The proposals put forward by Zucman and Saez deserve to be read in full, but are elegantly explained and well formulated. They would both de-globalise tax policy and re-democratise it, cutting through the fiction that multinational companies such as Apple owns its most valuable assets in small islands with low tax rates, rather than in the western countries where it has its headquarters. If implemented, these companies – and, thus, their owners – would be forced to pay a fair price for their access to our markets.
The authors’ core argument is that decisions on tax are the most important that a democratic society makes, since they shape everything else. Taxes are the price we pay for civilisation and civilisation cannot afford free-riders. When the liberal order is under greater attack than it has been for decades, that is a lesson we all need to learn – and quickly.