I saw this piece in PolitNavigator yesterday.
The inventor of the Laffer Curve (shown above, which is really hard to draw, even with a compass), and whose name, quite coincidentally, is Arthur Betz Laffer, has been invited to Ukraine, to be Economic Advisor to Natalie Jaresko.
Jaresko, an American citizen, is one of those Ukrainian-Americans of a certain age (born 1965) whose parents and grandparents belong to even more sensitive age cohorts — Papa Ivan Jaresko, born 1932 in Poltava – claims that during WWII “he was deported with his family to a Nazi camp inside Germany” [yalensis: which reminds of old Ukrainian joke: “When you come to dinner tonight, please do not speak about Auschwitz, is very sensitive topic for my brother-in-law: He lost his dear uncle there. Poor guy got drunk and fell off the guard tower one night…”].
But I digress..
So, this nice lady, Natalie Jaresko, who is now the Minister of Finances in Ukraine, has invited Arthur Laffer, an old Reaganomics racehorse left out to pasture, to advise her on tax reform. Hence the headline: “Milk Ukrainians” – get it? They will figure out together how to tax this benighted population.
Laffer’s theories of taxes, and economics in general, are considered part of the “neo-liberal” school. His theories have inspired world leaders of the past, from Margaret Thatcher to Augusto Pinochet. The Navigator piece notes, helpfully, that under the Pinochet government in Chile, the number of citizens living below the poverty line increased from 22% to 48%.
But never assume that Ukrainians will ever reject an idea, just because it has been discredited, or failed in the past. Papa Ivan would not want it that way.