I know, that headline got your brain moving in a really weird way first thing in the morning. The words in the sentence simply don’t fit together. I mean, what the hell does the Federal Communications Commission have to do with Drug Trafficking regulation or taxing? The answer: Absolutely nothing. But it would be a heck of a revenue generator for the organization. Can’t happen, right? I would normally say no. But in light of what I am about to share I am beginning to question that premise. I used to think that an organization couldn’t simply randomly decide to tax or regulate something that it has nothing to do with. Then I ran across an article tonight on Fox News with the headline, “World Health Organization Moving Ahead on Billions in Internet and Other Taxes.” You read it right. I am not making this up. The World Health Organization, in an effort to both raise revenue and further redistribute wealth from countries like the US to poor countries, has decided to move ahead with an internet tax. What?
When I read the headline, I thought that this certainly must be some sort of mis-print. I mean what does the World Health Organization have to do with taxes or with the internet? So here is how the article began:
The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ public health arm, is moving full speed ahead with a controversial plan to impose global consumer taxes on such things as Internet activity and everyday financial transactions like paying bills online — while its spending soars and its own financial house is in disarray.
The aim of its taxing plans is to raise “tens of billions” of dollars for WHO that would be used to radically reorganize the research, development, production and distribution of medicines around the world, with greater emphasis on drugs for communicable diseases in poor countries.
The irony is that the WHO push to take a huge bite out of global consumers comes as the organization is having a management crisis of its own, juggling finances, failing to use its current resources efficiently, or keep its costs under control — and it doesn’t expect to show positive results in managing those challenges until a year from now, at the earliest.
So quick summary here. The World Health Organization cannot seem to run its ship budget neutral. They are spending money faster than they are bringing it in. They have become a gigantic bureaucracy, which means that there is being money lost, wasted, and “frauded” away at unacceptable levels. Because they cannot run the organization correctly, they need more money. Their proposal is to levy a tax on all people throughout the world on internet usage. They would use the new revenue to fund research and treatment in poor countries.
Fox News initially reported last January on the “suite of proposals” for “new and innovative sources of funding,” prepared by a 25-member panel of medical experts, academics and health care bureaucrats, when it was presented of a meeting of WHO’s 34-member Executive Board in Geneva.
Now the proposals are headed for the four-day annual meeting of the 193-member World Health Assembly, WHO’s chief legislative organ, which begins in Geneva on May 17.
The Health Assembly, a medical version of the United Nations General Assembly, will be invited to “take note” of the experts’ report. It will then head back with that passive endorsement to another Executive Board meeting, which begins May 22, for further action. It is the Executive Board that will “give effect” to the Assembly’s decisions.
What it all means is that a major lobbying effort could soon be underway to convince rich governments in particular to begin taxing citizens or industries to finance a drastic restructuring of medical research and development on behalf of poorer ones.
The scheme would leave WHO in the middle, helping to manage a “global health research and innovation coordination and funding mechanism,” as the experts’ report calls it.
I find it very fitting that the word “scheme” was used here. Because that is what all of these actions by the completely corrupt and illegitimate organization, the United Nations, really are. They are schemes, designed to bring forth the progressive vision to the entire world. Don’t like income redistribution at a national level? Well, then we will really piss you off and do it at an international level.
In effect, the plan amounts to a pharmaceutical version of the U.N.-sponsored climate-change deal that failed to win global approval at Copenhagen last December. If implemented as the experts suggest, it could easily involve the same kind of wealth transfers as the failed Copenhagen summit, which will send $30 billion a year to poor nations, starting this year.
The WHO strategy involves a wide variety of actions to transfer “pharmaceutical-related technology,” and its production, along with intellectual property rights, to developing countries, according to a condensed “global strategy and plan of action” also being presented to the World Health Assembly.
The UN sponsored Climate Change deal failed to win global approval because the previous global climate change deal, the Kyoto Protocol, was proven to be an utter failure. Tack on to that the fact that the world is beginning to see that the facts as they were presented were lies and manipulations. Climate-Gate was a first step in exposing climate change for the fraud that many of us already knew it was. Upon realizing that their initial plan for global income redistribution was disappearing along with the original climate data at East Anglia, the United Nations knew they needed a new scheme for income redistribution. They are finding it with the WHO. How long before the WHO decides that it must pass global health care coverage similar to what the US passed this year? I mean, after all, just think of all those tribal folks in central Africa that are being denied adequate medical coverage. And the fact that they are waiting on WHO to provide them medicines raises the costs for all of us. Global health care coverage will reduce those costs by implementing preventative health care……
And take note that they specifically mention transferring “intellectual property rights” to developing countries as well. As much as some folks like to operate under the false idea that there should be no such thing as intellectual property rights, this is a direct affront to private research and development, which is the major driver of all medical research. But fear not, their idea is to move all R&D into the WHO program. That way there won’t be pharma companies spending billions developing new drugs. So there won’t be money lost by stripping them of intellectual property rights as soon as they have a breakthrough. Of course that also means that there won’t be very many breakthroughs. Think we are slow in finding cures and treatments now? Just wait until we are forced to wait on government to do it. So much for curing cancer or AIDS.
The rationale for the drastic restructuring of medical R and D, as outlined in the group of experts’ report, is the skewed nature of medical research in the developed world, which concentrates largely on non-communicable diseases, notably cancer, and scants research on malaria, tuberculosis and other communicable scourges of poor countries. It cites a 1986 study that claimed that only 5 percent of global health research and development was applied to the health problems of developing countries.
(In dissecting contemporary medical R and D, however, the expert report glosses over the historical fact that many drugs for fighting communicable diseases in developing countries are already discovered; the issue in many cases is the abysmal living and hygienic conditions that make them easily transmitted killers.)
I found this to be very interesting, even though this was the only place in the article where they touched on it. This is a prime example of how screwed up these groups can be. First of all, the World Health Organization, which aims to take the lead in health research, is relying on the data from a 24 year old study. How ridiculous is that? And we think that these folks are going to lead us into the cutting edge of medical research and treatment? And as a means of persuading everyone of the need for this plan, they intentionally omit the reality from the topic. Only 5% of research is dedicate to this area. See how horrible things are! But they mysteriously forget that there are already drugs developed to treat the communicable diseases that they are discussing. Sounds like politics as usual. They have been taking lessons from Congress.
What truly concerns the experts, however, is how to get the wealth transfers that will make the R and D transfers possible — on a permanent basis. The panel offers up a specific number of possibilities.
Chief among them:
- a “digital” or “bit” tax on Internet activity, which could raise “tens of billions of U.S. dollars”;
- a 10 percent tax on international arms deals, “worth about $5 billion per annum”;
- a financial transaction tax, citing a Brazilian levy that was raising some $20 billion per year until it was canceled (for unspecified reasons);
- an airline tax that already exists in 13 countries and has raised some $1 billion.
And here is the real thing that throws me. What right does the World Health Organization have to levy a tax on internet activity? What right does the World Health Organization have to levy a tax on international arms deals? What right does the World Health Organization have to levy a tax on financial transactions? What right does the World Health Organization have to levy an airline tax? What right does the World Health Organization have to levy ANY TAXES, ON ANYONE? Am I crazy here? Am I missing something that makes me have egg on my face? Who gave the WHO the authority to tax anything? They have as much right to levy a tax on something as I do. I hereby declare that I am henceforth collecting a 10% tax on all Photon Torpedo installations on Pirate vessels. I have every bit as much authority to do so as the WHO.
For that matter, what right to impose taxes does the United Nations itself have? Since when, in the United States of America, do we find it within the realm of reality that we are required to pay any international taxes that are not put through our legislature? Since when are we required, as taxpaying citizens to pay taxes for a service or good that we cannot benefit from? If you think people object to paying taxes for welfare recipients in our own country, how well do you think paying taxes for welfare recipients in all the other countries is going to go over? Want to see what a real Tax Day Tea Party looks like?
As follow-up, the experts suggest that WHO promote each and every suggested approach for new financing, along with “regulatory harmonization and integration” in the developing world, “research and development platforms in the developing world,” and new “product development partnerships” to kick-start the global medicines program.
Just as big an issue for WHO, however, may be whether it can adequately manage the money it is already getting — or trying to get — for its current planned needs.
Other budget documents intended for the World Health Assembly, and obtained by Fox News, paint a picture of an organization where:
- spiraling financial demands are beginning to outstrip the ability of member-nations to pay;
- outsized headquarters budgets, in contrast to the regional and country networks where WHO’s public health work is largely done, are rising even faster than the overall budget; and
- efforts to control onerous staff costs are just getting underway.
The rest of the article does a fairly good job of describing the current fiscal situation that the WHO finds itself in. They are a typical gigantic bureaucracy. And while they are only making small incremental fixes to their budget problems, they claim that this is all that they can do. The bureaucracy is simply to big to make any drastic changes to the way they manage their money or perform their activities. They claim that they would fall apart as an organization. And you already know what I say…. GOOD! I hope that they do fall apart. If the World Health Organization cannot operate efficiently and effectively; if they cannot make the drastic changes necessary to become more fiscally sound, then they should fail.
That failure is what is needed. If there is a need for an organization to replace the World Health Organization, then the market will provide a solution on its own. There is never a shortage of innovative new people who will help provide solutions to the world’s problems in order to make a dollar. And before you begin decrying the evil horrors of corporations and how they will be corrupt and harmful, I charge you to remember that there is not a corporation that you can offer the name of that has ever operated as inefficiently as any government organization. Corporations may be bad and horrible entities to many of you. But they still always do a far better job at whatever they are doing than the government could do.
So what does everyone else think? Does the WHO have the right to levy taxes on a global scale? Does the United Nations? Should it be the responsibility of the United States to further carry the burden for developing countries in any way, shape, or form? I really look forward to the discussion on this topic. You can view the rest of the article I am referencing here: