Thursday, June 12, 2003

The Culture: Conceding Premises

Richard Rahn of Cato is a fine columnist, but he slipped up in an otherwise fine op-ed this morning on European efforts to eliminate "tax competition":
Most people understand that when businessmen get together to limit competition, the public interest is rarely served, and the same is true of government bureaucrats. EU officials convinced their bureaucratic lackeys at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to develop the concept of "harmful tax competition" to justify trying to force all of the world's countries to jack up their tax rates to French-like levels.
Um, Richard, there is a difference. Private businessmen, in general, cannot force individuals to purchase their products and services as a matter of law. Furthermore, a business' products are its private property until a buyer voluntarily negotiates for their purchase. Governments do not negotiate—they simply confiscate.

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