Bad policies are driving the talented out of the US. For decades we were the beneficiaries of other governments’ bad policies. Their best and brightest came to the US in what was known as the “brain drain.” Foreign government policies have not improved, but ours have gotten progressively worse.
At this point, US government policies put us at a disadvantage in the competition for capital and talent against many other countries. The “brain drain” is no longer into this country but out!
Democrat, socialite and songwriter Denise Rich it the latest “name” to flee the United States. Capital has no country and goes to where it is treated properly. So, eventually, does human capital. Although Ms. Rich is not what one might consider a “brain” in the traditional sense, she has/had talent and acquired significant wealth.
Her renouncement of citizenship is not the first high-level departure and it will not be the last. Talent and wealth around the country are weighing the benefits and costs of similar action. Each new onerous regulation or tax tilts the balance further toward leaving.
The Wall Street Journal speculated on Ms. Rich’s possible motivations for this move. The general factors that were pushing the US into this difficult situation have been speculated on in several articles on this site over the last two or three years. The Brain Drain Begins was one of them.
The bottom line is quite simple. A spending problem cannot be solved by higher taxes and more onerous regulations. As John Stossel points out, regardless of how important the political class believe higher spending is necessary, individuals refuse to be enslaved:
Even if you think — despite all evidence — that government spends money more usefully than people in the private sector, there is a limit to how much government can tax before people work less or flee.
As taxes and regulations take their toll on initiative, growth slows and jobs decrease. Capital is invested outside the US. Wealthy individuals plan their personal escapes. Even the flow of immigrants from Mexico stops or reverses. People seek opportunity. Taxes and regulations kill opportunity.
End of story and end of country if bad policies are not reversed.