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Taking on tax The heated public debate about tax avoidance and the role of offshore tax havens now risks generating considerable heat and precious little light (“In pursuit of the $21 trillion”). It has allowed a distorted world view to emerge that seeks to explain away the debt and deficit problems of many western countries not in terms of government spending being too high, but in terms of affluent individuals and successful enterprises not paying their “fair share.” Squeezing yet more money from the private sector would, so the argument goes, allow the state sector to continue to grow. The…

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