Why do millionaires massively leave their homeland?

Why do millionaires massively leave their homeland?

The scale of outflow of millionaires abroad increases significantly with each passing year. In 2018, 108,000 millionaires left their homeland as a whole in the world, while Turkey became the country that demonstrated the largest outflow of millionaires – over the past year 4,000 people left it.

The AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review 2019 says in 2018 10 percent of the total number of dollar millionaires left the country in Turkey. Over the past 4 years, the number of millionaires who left Turkey has reached 17,000. Turkey follows Russia in terms of this indicator – 6 percent of millionaires left, which corresponds to 7 thousand people. Finally, China is in third place with 2 percent (15,000). Five thousand millionaires left India, three thousand from France and Great Britain, two thousand from Brazil, and one thousand million from Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The report stresses that the migration of millionaires from Turkey is a matter of concern, because, unlike India and China, Turkey does not “give birth” to new dollar millionaires.

The report on the situation in the field of global capital for 2018, prepared by the Swiss investment bank CreditSuisse, also notes a sharp decline in the number of dollar millionaires in Turkey against the background of the overall growth of this indicator in the world. In parallel with the sharp decline in the cost of the Turkish lira, the number of dollar millionaires in Turkey, having decreased by 16 thousand people, amounted to 79,243 people. At the same time, total capital in Turkey decreased by 191 billion, falling to 1 trillion 10 billion dollars. This figure in 2005 amounted to 1 trillion 78 billion dollars.

Australia first

In the first place in the ranking of countries where millionaires most often move, is Australia (12 thousand people). On the second place is USA (10 thousand), third – Canada (4 thousand). Among other countries in demand among millionaires are Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the countries of the Caribbean, New Zealand, Singapore, Israel, Portugal, Greece and Spain.

The report stresses that Turkey, which, due to a fall in the value of the lira, lost 23% in dollar terms of the total capital, showed the worst dynamics after Venezuela. If we look at the situation over the past 10 years, it turns out that Turkey, having lost 11% of the total capital, became the seventh in the list of countries with negative dynamics.

But, why did the millionaires leave their countries? A researcher and columnist Ahmet Müfit in his article on the Odatv.com portal reviewed the reasons for the flight of dollar millionaires abroad.

Below is the text of this article:

Dollar millionaires on top

One of the main results of the dominance of the neoliberal world system over the past 40 years has been a sharp gap in income distribution. This was manifested in the fact that, on the one hand, billions of people live below the poverty line, struggling to make ends meet and find themselves dependent on help from global or regional charities, and on the other hand, in an unprecedented increase in the number of dollar billionaires / millionaires around the world .

According to the data of 2016, while 45% of the total capital in the world owns 0.7% of the world’s population, 73.2% of the low-income population accounts for only 2.4% of global capital.

Such is the general picture in the world. To the extent that countries adopt the neoliberal world system, they also become part of this situation of injustice and inequality. And our country, which is proud to be involved in this system for the past 38 years since January 24, 1980, is also no exception. As of 2016, Turkey in terms of the number of dollar billionaires (29) was ahead of most of the developed countries of the world, as Japan, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain.

In terms of the growing number of millionaires, the picture is quite optimistic.

In terms of the growth rate of the number of millionaires, our country occupies a fairly high position. One of the most visible manifestations of the “economic miracle” during the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was precisely the incredible increase in the number of dollar millionaires. If in 2003 in our country there were 30 thousand dollar millionaires, then at the end of 2016 this figure exceeded 100 thousand.

Being on the 17th line in the ranking of the largest economies in the world, our country was able to climb two lines higher in the number of dollar millionaires, thus being ahead of almost all European countries, with the exception of Germany and France.

From this point of view, it can be said that the potential of neoliberalism to create billionaires and millionaires is inextricably linked to the potential to create problems such as poverty and the migration issue. As a result of neoliberal terror, carried out under the pretext of “bringing democracy” and spread through the imposition of neoliberal economic and political systems, as well as the cooperation of imperialist countries and global financial capital, millions of poor people who cannot find means of livelihood in their countries are forced to go there where, as they think, they will be able to find a job relatively easily and secure their lives.

In 2016, 82 thousand people, whose fortune totals more than a million dollars, left the country

Migration of the poor, activating during periods when social injustice and differentiation in society increases, in principle, the phenomenon is not new and rather familiar. Another interesting thing is that recently representatives of the wealthy strata voluntarily joined this forced migration wave for the poor. Today, there is a voluntary outflow of millionaires from the countries in which they, often at the expense of state support, have accumulated their capital.

In 2016, 82,000 people worldwide, whose fortune totals more than a million dollars, left their countries and moved to other states. It should be emphasized that this tendency only continues to increase with each passing day. Turkey, despite its leading position as a percentage of the outflow of millionaires, is not unique in this respect. According to the report of the non-profit organization Global HealthReview, France is in the lead among the countries with the largest quantitative outflow of millionaires. It is followed by China, Brazil, India and Turkey. As for the countries that host rich “migrants”, Australia is in the first place, followed by the USA, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.

If the reasons that encourage poor people to migrate are understandable and explicable, the situation with the outflow of millionaires is not so obvious. The first question that comes to mind is: who are these people? Why do they leave the countries in which they managed to get rich, and that they hope to find where they are going?

Despite the fact that, according to the report, among the reasons that prompted rich people to go abroad is primarily the political and economic situation in the country, based on a study of data from various sources, it can be noted that it is not an obvious, an obvious similarity between the countries from which millionaires leave, and between countries where they move to. Among the former, France stands out most clearly; among the latter, the UAE attracts attention.

One of the most common points of view about the reasons for the outflow of millionaires from France is the rather high income tax rate, as well as the security problem caused by the large number of migrants from the countries of northern and western Africa. Another factor is the strengthening of political parties opposing neoliberalism.

The attractiveness of this tax haven – the UAE – for millionaires who decide to move is also quite understandable. The country, which is in 150th place in terms of the development of democracy, and guarantees a luxurious tax-free life in which are provided by migrant workers from Southeast Asia and the Far East, gives millionaires every opportunity to safely stay in its territory.

Common characteristics of countries with an outflow of millionaires

We now turn to the general conclusions drawn from the results of studying the existing picture.

The countries in which there is an outflow of millionaires, with the exception of France, have one common feature: over the past 30-40 years, all of them have “raised” the generation of millionaires faster than other countries by privatizing state resources, providing benefits and relief measures for private capital, cheap labor. strength and, of course, clientelism.

The logical outcome of the specific relationship between politics and the accumulation of wealth is the presence of danger in the same way that wealth is lost.

As you can see, a common feature of countries attractive to millionaires other than the UAE is that they provide legal / constitutional guarantees at the highest level for capital and property rights, which is regarded as democratic value. These countries, distinguished by their persistent support for neoliberal politics, can also be characterized by the fashionable notion today of “a state with an established rule of law”.

Millionaires who do not believe that their capital is safe in the countries where they earned it, strive to guarantee the safety of their money, sometimes leaving the country along with the capital, sometimes providing partial or full export of money abroad.

Thus, it can be said that there is a connection, though not obvious at first glance, between the countries they are leaving and the countries they are moving to.

Nurettin Kurt
Journalist, specialist in criminology, recipient of the EU Prize for Journalism and Turkish Journalists' Association’s press freedom award , and the author of “Journalist-wolf in the stressful triangle - Incident-police proceedings-lawsuit”,  Sedat Simavi Journalism Award - 2007 (Turkey) 32 yıllık gazeteci, polis ve adliye uzmanı, Sedat Simavi Gazetecilik Ödülü başta olmak üzere, 2011 ve 2017 TGC Başarı ödülü, Avrupa Birliği Araştırmacı Gazetecilik Ödülü, iki kez Çağdaş Gazeteciler Derneği haber ödülü, yedi kez Barış Selçuk Gazetecilik Ödülü ile birlikte çeşitli Sivil Toplum Kuruluşları tarafından ödüle layık görülmüştür, ‘Olay-Polis-Adliye- Gerilim Üçgeninde Kurt Gazeteci’ isimli kitabın yazarıdır


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