Free Markets, Free People

So What Did The G20 Decide? To Explore Taxing The World

Apparently they decided to explore a global tax:

Bob Davis of the Wall Street Journal deserves a journalism prize for taking the time to read the recent communiqué issued by the G-20 countries meeting in Pittsburgh. He found they had assigned the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the job of studying how to implement a global tax on America and the rest of the world.

“The IMF assignment from the G-20 has been widely overlooked,” Davis noted. His article ran under the headline, “IMF Mulls Global Bank Tax.”

The “Leader’s Statement” endorsed by President Obama and released at the event declares on page 10 that “We task the IMF to prepare a report for our next meeting with regard to the range of options countries have adopted or are considering as to how the financial sector could make a fair and substantial contribution toward paying for any burdens associated with government interventions to repair the banking system.”

The term “fair and substantial contribution” is code for a global tax. Other misleading terms for global taxes include “innovative sources of finance” and “Solidarity Levies.”

Those that believe in the concept of “one world government” have been wanting global taxes for decades. The money would give them a completely different type of power – a revenue stream vs. having to rely on donor money. Note the “source” of the tax revenue – the “financial sector” or those “evil, rich Wall Street types.” Too easy:

While the global tax would affect the savings of ordinary Americans and be passed on to consumers, it is being packaged by the international left and its progressive allies in the U.S. as an assault on Wall Street and the big banks.

If you’re shaking your head and trying to push this off as some anti-left fantasy, try this:

Meanwhile, President Obama used his recent speech to the United Nations to declare, “We have fully embraced the Millennium Development Goals.” He left unsaid what this means. It has been calculated that this will cost the U.S. $845 billion to meet U.N. demands for a certain percentage of Gross National Product to go for official foreign aid to the rest of the world. Compliance with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was incorporated into the Global Poverty Act that Obama had introduced as a U.S. senator but which never passed.

A global tax of the kind envisioned in the G-20 document could help provide the revenue to fulfill Obama’s promise to comply with the MDGs.

Yes, he did introduce such an act, and no, thankfully, it didn’t pass. But we’re in an entirely different situation now than in 2007 aren’t we?  In addition to all the other economy killers, our betters are “exploring” another scheme to loot almost a trillion dollars from the American taxpayer (and others around the world).

The most popular proposal is called the “Tobin Tax”:

One proposal, popular at the United Nations for decades and long-advocated by Fidel Castro, is the Tobin Tax, named after Yale University economist James Tobin. Such a tax, which could affect stocks, mutual funds, and pensions, could generate hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Indeed, Steven Solomon, a former staff reporter at Forbes, says in his book, The Confidence Game, that such a proposal “might net some $13 trillion a year…” because it is based on taking a percentage of money from the trillions of dollars exchanged daily in global financial markets.

And we can’t have that much money flying around not being taxed appropriately, can we? Not when it can fulfill a long held dream for some.  Make no mistake – this is not about an equitable global tax, not that I’d support that either, but this is a redistribution of the wealth scheme, plain and simple:

What is driving the global taxation agenda is a Marxist view that the U.S. is exploiting the people and natural resources of the world. According to this perspective, international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and even the U.N. must be restructured and provided with new financial resources to supervise and manage the redistribution of the world’s wealth. The United States, being the leading capitalist state, has to pay the largest price.

Their attitude was expressed at a non-governmental organization forum in Monterrey, Mexico, associated with the U.N.’s International Conference on Financing for Development, that Christopher Columbus “invaded, destroyed and pillaged” the hemisphere and that a global tax was necessary to pay for the damage.

In his 2001 speech to the U.N. World Conference on Racism, Castro advocated the Tobin Tax specifically in order to generate U.S. financial reparations to the rest of the world. He declared, “May the tax suggested by Nobel Prize Laureate James Tobin be imposed in a reasonable and effective way on the current speculative operations accounting for trillions of US dollars every 24 hours, then the United Nations, which cannot go on depending on meager, inadequate, and belated donations and charities, will have one trillion US dollars annually to save and develop the world.”

Because all this prosperity destruction is our fault.

Keep an eye out for this scheme as it develops. This has been a “progressive” dream for quite some time. They now have the man and the Congress to make it come true.

~McQ

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34 Responses to So What Did The G20 Decide? To Explore Taxing The World

  • When I teach the politics of developing countries, and people realize not only how wealthy we are in comparison to them, but how colonialism and western development destroyed indigenous political cultures that were doing fine before the Europeans came and conquered the world, people realize that our wealth is in part the result of that violence. It structured the world economy to benefit us.

    However, aid is to be given only with great reluctance. Most states in the third world are non-existent in practical terms. Sovereignty, as an organizing political principle, never took in the third world. (See: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/the-westfailure-system/). Thus aid tends to go to corrupt leaders or gets wasted, and does not help spur real development or increase human quality of life.

    Ultimately, if the first world does see it as in their interest (increase world economic activity, decrease chances of poor on rich terrorism in the future) and ethical duty to work to undo the long term damages of the European colonial conquest, it has to be done in a way with a lot of oversight and accountability. Unfortunately, most third world states (i.e., corrupt governments) reject that as outside intervention. Until something can be done to assure that aid is not wasted, it may be better to curtail governmental aid and loans to most third world states.

    • it may be better to curtail governmental aid and loans to most third world states.

      At last, something that I can agree with the good professor on.

      Giving aid to many countries, especially it seems in Africa, has been a complete waste.

      Corruption and Africa now seem to be synonymous. Even Hollywood seems to agree. I mean, just take a look at the standard movie plot of anything to do with Africa …
      1) Africa is corrupt
      2) a corrupt government or insurgency begins to kill and rape people
      3) there is 60 to 80 minutes of a struggle to get out
      4) Africa is corrupt (repeat)

      This has been true in movies from the The Wild Geese (1978) to Tears of the Sun (2003), and finally summarized as a cliché in Blood Diamond (2006) as “T.I.A. This is Africa.

      What a sad state of affairs.

    • “When I teach the politics of developing countries, and people realize not only how wealthy we are in comparison to them, but how colonialism and western development destroyed indigenous political cultures that were doing fine before the Europeans came and conquered the world, people realize that our wealth is in part the result of that violence. It structured the world economy to benefit us. ”

      Bullshit. You get colonized because you are ass backwards.

      And the process of colonization overall has helped the colonized. Roads, cars, trucks, radios, other technology, scientific method, the Green Revolution, DDT, etc., have all benifitted the colonized (or rather, former colonized).

      The West has provided a net benifit to the world. Even in extreme cases like Spain’s conquest of the new world the eventual net benifit was positive.

      • As I’ve pointed out before, Scott is basically a purveyor of old KGB propaganda, which always comported with Soviet Communist ideology, of course.

        That first paragraph of his is essentially the nut of the KGB thesis statement on the third world: Blame the Americans.

        The idea is that the greedy “white, capitalist, imperialists” stole their wealth from poorer countries, which explains why poorer countries, underdeveloped countries, are poor and underdeveloped countries.

        Which is nonsense on stilts, and only something that someone who could only be described as badly educated and profoundly unserious could believe, let alone teach to students.

        It’s a disgrace. It borders on criminal fraud.

      • You obviously haven’t studied the developed world if you think that colonialism helped. Look at the condition they’re in. The roads and things built were to benefit the colonizers who brutally exploited the people and destroyed their cultural heritage. It was evil, and the plight of the third world today is due to the structural damage of colonialism.

        And to say that you get colonized because you are “backwards” is like saying a woman gets raped because she’s weaker. Blame the victim for not being able to fight back, excuse the perpetrator. You rationalize all sorts of evil that way.

        • Scott,

          Why the roads were built isn’t the point. The fact is, they benifit the people living there now, except when they fail to maintain them, or when they use them to facilitate tribal warfare, etc.

          Roads, technology, knowledge, etc., all benifit those who were colonized.

          A particular example of what could be considered a form of colonization is black slaves in America. It isn’t strickly speaking colonialism, but it is a similar thing. Back when slavery was in effect, white American slave owners benifitted most. Today who benifits most? The black decendents of slaves, who now live in an advanced, civilized Western nation.

          The fact that those who were colonized were weak does not excuse the abuse of the Western colonizers. But it reflects that backwards, and often brutal and violent nature of the culture that was colonized.

          Western colonization came in different forms: Kenya, India, the Congo, Spanish South America, etc., were done differently. All included a certain immoral element, but to different degrees. Some forms beniffited the natives more than others, and in most cases (if not all) the colonizers could have done a better job disengaging (but the colonized also typically wanted immediate independence rather than a smarter, slower power transfer).

          A good example is Rhodesia. White rule was immoral; so was the Marxist alternative. The power sharing arraingement of Rhodesia-Zimbabwe was likely the best plan, but of course Carter et al upset that and set in motion the eventual rule of the Marxist thug Robert Mugabe.

    • “realize that our wealth is in part the result of that violence. ”

      Our wealth is a product of relative corruption free marketplace and work ethic that lasted until a at least a few decades ago.

      Although some people found wealth from running guns to the Nazis or opium to China or abusing government funds. I have no doubt they or their decendants project their guilt onto ‘America’ in order to absolve themselves.

    • Yes, those indigenous political cultures were doing just fine conquering and eliminating each other. Such a shame. Without that nasty old European colonialism (and I know it breaks your heart that you can’t blame the US) those african political cultures would be as advanced as countries which never suffered the depredations of colonialism, like Ethiopia.

      Perhaps you should actually learn something about the subjects you teach before you teach them.

    • When I teach the politics of developing countries, and people realize not only how wealthy we are in comparison to them, but how colonialism and western development destroyed indigenous political cultures that were doing fine before the Europeans came and conquered the world, people realize that our wealth is in part the result of that violence. It structured the world economy to benefit us

      ***

      So?

    • Two and one half paragraphs of blathering self hate until you finally confess that your beloved state is eff’d up.
      Thank you.

    • “When I teach the politics of developing countries, and people realize not only how wealthy we are in comparison to them, but how colonialism and western development destroyed indigenous political cultures that were doing fine before the Europeans came and conquered the world, people realize that our wealth is in part the result of that violence. It structured the world economy to benefit us.”

      Maybe those indigenes should have learned to smelt steel? I don’t think they would be better off today still squatting in ditches rubbing twigs together. Interestingly, few societies have gone back in that direction once they experienced Western technological progress.

      Aside from your asinine first paragraph (generally true but simplistic), I actually mostly agree with you about foreign aid. But (unsurprisingly, given your economic misconceptions), you ignore some serious economic arguments against aid. It promotes the growth of corruption (which you acknowledge) and government bureaucracy in the third world, which just wastes much of the developmental aid. It also reduces accountability of their own governments by supporting them with the tax dollars of other nations, and incentivizes them to court foreign donors rather than their own people.

      Foreign aid also feeds the farm subsidization beast, and is a wasteful way to give food aid (half the cost is used just to ship it from the US). And the subsidization encourages the misallocation of resources by promoting US agricultural overproduction. Food aid also competes against the local food markets and depresses prices, which hurts the recipients’ economies. Also, a full quarter of our foreign aid goes to the first-world nation of Israel and the oppressive regime in Egypt as a pay-off to play nicely together.

    • The third world for the most part is not poor because of colonialism, more like anything they do have is the result of a legacy from the colonial power. However, I give you credit, unlike most of your marxist academic anti-American friends you at least understand how much a disaster foreign aid has been.

      And not just because it was mis-spent by corrupt third world leaders. Western agricultural aid in Africa significantly contributed to drought and famine. Western intervention against DDT caused millions of deaths from malaria. And Western food gifts undermined third world farmers.

      Our attempts at helping almost always backfire.

      But there is ONE THING we could do to help all developing nations, Open our markets and end our own wasteful agriculture subsidies.

    • As usual, Erb, you’re full of it. Let’s even play your absurd game of blaming the West for everything bad: who is this “we” you’re talking about in terms of responsibility? I had nothing to do with colonizing Africa or South America. None of my ancestors on either side had any responsibility. Why should *I* be held responsible?

      One side of my family is Filipino. Even after kicking the Spanish out of the Philippines, American military forces were sometimes not the nicest to the indigenous folks. So should half of me hate the other? Oh, except that none of my European-descended forebearers ever served in the American military.

      For your reading assignment: a speech by Thomas Sowell, “Race, Culture and Equality,” and the book “How the West Grew Rich” by Rosenberg and Birdzell.

      So go ahead and blame yourself for oppressing poor people all around the world. My philosophy of freedom allows you to be that stupid. Just leave me the hell out of your self-flagellation.

  • I truly hate to play the pile-on-Erb game that is so prevalent around here, but I just can’t help it this time.

    It structured the world economy to benefit us.

    That can’t be right, can it? Did we (white, anglo-saxon, protestant European-ancestry types) not structure the world economy with the sole focus on keeping the poor dark folks in the proverbial jungle?

  • You talk all this trash about helping the poor of the world, etc? Colonialism, imperialism, blah, blah.

    So when was the last time you actually went into an impoverished part of the US, specifically an inner city, and 1) spent money 2) performed charitable acts and/or 3) simply hung out?

    Bonus question: “It structured the world economy to benefit us.” What is “it?” How exactly did we/us/him/it/her/whobleepingever structure the world economy? No, Scott, the economic freedom of the US allowed individuals, from all over the world, to quickly achieve wealth. We didn’t game the world economy; we built the engine so it could endure.

  • Of course, the three basic premises of “Westfailure” argument are easily disproven.

    “In her article, Strange heralds the collapse of this system, noting that by the late 20th century it had proven unable to solve three problems:“First, there is the major failure to manage and control the financial system—witness the Asian turmoil of 1997. Second, there is the failure to act for the protection of the environment. Third, there is a failure to preserve a socio[hyphen]economic balance between the rich and powerful and the poor and weak.” ”

    1. A) Government attempts to control the financial system are the main cause of severe crises, especially the current one. B) Cyclic Economies that trend upward are far superior to steady ones that stay stagnant. The current standard of living of a Western people in a down economy is well ahead of what the average Russian peasent had in the best of times.

    2. Western governments have succeeded in acting to preserve the enviornment. Actual pollution is down dramatically in the Western world since the 1970’s

    3. There has always been an imbalance between the rich and the poor. As probably the wisest man that ever lived said: “The poor will always be with us.” The only way to solve this supposed ‘problem’ would be to make everyone poor. There may be more poor that know about it now due to advances in communication, but then again access to information is itself another benefit from the West.

    • Ted, the West failed to provide the perfection she demands, hence it is a failure.

      She will really enjoy the world without Western Culture, I’m sure of that!

      • Sovereignty is becoming less important, we are moving into a post-sovereign world. That’s pretty certain.

        Before colonialism there weren’t the kinds of problems we now see in places like Africa. Whole peoples were wiped out, including native American Indian tribes, in a low tech holocaust. You may want to deny the evil done in the past, but only by denying reality. Someone said it was “self-loathing” to face that truth. That comment says a lot about you. You seem to think analyzing history somehow affects how one views oneself. It doesn’t. If you think criticism of European colonialism means someone of European descent should think less of himself, well, that’s absurd.

        Those who are so defensive of the “West” in history apparently have such low self esteem that they think any criticism of their culture is an attack on them personally. Every culture and civilization has a host of things to be proud of and to be critical of. So does the West. Only an insecure scared creature would think that one has to rationalize all of history and be afraid of saying anything critical.

        But I have noticed that the commentators here tend to be a rather fearful bunch.

        • “Before colonialism there weren’t the kinds of problems we now see in places like Africa. Whole peoples were wiped out, including native American Indian tribes, in a low tech holocaust.”

          Before European colonialism, Africa was consuming itself in its own slave trade, which the Arabs then joined in. Africa was a violent primitive society. Even at its best.

          Real analysis has shown that primitive cultures are more violent; even supposed “peaceful” groups like pigmys, Bushmen, Eskimos, etc., are all more violent than modern man, even adding in warfare. Most primitives are in a constant state of warefare, over women and hunting territory. While this goes against the noble savage myth leftist academics so love, it is consistently being shown to be true.

          The American Indians were very violent. The initial English settlements were on land purchased ffrom the Indians. The first “low tech genocide” between the English and Indians was the 1622 massacre, where the Indians attempt to kill all the English settlers in a surprise attack.

          The basic model of English (and later American) settlement of North America was for English settlers to move into wild territory. They would eventually encounter natives, who might be hostile or friendly. Eventually, differing cultural concepts would lead to bloodshed, usually based upon the Indians lack of respect for basic property rights. Ownership of all things between tribes was mostly a matter of force. Indian society required constant warfare.

          Reservations were eventually set up to seperate Indians and white settlers. The reservations were typically huge tracts of land, nothing in tthe way of concentration camps.

          This is not to say their were not white abuses, but the reality of the situation hardly conforms to your PC bullshit view.

          “You seem to think analyzing history somehow affects how one views oneself. It doesn’t. If you think criticism of European colonialism means someone of European descent should think less of himself, well, that’s absurd.”

          You seem incapable of analyzing history.

          Reality is that not all cultural traditions are equal. The West is the vastly superior tradition. It is the PC nonsense that all cultures are equal that is based upon the idea that “analyzing history somehow affects how one views oneself.”

          “But I have noticed that the commentators here tend to be a rather fearful bunch.”

          I’ve noticed that you use shallow understanding of history, combined with ad hominim attacks.

          For the sake of your students, you should quit. Your opinions are crap.

          • I should have said “first KNOWN low tech genocide”; prior to Jamestown there were English settlements that dissapeared, reason unknwn.

        • None of what you just said changes the fact that the three premises the “Westfailure” argument was built on have been disproved. When your original assumptions are proven false, the conclusions drawn from them are baseless.

          If you have any interest in reason, take a freshman geometry class; then reread the comments.

  • Their attitude was expressed at a non-governmental organization forum in Monterrey, Mexico, associated with the U.N.’s International Conference on Financing for Development, that Christopher Columbus “invaded, destroyed and pillaged” the hemisphere and that a global tax was necessary to pay for the damage.

    Wait… Why should I pay reparations for something that a Spaniard did, funded by the Italian government, 500+ years ago?

    Could it be that by trying to transfer 500-year-old guilt that has no bearing on anything I’ve ever done, perhaps they understand that this is something that I also can never be absolved of?

  • Should the Tobin tax become a firm possibility, RUN, don’t walk to dumping every dollar you have into gold. Taxing transactions in the FX market will completely destroy currency arbitrage — a critically necessary function in keeping currencies priced correctly. Lacking the function to keep currencies closely priced, all hell will break out in fiat currencies.

    It’s really amusing that the elites that think they can run things don’t understand what a college undergraduate finance major must learn in order to graduate regarding the most minimal of arbitrage and risk. Further consider what will happen to global trade under a scheme where every FX arbitrage function will have a tax imposed that is many tens of thousands of times greater than the transaction basis. Too many don’t understand that the phenomenal financial volume on these markets is overwhelmingly little more than constant adjustments in currencies and currency portfolios, intended to maintain a neutral position toward FX (foreign exchange) risk.

    The same goes for the majority of options markets; this is a risk management function for all except the speculator, and the risk dynamic represents the majority of significance in the market. Destroy the capacity for the market to fluidly adjust risk and black swans come running in. Pick up Charles Kindleberger’s book “Panics, Manias and Crashes” (a historical examination of bubbles and bursts) for further understanding of this phenomenon.

    I’d swear – either progressives are absolutely the stupidest fools on the planet, or they’re malicious bastards determined to bring about hard core fascism.

    • every dollar you have into gold

      Nah. Going into uranium, myself. It’s got a thousand and one uses.

      Well, two.

      Three, once depleted and formed into rounds.

      Hell, it’s green, ’cause I can recycle it into something for a Vulcan after getting non-emission emitting power. I should get a tax break.

      And some remuneration from everyone who wants to make Iran’s objective just a little less feasible.

  • The money would give them a completely different type of power – a revenue stream vs. having to rely on donor money. Note the “source” of the tax revenue – the “financial sector” or those “evil, rich Wall Street types.”

    Replace “evil, rich Wall Street types” with “evil, rich big business polluters” and the same applies to any global emission trading scheme. Only its worse becuase not only will it fund repressive governments, but will maximise revenue to repressive states that reduce citizens to stone age (very low carbon) poverty. An ETS, unlike the Tobin Tax, has got a very real chance of becoming some form of reality.

  • Keep an eye out for this scheme as it develops.
    ——————
    Why bother, you can’t do anything about it anyway.
    Let em spend, spend, spend, until the thing crashes.
    The throttle pedal is welded to the floor, it careens all over the place killing everything in its path and eventually its going to implode or crash so the best thing you can do is safeguard yourself and try to stay out of its way.
    ——————
    Keeping your eye on it is just plain silly and detracts you from the real purpose of your life in criminalville.

  • Korea used to be poorer than Bangladesh.

    Taiwan used to send workers to the Philippines not the other way around.

    The open market in the USA has lifted more people out of poverty than all the aid in the world.

  • If colonization is a route to poverty, why is the US so wealthy? We are a former British colony … and former Dutch colony … and former Spanish colony.