Monday, January 17, 2005

W's Ownership Society...and Putin's

Could you ever imagine the day would come when tax rates would be lower in Russia than in America? A superb article documents how the US is falling behind the curve on the issue of economic freedom. (A hat-tip to the Club for Growth).

Key highlights: Putin now has businesses paying a 13% flat tax. Romania is at 16%, and Estonia is planning to cut to 20%.

Meanwhile: Ireland cut its corporate tax rate from 40% to 12% and went from 62% of per capita EU GDP in 1971 to 121% of per capita EU GDP in 2002.

The article helpfully highlights: a book co-authored by the prominent philosopher Thomas Nagel, The Myth of Ownership...arguing that there is no such thing as "pre-tax income." A reviewer at Amazon summarizes:

Without Uncle Sam to protect your stuff, you'd probably get mugged without hope of getting it back. Therefore you don't actually own it. I think most mafia dons think along these lines.

For Aristotle's view on property ownership, see the link on the sidebar.


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