Tag Archives: G-7

The Global Minimum Corporate Tax Exposes The G-7’s Hypocrisy, by Robert Zumwalt

Setting a global minimum corporate tax rate is basically setting up a government tax cartel. From Robert Zumwalt at mises.org:

Austrian school economists have long demonstrated that monopolies only tend to form as a result of government intervention, and “natural monopolies” have virtually never actually existed. Nonetheless, we are continually told by political and academic “experts” that unregulated economies inevitably give rise to monopolies, business trusts, and cartels, all of which they assure us have disastrous consequences for ordinary people. Therefore, we are told, governments are justified in taking forceful action to prevent monopolies from developing or to break them apart.

In this debate, the interventionists frame themselves as opposing the anticompetitive forces of large corporations having too much control over the lives of ordinary people. It is noteworthy, then, that these same interventionists support similar kinds of anticompetitive practices, and the increased control over people’s lives they entail, when they are employed by governments instead.

To that end, the leaders of the G-7 nations have recently gathered to propose a global minimum corporate tax that would allow national governments to exert a form of monopoly power of their own over the taxation of business within their borders. A major element of the proposal, if brought to fruition, is the requirement that every nation impose a minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15 percent. The clear purpose of this part of the proposal is to eliminate the so-called race to the bottom in corporate taxes, which is a euphemism for high-tax nations’ hopes of shielding themselves from competition from nations with low tax rates seeking to attract businesses away from them.

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Defining Down Freedom, by James Bovard

You are free to do whatever the government allows you to do. From James Bovard at ronpaulinstitute.org:

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Will the Great Pandemic permanently unleash governments around the world? Covid-19 is enabling politicians to turn freedom from an individual right into a conditional bureaucratic dispensation. Defining down freedom was exemplified by the G-7 Summit that became a ludicrous and hypocritical Lockdowners Victory Lap.

The G-7 leaders, meeting in Cornwall, issued a communique pledging to “protect individuals from forced labour and to ensure that global supply chains are free from the use of forced labour.” But the political bosses had no concern about “forced non-labor” – their own decrees that destroyed tens of millions of jobs. That was no problem because, as the G-7 leaders boasted, “We have provided unprecedented support to citizens and businesses… totalling over $12 trillion including fiscal support and liquidity measures.”

But handouts are no substitute for freedom and self-reliance. Government aid is always only one decree away from mandating terms of submission. In 1942, the Supreme Court declared, “It is hardly lack of due process for the government to regulate that which it subsidizes.” The G-7 Summiteers proclaimed a boatload of environmental goals. Will future “stimulus payments” be restricted to people who reduce their “carbon footprint” or abandon their non-electric vehicles?

The Biden administration was thrilled that G-7 Summiteers adapted its slogan, “Build Back Better,” in the communique. That slogan will entitle politicians to snare more revenue and power to repair the damage from the shutdowns they inflicted. Biden-style rebuilding presumes that any government spending confers vast benefits, at least on politicians. Biden’s colleagues also seconded his call for placing at least 30% of all land and water under government restrictions in the name of conservation.

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World Biden’s Two-Step Geneva Waltz Simply Buys Him Space, by Alasdair Crooke

For Biden his confab with the G-7 and summit with Vladimir Putin were exercises in public relations. For the Europeans and Putin they were inconsequential. Russia, China, and Iran will continue to do what their doing in Eurasia, ignoring the occasional American protest and trying to lure the Europeans away from the American axis. From Alasdair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

Washington would do well to discount von Leyen’s gushing love-in with Biden – it means very little, Alastair Crooke writes.

The show came, and now has passed. The G7 visuals were meant to underline the prolongation of the unipolar moment and its purported values – Macron described it as a ‘family’ get-together, after a long hiatus, and Johnson remarked that it was so reminiscent of a ‘return to school’, with old mates crowding around, after the ‘hols’. The West is back, facing off against the autocratic ‘beasts from the East’ – so says the new narrative of the U.S. and the EU – said without a trace of irony – as democracies are mobilising against the threat from ‘the East’. The West is best; democracy is best; and works better, too … and shall win any race!

But visuals and re-booted mission statement apart, where does this take us? Well, nowhere substantive, beyond Boris Johnson’s celebration of G7 bonhomie. The NATO summit however, did elevate Russia to an ‘acute threat’, whilst China was lowered a rachet, to being only a ‘systemic challenge’. Why so?

Well, the NATO statement represented something of a Faustian Bargain. West Europeans (Macron and Merkel essentially) were resigned to the fact that they needed to give Biden some ‘China Threat’ language in the final communiqué to bring him – and America – back aboard the multilateral Eurobus. The Europeans have pressing trade ‘bones’ (steel and aluminium tariffs), that they wish to pick with Washington. So they didn’t want China entirely demonised; they need it too much. They wanted it instead, ‘differentiated’. That is to say, they argue that China presents differential threats – military, trade, tech and cultural – each of which should be treated differently. Macron says this approach represents the spirit of his Euro strategic-autonomy campaign.

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Behind Trump’s Exasperation, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Trump asks why America so often gets the short end of the stick, and American and European elites have conniptions. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

At the G-7 summit in Canada, President Donald Trump described America as “the piggy bank that everybody is robbing.”

After he left Quebec, his director of Trade and Industrial Policy, Peter Navarro, added a few parting words for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. … And that’s … what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did. And that comes right from Air Force One.”

In Singapore, Trump tweeted more about that piggy bank.

“Why should I, as President of the United States, allow countries to continue to make Massive Trade Surpluses, as they have for decades … (while) the U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade?”

To understand what drives Trump, and explains his exasperation and anger, these remarks are a good place to begin.

Our elites see America as an “indispensable nation,” the premier world power whose ordained duty it is to defend democracy, stand up to dictators and aggressors, and uphold a liberal world order.

They see U.S. wealth and power as splendid tools that fate has given them to shape the future of the planet.

Trump sees America as a nation being milked by allies who free ride on our defense effort, as they engage in trade practices that prosper their own peoples at America’s expense.

Where our elites live to play masters of the universe, Trump sees a world laughing behind America’s back, while allies exploit our magnanimity and idealism for their own national ends.

The numbers are impossible to refute and hard to explain.

Last year, the EU had a $151 billion trade surplus with the U.S. China ran a $376 billion trade surplus with the U.S., the largest in history. The world sold us $796 billion more in goods than we sold to the world.

A nation that spends more than it takes in from taxes, and consumes more of the world’s goods than it produces itself for export, year in and year out, is a nation on the way down.

To continue reading: Behind Trump’s Exasperation