Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ireland’s tax deals help fuel global inequality: Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist:
Ireland’s controversial tax deals with companies such as Apple and Google are part of a corrupt global system, which is fuelling inequality and political extremism, including the rise of Donald Trump in the US, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

The Columbia University professor described Ireland – along with Singapore Panama, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg – as a “fiscal paradise” where individuals and corporations can “park money” and avoid paying taxes.

“The point is people are seeing globalisation as a venue by which rich corporations like Apple and Google can effectively escape taxation while hard-working citizens in France or Germany continue to pay high taxes,” he said.

“It’s a very ugly picture of a set of rules designed to benefit corporations at the expense of ordinary citizens. Unambiguously, these rules feed into Trumpism,” he told The Irish Times.

In his new book, Globalisation and Its Discontents Revisited, the former chief economist of the World Bank revisits his original 2002 thesis that globalisation has been stage-managed in favour of advanced countries at the expense of developing ones.

In his updated thesis, he argues that the process continues to play a central role in driving inequality and injustice – not only in the developing world, but for the majority of workers in advanced countries.

“Trump took advantage of this discontent, crystallised and amplified it,” Prof Stiglitz said.

He said Ireland’s decision to appeal the European Commission’s €13 billion tax ruling against Apple and the Government’s apparent slowness in retrieving the money have damaged the country’s reputation internationally.  (more...)

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