Wealth taxes add enormous economic complexity and collect little

Patslatt1

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That is complete bollocks. Putin and these oligarchs made a pact in St Petersburg many years ago that he handles the politics while they get on with their looting of the state, and criminal activities such as protection racketeering via the FSB 'retirement clubs', prostitution, drugs, you name it.

The entire arrangement there with oligarchs and the heads of major businesses in Russia is known as the 'St Petersburg Club'. It is a criminal state, alongside the US which is run by investment banks who launder money through the banking system for criminal cartels.
I agree it is a mafia state. But in regard to bollocks, you overlooked my point that the small number of big confiscations "created great uncertainty and made the rich who weren't close to the government feel defenceless." The latter rich feel forced to defend their property rights by money laundering. The oligarchs and the rich have to be extremely careful to keep close to Putin and his inner circle, for instance doing big favours occasionally such as helping with construction of the Sochi games.
 


Lumpy Talbot

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No
That's the Czar's Levy and still a form of taxation. So in one sense Putin is doing better as a national leader than most western tax systems are. Roman Abramovich has spent years trying to resign as Governor of a region in Siberia with Putin preferring to keep him in a public-representative post, which is a fairly subtle warning to Abramovich to remain loyal.

The penalties Putin could bring down on Abramovich are much more severe when accompanied by accusations of illegality while being a public servant of Moscow than it would be if he was a private citizen abroad. Treason becomes available as a charge.
 


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