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Of Lions and Taxes: Why Brazil Needs More Trust, Not More Agents
May 23rd, 2012
In Brazil, there is an agency known as “the Lion,” whose agents fly around the country in black helicopters, conducting operations such as the “Black Panther” and “Delta.” They aren’t looking for drugs. Or gangs. They’re tax agents. The Lion, dubbed for its official emblem and its ferocious hunt of tax dodgers, uses nearly any tactic conceivable in its pursuit. With a force of about 12,000 agents, the agency monitors tax receipts of millionaires, hunts for smugglers, sizes up mansions from the air, and scrutinizes tax returns. Gary Becker would be proud. Brazil’s approach follows from the classic “economics of crime”...
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