Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Libertarians who feel oppressed by America's high tax rates, your paradise awaits! Consider Thailand:

[Somchai] is a successful businessman of Chinese extraction who owns some (legal) language schools as well as shares in an illegal casino, and regularly pays bribes to the police in relation to both businesses. He calls it "the system" and looks at me with disdain when I express sympathy for his plight. Somchai, you see, pays almost no taxes, gets work permits for his English teachers without difficulty, and makes a nice fat profit from his casino interest. The way he sees it, the Thai system is more efficient than ours: no expensive army of bureaucrats to cast a shadow between investment and profit. Police bribes amount to less than 10 percent of his income. How much tax would he pay in a Western country? Thirty, 40, 50 percent?

Also featured, law enforcement by bicycle-riding contract killers, who are expected to shortly resolve a dispute between some tenant businesses, who had binding leases, and their landlord, who bribed the army to bulldoze them and the police to look the other way. So much more final than American civil litigation. Jump in! You'll love it!


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