Writes Marc Abela in today’s Mises Daily:
As is the case with Canada and Sweden, Japan has succeeded in achieving a relatively decent economy despite the very invasive and massive burden imposed by the taxing authorities. Taxes are very high at all levels in Japan. The rate is 50 percent for inheritance and death taxes; corporate taxes hit 40 percent very rapidly for almost all businesses; any decent individual income will put you in the 40 percent bracket; and then you have municipal taxes, prefectural taxes, property, vehicle, liquor, tobacco, gasoline, and others taxes. The list is nearly endless. Numerous and cumbersome government regulations prevent new entries to industry and being able to compete with the archaic corporate mammoths known as “zaibatsu” (Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Sumitomo, Yasuda, and a few others) who control and own most of the industries, and make changes at a glacial pace. In fact, since government regulations are so exceedingly high, it can be argued that most businesses and most industries are defacto “nationalized” and behave like state-owned enterprises.