Authored by William Robert Barber
I am engaged in establishing a business in Europe that is dependent on viable London banking and the distribution of my production company’s film in Cannes. On this particular voyage, analogous to my experience in the United States, England and France have scenes of conflicting images. The newspapers are full of negatives such as the bailout issues of certain EU members, the tenacity of the Euro, high unemployment, and the default of sovereign funds. All of these issues are rivaling for priority… Which is the worst of the tribulations? Is it the fiscal deficits that prompt the inflation priming of the economy, the austerity measures imposed by Germany’s Wolfgang Schäuble, or is it the so called growth policies pledged by France’s minister of finance, Pierre Mascovici? And then there is the conflicting visual: airport full, occupied taxis running to and fro, restaurants full of people eating and drinking, hotels’ raising room prices, and seemingly hundreds upon hundreds of enthusiasts from all over the world jamming into Cannes for the annual film festival.
The incompatible images tell me that the average merchant and citizen affected by the ineptitude of politicians have once again found a way to continue despite the present financial-economic conditions. I attribute the obvious bustling of commerce to the tenacity of merchants and citizens; it is a witness to what I call the black money economy — or that portion of the economy that pays no taxes on funds earned.
The black money percentage of a nation’s gross revenue is what greases the wheels of hand-to-mouth commerce. Non-taxable funds are the real surplus relief of any sophisticated economy. The more government trifles with the imposition of excessive taxation the blacker the black money becomes.
I believe there is a direct and proportionally corresponding relationship between the percentage of non taxable income and freedom, liberty; the higher the percentage of tax & amp, fees on revenue, the more draconian a government, the less black money floating about to grease the wheels of commerce, then definitely, the less likely that the economy will be able to service the economic needs of the people.
Government is destined to fail whenever it exceeds its mainstay of basic function. Respective of good intentions government cannot do all the thinking and acting for its citizens; it cannot guarantee moral behavior, or enforce even the basic of common sensibility. Government is not the all-encompassing arbitrager of ideological disputes; indeed, all governments since the beginning have been and are corrupt, the only deciding factor is to what extent.
For citizens, the more distant the apparatus of government the more irrelevant government becomes. The more relevant a citizen becomes to the workings of government the more enslaved the citizen. But then citizens have been trading their freedom and liberties to government for years, people actually believe that government is the solution. Well, particularly here in Europe, the people are so “all-in” the choice of individualism, self-reliance, and independent thinking is far-gone and conclusive, for Europeans, there could never be a revival to conservative values.
There is a reckoning and it’s on its way, like a maelstrom, to forcibly reconcile the financial wherewithal of leaderless governments and its foolhardy citizens.