Archive for April 27th, 2010

I spoke today before the 2010 Global Financial Services Centres Conference. Equally important, I got to meet with some of the nation’s top economic minds.

First, the good news: Ireland has no intention of giving up its low 12.5 percent corporate tax rates.

The bad news is that Ireland is drifting in the wrong direction. Bailouts, higher spending, more red tape, and social engineering are gradually eroding the benefits generated by a better tax system. Both government and private debt are too high.

Ireland probably still belongs in the world’s top 10, as determined by Economic Freedom of the World and the Index of Economic Freedom, but that is more a reflection of how few nations enjoy genuine economic liberty.

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I’m not even sure what to say about this story. Politicians apparently think that they have the right to impose their personal preferences on other people, regardless of whether the issue is big or small. How else to explain the thuggish proposal of a headline-seeking sleazy pol who wants to ban Happy Meals at McDonalds?

Convinced that Happy Meals and other food promotions aimed at children could make kids fat as well as happy, county officials in Silicon Valley are poised to outlaw the little toys that often come with high-calorie offerings. The proposed ban is the latest in a growing string of efforts to change the types of foods aimed at youngsters and the way they are cooked and sold. Across the nation, cities, states and school boards have taken aim at excessive sugar, salt and certain types of fats. Believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the proposal would forbid the inclusion of a toy in any restaurant meal that has more than 485 calories, more than 600 mg of salt or high amounts of sugar or fat. In the case of McDonald’s, the limits would include all of the chain’s Happy Meals — even those that include apple sticks instead of French fries. …The California Restaurant Assn. has taken out full-page newspaper advertisements against the proposed ordinance in local newspapers. One shows a little girl with her hands cuffed behind her back as she holds a stuffed animal. Another opponent wrote in a YouTube posting, “I want to know when the pitchforks and torches and rope is going to come out…. We need to run these Frankenstein politician monsters the hell out of town!”

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In fairness, we were getting the same medicine during the Bush years. My only other thought it that Dr. Obama is soon going to prescribe suppositories for taxpayers.

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