Americans aren't interested in the border-crisis story, because it's dull. Heck, you literally hear "bored" in the word: "bored"-er crisis. Plus, you've got the "er" at the end. And did you ever see the final few seasons of ER? Big snoozefest.
Even Borders bookstores are gone. I'm not surprised. It was a terrible name. Nobody wants to hear about borders. Why not just call it the Syrian Civil War Bookstore? It's similarly uninteresting.
Now, if the media referred to the situation as the "hoarder crisis," you'd have a built-in television audience. Can you imagine undocumented immigrants sneaking into New Mexico carrying boxes and boxes of worthless crap? Ratings gold. Hey, that one lady is trying to climb the giant fence with over 50 cats!
Nevertheless, the border crisis is important. A nation is nothing without its borders. (And everything with its reality shows! Heck, I pledge allegiance to Dating Naked on VH1!)
But the border crisis is like pre-1990 Elton John: It goes both ways. Just as it's important to keep an eye on what comes into the country, we can't ignore what's going out. Specifically, wealthy people's money is sneaking across the border in order to find a better life in offshore accounts.
Look, I'm a compassionate person. I sympathize with the money, especially the children. And, sure, I can understand why all this undocumented cash would want to exit the country. Its homeland was a miserable place, facing all sorts of government regulation and oppressive taxation. It's no wonder it would seek asylum in the Cayman Islands. I hear the beaches are amazing.
But at some point, sooner rather than later, we are going to have to face up to the problem. Rich people are sending their money away because they don't want to pay their taxes. And the United States gets stuck with the bills.
This is insane. Why is the general public allowing this to happen? Why are we so lenient in protecting our borders? Where are the beer-gutted buffoons in Arizona, the ones who drive ATVs and wear cowboy hats and have taken it upon themselves to scour the land for darker-skinned people and say that America is going to hell unless we secure our boundaries? How come these same people aren't talking about the other border problem? Rich Americans' hardworking dollars are now illegal emigrants in Singapore bank accounts. Somewhere right now in a Luxembourg account, many, many Benjamin Franklins are scrubbing toilets just to feed their families.
And let's be clear: We are talking about rich people. You never hear about a low-paid cafeteria worker caught hiding $40 in an offshore account.
Hey, don't get me wrong: I like rich people; everybody should own one. But all we ask is that you pay America the money you owe. I understand that you don't want to pay taxes. Nobody wants to pay taxes. But if it's any consolation, I promise that your valued tax dollars are mostly being used to maintain our corrupt political system designed to make you richer. See? So you'll still be able to afford that private helicopter.
And let's not kid ourselves: The offshore banks are criminal tax havens. Rich people are doing this illegally, screwing America out of the money they made here, the same country that gave them the opportunity to make this money in the first place.
Oh, technically it's all legal. And theoretically, the money in offshore accounts is properly accounted for. And hypothetically, the wealthy people who blah, blah, blah. Seriously. Who are we kidding? Technically, the speeding limit is 60 miles per hour, but how fast can I really go?
When a rich person puts his money into an offshore account, the banker will ask him legal questions to make sure everything is on the up and up. Wink! This is sort of like the "Click 'yes' if you're old enough to visit this site" disclaimers on Internet porn. It's not exactly a top-notch security system. One time, out of curiosity, I clicked "no." In response the website wrote back, "OK, fine. But just don't tell your parents."
People associate "putting your money in offshore bank accounts" with the mob. Generally speaking, anything that's associated with the mob is not in the best interest of society. It's why states that enact corporal punishment don't kill death-row inmates by immersing the convicts' feet in a block of cement and tossing them into a lake... I mean, except in Texas.
But aside from the legality, sneaking money out of the country is immoral. And it's un-American, not to mention semi-treasonous. It's to intentionally undermine the American way of life. Where is the outrage? Being patriotic is not about wearing an American-flag pin on your lapel or singing the national anthem before kickboxing tournaments. True patriotism is honoring your opportunities by, in turn, making the effort to extend and expand those opportunities for your fellow Americans and for future generations. I believe it was someone famous, perhaps Vin Diesel, who said, "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."
I make my money here in the United States, so I feel an obligation to spend my money here in the United States. I can announce, with American pride, that I purchased the "USA" T-shirt made in China that I'm wearing right now, about seven minutes from my home. But, hey, spend your own money wherever you want. Just declare it first and pay the taxes you owe, because that money goes to fund social services, highway maintenance, medical research, and all the other stuff that our country needs in order to be a great country.
Americans must come together, if not to make offshoring money a crime then at least to shame rich people into keeping their money within our borders. A wealthy guy stepping out of a limo holding a briefcase in one hand and a plane ticket to Switzerland in the other should be met with angry stares and a chorus of jeers. And when you see that guy, maybe take a picture or two that you can then upload online with the caption "Traitor!"
I do understand the need to protect America's borders. And it's a complicated situation. But I feel compassion for poor people from crappy countries trying to sneak into the United States with the honorable goal of working and making a little money for their family. I have less compassion for rich weasels sneaking their money out of the United States with the crappy goal of hiding a lot of extra money from their ex-wives.
It's time to make this an issue.
And Switzerland should be ashamed too. This is a country of 8 million people. I can't imagine there is much pride in being known for "neutrality" (which is just another way of saying, "We support whoever is winning") and sleazy foreign bank accounts. Those Toblerone chocolate bars are pretty good, though.
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