Want to end corruption? Crack down on tax havens.

   0   0 Blog, Corruption

That headline comes from an opinion piece just in the Washington Post, written by Nicholas Shaxson, a TJN writer.

Among other things, it’s searching for deeper understandings of corruption that capture its systemic effects on rules, systems and institutions.

“Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe points toward a better, more systemic definition of corruption in his 1983 classic, “The Trouble with Nigeria”: “A normal sensible person will wait for his turn if he is sure that the shares will go round,” he wrote. “If not, he might start a scramble.”

Picture society as a queue. Disrupt a queue with, say, a fire hose, and after the spluttering has ceased, order should re-emerge – just as stable countries recover from earthquakes or economic shocks. Yet when the strongest push in at the front, that is more dangerous: People begin to lose faith in the queue, and in each other. They start to wonder: “Why should I pay my taxes if the rich go offshore and evade theirs?” Or “If I don’t snaffle that stream of oil revenue to feed my family, then that jerk in the next ministry will get it.”

Now read on. Also see our very recent Corruption edition of Tax Justice Focus.


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