The Paris-Based OECD (Financed by American Tax Dollars) Urges Bigger Government in the United States

“American #taxpayers are sending money to the #OECD in Paris so that #bureaucracy can urge higher #taxes in America…and the rest of the world.”

International Liberty

I wrote yesterday about how the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is pushing for bigger government in China. That’s a remarkable bit of economic malpractice by the Paris-based international bureaucracy, especially since China is only ranked #113 in the latest scorecard from Economic Freedom of the World. The country very much needs smaller government to become rich, yet the OECD is preaching more statism.

But nobody should be surprised. The OECD, perhaps because its membership is dominated by European welfare states, has a dismal track record of reflexive support for bigger government.

It supports higher taxes and bigger government in Asia, in Latin America, and…yes, you guessed correctly…the United States.

And here’s the latest example. In a new publication, OECD bureaucrats recommend policy changes that ostensibly will produce more growth for the United States. Basically, America should become more like France.


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Anti-Piracy: Seastead Foreign Policy

Startup Societies Foundation

By Joe McKinney

Seasteading has always captivated the startup societies movement, and is exciting for many political and technological reasons. However, seasteading has two major obstacles: sovereignty and maritime piracy.


Seasteading supporters like to imagine that they would be immune from external politics. They are sadly not. Diplomacy is necessary to prevent a seastead from being strangled in the crib. For example, the first modern seastead, Operation Atlantis, was largely ended by the Haitian government. A floating platform of foreigners complicated an already tenuous diplomatic background in the Caribbean. Consequently, Haiti shut down Operation Atlantis at gun point, claiming that the Atlanteans were pirates. Since the seastead was not a sovereign entity, they had no recourse and the project quickly ended. In the future, sovereignty will continue to be a problem. States treat international politics as a zero sum game and must be given incentives to cooperate.


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Based on His Leaked 2005 Tax Data, Donald Trump Should Move to Italy (or the Isle of Man)

“If you think all of this sounds too good to be true, you’re right. At least for Donald Trump and other Americans. The United States has a very onerous worldwide tax system based on citizenship.

In other words, unlike folks in the rest of the world, Americans have to give up their passports in order to benefit from these attractive options. And the IRS insists that such people pay a Soviet-style exit tax on their way out the door.”

International Liberty

The multi-faceted controversy over Donald Trump’s taxes has been rejuvenated by a partial leak of his 2005 tax return.

Interestingly, it appears that Trump pays a lot of tax. At least for that one year. Which is contrary to what a lot of people have suspected – including me in the column I wrote on this topic last year for Time.

Some Trump supporters are even highlighting the fact that Trump’s effective tax rate that year was higher than what’s been paid by other political figures in more recent years.

But I’m not impressed. First, we have no idea what Trump’s tax rate was in other years. So the people defending Trump on that basis may wind up with egg on their face if tax returns from other years ever get published.

Second, why is it a good thing that Trump paid so much tax? I realize I’m a…

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The World’s Most Inefficient Healthcare System, Part I: Created by Government, Financed by Government

“Regardless of whether #Obamacare is repealed, the U.S. #health system will be a mess until the third-party payer system is fixed.”

International Liberty

I shared last year a matrix to illustrate Milton Friedman’s great insight about the superior results achieved by markets compared to government.

Incentives explain why markets work best. When you spend your own money on yourself (box 1), you try to maximize quality while minimizing cost. And that drives the businesses that are competing for your money to constantly seek more efficient ways of producing better products at better prices.

This system generates creative destruction, which sometimes can be painful, but the long-term result is that we are vastly richer.

Governments, by contrast, don’t worry about efficiency or cost (box 4).

Today, though, let’s  use Friedman’s matrix to understand the shortcomings of the US healthcare system. Way back in 2009, I opined that the most important chart in healthcare was the one showing that American consumers directly paid for less than 12 percent of health expenditures.

For all…

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Foreign Aid Undermines Economic Development and Subsidizes Bad Policy in Developing Nations

“If we care about both American #taxpayers and poor people in developing nations, #Trump’s plan to cut #foreignaid should be applauded.”

International Liberty

While President Trump apparently intends to waste taxpayer money for more childcare subsidies and presumably is going to duck the critical issue of entitlement reform, there is some good news for advocates of limited government and fiscal responsibility. According a recent news report., he’s not a big fan of outlays for foreign aid.

The White House budget director confirmed Saturday that the Trump administration will propose “fairly dramatic reductions” in the U.S. foreign aid budget later this month. …news outlets reported earlier this week that the administration plans to propose to Congress cuts in the budgets for the U.S. State Department and Agency for International Development by about one third. …The United States spends just over $50 billion annually on the State Department and USAID.

Trump’s skepticism of foreign aid is highly appropriate. Indeed, he’s probably being too soft on the budget for foreign aid.

Government-to-government handouts have

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