Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom

Because that’s where the money is !

Abstract : When serial bank robber Willie Sutton was apprehended at last, someone asked him why he had robbed so many banks: “Because that’s where the money is,” Sutton famously replied. The idea of taxing wealth, whatever its merits, seems to suggest itself as naturally. One may well doubt whether it is wise or prudent to equate any form of taxation so casually with grand larceny; less doubtful is the fact that both designs on the money of some by the ambitions of others are likely to end in disappointment.

Adam Smith once came to the melancholy conclusion that “There is no art which one government sooner learns of another, than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.” If only governments were as ready to learn from each other’s failures...

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