Taxes

Albania Leads the Way!…

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On the flat tax issue, that is. The folks at the Adriatic Institute send along this news:

In a move aimed at creating a friendlier investment climate and making the economy more competitive, the Albanian government approved a fiscal package last week that includes implementing a 10% flat tax—the lowest level in Southeast Europe. Corporate taxes will also be slashed to 10%.

"The fiscal revolution, including the regulatory reform, will be faster then forecasted—increasing GDP and exports," Prime Minister Sali Berisha said after the laws were approved on Wednesday (May 30th).

More here.

Albania–come for the taxes, stay for the wild dogs.

The original Zog (as in King) info here.

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  1. Don’t attempt to found Hugs for Wild Dogs. Unless you have plenty of fake rocks.

  2. Kneel Before Zog? That doesn’t sound right.

  3. I can’t wait to hear from the EU commissars saying that Albania needs to rescind its anti-social tax policies before they’ll even consider it for membership.

  4. Kneel Before Zog? That doesn’t sound right.

    Yes it does.

  5. “stay for the wild dogs”

    And all those nifty bunkers Enver Hoxha saturated the countryside with!

  6. Seriously, why would you threaten a wild dog with a fake rock? I mean, they never frightened off Captain Kirk.

  7. In this day and age

    it’s hard to believe

    that entire families

    can be torn apart

    by something as simple

    as wild dogs.

  8. Albania–come for the taxes, stay for the wild dogs.

    I hear Mitt Romney loves to go hunting for them over there.

  9. Just so you know, I lived there for a few months. The dogs really aren’t that bad, especially in the north. What you really ought to see, are the wild pigs of Lac (pronounced Latch). They root through garbage and much on their dead relatives, but they’re kind of a city mascot. There was even a plan at one time to put ribbons on them so they would be more of a tourist attraction. As they say in Shqiperia,

    Gur gur, behet mur. Mur, mur behet kallaja.

  10. They’re going to tax poor people at 10% of their income?

  11. They’re going to tax poor people at 10% of their income?

    It’s a better rate than what young American poor people must pay for FICA tax. The only difference is, I think Albania will be honest about the fact that said poor people won’t ever, ever get their money back.

  12. Good point joe. If the poor are only paying 10% of their low income, they will barely be contributing anything while probably receiving the lion’s share of government services. The flat tax is pretty generous, eh?

  13. They’re going to tax poor people at 10% of their income?

    Sure. Why not? Aren’t poor people members of society? Don’t they have the same obligations to society as other people?

  14. A flat tax is too ‘egalitarian’ for joe.

  15. Callous Jokers,

    As a matter of fact, a poor person paying 10% of his income is sacrificing far more than a rich person paying 10% of his income. Having your food run out a day before you get paid is a much heavier cost to a person than having to get the cloth seats in the BMW.

    You’re thinking in terms of monetary value. You should be thinking in terms of people, and their well-being.

  16. “They’re going to tax poor people at 10% of their income?”

    I’d guess they are.

    …but even if they throw the deadbeats in jail, I think the middle class and the wealthy get some kind of standard level of health care. …and that’s what’s really important.

  17. I’m all for a flat tax, but with an offset. I’m not even opposed to negative income tax. They encourage work, since (in this case) a poor person only loses ten cents in benefits for every dollar they make, but you get around the disproportionate impact* on the poor.

    * bite me, ‘impact’ naysayers, it’s an apt word sometimes.

  18. You nouned “impact,” lunchstealer.

    It’s only verbing it that weirds the language.

  19. “They encourage work, since (in this case) a poor person only loses ten cents in benefits for every dollar they make, but you get around the disproportionate impact* on the poor.”

    I agree, and that’s why the strategic first step in the Shultz Plan for getting rid of the income tax is eliminating the income tax for people who make less than $40,000 or so a year. …people whose meager contribution to the tax pool, on a percentage basis, is almost negligible.

    Then we start with the top-down approach.

  20. Callaous Jokers

    One can get respectable Republican cloth seats for one’s BWM? Damn, I learn something new evryday.

  21. As a matter of fact, a poor person paying 10% of his income is sacrificing far more than a rich person paying 10% of his income.

    They’re already being taxed at 12.4%.

    Ooops, I forgot, we’re supposed to pretend that that’s a pension contribution aren’t we.

    joe, the argument could certainly be made that high marginal rates on the rich are in fact a tax on the poor. The rich can pass at least some of their tax burden on in higher prices for goods and services.

    One can certainly argue for progressive tax rates, but one needs to be mindful that excessively high marginal rates are a drag on the economy. Even the Swedes figured that out.

  22. “The rich can pass at least some of their tax burden on in higher prices for goods and services.”

    If the economy actually worked the way libertarians claim, the poor would be able to “pass” their taxes on by charging more for their labor, since everyone knows that they are free actors engaged in consensual trading, and that they are no more or less able to effect the value of the goods and services they provide as corporations and the wealthy.

    Of course, they can’t, and everybody knows that.

  23. To be serious, though, Isaac, there is plenty of room between a flat tax and a system that is so progressive that it harms the economy.

  24. I like my verbing more adjectivy.

  25. joe, I notice you somehow managed to avoid my jab about FICA.

    …the poor would be able to “pass” their taxes on by charging more for their labor,…

    That is probably true if there ever was a regime in which “the poor” paid higher marginal tax rates. For reasons both of us are perfectly aware of, we will never know.

    there is plenty of room between a flat tax and a system that is so progressive that it harms the economy.

    I have not categorically taken a position against moderately progressive tax rates for the very reason that “the rich” have a great deal more to protect, and hence, be protected, than “the poor”.

    I, in fact, as a matter of pragmatism and compromise, lean to the position that there ought to be two tax brackets. 1) A zero tax bracket set at roughly the amount required for reasonable life expenses (I know, that is certainly a subjective measure, and 2) a bracket designed to raise revenue in sufficient quantity to maintain government functions (which, we both know, I think should exist at a much lower level than now).

  26. dang!!!!!

  27. You figure it out.

  28. I don’t want to argue Social Security, Isaac.

    But congratulations – you’re the first flat-tax proponent I’ve ever seen bring up FICA without outside pressure. Tip o’ the cap.

  29. joe, I’m not a flat-tax proponent.

    I’m a low-tax, or even no-tax proponent, if I could figure out how that would work. For the nonce, I will settle for low taxes. 🙂

    And for the record, I have been arguing against FICA from the beginning. Not just because it is a regressive tax but because it is a tax that is represented fraudulently.

  30. Albania
    Albania
    You border on the Adriatic
    Your land is mostly mountainous
    And your chief export is chrome.

  31. WITH A “GRAY ECONOMY” AT A 60% TO 70% RATE AND A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF EARNED INCOME BEFORE THE 10% FLAT TAX IS IMPLEMENTED, I DON’T THINK THAT THE ACTUAL ALBANIAN TAXPAYER IS REALLY WORRIED ABOUT A FLAT TAX RATE. SOME OF THE SO-CALLED “RICH” ALBANIANS MIGHT ACTUALLY PAY TAXES WITH THIS PROGRAM.

  32. Isaac,

    “joe, I’m not a flat-tax proponent.”

    D’oh! Looks like I’ll have keep walking around with this lantern. I haven’t found my guy yet.

    Coach,

    Cheers!

  33. Dogs rule the night!

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