The Rise of the Global Nomad and what it Means for all of Us and the World at Large
Who is a Global Nomad and Why they are Important?
Recently the news that Indian Movie star, Akshay Kumar, held Canadian Citizenship and thus, was ineligible to vote in the ongoing General Election caused much flutter on social media as well as in the mainstream media.
The fact that he had interviewed the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, only a few days back was taken as proof that he was gaining some moments under the Sun without being truly loyal to the country.
While his supporters argued that being a citizen of another country does not mean that one is any less patriotic, his detractors used the occasion to point out the hypocrisy and the double standards inherent in Kumars actions.
While it is not the intention here to debate the merits and demerits of this particular case, what Akshay Kumar exemplifies is the Global Nomads, who have multiple passports and hold citizenships of different countries and have their assets around the world and more pertinently, have bank accounts in Tax Havens where they need not pay taxes which would have been the case if they had kept their money home.
The Emergence of the Global Nomads
Thus, a Global Nomad is one who flits between various countries, makes money wherever chances and opportunities lie, and for all practical purposes does not have a specific place to call home given that he or she has houses in many countries.
This emergence of the Global Nomad has been aided and abetted with the acceleration of globalization over the past few decades and which has made countries loosen their restrictions on who can buy real estate as well as who can invest in companies in their countries.
While it is a fact that Global Nomads are mainly from the Emerging Markets and China, they are by no means restricted to only these countries as the Western nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom have always had such Global Nomads who shuttle between the countries.
Indeed, with many countries in the West not needing visas and other documents for living and owning assets if they were citizens of developed nations of the West, the phenomenon of Global Nomads is by no means a new trend.
However, what is different in recent years is the trend of wealthy Russians, Indians, Chinese, and East Asians as well as Brazilians and other Latin Americans moving between countries and working in multiple nations.
Global Nomads, the Laws of the Land, and Natural Justice
On the face of it, the emergence of the Global Nomads is innocuous and harmless to societies as this is yet another Rich Persons way of living it up and hence, something that one can aspire to do one day.
However, the fact is that Global Nomads are driven by purely monetary considerations such as paying little or no taxes, evading questioning and facing legal action when they are caught should worry anyone who is concerned about the direction in which we are headed.
For instance, in recent years, there have been many fugitive businesspersons who have fled India and other Asian countries when they were about to be arrested for frauds and have taken up residence in countries such as the UK and the US.
The likes of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, and Mehul Choksi have not only evaded the law but also are responsible for the untold suffering caused to the employees of their firms that were bankrupted due to their mismanagement and larceny.
Indeed, these are developments that go against the grain of Justice and hence, some experts fear as to whether we are headed into a fully feudal system where laws for the rich are different from the laws for the poor.
Rebalancing the System
Having said that, there are definite advantages to nations and societies due to Global Nomads. Indeed, the free movement of people and goods and services across borders was the initial premise behind globalization that was driven by a need to deploy capital and people wherever there are more profits to be made and in turn, the heightened economic activity helping those beneath them in the income ladder.
Thus, at least for a decade or so, the Global Nomads were feted and celebrated for their initiative and were the drivers behind gatherings such as Davos that exemplified what was good about them.
However, the Global Recession of 2008 cleaved the world into those who profited from globalization and those who were left poorer off.
This triggered a worldwide revolt against the Global Nomads as can be seen from the protests after the Panama Papers were leaked as well as the ongoing street protests in various countries against the excesses of these Global Nomads.
Once heroes for their ability to identify opportunities, they are now vilified for profiting at the expense of the common person.
Lastly, there is nothing wrong in anyone wishing to be a Global Nomad as long as he or she plays by the rules and does not break the law or evade taxes.
However, the problem starts once Greed gets the better of them and they start behaving like Feudal lords of yore.
This is where the regulators, the governments, and the judiciary must step in and rein in the activities of these players lest they destroy the very system that sustained them. To conclude, there is definitely a need to rebalance the imbalance and address the injustice.
Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
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