A Response to a Reader About the "AIDS Tax"
Mrs. Dr. Laure-Elisabeth Flohic
Assistant Undersecretary for International Programmes, Ministry of Health and of the Family,
I think we need to understand why I object to something so seemingly altruistic and superficially generous. Mr. Chirac’s taxation scheme specifically calls for either a “levy that could be imposed on international financial transactions without hampering markets” or as an alternative “raising the funds by taxing fuel for air and sea transport, or levying $1 on every airline ticket sold in the world.” Herein lies Mr. Chirac’s discernable myopia on this particular issue.
To begin with it is impossible to add a centralized international taxation upon global markets without negatively affecting the free interaction of said markets. A levy upon any transaction will cause a chilling effect upon exchanges leading to an obvious slow down of the market systems that are needed to keep alive the global profits that produce the opportunity to invest in health-care to begin with. Mr. Chirac’s assurance that financial transactions will not be hampered is pure conjectural fantasy, loaded with delusional misperceptions that permit him to make such an obviously flawed and ignorant assertion. Another oversight, in this particular aspect of the plan, as
Seeing as how Chirac’s plan dealing strictly with HIV/AIDS would have such negative repercussions on the global economy as a whole, how then are we to lump on to said taxation rate the large burdens of “the paediatric bacterial infections, TB and malaria” that we wish to solve by levying an international tax that, through an as yet undefined leap of logic, exists without a measurable effect upon the global market? By any account, tackling a single one of the aforementioned issues would amount to an exponential increase in the rate of taxation necessary to adequately meet the public health needs demanded by a global tax. Though the concept sounds altruistically feasible and even necessary, it is impossible to implement the idea without destroying/stagnating global markets and thereby undermining the production of capital that forms the fiduciary basis of the global public health infrastructure. It is a self-defeating ideology (as most socialist ideals tend to be and have repeatedly been proven to be).
The way in which countries can deal with the problem of disease in the developing world is not (as I have attempted to demonstrate) the levying of an international tax, rather it is through discretionary spending on developmental aid. Allowing for individual governments to allocate portions of their particular budget for distribution to areas of need (i.e. Bush’s South African AIDS pledge) is the fiscal manner in which global health needs can be efficiently addressed while unfettered markets are left to continue to produce the profits that permit the investments. Governmental oversight of semi-free markets (as within the