Speak English, lower taxes

Megan McArdle writes:

It is hard for high levels of taxation to survive a right of exit;
Europe has mostly been protected (so far) by its many languages, which
make it harder to move. But as the EU increases labor mobility, expect
to hear more about harmful tax competition.

The story is about skilled Danes leaving the country so as to avoid higher taxes.  The last time I was in Denmark I was struck how many service workers could not speak Danish (will a Spaniard or Hungarian really learn that language?) and in the workplace communicated in English.  Greater policy competition is one of the most important results of so many Europeans speaking good English.  High taxes and differential incomes, in turn, increase the incentive for people to learn good English, thereby creating a self-reinforcing dynamic.  I’ve long thought that Europe will become more like the United States than vice versa, most of all through mobility and diversity, but I don’t think that is a very popular view.


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