From the web site, Thriven’s Blog.
The blog post is a review of the book, Nicholas Shaxson’s – Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens
Tax havens are the ultimate source of strength for our global elites. Just as European nobles once consolidated their unaccountable powers in fortified castles, to better subjugate and extract tribute from the surrounding peasantry, so financial capital has coalesced in their modern equivalent today: the tax havens. In these fortified nodes of secret, unaccountable political and economic power, financial and criminal interests have come together to capture local political systems and turn the havens into their own private law-making factories, protected against outside interference by the world’s most powerful countries – most especially Britain. Treasure Islands will, for the first time, show the blood and guts of just how they do it.
The nations of the world are harmed by the evasion of their laws and taxes made possible by tax havens. The tax money is important but more important is the ability to threaten governments to force actions that multinational corporations such as investment banks wish done.
These escape routes transform the merely powerful into the untouchable. “Don’t tax or regulate us or we will flee offshore!” the financiers cry, and elected politicians around the world crawl on their bellies and capitulate. And so tax havens lead a global race to the bottom to offer deeper secrecy, ever laxer financial regulations, and ever more sophisticated tax loopholes. They have become the silent battering rams of financial deregulation, forcing countries to remove financial regulations, to cut taxes and restraints on the wealthy, and to shift all the risks, costs and taxes onto the backs of the rest of us. In the process democracy unravels and the offshore system pushes ever further onshore. The world’s two most important tax havens today are United States and Britain.
But the world is not without means to remedy the situation. In the late 1700’s piracy flourished because nations found it advantageous to use them against their enemies. Pirates often employed as privateers fattened the treasury of the nations hiring them and did harm to their enemies.
But over time, it became obvious that the benefits of piracy were outweighed by the faults.
So, nations by treaty and policy ran the pirates out of business.
The United States in concert with the European Union, China and other nations could by agreement make this kind of tax haven impossible to maintain or at the very least difficult.
It has been a daunting task to motivate the government of the United States to act against the interests of these larger corporations particularly the financial ones, but the future of this nation may well depend on those tax dollars and enforcing the national interest.
I wish to thank homophilosophicus for calling my attention to Thriven’s Blog.