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Samizdata quote of the day

Tax havens are a good thing. Without them, the cartels can continue without any competition. So, if not attending Davos really is a start to a low tax economy that forces tax competition on the globalists whether they like it or not and brings inward investment to this country, then there is cause for cautious optimism.


7 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    “Tax Haven” is a matter of interpretation. Usually Centralists call other lands ‘tax havens’ if people take their own money away from the centralists. Since all countries have different tax codes, any country can be a haven in some way. Come to that, in the US, states compete with differing tax systems! Low tax states are havens compared to high, and the high complain! It is all competition, which centralising governments don’t like. The only way to stop tax havens would be to have a powerful world government which could impose uniform taxes- but the US, for one, wouldn’t give the UN that much power.

  • bobby b

    The best argument I can think of for Davos participation comes out of a combination of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” and “jaw-jaw is better than war-war.”

    I suppose that if you view attendance as giving the impression of approval, there is value in staying away, but I think Boris is able to signal his disapproval quite clearly in any circumstance.

    Plus, with Trump attending, they might have some fun together.

  • Paul Marks

    Longrider is correct.

    The forces of “harmonisation”, whether on taxes or regulations, claim that those who warn of “World Government” are paranoid – but the “world governance” of the “harmonisers” is the same tyranny by another name.

    If the taxes and regulations are, basically, the same around the world then there is no “exit” – and that means, in the end, no liberty. Governments would indeed become an international “cartel” with both democracy (elections) and individual liberty reduced to nothing.

    People who say “you will continue to have elections, and your flag, and your rituals – it is just that your taxes and regulations would be coordinated with other countries” need to be told to go to Hell.

    And this is also true within a country – “equalisation” of government spending in various parts of a federation make that federation a unitary state in deceitful disguise.

    People must be allowed to vote with their feet – to go from areas of high government spending and regulations to areas of low government spending and less regulation. Of course – as long as they do not take their collectivist ideas with them.

    If people from, for example, California take their “Social Reform” ideas with them when they go to another State they will just repeat the nightmare there – they need to CHANGE their ideas (or they carry decay with them).

  • I suggest Boris is both actually too busy and aware of how the MSM would treat him if he says he is working hard, then jaunts off to Davos.

    However it sends a very acceptable message.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Nicholas Gray is surely right to point out that “Since all countries have different tax codes, any country can be a haven in some way.”

    The point was well made in the 1990s by a prolific German writer on tax havens, Gerhard Kurtz, who published a book with the simple and self-explanatory title ‘218 Tax Havens’ (expanded to ‘225 Tax Havens’ in a later edition) listing the various laws and loopholes available in each of 218 different countries and territories.

    Some of Kurtz’s suggestions may have lacked a certain degree of practicality – for example, one of the 218 havens was the suggestion that one would escape liability for taxes by living on a river island which changes nationality every six months (but which happens to be uninhabited and to which access is normally not permitted by either country). Another was going to the lengths of hiding out on some tiny, waterless desert islands in the Atlantic few people have ever heard of – the Selvagens. But the more mainstream examples were an ample demonstration that most countries can be used as tax havens in some way.

    The much vaunted ‘war on tax havens’ does not seem to have put Kurtz off his favourite subject, by the way. Although he seems to no longer be publishing his stuff in English, his German-language ‘MarketLetterCorp’ website continues to advertise dozens of his ebooks to the offshore-minded German reader.

  • Runcie Balspune

    People who say “you will continue to have elections, and your flag, and your rituals – it is just that your taxes and regulations would be coordinated with other countries” need to be told to go to Hell.

    Welcome to Hell!

    Many years ago I was asked to contribute to an application that used DITS to calculate transfers to optimize tax strategies, it is possible to shift funds via a third (fourth, fifth, etc) country and take advantage tax treaties between them to minimize tax, so it is not the low tax countries per se, but also the differing variations of tax agreements that exists between them.

    As I tell my complaining friends, its not that [insert company] does not pay tax, it is that they don’t pay _UK_ tax that annoys people.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Runcie Balspune – these international “Conventions” or “Agreements” are the standard world “governance” trick.

    As for big companies that, supposedly, do not pay taxes – tax their SALES.

    “But Paul – Amazon is a book seller and the United Kingdom does not tax the sale of books”.

    Well much though I dislike the man – that is NOT the fault of Jeff Bezos.

    If the United Kingdom chooses not to tax the sale of books – fair enough. Amazon is under no obligation to offer a share of its profits (in tax) to the United Kingdom when it is not based here.

    Of course, these days, Amazon sells a lot of other things – and these are subject to sales tax (VAT) in the United Kingdom.

    South Dakota showed that it is quite possible to tax the sales of companies based “out of State”.

    Last point – all this talk of taxes misses the elephant in the room.

    GOVERNMENT SPENDING is the problem – it is huge, in almost every Western country.

    It is GOVERNMENT SPENDING that is the core problem.