OECD launches Tax Inspectors Without Borders

Tax Inspectors Without Borders

 The OECD’s Task Force on Tax and Development, meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, has launched the concept of Tax Inspectors Without Borders/ Inspecteurs des impôts sans frontières – a new initiative to help developing countries bolster their domestic revenues by making their tax systems fairer and more effective. Building on that concept, the OECD will  establish an independent foundation, to be up and running by the end of 2013, that will provide international auditing expertise and advice to help developing countries better address tax base erosion, including tax evasion and avoidance.

So the plan is to advise developing nations how to “address tax base erosion” – I assume that means they will teach tin pot dictatorships how to more effectively monitor and steal from the private entrepreneurs who happen to have the unfortunate luck of living within the arbitrary boundaries of their fiefdoms.

What a great goal.

A little background on the OECD:

The Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was established in 1947 to run the US-financed Marshall Plan for reconstruction of a continent ravaged by war. By making individual governments recognize the interdependence of their economies, it paved the way for a new era of cooperation that was to change the face of Europe. Encouraged by its success and the prospect of carrying its work forward on a global stage, Canada and the US joined OEEC members in signing the new OECD Convention on 14 December 1960.  The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was officially born on 30 September 1961, when the Convention entered into force.

About the Marshall Plan:

The Marshall Plan aid was mostly used for the purchase of goods from the United States. The European nations had all but exhausted their foreign exchange reserves during the war, and the Marshall Plan aid represented almost their sole means of importing goods from abroad.

Initial criticism of the Marshall Plan came from a number of economists. Wilhelm Röpke, who influenced German Minister for Economy Ludwig Erhard in his economic recovery program, believed recovery would be found in eliminating central planning and restoring a market economy in Europe, especially in those countries which had adopted more fascist and corporatist economic policies. Röpke criticized the Marshall plan for forestalling the transition to the free market by subsidizing the current, failing systems. Erhard put Röpke’s theory into practice and would later credit Röpke’s influence for West Germany’s preeminent success.  Henry Hazlitt criticized the Marshall Plan in his 1947 book Will Dollars Save the World?, arguing that economic recovery comes through savings, capital accumulation and private enterprise, and not through large cash subsidies. Ludwig von Mises also criticized the Marshall Plan in 1951, believing that “the American subsidies make it possible for [Europe’s] governments to conceal partially the disastrous effects of the various socialist measures they have adopted”. 

Former U.S. Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank Alan Greenspan gives most credit to Ludwig Erhard for Europe’s economic recovery. Greenspan writes in his memoir The Age of Turbulence that Erhard’s economic policies were the most important aspect of postwar Western Europe recovery, far outweighing the contributions of the Marshall Plan. He states that it was Erhard’s reductions in economic regulations that permitted Germany’s miraculous recovery, and that these policies also contributed to the recoveries of many other European countries.

With that kind of a history, who wouldn’t want them poking around their finances?