World leaders assembled gas-guzzling fleets of tinted-window limos last week, and drove like a funeral procession for fiscal responsibility to a G20 summit in Rome. President Joe Biden’s alleged “bathroom accident” in the Vatican overshadowed the most important story out of this preliminary meeting prior to COP26. The international great and good agreed to impose a 15 percent corporate tax rate in an attempt to prevent a global “race to the bottom.” But the real plummet from this summit will be in opportunities for working people, as increasingly corporatist leaders chase market competition and investment overseas.
The plan’s 136 signatories include the U.S., U.K., China, India, and all EU member states. Britain’s Chancellor Rishi Sunnak stated it will “upgrade the global tax system for the modern age” by forcing “large global players [to] pay their fair share.” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen likewise praised her pet project as an accomplishment for “economic diplomacy.”
Of course, the flat tax set for adoption in 2023 means costs will be internalized preliminarily by businesses. Either wages will be deducted and low-level occupations cut (particularly as automation increases), or consumers will see goods prices rising, alongside the inflation already hitting pocketbooks.
The move will depreciate productivity in the Anglosphere and Europe, and impair the development of emerging economic powers forced to follow the big kids around the schoolyard. Global commerce will be further segregated into consuming and producing nations, with the former reliant on the brutal exploitation of the latter. Corporations like Coke, Apple, and Nike will lobby against efforts to legislate against slave labour, while virtue-signaling through Robin DiAngelo and Colin Kaepernick.
Elected representatives have amassed enough power under lockdowns to delude themselves into acting as economic commissars. They feel entitled to the productivity of entrepreneurs and innovators. They believe, as Barack Obama once said, that “You didn’t build that” just because you had to drive over their pothole-ridden roads to get to the office. Now, you will build nothing, and they will be happy.
Slave labor is not free enterprise, by virtue of it being unfree. Nor is it capitalism when the state owns the corporation. It is fascism, or, as the political class euphemizes it, “Stakeholder Capitalism.” How convenient that they and their friends are the sole “stakeholders” in everything from free markets to your children?
Ireland recognized these risks earlier in the year, but has since signed on now that everyone else has. But an international consensus doesn’t make this cabalistic railroading of the ethics and effectiveness of free markets right in principle. What exactly is “fair” about the state taking a slice of the pie you bake? What part of this international extortion racket is diplomatic?
Their intent to consolidate wealth among themselves at our expense is revealed in recent policies. Janet “Keynesian to her fingertips” Yellen proposed taxing “unrealized capital gains.” If your stocks make a $100 profit, then drop before you cash in, then you’ll be taxed for the $100 of profit you failed to withdraw. These plans only target “the super rich,” for now; but what happens when the state inevitably overspends, and needs to look to the citizens to confiscate more funds?
Yellen would bankrupt working men who invest in hopes of climbing the social mobility ladder, and deter prospective investors from making financial gambles. Therefore, the only investment in start-ups or research and development would come from the government, who no doubt would select based on ideological compliance with vaccine mandates, diversity quotas, etc. And all the “too big to fail” industries can buy up all the assets no longer divested among the American citizenry for themselves. This is already happening with property, with hedge fund BlackRock buying up neighborhoods and turning family-owned properties into rental estates. BlackRock is also stands to profit from complying with Biden’s new environmental and social governance standards for corporations.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared action must be taken on cash, and Chancellor Rishi Sunnak is proposing “Britcoin”: a state-sanctioned cryptocurrency for government to inflate, manipulate, and confiscate at will. It’s concerning that this was said at COP26 when Mastercard and the World Economic Forum have proposed limiting transactions to a consumer’s carbon footprint. Our economic agency could be limited by our environmental or political correctness.
Should monopolies — created by the state imprisoning us in our homes for 18 months — be broken up in the interest of reintroducing fair competition? Absolutely. But the corporate tax brackets won’t achieve that. They will only further consolidate the monopolies with the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook factoring costs into consumer goods, and their competitors’ growth impaired.
To rebalance the scales, use a targeted taxation system instead. Calculate the record profits accrued by select industries by comparing projected growth for 2020 to total costs. Then set a rate of recuperative taxation over a set period, and grant a flat income tax deduction to all citizens in that same period. This will improve consumer purchasing power and act as a model for a low-tax high-spend society long after Amazon and its ilk pay off the deficit.
If you want to foster a climate for investing in the, well, climate, then a worldwide 15 percent shakedown will ruin the “race to the bottom” which drives market competitiveness. Governments should be loading their start guns for said race, not just on low taxes, but on state spending, too. The state is not the proprietor of rights or productivity: they’re at best watchmen, often incompetent, and at worst saboteurs of the pursuit of happiness. Just because they’re all jumping off the cliff into the Red Sea of socialism doesn’t mean it’s sensible. I for one don’t wish to be a lemming.