|Tuesday, 16 December 2003||
In a dramatic account of John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington on April 14, 1865, the actor was said to have exclaimed, after shooting the President and jumping to the stage: “Sic semper tyrannis.” (That’s Latin for “Thus always to tyrants.”)
We could say the same about the capture of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, assuming he will get the fairness he cruelly denied to many thousands of his countrymen and to his nation for so many years.
But let’s get away from the momentarily sensational and be a bit more practical.
Late last week European Union member nations failed to adopt a much debated constitution for the EU. Aside from the fact that this bureaucratic document failed to mention Europe’s religious heritage or even God, it went down to defeat because of the smaller nations’ fear of the voting power of the larger nations, especially Germany and France.
The defeat was largely at the hands of the smaller nations, many of them in eastern Europe and scheduled to join the EU next year. Poland and veteran EU member Spain teamed up to lead that bloc.
But what is more revealing about the leaders of the EU is their attitude towards competitive free enterprise, especially their hatred of offshore tax havens. As Cato’s Veronica deRugy says: “The EU is really bothered by [tax havens] because they are such a strong competitors. Most EU countries are doing very poorly with high tax rates, high unemployment, slow economic growth, massive brain drain and capital flight.”
One by one the new EU member nations, notably Malta and Cyprus, were forced to dismantle their offshore tax and privacy laws favoring foreign investors. The EU has made the same demands on the tax haven offshore territories of the United Kingdom, resulting in possibly fatal threats to the economies of places such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
The European Union was supposed to be a federation of nations bound together by the common principles of liberty and economic freedom. More and more it appears to be a supranational socialist cabal in which weaker members must surrender their rights and the leftist big boys rule.
Tyranny comes in many forms, including that of the majority. Perhaps the defeat of this so-called constitution will cause all EU members to wake up and consider where those idealistic plans went very wrong.
That’s way that it looks from here.
BOB BAUMAN, Editor
THE SOVEREIGN SOCIETY OFFSHORE A-LETTER (http://www.sovereignsociety…)
* A victory for good sense. The Economist. LINK:
* European Union: no deal on constitution. NY Times. LINK:
* Spain and Poland may pay financial price. LINK:
* Offshore competition too ‘strong’ for the E.U.
* What wrong with the EU savings tax directive?