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Did you know it wasn’t the business of Western democratic governments to “accommodate” capitalism?

Did you know it wasn’t the business of Western democratic governments to “accommodate” capitalism?

In the United Kingdom, Google has come under fire for lowering its tax bill by legally rerouting nearly $10 billion to Bermuda.  Google chairman Eric Schmidt was quick to defend his company and its strategies.

 “We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways,” he told Bloomberg. “I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”

“It’s called capitalism,” he said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”

This did not, however, mollify or persuade the UK’s business secretary, who goes by the delightful name Vince Cable.

It may well be [capitalism] but it’s certainly not the job of governments to accommodate it.”

Really?  It’s not?  Then what economic system is the government supposed to accommodate?  Socialism? Communism?

You really must read the rest of the article to see just how panicked statists get when corporations don’t pay as much as they want them to pay.  Here’s a taste:

A Californian pressure group called Consumer Watchdog wrote to the Senate’s Finance Committee demanding a hearing on Google’s “global tax avoidance strategies”.

Consumer Watchdog’s director John Simpson called for the Committee to schedule a time for Mr Schmidt and Google’s chief executive could “testify under oath and explain their company’s apparent abuse of the tax code to the detriment of all who play fairly.”

Mr Simpson urged the Senate to work with “other countries’ tax authorities” to “put an end to egregious loopholes that allow cynical exploitation by this generation’s Robber Barons.”

“Governments in Europe, many of which have been targets of Google’s morally bankrupt tax policies, are actively seeking redress,” he wrote. “But this is not a problem that only impacts other countries’ revenues. Google’s tactics strike at the US Treasury as well, forcing the rest of us to make up for the Internet giant’s unwillingness to pay its fair share.”

He added: “What makes Google’s activities so reprehensible is its hypocritical assertion of its corporate motto, ‘Don’t Be Evil‘.”

So employing hundreds of thousands of people at wages far above average and legally paying the least amount of taxes that you can is evil.  Good to know what the moral rules are in this brave new world.


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“Robber Barons”? Oh please. Ed Asner hasn’t narrated a scatological cartoon about them yet, so they can’t be all that bad.

    Ragspierre in reply to nordic_prince. | December 13, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I recommend to everyone the very readable, short, but well-researched “Myth Of The Robber Barons”.

    They were net benefactors, not robbers, BECAUSE they were market capitalists instead of political cronies (who, btw, have existed since the Founding).

      nordic_prince in reply to Ragspierre. | December 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Yeah, I know the term “robber baron” is a leftist canard designed to provoke a Pavlovian response from the masses. To this day I remember my junior high history teacher introducing us to that particular phrase. Every time I hear it now, I roll my eyes ~

      Yesterday, they were “robber barons,” today, they’re “1%.” The actors have changed, but the roles haven’t in the progressives’ little morality play.

“It’s called capitalism,” he said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”

I wouldn’t have a problem if this were a company that practiced what it preached. But, Google is not that company. I beg to differ – they are very confused since they supported Obama as much or more than any other media outlet. Their “logarithms” are skewed to Obama. Everything they do is for Obama. They went all out to support him and his policies, i.e. higher taxes. Obama wants higher taxes…Google knew that. Then pay them – don’t hide your money. Google wants to practice capitalism, but want the rest of us to be under Obama’s thumb. This hypocritical corporate indignation is frankly…disgusting. Can’t these people remember their beginnings?

    jacksonjay in reply to gasper. | December 13, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Or Buffett, or Immelt!

    You’re right about Google’s hypocrisy/duplicity politically. But that’s beside the point here. Google can do what it wants with its money, and if enough shareholders don’t like it, they can protest by selling off. That’s how it works. But when the head of a NONPROFIT organization and a government minister go postal on a company for its “morally bankrupt” policies, and when that nonprofit head hilariously claims that “the rest of us” have to make up for that company not paying more than it legally has to, you have to stand (however reluctantly) with the company. That it may not preach what it practices is, for the moment, much less important.

Shorter Consumer Watchdog director John Simpson: break over and take it!

As to Sec. Cable’s observation…

“It may well be [capitalism] but it’s certainly not the job of governments to accommodate it.”

I would say he may be correct in the specific, while being terribly wrong in the general…

“Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights.”

And those rights have to exist as against BOTH predatory individuals AND any government predation.

We consent to our government…until we do not.

No rational person will reject the bargain of paying for a well-run, efficient government conducted according to its charter. Many of us will reject a government that seeks to yoke part of us to it by pilfering the rest of us in the name of taxation and redistribution.

legacyrepublican | December 13, 2012 at 8:36 am

It is well worth noting that the full quote is “Oh brave new world that has such people in it.”

That is, if you can call parasites like Mr. Simpson who would penalize me by robbing me of the wonderful products I use everyday that Google makes. Silly me, a happy consumer.

When I read these articles the only thoughts I have are anger. The liberal progressives are the only ones who can define “fair” – anyone outside their paradigm is instantly not playing fairly. Society forced to equate to the lowest common denominator. How happy I was to see that many French citizens are flipping the bird at their own little tyrants by leaving the French utopia because of the heavy tax burden.

Prophetic thoughts: In the long run (and the short) it’s not going to make much difference. Between the governments and the unwashed masses, those who have worked hard all their lives – or inherited wealth – are going to be pulled down. Wealth and the wealthy are fast becoming nothing but targets for the anarchists. Envy combined with ignorance or laziness is hard to fight. This is certainly not the first time that the barbarians have attacked and usurped a superior opponent.

The government’s bureaucrats/politicians set up cradle-to-grave programs that raise people’s expectations to extreme levels of entitlement and then get angry when corporation don’t play in the same poker game.

Government spending is the problem and not Google’s legal maneuvering of its own property. Get rid of 99% of government and you rid yourself of 100% percent of the demand to have expectations filled by government.

We need to find a way to de-fund government so they are no longer able to come to the table as a player.

“It’s called capitalism,” he said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”
Now tell us once again Schmidt why you and Obama play footsies.

Well if Cable believes that Google “didn’t build that,” his statement makes a lot of sense.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

The central planners created the incentives for Google to structure its organization the way that it has, and now the central planners are upset that Google has structured its organization the way that it has.

It’s always fun to watch the central planners be surprised that they were unable to anticipate how people far smarter than them would legally take advantage of the incentives the central planners created.

I’m not gonna get my knickers in a knot about this cuz Google guys are Obama backers and voters. They like Communism. They want to spread the wealth around. Not. Not when it’s their money. Then they realize what all of us know: we earned it; it’s ours; we have a right to keep it. Except Googlebots are phonies. They want to spread around other people’s money and keep theirs. I’ve got no quarrel with keeping one’s own money, but Googlebots ought to live up to what they support.

    David Yotham in reply to Juba Doobai!. | December 13, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda… Everyone, and I mean everyone, likes to play both sides of the street. Example: Jeffrey Immelt, GE CEO – Communism Works! I don’t think that Communism is what created wealth for General Electric.

    The problem is that sometimes the ‘street’ bites back – Stalin had a nasty habit of thinning out his supporters when they became to powerful for his taste. My thoughts are that our future King won’t have much problem thinning out his supporters either.

No sympathy for Google here. You get what you deserve. Next time it will be The Won turns, a need for new enemies to be feathered to cover his incompetence when the money runs out.

“Fair share”, just like every term employed by the Left as tools of its expansion, will be defined by them according to their immediate need. The definition will change as need changes, and they will not be held accountable for the changes. Indeed, there will be no account at all of those changes. Anybody who rejects the assumption that EVERYTHING you earn may be subject to confiscation according to State need, anybody who chooses to exercise will and intelligence to pursue his or his corporation’s best interest, will be determined to be evil.

This is the future.

“… this generation’s Robber Barons.”

Stop bashing France on its new 75% tax rate !!!

“Consumer Watchdog’s director John Simpson called for the Committee to schedule a time for Mr Schmidt and Google’s chief executive could “testify under oath and explain their company’s apparent abuse of the tax code to the detriment of all who play fairly.”

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Consumer Watchdog is a nonprofit organization…….

John Simpson must have come from the public sector to think that his “nonprofit organization” has the authority to put anyone under oath in what most of us would consider a media interview.

I could imagine what he would say if he was swearing in the “Google executive”……..

John Simpson: Do you swear on this Bible (that I don’t believe in), that you will tell the truth (that I want to hear), the whole truth (that will not damage the democrat narrative), and nothing but the truth (unless that truth hurts our dear leader).

(Wishful thinking) Not said out loud.

I would bet that Google will get hosed in the next term, at least here in the US. The election is over, and their role as useful idiot(s) is over.

It’s sad that a global company that tries to lower their overhead to remain competitive, and therefore keep the costs of their services affordable, gets attacked by the types that they support.

“Thanks for the dough, guys, but it’s under the bus for you now”