Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Nov 2017 09:52 UTC
In the News

Five months after Mr. Cook's testimony, Irish officials began to crack down on the tax structure Apple had exploited. So the iPhone maker went hunting for another place to park its profits, newly leaked records show. With help from law firms that specialize in offshore tax shelters, the company canvassed multiple jurisdictions before settling on the small island of Jersey, which typically does not tax corporate income.

Apple has accumulated more than $128 billion in profits offshore, and probably much more, that is untaxed by the United States and hardly touched by any other country. Nearly all of that was made over the past decade.

Apple is the largest company in the world, so they're the big target - but tons of other companies engage in the same shady activities.

Every euro or dollar Apple, Google, and Facebook dodge in taxes is a euro or dollar regular folk like you and I have to pay instead. These companies make use of all the facilities and infrastructure paid for by our tax euros and dollars, but then turn around and stab society in the back by extracting vast sums of wealth from it without paying their fair share of taxes. It's exactly this reason why the divide between rich and poor is growing exponentially, which in turn is destabilising our communities because it becomes ever clearer that the Tim Cooks and Mark Zuckerbergs of this world get to live under a different set of rules than you and I.

I am lucky to live in an incredibly solid welfare state, where, while exceptions exist, we take care of each other (interestingly enough, The Netherlands is also one of the biggest shady tax havens in the world). A welfare state is built upon the concept of the strongest shoulders carrying the heaviest burdens, and the knowledge that Joe Billionaire is capable of paying more into the system than Jane Minimum Wage. When this system of trust breaks down - as it clearly is at risk of - our society breaks down. The fact that Tim Cook et al. have the gall to claim their 0.0002% tax rate is "fair" just rubs more salt in the wounds of any regular person who dutifully pays her or his 20-40% taxes every year.

Sadly, any meaningful change to the tax codes of the US and the EU will be blocked through the corruption and bribery Apple, Google, Facebook, and so on engage in on a daily basis. Unless we break these giants up into small companies that aren't 'too big to fail', our societies will grow ever more at their mercy.

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Some very enlightening comments.
Some very familar themes.

I'll also add that ...
- many politicians are different from private sector business owners in that the former have not gained the experience to be qualified to manage the citizenry's financial/infrastructure issues while the latter are left to their own financials/devices to make a venture possible
- When is the last time a "poor" person paid you a wage ?
It is the "rich" person that pays you a wage. The term "rich" is a metaphor not for the less common "silver spoon" entity but for the more common self-made entity that gauged/approached risk and was able to make a venture flourish. Sympathetic versions of these "self-made" entities are the one's that should be managing democratic governments but instead democratic elections often result in selection of the popular poor-choice candidate instead of the "right" candidate.
- It is strange to have BIG givernment managed by politicians that have no (or very little) experience in running a major entity (like a major corporation). Thus, we have politicians who have little experience in risk but are in a risky situation in that they affect the action of government.
The solution should be SMALL government to promote conditions for a better management of government.

- a small government does not imply a potential for a lack-lustre welfare system.

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