Sunday, January 04, 2009

IMF socialism

I wrote this last April 3, 2008:

IMF socialism

In a news report today in Manila Times, the headline news in its Business section is "IMF calls for higher taxes, more cuts in fiscal perks",

The top IMF bureaucrat in the country, Mr. Reza Baquir, the IMF resident representative, is referring to higher excise tax -- most likely on tobacco and alcohol products. If the IMF will also advocate increasing, instead of abolishing, excise tax on gasoline products, then they're really a bunch of shameless bureaucrats who just live off on endless taxes for their salaries and perks. But he or any other IMF official made no mention about excise tax on gasoline, so no comment at the moment.

They are also proposing "improved tax administration". Meaning those multiple taxes, many of which you won't even hear or being imposed in the country's richer neighbors like HK, Singaporeare and Malaysia, should be strictly imposed and collected.

I'm sure the IMF bureaucrats are aware of the WB-IFC's annual study, "Doing Business". In that study, in collaboration with top auditing, tax and law offices in each country being surveyed, the number of procedures, number of days, costs, etc. of opening a business, closing a business, paying taxes, etc. are being tallied and countries are ranked who are the most bureaucratic and who are the most business-friendly.

The Philippines is always among those most bureaucratic, most number of taxes and fees, among Asian countries. The IMF bureaucrats, along with their counterparts from the WB, ADB, USAID, etc. who also attended the recent Philippine Development Forum (PDF) are aware of these.

And the IMF officials, along with their local counterparts called "local consultants" are not even in the mood to call for reduction of number of taxes and strict implementation of those that will be retained. I mean, why should the Philippines have 47 different taxes for medium-sized firms when HK would have only 4, Singapore only 5, Japan only 13, and even socialist Vietnam has 32 and socialist China has 35? The IMF and their local counterparts would be calling for "better tax administration" so that all those 47 taxes will be collected from the struggling Philippine enterprises? Good grief!

The leftist groups -- from the socialist to national democrats to other variants -- are wrong when they attack the IMF (and WB) for being a "neo-liberal" institution. At the end of the day, the leftist groups and the IMF, along with other UN agencies, have one thing in common: they all love high taxes, more government subsidies and intervention, less personal responsibility. Make many services as "government responsibility", close but not too close, to socialism.

In socialism, government socializes housing, health care, education, pension, transportation, etc. And the poor become "equal" with the otherwise rich people. But the state also socializes the people's pockets and savings, their dreams and aspirations. So many people would rather be lazy and irresponsible because if they work hard and earn big, the state will socialize their income anyway. If they're lazy and poor, the state has socialized education, health care and housing ready for them.

IMF socialism is cute. Their bureaucrats get tax-free income, tax-free importation for their luxury cars, and they live off on taxes, that is why they have to call for higher taxes, less tax holidays, and better tax administration.


NC Editor said...

Dear Mr. Oplas.

My name is Francis and my friends and I just recently found your blogs on a routine search for the Philippine Taxpayers Union. We were a little surprised that you know who Friedrich A. Hayek is!

I love that the LVM Institute in Alabama has re-released a lot of Hayek's early 1930's works both in book format: and in downloadable pdf:

Our webpage is and we would like to be able to link you and any of your friends to our site.

We plan to have an on-line newspaper and Internet portal offering traditional perspectives and political-economic solutions to current events in the Philippines. We're planning to offer viable private solutions to public problems. (We don't want to be all talk, talk, talk.)

Its always been difficult looking for Filipino libertarians, so we are sincerely grateful to TX Rep. Ron Paul for showing people that there is another viewpoint than the State's.

Even so, after reading your profile and visiting your Minimal Government Thinkers website, one of my writers was a little hesitant to offer you an invitation since from personal experience, issues such limited government, economics, free trade, constitutionalism, tax resistance, etc. and their promotion in the Philippines, appears to be a young man's game.

Even those who does share similar viewpoint, such as UP Professor René Azurin (part of the minority report on charter change) are a little too set in their ways and prevents them from recognizing contributions from the younger and less credentialed generation.

For example, that blogpost you had on those missionaries wanting to set up a school and giving up due to red tape? I have had the same goal in mind, but I know how to sidestep the DepEd and still offer an International Standards primary and secondary education to anyone who asks regardless of budget. All of it off-the-shelf technology. All it needs now are investors. I've managed to lower at lot of the R&D costs, but, like most projects, it still needs investors and interested patrons since the project is for-profit and a little out of my pocket book.

Please visit us!


Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Ok Francis, I visited your website, it says it's under construction. So how can we work together? You can email me at