If Poland joins…

We might suddenly start looking at a much more promising future. Cato’s Dan Mitchell reports:

Meanwhile, the Polish government already has promised to implement a flat tax, but a key official has suggested that the new system may be implemented in 2009 rather than in 2010 or 2011 as originally planned. Because of its size and geography, Poland’s shift to a flat tax would be a momentous development and could sharply increase the pressure for pro-growth reforms in Old Europe

Now, we’re obviously still pretty far away from getting Germany and France to join the club – probably even Britain will be quite some time. However, what I could see happening here is countries like Austria, Luxembourg, maybe even Belgium (not entirely sure how their ethnic troubles might play into that – not give the central government any money? Don’t feel confident commenting on that one…) joining. They have progressive privacy laws in terms of banking and they are fairly pro-free-market – at least when compared to Germany and France. What could also happen – and I know I’m merely daydreaming here – is Italy joining. In a mad moment and with tons of luck, they might pass it and then we could potentially see some real results there and finally the big, lazy ones would be forced to join too (even though considering the size of Italy’s grey/black market I’m not sure how big the effect would be).

For the time being, let’s just hope more and more Swiss cantons join and Switzerland can lead the way like they do on many issues – highlighting to the rest of Europe (and especially those countries within the EU) that, yeah, there is indeed a better way to do business.


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