Commentary & Opinion
Financial Tax to Fund HIV/AIDS Relief a "Bad Idea"
August 3, 2010
"HIV/AIDS is terrible, and so is poverty," but demanding "a tax on financial transactions to fund HIV/AIDS relief in poor countries" is "a bad idea," writes Eamonn Butler, director of economic-think tank the Adam Smith Institute, in an Addis Fortune opinion piece. Butler continues, "the proposed tax will directly harm trade" by making transactions more expensive. He also argues that "taxes do not go to the poor, they go to the government, bureaucracy and projects that politicians want, not what is needed."
The author also argues that HIV/AIDS is the "wrong thing" to spend a financial tax on because "far more people in poor countries die from other, preventable, diseases." He writes the poor are hampered not by a lack of Western aid, but by a lack of "property rights and the rule of law" as well as "corruption" and local and Western trade barriers. "Instead of more taxes amid austerity, the campaigners should be demanding that the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.) set an example by freeing trade completely. That is the way to end world poverty and the diseases that go with it" (8/1).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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