Fiscal competition and economic freedom


Fiscal competition and economic freedom

Home > Publications > Working Paper Series > Because that’s where the money is !

Because that’s where the money is !

Friday 6 November 2009

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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