I just stumbled across a fascinating article in which a professor at the University of Chicago proposes that US citizenship could be sold for between 50,000-100,000 dollars. The article estimates that around a million people received permanent residency in the US and that that could have produced 55 billion dollars in revenue.
It is still possible to literally buy citizenship in Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis. The price tag ranges at about 75,000 for Dominica and about double that for St. Kitts and Nevis. No residency required. You don’t even have to ever visit or ever live in either country. Citizenship in this case is reduced to an econimic good with no emotional or political attachments. It merely serves as a travel document or as a right to work somewhere and nothing else in this sense.
This is, of course, controversial, but if governments really did govern in the peoples’ names, and that that entailed that we also literally owned our own citizenship? A US Embassy spokesperson in the recent posting from a French-language article from Switzerland recently claimed that “people from every corner of the globe” are dying to get into the US. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t even bothered to sell my US citizenship. If there were less of a demand I would even be willing to pay someone to take US citizenship from me.
A more interesting trade though would be if we could simply swap citizenships with someone. I would love to have a Swiss passport since they do not list the place of birth, but rather place of origin in their passports, so I would no longer have to be ashamed or worried every time that somebody opens up my passport since any mention of the US wouldn’t be there. I’d also swap US citizenship for Canadian, New Zealand, Australian, Brazilian or others. For a bit of added fun to our hypothetical question, I’m going to add a poll with some country choices. Would you be willing to sell or exchange your citizenship, and, if so, which passport(s) would you want in return? What do you think that the value of US citizenship is if you were to sell it? The US currently places that value at 450 dollars..
Please note that this is entirely hypothetical and that I am not literally advocating a black market for the sale of citizenship – This is done in jest!