Archive for March 11th, 2010

It’s been nice pretending to be part of the top one-tenth of one percent, but I return to reality tomorrow (as if Washington, DC, could be considered part of the real world).

Two concluding observations about Monaco. On the plus side, gun ownership is very easy. It seems everyone has at least one weapon. Not surprisingly, there is almost no crime (unlike England, where crime rates are skyrocketing because thugs know that people have been disarmed by a disgusting government).

On the minus side, Monaco does have a payroll tax, which finances things such as health care. And it’s a steep one, requiring about 35 percent from employers and somewhere about 10 percent for workers (it all comes out of workers’ wages, of course, but that’s an issue for another day). The only positive things to say about this punitive tax is that it only applies to about the first $40,000 of income, so it can be considered a very inefficient user fee for a set of (probably substandard) government services rather than a vehicle for redistributionism.

So while Monaco is a very attractive jurisdiction for many reasons, it ranks below Cayman in the Dan Mitchell ranking of ideal tax regimes.

One final point. It is astounding how many of Monaco’s tax refugees fully expect social chaos to seize Europe sometime in the next 5-15 years as nations experience Greek-style fiscal collapse. I think 15 years is more realistic, but my main reaction is anger that Bush and Obama have been pushing the U.S. in that direction.

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Here’s an excellent idea for all American readers. One of the guys who posts on National Review Online is urging everyone to identify themselves as “some other race” on the census form. And writing “American” next to that box would be an added bonus. The goal, he explains, is to undermine the government’s racial bean-counting intrusiveness. Forward this to every American resident you know.

Fully one-quarter of the space on this year’s form is taken up with questions of race and ethnicity, which are clearly illegitimate and none of the government’s business… My initial impulse was simply to misidentify my race so as to throw a monkey wrench into the statistics; I had fun doing this on the personal-information form my college required every semester, where I was a Puerto Rican Muslim one semester, and a Samoan Buddhist the next. …Instead, we should answer Question 9 by checking the last option — “Some other race” — and writing in “American.” It’s a truthful answer but at the same time is a way for ordinary citizens to express their rejection of unconstitutional racial classification schemes. In fact, “American” was the plurality ancestry selection for respondents to the 2000 census in four states and several hundred counties.

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