Irrational tax and regulatory systems
The true story of the Paradise Papers is less about shady business deals than about the byzantine regulatory and tax structures of developed countries. It is a lesson that politicians like French President Emmanuel Macron are studiously trying to ignore.
Opinion: Regional disparities strike back in northern Italy
Two northern Italian regions have voted overwhelmingly in support of more autonomy from Rome. They are two of the country’s richest areas, frequently paying more in taxes than they receive in public spending, and the vote laid bare the dissatisfaction over this disparity. Worse, the money being transferred to poorer parts of Italy has not lifted them out of poverty. Italy can no longer sweep these issues under the rug. Federalism is now back on the table.
Taxation horrors and Europe’s frustration
The European Union wants to create new, complicated systems to tax technology companies. Doing so will only harm its economy. Instead of engaging in an economic tit-for-tat with the United States, it should look at how Americans have fostered innovation and built tech giants. Good places to start include increasing investment in defense, reducing restrictive regulations and becoming less risk-averse.
Opinion: The perfect tax (other than zero)
Tax systems are coming under increasing scrutiny in Western countries. Because governments do not like simple rules and transparency, they are most likely to support measures imposing more progressivity, including substantial levies on wealth, or adding value-added taxes on top of personal income taxes. But the simplest and fairest proposals would focus taxation on one activity – consumption – while keeping social solidarity on the expenditure side.
Crusade for total control
The campaign in many countries against cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is part of a larger government quest for citizen control. Oversized transaction and compliance systems, ostensibly imposed on financial institutions to help fight the gray economy and terrorism, are in fact control tools, used both by democratic and authoritarian governments. At the end of this road is socialization of all property.
The danger of Trump’s tax plans
U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed tax breaks for the middle class are either negligible or unsustainable, and probably both. Americans should expect a continuing public deficit and a rise in public debt. This will not be an immediate problem for the economy, but it will create growing structural imbalances. Putting the budget in order should be President Trump’s priority. The question is whether he has the vision and leadership qualities to do it.
Opinion: The promises and perils of basic income
Basic income has been touted as a libertarian answer to the bloated welfare state. With a pedigree that goes back to Milton Friedman, it has proved attractive to free marketers as well as leftists. But it could also prove an immense threat to personal freedom.
President Trump’s real bet is on tax cuts
President Donald Trump has threatened to erect trade barriers to create jobs and boost wages in the United States. These goals won’t be reached through protectionist measures, which more likely will be used as a geopolitical bargaining chip. Instead, Mr. Trump’s economic policy will hinge on the success of his plan to cut corporate tax rates and weaken the dollar.
Ghana tries to balance its tax system for business and social needs
Since Ghana’s independence in 1957, its governments steadily reformed the country’s tax regime in the hope of spurring growth by developing an industrial base and an effective, sustainable system of financing social programs. Not all the schemes have worked as desired, but today Ghana is among Africa’s most stable and economically diversified states.