Monday, May 04, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"The Taxman Cometh"

Companies have been fleeing from American Jurisdiction ever since Sarbanes-Oxley was instituted. The flow will now become a flood. Schlumberger and Trans-Ocean have relocated. For some reason I wonder if Jamie Gorelick’s fingerprints, she is on SLB’s Board, are on both sides of this situation. Who will remain in America? Google and GE are heavily invested in Obama. What do these policies do to their competitors?

Most people simply conflate Fascism and Nazism. To some extent this is understandable. Both were highly syncretic and arbitrary systems that relied less on theory then on inertia to sustain the regimes as they progressed, or more accurately as they decayed. In the case of Germany the regime was always a fusion of ad hoc administrative measures and terror. No one who meant anything read Rosenberg’s philosophy as a policy guide. It is unlikely that anyone who mattered ever read it at all. Italy was different in that at least at first Mussolini tried to organize according to a theory of State Capitalism buttressed by special interest syndicalism. There were precedents for some of his governing and legislative structures in Europe’s medieval heritage. For example the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge had seats in Parliament at one time and the Bishops represent a special community. Guilds had sent representatives to Court to advice princes in some places. The terms Falange and Fascism became associated with garden variety authoritarians in Paraguay, Spain and Lebanon or full totalitarian terror in Germany but the concept was closer to what many people expected the New Deal to lead to in America. That it did not may be explained by the size of the country, the rise of foreign threats that created a purpose that overrode domestic divisions and finally that FDR, for all his faults, did not seek to be a Dictator.

(who IMHO misstated the law on abandoning citizenship for tax avoidance)
If someone gives up their US citizenship to avoid taxation they are then permanently barred from ever reentering the country. For a corporate body what can the US do, impose prohibitive tariffs against products shipped by former US entities and damn the GATT?

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