What We Do in the Shadows? Third Issue of “4liberty.eu Review” Released

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We are delighted to present you the 3rd issue of 4liberty.eu Review devoted to the shadow economy in CEE. Read the editorial below and preview the magazine on Issuu. Let us know how did you like it!

Download PDF file4liberty.eu Review #3 Unraveling Shadow Economy

What We Do in the Shadows?

Since Daniel Defoe and his 1726 The Political History of the Devil, we were made to believe that there are two things in our world that we may easily deem certain: death and taxes. Nevertheless, humanity always has its way of adjusting the status quo to its own will and thus, although the existence of taxes seems indispensable to the functioning of modern states, resourceful individuals get by by correcting the great tax expectations themselves. And so they move into the shadows.

Who does turn to the dark side of the economy? Unsurprisingly, the entrepreneurs and businessmen who follow the infamous golden rule of Donald Trump to pay “as little taxes as possible”, hence, for example, underreporting their activities. Employees, who are lured by receiving non-taxed “envelope wages”. And finally consumers, who have seeking the best prices and wondrous opportunities for purchase in their blood. But is that all? Or maybe we are merely simplifying slightly more complex processes?

Economic patriotism parum luceat, most of our CEE countries struggle to awaken in their citizens the awareness of – what Oscar Wilde might have called – the importance of being earnest. And although it might be a real challenge to fight shadows, it is not impossible. After all, it is not that bad – following the estimations of Friedrich Schneider of Johannes Kepler University, the shadow economy in the European Union is decreasing (from 20.1% in 2009 to the forecasted 18.3% of GDP on average in 2015). Despite all that, let’s be frank: there are still huge amounts of funds that fall into the darkness.

This is why we have decided to try to unravel the country-specific mysteries of shadow economies in the Central and Eastern European states in an attempt to become a guiding light on the matter. Thus we have the pleasure to present you the third issue of the 4liberty. eu Review. Scientia vincere tenebras, let there be light!

Olga Łabendowicz

Editor-in-Chief of 4liberty.eu Review

Coordinator of 4liberty.eu network


Olga Labendowicz