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  • Writer's pictureMiguel Fernández

The bad and the good (capitalism & socialism)

On February 1, 2019, a Friday, the then state secretary of finance for the state of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Cláudio Rodrigues de Carvalho, told the newspapers that “... the tax evasion rates in Rio de Janeiro are 4 times higher than those in São Paulo", leaving in the air an insinuation that the business community in Rio de Janeiro is more evasive than in São Paulo. Although I'm from Rio de Janeiro, I'm from Vasco da Gama but, as a Carioca, I didn't like it. How about saying that the Fluminense political environment is to blame? After all, tax evasion will always be proportional to the taxes collected. The more “fees, taxes” the greater the temptation or the need not to pay them, even to remain competitive. I've lived in São Paulo for 5 years (in the 70s), I like São Paulo, I go to São Paulo a lot, and one of the things that most calls my attention today is that the price of gasoline at gas stations in São Paulo is , on average, about 20% cheaper there than here. It makes sense. ICMS on fuel in RJ is 34% (the highest in the country) and in SP it is 25% (the lowest in the country), did you know?

Do you understand why the airports in São Paulo are full and those in Rio are almost closing? Mr. Secretary, how about making our taxes equal to those of São Paulo? Or smaller ones, to make up for what has happened? Entrepreneurs from Rio are great: Globo is the biggest television network in the country, AMBEV (Brahma was from Rio, bought Antártica Paulista and moved there), construction company Gomes de Almeida - Fernandes was from Rio, absorbed Lopes Imobiliária de Sao Paulo became one of the biggest construction companies in São Paulo (and New York), many banks and finance companies (Lehmans, Sucupiras etc.), in short, several entrepreneurs who started here, fled there because of excruciating taxes, or not get grants distributed in a non-republican way. Not because they are tax evaders. Not because they went to the widow's tits. In the real estate sector, if the ITBI is 4%, the city halls of RJ are estimating sales values ​​at almost twice the real value, that is, an ITBI in practice of 7%. IPTUs with excuses such as distributivism (which is not the function of this tax), criminally increased when everyone knows that rents are being reduced so that properties do not remain empty. It could even be good to reduce real estate speculation, but since that's not why they're doing it, it creates more problems than benefits. In fact, the finance secretaries, always with terms of 4 years at the most, and not even knowing if they will stay that long, want more is to present immediate results, increase the collection, even killing the laying hens. _ The future here explodes, I win mine now and move to SP, to Miami, to Portugal (we already had a politician who certainly thought like that and would go to RS). Why isn't there a coherent long-term policy to fix this? I have it in my heart that while the legislators do not make laws to come into effect only in the next term, and the rulers govern with the pre-existing laws, we will not be able to fix anything. Everything will be for immediate interests. Giving "ways". Blame the non-Fluminense Ulisses Guimarães who reorganized our laws in the clumsy way that there is.

Does the reader know how many activity types are in the state and county tax codes, each with a different tax? More than a thousand. Why? For what? The consensus is that it is on purpose, for the industrialist, for the merchant, for the service provider, in short, for businessmen to make a mistake and remain “in the hands of inspectors”. What would be the problem if all activities paid 2.5% ISS or 7.5% ICM or IPI? Or should everyone pay 10%, whether on services, trade or production? After all, the money comes out of either the left or the right pocket, but it comes out of the consumer. But is it worth talking about it? Is it not a worldwide problem and we are just going through rock bottom? Already in legends, in folklore, the police, the military and the judges were the bad ones, to save the face of the Kings. Perhaps because those who write also have fears and interests. The hope was the Peter-Pans who, with the pixie dust, must have been the drug dealer. Or would it be Robin Hood's militia? I don't remember anymore. What difference does? Who was bad was who enforced the law. And the one who enforced the law was the one who arrested, it was the State! The rest were the sufferers, that is, the people in general. There was always a “Sheriff of Nothingham”, with dungeons, with tax collectors, with judges “chosen by the system itself”, at the service of Governments temporarily in force, making himself confused with the State, with the Nation, with the Country, using the law, as an argument for everything, with the function of frightening, coercing, arresting, collecting. I think we live something similar. I have a friend who refuses to believe that there was torture in South America. as a boss, employees should not have capitalist interests, nor obsession with profit, nor with fraud. This friend, purity in person, thinks that torture, theft, deviation, if there was one, was a capitalist thing, a satan thing, in search of privatizing state things. He thinks that the good ones are the ones who say they are good and the bad ones are the ones that don't have such a straight face. Did you understand? Nor he!

Miguel Fernández y Fernández, engineer, chronicler and columnist Written in March 2019, 5,350 touches

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