Seems like Jersey isn't the only tax haven to lose its way.
Came across this article in a recent British Virgin Islands news article.
Paradoxically, and with all the new found wealth, poverty, crime, mental illness and loneliness are all on the increase. Commentators and academics will argue that this is the price you pay for modern prosperity. This Old Boy is not that certain it is.
The Virgin Islands has forgotten that true prosperity is not the number of large homes that sit on the hill, and the Cadillac in the garage. True prosperity is a state of heart that understands that true wealth begins with love of community, good character, and trust.
But whose fault is that? Like everywhere else, we love to blame others for society’s woes. We forget that the problem with the material culture is that it comes with terrible baggage: greed, selfishness, even wickedness. But, for certain checks and balances in place, a feature of Overseas Territories watched over by an “aloof” but “frugal” Britain, many a Caribbean jurisdiction would be in bankruptcy today, with even greater and more grievous social consequences, such as dire poverty and unsustainable crime.
For all the “talk about independence” Whitehall, or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, remains a critical link and artery buttressing and maintaining fiscal responsibility in Overseas Territories. But for British oversight, the lid on financially irresponsibility would have been twisted off, emptying treasuries in OTs and exponentially increasing deficits and overspending, leading to increased poverty and slowing economic growth.
Overspending is not synonymous with economic stimulus. Stimulus is intelligent and thoughtful economic policy. Stimulus is always conducted with economic sustainability and viability as a backdrop.
Being a faraway “overseer” of overseas territories, British oversight has attempted to stem the flow from the burst pipe of fiscal irresponsibility in many countries she oversees.
At the root of this “excessive and ostentatious governing culture” are the greater excesses of a ‘stupid rush’ for the material by populations who starting in the late 1970s became prosperous as defined by western social and economic theory.
Government is not a gravy train, but a manager of scarce resources. However, government and governed are in a symbiotic relationship. Government is a reflection of the wider culture. And whatever drives that culture drives government.