European Ruling against Apple and Ireland Vindicates Brexit
Taxation is bad enough: two consenting parties arrange a mutually-beneficial exchange, and an interloping third party threateningly demands a cut. What compounded injustice then for a fourth party to enter the scene: a super-state/super-bandit who insists that the shakedown wasn’t big enough. No, the victim must hand over more to the lesser thief, even against the recipient’s will and in spite of his protest!
That is what happened today when the European Commission slapped Apple with a $14.5 billion bill for back taxes, ruling that Ireland had violated European Union rules by taxing the technology company at such a low rate. But the Irish government doesn’t want the money! It had promised the low rates back decades ago to entice Apple to set up and keep shop in Ireland, bringing the struggling country desperately needed jobs and economic growth. The government is worried that if it reneges on that deal, it will risk driving off the geese that lay the golden eggs: Apple, and other businesses as well.
But no, insists the European super-state: sustainably prudential parasitism is not an option. The Irish government must join the rest of the Union in recklessly bleeding its private sector hosts dry until the whole system collapses under its own dead weight.
This underscores why it was wise for the British to vote to leave the EU, why it makes sense that the post-Brexit UK economy is on the uptick, and why it would be smart for Ireland, or any other EU country, to exit as well. The EU is an impediment to liberalization. As I wrote when Brexit passed, super-states:
“…facilitate international policy “harmonization.” What this means is that, within the super-state, the citizen has no escape from onerous laws, like the regulations that unceasingly pour out of the EU bureaucracy. But with political decentralization, subjects can “vote with their feet” for less burdensome regimes. Under this threat of “exit,” governments are incentivized to liberalize in order to compete for taxpayer feet.”
The Irish government was affording more economic freedom to one of the most innovative, consumer-empowering companies in the world in a bid to get Apple to “vote with its feet” for the Emerald Isle. Brussels cannot tolerate that. If Ireland gets away with it, then other countries might be impelled to offer similar low tax promises to tech firms to keep their own tech industries competitive. The competition could spread to corporate tax rates in general. To keep taxes high and Eurocrats well paid, such competition must be nipped in the bud.
Among other things, the European Union is a compulsory tax cartel.
Ireland won its independence from a predatory, impoverishing foreign rule in the past. May it do so again. “Irexit” could be the next domino leading to the complete dissolution of the EU.
The inventiveness and entrepreneurship of the people at Apple have made dazzling contributions to our lives. Helping to dissolve the European Union may end up being their crowning achievement.