Sputnik: How do you think Americans are treated generally and why did you decide to write your book? And when did you leave the United States?
Paul Williams: I left in 2002 shortly after the bombs started hitting Afghanistan. I was like, "I'm not going to pay for another of those crazy adventures into the grave of empires". And growing up kind of being skeptical about how Americans were treated because it's a long story but the army threatened to kill my father by sending him to Vietnam and promising he would be dead within three weeks by sending him on a one-way long-range reconnaissance mission all by himself because he was about to expose some corruption going on there in Germany.
One reason why I started writing the book, the trigger event was I was sitting at home one night watching the news and I saw Syrians desperate to leave their country say, "Oh, we want to escape to the United States because they have the world's best human rights", and I was like, "Oh my God people, if you knew". So that's just kind of how that whole thing got going and I started writing the book the next day.
Paul Williams: Corporatism in the United States, it's all-pervasive and it runs the country now. We are tools of corporatists and they're using us as cheap labour that we really can't escape. Imagine this, the United States has the world's highest fee by far to dump your citizenship, it's $2,350. Truly free countries like Sweden it costs zero dollars, in Germany, it cost $30.
People don't have to escape those countries to live a decent life. That's where the American dream is at now, right. How's a burger flipper at McDonald's going to take his family of five and escape the United States with fees of $2,350. 60% of Americans don't even have $500 in their savings accounts. How are they going to afford to escape? There's now a financial Berlin Wall around most of America that keeps them trapped and slaves of the corporatists.
Sputnik: We know how much in debt the country is, it's in the multi-hundreds of trillions of dollars that the country is in debt, probably this is a way of reducing the debt charging $2,350 to dump the passport…
Paul Williams: They did raise the fees shortly after. I got out when it was still like $350 or $400 and a month later they raised the fees and the reason? They literally said that too many people are dropping their citizenships, and that's why they raised the fee. I was like, "What the heck!" Because too many people are trying to escape, but still only like 4,000 people a year. There was an analyst talking about this and they say it is usually for tax purposes, but mine was for political purposes.
Sputnik: I seem to recall Boris Johnson, he's a dual citizen, and he was so sick of the pressure that the tax authorities were putting on him to declare his tax every year that he was caught saying, "I'm going to dump this passport, I've had enough of all this chasing of money and taxes". And that one of the things they're very strong and robust about, the American authorities…
Paul Williams: Speaking about taxes, the United States is one of two countries on planet Earth that has a tattoo on its citizens' butts that says property of that country; that requires you to pay taxes wherever you live on planet Earth, wherever you live you have to file your taxes. The other country that does that is the human rights hellhole of Eritrea, which is like ranked dead last on the Reporters Without Borders freedom of the press index. The United States has that in common with the least free country on planet Earth.
Sputnik: Well it's interesting we're debating this now and this leads me to my next question. In the United States when some people complain about the lack of rights often they're told to leave the country, 4,000 people disowning their passport last year, why do you think that is? What's your thoughts on that?
Paul Williams: Well, there's one of our commonly used expressions in the United States "love it or leave it", and I think honestly after World War II the United States was a great place. There were lots of problems, there were racial problems, racial inequality, lots of other problems after World War II, but in spite of all that, I think the United States was a pretty great country after World War II.
So everything is completely changed. Now when they tell you "to love it or leave it" how do you leave again when you have the world's highest fees to dump your passport? Europe doesn't want millions of refugees who have diabetes and who are dying because of diabetes in the United States. They don't want millions of refugees hitting the beaches of Normandy from the United States because they're desperate for decent jobs, living wages, and healthcare; they don't want that. So how do you leave? There are no treaties that the United States has to make it easy to leave the United States. They don't want that because the corporatists want them stuck in there.
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.