Bono Finds A Whole Lotta Tax Relief

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Bono, the famous lead singer for the rock band U—2, may practice a misguided form of economics with his renowned world aid program but at least his business management understands the subject.  U2 has reacted to a repeal of an Irish tax break on royalties by moving its publishing company to the Netherlands.  The Netherlands tax is half the Irish tax rate on royalties.  Some consider it hypocritical that he would avoid paying taxes while preaching that his country increase its foreign aid (largely to African countries) and absolve the debt of poor countries.

I do not see it that way.  I consider this move a step in the right direction.

What Bono now has to recognize is that all people have personal property rights in their labor (including 3 minute love songs) that should be respected by governments.  Increased taxes either cause people to reduce their efforts to increase income or to migrate for better opportunities elsewhere.  Bono should also recognize what Peter Bauer taught us about the failings of foreign aid.  It barely makes to that hands of the needy.  It mostly goes into the hands of the political leaders or the government bureaucracy.  It stifles local entrepreneurs who may be striving to produce a good or service in need.  The hand—out from afar may wind up indirect competition with this local farmer, retailer or  manufacturer.

Meanwhile that progressive organization the EU is doing their best to level the playing field in Europe so there are no tax advantages among its member nations.  Brussels is sanctioning Luxembourg for its low tax policies.   Like Bono, companies have migrated to better economic climates for better return on their bottom line.

We all seek to better ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with that.  We are all individuals, with different talents, drive, intellect and goals.  The aspiration to improve the conditions for ourselves and our family is never an immoral pursuit.  Even if your name happens to be Bono.

Neal Phenes   10 17 06

Bono, the famous lead singer for the rock band U—2, may practice a misguided form of economics with his renowned world aid program but at least his business management understands the subject.  U2 has reacted to a repeal of an Irish tax break on royalties by moving its publishing company to the Netherlands.  The Netherlands tax is half the Irish tax rate on royalties.  Some consider it hypocritical that he would avoid paying taxes while preaching that his country increase its foreign aid (largely to African countries) and absolve the debt of poor countries.

I do not see it that way.  I consider this move a step in the right direction.

What Bono now has to recognize is that all people have personal property rights in their labor (including 3 minute love songs) that should be respected by governments.  Increased taxes either cause people to reduce their efforts to increase income or to migrate for better opportunities elsewhere.  Bono should also recognize what Peter Bauer taught us about the failings of foreign aid.  It barely makes to that hands of the needy.  It mostly goes into the hands of the political leaders or the government bureaucracy.  It stifles local entrepreneurs who may be striving to produce a good or service in need.  The hand—out from afar may wind up indirect competition with this local farmer, retailer or  manufacturer.

Meanwhile that progressive organization the EU is doing their best to level the playing field in Europe so there are no tax advantages among its member nations.  Brussels is sanctioning Luxembourg for its low tax policies.   Like Bono, companies have migrated to better economic climates for better return on their bottom line.

We all seek to better ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with that.  We are all individuals, with different talents, drive, intellect and goals.  The aspiration to improve the conditions for ourselves and our family is never an immoral pursuit.  Even if your name happens to be Bono.

Neal Phenes   10 17 06