Sunday, 12 November 2017

Wealth accumulation reflects one’s character

  • Tax havens are shadowy and sleazy little countries and principalities such as the Cayman Islands, Lichtenstein and Monaco.
  • Low taxation countries like Switzerland, Singapore and Dubai assure secretive rich people of their privacy. 
  • A tax haven exists to cheat sovereign states of their lawful incomes. 
  • It is estimated that corporate tax avoidance costs governments $500bn a year while personal tax avoidance costs $200bn a year. This means that between $20-30 trillion of business transactions in various jurisdictions are sheltered from taxations. 
  • Moody’s estimated that in 2016, giant American technology companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple were hoarding about $1.84 trillion cash in offshore havens. Clearly, they are avoiding taxes by bending the rules of the tax system. This is tax avoidance, which is not illegal for they are operating within the letter, but perhaps not the spirit of the law. 
  • Tax evasion is just plain concealment of income and is a crime in all countries. 
  • In 1980's, shaken up by many of its MBA graduates found wanting in ethical and moral values, the Harvard Business School made a course on “Leadership and Corporate Accountability” a core requirement. 
  • Doing the ethics course is one thing but it is something else to be able to resolve the moral dilemmas of  “HBS’s ethical view of capitalism that derives its transformational view of money, in which the ability to accumulate wealth is a reflection of one’s character.”
  • Market forces can be a potent driver for positive social change.
  • The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
  • Tax avoidance is as reprehensible as tax evasion. 
  • Mauritius and Singapore are our two biggest sources of FDI.

Honesty is incompatible with amassing a large fortune - Mahatma Gandhi

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