Tax evasion is a national pastime afflicting southern Europe … "Wherever the olive tree grows, you won't find much tax being collected," the mayor of a small town in southern Spain told me a few years ago. He shrugged; such was life. He probably had no idea that some high-powered academics were about to come up with the same conclusion. When they analyzed Europe's "shadow economies" – defined as areas that fall beyond the reach of the taxman – those of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal were much larger (relatively) than those in northern Europe. That is partly because of the higher number of self-employed and family businesses, which tend to deal in cash and pay little tax. But to many economic commentators, tax evasion is also a national pastime in much of southern Europe, and a significant factor in the region's burgeoning financial crisis. – CNN
Dominant Social Theme: Look, we're the power elite, and we've printed about US$50 trillion around the world since the 2008 crisis began; we've now "backstopped" an additional US$75 trillion in bad Bank of America derivative bets via the Fed. But, listen, my friend … the REAL PROBLEM is Italian tax evasion!
Free-Market Analysis: CNN is the Bill Clinton of liberal media; it continuously lies to every watcher it reaches, yet it continues onward without apparent difficulty, without even a brush with bankruptcy. Now CNN has decided one of the main reasons for the Euro-crisis is rampant tax evasion in Southern Europe.
This is presented to viewers without the context we've tried to present (above) and is doubtless intended to support a power elite meme having to do with profligate, cheating Europeans. Did you ever wonder why they got the name PIGS? Coincidence right?
No, we'd argue that this meme of profligacy – a sub-dominant social theme – has been building for decades and now the time has come to activate it. People blame the Southern Europeans for socialism and the welfare state but they forget who created such socio-economic dilemmas.
We don't, though. We recall quite well that it was the Anglosphere power elite itself that built the European welfare state. Socialism is a power elite construct, and one they spent a great deal of time implementing. It's designed to cause maximum damage to society by promoting government dependence and dysfunction.
But now it's time to pull the cleverly constructed plug. It's austerity time. And the more chaos that ensues, the easier it will be to move society to the next level – increased globalism with an increasingly accepted international currency.
Watch! It's not government that's going to be blamed for the EU crisis. It's BAD government. And how does bad government become good? Why, by becoming more efficient! This is why the elites are apparently floating the ideas of direct democracy and "government transparency." We've covered these at length.
The solution is not to get rid of government or even make it smaller. In fact, the solution might be to make government even bigger so that it can do the job it has to do more efficiently. That's what we're led to believe anyway. Here's some more from the article excerpted above:
According to a 2007 paper by Austrian economist Friedrich Schneider, the shadow economy in Italy accounted for 22.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), that of Spain 19.3%, Portugal 19.2% and Greece a staggering 25.1%. By comparison, the U.S. shadow economy was 7.2% of GDP.
A recent European Union report came up with similar figures. Silvio Berlusconi mused several years ago that high tax rates in Italy made evasion a "natural right" for many. And the evidence does suggest that wherever tax rates and social security contributions are high, the shadow economy is larger.
The U.S. ambassador in Rome noted in a 2009 diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks that Italy was "addicted both to profligate social welfare spending and to tax evasion." And this year, Industry Minister Paolo Romani estimated "phantom" or undeclared income in Italy at a monstrous $320 billion.
The Italian state – whose debt has measured more than 100% of GDP every year since 1992 – is perennially poor, in a country of individual wealth that's well hidden from the authorities. Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti (photo, left) recently told a conference that fewer than 800 people in Italy – which is the world's seventh-richest country – had declared incomes of more than 1 million euros ($1.4 million) in 2010.
That means the salaried middle class end up paying more. Tremonti is aiming to more than double the amount recovered from tax evasion within the next two years. A recently unveiled series of television commercials attacks the "parassita della societa" – the parasites evading taxes, comparing them with malarial mosquitoes.
Where to start? The problem is not taxation, and certainly not effective taxation. The problem is money stuff itself, which is constantly debased by an unholy monetary system put in place by the great central banking families and their enablers and associates who are intent on building one-world government.
Metaphorically, they print tens and hundreds of trillions while instructing their controlled media to run stories about average people who are struggling desperately to keep their houses and provide their families with food. The problem isn't taxes or a lack therefore. The problem is a conspiracy to create world government – and a power elite that will lie and cheat and steal to do it.
It is the powers-that-be that created this mess with ruinous super money. And they continue to print trillions and trillions while pointing fingers elsewhere – anywhere else. Again, in the central banking era, taxes mean nothing. They are merely a way of confusing an already confused middle class and extracting as much wealth as possible to ensure that middle classes in aggregate continue to struggle.
Those who are desperate to keep their heads above water are not going to be very effective opponents of the new world order. They are not going to be in a position to confront the elites any time soon. Meanwhile, the same tiny group of individuals that wants to create world government is intent on demonizing the private sector (and regular hard-working people) in order to do so.
In Latin, politics means "tick" or "bloodsucker." Tremonti calls those who don't pay their fair share of taxes "parassita delllo societa." Perhaps he ought to look in a mirror.