declaration of Independence sets an important precedent that makes it clear that liberty is a God-given right and that to be able to loose oneself from the shackles of government which constrict that liberty is the right of the people.  It is therefore not explicitly stated, but the precedent of declaring independence from the King of England would justify any individual who in the course of seeking life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness wished to be released from obligation to his native country; everyone has that right, given to him not by the Congress nor by the country of his choosing, but by the Creator Himself.

Thus, the right of expatriation, while not explicitly argued for by the founding documents of the US, is nevertheless a premise enshrined in the Declaration of the Independence.