Tax competition is theft

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Tax-News.com published an article which plumbs the depths, even when measured by its own normal levels of depravity. It notes that:

The CIA has recently updated its list of countries ranked by Gross Domestic Product, using figures from 2006, 2005 or 2004, with Luxembourg in the lead, and no fewer than thirteen out of the top twenty countries being low-tax jurisdictions.

It then lists the top 20:

1 Luxembourg $ 71,400;
2 Bermuda $ 69,900;
3 Jersey $ 57,000;
4 Equatorial Guinea $ 50,200;
5 United Arab Emirates $ 49,700;
6 Norway $ 46,300;
7 Guernsey $ 44,600;
8 Ireland $ 44,500;
9 United States $ 44,000;
10 Cayman Islands $ 43,800;
11 Andorra $ 38,800;
12 British Virgin Islands $ 38,500;
13 Iceland $ 38,000;
14 Hong Kong $ 37,300;
15 Denmark $ 37,000;
16 Canada $ 35,600;
17 Isle of Man $ 35,000;
18 Austria $ 34,600;
19 San Marino $ 34,100;
20 Switzerland $ 34,000.

A critic might point out that the populations of the 13 leading tax havens all added together wouldn't fill up New York City; but that doesn't dilute the message.

What's that message. Well according to Tax-News.com it's this:

Dan Mitchell of the Centre for Freedom and Prosperity points out that: "In an ideal world, other nations would emulate the so-called tax havens. Instead, high-tax nations persecute these jurisdictions as part of an effort to create an OPEC for politicians."

Pardon? Let's get serious. Tax havens get rich by pursuing a policy of tax competition. Peter Dietsch, a Canadian academic has a rather neat definition of tax competition in a new paper not yet available on line, He says:

Tax competition refers to the practice of pursuing the objectives of fiscal policy in ways that create fiscal externalities. Fiscal externalities are defined as the effects of one country's fiscal policy on the welfare of the residents of other countries.

Or in plainer English, these places have tax policies designed to steal tax revenues from other countries at cost to their citizens. And let's be clear, that is theft. No wonder then that Pulitzer Prize winning journalist of the New York Times calls the Center for Freedom and Prosperity "the tax cheats lobby" (Perfectly Legal, 2003, page 237). He's right.

And now wonder that Tax-News.com ask:

And where are the 19th century's leading nations: Great Britain, France and Germany? Japan is also a surprise exclusion.

Actually they're not there because they're the victims of this crime.

Which shows just how wide of the mark Tax-News.com is when it notes that:

A critic might point out that the populations of the 13 leading tax havens all added together wouldn't fill up New York City; but that doesn't dilute the message.

Oh yes it does. Most of the world doesn't steal. the politicians, accountants, lawyers and bankers in tax havens do. That's what this evidence shows. How much plainer does it need to be?