Gabriel Scheare and John Cobin have taken the plunge and left Canada and the United States for Chile, with Cobin even renouncing US citizenship. They have faced plenty of challenges and failures along the way, and now Scheare is working on a “start-up village for entrepreneurs,” near Valdivia in Patagonia.

As Scheare says, “no country is going to save you.” Each person has to do his own research, to find the place that fits best. That being said, Cobin wants more liberty-minded people to come down and make a home there, and he points to the nation’s natural resources and economy as favorable.

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Meet the hosts

Brien Lundin is president and CEO of Jefferson Financial, which publishes Gold Newsletter and hosts the New Orleans Investment Conference. He has four decades of experience in investment markets.


  • What role (if any) should the gov’t play in the continued funding of cutting-edge scientific research? According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development), approximately 10% of all R&D conducted globally is directly funded by governments, with approximately 60% done by private industry and 20% by educational institutions. Granted, this number probably doesn’t take into account indirect gov’t funding through tax subsidies and incentives. That 10% goes towards projects on the cutting edge of science, such as NASAs various space ventures and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (funded through the governments of the member states). Proponents of big gov’t science, such as Neil Degrasse Tyson, have stated in the past that projects like these are unlikely to be privately funded due to their high risk, high cost, and lack of return on investment. Gov’t, claims Tyson, is required to make the initial step and take all the risk so that private firms can follow in its wake with a clear picture of the requirements of such endeavours. TAM 2011: Our Future in Space Would such high risk, high cost projects be possible without gov’t backing?

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  • I’ve just booked a week-long trip to Santiago, Chile, and would love some ideas from folks who’ve traveled through Chile and/or NW Argentina. The problem with both Chile and Argentina is that they’re too large to see more than a few spots in a week. Santiago is an easy flight (or bus ride) to Mendoza, Argentina. I’m considering anchoring us in Santiago (visit the city, the coast, and maybe one other location) and visiting Mendoza (staying in a development I want to see and use it as an anchor for visiting the surrounding area). We could also spend our entire week in Chile, but would still have limited choices. One thought was to anchor in Santiago, visit the city, the coast, and perhaps Talca, then fly down to the lakes region for a few more days’ travel. Anyone who’s done any part of this trip that has any thoughts?

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  • Since our previous discussion thread, we found and secured the ideal property (photos on website), opened our business bank account, and modified our business model so as to avoid the nuisances posed by the SEC and FATCA. Now, our members are strictly buying lifetime memberships that are transferable rather than buying real estate or shares in a foreign company. This allows them to enjoy their suites, rent them out, and freely use all common amenities without any of the legal hassles that come with owning securities abroad. The Fort Galt company will not be operating for profit but members will still be able to operate their own businesses on-site as they wish. This begs the question, “if FG is not running for profit, then what’s in it for the founders?” Besides getting to finally live in the community of our dreams, we’ve also secured the exclusive rights to broker the surrounding lots. The main Fort Galt building and makerspace will be built on a single one-hectare lot, which is located within a larger 100-acre gated community development, overlooking the ocean. It was started by a lady in 2008 but she died, leaving it dormant for us to come along and resume. The lot subdivisions are complete and the electricity and water infrastructure has been installed. We even have gravel roads already laid and working streetlamps in place alongside them. No buildings have been erected yet but if all goes according to plan, we’ll be constructing the first early in the new year. The first 10% payments from our existing members will pay-off the lot, the next 10% will go to cover preparation expenses (architect, engineer, site clearing, etc), and the other two payments of 40% each will fund the construction itself. We’ll broker the other lots in the community on the side to anyone that prefers to build their own house rather than living in the Fort Galt building. We’ll make the lots available and publish a price list once this first phase is complete and the initial lot is paid-off. While the rooms in the FG building are designed for economy and efficiency, the lots will be priced more in-keeping with the other waterfront properties in the Valdivia area and range in size between 1 acre and 2.4 acres. For now, we’re just focused on getting the main building done first so detailed info on the surrounding lots won’t be released just yet. As always, all are invited to chime in with any questions or suggestions that might come to mind. This is still very much a group effort. In the wake of everyone’s favorite lemon orchard debacle, we just need to score a win over here.

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  • Here’s a discussion I had yesterday with my accountant. He claims that “we” need to have “legal certainty” to encourage other ti invest in our economy. And that Patents are “legal certainty”. Companies spend large amounts of money and time to do research and to innovate. While others just “copy” what the researchers, the investigators, the investors, generate: new products, new technologies, new medicine, whatever. Therefore, the innovators/investigators/investors will want protection: And if they didn’t have protection of their “creations”, “discoveries”, “inventions” or whatever you’d want to call it, the would not have the INCENTIVE to invest tons of funds on investigation, innovation and research. And therefore there would be no progress. What do you guys think? Your opinion is highly appreciated!

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  • I’ll admit, while I’m not completely sold on packing my entire life up and moving to another country in the near-term, there is something very attractive about Chile and the recent Galt’s Gulch project taking place outside of Santiago.   However, I recently stumbled upon an article (feel free to question its bias – I’m not attached to it) that outlined some troubles there recently:   Anyone who who lives in Chile or someone who’s done extensive research into this project care to set the record straight?

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