This NYT article explains an interesting system of tax cuts reminded me of the Irish Double Dutch Sandwich we discussed in class. Countries, or in this case, local governments, compete to give businesses or rich people tax breaks, while in the end, arguably, hurting more than helping the “average” or “middle-class” person.
“Taxpayers who donate money to Hirado get a nice deduction and a shipment of slipper lobsters, spiral-shelled mollusks and oysters.”
“The cost of thank-you gifts is also rising steadily as local governments compete to attract patrons — leaving less to spend on civic projects. Urban areas, where most donors live, end up bearing the cost, according to Takero Doi, a professor at Keio University, since donors’ tax write-offs subtract from other cities’ revenue. ‘Ultimately, it’s a zero-sum game.’”