Should the U.S. do something similar to shame evaders and close loopholes?
Earlier this week, we considered how income transparency could benefit the economy. It could help to reduce income inequality and make the labor market more efficient by encouraging poorly performing workers to move on to different jobs. Could any benefits be derived by publicizing the amount of taxes people pay?
In fact, Norway does both of these things. One nice feature of tax transparency is that it discourages tax evasion. Here's the logic, from Bernard Hickey at interest.co.nz. He wants to apply this concept to New Zealand:
Transparency is the best form of disinfectant on this issue. One country that has a long history of using such a disinfectant to keep its economy strong while being fair is Norway. It publishes for all to see the net worth, income and taxpaid of all taxpayers.
It is controversial in Norway, particularly in an age when data hoarding electronic marketeers can use the information for all sorts of legal (and illegal) sales techniques. But it does mean there is nowhere to hide.
Property developers here who have never paid tax (and there are a few) will be plain for all to see. How would the tax avoiders feel if it was clear to their neighbours and relatives that they weren't pulling their weight?
It would be one way to rebalance the debate and tackle an issue at the heart of New Zealand's fiscal imbalances and social inequality
You could only imagine the fun journalists would have with this information. What portion of income did Goldman Sachs's CEO pay to taxes? How about the biggest hedge fund managers? What about the CEO of General Electric? How about A-Rod?