Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Czech Republic: flat 15% tax

The Czech government has just approved a plan to introduce a flat 15% income tax, while raising the low-end VAT tax to 9%. That's what's happening in a part of the world that has spent most of the 20th century in an inefficient regime based on non-sensical and counterproductive regulations. A part of the world that is still excited about freedom and capitalism.

Something completely different is happening in the old Europe, a region that is bored by capitalism and prosperity. In order to "fight against the climate change", the government of 4 million people in French-speaking Wallonia, Belgium, has approved a barbecue tax. No kidding. Because something like 50-100 grams of CO2 is emitted during a grilling session, you will have to pay 20 euro for such a session. ;-)

Because the current market value of indulgences for emitting 1 ton of CO2 is 0.87 euro, it is not hard to calculate that the tax is 300,000 times more expensive than the pseudomarket value of negative CO2 and infinitely times higher than the real market value, namely zero.

Recall that the communists' official value of one U.S. dollar and other Western currencies was only 6 times lower than their market value (except that you couldn't buy them): improving the multiplicative mismatch from 6 to 300,000 is quite a progress towards creating a perfect vacuum in the bureaucrats' skulls.

It sounds like an April fool's joke except that it was published on April 3rd. ;-) But still, the comment that the government will be checking that no one is illegally grilling by helicopters sounds a little bit too strong to be serious. Maybe, all cops will be given private jets to check that no one farts without paying fart taxes. ;-)

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