In recent weeks, Spain has been experiencing a heated debate about the move to Andorra of a famous Spanish youtuber, “El Rubius”, in a similar case to that which occurred in the United States months ago with the moves from California to Texas of characters such as Joe Rogan or Elon Musk.
Joe Rogan, stand-up comedian, TV host, actor and expert UFC mixed martial arts commentator, achieved international superstar status as host of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. The podcast, originally on YouTube since 2009, reached numbers in the millions of viewers per episode in 2015, and as of December 2020 is exclusively licensed to the Spotify platform, with which Rogan is said to have signed a deal worth $100 million.
His move from YouTube to Spotify was not the only change for Joe Rogan in 2020, as he also announced his move from California to Texas. While Texas’ tax advantages undoubtedly played a major role in his decision, Rogan claimed that his exodus was more about leaving an overcrowded city, as well as fleeing the stifling radical progressive atmosphere of the California scene, which limited his freedom of speech, even though he had shown his support for Bernie Sanders.
Joe Rogan and El Rubius, two similar cases
The case of Joe Rogan bears a great similarity to that of the Spanish YouTuber “El Rubius”. Ruben Doblas Gundersen, born in 1990, better known as “El Rubius”, is a YouTuber and Twitch streamer, who mainly comments on video games in a humorous way. He has around 40 million subscribers, being the number one in Spain, the third in Spanish language, and in the top 50 of YouTube by number of subscribers worldwide.
After ten years paying very high taxes in Spain, in January 2021, “El Rubius” announced his intention to move to Andorra, a sovereign microstate embedded between Spain and France, considered a tax haven for its low taxes. In Spain, the top marginal rate of IRPF (equivalent to the American IRS) is 47% for income exceeding 300,000 euros per year, while in Andorra it is 10%.
Like Joe Rogan with Sanders, “El Rubius” made public in 2015 that he had voted for the mayor of Madrid for Manuela Carmena, representative of the Spanish far left. According to him, his biggest motivation to move to Andorra has been that most of his friends and colleagues reside there, because they are not harassed in the street by fans, as it happens in Spain.
However, for the Spanish left, this explanation -in any case unnecessary- has not been enough. Criticism has been fierce for considering it “unsupportive”. The left, always so obsessed with money, has passed sentence and considers that his move is due to selfishness and greed for not wanting to pay so many taxes.
Many socialists have complained bitterly about his departure from Spain, accusing him of lack of solidarity for not contributing to finance a massive state apparatus made up of 23 ministries and countless -and very expensive- public bodies.
This eagerness of the solidary and disinterested left to keep most of the money of “El Rubius” would be nothing more than an anecdotal tantrum, were it not for the fact that the situation seems to have become a matter of state.
One of the four vice-presidents (yes, in Spain there are currently 4 vice-presidencies) of the coalition government between socialists and communists, the communist Pablo Iglesias, retweeted some comments insulting “El Rubius”, calling him an “asshole” and telling him to “fuck off.”
In RTVE, the Spanish public television, in its program “GenPlayz” and in prime time, a transgender collaborator known as Lis Duval, like Robespierre, assured to be in favor of “beheading tax evading youtubers in the public square.”
Such has been the harassment that “El Rubius” has suffered from the left, that he has had to issue a statement complaining about the humiliating treatment he has received.
These intolerable violent outbursts of the Spanish left, applauded by government representatives and sponsored by public television, show two things: on the one hand, their incongruence when it comes to putting equality above wealth. Is not “El Rubius”, with his departure from the country, helping to improve the equality index so adored by the communists?
And secondly, it is demonstrated once again that the logical consequence of leftist thinking always leads to the need to build a Berlin-style wall. Although in this case, instead of steel and concrete, it is paved with violence, greed and envy, albeit painted with a thin layer of “solidarity” and “social justice.”
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm