Smalltown USA – 4th Front Expands


Last week’s message looked at the benefits of being in Smalltown USA due to a war on four fronts.

The third front appears to be expanding in part at least to the concerns we commented on last week… excessive police force.

Excerpts from a Los Angeles Times article entitled “Mexico protests shooting death of teen at Texas border” by Tracy Wilkinson and Richard A. Serrano confirms this when it says:

The second border death in two weeks roils U.S.-Mexican relations. U.S. officials say a Border Patrol agent was attacked while trying to arrest suspected illegal immigrants and opened fire.

Alejandro Bringas / Reuters

Reporting from Mexico City and Washington — For the second time in less than two weeks, the death of a Mexican national at the hands of U.S. border agents is outraging Mexicans and testing relations between the two countries.

The Mexican government Wednesday vigorously protested the shooting this week of a 15-year-old boy at Mexico’s border with Texas. The boy, Sergio Hernandez Guereca, died of a wound to the face. U.S. officials say he died after a Border Patrol agent opened fire Monday night on a group of Mexicans throwing rocks at the agent, who was attempting to arrest suspected illegal immigrant

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Tuesday that his government “will use all resources available to protect the rights of Mexican migrants.”

The government “reiterates its rejection to the disproportionate use of force on the part on U.S. authorities on the border with Mexico,” the president added in a statement.

It’s about the Money!

I have no strong opinion on increased regulation on the border.  This is a complex issue.  I do not live there so I am not one to judge.

However I do see that there are economic consequences that affect me… and just about everyone in the world.  The US is spending more and more on security, defense and regulation and less and less on education, health advances and infrastructure.   We have hundreds of miles of fence on the border but our bridges are falling down… our roads have potholes.  Even cutting back in these vital areas… the nation’s spending far overshadows its income. This deficit and the huge debt accumulated so far will affect the US dollar… cause inflation and social disorder.  Which by the way, may create increased stress which will lead to increased drug use… which will lead to… I think you get the picture.

In short, the money will affect all of our ifestyles.

There has always been a movement of people.

One of life’s great ironies, is that the immigration problem in the US is creating immigration concerns in other countries when  Americans leave the US.

A reader commented on this when she wrote:  “Gary, I’ve received your email newsletter for about six months now.  I have been interested in real estate in Ecuador for about a year.  I’ve been to Ecuador twice in the past year, and am going again July 1.  On the one hand I understand your enthusiasm for Ecuador, but on the other I wonder how pushing Ecuador real estate will impact the local population?  Obviously if you are a property holder, it’s a good thing; but if you’re not, but hope to be, outside money could push many locals out of the market.  Is this creating any kind of animosity toward outsiders?  I’d appreciate your insight on this.  I am an economist with a focus on international finance, so I enjoy all aspects of your writings.  Regards.”

My reply was that this movement of people has been a never ending story since the beginning of time..everywhere, neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city, county to county and country to country.

So far the majority of Ecuadorians love us….as much or more as our neighbors here in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains.

Most Ecuadorians cannot afford property because the locals were pushed out of the market by the Spanish about 500 years ago…just as American natives in the US were pushed out by the English, Germans, Irish, Scots, Italians, Chinese and others who arrived here.

Our arrival in Ecuador creates jobs, hope and a chance that many more Ecuadorians will be able to own their own land.

However the problem goes beyond just a few investors arriving from the US, Canada, Span, Italy and many from Colombia and Peru.   This is a time of transition for Ecuador with the final phase of the colonial hierarchal system nearing its end.  Whether the locals in Ecuador like it or not…just as people in many other countries do not like it, we all live in a global economy.   Many Americans did not like selling so much property to the Japanese in the 1980s.  The Floridians gripe when the Snowbirds come south. Yet they sell. they take the Snowbirds’ money and if they are too fed up, the Floridians move to North Carolina… where the North Carolinians gripe about the inflow of Floridians.

I am a full blooded American…born and raised in the USA…as you can get yet for most of my life have been an immigrant. First I was a long nose foreign devil in Hong Kong.  Then a Yank in England… then a Snowbird in Florida… then a gringo in Ecuador and a Floridiot in North Carolina.

I wear an all American wardrobe beginning with my American Converse tennis shoes (made in China), my American Wrangler jeans (made in Mexico), my American Fruit of the Loom underwear (made in El Salvador) and my American Van Heusen shirt (made in Bangladesh).

So even if I had stayed in my hometown, unless I had planned on running around shoeless and naked, I would have encroached on people in other countries…pushed up property prices for factories… created jobs… helped feed families… but also created pollution in third world nations.

My first book “Passport to International Profit” was published in the early 1970s and included a chapter on “border blindness.”  This chapter looked at how political borders are illusions that support hidden agendas for the few who encourage them. 

It said: Borders are transcended by almost all human emotions. Get a pretty Italian and handsome Irishman together and they will fall in love. Put a Mexican with a cheaper tomato next to a hungry Canadian and the Canadian will get out his loonies and buy the tomato. Put an Englishman and Frenchman in a sinking ship and they will both bail water.

The market place of humanity tramples borders. The deepest nature of our existence supports free trade and free movement of all to anywhere in the world.

I have never argued for or against globalization and or people crossing borders… legally or illegally.   I do believe though that right or wrong… human nature being what it is… globalization will continue to expand.  Also the poor will continue to move to places where they can work and earn.

I also believe that excessive expenditures to try and stop the tide of these forces can put a currency, economy and even an entire country at risk.

Modern communications and transportation have made globalization even more likely.   For example in Ecuador broadband has changed the way we can live in Cotacachi. 

We are, at the deepest level of our being, all citizens of the world.  It is logical and correct that we trade with those who serve us best…whether they bring products to us (like the tomatoes, shirts, shoes, pants and even underwear) or we go to the product (real estate abroad).

I have found that if one treats people with fairness and respect, these courtesies will be returned.  This was as true when we moved from Hong Kong to England to Florida to Ecuador to Ashe County, North Carolina…where Floridians are called “Floridiots” by many Blue Ridge locals.  Also, I’d like to note that on our real estate tours for over 6 months, we see properties being sold from month to month…AND the interesting thing is that these properties are being bought by Ecuadorians themselves!

How would I like to see this globalization evolve?

I can sum this up by quoting some dialogue from my novel the “65th Octave”.

In this book, the hero and heroine, Robin MacAllen and Talking Panther, stumble across a group of Controllers who try to gain control of the world’s economy. These Controllers accumulate huge amounts of shares and dump them after creating terror in the marketplace. With their extensive cash hoards, they buy up the market for pennies on the dollar. Released well before the September attack on freedom, I worried the premise was far fetched. Now the plot hardly seems dramatic enough!

Here is one of Talking Panther’s dialogues.

“In the beginning, we were one. We were in the middle and this was good. All knew the other and all were in harmony with nature. Then some of us wandered and left the middle. Some went west. Others east. We lost touch.

“In the east and the west as they settled, they forgot that there was a middle. For their sons, the east and the west became the middle. Those in the west saw the sunrise and called it the beginning as those in the east saw the same sun setting and called it the end. The difference was confusing and the confusion made the difference an issue.

“In the beginning we were one. We were united by all that was common.  Then as we moved we became united by all that was different. Spread apart the view was beyond the vision of the eagle and it became easier to look at the horizon than beyond.

“Few could see that we are still part of a whole.

“This was the beginning of ignorance and its son fear. Fear made each feel less and made each want to be more. Fear blinded the truth that all are equal and that we really are all one.”

My preference is that we all got along… we are all honest… we get rid of most rules and regulations and live by a few simple ideals based on self respect and respect for others.  I however am not expecting this to happen anytime soon.

I expect the border situation to deteriorate. I expect more rules… more regulations and a reduced lifestyle for most.  The recent events on the border reinforces this belief.

My solutions are to look for good value investments in commodities, shares and real estate… diversified globally.  Plus to work hard at keeping a micro business that is fun, fulfilling and makes a positive contribution to society and the world.

Why Micro a Business?

Small is now more beautiful than ever before.

Every other year Jyske Bank has a wonderful summer investment seminar and I have had the privilege to speak at these seminars for many years.  Merri and I have been invited again for this summer’s learning and festivities.   We look forward to Jyske’s August 17, 2010 seminar.

The seminar always begins at the Copenhagen headquarters in a grand old building in the center of town where the bankers speak a little and feed us a lot of beautiful, fresh food in the company dining room.

I am always impressed that the bankers themselves wait on tables and serve us.

The building’s history gives us a bit of architectural awe and since Jyske are not normal bankers they really do work hard to entertain. Normally there are 70 to 100 delegates from all over the world. I have met Australians, Ecuadorians, Swiss, Germans, Danes, Swedes, Taiwanese, Canadians, French, Austrians,  Ukrainains. Bulgarians, Ghanans, Spanish, British and  South Africans to name a few and we all have a genuinely fun time as well as learn a lot.

I was especially impressed with a speaker at one Jyske, Ian Pierson, the head futurist for British Telecom. He is really a bright guy, but I was a bit astounded when he said “British Telecom is working on the premise that we won’t pay for telephone calls in a decade”.

I am less amazed now.

Ian was author of the book “Business 2010″ as well and  one comment he made was, “In the future a company’s value will be its ideas, less its size and experience”.

Let me clarify that small can still be  profitable.

Merri and I continually pride ourselves for having one the the smallest but most profitable web based businesses.

How rich can you become by starting small?

We have probably more cash in the bank than we’ll ever spend. We have our 252 acre farm with two houses and five cabins in the Blue Ridge… owned free and clear.

We have our Florida home with a 12 acre orange grove… our Ecuador beach apartment… Ecuador beach condos… a Cotacachi house and apartments there plus our hotel.

ecuador-passion

Our Ecuador beach condo balcony.

Plus we have the hotel.

Cotacachi-dining

 All of this is owned free and clear..  paid for and supported by our small micro web business.

We have no debt in Ecuador… or anywhere… period.

Yet we are one of the tiniest businesses around.  Merri and I work from home offices deep in the woods of the Blue Ridge, or tucked into our Florida grove and in hidden deep in Ecuador. Our hotel has staff yes. So too does our farm… but our web business has just Merri, me, one part time and our webmaster.

The point? You do not have to have a huge operation to earn and live very well.

And we try to stay that way! Small (but profitable). This keeps life simple… easier to enjoy.

Plus small businesses tend to attract less rules, regulations and government interference.

Your own business greatly increases your chance of becoming financially independent even when your business remains small.

Join Merri and me in Copenhagen for another big value.  The strong US dollar makes this the year to enjoy Europe. The rising US dollar  for Jyske’s August seminar in Copenhagen dropped the fee from about $2,050 to $1,700, a 15% discount.

See details about Jyske’s bi annual Copenhagen seminar here Global Wealth Management Seminar.

Gary

How We Can Serve You

Mexico protests shooting death of teen at Texas border


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