We need more tax justice. This assertion would have seemed faulty, inaccurate, perhaps outrageous thirty years ago. It no longer is. The abundance of techniques to launder money across borders and the existence of tax havens throughout the world has enabled that much of the profits from world trade end up in offshore centers. As much as sixty percent of world trade occurs between subsidiaries of a same multinational corporation. Much of this remains away from the radar of the tax authority.
This is the world the baby boomers have built. This is a world that has enabled North America and Europe to continue building up their welfare states, a world that has undermined the ability of developing nations to build up their healthcare and education infrastructure, and last but not least, a world that is making it increasingly difficult to maintain the welfare standards in the Western world.
What does more tax justice mean? It means appropriately taxing corporate profits, it means taxing appropriately the income and dividends, the intellectual rights of pharmaceutical companies, and the profits of hedge funds and private equity funds. Why do we need more tax justice? In order to start the new era of global public goods. Global public goods were a history of science fiction fifty years ago. They no longer are. It is possible today to build on the experience accumulated from sixty years of international institutions and cooperation to devise new horizons that propose innovative, creative policymaking.
In 1992 Francis Fukuyama wrote The End of History. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War left democracy and capitalism as the de facto approach the West would aim at spreading. The faulty foreign policy of George W. Bush and the ongoing economic and financial crisis have turned the environment around. The Washington consensus is over, what remains? "It remains for us now, if we do not wish to perish, to set aside the ancient prejudices and build the Earth". These words, by Pierre Theilhard de Chardin, summarize the window of opportunity we face as a global society. It is our generation's duty to lead a change, to think of a better world and future and step forward to implement it. We must dare.
There was no end of history. There will not be an end of history. Society will always continue to mature. Are there catalysts that could accelerate the stage of evolution of global understanding? How long will it take to implement global public goods? We demand more tax justice, when will our political and economic elites react to the reality of an unfair economic and financial architecture dominated by the loopholes the lawyers and private bankers know real well?
It is time to acknowledge the reality of our unequal world. It is time to say why not instead of why. It is time, finally, to fight the pirates of heartless capitalism and eradicate extreme poverty.
Find more about Jaime Pozuelo-Monfort at http://Monfort.ORG
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