Commenter Highwasp pointed to an article on Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who left the US for Singapore some time ago, and has formally renounced his citizenship, because it has become a hindrance in terms of doing business.
Saverin stresses that he has nothing against the US, and isn’t even trying to avoid taxes, but rather to avoid troublesome US regulations that require foreign banks to report on American citizens. One law he cited, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), has prompted a number of foreign banks to avoid American investors altogether.
Such rules have increasingly become the norm in the US, where the government has steadily ratcheted up regulations and controls on citizens. Many of these controls were pioneered with family law and child support laws, which then opened the door to further restrictions in other areas.
Some legislation appears to be aimed at preventing American citizens from leaving the country. For example, a recent bill proposed by California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer would have those who owe taxes lose their passports, much as those who owe child support are not eligible to obtain a passport. The next step, in all likelihood, will be an effort to seize the passports of those who owe student loans. It is instructive that senators from California, a state that can’t balance its own budget, is turning the screws on all American citizens in an attempt to increase revenue.
As we saw in the case of the USSR and other Communist countries, however, these laws often tend to drive away the most talented and resourceful, who realize that living in a country that exerts such strict controls on citizens is not always worth the risk, while those left behind are the hapless and less productive. This tends to sap national wealth, leading to a downward spiral that eventually (in the better scenario) leads to reform and the reestablishment of personal liberty.