Jun 09 2011

My quote of the day

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

A sobering quote from China (hat tip: Ann Hollingshead)

We have been working hard to develop the economy in the past 30 years, but now these elite members of society are fleeing with the majority of the wealth. The loss may be even higher than all the foreign investment we have attracted.  It is as if, when the time of harvest comes, we find the fruits have all gone to others’ baskets.”
Zhong Dajun, director of the Beijing Dajun Institute for Economic Observation & Studies

(More quotable quotes here.)

Note, too, these welcome words from Hillary Clinton, in a different but related vein, as I noted in my recent blog – something she’s said before in the context of Pakistan:

“Let’s be very clear – many wealthy people in low-income countries avoid taxes by hiding their money offshore, an outflow that by some estimates comes to more than $1 trillion a year. . . . we also have to acknowledge that wealthy countries share responsibility . . . .let me say very openly it is difficult to ask American taxpayers to spend money abroad when the elites in the countries themselves turn their backs on their own people, especially at a time of difficult budgetary decisions.”

2 comments so far

SuperSWF 6th June, 2011 8.25 am

conflicts of interest arises when the interests of the decision-making elite in power conflict with the interests of the rest of society. The elite are particularly likely to do things that profit them but hurt everybody else, if the elite are able to insulate themselves from the consequences of their actions

http://edge.org/conversation/why-do-some-societies-make-disastrous-decisions

Nick Shaxson 6th June, 2011 8.32 am

The ‘no taxation without representation’ principle is an important one to remember here – except in countries dominated by things like mineral resources or aid, tax is an arena where rulers have to bargain with citizens to get their money, and from this relationship emerges accountability.

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