Friday, December 10, 2010

Michael Mandel makes an interesting case for a VAT:
But in today’s global economy, any attempt to ‘fix’ the U.S. income tax system is fundamentally doomed. Financial and product markets are so deeply globally integrated that multinationals and wealthy individuals can easily recognize their income in lower-tax countries, if they choose.

One simple statistic: In 2009 40% of U.S. imports and exports was ‘related-party trade’ –”trade by U.S. companies with their subsidiaries abroad as well as trade by U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies with their parent companies.” That means companies are effectively trading with themselves, so they can choose which side of the transaction books the profits.

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