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Thursday, May 24, 2012

TravelTellers - For Road Warrior-esses & Perpetual Travelers: US Expats & PTs May Benefit from Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

US Expats & PTs May Benefit from Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

If you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien of the United States and you live abroad, you are taxed on your worldwide income from all sources.  However, you may qualify to exclude from income up to an amount of your foreign earnings that is now adjusted for inflation ($91,400 for 2009, $91,500 for 2010, $92,900 for 2011, $95,100 for 2012). I n addition, you can exclude or deduct certain foreign housing amounts.
You may also be entitled to exclude from income the value of meals and lodging provided to you by your employer. Refer to Exclusion of Meals and Lodging in Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, and Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits for more information.

If you are going PT, you want to take advantage of this exclusion.

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Public School Textbook Publisher Goes Bankrupt by Gary North

One of the largest textbook publishers has declared bankruptcy. It sticks lenders with over $3 billion of bad debt. It wipes out shareholders.

The Left long ago bet the farm on its control over the public schools. Now the schools are slowly losing money. They are cutting back on everything except football.

Houghton Mifflin could not survive the change. It is the first major textbook publishing to go belly-up. Others will follow.

If you have a kid in college, you wonder why all college courses are not digital. Every textbook is out of date as soon as it is published.

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What If We Have Only Memories of Freedom? by Andrew P. Napolitano

What if, on Memorial Day, we remember times that were more free than today? What if, on Memorial Day, when we think of those who died for our freedom, we end up recognizing that the freedom they died for is dying? What if it becomes fashionable for the government to ignore the Constitution? What if the Constitution dies because the government stops following it? What if, next Memorial Day, freedom is just a memory?

What do we do about it?

you can tell the "what ifs" are mostly gone -

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The Inbound Marketer's Complete Guide to Newsjacking

Why You Should Newsjack

Here's the thing about newsjacking ... to do it well, you have to be quick. That's also one of the biggest benefits of newsjacking! Marketers often get so caught up in the details of a campaign or bogged down by the prospect of writing a blog post that they become paralyzed, and don't actually end up doing anything at all. Newsjacking requires marketers to, in the immortal words of Nike, just do it.

But boosting marketers out of an inactivity funk isn't the only benefit to newsjacking. It also yields SEO benefits, improves your brand's reputation, and drives highly targeted traffic that can turn into leads and even sales -- and it does it all really, really quickly at a very low cost. Consider this scenario that HubSpot finds itself in pretty frequently ... just last week, in fact:

curation at its best - whttp:??

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

14 Signposts to Slavery by Chris Sullivan

14 Signposts to Slavery

by Chris Sullivan
Different Bugle

Previously by Chris Sullivan: Rome Didn't Fall in a Day


In 1972 a wonderful little book was published. It arrived with little fanfare yet somehow it has managed to survive for 25 years. Most people have never read it. These are the same people who today are asking questions about what went wrong with America. These are the same people who today find that their plans for the future, no matter how hard they have worked to make those plans a reality, have vanished into thin air. These are the same people who are working 3 jobs to keep what one job secured for them 20 years ago.......These people are you and I, the working middle class, the "We the People."

The book is titled None Dare Call It Conspiracy, and was authored by Gary Allen with Larry Abraham. It was considered very controversial 23 years ago. In retrospect it appears to have been a blueprint for the future of America. That America is perhaps where we are all living today.

If you doubt the possibility of a conspiracy to bring America to it's knees and perhaps install a totalitarian dictatorship through the conversion of our republic into a democracy you need only look to the changes in our laws. Gary Allen provided his readers with fourteen signposts on the road to totalitarianism. They were compiled by Dr. Warren Carroll, and Mike Djordjevich, a refugee from Yugoslavian communism. The list is in no particular order. However, nothing on the list existed in American law at the time the list was compiled.

Read it now, experience it for yourself. Any one of the listed items would be a clear warning that the totalitarian state is very near, and a significant number of perhaps five or more could possibly suggest that the freedom we have once enjoyed and the preservation of our Great Republic has been lost.


1. Restrictions on taking money out of the country and on the establishment or retention of a foreign bank account by an American citizen.

2. Abolition of private ownership of hand guns.

3. Detention of individuals without judicial process.

4. Requirements that private financial transactions be keyed to social security numbers or other government identification so that government records of these transactions can be fed into a computer.

5. Use of compulsory education laws to forbid attendance at presently existing private schools.

6. Compulsory non-military service.

7. Compulsory psychological treatment for non-government workers or public school children.

8. An official declaration that anti-communist (Patriot) organizations are subversive and subsequent legal action taken to suppress them.

9. Laws limiting the number of people allowed to meet in a private home.

10. Any significant change in passport regulations to make passports more difficult to obtain.

11. Wage and price controls, especially in a non-wartime situation.

12. Any kind of compulsory registration with the government of where individuals work.

13. Any attempt to restrict freedom of movement within the United States.

14. Any attempt to make a new major law by executive decree (that is, actually put into effect, not merely authorized as by existing executive orders.)

President Nixon invoked numbers 1, 11 and 14. As of January 1,1972, banks must report to the government any deposit or withdrawal over $5,000. That number has since been reduced to $3,000. Any purchase over $10,000 made in cash must also be reported to the federal government. Clinton has done the same via Executive Orders.

Courts have in some instances ordered individuals without bank accounts to open one under threat of incarceration through charges of Civil contempt.....

Reprinted with permission from Different Bugle.

May 23, 2012

Chris Sullivan [send him mail] owns a welding shop in Atlanta, Georgia and is currently working on design of exercise equipment. Visit his blog.

Copyright © 2012 Chris Sullivan - sovereign individuals

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's Deja Vu: 'Network' Still Has a Finger on the Pulse of Culture, 36 Years Later < PopMatters

In the movie, while the old guard tries to keep network news out of the money-making clutches of the entertainment division, they can’t fight so-called progress. Diana Christensen (played by Faye Dunaway) is an insanely driven programming executive with a brilliant idea:  have people intending to do newsworthy, controversial things film themselves doing them, submit the footage to the network news desk, and then come into the studio for a follow-up interview. 

forecasting the iphone and youtube?

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Sovereign Man: Offshore Business, Global Opportunities, Freedom, and Expat News

3) These proposals are RETROACTIVE, and, if passed, would apply to anyone who renounced his/her citizenship within the last 10-years.

In a world with thinking Justices, this would be unconstitutional. In our world, who knows? If you are a foreign citizen and not a resident of the US, how would any US court have standing?

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Sovereign Man: Offshore Business, Global Opportunities, Freedom, and Expat News

This week, the universally stupid brainchild of US Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey known as the Ex-PATRIOT Act inched a bit closer towards becoming law.

‘Ex-PATRIOT’ is an absurd acronym that stands for “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy”. I call it the Tax Slave Act… and it proposes three key provisions:

1) Individuals who are deemed, in the sole discretion of the US government, to have renounced US citizenship in order to avoid US taxes, will be permanently barred from re-entering the United States.

2) Such individuals will also be required to pay a 30% capital gains tax to the United States government on ALL future investment gains derived from the US. Currently, non-citizens who do not reside in the US pay no US capital gains tax.

3) These proposals are RETROACTIVE, and, if passed, would apply to anyone who renounced his/her citizenship within the last 10-years.

Anyone who believes you are not the property of the USG, read on.

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Caffeine Fix It: How a Regular Cup of Coffee Could Help You Live Longer

They found following a study of 400,000 aged between 50 and 71, the more coffee you drink, the less likely you are to die from a number of different ailments.

These include heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries, accidents, diabetes and infections, but not cancer.

finally, sanity in the morning, without guilt -

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The New York Times and the End of Simple Economic Logic by William L. Anderson

Frederic Bastiat wrote of what is "seen" and "what is not seen," and it is clear that the editors of the NYT are unable even to imagine what is not seen; they see only the people working for politically-favored companies. As for people who have lost their jobs because the government is forcing resources to be directed away from where consumers want them to go, the editors simply look the other way or simply are ignorant.

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$72 Billion of Tax Money Spent on Global Non-Warming by Gary North

Mankind is responsible for climate change, we are told. Therefore, the U.S. government is required to spend money to combat it, all over the world. It has no jurisdiction outside the United States, but that has not dimmed the hopes and plans of warmers

The U.S. government has spent over $72 billion to combat climate change since 2008.

This has failed. The climate keeps changing. Sometimes it’s warmer. Sometimes it’s cooler. It it refuses to cease changing.

I have called this a sham for years.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Train Your Brain for Monk-Like Focus

The moment you get effortlessly lost in work goes by any number of names: focus, concentration, escapism, flow, and countless others. It's the point where you're able to blur the world around you and calibrate your brain to pay attention to one single task. It's your sweet spot. It's when you Get Things Done. Your entire cognitive effort is concentrated on one task and when you're in that moment the outside world disappears.

We all struggle to maintain focus in our daily lives. Endless distractions keep our brains from focusing on a task as we struggle to get things done at work and complete projects around the house. But what's actually happening in your brain when you're lost in a project? And more importantly, how can you train to induce that focused state in yourself?

been there - actually still there -

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Expatriation in the Wake of the Facebook IPO by Bill Bonner

Expatriation in the Wake of the Facebook IPO

by Bill Bonner
Daily Reckoning

Recently by Bill Bonner: GDP Growth: The Civic Duty of Every US Consumer


Baltimore, Maryland – The Maryland House of Delegates just voted to raise taxes. Should we move to Florida…or Delaware?

If we move to Palm Beach, will we ever be able to visit our beloved Maryland homeland again?

The Financial Times reports that thousands of wealthy French people are now moving to London. Their motive? They want to escape the taxes proposed by France’s new president, Francois Hollande.

Should the French impose an exit tax on these “ex-patriots”? Should it then bar them from visiting France?

Of course not.

In England in 1215, the right to travel was enshrined in Article 42 of the Magna Carta:

It shall be lawful to any person, for the future, to go out of our kingdom, and to return, safely and securely, by land or by water, saving his allegiance to us, unless it be in time of war, for some short space, for the common good of the kingdom: excepting prisoners and outlaws, according to the laws of the land, and of the people of the nation at war against us, and Merchants who shall be treated as it is said above.

Here’s the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 13:

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights incorporates this right into treaty law:

(1) Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
(2) Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
(3) The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant.

People should be able to move where they want, no? They should be able to look for lower tax places to live, shouldn’t they? After all, we’re Americans, aren’t we? Aren’t we all descendants of people who tried to improve their lives by moving to a new place?

Apparently, a lot of Americans don’t think so. Facebook is going public. And one of Facebook’s founders has moved to Singapore. He will save, by one estimate, $67 million in taxes by giving up his US citizenship. He says that’s not the reason he gave it up. But you can believe what you want.

And now the politicos are up in arms. Mr. Saverin has helped to give them an asset worth about $100 billion. Are they grateful? Do they bend down and kiss his derriere?

No! They want to tax him even more heavily…and prevent him from ever setting foot in the US again.

Yes, dear reader, there is no thought so dumb…so short-sighted…so low…that it won’t become the law of the land. Bloomberg reports:

Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has a status update for Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin: Stop attempting to dodge your taxes by renouncing your US citizenship or never come to back to the US again.

In September 2011, Saverin relinquished his US citizenship before the company announced its planned initial public offering of stock, which will debut this week. The move was likely a financial one, as he owns an estimated 4 percent of Facebook and stands to make $4 billion when the company goes public. Saverin would reap the benefit of tax savings by becoming a permanent resident of Singapore, which levies no capital gains taxes.

At a news conference this morning, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., will unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act to respond directly to Saverin’s move, which they dub a “scheme” that would “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

The senators will call Saverin’s move an “outrage” and will outline their plan to re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country. Their proposal would also impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on the capital gains of anybody who renounces their US citizenship.

The plan would bar individuals like Saverin from ever reentering the United States again.

If Chuck Schumer has his way, entrepreneurs like Eduardo Saverin will think twice before setting up shop in America!

[Editor’s Note: After yesterday’s column, Run, Saverin! Run!, we were delighted to discover that a brave Fellow Reckoner had actually linked to The Daily Reckoning...on Chuck Schumer’s Facebook page. Ha! Feel free to “like” our bitty missive here and to “share” it on Facebook. Call it non-violent protest. And of course, you can always “be our friend” here.]

Down, down, down…day after day… Stocks down. Yields down.

But what’s this? Gold rose nearly $40 yesterday.

Our “Alert Flag” went up yesterday morning. The Dow fell 156 points during the day. Not that there’s any connection. Most likely, after so many down days, stocks will bounce today. But watch out…

We have a hunch.

Facebook is the biggest deal in the stock market…perhaps ever. It’s a company that didn’t even exist 10 years ago. We know all about the company’s founding; we saw the movie. Twice. Because our daughter has a role in the movie. She’s the waitress in the scene where Zuckerberg means Sean Parker.

Not a bad flick. But from an investment standpoint, Facebook is probably one of the worst moves you can make. Most likely, it will be gone 10 years from now. $100 billion of market capitalization will disappear. Poof! It’s just a website, after all. We looked at a Facebook page, once… We couldn’t figure out why anyone would waste his time.

The trouble with new technology is that in a few years it’s old technology.

Here’s our hunch: The Facebook IPO may mark a major peak…and the beginning of a major bear market on Wall Street.

It happens every time. There’s a big, big deal. And then, it’s over. We’d give you some examples, if we could think of them. But we can’t. You’ll just have to trust us on this.

We don’t really have any evidence or logic to back this up. It’s just a hunch.

But our intuition tells us that when investors finally get the full Facebook treatment, they are going to be turned off by the stock market and Wall Street. Not only will the company turn out to be not worth a fraction of the IPO price…investors will also get a clearer picture of how Wall Street really works.

About that IPO… The idea is to generate a lot of excitement…a frenzy…so that people are eager to get the shares. And with all these Facebook users, who like…like…Facebook…and think they can tell a good investment when they see one…it ought to be easy to create a buying frenzy. Besides, everyone knows shares are intentionally priced below what their backers believe they can get for them. This causes the share-price to “pop” right after the IPO.

Of course, the distribution is tightly controlled. You have to be an insider to get IPO shares. Say…you’ll get them at about $40…and then, you expect them to go to $50 on the “pop.” If it works out as planned, you make $10 per share. This is a lot of money. Easy money. So, the insiders all want a piece of the action.

How do you get to be an “insider”? You have to be a friend of Morgan Stanley. Which is to say, you help Morgan Stanley make money. How? For example, if you are a pension fund or hedge fund you put through a lot of trades. Morgan Stanley makes money on the churn. You make money on the churn, too. Customers don’t make any money on the churn. They pay for every transaction. But who cares about them?

Everyone is convinced that buying…selling…and trading investments makes money. As long as the illusion lasts, Wall Street is happy. The customers are happy too…more or less. They’re participating in the Great Illusion – all trying to make money without actually doing anything.

So everyone churns. And the more you churn with Morgan Stanley the more likely you are to get an allocation of IPO stock. There could be about 50 million shares handed to insiders in this manner. Let’s say they go up $10 in the “pop.” That’s half a billion in gains …in only a few hours.

Dan Ariely explains:

Morgan Stanley and the rest of the investment banks involved will … make sure that their favorite fund manager client “friends” are given lots of free money. Assuming that these “friends” are given 75% of the total number of IPO shares, or a total of 291 million shares, and assuming that the stock does rise from $40 to $50, then these fund managers will collectively, in one day, make $2.9 billion dollars in realized or unrealized profits. That’s right, 2.9 BILLION DOLLARS.

…where and out of whose pocket does this money come from?

Well, just think of it this way… Let’s assume you own a very expensive piece of waterfront real estate, and you hire a broker to sell it for you. After exploring the market and after getting indications of interest, your broker advises you that $10 million would be a great price for your home. You meet with the potential buyers and decide to sell it for $10 million. After the $1 million commission you have to pay your broker, your net proceeds are $9 million. An hour later, you drive by the house and see your broker in the driveway shaking hands with some different people. You pull over to see what’s going on, and you find that the people you just sold the house to for $10 million are very close friends of your broker. To your dismay, you also find out that those friends just sold your (former) house to somebody else for $15 million.

The same exact game is going on here… By the time you drive around the block, these folks will have sold their shares at $50 per share.

I am not sure about you, but I find all of this very depressing.

May 21, 2012

Bill Bonner is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st Century and The New Empire of Debt: The Rise Of An Epic Financial Crisis and the co-author with Lila Rajiva of Mobs, Messiahs and Markets (Wiley, 2007). His latest book is Dice Have No Memory. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind The Daily Reckoning.

Copyright © 2012 Daily Reckoning

The Best of Bill Bonner

expats will grow in number -

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