I just finished reading Ed Snowden’s new book, “Permanent Record”.
(Which you can learn more about here — https://amzn.to/35NrrV3)
And I tell you, it’s a pretty eye-opening read.
I used to work in a similar industry, and while I’m certainly nowhere near Snowden’s level of talent, I’m able to comprehend a lot of the technical aspects of it myself, which makes it all the more infuriating. I used to run, manage, and architect the same systems that are used to store the data of millions of Americans and billions of people worldwide.
Which is why it’s worth noting…
There’s not much we can do about it.
Typically military tech is at least a decade ahead of where the consumer level is.
We have no idea what they’re up to.
Trusting politicians and big companies to respect our data and privacy is simply a foolish dream at worst, and ignorant at best.
All you can do is take as many steps as you can to protect your own data, such as TOR servers and VPNs, but even these very basic things are far beyond the scope of many people’s computer capabilities.
Granted, as the boomer generation dies out (once they finish increasing taxes to pay for their poor health), we may see the general awareness of this increase, since everyone after that will have a higher level of computer skills.
However, this is not the point of this email…
The point’s this:
To boot, on top of the data privacy, the USA also has it’s fingers in almost everything else there in the world.
Taxation by citizenship and the good ‘ol IRS.
It’s especially frustrating for those of us who live abroad, who have to pay huge US taxes while deriving no benefits from them whatsoever. And, by living abroad, it also has the added “bonus” of being even more complicated, to the point you need a Doctorate in IRS bullspit, else they nail you down for a bunch of silly penalties for a bunch of things you didn’t even know existed.
I recently found out that I actually had health insurance with my Ukrainian visa. Granted, I’d rather not use it, because I’ve no desire to hit up the Soviet hospitals, but I did have it.
I called the IRS and asked them to waive the healthcare penalty they had just applied to me since I had it.
They told me to file an amendment, which would take hours of work and 16 weeks for them to process.
“Why do I pay you so much money if you’re not even capable of checking a box?”
And was promptly hung up on.
And, it’s something that I’ve thought about.
Especially since I’ve moved abroad, and find myself cutting a nice 15% income tax to the IRS, despite the fact that I spent a whopping 20 days on US soil in 2018, and will only spend 9 on it this year.
Like I said, I’ve thought about it a lot, and while I’m certainly not an exspurt when it comes to taxes, I do have some ideas that I’m working on implementing.
One of them, is eventually renouncing my US citizenship, but that’s at least 5 years away, so for the time being, I’m just trying to mitigate everything I possibly can.
And, naturally, sharing with you, too.
Hence why I’ve put a new post up in the “Actually Abroad” members-only section.
It’s one of the many pieces of content you’ll get access to this month.
However, come Halloween night, they’re disappear faster than bad costumes.
Here’s the link:
Keep causing trouble,