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Interesting post. The stuff about corporate taxes goes against my prejudices, so I'll have to think about them more before believing you :-). I do notice that your argument is based on ranking - it is the relative amount of tax in different coutnries that is important, not the absolute magnitude. Does this mean we are caught in a "race to the bottom?"

On the personal taxation side, I would think that the effect (and acceptability) of high consumption taxes depend on the level of inequality in society (as well as on the breadth of essentials or near-essentials that are taxed)? That is, in a relatively egalitarian society -- such as the Nordic countries? -- the mix of income taxes and consumption taxes is not that important, while in a very unequal society different mixes make a big difference.

I wouldn't characterise emulating the Nordic experience as a 'race to the bottom'; they're among the richest countries in the world, and they generally do very well in international rankings for productivity.

And I'd also argue that the egalitarianism in Nordic countries is a *result* of their policies, not a prerequisite for putting them in place.

I don't think the 'race to the bottom' is a real problem. Nor do I think that there's any reason why progressives should oppose lower corporate taxes.

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