What African Taxes Can Teach Us About America

Every time I see Bono on some stage, begging his fans to send money to Africa, I just think of all that money wasted. Because it is wasted – make no mistake. You would be hard pressed to find an actual individual in Africa who has been helped by any charity work that Bono or Madonna or even Angelina Jolie has done. All that money that they raise is a testament to their charm and celebrity, but it is completely and utterly wasted.

Africa does not hurt for money. Africa is an oil-rich nation. It so lacks the infrastructure to manage its own wealth, however, that Africa net-net imports oil.

The reason that Africa is a poor nation is because there are no taxes.

I know, I know. It sounds pretty great. Imagine being offered a job paying $60,000 per year, and actually seeing $60,000 per year. The mind reels with what could be done with those funds that are not going to line the pockets of the likes of Nancy Pelosi.

But there’s a weird irony at play here. When you don’t pay taxes, you aren’t invested in your country. The government does collect taxes from the oil companies working in Africa, but the average citizens aren’t taxed, therefore they have no relationship to the government. And the government, instead of building roads or providing a post office, just takes the money and runs.

On the flip side, you have the USA, the richest country the planet has ever known. We’re being taxed into poverty. Our money is going more and more toward government, which is weakening our private sector. These punitive taxes make us all poorer – not just those who are taxed, but the poor people who rely on our distributions.

The balance does not lie in the middle. The solution to a fifty percent tax is not a twenty-five percent tax. Low taxes are the solution. Very modest taxes. Five or seven percent would be ideal. That way, in the USA, we can keep flooding the market with our technology and wealth, which will trickle down to other people and places. A five to seven percent tax on Africans would franchise them into the system. But it won’t solve their problems until Capitalism is brought full-bore, into the country.

Just thinking of how to do that makes my brain hurt. I have no idea how to solve African poverty, or if it can be solved at all. I just know that the fact that they aren’t taxed at all is harmful, while our over taxation is even worse.

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  1. The guy who created the container freight industry did more to end poverty in China than any foreign aid program could have done. Ditto for the Internet and poverty in India.

    A few encouraging signs for Africa. Wal-Mart is looking at buying a retail chain there and expanding it. And several investment publications of late have been talking up opportunities in some African countries.

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