Silicon Valley power broker Peter Thiel plays the all-American patriot when he’s schmoozing with his good friend Donald Trump. But it turns out that even a member of Trump’s inner circle needs an escape plan.
Last week, the New Yorker reported that Thiel was among the clients of a New Zealand real estate agent catering to the rich. Further investigation revealed that Thiel had acquired a New Zealand estate on scenic Lake Wanaka, worth an estimated $10 million, in 2015. Local journalists started to wonder: How did an American citizen bypass rules requiring foreigners to gain special permission to buy protected land?
It turned out that Thiel didn’t need permission at all: the Pay Pal co-founder became a citizen of New Zealand in 2011.
We don’t know the exact details of Thiel’s naturalization yet, but it’s hard to imagine that his exorbitant wealth didn’t help. New Zealand offers residence permits to rich investors—the hacker Kim Dotcom, who’s facing extradition to the United States, bought his way there by investing millions of dollars—and grants citizenship in special circumstances to people who don’t meet the five-year residence requirements.
In these discretionary cases, New Zealand’s immigration minister has to personally approve the petition and deem it “in the public interest because of exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian or other nature.” (Thiel does not appear to have won any prizes for his humanitarian efforts.)
Thiel’s opinions will affect some 300 million Americans, most of whom who do not have a backup passport—or indeed, even the funds for a plane ticket abroad.
More and more countries are adopting special citizenship laws to let in extraordinarily rich or talented people, whether it’s athletes, experts, or entrepreneurs. As I note in my book, The Cosmopolites, for your average billionaire, having a Plan B country has become practically de rigueur. Citizenship-by-investment is estimated to be a $2 billion a year business. A half-dozen countries, from tiny specks in the Caribbean like Antigua to EU member states like Malta, openly sell their passport to wealthy individuals so long as they are not known criminals. Even the US effectively sells green cards through its EB-5 investor program.
It’s one thing for a wealthy private citizen to buy herself options to make traveling, living, and working abroad easier. Hypocrisy among Trump’s inner circle—and indeed, in all contemporary American politics—is hardly breaking news. And the irony of a Trump confidante revealing himself to be a rootless globalist is admittedly delectable. It’s also not all that surprising: Trump’s pick for trade secretary, Robert Lighthizer, has attended the Davos World Economic Forum 15 times.
The fact that Thiel can easily run away from the very rules and regulations he’ll be helping Trump shape, however, is not funny in the least. Thiel is in a position of immense power as Trump’s advisor. His opinions will affect some 300 million Americans, most of whom who do not have a backup passport—or indeed, even the funds for a plane ticket abroad. The ease with which Thiel can opt out of American society speaks to the very concerns that conservatives themselves have voiced about the denationalized “Davos man” for decades. When Samuel Huntington worried in 2004 that America’s elites were “seceding,” he could have easily been talking about Thiel—or any number of Trump’s cabinet appointees, for that matter.
It is the current system of passports and nations and states, along with moralistic attitudes about patriotism, that enables the rich to opt out.
On the surface, there seem to be immense contradictions between the nationalist, populist, protectionist rhetoric that Trump spouts and the acquisitive globalism of a Peter Thiel type. But these twin ideologies coalesce in a mutually supportive way. Trump said in a December speech that there is no world currency, no world flag, and no world passport. That’s true. But the continued primacy of the nation-state is precisely why the practice of “sovereignty hacking” or “jurisdiction shopping,” as exemplified by citizenship-by-investment programs and offshore tax registries, has become so prevalent among those who can afford it. Picking and choosing residencies, citizenships, and tax regimes helps the wealthy exist as though the world had no borders at all, which means they can throw their support behind nationalist policies that will close off options to everyone else. It is the current system of passports and nations and states, along with moralistic attitudes about patriotism, that enables the rich to opt out.
Thiel knows this world very, very well. In fact, Thiel apparently found the concept of hacking sovereignty so compelling that in 2008, he gave his personal and financial support to the Seasteading Institute, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that promotes the creation of artificial floating nations in international waters. The political philosophy behind seasteading can be summed up as follows:
Governments are bad
Governments have a monopoly on sovereignty
Governments would be less bad if they had to compete on the open market with each other for capital, companies, citizens, and ideas
No one can compete with governments because governments control the world’s land
The only spaces that aren’t controlled by existing governments are in international waters
Creating lots of new countries in international waters will increase competition and make all governments better
Or, to quote a forthcoming book on the subject by the institute’s founders: “a market of competing governments, a Silicon Valley of the sea, would allow the best ideas for governance to emerge peacefully” (they call it Seavilization.) Thiel’s friends the seasteaders, then, are literally in the business of creating flags and passports to compete with existing flags and passports. An early slogan of the movement was “let a thousand nations bloom.” That doesn’t sound much like “America First.”
Thiel’s libertarianism is crucial to understanding his involvement in this world, the appeal of opting out, and the trendiness of second passports. At the time of his investment, the institute was run by Patri
Friedman, the son of libertarian writer David Friedman and the grandson of the free-market guru Milton Friedman.
I interviewed the youngest Friedman in 2012. He talked about his interest in buying a second citizenship, and he told me he’d considered sinking $100,000 on a Dominican passport some time ago. (He didn’t go through with it; he preferred the sound of Singapore, or Switzerland.) At the Seasteading Institute’s conference that same week, I met several other techies who had thought about or were in the process of buying another citizenship. The notion that sovereignty was something that could be bought and sold seemed like a perfectly normal element of free-market capitalism. In Thiel’s world, if you can buy another passport, you do it. Patriotism is no issue.
Friedman and I also talked about Blueseed, a project that then aspired to put up foreign entrepreneurs on a cruise ship off the Californian coast, outside the boundaries of U.S immigration law. (It has yet to launch.) The goal was to allow these engineers to work for and found US tech companies without submitting to the onerous process of applying for a visa: an immigration hack. Perhaps Trump should consider a wall there, too.
The Seasteading Institute has tried hard to shake off its associations with hardcore libertarian ideologies, and it would be unfair to accuse them of being solely political. The group is actively researching aquaculture, floating hospitals, and how to use the oceans as sources of sustainable energy, among other things. Whatever they end up doing is up to them, not Trump or Thiel. But the foundational principles of their project—the principle that Thiel presumably bought into—is how important it is to “vote with your feet.” And Thiel seems to have taken that to heart. He’s already got one foot in New Zealand.
Oklahoma Teachers Exercise their Voice
Oklahoma Teachers Exercise their VOICE!
Oklahoma public school teachers banded together to strike for supplies and better wages
Have you heard the “tea” on the statewide teacher walk-out in the state of Oklahoma and the ripple effect it’s starting in the country? Well, if you haven’t and you’re the kind of person that need numbers and statics, which are important, don’t get me wrong. I hope that this article encourages you to take a deeper look into this now national situation and also, take a deeper look at your education system in your own backyard. However, in this article, I want to give readers a candid look inside of the protest from the perspective of a now local resident and a first time experience of anything like this.
I originally had no intention of attending the walk-out at the state capital here in Oklahoma City. To keep it all the way real, which I wouldn’t have it another way, I didn’t think it would last more than a day if it happened at all. Now I know, some of you are probably wondering why I’m glad you asked… While I’m not a public educator, I’ve lived in Oklahoma City for 10 years now and have worked closely with the public school system for the majority of my time here. Teachers have been complaining about things like lack of fair pay, little to sometimes no supplies and little to no budget to properly serve those with special needs, to name a few. However, even though this is a real problem, the teachers stay for something much bigger than themselves and their personal needs, they stay for the love of the children and communities they serve. Because, I know first hand of the passion and degree of selflessness it takes to continue to work under certain conditions, I didn’t think they would actually follow through with it.
April 2, 2018, was the first day of the protest and over 35,000 we’re said were in attendance. In my gut, I didn’t think it would last but thought they put forth a gallant effort to get the attention of Governor Mary Fallin and legislators. Day 2 a reported 38,000 was reported to have been in attendance, the people weren’t backing down. In fact, they said they weren’t moving until their voices were heard! I had the exhilarating experience of attending Day 3 of the protest at the capital with, again well over 30,000 people in attendance, standing strong. By this time, teachers from Tulsa Oklahoma banded together to make the 107-mile walk to the capital and the public educators in Kentucky started a protest of their own. I’ve never actually experienced anything like that in my life and I wanted to give you my raw perspective on what it was like up close and personal. I’ll start by saying that seeing the coverage is one thing but actually being there has had an entirely different effect and perspective for me as an individual.
On my way to the capital, I didn’t know what to expect, it was bumper to bumper traffic down 23rd street. I saw people walking from as far as three miles back with bright signs, picketing on their way to the capital. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t say a little prayer driving past them, just hoping I had a closer parking place just for me… whoa yes! Keep in mind, I just started doing research that morning and even with that, I didn’t know how deep it would be. I found a spot a little under a mile from the action and for that, I was grateful.
Upon the first exit of my car, I felt an almost magnetic pull in the atmosphere that drew me towards the masses. It was a surreal feeling as if I couldn’t help it. I don’t think I’ve experienced a situation where I was standing near or in the middle of a crowd of people where most of the attendees stood in agreement of what they saw as the greater good for humanity. Sure, this amount of people fill-up arena venues and stadiums all over the world every day with numbers larger than this. However, this was an entirely different energy that surged among the masses.
Coming alone to something like this definitely has its pros and cons, but I decided to make the best out of this situation and take it all in. I took my time and literally observed everything before I actually arrived and walked straight into the nucleus of the action. To be honest, my mind was blown before I got there. The first thing I noticed was the amount of school age kids that were there to either stand with their parents or support their teachers. I’m not kidding, there was an almost equal ratio of teens to adults. Most made very creative signs that reflected their personal feelings and viewpoints. People of all races, colors, and creeds stood together in unity, standing for what they believed was right.
I was overwhelmed by the number of people that wanted to be a part of my candid coverage for Exposure Magazine. I walked next to different groups of people and gained many different perspectives, from both sides, although mostly from one, how affected the public education community and the children that are in it really are. Because people were literally standing there ALL DAY there were food vendors who volunteered their foods and services to the cause. Other services that we might not think of like water and restrooms were also provided and school-aged kids 18 and under had everything provided for them free of charge, from snacks, water, meals and even some local events were held around the city, and childcare in some places as well.
The photo (on the left) depicts not only the unity but the faith exercised by some of the teens in attendance at the protest rally. However, I must acknowledge some of the views from the opposing side as well. People were concerned that a rally like this could cause an uproar in not only the state of Oklahoma but the country as a whole, which could threaten not only overthrowing the government at a state level but eventually the country. There were also some angry parents across the state that were concerned that, they weren’t properly informed or considered during the uprising in standing against both local and state officials. Parents that are accustomed to their children going to school all day. The walkout could cause other unforeseen charges such as childcare, extra food, and transportation expenses. Some parents are concerned, if this goes on much longer, they too, are at risk of not having a job. Some people think this entire protest can help create a lose/lose effect on children both home and at school. I completely understand and see this side clearly. Seeing this side so clearly made me want to take a deeper look at another viewpoint, just to even out the playing field so to speak.
As I walked through the massive amounts of people, reading the signs, listening to conversations and observing the different emotions throughout the capital, I found myself almost at the front of the stage which to me, served as the nucleus of the protest. This is where I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing teacher of Del City school district Joy A. Glenn Ahmad. She has been a teacher since 1976 and explained her viewpoint with literal tears in her eyes. Ahmad explained that the teachers demanded 200 million dollars from local and state officials which would cover a $6,000 raise to teachers, some whom haven’t seen a raise for over a decade and some who are only making it with the help of there spouses income to sustain their own family. The rest of the money would be used for much-needed supplies and educational material for the 700,000 students the public school system serves.
Teachers voices were in fact heard and they were granted 50 million dollars, a quarter of what they were asking, which only would cover the much-needed raises for the teachers. This offer was rejected by the teachers and the strike continued as planned. Teachers claim that this was less about them and more about the students they serve and they refused to take a raise and leave the students needs out. To give me a clear perspective she shared the picture with me you see to the left.
I know, it seems like a cart with books on it, what’s the big deal, right? I thought the same thing until she explained to me that this was the cart of books shared between classes for teaching materials for both students and teachers. This cart is the only access to educational materials for the entire high school. I was shocked, to say the least, I couldn’t help but wonder if the parents who are against the protest are aware of the true condition of their children education. Were they aware that this was perhaps the reason for Oklahoma having the lowest test scores and reading scores in the country? Or, does the need to survive and provide for their families now take precedence over the future of their children and possibly the future of the leaders of the state of Oklahoma. This is obviously an “elephant in the room” that couldn’t be ignored anymore. What do you think? Are you aware, truly aware of your education system in your own backyard? This movement that now, has national attention will continue for week 2 in the state Oklahoma. Teachers claim, they will not back down until their voices are heard! This protest has potential to change the education system not only in the state but in the country. Don’t forget to keep up with both local and national news for up close and personal coverage.
Youtube: Deonna Marie Cattledge
Self Service Operation at Barber Shops with The Black Box Barber Caddy®
The Black Box Barber Caddy® is ideal for clients. It saves time and is of huge benefit for Barbershops in the Marketplace.
The Black Box Barber Caddy® ideal vending partners are barbershop owners who are determined to accelerate their revenue, differentiate themselves from other barbershops in the marketplace, provide more value to their customers, and increase profitability. The Kiosk saves clients time and while also benefiting owners because of its self-service operation.
RAC Venture Group announced that Sam Ennon, President of the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association (BOBSA) appointed Rayshoun Chambers, CEO of RAC Venture Group, LLC to govern the distribution process and implementation of The Black Box Barber Caddy®
This Flagship product for B.O.B.S.A. is a vending machine privately owned by The Black Box Distribution, Inc. Corporation.
The machines are manufactured in Houston Texas and the merchandise shipped from the warehouse in Lee, Massachusetts.
“Most men don’t go to beauty supply stores, however they do require products for routine maintenance. The Black Box Barber Caddy® will bridge that gap” says Sam Ennon, President of B.O.B.S.A. male clients will appreciate the convenience of having all of their staple hair care products at their fingertips.
The Owners on the other hand can experience the satisfaction of being the one place for all of their clients’ hair care needs.
“Being at the forefront of something new, that addresses a community need and generates passive income for Business Owners is a natural progression for my company” says RAC Venture Group, LLC, Founder, CEO Rayshoun Chambers.
Rayshoun Chambers is the host of Internet Radio Show Business Beyond borders and is also a Professional Beauty Association State Captain. She provides helpful information about Beauty Supply Ownership through her Radio Show and SteemIt blog, living a purposed filled life and uses creative techniques to keep beauty professionals up to date on government affairs that impact the Industry.
Business Beyond Borders has launched an internet campaign that connects business owners and entrepreneurs with radio show listeners in a meaningful way. By signing up to participate in the Pitch Tank participants are able to build rapport by Pitching their product, service, program to radio our show listeners via Facebook LIVE.
“One of the great things about the Pitch Tank is allowing participants to get comfortable with speaking live and on the spot about their business” says RAC Venture Group, LLC. Founder, CEO Rayshoun Chambers.
For up to date information about any of those topics and additional thought provoking engagement you can reach Rayshoun through her website www.racventuregroup.com
Read more about Black Owned Beauty Supply Association https://bobsa.org/
Follow Xiomara Margie Overman for new Articles published for Exposure Magazine
Margie Overman is Business Expert and Business Editor for Exposure Magazine
The Top 20 Sales Training Company 2018 by TrainingIndustry.com
The Sales Board was one of the Companies Selected on the Top 20 Sales Training Company List by Trainingindustry.com
The Sales Board announced on the 30th of April, its selection as a 2018 Top 20 Sales Training Company by Trainingindustry.com
This is the 7th Time that The Sales Board and its Action Selling Training were recognized by Training Industry as part of its mission to continually monitor the market for the best providers of training services and technologies.
Sales training companies are evaluated based on the following criteria:
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“The organizations on this year’s 20 Sales Training Companies List have shown a tremendous amount of growth and innovation in the Sales Training Industry,” said Ken Taylor, president of Training Industry, Inc.” These companies have demonstrated their commitment to the modern learner, with innovative partnerships and the use of learning technologies to support a wide range of initiatives, including virtual instruction, training reinforcement and coaching.”
Training Industry, Inc. spotlight the latest news, articles, case studies and best practices within the training industry and publishes annual Top 20 and Watch List reports covering many sectors of interest to the Corporate Training Function. TI’s focus is on helping businesses and training professionals get the information, insight and tools needed to more effectively manage the business of learning.
About The Sales Board and Action Selling
Since 1990, The Sales Board has assessed, trained and certified more than 400,000 people from over 3500 companies in the skills that have the greatest impact on sales productivity.
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Read more on https://trainingindustry.com/
Follow Xiomara Margie Overman for new Articles published for Exposure Magazine
Margie Overman is Business Expert and Business Editor for Exposure Magazine
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