The coming national competitions

Countries, being only enlargements of the small human groups in which our typically human genes have been evolving for six million years, are always going to be highly competitive. They can be no other. But now that modern weapons of war are becoming too dangerous for use between countries of similar power, how will the competition take place?

Events like Olympic Games, World Soccer Cups. Test Cricket Matches, and many others will serve as substitutes for warfare. But, like warfare, these can be expensive and might easily cripple a country that’s not economically able to support them — such as Brazil and the Olympic Games this year, or Russia’s hosting of the World Soccer Cup in 2018.

Citizens in those countries which over-extend themselves in hosting international jamborees won’t thank their governments unless the latter can also promise a higher standard of living. The only practical way that a government can achieve this is by charging low corporate taxation and attracting quality multinational corporations to set up operations in its domain.

Taxation is not the only enticement that will have to be made to multinational businesses over the longer term but it seems to be the main one for the near future. Unless the present world trading system picks itself up by its bootstraps and brings joy to all advanced governments — and maybe some others, too — then we may expect increasingly intensive tax competition in the years immediately ahead.

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