The next component in this story is the ever-changing quest of small Caribbean nations for gimmicks--I mean--"additional sources of state revenue." Their small size and remote location means that their viable sources of revenue tend to look the same. To wit:
- tax havens (paradis fiscaux)
- offshore gambling sites
- flags of convenience
- nationality for sale
The global financial crisis has caused difficulties for pursuing (1)-(4): Fun-in-the-sun loving Westerners obviously do not have as much disposable income at a time when countries like Spain have unemployment rates north of 25%. So much for those Caribbean cruises. Meanwhile, as deficits spiral into eternity for any number of industrialized countries, organizations like the OECD have tightened the screws further on tax havens. While results are mixed, there is little doubt that it's no longer as easy to hide income as it was before. As for offshore gambling sites, the United States has not allowed those to ply their trade in this largest of all markets since 2006--see the case of Antigua. Finally, the trade in licensing vessels from elsewhere with flags of convenience is usually dependent on the health of global trade. (There is also an ongoing crackdown of sorts on FOC.) Suffice to say, it's not so healthy nowadays.
So, (1)-(4) have been rather negatively affected as sources of income for tiny island nations. These are indeed sour times. However, the ad above struck me as a possible way to make the best of a bad situation as various places on earth go to heck and beyond: Here, of course, the argument is to secure financial and personal security lest the Muslim Brotherhood go the way of the Ayatollah Khomeini (or even just Ferdinand Marcos). Another website selling citizenships to St. Kitts touts the following benefits if you invest in a home there costing at least $400,000:
- Visa free travel to all EU schengen countries including Switzerland, Canada, UK and Ireland
- No residence or minimum stay requirements
- Tax free – no income or wealth tax.
- Lifetime citizenship
- Easy second passport and citizenship for your family members.
- Extra Privacy in small peaceful country.
- Dual citizenship benefits.
- Choice of Real estate investment.
- No Personal visit required