An interview to Jeff Thomas, feature writer for Strategic Wealth Preservation, Doug Casey’s International Man and 321gold.com
International Man: Recently, Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen called for a global minimum tax rate because it would reduce the likelihood of US companies moving offshore.
It seems that the US government recognizes that its confiscatory tax policies are driving productive people and companies out and is looking to make sure they have nowhere to run.
What is really going on here?
Jeff Thomas: For many years, I’ve heard businesspeople, particularly American businesspeople, complain that their government is making all the wrong moves; that neither increased taxation nor capital controls are going to help business succeed and thrive in America. I’m afraid that they’re looking at this the wrong way round. They’re making the assumption that the government’s primary objective is to serve the American people. It is not. Governments don’t see themselves as existing to serve the people, they see themselves as feeding off the people. They are essentially parasitical organizations that produce nothing and consume what they can successfully take from the populace. Once that concept is understood, such moves as the present one become easier to understand.
Government could help businesses simply by downsizing government and lowering taxes. Business would then thrive. But that would dramatically diminish the take by government. Governments operate through coercion. So, when business leaves a country in response to greater taxation, government reacts by force. In this case, that means an attempt to eliminate the freedom that exists in another country. Rather than declare war on that country and take it over, it’s more palatable to create economic warfare “for the greater good.” So, yes, Ms. Yellen’s call for a global tax rate is intended to eliminate places for American business to run. In essence, this is The Land of the Free seeking to eliminate freedom worldwide as it has at home.
International Man: The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has long tried to end financial privacy and impose regulations on countries with low (or no) taxes.
In light of Yellen’s comments, do you think the next step is a big push to try to harmonize global tax rates?
Jeff Thomas: The OECD’s goals have never been broadly understood. They’ve always presented themselves as a “helping hand” organization, but from the beginning, they’ve had two primary goals: 1) The regulation of tax compliance worldwide and 2) The elimination of tax havens through global tax uniformity. The first effort has been pursued by periodically creating “Minimum International Standards.” The implication has been that the nations of the world have all agreed on these, but in fact, the standards are arbitrary, created solely by the OECD and announced to the world, imposing them on not all countries but on a selection of targeted tax havens under the guise of the prevention of money laundering, terrorism, etc. This latter ploy is used in order to gain public acceptance of what is essentially an attempt at selective global economic control.
The second effort is one that they’ve kept under wraps for decades, but it has always been the top priority. Until recently, it would not have been either palatable or achievable, but it is being put forward now, amid the confusion over COVID – a time when it may be able to grow some legs.
The claim is that the goal is to harmonize tax rates worldwide, but that’s not the real intent. The goal is to neutralise tax havens in order to trap their own citizens.
International Man: Will it work?
Jeff Thomas: Yes and no. They’ll succeed to some extent, but there will be massive blow-back by the tax havens and their investors. Until now, progress for the OECD has been slow, as tax havens have been very adept at dodging bullets and finding work-arounds for OECD demands. In addition, most tax havens cannot simply change their national policies; they’d need to change their constitutions to bring about dramatic change. So, elections would need to be fought over those changes, and there would be a considerable variety of outcomes, accompanied by endless delays. Don’t forget: No tax haven will voluntarily commit economic suicide just to please the OECD. This will be dragged out as long as possible, and the outcome will be far from uniform.
This brings up another important point in answer to your question. In addressing the “Great Reset,” we don’t doubt the determination of The Powers That Be to achieve this, which often leads us to assume they will ultimately succeed. Yet we know that the First World countries that are at the forefront of the New World Order have entered the crisis stage; it’s unlikely that they’ll survive the crisis intact. At some point, they’ll crash and will be unable to fund all their agencies, such as the OECD. It’s quite likely that the effort to eliminate tax havens will fall apart in mid-transformation since it will be a drawn-out affair. Tax havens will certainly be hard hit, but that doesn’t mean they won’t survive.
International Man: No matter what they call it and what method they use, bankrupt governments are trying to prevent money from leaving for greener pastures. What do you think is the next scam they’ll try?
Jeff Thomas: Well, this is it: the recent announcement by Ms. Yellen. I’ve been waiting for this one for a very long time, and this is the big one: the OECD’s main objective, as I mentioned. I don’t think they’ll be as patient with this one as they have with the effort to regulate the tax havens. They’re running out of time and will have to fast-track this before their whole power base visibly unravels. I’ve talked to many people in the tax shelter industry about this, and they unquestionably fear this development becoming a major force. But I personally welcome the fast-tracking. The quicker they attempt to rush the effort, the more likely that it will fall apart midstream. People will only tolerate so much loss of freedom at one go.
However, if they do fully succeed, we shall see something else occur that at present isn’t being anticipated: Even now, the major economic players don’t adhere to the arbitrary OECD Minimum International Standards. That’s just something they try to impose on the tax havens, not on themselves. If they were to succeed in closing down the havens, the major players would then each try to gobble up all the business themselves, betraying each other. And that’s already in play, with the US being the foremost offender. The greater the success of limiting tax havens, the greater the animosity between the OECD member-countries, as they all prey on each other.
International Man: Currently, there are a number of countries around the world that still offer lower taxes and are relative havens from the “tax hells” of the OECD countries. What types of pressure will these tax-efficient jurisdictions see as Yellen continues her campaign to push for global taxation under the guise of “equality?”
Jeff Thomas: Actually, at one time, the means to end the havens might have been a slam-dunk. The main power move would have been to cut off access to the SWIFT system. But there are now four SWIFT-like systems in the world, and it would only take one of them to accept money transfers from tax havens, and they’d then get all the business and become the world’s financial leader. So it’s questionable as to whether the OECD can deliver on the threat at this late date. If they did, they’d be the loser.
International Man: In your perspective, where is this trend headed?
Jeff Thomas: The tax haven industry will be in for a rough time. They’ll be facing their greatest battle, just at the time when the greatest amount of money is flowing into their coffers worldwide. It will become extremely challenging and will require great ingenuity to battle the OECD and its backers. During this period, there will be great confusion and even chaos. Most people in the industry will have a hard time coping, but in the end, the chaos will be their friend. Decades ago, tax havens thrived on chaos. What we may see is that, after several years of oppression, it will be the Wild West of fifty years ago for tax havens – a less-regulated, more open field, in which each haven is quite different from the others. And that’s as it should be maximised choice.
International Man: What can the average person do about it?
Jeff Thomas: Make use of tax havens, as they will still be preferable to the collapsing economic systems around the world. There will be no guarantees, but the odds will be better for keeping your wealth. But do your due diligence. Choose which havens you want to work with carefully. Look for havens with stable governments and long histories of reliability. Look for havens whose industry is well-heeled and is equipped to fight off the OECD through lawyers. Some will survive, but others may not.
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International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation
This article was originally posted in the Strategic Wealth Preservation Blog and copied here with the permission of the author.