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Encomiums and Execrations - By Kitty Miv, Editor

Kitty Miv, Editor
10 May, 2012

Europe is a very depressing prospect this week, so I'm going to write about something more cheerful than austerity death spirals, being Kitty's Encomiums, and the opposite, Kitty's Execrations. Of course there should be better alliterating words starting with K, so let me know if you think of any. And the subject? Well, countries, of course. We are going to start with a list of six major countries, of which the top three will be ones that are getting it right, while the bottom three will naturally be the ones that are getting it wrong. The problem is that all big countries get it wrong; but I'll do my best. Then (but not this week) there will be a comparable list of low-tax jurisdictions, although of course it will be harder because basically they get it right by having low taxes; but some get it righter than others.

Naturally I have to declare my methodology, although you know enough about me to realize the sorts of criteria I am likely to apply (Kitty's Kriteria - that one works, at least). A Good Country is one that lowers taxes, cuts public spending and borrowing, is liberal, has a good educational system, backs free trade and free enterprise, helps entrepreneurs and small businesses, doesn't have State Champions, isn't institutionally racist or xenophobic, and permits freedom of speech, movement and conscience. A Bad Country is the opposite.

In this first list I am simply going to give the countries, with very basic mentions of good or bad behaviour; then as time goes by the list will get longer as other countries swim into view, and existing list members do things to climb higher up or fall lower down. And each week I will explain the changes as they happen, commenting on what has caused them. So here we go!

Kitty's Encomiums:

Canada busy as usual supporting trade and industry

New Zealand is trying hard to cut its deficit and is increasingly open to international markets

Germany, determined to cut taxes while sticking to its European austerity agenda

And Kitty's Execrations:

Australia breaking yet another electoral promise and refusing to reduce corporate tax

India may have deferred the GAAR, but only because the government is too incompetent to implement necessary tax reforms on time, and is anyway slipping back into merchantilism

Spain is increasing taxes, failing to curb public expenditure, and is about to throw away zillions in taxpayers' money to rescue its bankrupt banking sector

Of course I'm going to have to move house, change my name and hire a bodyguard; but hey, someone has to tell these guys the truth!





About the Author

Kitty Miv, Editor

Kitty was born in Argentina in 1960 to a Scottish cattle rancher and his Argentine wife. Educated in Edinburgh and at Princeton, Kitty worked for the World Bank as an economist, where she met and married an emigre Iranian banker. During her time with the Bank, Kitty worked in a number of emerging markets, including a spell in the ex-USSR as a Transition Economies Team Leader. Kitty is now a consultant in Brussels and has free-lance writing relationships with a number of prominent economic publications. kitty@lowtax.net


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