June 2012 Archives

Why Pay Taxes and Debts?

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Would some kind reader explain why I shouldn't follow the example of the so called 'good and great' and avoid paying my debts and taxes by hiding my wealth, falsifying documentation or emigrating to a tax or bankruptcy haven?

Letter published in the Sunday Business Post on 17th June 2012.

I wrote the following unpublished letter to the Irish Times on 27th May (two days before the referendum).

To assist decision-making in an uncertain situation, such as a referendum, there is a technique called mini-max which entails selecting the option that minimises the maximum post-event regret, i.e. to minimise the force with which you'll kick yourself for having made in retrospect the wrong decision.

If 'yes' voters win, I believe that many of them will kick themselves as they will realise they have locked themselves into a bad deal from which they cannot escape as further austerity bites and stability proves elusive.

They will regret their 'yes' votes and realise that 'no' would have kept options open, created space during a time of great uncertainty, and bolstered Ireland's negotiating position on bank debt write offs, growth and austerity strategies, and future funding.

But, by then it will be too late as whatever chance they might have had of a second referendum if 'no' wins, they'll regret having no such opportunity if 'yes' wins.

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