If There Were A Nobel Prize For Stupidity, This Would Get It

The President of (where else?) France, Jacques Chirac is talking about implementing a world-wide tax on international money transfers. If ever there were a prize for the most idiotic proposal ever floated, this is likely to take the spot.

The key to the economic success of any nation is economic liberty. Even nations with relatively low amounts of foreign investment can make the most of what they do get by ensuring that their economies work at the most efficient level possible. What this tax would do is ensure that no country ever has the economic liberty to grow.

When Chirac and Thabo Mbeki talk about "economic apartheid", what they’re really saying is that the developed world needs to stop growing. What they fail to understand is that growth has nothing to do with Third World poverty and everything to with economic liberty. Yet at every turn they want to punitively harm the world economy through regressive rates of taxation, masses of red tape, and impossible environmental standards. The effect of all this is a system in which economic liberty is impossible to maintain.

Those nations that have developed from Third World conditions in recent decades have done so because their economies are free. No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity, and no nation has improved its status by bleeding itself dry to feed a non-free regime.

The real answer to Third World poverty isn’t found in environmental treaties or Earth Summits – it is in the entreprenurial spirit, free trade, and open markets. Trying to punish peope for economic speculation does nothing for impoverished countries and everything for the bureaucrats who would run the programs it would fund.

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