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Archive for January 23rd, 2011

There’s a supposed expose in the U.K.-based Daily Mail about how major British companies have subsidiaries in low-tax jurisdictions. It even includes this table with the ostensibly shocking numbers.

This is quite akin to the propaganda issued by American statists. Here’s a table from a report issued by a left-wing group that calls itself “Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse.”

At the risk of being impolite, I’ll ask the appropriate rhetorical question: What do these tables mean?

Are the leftists upset that multinational companies exist? If so, there’s really no point in having a discussion.

Are they angry that these firms are legally trying to minimize tax? If so, they must not understand that management has a fiduciary obligation to maximize after-tax returns for shareholders.

Are they implying that these businesses are cheating on their tax returns? If so, they clearly do not understand the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion.

Are they agitating for governments to impose worldwide taxation so that companies are double-taxed on any income earned (and already subject to tax) in other jurisdictions? If so, they should forthrightly admit this is their goal, notwithstanding the destructive, anti-competitive impact of such a policy.

Or, perhaps, could it be the case that leftists on both sides of the Atlantic don’t like tax competition? But rather than openly argue for tax harmonization and other policies that would lead to higher taxes and a loss of fiscal sovereignty, they think they will have more luck expanding the power of government by employing demagoguery against the big, bad, multinational companies and small, low-tax jurisdictions.

To give these statists credit, they are being smart. Tax competition almost certainly is the biggest impediment that now exists to restrain big government. Greedy politicians understand that high taxes may simply lead the geese with the golden eggs to fly across the border. Indeed, competition between governments is surely the main reason that tax rates have dropped so dramatically in the past 30 years. This video explains.

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I was surprised to receive a joke about unemployment insurance, but the resourceful readers of this blog have surprised me yet again with a joke about disability insurance.

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“An Irishman with a bad leg hobbled into a restaurant one afternoon. He painfully sat down at a booth and asked the waitress for a cup of
coffee. The Irishman looked across the restaurant and asked, “Is that Jesus over there?” The waitress nodded so the Irishman told her to give Jesus a cup of coffee too.

The next patron to come in was an Englishman with a hunched back. He shuffled over to a booth and asked the waitress for a glass of hot tea. He also glanced across the restaurant and asked “Is that Jesus over there?” The waitress nodded so the Englishman said to give Jesus a cup of hot tea too.

The third patron to come into the restaurant was a Hillbilly from Eastern Kentucky. He swaggered over to a booth, sat down and hollered “Hey there sweet thing, hows about getting me a cold glass of Coke!”. He too looked across the restaurant and asked “Is that God’s boy over there?” The waitress nodded so the Hillbilly said to give Jesus a cold glass of Coke too.

As Jesus got up to leave He passed by the Irishman and touched him and said “For your kindness, you are healed.” The Irishman felt the strength come back into his leg and got up and danced a jig out the door.

Jesus also passed by the Englishman, touched him and said, “For your kindness, you are healed.” The English man felt his back straightening up and he raised up his hands, praised the Lord and did a series of back flips out the door.

Then Jesus walked towards the Hillbilly. The Hillbilly jumps up and yells, “Hey man don’t touch me …… I’m drawing disability!”

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