Tax Farming Fury
by Arthur M.M. Krolman
by Arthur M.M. Krolman: OK,
Gold's Not Money. How About This One Ben: Is the Fed a Bank?
Farmer in the UK is cursing mad that farmers in charge of other
countries are milking his cows.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said that he wants to "stop
unfair tax farming practices". And he swore he's going to make
"damn sure" that people like Starbucks pay him more.
of tax farming? Here's how it works: Cameron and the leaders of
other countries/farms are the farmers. You, the taxpayer, are the
cow. You roam around figuring out how to produce and trade to survive.
The farmer forces you to report how much you produced and then fork
over whatever he figures is a fair share. Now here's the part Cameron
is steamed about: taxpayers are legally allowed to roam onto other
farms and fork over what a competing farmer thinks is a fair share
– instead of paying up to Farmer Cam. Cameron is so fuming mad that
he even said these roaming cows are "aggressive" and "lack moral
scruples". He also said he would "drop a tonne of bricks" on any
producer that dares not report how much he truly produced.
we should start a debate with him about this topic which applies
to taxpayers worldwide. OK. Here are a few rebuttal ideas:
- Mr. Cameron,
why is it moral (and not aggressive) for you to farm us? How about
you have a turn producing and we'll farm you? Or here's a crazy
idea: how about we forget about treating each other like livestock
and instead respect private property rights?
aside the morality of threatening to crush people to death for
not revealing their private financial affairs, why don't you threaten
to drop a ton of bricks on competing farmers instead of your own
producers? Or if you wish to take a break from initiating threats
of violence, why don't you just lower your "fair" tax below competing
farmers so your producers don't want to roam?
In the spirit
of walking a mile in your muddy boots, Mr. Cameron, I empathize
that you do have a problem. The harvest is coming in short and you
need more spending loot. You and I could yak about this until the
cows come home, but here's some quick food for thought. The nineteenth
century was a period of massive wealth creation both in the UK and
the USA. During that time, there was by and large no such thing
as income tax or reporting. It turned out that entrepreneurs thrived
while keeping their financial affairs private and were quite keen
to risk their savings on new businesses with the prospect of reaping
all of the reward if things worked out. And for about eighty years,
your zero import duty was a further boost to general economic prosperity.
Alas, even though government finances were in better shape than
today, I can guess that going back to zero income tax and duty might
stick in your craw.
G8 chairman, I know you're hell bent for leather to conspire to
put an end to "unfair tax farming practices". But here's a final
tidbit for you: voluntary cartels are doomed to fall apart. Imagine
you and your world tax farmer pals agree to fix the global income
tax percentage. So British Telecom, for example, would then be forced
to pay the same burden anywhere they report their income, right?
Wrong. There would still be the specter of offsetting cost savings
that might entice them to roam. What will you do when Ruritania
promises to build a new airport adjacent to the site of a relocated
British Telecom world headquarters? Or promises government schools
in Ruritania will make British Telecom technical skills part of
the curriculum? Cartel in-fighting will ensue and your dreaded tax
farming competition will return.
fret Mr. Cameron. In case your bid to become World Government
Capo dei Capi doesn't work out, you could always retire from aggressive
tax farming and apply for work at your favorite Starbucks.
Martin McCannell Krolman [send
him mail] is the founder and president of a medical device company
based in Boston, MA. Visit his
website. He is also the author of The
Scary Story of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Box of Free
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