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Chilean Architects

Some Chilean professionals have a lot of power – too much power in fact. Architects fall into that group.

You might ask, “In what sense does an architect have power?” Well, he has a lot if you hire him to build a home for you or for your construction company. He gets to make calls that affect your business and life, whether you like it or not. And it is almost impossible, or at least very time- and cost-prohibitive to do so.

Architects in Chile are more like applied artists with a tinge of desk jockey mentality. They do very little math—indeed math and engineering are hardly required in their university studies—compared to the calculistas (civil engineers) that Chilean architects hire to do certain jobs at your site. Those specialists usually do a good job, as do most architects. Chile has the most earthquake-proof buildings in the world, after all.

They also manage the proyectistas de especialidades, people that specialize in water, sewer, gas, and electrical hookups. They do end up having to manage their own in-house draftsmen, secretaries and errand runners, along with the many subcontractors they hire out for services at jobsites. They also should keep up on new materials and products.

Americans in Chile will detect a lot more general contractor in the job than architect, and that is about right. Remember, cultures are different, and so are their practices. In the United States, architects are highly-trained civil engineers with an art flair; In Chile, they are art and public administration double majors with a wannabe squirt of physics and math added for good measure.

The reason that Architects are so powerful is that they control the entire building process, including the almighty government approvals. The local municipality will not allow just anyone to submit plans and deal with bureaucratic regulation. Architects must do it. And at times architects can turn into outright extortionists.

In the beginning, meetings with your new architect will be pleasant, cordial, professional and sane. Contracts will be signed and everyone will be happy. But time might erode those good feelings as everyone goes through the ups and downs of the building process, which can often take eighteen to thirty months in Chile.

Just before you finish the project and you are ready for your architect to ask for inspection and the recepción municipal, the final bureaucratic hurdle, the architect can demand more money. If you do not pay him then you will not get your building or home approved and your beautiful new property will remain considered as a vacant lot under Chilean legislation. Of course, his actions will not look like a total shaft or shakedown. He will make up some reason why you still owe him for legitimate expenses, costs or professional fees that were not in the contract or were ambiguous.

Of course, you will be mad about these doleful circumstances, wrought because the Chilean government grants too much power to professionals in general, and architects in particular. You will scour the contract you signed two years ago, and find that you have paid your architect in full—or at least all that you are required to pay at that point. You will find that the architect might have even left some contractually promised services undone, and has no intention of doing them. Hence, you will call a lawyer and have a serious chat with him. The lawyer will review the contract and payments made and tell you that you are probably right and would even win most points in a lawsuit. But he advises you to pay up anyway, just like you would pay off a crooked bureaucrat as a matter of “just being part of the way business is done.”

Why would you succumb to the extortion? Because the architect knows that up to certain amounts, say US$5,000 or US$10,000, it is not worth fighting him in court. The architect will go to court “all day” since he has already received 90% of his pay. He will lose some reputation points by being sued, and you will never hire him again, but so what? That course is the way that the majority of Chileans act, playing what economists term a “one shot game” (like the auto mechanic does that rips off tourists he will never see again when their car breaks down).

You on the other hand, stand to lose your entire investment if you cannot sell it given that, legally, all you have is a vacant lot. It will take years in the courts to win a judgment and might cost just as much as the “bribe.” Plus, you will lose sales revenue and tie up your capital by sticking with your unsaleable property. You can still live in the place you build—even if it is not “received” by the municipality. But you cannot sell it. So, your lawyer advises you to just pay. You call it extortion. The architect calls it good business. The lawyer calls it sad, but logical and efficient given the “rules of the game” set up by the government.

Not all Chilean architects are extortionists (i.e., those that practice chantaje). However, you cannot know for certain from the outset that your architect will be honest and honorable. The best strategy you can take is (1) use a lawyer to draw up the contract with the architect (worth the cost) and (2) set aside US$10,000 (in a savings account) and plan on having to pay it out to the architect–above and beyond the US$15,000 to US$30,000 or more that you will have to pay him. That way, by planning to pay it out some day, losing it will be a lesser shock and not hurt or irritate you as much.

One strategy you can try in order to avoid being extorted is to contractually hold back 25% or 30% of his fee until after he delivers the municipal approval to you. Since doing so will cut his extortionist feet out from under him, he will not likely agree to it. I also recommend that you hire an architect that has money, even if he costs more. If you go with the cheaper professional, there will be nothing to get from him in terms of damages should you end up suing him.

Another possible strategy is to hire two architects and pay the second one to piggyback on the first one, so that he can step in if the first one fails or starts extorting you. However, the cost of the piggyback architect’s services might be as much as the payoff required, so you might gain little other than the pleasure of smashing the extortionist.

Think about it. You are “not in Kansas anymore.” Beware of local practices and how to deal with them.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2016 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $149.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)

Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003)

A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (2009)

Chilean Realtors

One good (Chilean) friend of mine says they are just lazy.

Nonetheless, I would like to think that Chilean realtors are also incompetent, uncreative, and not very good problem solvers. They have a hard time thinking out of the box, too.

They have no multiple listing service and are reluctant to share commissions with other agents, thus dramatically limiting the supply of homes that each office has to show. This fact also makes it better for sellers to take dozens of nonexclusive contracts out with different realtors so that many people are involved with the sale. Realtors have even told me that giving them an exclusive on a property for sale will not increase the amount of time or money they put into selling my property.

They do not do showings, staging or open houses, or if they do then they are rare. Most of the time they do not drive clients to properties for sale. They will meet clients on site, usually, where the customer signs an agreement to pay their 2% commission.

Whenever I have had to deal with realtors, their services have left something to be desired. They are all smiles to sign up to sell your property or to give you information on other properties for sale. But getting them to do work for you is another issue entirely. I also have found them to be dramatically uninformed about the selling prices of comparable properties, the value added by having quality inputs or features, and their unwillingness to be proactive about finding or attracting prospects.

In reality, my friend is right: they are lazy–even when I offer them 1% or 2% extra commission, they hardly seem motivated. Real estate services in Chile are more than a little bit mysterious and are a lot more than just frustrating.

20161122_174612Most of the time, the best that Realtors will do is simply open the door to the house or apartment for you that you might want to purchase, or put up their sign if they are selling a property for you. I have seen some in Santiago deal with the banks and help with the mortgage and appraisal process, but that is about it.

Really, I am totally underwhelmed by this profession in Chile. In my latest project, I have contracted dozens of realtors over the last year and not a single client or interested party has been brought to the table, while I have had many prospective buyers call or show up to visit the property just because I put up a couple of large signs visible from the street and several internet ads–the one in English being especially effective relative to the others.

20161007_173113In other words, I obviously have an attractive property that many call about and most visit. However, Realtors are unable to break into this market. Few buyers balk at or complain about the price, Realtors complain about the price sometimes because they want to sell fast.

It seems to me that Realtors are part of the social upper class that could never graduate from college and know little about sales and marketing. They do the job, like selling medical insurance, because it is a decent and respectable position for upper class folks that have few other job skills.

If I had to say which professional group in Chile is the most impressive it would have to be physicians in Santiago. The least impressive would have to be Realtors. Lawyers, architects and physical therapists fall in the lower middle of that range, with regional physicians, engineers, dentists and accountants in the upper middle. The bottom line is that when dealing with real estate agents, be prepared for frustration and underperformance, and be prepared to supplement their efforts with your own.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2016 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $149.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

A Couple of New Scams by “Friendly” Chileans

Chile is well-known for its scams.

It is society built on lying, cheating, stealing, dishonesty and deception. I do not know how I can put it more plainly. Yet, those of us raised in other cultures, even after living here many years, can still be blindsided by criminals and scammers. Thus, one can imagine how bad the situation can be for newcomers. That weakness is something profound that you should not take lightly, starting from the moment that you step off the aircraft at the Santiago airport. If you do not, beware the biblical adage: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12), because you likely will fall!

Recently, a new client of mine arrived in Chile. It was the first international trip he had taken in his life, fueled by fears of being “Trumped.” He got scammed by a taxi service, ignoring careful instructions from me, or at least not taking them seriously.

Normally, we pick up all clients personally from the airport with VIP service. However, this one had made a last-minute plane reservation and had an arrival time that conflicted with other commitments we had, thus making it necessary to find an alternative means to pick him up. The client was so worried about President Trump and the coming expected world war that he did not want to waste any time in leaving “the land of the free.” Unfortunately, he paid the price for not acting sooner and giving us a chance to better-prepare for his arrival.

Many Chilean hotel transfer drivers have long since given up writing names of arriving guests on placards. Crooks would simply look for the names that drivers had written and write them on their own placards, figuring out ways to get to the customer first. Then they would drive him off and either rob him or at the very least charge him an exorbitant amount to get to the hotel–sort of a “ransom service.” Under current practice, many hotels just hold up a placard with the logo of the hotel and the customer is instructed to look for that logo instead of their name.

Nowadays, there are pirates at the arrival gate, masquerading as airport employees. The merry thugs and thieves hire a front-man that can speak good English, providing a welcome voice to weary international travelers in a sea of foreign language confusion. Yet, sometimes bilingual Chileans are the least trustworthy, even if they wear a convincing uniform!

The tactic is simple: identify a target as he leaves the sliding glass doors at customs. Gringos are usually easy to pick out, especially when they look lost or a little tired and bewildered. Then politely ask him if he needs some assistance, noting that (the pirate) is an airport employee assigned the task of helping international travelers: a sort of “welcome to Chile” service.

In the case of my unwary client, the pirate was informed that he needed no help since he was awaiting a transfer van from the Renaissance Hotel. Then the pirate replied, “unfortunately, that van had already left.” (Literally, “he missed the bus” and was about to get bent over without knowing it was coming.) No worries, however, replied the “airport employee,” since he had other trusted taxis that would whisk him away to his destination. This sort of mishap “happens all the time,” but the airport is prepared to serve visitors caught up in such difficulties.

In fact, the hotel driver was waiting just a few meters away with his placard held up, but was never able to connect with the client. Instead, the client was quickly taken to the nearby ATM by the pirate, who explained that it was necessary to pay for service in cash, in advance. Then, the pirate took him to one of the ring’s cabbies and loaded his luggage, He was then charged four to five times the normal rate for taxi service to the hotel, and of course paid in unfamiliar cash, further confusing the tired, bewildered traveler, not quickly apt to convert between currencies or to know that the normal rate should not exceed US$25 to US$30. Also, the employee (curiously) requested a 10,000-peso “tip” (which is about one-third to one-half a day’s wages for a common worker here).

Obviously, paid employees do not normally request tips, as if they were customary and obligatory. The fact that he did, should have immediately tipped off the client. The scoundrel was probably drooling as he watched the blue bills being spit out of the ATM. Thankfully, the client arrived safely at the hotel, even though he was ripped off and the hotel was annoyed that the airport driver had to wait in vain for over an hour at the airport.

We were worried, too, and had been on the phone with the hotel driver since the time the client exited customs. Indeed, prior to that we had been on the phone with the client since the moment he got his passport stamped, trying to ease his way out. During the 2 minutes that we lost contact with the client and he left customs, the pirate got him.

The point man probably split the cab fare with the cabbie thieves. Notice that it pays to be bilingual in more ways than one! In Chile, crime pays. And P.T. Barnum’s “sucker” gets off the plane “every minute,” from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and beyond!

In another new, Samaritan-esque scam, local criminals are going around and letting the air out of people’s tires while parked. When an unsuspecting driver returns, and starts to drive off, the villain appears and points out that the driver has a pinchazo or a punctured tire. Not to worry, however, since the feigned Samaritan knows where to go to have the flat repaired. Once he leads his victim somewhere out of sight, especially if the victim has let him inside his car, he will pull a knife or gun and assault or rob his victim. Yet another reason to beware of helpful and courteous Chileans!

Furthermore, Chileans might be exporting this craft more frequently and easily in coming years. Did you know that of the 35 OECD countries, only South Korean and Chilean passport holders have visa-free travel to all G-8 countries (including Russia)? Another nice feature of Chilean citizenship, but perhaps not such a boon for the rest of the world that has just made it easier for criminals to arrive and practice their craft in new “territories.”

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2016 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $149.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s older (2014), not updated, abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)

Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003)

A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (2009)

Trump Administration May Pave the Way to Relinquish US Citizenship for as Low as $15.55

As many current and aspiring expatriates of the United States are aware, the number of Americans renouncing citizenship has been on the rise over the past decade or so.

Once the blue passport was sought by people worldwide, and flashed with pride by its bearers. The nations of the world recognized its holders as those who perhaps enjoyed more freedom and prosperity. Many nations opened their arms, banks readied their vaults and various business opportunities unfolded before them.

However, as the citizenry began to wake up to the fact that the state perceives them as property, the brilliant blue cover of a US passport lost much of its luster. The ominous taxes that continued to be imposed along with reams of draconian regulations took their tolls. Being only one of two countries in the world (Eritrea is the other) that requires its subjects to report and potentially pay taxes on all international income has certainly helped to build the resentment from both citizens and the international community alike.

FATCA implementation agreements

Internationally, warmongering and imperialistic pursuits didn’t help. This, along with the narcissistic attitudes of many Americans and the eventual impositions of the IRS and other alphabet soup agencies that form the long arm of US injustice and arrogation wore down once strong, vibrant and mutually beneficial relationships.

Blessing or Curse

Today, many banks shun the little blue book. If you are from just about any other country, they open their arms to new business. But the penalty exacted by the strength of US banks, the IRS, the caving of various governments to the political pressure of the US and the asinine FATCA invasion have resulted in banks closing their doors to US citizens.

As a result, more of them are leaving the US each year. Some just leave and work elsewhere for vocational reasons. Others want to live somewhere specifically, so go for it. But an ever growing number find ways to leave the confines of the US Inc in order to escape the insanity of the state imposing on their every move. They’re tired of the over-regulation and seemingly endless taxes on every move they make, unless it’s illegal, of course. A growing number of these are renouncing their citizenship.

As recently as seven years ago (2008), there were only 235 who renounced. That more than tripled the following year, then doubled again in 2010 to 1485, the year FATCA was implemented. Interestingly, it was that year that the US decided it should be charging to permit people to escape its clutches. The fee that year was $450. This resulted in an increase of only about 300, to 1,781 in 2011.

Something odd happened in 2012. Numbers are supposed to be reported quarterly, but two quarters were missed, so the total came out to 932. However, those lost numbers were apparently reported the following year, resulting in 2,999 reunciations. That year also saw the fee increase to $990.

So, how did a 220% increase in the price for freedom from the US affect renunciations? The following year, 2014, saw an increase to 3.415 citizens willing to pay for the keys to their US tax shackles. Incidentally, when getting grilled by the consulate over why you’re renouncing, stating that it’s for tax purposes is inadvisable. They may deny you. Of course, they may deny you because they have indigestion too, but most who’ve I’ve read about found the process fairly straightforward, other than the onerous fees. But it gets better.

Last year the fees were raised to an astounding $2,350, ostensibly because that’s what it costs to do the paperwork. Yet that year saw the most dramatic increase in renunciations so far, at around 6,000.

When is Being Owned NOT Slavery?

Make no mistake – this is the blatant pricing of freedom. When a person who is forced to be a tax slave, regardless of where they live and the source of their income, then it is clear that the extorting agent is claiming ownership. Just how much is your freedom worth? According to US Inc, $2,350 will remove your shackles. Of course, if you’re worth more than about $2,000,000 or have had a decent income over the past few years, you will be rewarded with paying an expatriation tax on top of any taxes you have already paid. If you haven’t kept current with your filing, it could get much worse.

If you expatriated on or after June 17, 2008, the new IRC 877A expatriation rules apply to you if any of the following statements apply.

  • Your average annual net income tax for the 5 years ending before the date of expatriation or termination of residency is more than a specified amount that is adjusted for inflation ($151,000 for 2012, $155,000 for 2013, $157,000 for 2014, and $160,000 for 2015).
  • Your net worth is $2 million or more on the date of your expatriation or termination of residency.
  • You fail to certify on Form 8854 that you have complied with all U.S. federal tax obligations for the 5 years preceding the date of your expatriation or termination of residency.
    Source: IRS

A Threat to Freedom of Speech = A Veiled Offer of Freedom?

There was recently a string of tweets and articles from the PEOTUS regarding the burning of flags. Such a right is guaranteed by the Constitution, but we all are well aware that regulations haven’t bowed before constitutional law for decades. Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that it is someone’s protected First Amendment right, many continue to strive to meet out punishment for any who would be so traitorous as to burn the emblem of those who would claim to own them. One of these would-be oppressors is Hillary, who introduced legislation in 2005 that would require a $100,000 fine and one year in prison for anyone burning an American flag.

Apparently the president elect has similar ideas, but with a very interesting twist. He was quoted as stating:

Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!

You mean, that’s all it will take? Then you get a choice?

This, of course, prompted an interesting string of comments around the interwebs. Peter Schiff was all over it.

 

If all that is required to lose U.S. citizenship is burning a flag, there are Americans all over the world who would gladly burn one if it gets them out of paying the $2,350 filing fee, or for wealthier Americans paying the far more onerous exit tax!

Posted by Peter Schiff on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

 


So, I did some looking around. You can buy a 3’x5′ American flag for just $15.55 on Amazon.

Of course, you can buy one for about any price you want to pay. But this seemed like a pretty reasonable price and substantial enough to actually catch flame visibly enough to make sure the evidence is irrefutable.

But Seriously?

#Satire aside (kinda), I really have no desire to burn the flag. To me, it’s just senseless noise. But neither do I desire to continue to be considered a tool of the state. Renunciation is a distinct possibility for my future.

Depending on your goals, you may require another passport before renouncing. In most cases, that means at least five years as a half-time resident in the country you choose. In other words, you’d need to spend at least 185 days of each year there in order to satisfy the local requirements. This varies from country to country, but it seems somewhat standard with many South American countries.

There are services that will sell you instructions and respond to email questions regarding permanent residency (not including a passport) in their country for about $500-$1,000. If you know the language, or have someone that can help, and are pretty confident in your ability to navigate, this might be a great option. This is particularly true if you don’t have much in the way of expendable cash.

For those who would rather have someone either walk them through it or take care of most of the legwork for them, the sky is really the limit. However, if you’re paying more than about $5,000 for really good service, depending on additional options, then you’re probably paying too much. Perhaps there are countries where higher fees are merited, but in most countries the work required isn’t really worth more than a few thousand bucks. The process usually takes a little over two years, depending upon bureaucratic hurdles.

Once you have permanent residency, you’re on the road to getting your passport, if you care to. Again, this will take about five years.

You don’t have to get a new residency or citizenship though. There is provision for renunciation as a stateless person as well. Of course, you are warned by the US government that doing so is inadvisable because you would no longer enjoy the protection of any government.

A final note on this: I’m no law expert, but it appears that the charging for renunciation may in fact be illegal. For those who want to dig further, you might start at the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs and with Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

Remember, it’s on you to do your own research. Due your own due diligence and caveat emptor apply, especially when dealing with international laws. These are the apparent options before you, but often we find hidden gems to help us along our way. And, whether you seek to renounce or pursue another path, may you enjoy freedom of both mind and body.

Q & A on the Election Results and Expectations with Dr. John Cobin

As the elections grew near, many considered Hillary’s coronation to basically be a formality. When they woke up to find that Trump was the new President elect, there was a sense of shock for many – some for the shock of it just being an upset, for others a shock of disappointment and yet for others one of victory. Some among the first group have even allowed themselves a sense of hope, like maybe it’ll finally get a little better. Maybe a sense of reason is still possible from Washington. If you look back over Dr. John Cobin’s blog entries and other writings fo the last several months, you will see that he predicted a Trump win–just like Doug Casey and Michael Moore did. All of them were surely in the minority but there could be no doubt in Dr. Cobin’s mind when he saw Trump’s strategy to reach and excite the masses. Hillary simply could not compete. Trump had tens of thousands of people show up at his rallies, and none of the figures were trumped-up.


GIPHY

A few of these folks entered into a discussion regarding whether or not it was necessary for those seeking freedom to leave the US. When that suggestion was presented to Dr. Cobin, he responded:

Cobin
Still better pack your bags. Don’t let it lull you to sleep.
The elites will not let a rogue US president go along without reprisals. The powers to be have to have some say in what he does. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump is assassinated in the next 90 days (and then we will know just who controls Pence) or we will find out that there was actually an upstart group of elites vying for power that got to Trump, helped put him in office, and now back him. The Rothschilds and Rockefellers also have family feuds.

Don’t you think that the US may have just headed off WWIII?

Cobin
Your chance of war and attacks in your backyard just skyrocketed.
The police state with deportations and a walled border will start to encroach on everyone up there. It will make your escape harder.


GIPHY

Speaking of war, it might be a really good diversion right now, as would be a false flag, to divert the attention of the malcontents. A lot of them are young, so they could conceivably be sent overseas in military garb under a new draft to combat terrorism. Nothing better for reducing unemployment than killing off a lot of potential labor. Doing so leaves a lot more jobs for the rest. Then people that remain can be employed making bombs and other armaments. Like good mercantilists, Trumpians can capture and sell natural resources of the conquered nations, too. Sounds like a winning strategy for Trump.

The media coverage was so incredibly biased towards Hillary winning it was hard to watch the results. They are just beside themselves with horror. You have to admit, it is great seeing those media shills twist in the wind.

Cobin
Sure, it was fun watching the Left wither as you said and maybe some of them will be eliminated, too. A small gesture for rightists to “enjoy.” I bet he will even prosecute Hillary, even though for the moment he has backed away from that threat he boldly made publicly. But what he will do now is potentially very scary. It reminds me of the populism and euphoria for Hitler and Mussolini in the mid-1930s. I wrote about thos paralles in a blog entry not too long ago, remember?


Trump and America’s Fascination with Fascism


Okay, so we know you aren’t too hopeful about Trump. You have to see some positives to his victory though.

Cobin
Hopefully, there will be REAL benefits for the unborn now. Excuse me if I still have my doubts. Ditto for gun owners. I think he now “owes” Evangelicals, too, and thus will grant them temporary peace, and perhaps eliminate the gender-neutral bathrooms. So, all of that is a benefit, certainly better than Clinton would have done. Maybe he will listen to pro-life advisors for his Supreme Court picks? Maybe, but don’t hold your breath. I am more encouraged that he seems to want to back out of the climate change farse in the Paris agreement (that just took effect). He could save billions by withdrawing the Americans from that idiocy. Manmade climate change is a joke. He will use this money and other funds to give people jobs. That is his Keynesian side. Trump is a populist that will create employment (Keynesian) by building bridges, dams, airports, hospitals and naval/air vessels. Just be ready for the consequences of him having an even mightier military.

Do you see this affecting Chile at all? Will Chileans get trumped, too?

Cobin
Chile will benefit since Trump says he will install public works projects that will put Americans to work: building infrastructure that requires copper and other things Chile sells. It is a good time to invest and live in Chile. Chile is not on anyone’s war map. There is nothing to conquer. Chile only wants to trade. Chileans like Americans,and viceversa. They have every reason to be optimistic.


GIPHY

Also, Chileans are even surer to follow suit in their 2017 election. They will elect a new president and congress (since they are mostly lemmings, and follow the USA to the “Right,” this time to the benefit of liberty). However, the world just became an even more dangerous place for you. But it became a much better place for Chile. Of course, the doltish Chilean Right believes that the true Right in the USA has won. They are ignorant. So are Americans–as we saw yesterday. The 306 electoral college near-landslide is impressive, as Doug Casey called at the beginning of November 2016 (along with Yours Truly).

People called me to congratulate me on my prediction. My WhatsApp note to Chilean friends on the morning after the election was as follows: ¿Cuántas veces he dicho que Trump iba a ganar? Es increíble. Es malo para el mundo en términos de inmigrantes y amenaza de guerra, aunque es un poquito mejor que el diablo Hillary. El Estado siempre ha sido nuestro enemigo. Cristianos tienen que entender esto. Todos allá subestimaron cuán astuto es Trump, y cuán tonto es el votante mediano americano. Los ganadores en EEU son los niños por nacer y los dueños de armas. Por lo menos, el En Chile, no nos va seguir a los EEUU y elegir alguien de la derecha en 2017. No va a afectar mal al comercio con Chile. Al revés: van a construir de nuevo la infraestructura en los EEUU y comparar aún más cobre. Un beneficio para nosotros.

Chile’s economy depends on exporting natural resources. It is about to do very well. Copper, iron, silver and gold will rise sharply now. Like Switzerland in WW2, Chile and other countries with similar economic profiles will have an economic boom. In Chile, we will not be able to produce fast enough to keep up with demand for all the Trumped-up projects. We are going to oust the Left next election here and make foreign investment even more favorable. (Hint: the time to invest in Chile is NOW before prices rise and other run to supply coming demand for raw materials and food). So, expect more capital to flow in to Chile, and for us to become wealthier, maybe even closing in on Nickel-producer New Caledonia in terms of GDP per capita by 2030.


GIPHY

On top of that, how valuable will passports and real estate be for safe places to live in the world, like Chile? Manhattan lost some real estate value last night, and so long as violence abounds, the Location-Location-Location doctrine works against you. At some point, Santiago looks pretty attractive to head business operations compared to bigger, Northern Hemisphere cities plagued by a nasty mixture of populism, welfarism, violence, mercantilism and Keynesianism. Still, in the first decade, those “Berlins” are really pretty booming places. Just ask any German in 1936, leading the way out of the Great Depression while the rest of the world marveled. Lots of employment, too, by wiping out labor competition (6 million Jews?), largely by sending folks off to die in the next war.

Too bad for New Zealand that social leftism has cut its feet out from under it and it will not have available its best things to export due to its radical environmentalist policies. Gains will be relatively small from wools and Kiwi juice exports. But Australia, New Caledonia, Brunei and Indonesia should do well, and maybe even India, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya, Peru and Colombia. Also, basket-case countries with natural resources like Ecuador and Argentina will too, lifting them out of their natural path to demise with a great injection of foreign capital. It is easy to forgive and forget the sins of the Left when the money starts rolling in.


Of the Lesser of Two Evils, Choose Neither


It’s been interesting to see the protests. The hypocrisy is most astonishing, except when one considers the cognitive dissonance it takes to be a leftist.

Cobin
Looks like life for y’all just got a whole lot more dangerous, if Fox News is to be believed ([article here](http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/10/thousands-take-to-streets-in-major-cities-to-protest-trump-election.html)). Good thing for now that these guys do not know how to aim and squeeze a trigger. You might be caught in the crossfire in a town near you! Keep checking the data on guns and ammo sales, and if more people are taking classes to learn to shoot well.
Another interesting effect will be how many democrats become strong Second Amendment supporters all of the sudden. Do they really want to live in a country governed by what seems to be a populist fascist sort (much like Mussolini or Hitler wanting to make “fatherland” in Germany or Italy “great again” in the 1930s, successfully pulling them out of the Great Depression, with a pitch to the xenophobic common men in those countries), where the government has weaponry and the citizens do not?
The Second Amendment was put there to give citizens a check against the state, not to protect hunting. So, what will they do now? Will they change their point of view and arm themselves to the teeth as they should. Trouble is, I do not think most Democrats know the first thing about guns.
I will have to add that I am glad I will not be around for the street violence or even a civil war to come. Perfect time for building momentum and numbers, then the fascist fist to crash down on these rebels around February. I feel sad for my kids up there.


Looking to Leave America? You Should be More Scared than You Are


You’re an economist. Trump is outlining plans to bolster the US economy. Some of this seems pretty legit. Are you seeing the potential for some good economic changes now?

Cobin
You are about to see economic disaster build from protectionism, make-work programs, indirect debt repudiation and the next Federal Reserve fiasco to finance what is needed (no details yet on that part). On top of that, you now have violence and enough hatred that could lead to a civil war. The losers were already angry, and already willing to expend violence on cops, who were willing to return the favor or even start it themselves. Now there is rage and hatred in the face of rising police brutality. Not a pretty picture.

Note that with all protectionism coupled with Keynesianism and Mercantilism, so long as money rolls in, the economy will do well in the short run. But things will be troublesome after a few years. Then war will be needed to prop-up the economy.


GIPHY

Look at all the jobs people will have available in the USA shortly (if Trump keeps his trumped-up promises): building a 2,000 mile 40-foot-high wall (at Mexico’s expense?); renovating airports, bridges, roads; building larger VA hospitals and centers; building military hardware; attacking people “over there” to reduce the stock of older hardware and make room to fill up the space with new stuff (lots of jobs in logistics and warehousing). Raw materials suppliers and trucking companies are about to have a field day. I wonder if Trump could “waste” (nuke?) a middle-eastern region and then get Europe to go rebuild and pay for it as a requirement for the USA to stay in NATO, hiring a few more American companies to help. More jobs! Higher wages! Marriage of Keynesianism and fascism. Good mix, much better than gay marriage, which only produces sin and no offspring.

Thanks for your perspective and insights. Any final words of advice?

Cobin
At least read a little bit more about the rise of fascism in Europe, please. And be careful whom you look upon to be your savior. The smart money and people got out of Berlin in the late 30s. While it is a nice place to live today, it was a different story under firebombing and later on when Stalin showed up.

P.S. No violent riots in Viña del Mar today, but I will keep you posted of any news.

Until next time,

Chile Never Has Hurricanes

Chile is famous for a lot of things. For instance, many Chileans are artful liars, cheaters and thieves. Recent reports show that a full 26% of them evade paying the fare on city buses in Santiago. No one in Chile is surprised by that fact, unless they think that the figure is too low.

Chileans are also artistic, entertaining and playfuleven clownish. At intersections in Santiago and Viña del Mar drivers will frequently see juggling, ventriloquist and gymnastic performances from young people trying to earn some coins as tips.

Chileans like to joke around, too, and they are inherently conservative socially—other than their propensity to engage in fornication and adultery. Accordingly, they were sanctioned recently by world soccer authority FIFA for the anti-homosexual chants of fans in Santiago stadium during soccer matches, and Chile was hence declared to be the most “homophobic” country in the world.

Those are a few tidbits of information that speak volumes about Chilean life and reality.

Nevertheless, hurricanes are not part of Chilean reality (or almost anywhere else in South America). While they are an annual preoccupation and presently occupy the attention of many millions of people in America (e.g., Hurricane Matthew’s assault), just as typhoons occupy the minds of people in the Far East and around the Indian Ocean, those living in Chile never give hurricanes a second thought. They are as foreign to Chile as squirrels, rattlesnakes, water moccasins, crocodiles, water mocasins, coral snakes, bald eagles, alligators, bears, tigers, skunks, elk, buffalo, moose, larger deer and armadillos, and just about as hard to conceive of as a “white Christmas.” Chileans only know about these animals and hurricanes because they have read or heard that such critters live or happen in other parts of the world, far away from Chile.

historical-hurricanes-1851-2016

world-hurricane-tracks-1851-2007

Note that in the world maps above tracking the history of hurricanes, they do not occur in Chile or the rest of South America—at least south of the Caribbean coast of Colombia and Venezuela. Chile is thus akin to the west coast of Africa, the western United States and Canada, most of Europe, Africa and Asia. Therefore, while Chile has its share of pitfalls and problems, one need never worry about being impacted by a hurricane while living here.

Given the current worries in the United States, it seemed fitting to broach the subject for people that did not know. Moreover, Americans would do well to remember that as bad as hurricane impacts are or will be, they pale by comparison to the damage inflicted by the United States government, as the present political circus has exemplified.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2016 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $149.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)

Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003)

A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (2009)

Gang Violence in Chile

Some things just never stay the same. For years I had been pleased to report that Chile was mercifully free of violent gangs, commonplace in the United States and elsewhere. There were (and still are) groups that “hang out” together, called tribus urbanas, and that sometimes have tussles with the police. However, USA-styled gang “warfare” simply has not been widespread in Chile.

Now we hear news reports about a pistol-toting gang in Northwestern Santiago known as Los Chubis. News cameras have recorded their members, which are also involved in drug trafficking, shooting up the neighborhood, leaving bullet holes everywhere. The gang is located in the Parinacota neighborhood of the Quilicura comuna. The area is quite poor, but by no means the poorest part of Santiago. Now residents are quite scared.

Gang members are largely made up of convicted felons that speak coa or flaite dialects. One can hardly understand them when interviewed. What one can readily perceive in the news reports is building walls, inside and out, riddled with bullet holes. Moreover, members of both gangs sport many surgery scars and bullet holes in the bodies that they readily show to news reporters.

Worse yet, Los Chubis apparently now have a rival gang to contend with: El Barza, led by a guy known as “El Polaco.” One result was the October 31, 2015 (Halloween) murder of a neighborhood youth on his birthday (apparently by a Chubi), Arnaldo Céspedes, age 14, cousin of one of the El Barza gang. This act incurred retaliation by intentionally burning down the house of the “mother” (gang leader) of Los Chubis, María Vilches. So far, four homes have been burned down due to gang violence, which continues to escalate. For instance, the body of a boy, Isaac Pardo, known as El Palta, was burned beyond recognition and dumped up the road in the comuna of Lampa.

For a country not known for its violence, this gang activity has been shocking. Although it is not widespread in Chile, and certainly has not attained anything close to the level of gangsterism in the United States, obviously the idea of violent gangs has become a reality in some places and, unfortunately, may tend to spread.

This change marks a difference from when I first introduced largely peaceful tribus urbanas in an April 2010 blog entry. Of course, all of this sad crime does not affect the upper-class areas of Northeastern Santiago, or nicer regional communities like Viña del Mar, Concón, Zapallar, La Serena, etc. But newcomers to Chile would be well-advised to steer clear of the Parinacota barrio of Quilicura. Doing so should be easy to do, since they would normally have no reasons to go there.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2016 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $149.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)

Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003)

A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (2009)

Looking to Leave America? You Should Be More Scared than You Are!

I was reflecting recently on some differences between Chile and the United States. This is an election year in the Land of the Free, and the candidates are so unpopular that the Libertarian Party is even getting considerable support. I should be overjoyed but, alas, even as a libertarian, I cannot get behind the libertarian ticket since Gary Johnson is in favor of abortion–a common American malady. There is no more egregious tyranny than killing innocent human beings on account of their underdevelopment, their inconvenience or because human reproduction requires the use of a womb. Yet, this sort of hypocrisy among American libertarians is widespread. At least one-half of American libertarians are willing to kill an unborn human being if the womb-provider objects to his existence.

This sort of irony traces back to great American libertarians like Thomas Jefferson, who enslaved people and even engendered children by some of his slaves. Then there were even greater American tyrants, albeit non-libertarians of course, like Abraham Lincoln, who feigned an anti-slavery posture to promote his own power at the expense of over 660,000 lives.

Chile’s libertarian element is not so calloused or brutal. Indeed, I find most of them to be far more consistent libertarians than their American counterparts.

Nevertheless, Chileans are also great hypocrites. Abortion is illegal in nearly all cases here and yet abortion still occurs. They say one thing and do another in this respect, so long as their unblemished image can be upheld. Chileans are so preoccupied about their public image that they go to great lengths to dress up in public, so as not to appear, for instance, as a day-laborer or maid en route. Plus, they try to get a home (even if poorly-built) in one of the best sections of town. Then they can boast of living among the upper classes. They buy image and status through acquiring a respectable address.

If you examine the construction quality of upper class apartments, you will usually find that the front door and foyer are lavish, well-built items; the landscaping and manicured lawn outside are often subpurb, too. However, true to Chilean hypocritical imagery, the quality of windows, doors, flooring, kitchen and bathrooms (among other things) inside each apartment is mediocre.

Socially speaking, most Chileans are not virtuous. The great majority secretly applaud lying, cheating and even stealing at times, often making jokes about how artful and adroit Chilean thieves are. Everyone laughs at those jokes since they know the substance to be true. Surely, the upper classes do not like being robbed, but loss by theft is sort of taken for granted in Chilean society.

Chilean “justice” is a joke for the most part, as I have commented on previously. People have to fend for themselves if they want justice and protection. Maybe laughing at the degraded level of their fellow Chileans is a way of coping with the reality of living in a dishonest society. It is a sad state of affairs.

Yet, people here get offended when I or others point out the foibles of Chilean culture. They do not want to hang out their dirty laundry for the world to see, and especially immigrants like me should never violate this sanctum of Chilean culture. They want the world to see Chile at its best as the most prosperous nation in Latin America and sophisticated enough to rescue its 33 trapped miners in 2010. For this reason, they all come together to support their soccer team when it wins international championships. They love to bask in favorable international limelight. Hence, there is an odd unity and solidarity here in terms of sports even if people do not trust each other.

The difference, then, between cultures up yonder and Chilean culture is that Chileans are desconfiados. While most Americans truly believe what others say or that the “system” works, Chileans do not. Ironically, one reason that Chile does not have an institutionalized welfare state like the United States, Canada, Australia or Europe is precisely because Chileans do not trust others; they know that their fellow countrymen will game the system. Thus, Chilean welfare benefits are not as widespread or lavish.

In Chile, no one is surprised when a politician gets his hand stuck in the cookie jar or is found to be corrupt. Such behavior is expected. On the one hand, in the “Land of the Free,” people still tend to be shocked or at least believe that such problems are confined to an elite political class of Clintons or Bushes. Some believe that a man like Trump will really be different since he is an “outsider.” When he turns out to be just as bad or worse, then these true believers will be temporarily disheartened. However, memories are short and in just four more years they will be ripe pickings for the next demagogue that comes along.

On the other hand, Chileans do not see things the way Americans do. They know that most candidates are running more for their personal gain than to serve the public interest or principles. They are used to people trying to beguile them and thus are not as easily beguiled.

Nevertheless, when it comes to successful policies of the Right, Chileans tend to be frequently tricked. In a recent interview on public television with José Piñera, the founder of the private Chilean pension system (AFP), that is now used in thirty countries, the leftist commentator and interviewer tried to paint the AFP system as a bad thing. He showed anecdotal evidence where a few pensioners interviewed claimed that they were only earning pensions of 200,000 pesos (US$300) per month. No one inquired if they had paid in to their plan for all years or if there were large gaps in payments (lagunas). Private social security only works if one saves. Like José Piñera said, the system may be a fabulous Mercedes Benz but if you do not put fuel into the tank then it will not serve you well. Moreover, one pension provider released data showing that the average pension for many thousands of men that had contributed for over 30 years is 650,000 pesos (US$1,000) per month, which is 6% more than the targeted 70% of replacement income sought by the system. Thus, the system is working, even with imperfections, but the Left will simply lie and discount this fact, which can be very frustrating for rightists and libertarians once the crafty leftists convince disgruntled voters. The Left is a constant problem. Even the best parts of Chilean economic life are being rattled, just like the Left continues to rattle countries in the Northern Hemisphere.

But let us be candid: while Chile has its problems, America has much greater problems (and so does Europe). Moreover, America does not have benefits like AFP that Chile established. It still is beleaguered by socialism. Whether Trump or Hillary wins, Americans will still pay far more taxes than Chileans do (perhaps four times more); their government will still kill innocent people at home or abroad (directly or indirectly); they will still have a raging, violent society, with brutal cops; they will still be affected by an ignorant populace, dumbed-down by the public school and media addictions; they will still face the hardships of political correctness and the undue burdens of over-regulation or property confiscations (either Kelo-style or by customs agents); they will face horrific danger from family court scoundrels and child services division thugs; they will still face a declining standard of living and egregious manipulations of the currency by the central bank; they will suffer from the fallout of pressure groups seeking privileges: homosexual activists, radical feminists, anti-religious people, radical ecologists and welfare cadets; they will have to face increasing socialism, Obamacare and welfare Ponzi schemes like Social Security.

Therefore, for all the negative things that one can says about Chile, America is far worse. All of the bad things just listed are prevalent and growing in America but have yet to take a foothold in Chile. I am not saying that Chile will never have such maladies, but for now we have mercifully fewer of them. Indeed, if you are living in America, you should be more scared than ever before! Chileans have little to fear from the civil authority, as bad as things might be here. But in America (and Europe) one faces a real and growing threat. Denying this fact will not make it go away.

Lesser Evil

Are you sick and tired of putting up with it in America or Europe? Why not consider Chile as a freer, saner alternative? It is not a perfect place, but you can more easily cope with social evils here than those common throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere. You can live in relative peace, and have a beautiful ocean view in Viña del Mar like I do, at a reasonable price.

The first step you should take is to buy the book Life in Chile (ordering instructions below) and read it in its entirety. Next step is to become a member of EscapeAmericaNow.info and participate in the monthly webinar. These two things will get you well-informed. Decide if you simply want to “get out of Dodge” or just establish a Plan B residence in Chile, “just in case.” Then make your reservations to come down and acquire the original, certified documents you will need to obtain a visa.

Do not neglect to move a substantial portion of your assets offshore. Without money, you will not be able to do anything. By delaying, you only hurt yourself and damage your own chances of survival.

Do not procrastinate. The world situation is not a board game. It is real and is coming your way quickly. If there were ever a time to be afraid or a little worried, it is now.

Also posted here on Steemit.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2016 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $149.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)

Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003)

A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (2009)

Trump and the Next Wave to Chile

If I were still an American, I would not be a Republican (unless Ron Paul were running!) or a Democrat. I am a libertarian. I favor free trade, not concocted regulated trade manipulated by USA war mongering or special interests that is labeled as “free trade.” I am not in favor of Hillary any more than I am of Trump. They are both evil.

And, having said that, I am delighted that one of them will win, probably clever Trump. They will drive out many good people that remain in the USA and thus help me in my consulting and residency business in Chile, and drive up demand for Chilean real estate, helping my construction business.

As an added bonus, the damage might be so great as to encourage more of my children to leave and return to Chile, too. In that sense I really favor Trump, and lament for people that have stayed in the USA. But that’s not my fault.

With either Trump or Hillary winning the Presidency, Chile will benefit by receiving more highly-qualified immigrants. America will not benefit. Indeed, it is a good time to make your exit and come to Chile. With either party’s candidate winning, if I were still an American, Chile would be looking pretty good right now. Unless you are poor and thus have to suffer the consequences of the bad choices and culture of others, you might at least take a stake in Chile while you can–get a visa and a small Plan B residence.

To say that export-based Chile will be affected to the same extent by a downturn in the USA is dubious. Export-based countries that produce food and raw materials will be sought after under fascist and socialist regimes in the Northern Hemisphere that need to create jobs. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking in a vacuum while the world is a dynamic, rather than static place. Calamities produce other unforeseen changes that can actually benefit certain countries. Did neutral Switzerland benefit from World War 2? Yes. And, likewise, Chile will benefit from the next American President’s policies.

I think Trump is too clever (and rich) to lose to Hillary. He will bring new, disgruntled voters in that have not voted in years to tip things in his favor. He will use his populism to tip things even more in his favor in swing states, garnering some democratic votes. In November 2016, they will appear and Trump will squash Hillary (especially if there is continued Muslim violence as was seen in Paris, San Bernadino and Orlando). He will dominate the media with his candor, nationalism and political incorrectness. He will run a more efficient campaign. The guy has a vote-gaining strategy beyond his populist rhetoric. Trump is an unprincipled, wily, pragmatic center-leftist that will do whatever it takes to get elected. He looks very dangerous and seductive, and the situation has an eerie resemblance to 1930s Germany or Italy.

Fascist Trump?

The problem Americans face is that people like Hitler or Mussolini also were “a symbol of the widespread rejection of political-economic elitism.” This is nothing new. And Trump is scary on account his nationalism, protectionism, slippery principles and rejection of political-economic elitism. He looks very much like a fascist. Hence, there are some good reasons why Americans should be fearful of Trump.

trump fascist mussolini

Consider Trump’s list of nefarious ideas:

  • he is willing to raise taxes “on the rich,” although he is now denying his original statement;
  • he is willing to raise the minimum wage;
  • he supports abortion in “exceptional” cases, although now he claims to have become more pro-life;
  • he supports military buildup and war;
  • he plans to retaliate against terrorists by killing their wives and little children;
  • he favors use of weapons, like nuclear bombs, that necessarily kill innocent people;
  • he favors socialized medicine, albeit not Obamacare exactly;
  • he believes in social safety nets for the poor via welfare policies;
  • he changes his mind on a whim; but unpredictability is not an asset when dealing with the devil;
  • he wants to force businesses not to employ their resources in the least-cost environments, including overseas;
  • he uses populist jargon to gain votes just like other politicians;
  • he errantly believes that protectionism will help the middle class and others;
  • he is a nationalist that supports state-idolatry and American dominance over the world;
  • he is an unprincipled pragmatist that will do anything to get money and power, including donating lots of money to Hillary in 2012 or any other campaign that buys him privileges. Thus we have to ask the rhetorical question: “Is he really such an “outsider” or just an expert at playing the game?”

I do like that Trump is not politically correct, but neither were Stalin or Hitler (and I guess I can admire both of them for that fact?). Hitler also started as an “outsider” and a longshot, building his platform on nationalism and populism. Do you disagree?

I looked at Trump’s official website. Texas Senator and former presidential candidate Ted Cruz was correct to say that Trump is not a conservative. He is a fascist.

rachel_maddow_trump_fascistx750

Remember that I am a former American, with no emotional ties to the old country. I have no loyalty to it, nor do I wish it well. It is a bastion of evil, economic and moral, in the world today. I speak its language less than 10% of my day, and mainly only to communicate with family, send comments to my doctoral students, study or read the literature or news related to things that affect the world and Chile, and to write blog entries and books. My interest in America is academic or for business.

Is Trump a “blue collar billionaire?” Do not kid yourself! He is a pragmatic, ruthless, cunning, clever and unprincipled businessman who will do anything to make a buck or get more power. Trump is more of a fascist than anything else, so far as I can tell, and the change in the Republican party is not for the better but for the worse. Hitler also vastly improved the German economy (and war machine), bringing that country out of the Great Depression (1929-1934) before any other major country.

Nationalism and xenophobia are two other features that Trump and Hitler or Mussolini have in common, making their country “great again.” Some say Trump is more like chameleon fascist Mussolini than Hitler. They may be right. The question is merely academic for me. There are similarities that make Trump equal to Hitler o Mussolini, and I think those similarities are undeniable. He has been flip flopping lately, too, on things like abortion. So we see him acting pragmatically rather than on principle in order to get power. However, he is a wild card, like other fascists, and I am not sure anyone really knows what he will do as President. He could be really scary. Again, he is a cleverer vote-seeker than people give him credit for. Count him out of the race to your peril if you live in Los Estados Juntos.

Trumped economics

Trump does not understand economic theory. Anyone who thinks (1) that raising the minimum wage help the least capable, (2) that permitting abortion “in certain cases” is good for an economy, (3) that immigrants (illegal or otherwise) are bad for an economy or (4) that countries that have a favorable balance of trade with the USA (like Mexico), i.e. the USA has a trade deficit with Mexico of 58 billion dollars annually, as a result have a pile of cash lying around in government coffers with which they can pay for a border wall, is an economic ignoramus. Forcing people to pay more for goods and services to protect certain groups never helps the overall economy, any more than saving buggy whip and kerosene lamp makers jobs would have helped progress.

Moreover, it is an error to state that open borders only benefit the elite, top 0.01% of society. On the contrary, protectionism and border walls (if they worked) do that. Protectionist ideas heralded by Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, et al are bad for most people. They only benefit relatively few businesses and their workers. Trump apparently does not “get” this fact. By holding to protectionist ideas, Trump is bad. Furthermore, (5) Trump’s rumored “solution” to eliminate the national debt by indirect default is nothing new, and hardly clever, but is certainly dangerous. Lots of wealthy people and mutual funds, along with sovereign governments, hold U.S. debt obligations. Making them mad by telling them that 90% of their principal will vanish by decree can lead to instability, bad relationships for trade and even violence. Sure, we have all known for years that the debt cannot be paid. So what? Putting default in the face of creditors as a bully or fool, will not make the proposed victims very happy, and it will not bode well for future business deals with them.

Trump’s economics knowledge is pretty abysmal, and he apparently does not have any trained economic advisors to ask, but his understanding of consequences is even worse. In the end, you might then, well, someone has to do the default eventually, why not Trump? Default may be inevitable, but there are ways to default that are subtler and wiser, at least for those that want to avoid war and maintain whatever vestiges of trade possible post-default. Public policy is always problematic. Indeed, (6) any politician, including Trump, who thinks that public policy can improve the quality of life in generally, not just for a few elites and rent seekers, is a voter-panhandling, demagogic nincompoop.

Trump says he wants to halt illegal immigration in order to reduce crime and protect American jobs. Yet, if immigration were really a problem, then it would be best to privatize the border and let competing firms find a way to optimize it. But letting the state handle it will likely only make the “problem” worse. It will do something stupid and expensive like build a big wall that desperate people will easily find a way to conquer and circumvent. A new crisis will always emerge and thus feed those never-ending needs for more state “solutions.”

Are immigrants an economic problem?

The fact is that immigration in and of itself is not a problem. It helps the economy of any territory. Immigrants commit fewer crimes percentage-wise than native-born people. Please consider this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal written by a libertarian from the Manhattan Institute. It provides data that show that immigrants, illegal or otherwise, do not commit more crimes (percentage-wise) than native-born people. That fact means that one’s wife and daughters, including my daughters Grace and Rachel, face greater danger from native-born, publicly-educated and Hollywood/porn-gazed/beer-guzzling morons that speak only English than some wild-eyed immigrant. Indeed, immigrants often help out nationals, too. This article from the Foundation for Economic Education, a famed libertarian educational institution, makes that case.

Might I also be so bold to remind you that there is nothing more dangerous to Americans and their families than the United States government and its henchmen. The abuse and financial/emotional rape that many suffer from bogus criminal investigations and wicked Family court, IRS or Child Services Division decrees are case in point. It is almost certain that you know more people assailed by the U.S. government or brutal cops than you know that were raped or robbed by Latino illegals. Thus, if you really were concerned about the safety or your wives and daughters you would have already left the “land of the free.” So let us be honest and say that you are not really all that worried about their safety, right? You are not really any more scared of illegal immigrants than I am. But you should be more scared of your government than you are.

Immigrants regularly take lower-paying jobs and at times better-paying ones when they come. Does this affect local employment? Of course! Competition does that. They lose their jobs thanks to the way markets work: employing capital and resources in their most efficient manner. Forcing businesses to pay more just to keep people inefficiently employed at higher wages only leads to higher consumer prices for products and the standard of living for everyone going down. It also harms poorer people in other countries that lose their jobs. Protectionism may sound good and welcome until one considers the overall economic impact and lower standard of living it brings to all in order to help a relative few. It is a dangerous policy, too, since like all force it engenders resentment and thus potential violence. The solution is to avoid be undercut by competing labor.

For these reasons, we all learn to specialize and have skills that make us more desirable than others, immigrants or otherwise. Specialization and expertise make us more valuable. Putting oneself in the position of not having specialized in some sort of labor makes us vulnerable to others taking away our work by underbidding us in the marketplace for labor services. Blaming immigrants because I am not specialized or have let my laziness in pursuing greater personal efficiency in my work is ridiculous. When a person no longer wants to keep improving and be ahead of the game, he will fall behind competitors and thus only have one option to keep his services values in the market: lower his labor price. What happens when he does fall to the competition, just like businesses do that fall, is to go to the state and seek a means to have force applied to protect them from competition.

But this tactic is evil and immoral. It means that the many are harmed to benefit the few. All state proactive policies and probably all policies of inefficient provision are the same. Think of what a “blessing” central banking is, or child services and family court, the DEA, ATF, IRS and EPA, not to mention departments of education, commerce, transportation and energy. Think of what a great job states do in catching criminals or making our environment safer and cleaner. Yet people still ask and trust the state to solve problems when its track record is abysmal failure. The welfare state itself distorts labor markets by increasing the booty available for illegal immigration that would otherwise not occur. If there were no welfare benefits, some illegal immigrants might keep coming but they would be far less of a “social problem” and less costly, too.

Does it hurt to have to change careers? Of course! I know what it is like to have to change careers. I spent over 26 months without a regular paycheck and had to ditch trying to continue being a college professor and to learn instead to be a general manager of a construction company. It was painful but in the long run was beneficial for me. I realize that others do not want to make such drastic changes in their employment or learn something new, but that is the way for overall prosperity personally and benefit for a country generally.

Are immigrants costly to a society?

For many people, immigrants just “seem” to be the “obvious” problem. But science does not bear this conjecture out. Often what is just “common sense” and “seems to be” the case from what we see in actuality is false. Other explanations are actually correct. How many times does an event or phenomenon appear to be one thing and even “obvious” or common sense to the common man but in reality the answer is something else. Science confounds the weak conjecture of men.

Twentieth Century economist Dr. Julian Simon, author of The Ultimate Resource 2, famously concluded by using economic reasoning that immigration is an economic blessing. Simon contends that there are nothing more important than human minds to make an economy grow. There is no natural resource more important or more innovative. Minds cannot be synthesized like natural resources can. Even if we have 10 million hapless, stupid, otherwise worthless immigrants “sucking off the teat of the state” and producing little, and we have only one Steven Jobs, et al, in that number, we have more than made up for the social loss generated by the 9.99999 million. Of course, unlike natural births, governments control immigrant quality to a large extent, meaning that a country should do far better with immigrants than natural births.

Immigrants usually come more educated and thus benefit their new society. The most expensive (young) part of their lives, “socially speaking,” has been paid for by the “old country.” This theory is not weird economics. It is widely-known to be clearly correct. Immigration helps an economy on net. It does not hurt it. Immigrants are more educated, even if they have never been to school and just have life experience, than newborns that must be trained, raised and educated for more than two decades at very high “social cost.” Even the most backwards immigrants from Poland, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Albania, etc. knew more about life than newborns did, and they caused a special flourishing in the USA. Compared to college-educated Americans and Europeans, illegal immigrants are usually ignoramuses. But in terms of life experience and adding value they are not more ignorant than common men in the new country. That fact is one reason they can earn a wage: they add value. Otherwise they would be paid the same as newborns that know nothing: zero.

Trump’s border wall idea will not work anyway. Oppressed, desperate and economically-motivated people will hardly be stopped by obstacles, even 30 foot tall ones. Like leftist pundit John Oliver correctly pointed out, a 30 or 40-foot-high border wall will only create or increase market demand for 31 to 41-foot-long ladders to climb up, and about the same amount of rope to get down the other side. Besides this fact, drug dealers are already in the habit of throwing packages across the border to waiting accomplices, or launching drug packages across with catapults. A border wall will not stop that activity. Indeed, the wall will be more effective in keeping complacent Americans in than Latinos out. I do not know about Mexicans in general, but given a few nails, a hammer, any saw and any kind of scrap wood, my Chilean maestros could knock out a 31-foot ladder in two hours or less. They build ladders all the time. I do not buy ladders for them.

Chile lets all sorts of Peruvian and Bolivian illegals come in and they do lots of work here, despite the fact that there is a literal minefield above Arica on the Peruvian border. To say that a wall makes the border less “open” than otherwise is also insane. It just raises the cost of crossing slightly to the Mexican, et al, and imposes a huge cost on US Taxpayers to build it. So what is more insane?

The issue of welfare state largesse cannot be underestimated in this discussion. As my friend and fellow Chilean resident Ken Shields pointed out, the US government subsidizes illegal immigration by allowing immediate public benefits to those who have broken immigration laws by entering illegally. There is also taxpayer largesse doled out to businesses: China, Korea and Japan have notoriously subsidized their businesses over the last decades by crushing any collective bargaining and aiding and abetting the low international prices of finished goods with direct (but semi-secret) grants along with dirty float currency manipulation. Of course, as Milton Friedman pointed out in Free to Choose, Americans should not complain if foreign governments are sending them gifts by means of subsidies. If Trump actually did deliver on his promise to send negotiators around the world to revamp managed trade agreements, replacing them with true free trade ones, then something good might happen. But why should we believe that he or his representatives would do such a thing?

Culture argument, the evil state, and self-defense against violent Muslims

Culture also matters because institutions matter. Thus, the culture of immigrants matters at the margin. Some institutions are superior to others, and therefore some cultures, like Western culture, are superior to others. Consequently, in general, immigrants from superior cultures will be better than those from inferior ones. Yet, it is not just Europeans that have good ideas and spur economic growth with innovation. Entrepreneurship spans all races and social classes. (So does crime, wealth and other things of course.) Not all great immigrants have come from Europe. Not all rich and innovative people are white, and Mexico has some very rich people. And let us not forget northeast Asia. Cultural arguments tend to be nonstarters. The real issue is the ineffectiveness of the evil state.

When states are created, so are restrictions and privileges. These actions pervert incentive structures and institutional arrangements which have spontaneously emerged. Its legislation trumps or infects law that existed prior to the state. The nation thus has to adapt in order to learn to live with the infection. Both conservatives and leftists make the mistake of thinking that states and public policies can really solve problems efficiently and cleanly. They often ignore the special interests that benefit each time at the expense of the mass of people that have to pay the price. It seems too easy: we have a big problem, let us just pay taxes so the state can fix it. The problem sometimes gets fixed, at huge and inefficient cost, but usually it just gets patched so that the next crisis can erupt from it and generate again more need for the state to get involved. State actors like problems and love crises.

The problem is the state: our great enemy, not particular policies that elites use to their benefit. I will say that certain cultures are superior to others in producing many things, for example eternal life and economic efficiency, like protestant Christianity. But xenophobic culture arguments are really weak: Immigration helps an economy, period. Changing religions and cultures requires preaching and evangelism, not public policies of evil, predatory states.

The word “nation” has been hijacked by politically ambitious men. Even when Bible refers to a “nation,” it means a people group, ethnic group with a common language or heritage; not a group of people within political boundaries. Libertarians have no problem with the idea of nations. They have a problem with the state. Protecting “national” interests in also a problem in that sense, unless one refers to a collective defense (which some libertarians, like Rothbard, say should be entirely privatized). Libertarians believe that institutions are important: law, religion and churches, collective defense and other insurance, private charity and private or market-based regulation.

I am all in favor of self-defense against violent Muslims. That is a libertarian position. On the other hand, I am not entirely sure that building mosques or even the spread of Islam indicates we are in a great danger. Maybe so, but the conjecture seems to be extrapolated from relatively few data points. (Of course in Chile there are hardly any Muslims. So we have little to worry about if this preoccupation were actually true.) But I think we face greater threats from politically correct atheists than we do from Muslims.

Culture is important and religion is the most important component of it along with language. There are superior cultures, just like there are superior surgeons or basketball stars. Do we have reason to fear bad cultures that will either use personal violence against us or state power against us? Of course! Libertarians are big promoters of self-defense, and even collective defense. But these things should not be confused with using state power to benefit the hapless or sluggardly that cannot or will not compete to make themselves more valuable in the marketplace via personal education, better use of tools and equipment, better utilization of helpers.

Trump’s fascist seduction, his faulty economics and his bad arguments against immigrants or worse solutions such as building a border wall, all underscore reasons for concern. However, there is an alternative: leave the United States now; or at least get Plan B in place. I suggest that you strongly consider Chile for your expatriation destination. While Chile may be slightly worse now than it was three years ago, it is still better than where you are from, and there are reasons to be optimistic about where Chile is going. I cannot say the same thing for the “Land of the Free.”

Also posted on Steemit.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $49.

Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.

Dr. Cobin’s next sequel, Living in Chile: Key Details of History, Culture, Politics and Places for the Serious Immigrant, goes into detail that mainly those people living in Chile already or serious immigrants will be interested in. It is also of special importance to libertarians that want to know something about the political and ideological undercurrents, past highlights (like having a free port much like Hong Kong or free banking), and people that want practical information and where they can retire on their budget. The travel section compliments the other books in the series so that those that read all three books can be sure to have covered the key places of the country from top to bottom.

This book is chock full of savory details that only a true immigrant and former American with many years of experience would know. Some things are only learned over long periods of time and observation. Take advantage of tapping into Dr. Cobin’s deep knowledge of the country and insights of importance to serious immigrants.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)

Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003)

A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (2009)

Killing in Self-Defense in Chile

In Chile, it is legal to own handguns, shotguns, rifles and .22 caliber “assault” weapons. The guns have to be registered, and the owner must pass a gun and regulatory knowledge test plus a psychological examination. Many people in the upper classes own guns legally. Newcomers can do the same, even with a temporary residency visa.

Nevertheless, there is widespread fear among the upper classes that use of a gun in self-defense could result in a charge of homicide. In our upper-class neighborhood in Reñaca, there were two break-ins in March 2016. In one of them the occupants were at home and were tied up. One had a knife held to his throat by a criminal. It was scary.

The neighborhood WhatsApp group is quite active and whined about the event and tried to concoct solutions. When I suggested that we use guns to kill the intruders the people were terrified, not of the gun use but of the state putting them in prison. Even if that were the case what would be worse, being assaulted in your home and perhaps dying or killing the assailant and taking your chances in court?

I suggested to the group that we need to put a huge sign at the bottom of the hill much like those “accident-free day” signs we see in industrial plants. It would read: “Criminals Killed in this Neighborhood” and below would be two numbers, one on the left and the other on the right, with the inscriptions “by pistol” and “by shotgun” below each respective figure.

The cops (carabineros) cannot arrive in time. My sign would be a deterrent to criminals, especially if we actually start killing criminals and can put up some real numbers on the board. I checked with the carabineros in Reñaca and officer Marcos Villagra (on March 22, 2016) explained to me that we have the right to shoot in self-defense if a criminal is (1) inside our home, (2) in our yard, clearly not by accident, or (3) in any of our adjacent neighbors’ property (not including neighbors that must be reached by crossing a public street). He encouraged me to use my gun against criminal intruders and told me that he knew of many ex-military officers living in the neighborhood with registered weapons. In short, we can be a force to be reckoned with. The law is a bit ambiguous about certain places like one’s car, but clearly in one’s home or place of business a gun may be used in self-defense.

I have written about the terrible Chilean justice system, but there is some encouraging news that using handguns and shotguns in self-defense remain our advantage against criminals. On May 8, 2016, a story came out in national daily El Mercurio (page C12) about Benjamin Franklin Lillo Ramirez, age 61, a retired major (comandante) of the Chilean Air Force and presently a Petrobras service station owner. The business is located on Avenida Santa Rosa at the intersection of Calle Varas Mena (in the comuna of San Joaquin), a poorer, Marxist-infested, and crime-ridden part of south central Santiago. In over twenty-five years in the military, he never shot anyone. Now (May 2016) he is famous for shooting and killing a third and fourth criminal: Marco Muñoz and Eber Osses, and wounding another, that tried to rob him at his station. One died from his wounds on site and the other died at a public hospital, after fleeing the scene with an accomplice.

Lillo shot and killed two other criminals in May 2009 and June 2014. In both cases the local District Attorney (fiscal), Patricio Rojas, refused to charge Lillo with a crime. Rojas said that Lillo acted in legitimate self-defense.

Wow! The Chilean justice system does work sometimes. Lillo uses his registered gun, and he holds a valid personal gun license, plus a coveted concealed carry permit that few Chileans have. The district attorney requested a protection order for Lillo, although none has arrived in terms of officers to protect him. But it is probable that Lillo will be able to fend for himself pretty well.

In the 2009 event, while preparing his cash deposit for the day, Lillo distracted an assailant (Andres Catalan) long enough to get his pistol and shoot him four times, killing him. Lillo was not charged. In the 2014 event, Lillo was loading 22 million pesos in his car’s trunk when three criminals appeared and threatened him. He was shot in the hand and groin with a .22 by a criminal (two of five shots on target) before he responded by shooting back seven times and striking one assailant twice (Patricio Fernandez, a twice convicted and imprisoned criminal), in the throat and chest, killing him. He had the presence of mind to shut the trunk and throw the keys into the cage with his guard dogs. While the assailants went after the keys, Lillo used the time to present his pistol and shoot the assailants. Lillo was not charged.

In this most recent event in 2016, he shot one criminal in the forehead and two others in their torso when they tried to rob his cash box. Again, Lillo has not been charged with a crime. All of the events were captured on video surveillance tape and Lillo has been exonerated, even though the relatives of one deceased criminal have sought a homicide indictment and the state has provided a free attorney to represent them. Moreover, colleagues of the deceased have driven by and yelled death threats against Lillo since the May 2016 event. There could be more bloodshed, but I doubt that much more will come of it since criminals are cowards in the face of lethal force and are only brave against the weak and unarmed. Plus, they know that Lillo will not hesitate to kill them, creating a significant deterrent.

Hence, my neighbors’ fears of being indicted for acting in self-defense are unsubstantiated. This fact is a big plus for Chile, which still stands out against most every other advanced country in a largely gun-hating world (especially among Left-dominated OECD countries). Thus, we need not be so let down by the abysmal quality of Chilean justice. At least we can still defend ourselves, even if our tax money goes to waste on an inept justice system that otherwise favors criminals!

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country.

Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $49.

Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.

Dr. Cobin’s next sequel, Living in Chile: Key Details of History, Culture, Politics and Places for the Serious Immigrant, goes into detail that mainly those people living in Chile already or serious immigrants will be interested in. It is also of special importance to libertarians that want to know something about the political and ideological undercurrents, past highlights (like having a free port much like Hong Kong or free banking), and people that want practical information and where they can retire on their budget. The travel section compliments the other books in the series so that those that read all three books can be sure to have covered the key places of the country from top to bottom.

This book is chock full of savory details that only a true immigrant and former American with many years of experience would know. Some things are only learned over long periods of time and observation. Take advantage of tapping into Dr. Cobin’s deep knowledge of the country and insights of importance to serious immigrants.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.

Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience (2006)

Bible and Government: Public Policy from a Christian Perspective (2003)

A Primer on Modern Themes in Free Market Economics and Policy (2009)

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