Western Europe: Storming Another Barrier

In another bold and broad step toward unifying continental Europe's major economies, the Common Market Commission proposed last week that its six member nations scrap their jumble of business "turnover" taxes and adopt a single, coherent tax code.

All of the countries but France now levy a mind-boggling variety of taxes against their own manufactured goods every time they change hands in the production process. This works much in the favor of big, integrated companies, which handle everything from extracting the raw materials to making the final sale and are thus taxed only once. The turnover taxes also impede trade among...

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