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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bono Finds A Whole Lotta Tax Relief

Bono, the famous lead singer for the rock band U-2, may practice a misguided form of economics with his renowned world aid program but at least his business management understands the subject. U2 has reacted to a repeal of an Irish tax on royalties by moving its publishing company to the Netherlands. The Netherlands tax is half the Irish tax rate on royalties. Some consider it hypocritical that he would avoid paying taxes while preaching that his country increase its foreign aid (largely to African countries) and absolve the debt of poor countries.

I do not see it that way. I consider this a step in the right direction.

What Bono now has to recognize is that all people have personal property rights in their labor (including the composition of 3 minute love songs) that should be respected by governments. Increased taxes either cause people to reduce their efforts to increase income or to migrate for better opportunities elsewhere. Bono should also recognize what Peter Bauer taught us about the failings of foreign aid. It barely gets into the hands of the needy. It instead goes into the hands of the political leaders or the government bureaucracy. It stifles local entrepreneurs who may be striving to produce a good or service in need. The hand-out from afar may wind up as indirect competition with this local farmer, retailer or manufacturer.

Meanwhile that progressive organization , the EU, is doing its best to level the playing field in Europe so there are no tax advantages among its member nations.

Thanks to American Thinker for carrying this post yesterday.

Joe Kenner adds:

It is funny that once upon a time the EU sanctioned Ireland for cutting taxes.

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