The proprietor of stock is necessarily a citizen of the world, and is not necessarily attached to any particular country. He would be apt to abandon the country in which he was exposed to a vexatious inquisition, in order to be assessed to a burdensome tax, and would remove his stock to some other country where he could either carry on his business, or enjoy his fortune more at his ease. By removing his stock he would put an end to all the industry which it had maintained in the country which he left. Stock cultivates land; stock employs labor.

—Adam Smith. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776.

Payroll taxes, income tax, capital gains tax, health care provision, pension provision, land taxes, council taxes, stamp duty, import duties—all impose a burden on the manufacturer. When combined with socialist measures, such as unfair dismissal laws and legalized extortion by unions, they provide a clear economic case to transfer operations to China.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove