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Gulag America, for Business

Gulag America presses on. As more and more things become crimes, more and more Americans face the prospect of becoming felons. In 1970, the State and Federal prison population was about 400,000. It now exceeds 2.5 million. As a percentage of our population, it has also steadily increased. In 1970, about 0.1 % of the population were residents of the greybar hotel; today it’s about 0.5%. And the Leviathan continues to make more and more things illegal.

Not just drugs, though that’s bad enough. Every time somebody comes up with a new way to alter his consciousness, some bluenose decides it should be forbidden. Things like designer drugs and salvia keep the prohibitionists busy.

Not to be outdone, the left is trying their damnedest to erect jail walls around the entire country. Members of our beneficent Congress will unveil bills on this week to keep major corporations from leaving the U.S. for tax purposes. According to insiders, plans for corporate exits are growing. There have been several recent deals that have taken major U.S. firms offshore.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. has been hit by a wave of corporate exits in the last few years, as businesses grow impatient with what they regard as antiquated U.S. corporate tax rules, and the slow pace of rewriting them in Congress. Eaton Corp., Aon Corp., and Perrigo Co. are just a few of the companies that have moved their address overseas.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), in a stunning display of constitutional ignorance, announced that he will seek to place new restrictions on corporate exits as of May 8, 2014.

Barack Obama supports such legislation, as do many of the Democrats in the House and the Senate.

As of yet, there is no talk of applying the same sort of legislation to people, although there has been a slow but steady trickle of people renouncing their US citizenship in order to find better tax treatment elsewhere.

It should be distressing to realize that the people in charge believe that instead of rewriting the tax code to make it simpler and more attractive to business, it is better to force them to stay here and penalize them financially.

One need not be an economist to recognize that tax policies that force businesses offshore are not good for America or Americans. Our tax policy should be one that encourages businesses to come here, headquarter here, and produce here. In 1975, America produced 93 percent of what we consumed, today, that figure is down to less than 11 percent.

The U.S. is now ranked, by one estimate, 12th in economic freedom in the world, right behind Estonia. According to that same index, The U.S. is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years. The overall cost of meeting regulatory requirements in the U.S. has increased by over $60 billion since 2009, with more than 130 new regulations imposed.

Between the NAFTA disaster, an ever-increasing regulatory burden, and ideas like Wyden’s, I can only be disheartened about America’s economic future. Perhaps force is the only avenue left to keep business here.

 

Economic freedom stats: http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

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