A choice for economies: Freedom or socialism
Some say the global economy is slowing down due to Brexit and the U.S.-China trade dispute – but these developments are not the real dangers. Far more insidious is the trend toward increased government influence in economies and large public debts. Yet, even many economists have adopted the notion that government intervention and high debt can be a good thing. These policies have been tried before and failed. Worse, they can end up limiting freedom.
Big government means high taxes
There is a growing myth that the rich are not paying their fair share in taxes and that the middle class is therefore overtaxed. This is not the case. High-income taxpayers across the OECD pay more than their share of the national income. The blame for heavy tax burdens in Western democracies lies squarely with the voters, who have consistently chosen larger government.
Peru’s president bets on fighting corruption
Peruvians will vote in a December referendum that could introduce anti-corruption rules giving President Martin Vizcarra a stronger hand as he faces a hostile congress. If the referendum fails, however, the country’s new leader would be weakened, prolonging Peru’s political dysfunction and holding its economy back.
The benefits of global tax games
The growth of global trade and rise of more sophisticated financial products from the late 1970s has encouraged in tax arbitrage by multinational firms and tax competition between governments. This phenomenon has become a fixation of global governance do-gooders and bureaucrats. Their seemingly innocuous push for international tax coordination and transparency, however, will have costs that are hard to measure.
Opinion: The United States should rein in the global tax bureaucrats
President Donald Trump was right to disrupt the G7’s efforts to promote “fair, progressive, effective and efficient tax systems.” The goal may seem innocuous, but it is quite the opposite – favoring large, intrusive governments at the expense of individual economic freedom. One of the most damaging proposals to create a global tax bureaucracy is the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project – a pet scheme of the OECD.
African countries move toward fiscal consolidation
Stung by falling commodities prices and growing donor fatigue, many African countries are expanding their tax bases. While at first blush this looks like a good move to liberate their economies from aid and resource dependence, it could also be a recipe for reducing investment and tamping down economic growth.
Opinion: The OECD’s problematic global tax ‘standard’
The OECD’s global standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in tax matters is far less global, standardized and automatic than its name suggests. It is structured so that countries tend to apply the rules bilaterally, leading to a complicated web of regulations that the “standard” was designed to avoid. This is leading to higher costs and troublesome legislation.
China’s overseas coal investments challenge climate goals
In recent years, rich Western countries and international financial institutions have adopted policies to restrict the construction of new coal power plants overseas. However, China has now risen to become the largest global provider of public financing for such projects – and is powering full steam ahead. Though they contradict Beijing’s global climate obligations...
Global trends: low oil prices today may not mean low investment tomorrow
Today’s relatively low price of oil seems to have reconciled the otherwise conflicting interests of the world’s largest producers and consumers. Organizations representing these two groups have warned of negative repercussions, including a price spike that could follow from lower investment. However, the relationship between oil prices, investment and future supply...
Bachelet contends with copper and conservatives to keep Chilean reforms on track
Michelle Bachelet is vowing not to give up on the social overhaul of Chile’s free-market model that won her a second term as the country’s president in 2013. Yet the collapse of global copper prices has largely deprived her of the money to pay for the reforms, while a financial scandal has cost her political clout. President Bachelet’s biggest challenge in 2016 wil...