25% of the population was decimated – a total of two million people were gone. One million died of starvation and the other one million left the island. It was complete survival of the fittest with the real threat of death.
During the mid-1800s The Great Hunger literally drove people to their death or to another world. It was the only way to survive the blight that had engulfed the country and brutalized their undiversified economy that was heavily dependent on the potato.
The majority of emigrants from Ireland sailed across the Atlantic to make their new homes in America. Although many died on the trip across the sea, there were still over one million Irish citizens that immigrated to America during the 1850s.Today, nearly 40% of all US citizens have some sort of Irish background, mostly decedents from the large numbers who arrived on the eastern US shores during the 1800s. Clearly there has been a huge Irish influence on the way that America has been shaped, both in the pure numbers of population and in the hardworking entrepreneurial spirit.
America’s incredible transformation during the 20th century can owe a large part of it’s success to the Irish settlers who escaped from their deteriorating country.
However, this isn’t a testament to the people of Ireland, but rather a testament to the people who came from Ireland. Notice the difference, in that the people were the key to success, not their previous identity as an Irish resident.
In reality, the fact that America was founded with so many Irish was simply a coincidence, as the same scenario would have happened with people from a different country. The Irish are no different than any other culture or country when it comes to intelligence, hard work or having an entrepreneurial spirit – those characteristics are synonymous with every human who has the courage to search for a better life. The migration of people throughout the world acts as a form of evolution; those who choose to suffer in an unfortunate circumstance will always be outperformed by those willing to take positive action.
The simple act of taking responsibility for the situation you are in versus accepting the disappointments that are given to you sets apart people who are willing to do instead of be.
Those doers are the ones who left Ireland to make their new homes, or rather their new successes, fueled by their doer mentality.
Today, the very places that people were once immigrating to, are experiencing similar trends of emigration to other new lands of opportunity. For example, there are actually more people emigrating from the US to Mexico, versus the other way around – quite a shocker considering all the hoopla in the press regarding immigration in America.Additionally, US students studying abroad have tripled since the early ‘90s and many of those students have chosen to remain in those countries of study due to attractive jobs not available in the states.
The number of US citizens who have renounced their citizenship has skyrocketed over the past several years, mainly because of overly oppressive tax laws, like FATCA, that inhibit US passport holders from making foreign earned income without taxation.
These trends and many more similar stories are the beginnings of a new migration of doers moving to new opportunities where they are treated better. Lower taxes, better working opportunities and generally better working conditions can be had in many unassuming parts of the world outside of the United States.
Fortunately, we live in a world today where the ability to pursue these opportunities in different lands is completely realistic and open for the taking – for those willing to take the leap. Journeying to a new country doesn’t involve boarding a ship (that very well may sink) with hundreds of other disease carrying migrants.
Of course, I am speaking to Westerners in regards to the ease of migrating. As of lately, the news has been filled with stories of middle-eastern migration disasters, resulting in deaths and numerous stories of horrors. However, the point still stands true in those less fortunate areas – the doers are leaving and searching for places where they can survive and become more successful – they will not be a victim of circumstance.The cyclical migration trends of people searching for better countries is very similar to migration habits of birds, whales or any other animal searching for the necessities of survival. Human’s move at a much slower pace, as their search is not so much dependent on the weather and seasons, but instead the seasonality of governments.
Oddly enough, the seasonality of the Irish government has come full circle and now hosts a variety of major US corporations, offering them a lower corporate tax rate than the US. This means companies can incorporate in Ireland, even though they may do a majority of their business in the US, and avoid the highest corporate tax rate in the world, which America has imposed on all companies who choose to call the US their home base.
Any corporation that is remotely interested in making money (i.e. staying in business), must always search for the most economically efficient method of operating. Incorporating in Ireland provides a much more favorable tax rate, so companies flock there – it’s known as a corporate inversion. Ireland had to change their tax code in order to make their economy work. And guess what? It’s working! Ireland is finally starting to see their economy turn around; the first time since it initially declined during the mid-1800s, when all of its citizens left because of unfavorable government policy and the potato blight.
With this turnaround in government comes the doers, better known as the people in search of better opportunity. So now Ireland has almost completed the full cycle of chasing away its inhabitants and now attracting them, simply by playing host to attractive living opportunities.
But this isn’t about how great Ireland is or about how bad America is becoming; its about how the doers of the world will always search for the best opportunity and then pursue whatever route leads to success.
So question your situation. Are you a doer who cares enough about your ability to succeed? Are you willing to take those ‘risky’ leaps that involve pursuits to unknown lands?
Don’t be a victim of circumstance; be the driver that navigates the best route to success.
Given your suggestion for buying real estate in South America, would you also recommend Americans move there to work? Can their economies support that yet? Would their tax laws make up the difference in the pay when leaving the US?
Moving to South America (or really anywhere for that matter) is totally a personal choice, in regards to what advantages a person realizes in a foreign land.
As far as their economies supporting it and tax laws making up the difference, yes moving would certainly make a lot of sense.
For example… if you were a medical professional in the US… You could move to Panama and work at the Johns Hopkins University hospital in Panama City. Not only would you be subject to Panama taxes if you were living there, but you’d be eligible for FEIE. FEIE is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion that you’d qualify for as a US citizen if you spend more than 330 days out the US. The details are here: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-Earned-Income-Exclusion
There are also benefits for housing and if you’re married.
Also, you asked “Would their tax laws make up the difference in the pay when leaving the US?” …I’d even go out on a limb and say that some companies will pay more, regardless of tax law differences. The field of work would obviously determine this.