Mr. Rabushka's book "The Flat Tax" has just been published in Chinese, with a preface by Lou Jiwei, the vice minister of finance. If China were to climb on board the flat-tax train, more than a quarter of the world's population would be filling out their taxes on the back of a postcard.
Here is the best part:
Despite all of its advantages, the flat tax faces enormous ideological opposition. Envy and the lust for the political control that complicated tax regimes can provide are powerful motivations to keep progressive tax systems in place. Karl Marx in "The Communist Manifesto" was among the first to call for "a heavy progressive or graduated income tax" at a time when a flat rate was the norm in advanced countries. He listed it as second in the list of priorities for a new society based on the class struggle.
It is therefore ironic that every country that has adopted the flat tax is a former communist nation--except Hong Kong, the modern originator of the concept, which has seen its new communist rulers retain the flat tax as a centerpiece of its economic policies.
If only India jumps on the bandwagon, half of the world's population will be freed from the burden of heavy and complicated taxation.