Recently, detailed proposals have been circulating within the international community for an upcoming global tax. At the present time the United Nations is primarily funded through the contributions of member countries, which many globalists view as being restrictive to the growth of the world organization.
By Jamie Brendan
From Terror Attack to Global Taxation
“There is a time in an international crisis when all are so frightened of what might happen that they will accept many things that they would not have even contemplated before the crisis; and indeed are unlikely to contemplate a week after it has ended.” These were the words of Canadian diplomat Lester Pearson in 1968.
He was speaking about a delicate window of opportunity just before the United Nations established its first ever peacekeeping force. The occasion was the 1956 Suez Crisis. The stated reason at the time for establishing a UN military presence in the region was the hope that it would deter a major military escalation between Israel and Egypt.
Pearson, who later became Prime Minister of Canada, led the move in creating this first peacekeeping force, and for his part in making this a reality, he received the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize. It was not until the 1968 Reith Lectures, however, that Pearson revealed how the fear surrounding the Suez Crisis was actually manipulated in order to achieve a wider agenda. He further stated, “So at the time…my resolution for a police force was greeted with almost unanimous acclaim.”
It therefore shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that the September 11th terrorist attacks have become a rallying point for world government activists who want to see a permanent global security force established. It has been effectively argued in the past that, in order to protect the world from terrorism, the United Nations must have at its disposal an internationalized police force. The World Federalist Association (WFA), along with other global governance organizations, have been saying this for years.
Now, with the world outraged and calling for a “global crackdown” on terrorism, members of the international community are using this cry to build upon their larger agenda. And as we just learned above, unknown to most, this is precisely how the first UN “peacekeepers” were formed.
Recently, detailed proposals have been circulating within the international community for an upcoming global tax. At the present time the United Nations is primarily funded through the contributions of member countries, which many globalists view as being restrictive to the growth of the world organization. In order to be freed from this monetary limitation imposed by sovereign nations, it is believed that an alternative source of revenue is needed. Already, one G7 nation has officially endorsed a world taxation program that would provide such an alternative. Other countries are seriously considering this same course of action.
Optional funding sources for the United Nations is not a new idea. Addressing the 1963 Harvard Alumni Association, UN Secretary-General U Thant related how a future United Nations “world police force” could only become a reality when the organization’s economic hurdles had been overcome.
Similarly, Richard Falk, one of the most influential world-law attorneys recognized the importance of independent funding in his massive four volume series The Strategy of World Order, which was published in 1966 by the World Law Fund. In it Falk noted, “If we conceive of life in a drastically altered international system with a large UN Police Force and a World Development Authority having a budget of up to 50 billion dollars per year, then the need to have assured sources of revenue is indeed significant.”
Today, the economic goals of the United Nations greatly exceed the 50 billion dollar mark.
During the last couple of decades, innovative “global thinking” has resulted in a variety of alternative funding concepts. Presently, the United Nations Economic and Social Council has examined a multitude of money raising ideas, including the creation of a world lottery, a UN credit card program, and imposing “fines” for violating international law.
One unique proposal being circulated within the international community is that of a UN Security Insurance Agency. This plan, if implemented, would allow small countries that lack significant military forces to pay insurance premiums to the United Nations. In turn, the UN would guarantee the security of the insured nation by mobilizing armed units against anyone who would threaten it. With this suggestion, the UN is empowered in two different ways; 1. Revenue is generated into the world body. 2. The UN is given its own international military force to deal with potential security breaches. Both elevate the world body far beyond its present-day stature.
Surcharges and user-fees have also been suggested as viable funding options. In Our Global Neighborhood, the report of the UN sponsored Commission on Global Governance, a variety of user fee arrangements were listed:
- Surcharges on airline tickets, including an extra charge for international flights
- Charges on ocean-going maritime traffic for use of international waterways
- Surcharges for non-coastal ocean fishing
- User fees for activities in Antarctica, and
- Parking fees for geostationary satellites.
But of all the various proposals, world taxation schemes have received the most attention. To this end, the Commission on Global Governance suggested a number of taxation models, including a “carbon tax” based on “carbon emissions,” and a corporate levy on multinational companies. While the Commission recognized that taxes are “never politically popular at the best of times,” it acknowledged one particular plan over all others-a plan now officially accepted, at least in principle, by America’s largest trading partner.
Canada Adopts Tobin Tax
In 1978, U.S. economist James Tobin published his thoughts on global monetary reform in the Eastern Economic Journal. His concept, now known as the “Tobin tax,” called for a universally accepted charge on foreign currency transactions. Considering the trillions of dollars traded each year, the fund raising potential is staggering. And, as a selling point to national governments, the concept is being touted as a way of clipping the wings of “rogue” currency traders. In fact, the Tobin tax has been so well received among various global policy makers that in 1999 the federal government of Canada officially endorsed it.
On October 28, 1998, Lorne Nystrom, a Member of Parliament from the province of Saskatchewan, introduced the Tobin tax to the Canadian House of Commons. Describing the levy as “a feasible part of a new world order and new world vision,” Nystrom elaborated on how large the coffers would have been if the tax had been implemented based on 1995 foreign currency transactions. In his speech to the House, the intent of the hoped-to-be imposed tax was laid out in crystal clear language. He said:
“If there were a 0.1% Tobin tax on foreign currency transactions, that would raise, in 1995 dollars, $176 billion U.S. That is a lot of money. A Tobin tax of 0.003% would be enough money to fund the United Nations peacekeeping around the world…One of the consequences would be the establishment of a global village which would have a common good amongst all nations of the world. There would be a strengthening of international organizations. The United Nations would become a meaningful world government and would share things with national governments around the world. There could be permanent international peacekeeping forces. There are many things that could be done.”
Nystrom further clarified that the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank could be reformed to implement this plan, although he preferred “a new international financial agency to administer the Tobin tax.” According to Mr. Nystrom, the world would be a better place if we had a global IRS.
While some members of parliament did voice opposition to the tax proposal, it received broad political support across party lines. On March 23, 1999, the Canadian Parliament passed the Tobin tax with a vote of 164 to 83. At this time the tax is simply “on the books,” with the understanding that when the international community fully accepts it, Canada will already be in the loop.
Considering that Canada is America’s largest trading partner, with commerce trade running in excess of $362 billion in 1999 alone, the Tobin tax decision takes on special significance. And now France, among other European nations -and the European Union itself-is contemplating this tax. Brazil has also been discussing it.
The Push for US Acceptance
Within the United States, the Tobin tax has been slow to catch on, but it is starting to make political headway. In the year 2000, Congressmen Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Senator Paul Wellstone (DMN) urged the U.S. government to enact the global levy. Certain special interest groups have also joined the cause. The California-based Center for Environmental Economic Development has established the “Tobin Tax Initiative.” And the World Federalist Association, the nation’s largest “world government” lobby group, is hard at work to sway U.S. policymakers to consider the tax .
International non-governmental organizations (NGOs)-special interest groups with world-wide influence-are also supportive. The World Federalist Movement (WFM), which is the global mother organization under which the WFA operates, is striving to advance the principles of the Tobin tax. Its executive officer, Bill Pace, played a central role during last year’s UN Millennium Forum (May 22 26, 2000), in which over 1,000 NGOs from around the world played a part. During one of the Forum’s sessions, world federalists and other world government advocates poured over ideas for alternative UN funding. Again, the Tobin tax took a high priority.
During the final day of the Forum, international attorney Richard Falk through the invitation of Bill Pace-held a special meeting with world federalists and other key leaders regarding specific global governance proposals. Not surprisingly, many of the meeting participants had given vocal support to the Tobin tax earlier during the week. As an accredited participant at the Forum, it became clear to me that world taxation is viewed as strategic landmark in the creation of a world government. But there are problems.
While great strides have been made to advance world taxation major implementation problems exist. The tax would have to be universally accepted; otherwise, non-participating nations would quickly become tax havens. With this in mind, what enforcement options would be used for non-compliant countries? Who would ultimately collect the tax and oversee its use? How would a global tax affect national and regional economies? And what safeguards would be employed to restrain corruption or to keep the levy from continually rising?
Initially, problems surrounding design and management of the tax may seem insoluble. However, the fact remains that we now have a harmonized global tariffs arrangement, which at one time was considered as utopian as the presently discussed international tax. Key organizations and individuals within the world community are not asking “if” or “when,” but rather “what will it take?”
Beyond the predictable complications associated with implementing a UN empowering world tax, a greater danger exists in what such taxation represents. In the third volume of Richard Falk’s Strategy of World Order, Norman J.Padelford, an early advocate of United Nations monetary reform, gave a warning regarding autonomous UN funding. “The power of an independent purse could become the prelude to the seizing and exercising of independent power. This could be detrimental to national independence and even ultimately to personal freedom.”
This danger struck home while I was attending a youth-oriented world government conference in Washington, D.C. (The date and location of this meeting is being withheld for security reasons). One of the panelists-a young lady from the U.S.-rigorously pressed the need for a world management system equipped with the power to tax. She said:”
On the international level, graduated tax must be implemented…Presently, Americans accept mandatory taxes on a state and national level. A successful world government rides on applying this system internationally. Aside from economic sacrifices, effective [world] government entails the sacrifice of certain freedoms.
In cultivating security through a globally respected law enforcement system, all nations, and therefore all people must cooperate and make some sacrifices… A world government must establish an equilibrium where certain freedoms are restricted in mankind’s best interest…global law transcends national law, and unity carries more weight than diversity. This requires each nation state to yield certain rights to the international government, vowing to abide by international decisions.”
The Price of World Security
It has often been said that the dividends derived from alternative United Nations funding programs-like the Tobin tax-would go towards making the world a “safer” place. U Thant inferred this during his 1963 Harvard speech. And the more recent legislative action of the Canadian government also demonstrated this taxation/world police and security link.
We can already see that the September 11th terror attack on the United States is being used as another justification for UN empowerment, just as the Suez Crisis was employed to establish the world’s first peacekeeping force. The agenda is set, and the World Trade Center is the excuse. Before the window of opportunity closes, expect it to continue to be exploited to the hilt.
Yes, terrorism is evil. And there is a terrorism crisis at hand. But during this calamity and its aftermath, there is a risk of accepting solutions that would never have been “contemplated before the crisis.” World government leaders would like to see a UN police force mandated to counter the global terrorist threat and a world tax to fund such a force.
If a world tax were to become a reality for whatever the reason-it would elevate the United Nations to the level of a sovereign world management regime. When that happens, the organization would cease to exist as we know it, becoming, instead, the governing institution for all nations.
Jamie Brendan is a free-lance writer who attends closed-door world government meetings, and has been a guest on the “Politics & Religion” radio broadcast.