I’m talking about the St. Louis Declaration, a joint communiqu of 33 pro-taxpayer organizations from all over the world. The declaration endorses the right of every human being to flee political and economic oppression. And it opposes recent anti-taxpayer notions floated by such global political organizations as the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. These groups want the countries of the world to join hands and tax everybody at the same rate, the same way. Form a kind of global tax cartel. It’s a blatant bid to eliminate tax competition between nations.
If the goal were ever accomplished or even roughly approximated it would be a disaster for the world’s taxpayers. As things are now, citizens can at least vote with their feet when taxes are too punitive in their home country. And the danger of losing productive citizens does motivate at least some governments to try to improve their economic policies.
Without that competitive pressure, governments would be off the hook and citizens would be in the soup. We’d have to move to Mars to get a better deal. As the St. Louis Declaration puts it, quote, “It is a fundamental human right for individuals to move themselves and their property to nations with levels of taxation and public services compatible with their individual tastes and preferences. . . . Tax competition and diversity have been an engine for human economic progress that must continue.” Sounds good to me. Got a pen I can borrow?
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.