Under the headline "Small global taxes would make a big difference for world's 'bottom billion,'" the foreign minister of France, Bernard Kouchner; the foreign minister of Japan, Katsuya Okada, and the development cooperation minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, have an op-ed piece suggesting a tax on foreign currency exchanges to finance safe water, food, and education for poor countries. "A levy of five cents for each $1,000 exchanged could bring in more than $30 billion per year," they write.
When people suggest taxes, they always start out "small." But once the door is opened to the idea of "global taxes," you can bet they won't end small. Never mind all the issues about whether development aid actually helps poor countries or just winds up empowering corrupt local dictators and their cronies.