On the economic miracle which is Mauritius, our Nobel Laureate has this to say:
Suppose someone were to describe a small country that provided free education through university for all of its citizens, transport for school children and free healthcare – including heart surgery – for all. You might suspect that such a country is either phenomenally rich or on the fast track to fiscal crisis.
Well, no, not really. Education and health care are services. Where labour is cheap (which it is in a poorish country of course) it\’s actually eaiser to provide these things than it is in a richer country where labour is more expensive.
But leave that aside, how has this wondrous development been possible?
As if to prove Meade wrong, the Mauritians have increased per capita income from less than $400 around the time of independence to more than $6,700 today. The country has progressed from the sugar-based monoculture of 50 years ago to a diversified economy that includes tourism, finance, textiles, and, if current plans bear fruit, advanced technology.
Yup, Mauritius is on Ritchie\’s little list of tax havens which steal money from other places. Specifically, it\’s where a lot of Indian tax avoidance is done.
So, it seems that being a tax haven is indeed the route to development then.
Why does Ritchie want to impoverish the Mauritians?