Monday, October 23, 2006
SETTING THE STAGE TO SOAR FUTURE ECONOMIC GROWTH
It seems that U.S. Congress is captured by an unwillingness when it comes to shift from social security programs to ownership-based retirement programs. U.S. Congress actually made a huge failure due to permanently maintain tax reforms that would eliminate the death tax and cut marginal tax rates on capital gains and dividends. In the U.S., the economic growth has been higher for most of the decades than it was overseas. But also editorial pages have been enriched with the words from Milton Friedman and other Chicago guys. They firmly set the intelectual foundation for an economic policy based on low taxation, market competition and individual ownership. However, today you won't find those words written in English. Instead they are printed in Estonian, Hindi and Spanish as well as in other languages where policy-makers decided to shift the wheel of economic policy towards the implementation of free-market ideas. They have been, of course, successfully implemented. It was amazing to see how the idea of Private Retirment Accounts (PRA's) exploded in South America. Chilean labor minister Jose Pinera boldly ran the Chicago vision back in 1981 and the results of this encouragement are still seen in Santiago today. Chile's current national saving rate accounts 21 percent of the GDP. Following the Chilean example, at least 30 other nations followed that way, having replaced benefit pension systems with individual ownership and personal control, including countries such as Denmark and Sweden. Former communist nations in Eastern Europe also enacted pro-growth and free-market economic reforms, wathcing their economies setting the path for future economic growth. Simple, dynamic and low-cost flat tax codes encourage people to work more as well as to expand economic activity more rapidly. Recently, Estonia has reached the edge of economic growth soaring over an amazing 10 percent. In the past six and seven years, the rates of economic growth in Baltic countries, including Latvia and Lithuania, averaged 8 percents consistently. Seeing the situation today, more than 9 countries have adopted the flat tax code, including Russia and Romania. Conversely, the U.S. Congress consumes its days. Instead of debating how to cut public consumption rate and improve macroeconomic situation, Congressmen are rather busy with intensive debates on how to impose taxes on energy profits. While America is still the greatest pillar of newly-born ideas, it is not the leader in tax competition anymore. The U.S. federal tax code is grasply written on 66 498 pages, adding $265 billion compliance costs. Currently, the U.S. Government is facing a long-term problem of how to cut unfunded liabilities in retirement systems such as Social Security and Medicare. Those programs amount to $80 trillion. Therefore, work force is facing a shrinking benefits and higher tax rates while Congress still remains unwilling to impose serious reforms to cut those benefits and provide a decent and sustainable way of living to thousands of Americans in the future. Giving workers the right to choose ownership-contribution retirement system would helpfully replace current massive debt, giving individuals real ownership and control would ensure and secure better financial future for each member of the big hub, namely "taxpayers". Continually prolonged retirement systems based upon massive outlays for Social Security and Medicate programs would, on the long term, result in higher tax rates on income and capital gains, higher public debt while economic growth would start to push the economy towards falling off the cliff. The consequences of this way of spending and economic policy-making would be painful for everyone. Rising taxes on labor and capital formation would cause capital flight, economic contraction and high unemployment. As an output of "socialized results of production" there would be no means to boost productivity and create more value-added goods and services in order to create a society based on soaring productivity through hard-work and anticipated innovative behavior. Other nations have prospered from economic policy based on economic freedom. Global financial markets are about to judge the efficiency of economic policy, not flashing cameras around the enemies of progress and development. If policy-makers in countries such as the U.S., Slovenia, Italy, Germany, France and Spain will not undertake serious structural reforms capital and investment will quickly fly to other nations where the ideas of Chicago economists work and where economic freedom coupled with low rates on capital and income taxation soundly works as future prosperity peaks and opportunities flourish.