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  • The Logic of Insatiable Centralization

    Posted by David Foster on April 8th, 2021 (All posts by )

    People and businesses have been leaving New York City, and the state of California, at a considerable rate. Some of these people/businesses are *resources* from the standpoint of government and its leaders: they are tax money on the hoof.   Cuomo, de Blasio, and Newsome would surely like to have a way of keeping them there.  Would these leaders, if they were allowed, favor a legal prohibition on exits, or at least a prohibitive tax penalty for such exit? This is the logic of the Berlin Wall, or of the Reich Flight Tax, the Reichsfluchtsteuer.   Such things may seem impossible in America, but the Dems have pushed for a lot of things that would have previously been considered impossible in America.

    Comes now Janet Yellen of the Biden administration, with a proposal for a global minimum tax on businesses, thereby nailing the feet of companies to the floor and keeping them from going elsewhere to avoid excessive exactions.  Just as Blue-city mayors would rather not have to worry about offering a tax system that is fair and economically-rational, the same is true of the Blue Biden administration.

    As a writer at Ricochet has pointed out:

    (Yellen’s proposal) is a terrible idea, for a very simple reason: “harmonizing” between governments eliminates competition between them. And it locks in the kind of bloated incompetence that is a feature of even the best governments out there.

    We want companies to be able to shop for their preferred home, just as we want Americans to be able to move to low-tax states. Similarly, if a poor country is trying to attract tenants (companies), why should they not be able to offer advantageous tax rates or less bureaucratic overburden?

    It would not just be a matter of keeping companies from moving–the proposal would also tend to reduce or eliminate pressure to keep taxes low and minimize government waste.

    Basically, this global minimum tax would represent the collusion of the political and bureaucratic classes against everybody else.

    And against diversity–any diversity of political and economic philosophies.

    “Progressives” don’t like fine-tuning incentives; they like issuing prohibitions and giving orders.

     

    38 Responses to “The Logic of Insatiable Centralization”

    1. Mike K Says:

      “harmonizing” between governments eliminates competition between them. And it locks in the kind of bloated incompetence that is a feature of even the best governments out there.

      This, of course, is a feature in the minds (so to speak) of the left. The left always has the temptation of authoritarianism.

      Speaking of the latter, I finally gave up on Ricochet after being suspended a week for using the term “Vichy Republicans” for people like Romney. Once before I was suspended for using the term “TDS” but I eventually came back. Not this time. It was interesting that I had over 900 “likes” on my comments at the time.

    2. TangoMan Says:

      Last thing I remember, I was
      Running for the door
      I had to find the passage back
      To the place I was before
      “Relax, ” said the night man,
      “We are programmed to receive.
      You can check-out any time you like,
      But you can never leave! “

    3. TangoMan Says:

      “harmonizing” between governments eliminates competition between them

      Anyone renewed their Driver’s License lately? “Are you currently licensed or suffering a suspension or prohibition on driving in another state, province or country?”

      The State is sovereign, they pass laws which you, as a resident of the state or obligated to obey. This is the social contract. What happened between you and ANOTHER SOVEREIGN entity should not have any bearing on the social contract between you and your state government.

      This policy completely eliminates competition, if one state or country blocks you from driving, then you can’t be licensed in any state, province or country.

    4. TangoMan Says:

      It would not just be a matter of keeping companies from moving–the proposal would also tend to reduce or eliminate pressure to keep taxes low and minimize government waste.

      Why did high tax states scream like a stuck pig when Trump removed deductability of state taxes?

    5. TangoMan Says:

      Basically, this global minimum tax would represent the collusion of the political and bureaucratic classes against everybody else.

      This is a blatant nitpick but I want to focus on the focus of symbolism here. When you see a young women in the grocery store walking down the aisle holding the hand of a 3 year old boy, you may think that scene “represents a mother and her child.” Actually that scene IS mother and child. Reality is more substantive than symbolism.

      Look at how it was “all hands on deck” in the Gamestop shorting affair, the wagons were circled by the elites to protect the elites. Look at the BitMex prosecutions launched by the Feds against the Founders who not being diligent ENOUGH with their money laundering procedures, prospect of 10 year jail sentences await the founders but their alleged crime is failure to jump PROPERLY though regulatory hoops, meanwhile HSBC, Goldman, Citi, JPMorgan, etc are caught in ACTUAL money laundering operations, in ACTUAL fraud schemes, and none of the executives are charged with crimes. The last, that I can remember, major player to face prison time for financial crimes was Michael Miliken, and he was also a disrupter to the established order of the time.

      There is no representation of collusion, there IS collusion between the political, bureaucratic and commercial class, the established order maintains power by colluding. Jeff Bezos is a big proponent of high minimum wages and wants government to boost m.w. because it will hurt his smaller competitors. Dodd-Frank didn’t kneecap big banks, it though destroyed smaller banking operations. The revolving door from the political/regulatory world to the commercial world is part of the collusion scheme. What qualified Eric Cantor to be hired as a Vice-Chairman for an investment banking firm, he has zero experience as a banker?

    6. Brian Says:

      I’ve seen this “global minimum tax” talked about in the past week or so in the news as if it were part of the “infrastructure bill” monstrosity. Is this some sort of proposed treaty or something?

    7. MidwestObserver Says:

      In re “Harmonization of Taxation”:

      This has been a standing objective among the Euroleft and a significant part of the Davos elite. The French left, in particular, and the EU centralizers have been chasing this for roughly a decade. Multiple agenda at work. For some, it solidifies the European superstate under Franco-German leadership. It provides a way to get at the likes of those pesky Irish who keep suborning the tax systems of the continent and of showing new Europe that Old Europe still calls the shots and people had better not shift their business headquarters. Harmonization of taxation – first with VAT levels but also now with a standardized corporate tax regime – has been a goal for some time. It complies with MMT – i.e the state can spend and monetize at will with the proviso that any inflationary uptick will be moderated through taxation alone . It aspires to spread French centralization up tothe supranational level – always keep in mind that, of the Europowers, the French maintain the highest taxation levels combined with the ruthless subordination of lower levels of government that may be closer to the popular will. And the extreme Left, n particular, yearns for a social state that goes beyond the Swedish model of the 1970’s and 1980’s (i.e. “before they saw the light”) – including a munificent form of UBI. .

      The best overall explanation, however, is offered by Thomas Piketty, first in “Capitalism in the TwentyFirst Century” and, with even more force and clarity, in “Capitalism and Ideology”. The object is to insure compliance with a expansive system of redistributive taxation – i.e. personal and business income taxes with ultrahigh top marginal rates (70-90%) combined with a wealth tax – and do so in a way that renders compliance mandatory because there will be -no- tax haven to shift toward. In North American terms, the equivalents are the varoius proposals floating out of the Green New Deal, the Warrenites, the Berniecrats and the DSA wing (i.e. AOC and ilk), who all drink at the spring of Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, Piketty’s acolytes/enablers at UCBerkeley.

      To Brian, no there is no fixed piece of legislation or treaty…this is simply the intended outcome of the far left, aspirational in character, and to be obtained through incremental means. What -should- set off warning klaxons in the present moment, is Yellen’s willingness to pursue this in consultation with the Europeans in the context of establishing a (higher) minimal business tax -here- that is enforceable and in repealing the 2017 reform – which took us from a global to a territorial system If we go back to global, part of “getting along with” our so-called Euroallies will involve reciprocity. The other carrot is that, again, the French would love to impose financial transaction taxes (vide. Ms. E. Warren) and the Euros generally are flirting with ideas of how to tax the digerati and tech economy (i.e. Google, Facebook and the ilk) but, in the presence of alternatives outside the national reach, this has always stumbled. Obviously, someone sees the prospect for a deal if they can snooker us onside. Finally, always keep in mind that The EU is -deeply- into carbon taxation whic they would also like to see handled globally. Lots of differing aspirations having found a common line of attack.

      If you can win a competition, you can at least bring your competitors down to your level and, of course, it is lost in translation that this would leave the likes of the PRC with, at least theoretically, the lowest taxation regime around.

      All of this from those Wonderful People From Davos. The other observation is that this is a return to “leading from behind”. In order to restore our historic alliances and build a common front, rather than actually -leading- we must yoke ourselves to the lowest common denominator and slowest boat in the fleet – i.e. Old Europe.

    8. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Ask yourself — Who pays corporation tax?

      Easy answer — you do. Tax is a cost of business that eventually gets passed on to the purchaser as part of the purchase price, and/or some of it may get passed on to investors & pensioners in the form of reduced profits/dividends. Basically, corporation taxes are just inefficient disguised taxes on individuals. The Political Class likes corporation taxes because it hides how much they are taking from the real workers in the economy.

      Strange that the same Usual Suspects who are up in arms against tariffs (because they are a tax on consumers) are quite ok with corporation taxes (because they are “paid” by businesses).

      In principle, we could eliminate corporation taxes and increase taxes on incomes & dividends to compensate. It would improve economic efficiency, but too many of the Political Class and their Big Law buddies are making a mint off of corporation tax complexities and tax law loopholes.

    9. MidwestObserver Says:

      Edit:

      Obviously, toward the end, I meant if you CAN’T win a competition………

      At least my grammar and spelling are reasonably on mark. Now to work on the clarity thing…….

    10. MidwestObserver Says:

      Gavin:

      Obviously true. The problem is that you are talking here to a narrow audience who already know this.

      Unfortunately, this is decidedly -not- how most of the rest of the world thinks right now. Before you can refute these people in public, you are going to have to be better acquainted with the consensual delusion they all live in and find tools that break down their memes. Otherwise, the message, however correct and on point, just gets filtered out if not subjected to active cancellation measures. This means not just talking systems of taxation or, more broadly, systems of economics, but the entire -social- system construct the left peddles.

      Find bills that are well constructed, that can be passed and, far more importantly, convincingly sold to the average person. At the moment, we are good at ranting but clueless when it comes to the mechanisms of -governing-.

    11. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Midwest — “the mechanisms of -governing-“

      We can all see how “governing” is done these days. It was not necessary to sell anything to the average person to install a “President*”-in-waiting who could not even win a Democrat primary. It is not necessary to get the majority of real votes to install a party in power. The average person is opposed to Political Correctness, racial spoils, San Fransiscans pooping in the street, etc — but those things happen because most of us still go along with “laws”, even when we do not respect them. But that won’t last forever.

      In short, what the Lefties are doing is bringing the age of governing by passing unpopular laws to an end. What we need to do is be prepared to have better solutions in the coming post-collapse world.

    12. JaimeRoberto Says:

      “Progressives” don’t like fine-tuning incentives; they like issuing prohibitions and giving orders.

      Oh I disagree. I think they very much see themselves as technicians in a control room turning a knob here, flipping a switch there in order to fine tune the world. It’s Science! They just don’t realize that the world is far too complicated for that. It seems to me that there was a professor at Chicago that had something to say about that.

    13. MidwestObserver Says:

      We agree but also disagree. (And, yes, this is a hot button withy me – so I may be reacting to something you -didn’t- say. Only one way to find out.)

      I agree with the last sentence, strongly. I disagree with the preceding para. I have my share of criticisms of the establishment political set, whether you call them Left, UniParty, Establishment or whatever. Clearly, they govern “poorly” and need to be replaced. But, all to often, on our side of things, this is demand is accompanied by the absolutist rejection of process and technique. I’m also not about to let the Left’s/Davosian redefinition of “governance” get entrenched.

      Process and technique, by themselves, are value-neutral tools. Just as guns don’t shoot people, other people do, the same is true for process and technique in governance. As tools, however, they are powerful enablers. To avoid them is abdication, whether it’s driven by a “purity” meme or passive-aggressive response or simple frustration with the current lot (who are indeed very taxing in more ways than one).

      I’ll make one statement and then suggest that this is a thread that requires its own discussion. One of the reasons that the Right, whether Orthodox Conservative, “Values” or Populist, wins occasional battles but systematically loses campaigns and wars is that it is, at its core, feckless, unserious, whatever. A lot of this is an asymmetry of culture….

      Our opponents make no bones about politics being their -sole- profession, to which they are willing, by and large, to commit their entire career to. (The weakness, of course, is that they therefore have no context, no “common sense” or outside reference.). They are willing to spend their time out of power building their platforms and model legislation. They will work over long periods like a guerilla force toward an aspirational goal, however narrow. OTOH, most of us come from other outside careers and perspectives, we haven’t spent the time looking at the corpus of law and are naive when it comes to craft legislation that works and can be easily explained. Politics is something we come to late and intend to ultimately leave, a station in a longer passage.

      In short:
      (a) We range from gifted amateurs to dilletantes, they are narrowly focused professionals with a high degree of (over)specialization
      (b) We are sprinters, they are marathoners….or, if you prefer, Hare vs Tortoise….or, better still, Coyote v Roadrunner.
      (c) We tend to be reactive, they tend to be proactive.
      (1) One example being the immortal Mitch, who consistently makes good points but expresses them in pure negatives without alternatives.
      (2) Whenever our opponents proactively put a program on the floor, we find it easier to say just “no” without finding constructive rebuttal. The classical case in poin was the folly accompanying repeal of the Affordable Care Act. “Repeal first, restore a flawed and unpopular status quo ante and then and only then start to figure out a replacement system” , the “Green Eggs and Ham” filibuster, etc.
      (3) Even when the answer -is- NO!, we rarely have a detailed critique ready to deliver to the voters. We’d rather depend on bumper stickers and the “proven” five-line campaign cue card. We have a responsibility to -educate- the voter and we routinely pass it up.
      (4) We constantly cede first-mover advantage and, in so doing, allow the opposition to plant new, false stipulations in the argument. Accept the language and lose by doing so.

      Above all, on a good day, we play the black pieces well. We can, at times, be competent tacticians. What we are not is competent at strategy. And, as long as we let tactics suborn strategy, everything we -do- accomplish is built on shifting sand.

      Sorry. I suspect that this is a response to something you -didn’t- say and, if so, I apologize. Just had to vent this frustration. As you can see, I still need work on the clarity and conciseness scales……..

    14. Anonymous Says:

      The logic of insatiable centralization is the application of basic human nature as Acton understood it – centralization above all centralizes power. Abigail Adams notes in a letter to her husband: ““I am more and more convinced that Man is a dangerous creature, and that power whether vested in many or a few is ever grasping, and like the grave cries give, give. The great fish swallow up the small, and he who is most strenuous for the Rights of the people, when vested with power, is as eager after the prerogatives of Government. You tell me of degrees of perfection to which Humane Nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances.”

      Of course, the best way to curb ambition was to curb centralization; our founders weren’t idiots, which I’m not sure can’t be said of many of our generation. More states’ rights, more separation of powers, no combining of all 3 – legislative, executive, and judicial – in the unelected within agencies and departments who not only do not need to worry about the electorate nor often about being fired, but don’t even have to deal with the consequences nor peer disapproval, hiding behind a bureaucratic wall and inflated salary.

      Of course, David, you sensibly go back to the best limits on power of the free market – of ideas as well as things, one eventually controlled by how good the consequences are. Why can’t we learn? And can we have free markets in either when over half our gdp is governmental (do I have that right? you’ll know). Oh, well, I’m at the point where I’ve made enough stupid decisions that I understand ow hard it is to learn, but, fortunately or unfortunately, most of them have been personal and it’s me that feels the consequences.

    15. Ginny Says:

      The meandering non-concise above is me. Sorry.

    16. MidwestObserver Says:

      Ginny:

      Actually, it was -very- concise. Thank you for bringing things back on point.

      +100

    17. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} “Progressives” don’t like fine-tuning incentives; they like issuing prohibitions and giving orders.

      Progressives are what Harry Truman called “professional liberals”.

      Eight Days With Harry Truman
      https://www.americanheritage.com/eight-days-harry-truman#1

      Truman was particularly irked by the “professional liberal,” whom he distinguished from “real liberals” like himself. Professional liberals lived by slogans and saw American politics as an ideological war, which Truman considered alien to the genius of the Democratic party. In his lifetime the party was a sort of political melting pot in which conservative Southerners and moderate border-state men like Truman found common ground with Eastern liberals. “Professional liberals are too arrogant to compromise,” Truman said. “In my experience they were also very unpleasant people on a personal level. Behind their slogans about saving the world and sharing the wealth with the common man lurked a nasty hunger for power. They’d double-cross their own mothers to get it or keep it.”

    18. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} This policy completely eliminates competition, if one state or country blocks you from driving, then you can’t be licensed in any state, province or country.

      In general, this whole process is glaringly unConstitutional — If I get a ticket in another state, it may be not worth my time to go to that state to fight it (i am not given the opportunity to file a challenge electronically, and then let the judge look at my evidence and whatever the cop turned in, and make a decision).

      I’m ok with that. I pay the fine and am done with it. It’s a “reasonable compromise”, I would say.

      But not any more, many states have “reciprocity” — points for tickets in other states apply in your home state. WTF? The state takes advantage of the ease of electronic communications, but rejects giving me basic civil rights using them? It’s a blatant violation of due process.

    19. David Foster Says:

      Rose Wilder Lane, on How central planning demands the categorization of people:

      Nobody can plan the actions of even a thousand living persons, separately. Anyone attempting to control millions must divide them into classes, and make a plan applying to these classes. But these classes do not exist. No two persons are alike. No two are in the same circumstances; no two have the same abilities; beyond getting the barest necessities of life, no two have the same desires.Therefore the men who try to enforce, in real life, a planned economy that is their theory, come up against the infinite diversity of human beings. The most slavish multitude of men that was ever called “demos” or “labor” or “capital” or”agriculture” or “the masses,” actually are men; they are not sheep. Naturally, by their human nature, they escape in all directions from regulations applying to non-existent classes. It is necessary to increase the number of men who supervise their actions. Then (for officials are human, too) it is necessary that more men supervise the supervisors.

      The temptations of power and the importance of the Constitution:

      “If he wants to do good (as he sees good) to the citizens, he needs more power. If he wants to be re-elected, he needs more power to use for his party. If he wants money, he needs more power; he can always sell it to some eager buyer. If he wants publicity, flattery, more self-importance, he needs more power, to satisfy clamoring reformers who can give him flattering publicity.”

      Lane offers an interesting analysis of Biblical/Jewish history, and argues that the Ten Commandments were a major advance specifically because of their negative nature, and that this attribute made them a particularly appropriate corrective for a people emerging from slavery.

    20. Brian Says:

      So I was in Ithaca, NY for business today, and for the first time I realize how profoundly disruptive the last year has been and is going to be for a long time to come. Basically >90% percent of people on the street were wearing masks. Outside. Walking by themselves. College age people. The people I had lunch with all wore their masks except when they were actually in the physical act of eating and drinking. These are the next generation of leaders of the country, and something has gone really quite seriously wrong. Wrong enough that I don’t think vaccines are going to fix.

    21. Xennady Says:

      We want companies to be able to shop for their preferred home, just as we want Americans to be able to move to low-tax states. Similarly, if a poor country is trying to attract tenants (companies), why should they not be able to offer advantageous tax rates or less bureaucratic overburden?

      This sort of globalist attitude is why the United States is failing.

      We– that is, Americans– should want America to be the best place for companies to do business, because it will make America prosperous. We should not be casually indifferent as to whether or not a potentially world-changing business locates here or some other place. When businesses leave the US we should regard this as a sign something is terribly wrong and reforms need to made.

      We should not imagine how awesome it is that businesses can leave America for places capable of providing slave labor, for example, while retaining easy access to the US market.

      It would not just be a matter of keeping companies from moving–the proposal would also tend to reduce or eliminate pressure to keep taxes low and minimize government waste.

      Don’t worry. Yellen’s idiot proposal will go nowhere because no other government is stupid enough to put it into practice, even though some may well give it lip-service. But I’ve missed the pressure to reduce government waste and keep taxes low, at least in in the sense that the demonrats never ever seem constrained in their endless demands for more of both.

    22. Xennady Says:

      Speaking of the latter, I finally gave up on Ricochet after being suspended a week for using the term “Vichy Republicans” for people like Romney. Once before I was suspended for using the term “TDS” but I eventually came back. Not this time. It was interesting that I had over 900 “likes” on my comments at the time.

      Ricochet is a very globalist site which cannot tolerate badthink. I was a member for years and I can’t count how many times I read things that made me thank God most people willing to vote against the left would never read them. If they had, there was no way they’d have been willing to vote GOP. I can recall two such items written by the person there David Foster linked, FWIW.

      And then came Trump- and I eventually lost willingness to give money to these folks.

      Shrug. Mike K, I recall you mentioning that you were still a member a while back. I always figured it was simply matter of time before they pulled something like they just did and drove you away forever.

      That’s their loss.

    23. Ginny Says:

      Yesterday was our youngest grandson’s birthday; he’s in fourth grade. He said he really didn’t like virtual classes and he really missed his friends. 2 points:
      1) he said even with those drawbacks, he didn’t want to go back if he had to wear a mask;
      2) I asked if he got to talk to a new friend he had made on the block – and he said yes, and friend and the friend’s friend were people he enjoyed talking with. I said that was nice – talking is important – and he said yes, but after he sometimes felt sad, but he also felt WOW! (and he said it like that) he’d talked to someone and they’d really talked and the time went so fast – and it was so wonderful.
      Sometimes I feel like Chicagoboyz is like that, a couple of other regular conversations are, too. My daughter said, yes, one good thing about Covid is that it has made us appreciate social interaction – of course, it has also revealed how important it is.

    24. Paul Says:

      Yellen is delusional if she thinks the leaders of the countries where the jobs a going to are going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Suga, Moon, Xi, Duterte, Nguyen, Lee, Muhyidden, Hasina and Mahinda, to name a few, are not going to collude on tax policy.

      There is one ray of hope. In the wake of Brexit, there has been the fear that major financial firms might relocate from London to NYC. The always brilliant Andrew Cuomo has just raised taxes in New York to ensure that does not happen. All that remains is for Yellen and Cuomo to hold hands for a photo-op.

    25. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Brian: “Basically >90% percent of people on the street were wearing masks. Outside. Walking by themselves. College age people. The people I had lunch with all wore their masks except when they were actually in the physical act of eating and drinking.”

      Brian — I have to ask: Did you wear a mask? If not, what kind of reaction did you get from the lunch crowd?

    26. Brian Says:

      When I was walking around by myself I did not wear a mask. When sitting down with the other 4 people I kept my mask on, for the same reason I follow the lead of the locals how to behave when I’m in a foreign country. Which is what it felt like–being far away in a foreign country.
      What has happened that young healthy people–half of whom even said they were vaccinated!–think that in an outdoor meal setting you should wear a mask–a simple cloth mask!–that you lower to take a drink, then immediately put back on when done drinking?

    27. Brian Says:

      I will also note that in driving through Cortland, just a few miles away from Ithaca, the situation was very different–basically no one I saw walking outside had on masks. Two Americas, indeed…

    28. OBloodyHell Says:

      By the way, what this does is offer some nation OUTSIDE the “G20” or whatever final group accepted this, that wants to really really build its economic power an easy option… Offer a tax haven for companies looking to leave.

      New Zealand is probably not in the “G20”, and is already pretty favorable in terms of economic freedom. I can see them becoming the next “British Empire” (i.e., an economic giant) by telling all the other high-tax places to go suck it, and welcoming those companies that want to relocate there sweet terms.

      If that happens, I don’t see the high-tax places lasting in this agreement for very long… but the damage may have already been done for them by that point, with a large swathe of companies already in the process of saying, “Buh-BYE!”

    29. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} There is one ray of hope. In the wake of Brexit, there has been the fear that major financial firms might relocate from London to NYC.

      Ahhh, but where are the US firms leaving NYC **FOR**? Texas or Florida, would be my bet for most of them.

      The Brit firms may well go… “Hmmm….”

      Relocating to Miami also gives them easy connections to South/Central America, for example.

    30. miguel cervantes Says:

      the problem is jacinta arden’s new zealand a wholly owned appendage of the dragon, I know we’re currently under similar management, but an earlier stage,

    31. JaimeRoberto Says:

      My son’s college will be hybrid in-person and remote in the fall semester. My son seems to think this is ok, because even though everyone who wants a vaccine should be able to get one by then, the vaccine isn’t 100% effective. I told him that if he was waiting for everything to be 100% risk free, we will be closed forever. He seemed to be ok with that. As long as those stimulus checks keep coming in and he can live at home. Young people are supposed to go do stupid stuff, but this is the wrong stupid.

    32. PenGun Says:

      “harmonizing” between governments eliminates competition between them.”

      Yes. It does, and the opposite of that is war. I like international agreements myself, and hate war.

    33. MCS Says:

      Harmonization indeed. If it hasn’t happened yet, it can be only a matter of time before a Canadian that says an unkind word about Winnie the Xi can expect a Mountie knocking at his door or knocking down his door.

    34. PenGun Says:

      I had at one time a deal with the local cops. These are Mounties in a lot of smaller places, and I got to know mine. Anyway the deal was, if you want to talk to me, I will immediately put myself under arrest and deliver my person to the police station, post haste. Comedy was the result when CSIS got upset about my Hezbollah T Shirts I had made to celebrate the Hezbollah victory in the first 4th generation war in 2006. I ended up lecturing the CSIS guy and several cops as to the actual geopolitical forces in play in that conflict and sold the CSIS guy one of my T Shirts. ;)

      As I largely approve of the Chinese these days, I guess I’m OK for now. ;)

    35. Paul Says:

      “By the way, what this does is offer some nation OUTSIDE the “G20” or whatever final group accepted this, that wants to really really build its economic power an easy option… Offer a tax haven for companies looking to leave.”

      Singapore

    36. miguel cervantes Says:

      it seems the template is that of schwabs’s fourth industrial revolution, and other constructivist templates, that the invisible serf’s collar blog has detailed,

    37. MCS Says:

      What it would do is turn the G20 into a tariff union. Then there would be the competition among the members to advantage their domestic enterprises in relation to the other members with “special” programs to offset taxes.

      The whole thing just shows that Yellen is a particularly dim bulb.

      Of course, all the businesses would immediately cease all their tax avoidance and fire all their tax lawyers and accountants.

    38. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      MCS: “Then there would be the competition among the members to advantage their domestic enterprises …”

      Well, certainly among the smarter members. The ones led by more stupid cliques, like the US, would continue to force their domestic enterprises to offshore their productive efforts, because “reasons”.

      A related thought — we may be on the point of “Peak Globalization”, at least among the smart countries. The fate of the US will highlight for the rest of the world the idiocy of an import-dependent Cargo Cult economy.

      Another issue is that development of many countries — long-ago UK, more recently Japan, Korea, China, etc — has been driven by their success as exporters. If Chinese planners wanted to slow the development of India (who someday will be their major competitor), encouraging the global repatriation of supply chains would be a useful method to deny other countries the opportunity to use that avenue.

      The ideal would be for a country to be large enough that it has most of what it needs within its own borders — as arguably was the situation with the US prior to WWII. Second best would be to bind the sources of any needed imports into a very strong economic union. For example, Australia could adopt the Yuan as its currency while remaining nominally independent but in practice becoming part of China’s co-prosperity sphere.

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