February 7, 2013
The economies of the West have all run into trouble due to the derivatives scam and resultant financial meltdown causing massive capital flows out of national economies. Tax avoidance and corporate logic has led to offshore tax havens becoming significant on the radar of the US and UK governments. Austerity has lain the problem upon the society rather than the entities that caused it, and has prevented growth being a solution to endlessly rising government deficits and ultimately inflation.
The UK and USA could learn a lot from a more progressive and successful Western economy – that of Norway. True, they have oil reserves, not as large as the USA reserves – but they charge a 50% corporation tax levy on oil drilling. And so they should. Oil companies invest in exploration and drilling, yes it is expensive. But once they tap into the Earth’s resources they are effectively using something that belongs to the people and the future.
Western Governments are stuck in a thread of believing that any tax rise is regressive when ultimately what they are achieving with short-termism is to evaporate wealth from their own coffers. The 1% benefit because they avoid tax and yet enjoy the benefits of health and protection (both police and armed forces), education and pensions provided by the Government.
New progressive thinking is required and Norway is a good place to examine for a balanced model.