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2004-09-13

One of the things I hate about Austrian media 

..is that they seem to be naively unaware of that basic modern-day political concept of framing, which is the craft of finding psychologically effective terms to express--often ambivalent--political concepts. "War on terror", "pro-life"/"pro-choice", "lay off" etc.

Today it's again my long-term favourite, "tax dumping", which is spilling out of a politician's mouth and then immediately all over two articles in Der Standard. The first articles is about the provocative remarks of French finance minister Nicolas Sarkozy at the EU-budget meeting [DE]. Sarkozy wants that only countries whose taxation level is at or above the EU average can get access to EU-funds for structural cohesion. The Standard online reader forum is ecstatic, by the way (I'm tempted to jump in).

OK, Sarkozy may or may not have used the d-word (what is the French equivalent?), but what really annoys me is that even the newspaper's
critical analysis of the Sarkozy-statement [DE] by Eva Linsinger unquestioningly uses the "tax dumping" terminology, which is so obviously a populist, ill-meaning construct describing no more but a budget policy of country X that works on lower taxation levels than the one of country Y. The "dumping" term implies that the tax revenue of country X is set a level that is hurting even country X itself, with the political intention of hurting country Y as well. Bollocks. Why not simply use the term "fiscal competition", as Tax-News.com suggests? (See also the EU Referendum blog for discussion about Sarkozy's proposal)


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