Thursday, June 9, 2016

Irresponsible Governments

I was thinking about the nature of taxation, and how a very old sort of tax can become a very new, and pernicious one. Consider the sales tax. Perhaps they were always harmful, but there exists a large difference now. Once the likelihood of an item being made in or near the location it was sold was a little higher than it is now, so various governments could not play pretend economy. In other words, their laws had to better reflect what was needed to actually make stuff.

What has been happening instead? Various nations decide they want to grow, so they go beyond good governance and into forced growth, usually by encouraging a lot of debt. You have a boom of products from these places which are essentially subsidized. Now here, in America, there is plenty of work that has all but been banned. Despite the occasional photo op with a governor and some corporate big wig, we haven't seen any real change where it matters. In aggregate, small businesses hire more people- these large corporate deals usually just leave us with empty buildings, and empty promises.

So it makes sense to make it ridiculously easy for small businesses- yes even to the point where you let them discriminate as much as they want, because generally speaking they are discriminating for good workers, not against anyone for any particular reason, and we tend to be better off with more businesses around, whether our feelings have been hurt or not.

It is tough to succeed in business. It makes no sense to make it harder.

But the subsidized goods from somewhere, like China, which is trying to keep it's economy revved up, flow in to these misgoverned places, and they can tack on their sales tax. Indeed, there are probably quite a few jurisdictions that manage to tack on a tax or two, as the products transit across the globe.

This is just not the same as taxing something that was made locally. Before, they had to take into account whether or not they would put a local out of business. Right now they can ignore it. It would be smart of them not to, but where have we seen smart happen? Some are better than others, but it seems like all are lurching in a particular direction.

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