Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Contributing Cause to the Greek Government's Financial Problems : Large-Scale Tax Evasion : Analysis of GDP in Euro Area States

We generated the following chart at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook Database online for GDP, current prices, expressed in U.S. $$ for the Euro area 2009, i.e. not including all EU States (please note that we have retained the IMF original footnotes but have shortened some of the labels from the original chart to make the chart fit on LawPundit):

You will find notes on the data and options to download the table below your results.
       Shaded cells indicate IMF staff estimates
CountrySubject DescriptorUnitsScaleCountry/Series
-specific Notes
2009
AustriaGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).381880
BelgiumGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).470400
CyprusGDP, current pricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).23603
FinlandGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).238128
FranceGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).2675915
GermanyGDP, current pricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).3352742
GreeceGDP, current pricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).330780
IrelandGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).227781
ItalyGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).2118264
LuxembourgGDP, current pricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).51736
MaltaGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).7955
NetherlandsGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).794777
PortugalGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).227855
Slovak RepublicGDP, Current PricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).88208
SloveniaGDP, current pricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).49217
SpainGDP, current pricesU.S. $$BillionsSee notes for: 

GDP, Current Prices (National currency).1464040

As can be seen, the GDP of Germany (population ca. 82 million) is roughly 10 times that of Greece (population ca. 11 million), while the GDP of Greece is nevertheless higher than that of eight other "Euro area" states on this list (half the list). There is in fact not a great deal of difference between the per capita GDP in Greece as compared to Germany.

So where is the money??

How can it be that the Greek government is now in such allegedly deep financial difficulties and is asking the world and the European Union for untold billions of dollars in financial aid when its citizens may be basking in weatlh?

One severe causal problem is discussed by Suzanne Daley at the New York Times in Greek Wealth Is Everywhere but Tax Forms, suggesting that the Greeks are by no means poor, but that a failing morality regarding the correct declaration of taxable income means that the Greek government sees little of the money that is actually earned in Greece -- indeed, as Daley writes:
"Various studies, including one by the Federation of Greek Industries last year, have estimated that the government may be losing as much as $30 billion a year to tax evasion — a figure that would have gone a long way to solving its debt problems. "
The legitimate question can thus be raised whether tax evasion is at the root of the Greek problem, posing the query as to why countries with a better tax declaration morality, such as Germany, where large tax burdens are shouldered by the citizens and by industry, should suffer the Greek government's financial burdens and bail out Greece, where the money is actually there in the Greek's own communities?

Gene Quinn at IPWatchDog.com has an On the Record Interview about Judging with Judge Randall Rader, who is slated to become the New Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit when Chief Judge Michel retires

Gene Quinn at IPWatchdog.com has a delightful

On the Record Interview with Judge Randall Rader

who is next in line to replace Chief Judge Redmond Michel
as the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit,
who has announced that he will retire May 31, 2010.

It's a very good read about judging.

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