作者:Chris Edwards, Daniel J. Mitchell
出版社:Cato Institute
副标题:The Rise of Tax Competition and the Battle to Defend It
来源:下载的 epub 版本
Goodreads:4.29(7 Ratings)

参考翻译:Given the size of China’s $10 trillion economy,
overdependence on investment and exports is not tenable. What is called
for is not temporary fixes: my government has resisted the temptations
of quantitative easing and competitive currency devaluation. Instead, we
choose structural reform.

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Aggregate)这个词,而是用了 size of economy

size of sth
是一个非常形象表达某物的体积的方式,比如说我们在发表情的时候,一个 GIF
K!」这里「压缩图片」,就可以用到 reduce the size of image 这个表达。

那我们再来关注一下「经济总量」这个词,他包括社会总需求(Total Social
Demand)和社会总供给(Total Social Supply)两个方面。






● 国民生产总值(GNP gross of national products)

● 国民生产净值(NNP net of national products )

● 国民收入(NI national income)

● 个人收入(PI personal income)

● 个人可支配收入(PDI personal disposable income)



一本倡导使用 Flat Tax 进行税务革命的书,「Flat
Flat Tax 替代所有其他的复杂征税方式


● 过度依赖某物:overdependence on

dependence 这个词非常熟悉啦,那 overdependence 就是指 dependence to an
excessive degree.

比如我们在旅行的时候,过度依赖旅游指南就可以说,overdependence on the
tourism sector 。

又比如美国说自己的经济过度依赖科技,就会用到这个表达:overdependence on
technology 。

overdependence on investment and exports 。

而对我们翻译来说,don’t overdependence on Google 🌚



参考翻译:Given the size of China’s $10 trillion economy,
overdependence on investment and exports is not tenable. What is called
for is not temporary fixes: my government has resisted the temptations
of quantitative easing and competitive currency devaluation. Instead, we
choose structural reform.


Chris Edwards is director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute.
Before joining Cato in 2001, Edwards was a senior economist on the
congressional Joint Economic Committee. From 1994 to 1998, he was a
consultant and manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers examining corporate
tax and tax reform issues. From 1992 to 1994, he was an economist with
the Tax Foundation. Edwards has frequently testified before Congress on
fiscal issues, and his articles have appeared in the Washington Post,
Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, and other major
newspapers. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics.
Edwards is also author of Downsizing the Federal Government.

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and pro-growth economic
policies. His research is focused on international tax competition, and
he frequently speaks to U.S. and foreign audiences about the topic.
Prior to joining Cato, Mitchell was a senior fellow with the Heritage
Foundation and an economist for Senator Bob Packwood and the Senate
Finance Committee. He served on the 1988 presidential transition team
and was director of tax and budget policy for Citizens for a Sound
Economy. His articles have appeared in major newspapers such as the Wall
Street Journal, New York Times, and Investor’s Business Daily, and he is
a frequent guest on radio and television news shows. Mitchell holds
bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of
Georgia and a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University.



Flat Tax 的国家,现在全世界有37个,不知道后面会怎么样

以前读《李炜光说财税》懂得了财税的历史,这次读完《Global Tax

书因为是 Cato Institute

Flat Tax
Toomas Hendrik Ilves 现在在世界经济论坛(就是达沃斯会议)领导一个
Council on Blockchain,被英国巴克莱银行评为全世界数字发展第一名

新学习到一个全球化的知识点,其实 BAT
Here is the key point: foreign investment by U.S. corporations mainly
complements domestic investment, it does not substitute for it. The
expansion of U.S. corporations abroad often means a complementary
expansion in the U.S. operations of those companies. Consider research
and development spending. The larger the global sales of a U.S.
corporation, the more profit it can earn by investing in R&D.


A fear is haunting big governments around the world—the fear of rising
tax competition. As globalization advances, individuals and businesses
are gaining greater freedom to work and invest in countries with lower
taxes. That freedom is eroding the monopoly power of governments and
forcing them to reform their tax systems and restrain their fiscal
Many governments have responded to globalization with tax cuts designed
to improve competitiveness and spur growth. Individual income tax rates
have plunged in recent decades, and more than two dozen nations have
replaced their complex income taxes with simple flat taxes. At the same
time, nearly every country has slashed its corporate tax rate,
recognizing that business investment and profits have become highly
mobile in today’s economy.
That is the good news. The bad news is that some governments and
international organizations are trying to restrict tax competition. A
battle is unfolding between those policymakers wanting to maximize
taxation and those understanding that competition is leading to
beneficial tax reforms. If plans to stifle tax competition gain ground,
growth will be undermined, governments will grow larger, and economic
freedom will be curtailed.
In this book, we chronicle the rise in tax competition, which was
spurred by the unleashing of international capital flows beginning in
the 1970s. We survey the exciting tax reforms that are taking place
around the world and explain how these reforms benefit average workers
and families. We also examine the backlash against tax competition and
describe why the arguments of the critics are mistaken.
The concluding chapter discusses reform options for the United States.
In many ways, America has fallen behind on tax reform and now its
climate for investment is inferior to that of other major countries. As
tax competition intensifies, it is crucial to overhaul the federal tax
code to ensure America’s continued prosperity and leadership in the
world economy.

Friedman skillfully analyzed these trends focusing on technology,
skilled workers, and education. But Friedman’s book largely ignored the
globalization of capital and the importance of America creating a
receptive climate for investment.
Friedman focused on labor, but mainly overlooked capital. Friedman also
missed the growing importance of tax competition. Yet rising tax
competition is a direct result of the flat world economy. As individuals
and businesses have gained freedom to take advantage of foreign
opportunities, the sensitivity of economic decisions to taxation has

Following Britain’s lead in the mid-1980s, all major economies have cut
their corporate tax rates. Just since the mid-1990s, the average
corporate tax rate in the 30-nation Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development has fallen from 38 percent to 27 percent.
During the same period, the average rate in the European Union plunged
from 38 percent to 24 percent.
Since 2000, corporate tax cuts have included Austria (34 to 25 percent),
Canada (45 to 34 percent), Germany (52 to 30 percent), Greece (40 to 25
percent), Iceland (30 to 18 percent), Italy (41 to 31 percent), the
Netherlands (35 to 26 percent), and Portugal (35 to 25 percent). But
corporate tax cuts have spread beyond the OECD countries. This decade,
there have been cuts in far-flung places such as Albania (20 to 10
percent), Egypt (40 to 20 percent), Mauritius (25 to 15 percent),
Romania (25 to 16 percent), and Russia (35 to 24 percent).
Individual income tax rates have also been cut sharply. The average top
rate in the OECD has plummeted 26 percentage points since 1980. Again
the trend is global, with the average top rate falling by a similarly
large amount in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America.
In addition, 25 nations have scrapped their multirate income taxes and
installed flat taxes. The average individual tax rate in this ‘‘flat tax
club’’ is just 17 percent.
Most countries have also cut tax rates on dividends and capital gains.
Many countries have cut or eliminated taxes on estates and inheritances,
and many have abolished annual taxes on wealth, which used to be popular
in Europe. Further, withholding taxes on cross-border investments have
been cut sharply around the world. All these types of taxes have mobile
tax bases, and policymakers figured out that imposing high rates would
cause domestic investment to decline and tax bases to shrink
The international tax landscape has become remarkably dynamic. After
reforms in 1986, the United States had one of the lowest corporate tax
rates. But since then, U.S. policymakers have fallen asleep at the
switch as other countries have continued to cut. The United States now
has the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world. In today’s
global economy, if a country stands still, it falls behind.

Tax competition has been driven by a handful of leading countries, which
have inspired others to pursue similar reforms. In the 1980s, Britain
and the United States led the way with large cuts to individual and
corporate tax rates. In the 1990s, Ireland’s rock-bottom business taxes
created an investment boom that has been hugely influential in Europe.
More recently, it has been flat tax nations such as Estonia and Slovakia
that have inspired other countries to pursue reforms.

The revolution was put into motion by Estonia, which installed a flat
tax in 1994 and saw its economy transformed from a basket case to a
booming Baltic Tiger. Today, there are 25 jurisdictions in the ‘‘flat
tax club,’’ and they are virtually all enjoying economic booms

During the Bretton Woods era of fixed currency exchange rates
(1945–1972), governments needed capital controls to prevent private
markets from putting upward or downward pressure on currencies.4 Those
controls aimed at allowing governments to run independent monetary
policies while still enjoying the stability of fixed currency exchange
Capital controls also made it easier for governments to maintain high
tax rates on investment income, which was a popular policy in the
mid-20th century. With capital controls, governments essentially built
fences around the income and wealth of their citizens, and locked people
into national economic prisons.
The Bretton Woods system worked to the benefit of governments, but it
eventually became unstable. After the system broke down in the 1970s,
many countries allowed their currencies to float, and that removed the
need to restrict private capital movements. As countries adopted
floating exchange rates, they could open their borders and allow free
flows of investment capital. In this open system, inflows and outflows
of capital are balanced by exchange rate movements, without the need for
government intervention.

Another spur to investment has been deregulation through bilateral
treaties. A study by the United Nations found that more than 70
bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and double-taxation treaties (DTTs)
have been signed every year in recent years.9 These treaties generally
reduce taxes and regulations on capital flows between pairs of
countries. By 2006, there were 2,573 BITs and 2,651 DTTs in existence.
While a few governments have taken steps to increase regulations on
investment, the UN found that 90 percent of law changes for foreign
investment since 2000 have been deregulatory in nature.

Investments in China, for example, represented just 1 percent of the
total U.S. FDI stock in 2006. And the purpose of much of that 1 percent
is to penetrate China’s growing market. For example, Ford Motor Company
opened its second major automobile assembly plant in China in 2007 with
an investment of $500 million. With the Nanjing plant, Ford will
increase its Chinese production to 410,000 cars annually for the rapidly
expanding Chinese market. Ford also invested $500 million in India in
2007 to double its local automobile production capacity to serve the
growing Indian consumer class.
The main reason that U.S. corporations invest abroad is to penetrate
lucrative and growing foreign markets and to expand global sales. Most
U.S. FDI is in high-income countries such as Britain because that is
where companies can sell the most products. In other words, U.S.
corporations mainly invest abroad to sell products abroad. The BEA’s
Kozlow concluded that the most important determinant of FDI location is
access to large and prosperous markets. BEA data show that 90 percent of
the sales of U.S. foreign affiliates are in foreign markets, and only 10
percent were sales to the United States.
Moreover, U.S. foreign investment drives U.S. exports. In 2005, U.S.
multinational corporations were responsible for 54 percent of all U.S.
exports of goods. Former presidential candidate Ross Perot talked about
a ‘‘giant sucking sound’’ caused by open borders’ supposedly damaging
the economy. In reality, that sound is U.S. foreign affiliates sucking
exports out of U.S. factories and into foreign markets. The Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development found that every dollar of
outward FDI from a country is associated with $2 of additional exports
from that country.
Here is the key point: foreign investment by U.S. corporations mainly
complements domestic investment, it does not substitute for it. The
expansion of U.S. corporations abroad often means a complementary
expansion in the U.S. operations of those companies. Consider research
and development spending. The larger the global sales of a U.S.
corporation, the more profit it can earn by investing in R&D.
And where do U.S. corporations do their R&D? They mainly do it in the
United States. In 2005, 86 percent of the R&D performed by U.S.
multinational companies was in the United States. And the U.S. R&D of
these companies accounted for 79 percent of R&D performed by all U.S.
businesses. Further, the BEA data show that as the global sales of U.S.
multinational companies have grown in recent years, the number of U.S.
R&D jobs in multinational companies has increased sharply. Thus, the
global growth and profitability of U.S. multinational companies are
crucial to the future of privatesector innovation in the United

Consider Intel Corporation, the world’s largest semiconductor company.
In 2006, it had revenues of $35 billion, of which 84 percent came from
outside the United States. Yet, more than half Intel’s 94,000 employees
are in the United States. And, importantly, fourfifths of the firm’s $5
billion in annual R&D occurs in the United States.

As U.S. companies expand abroad, they usually strengthen their
headquarters activities in the United States. Headquarters activities
are often high-skill and high-pay, such as finance, planning, and R&D.
Glenn Hubbard, former chief economics adviser to President Bush, noted
that ‘‘where a firm chooses to place its headquarters will have a large
influence on how much that country benefits from its domestic and
international operations.’’ For this reason, government policies should
try to create a favorable tax climate for corporate headquarters, but
U.S. policymakers are doing just the opposite of industry

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In the 1980s, the big story in tax competition was the reduction in
individual and corporate income tax rates in major industrial countries
such as Britain and the United States. In the 1990s, tax rate cuts
intensified and spread to a broader group of countries. In this decade,
the most exciting tax competition story is the flat tax revolution. By
2008, 25 jurisdictions had adopted single-rate individual income taxes.
This ‘‘flat tax club’’ is growing larger every year.
Ironically, it is the former communist world that is the hotbed of flat
tax reforms. From the Czech Republic in the west to Mongolia in the
east, 17 nations in the former Soviet bloc have joined the flat tax
club. These nations have adopted flat taxes to spur growth, reduce tax
avoidance, and attract foreign investment. Reform leaders, such as
Estonia and Slovakia, inspired a broader group of countries to join the
flat tax revolution.
In numerous countries, flat tax reforms have been supported by political
parties on both the right and the left. Flat tax countries have made the
choice to scrap multirate, or ‘‘progressive,’’ income tax systems in
favor of single-rate systems that have fewer deductions, exemptions, and
credits. Today, the average individual tax rate in the flat tax
countries is just 17 percent. Most of the flat tax countries have also
cut their corporate tax rates, and the average corporate rate in those
nations stands at just 18 percent.

A ‘‘flat tax’’ generally refers to a direct tax on individuals that has
a single statutory rate. The flat tax concept also embodies the ideas
that special tax preferences should be abolished, people should be
treated equally, and income should be taxed only once. The ideal flat
tax structure was described by Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka of the
Hoover Institution in a 1983 book, The Flat Tax. The HallRabushka flat
tax was championed in the 1990s by then House majority leader Dick Armey
and presidential candidate Steve Forbes. The Hall-Rabushka flat tax
system would abolish the federal income tax and replace it with a tax
system with three key features: a single flat rate, elimination of
special preferences, and neutral treatment of savings and investment.
Single Flat Rate. The flat tax has a single statutory rate above a basic
exemption amount. The goal is to treat taxpayers equally while bringing
the tax rate down as low as possible to reduce economic distortions.
Equality under the law is a bedrock principle of justice, and that is
the promise of the flat tax. A low, flat rate reduces the tax penalty on
productive activities and encourages tax compliance. In addition, a low
tax rate is increasingly important to attracting labor and capital in
the competitive global economy.
Elimination of Special Preferences. The flat tax eliminates provisions
of the tax code that create special advantages for certain people and
industries. By getting rid of deductions, credits, and other narrow
benefits, economic growth is promoted by allowing resources to flow to
the highest-valued uses, rather than to activities that have unwarranted
tax advantages. Cleaning the special-interest provisions from the tax
code would result in huge simplification, and it would reduce political
corruption caused by the trading of campaign support for narrow tax
Neutral Treatment of Savings and Investment. The optimal flat tax would
tax each source of income just once. By contrast, under the current U.S.
income tax, some income is not taxed and other income is taxed multiple
times. Under a well-designed flat tax, there would be no capital gains
tax and no double taxation of dividends. A flat tax in the design of
Hall-Rabushka would end the tax bias against savings and investment that
occurs under the current federal income tax.

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Estonia had the breakthrough reform with the introduction of a 26
percent flat tax in 1994. Prime Minister Mart Laar, a former history
professor, provided the visionary leadership. Laar was wondering how to
rescue the floundering Estonian economy and recalled reading that
economist Milton Friedman had advocated a flat tax. Laar wisely ignored
the advice of establishment tax experts in Estonia and the international
bureaucracies, and he introduced Estonia’s flat tax as part of a broad
reform agenda.

Estonia’s dramatic tax reform made its Baltic neighbors, Latvia and
Lithuania, take notice. Those countries quickly proceeded to adopt their
own flat taxes. Although all three Baltic nations initially introduced
flat taxes with fairly high rates, those rates have been cut in the
years since.

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Tax competition is a tool to preserve limited government in the 21st
century. That is why America needs to be a leader in protecting and
enhancing global tax competition. U.S. policymakers should oppose tax
harmonization, the creation of world tax authorities, widespread
information sharing between governments, and other techniques designed
to stifle competition.
U.S. policymakers also need to embrace tax reform because American wages
and incomes depend on the efficiency of our tax system. Our overall tax
burden is less onerous than in many other industrial nations, but our
tax system lags behind the ‘‘best practices’’ of other advanced nations
in many important ways. Federal tax rates on corporate income, corporate
capital gains, dividends, estates, and other items are higher than in
most countries. The individual and corporate income tax systems are
hugely complex and distortionary. If the government retains this tax
code as other countries make further reforms, America will tumble in the
rankings of the wealthiest and most competitive nations.
The United States has been on the sidelines of tax reform for two
decades as countries such as Estonia, Ireland, and Slovakia have forged
a path of remarkable pro-growth changes. This chapter describes how
America can get back in the saddle on tax reform. A first step is to cut
individual income tax rates to 15 and 25 percent and abolish narrow
breaks in the tax code. The corporate tax rate should be cut to 15
percent and territorial taxation adopted. The long-term goal is a
low-rate flat tax that encourages investment and growth, while providing
equal treatment to all taxpayers.

The United States should aspire to have the best tax system in the
world. U.S. policymakers should grab the tax reform baton from leaders
in Estonia and Ireland and run with it. The United States has not
pursued major tax reforms in more than two decades, but the need for
reforms is more urgent than ever. Tax competition is growing ever more
intense in the ‘‘flat’’ global economy.
Enacting the tax reforms we described would be a giant step toward
putting America back in first place on economic freedom and prosperity.
Cutting tax rates is the key to reform, particularly the rates on the
most mobile tax bases, such as corporate profits and individual savings.
A low-rate flat tax that eliminates hurdles to savings and investment is
the gold standard of reform that policymakers should aim for.
U.S. policymakers also have a crucial role to play in ensuring that tax
competition continues to thrive in the global economy. Tax competition
is a powerful force for better tax policy, and it will be a crucial
defense in coming years against tax increases to fund runaway
entitlement spending. The United States should veto all efforts to
impose global tax rules, and it should lead the fight for economic
freedom, growth, and tax competition.


words sentence
On the flip side On the flip side, the United States also benefits from inflows of investment from foreigners