February 23, 2017

Publishing what governments earn in natural resource income, is much more powerful than “publish what you pay” rules

Sir, David Pilling lashes out at the House of Representatives (at Trump) for voting to nullify a rule known informally as the “publish what you pay” rule, which obliges oil and mining companies to disclose payments they make to foreign states. “Trump, Tillerson and the African resource curse” February 23.

Pilling puts forward the case of Equatorial Guinea where, “Since oil was discovered, per capita income has rocketed to nearly $40,000 at purchasing power parity, the highest of any sub-Saharan African country. That comes as scant consolation to the three-quarters of the population who live in abject poverty on less than $2 a day.”

Does the population of Equatorial Guinea know that? Most probably they don’t have the slightest clue about it. Just like the poor in my homeland Venezuela do not have a clue that, from their beloved Chavez, they got less than 15% of what should have been their per capita share of the nations fabulous oil income. That is of course so because the redistribution profiteers, like everywhere else, do not want such information to be known.

If for instance a Voice of America (or any other media for that matter) would daily beam out to citizens in natural resource rich countries, how much their monthly per capita share of such income would be, that would produce more beneficial consequences than a hundred “publish what you pay” rules.

Why is it not a “publish what they earn” rule suggested? Probably because, among redistribution colleagues, that would not be considered comme-il-faut. Hey, someone could even begin reporting daily on how much were the overall monthly fiscal revenues on a per capita basis. Horror!

PS. David Pilling, many of your crocodiles are pussycats next to ours

PS. It is interesting to note that the “publish what you pay” rule was irrelevantly part of the Dodd-Frank Act; that which failed to even mention the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision. Here and here

PS. David Pilling thinks that since this rule applies to all, the playing field is now level. He should look into Venezuela and all the chinese natural resource investments