Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

February 12, 2007

The European Union: Enemy Of Capitalism

by Doug Mataconis

Just in case there was any doubt about what the European Union was really all about, this should clear things up:

In a move that is both remarkable and disturbing, the European Commission plans to file a complaint – and threaten protectionist trade barriers – because attractive Swiss tax policies are supposedly a violation of a free-trade accord. The bureaucrats in Brussels are not arguing that Switzerland is imposing barriers against EU products. Instead, the Commission actually is taking the position that low taxes are attracting businesses that might otherwise operate in high-tax nations. The implications of this radical assertion are breathtaking. It certainly is true that a nation with more laissez-faire policy will attract economic activity from neighbors with more burdensome levels of government. But if this migration of jobs and investment is a “distortion” or trade, then the only “solution” is complete and total harmonization of all taxes (and regulations, spending, etc). If the Euro-crats succeed with this argument at the European level, it will be just a matter of time before similar cases are filed at the World Trade Organization

Rather than filing a complaint, the obvious solution would be for EU member countries to lower their taxes to become more competitive with non-member Switzerland.  Of course, that would require the EU to abandon the “democratic” socialism that has become the center piece of the political systems of most of it’s members.

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