July 22, 2011

Tax amnesty?

From a Washington Post article on Microsoft's quarterly earnings announcement:
Net income in the fiscal period that ended in June rose 30 percent to $5.87 billion, or 69 cents a share, from $4.52 billion, or 51 cents, a year earlier, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in a statement today. That beat the 58-cent estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. 
Sales rose to $17.4 billion, compared with the $17.2 billion average projection. ... 
Microsoft said its tax rate fell to 7 percent from 25 percent a year earlier because more earnings were taxed at lower rates in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico, Microsoft said. 
“Our effective tax rate was lower than the U.S. federal statutory rate primarily due to a higher mix of earnings taxed at lower rates in foreign jurisdictions,” Microsoft said in the statement.
The rate explains much of the reason why results surpassed predictions, Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein said in an interview.

Can I get my personal income taxed at the rate of some random foreign country? For example, I became a lifetime foreign member of the Ballybunion Golf Club in 1987, so therefore I should be able to take advantage of any tax breaks Ireland happens to be offering, just on general principles. Granted, I've only been back to Ireland once since then, but I bleed green (at tax time, at least). Doesn't Ireland have no income tax on creative artists? I don't think of my works as creative, but my detractors have claimed that, so I think my income should be tax free. (Now that I think about it, that's pretty creative. Creativity at tax evasion ought to count.)

Back in 2004, there was a "tax holiday" that allowed American firms to "repatriate" cash they'd nominally piled up in overseas tax havens without paying American corporate profits tax rates on it. Now, there's apparently $1.2 trillion piled up abroad and American firms are trying to get another tax amnesty.

And exactly how much work does Microsoft actually get done in Puerto Rico? 
Microsoft Building
This building is located in Metro Office 
Park, marginal PR Road 2 Guaynabo 
is an office complex with 64,000 sq. ft 
Class-A office space. Parking is 1,180         .
cars. The owner is Muñoz Holding
and the Bldg. complex is completed. 
Parking is 3/1000 No-Rent including 
with office rent. The Office complex 
is only for rent. The property
is available now.
Somewhat to my surprise, there actually is a five story building in a nice suburb of San Juan with a Microsoft sign on it, but the address on Microsoft's website for Microsoft Puerto Rico ("Suite 5000") suggests that Microsoft doesn't use the whole building, which is owned by somebody else. A real estate agent in Puerto Rico advertises 64,000 square feet of the Microsoft Building for rent, "available now."

Twenty minutes of Googling (or even of Binging) would suggest that Microsoft does not actually "earn" in Puerto Rico (in any reasonable sense of the term) a material portion of the $2 billion or so in profits it's booking every month these days. But, apparently, Microsoft's tax lawyers have persuaded the IRS that they do.

I ought to be able to declare my house The Commonwealth of iSteve and then rent it to Apple as its official global headquarters and all purpose tax haven.

Why does the U.S. government let itself get cheated out of taxes by its own Commonwealth? How much exactly are we bribing Puerto Rico in tax breaks to be part of the American Empire, and why? What is owning Puerto Rico doing for us, anyway? Back in the 1890s, Admiral Mahan suggested grabbing it to guard the approaches to a future Isthmusian Canal, but we don't even own the Panama Canal anymore.

No wonder Puerto Rican independence only gets about 4 percent in referendums, even though Puerto Ricans are happy to cheer for their own national Puerto Rican team in the Olympics:
Puerto Ricans Treat Victory Over U.S. Team Like Gold
August 16, 2004

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Puerto Ricans celebrated the island's historic 92-73 thumping of the U.S. basketball team at the Olympics, treating the victory like gold. 
Islanders honked horns and waved Puerto Rican flags after Sunday's game, which was only the third Olympic loss for the United States and its first since adding professional players. 
"This is like winning a gold medal," teacher Carmen D. Torres said from the north-coast city of Arecibo. "I expected the Puerto Rican team to play well, but the fact that it defeated the world's greatest team is like a dream. I still don't believe it."

56 comments:

eh said...

Don't blame 'em a bit.

Anonymous said...

MSFT spends vast amounts on R&D in the US, but translates strings for all other versions in Ireland and therefore books most of the product revenue under Irish corporate tax rates.

MSFT used to be Ireland's biggest corporate tax payer. Maybe they still are.

Other software/internet companies do the same by either doing a little bit of language work in Ireland or hosting a datacenter there.

They are very careful to never document that the reason they are booking revenue there is in order to lower corporate tax.

You get competition between nations to provide low corporate tax rates and the right environment to host those high tech companies. But you guys know all this.

Unanimous said...

As an American you can get your income taxed overseas, just move there. However, Uncle Sam follows you, since Americans are taxed on their worldwide income. So you have to file a US return from the foreign country and claim the foreign country's tax as a foreign tax credit. You don't even have to be a US citizen to have this privilege, just be a "US person."

Corporations get to expatriate themselves, humans don't. And the IRS is a global entity these days. Just ask the Swiss.

Traveller said...

Nice communist post.

What do you want, that the govt steal more from companies? Just because it steals from you?

So, if you get cancer, would you hope your neighbour get cancer, just for "equality"?

And what do you suppose the govt could do with those tax money? Section 8? Hire more black Detroit teachers? Move feminist ouposts in Universities? More TSA agents to fondle little children?

Realize it: less they pay taxes, who can (I hope this is a good English form), more good is for us all. This is valid in every Western country.

Marlowe said...

If Mr Sailer declared himself a commonwealth would his children start campaigning for the mass immigration of Mexicans into it?

At least he could apply for an IMF bailout and have Dominique Strauss-Kahn round for tea and advice.

ziel said...

This reminds me of the big expose 60 Minutes did on how the Bush Admin was giving tax breaks to companies in Puerto Rico to 'send jobs a abroad' - the Sunday before the election. Haven't heard from them since.

SFG said...

I have never understood why conservatives were so eager to let corporations get away with this. Maybe you paleocons aren't, but most of the Republicans I talk to come up with all sorts of strange justifications...

ERM said...

It should be noted that this is an area where U.S. corporations and U.S. individuals are treated quite differently. Above a certain threshold (currently 91.5k I think) income earned by U.S. citizens abroad is fully taxable at normal rates back in the U.S. for as long as the person retains U.S. citizenship. Truly the modern corporation cannot lose: when it comes to free speech rights and campaign finance, a U.S. multinational is just like regular Joe down the street. Come tax day, though....

Anonymous said...

I wish more "conservatives" would get upset about this corporate trickery. When a washing machine factory goes to China and 100 guys lose their jobs, everyone huffs and puffs but when billions of revenue owed to the US government is siphoned offshore by legal eagles, too many "conservatives" look the other way. Just because the government misuses and wastes our money doesn't give us the right to cheat them out of it; the two issues should be corrected separately.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Give Puerto Rico its independence. Whether they want it or not.

Anonymous said...

"Taxes are for little people"

Mark said...

Those so inclined to defend MSFT's tax rate shopping should first bother to heed their PAC contributions - they give heavily to both left-wing Democrats (Bobby Rush - $3500) and right wing Republicans (Jason Chaffetz). The only thing recipients of Microsoft's cash have in common is that they are all incumbents - a common tactic among corporate political action committees.

If Microsoft wants lower taxes, fine. But it damn well better actually be doing something, politically, that will lead to lower tax rates. They sure as hell aren't.

Anonymous said...

funny to see the parking spaces listed in that ad, i bet every single car in the lot is sprawled over two spaces, treating the dividing line as a landing strip. no idea why puerto ricans have to do that.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft said its tax rate fell to 7 percent from 25 percent a year earlier because more earnings were taxed at lower rates in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico, Microsoft said.

Let me get this straight: Microsoft said this?

knifecatcher said...

A corporation is not a person. Every who draws a salary from MSFT pays personal income tax.

Currahee said...

In Puerto Rico the big national holiday is Dependence Day.

Anonymous said...

America should give Puerto Rico its independence. I can't think of one single advantage that has ever accrued to it by owning this poor, Spanish speaking island.

rightsaidfred said...

Invite the world,
Invade the world,
In hock to the world,
Income tax deficient to the world.

Anonymous said...

apparently, Microsoft's tax lawyers have persuaded the IRS of this.

Apparently, Microsoft's lobbyists have persuaded the Congress of this.

Anonymous said...

There's no need for corporate tax, just raise the income tax, since corporate profit will eventually be distributed to US citizens as incomes.

Anonymous said...

The provisions that allow Puerto Rico to be used as a corporate tax haven were intended as an indirect subsidy to Puerto Rico. That corporations may benefit thereby is incidental. This is true of almost all the other "tax loopholes" that exist. For example, the exemption of municipal bond interest income from personal or corporate income taxation is a device to subsidize municipalities at the expense of the Federal treasury by enabling them to borrow at lower rates. It is only incidentally a benefit to certain investors.

The U.S. policy of taxing personal income globally is an exception to the usual practice of most other countries. For example, by the simple expedient of domiciling himself in a low-tax jurisdiction, someone from a high tax jurisdiction (e.g., Sweden) may escape his country's high tax rates, while retaining his citizenship. This is not true of U.S. expatriates. An American citizen who lives and works in Ireland pays Irish taxes, but that is not the end of his tax liability. He must file a U.S. income tax return, then (to make a long story short) calculate his U.S. income taxes based on his global income, and then takes a tax credit for his foreign tax payments. If there is any difference, he must pay it to the I.R.S.

A U.S. citizen cannot escape U.S. taxation even by renouncing his citizenship. If a person has a net worth exceeding a certaim amount (I believe $2 million), on renouncing his citizenship he must pay taxes on the portion of his net worth above that amount. See:

http://www.expattaxandlaw.com/expatriation.html

I do not believe any other country in history has exacted anything resembling this tax, except for Nazi Germany, which confiscated a large portion of the property of emigrating Jews during the 1930s.

Corporate taxation works differently, more like the way personal income taxation does in Europe. The reason for this is that to treat global corporate income as subject to domestic taxation - which no other country in the world does - would put U.S. corporations at a significant competitive disadvantage with those based overseas. The fact is that they are already at such a disadvantage due to other U.S. regulations, which have no parallel in other countries relative to their own corporations.

Crawfurdmuir said...

The provisions that allow Puerto Rico to be used as a corporate tax haven were intended as an indirect subsidy to Puerto Rico. That corporations may benefit thereby is incidental. This is true of almost all the other "tax loopholes" that exist. For example, the exemption of municipal bond interest income from personal or corporate income taxation is a device to subsidize municipalities at the expense of the Federal treasury by enabling them to borrow at lower rates. It is only incidentally a benefit to certain investors.

The U.S. policy of taxing personal income globally is an exception to the usual practice of most other countries. For example, by the simple expedient of domiciling himself in a low-tax jurisdiction, someone from a high tax jurisdiction (e.g., Sweden) may escape his country's high tax rates, while retaining his citizenship. This is not true of U.S. expatriates. An American citizen who lives and works in Ireland pays Irish taxes, but that is not the end of his tax liability. He must file a U.S. income tax return, then (to make a long story short) calculate his U.S. income taxes based on his global income, and then take a tax credit for his foreign tax payments. If there is any difference, he must pay it to the I.R.S.

A U.S. citizen cannot escape U.S. taxation even by renouncing his citizenship. If a person has a net worth exceeding a certaim amount (I believe $2 million), on renouncing his citizenship he must pay taxes on the portion of his net worth above that amount. See:

http://www.expattaxandlaw.com/expatriation.html

I do not believe any other country in history has exacted anything resembling this tax, except for Nazi Germany, which confiscated a large portion of the property of emigrating Jews during the 1930s.

Corporate taxation works differently, more like the way personal income taxation does in Europe. The reason for this is that to treat global corporate income as subject to domestic taxation - which no other country in the world does - would put U.S. corporations at a significant competitive disadvantage with those based overseas. The fact is that they are already at such a disadvantage due to other U.S. regulations, which have no parallel in other countries relative to their own corporations.

Casper said...

And yet Bill Gates and his father constantly call for raising taxes on the "rich". Gotta love the hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft said its tax rate fell to 7 percent from 25 percent a year earlier because more earnings were taxed at lower rates in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico

They must be doing a staggering amount of business in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico, or else virtually no business in the US.

No, we all know they're doing the bulk of their business outside of Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico, but using these places as legal tax shelters.

So why can't I pay taxes at the rate of the country of my choosing? Bahamas, for instance? (Zero percent tax rate)

Teddy Roosevelt sucks said...

People in Central Florida would LOVE PR independence. Orlando and its surrounding suburbs are turning into a giant barrio. Of course they breed profusely, vote Democrat, and drive around in old cars which have rims worth more than the cars themselves. And then there is the obligatory PR flag from the rearview mirror. So much pride for an island they just can't wait to get away from and move to Orlando or NYC.

Anonymous said...

Just looked it up - corporate tax rate for Ireland is 12.5%. For Singapore, 17%. Puerto Rico has a tax rate of 0-7%. So MSFT must be laundering a lot of money through Puerto Rico to get their corporate average down to 7%.

http://www.offshorecorporation.com/puerto-rico/

Eye-popping.

Whiskey said...

Tax law encourages this, its basically a plea to move your operations abroad, with lower tax rates, and employ people there instead of here. Its not just MSFT, its Apple, Caterpillar, Exxon-Mobil, a whole host of international companies (Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Yum Brands).

Fixing it requires taking on the big multinationals, who in any event can move capital around. The smarter move is to tax everything at the same rate (since money is global) and require local content/production.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

They must be doing a staggering amount of business in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico, or else virtually no business in the US.

Begging the question, therefore, of why Microsoft MUST have more H1B workers in the US when its apparently earning gazillions "overseas."

Anonymous said...

hey steve, remember that article about Norway avoiding diversity problems? Well, it seems like they made the mistake of letting them in...http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/explosion_damages_government_hq_T4aj2jUJv9H2ki2YwDATQM

K(yle) said...

And what do you suppose the govt could do with those tax money? Section 8? Hire more black Detroit teachers? Move feminist ouposts in Universities? More TSA agents to fondle little children?

Which Microsoft Lobbyists have nothing to do with, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has not supported, right?

Yeah, lets make sure Microsoft has all kinds of cash to throw around so they can influence Congress to be more conservative or libertarian or whatever it is that you think is ideal. That's a totally likely outcome.

NOTA said...

Traveller:

If it's communist to think that the same laws ought to apply to the big boys as apply to everyone else, print me up one of those Ché T-shirts, and strike up the Internationale, because I'm in.

One of the stories that has been poorly reported over the last couple decades is the way the folks at the top have gotten ever better at setting up the rules (formal and informal) to make sure they always come out on top. Whether it's an immigration policy designed to make sure Tyson never has to pay much for their labor, or a tax policy that ensures that Microsoft pays much less taxes than any small startup trying to rise to compete with them, or bailouts to make sure that Citibanks bad bets get covered, that's one unifying theme of the way things work in the US these days.

Anonymous said...

While we're on the subject of Microsoft, can we mention how American computer engineers can't find work, but Bill Gates is always running to Congress to beg for more H-1B visas so they can bring more indians and chinese to work for peanuts?

Anonymous said...

"Of course they breed profusely, vote Democrat"

non mexican hispanic tfr is 1.9.

Mark said...

Microsoft pays taxes to other countries, its employees come from other countries, the proceeds from Gates's philanthropic billions go to other countries, and now, Americans for Tax Deform suggests, we shouldn't tax Gates's billions when he dies, because he's supposedly already paid taxes on it (at the low low rate of 15%, tops).

Tell me again about all the supposed advantages of these corporations being on American soil?

Anonymous said...

If you tried to tax US companies the way we tax individuals (US income tax on all worldwide income) either US ciompanies could not compete with non-us comapnies who will be being taxed at half the rate or less or US companies wil reincorporate outside the uUS or nerge with non-US corporations where the resulting xorporation is non-US. US citizens can be officers, directors, employees and shareholders of foreign corporations. What would change except finally they will be free of the SEC, the IRS (except for US operations) etc.

Anonymous said...

Allocation can't be random.

Of course, facts are hell on your narrative. Sorry to be a buzzkill.

Anonymous said...

Great idea, Steve. Let's give more money to USG to throw into the woodchipper.

Agreed that you pay too much in taxes. Not agreed that MSFT is "cheating" USG.

Cannot understand paleocons and HBD realists who actually think pushing for more govt power and higher taxes is a winning strategy.

Isaac Bickerstaff said...

Isn't MSFT just obeying the tax laws? By what moral code are they required to pay more than they owe?

And of course every party fights like mad to control the writing of such laws. Who wouldn't? I'm not surprised that smart powerful organizations act rationally.

A nation's tax rate is a price. The level and type litigation and regulation it allows is another price. Other nations have lower prices, so they get the business. One day we will wake up to this and ratchet back theft by the government to a reasonable level. Or maybe not.

Isn't one of Steve's main themes that we become a power based society and the "who/whom?" has replaced "right/wrong"? Why the fake outrage?

Anonymous said...

Businesses are a sight better than the US Govt. For every Gates in tech, there's a hardcore libertarian like TJ Rodgers.

Business has its bad apple libs and crony capitalists who push for illegals. But government is *all* bad apples. Why do you want to increase the power of the latter at the expense of both the former and yourself?

A business may actually make you a useful product, or it may not. But it it is damn well guaranteed that the money USG steals from business will be used to persecute non-NAMs, especially married/middle class ones.

Anonymous said...

Actually the Republicans want to do away with Corporate taxes all together, because...ah...we've got too much tax money...I guess.

Maybe if we cut enough taxes we can get that deficit up to $2 or $3 trillion a year, or we can just cut Social Security, Medicare and Defense in half. Who needs Defense and Social Security anyway?

sabril said...

Steve, you can do even better than Microsoft from the privacy of your Calfornia home. Just set up an S-corporation to hold your web site. Then your corporation won't pay any taxes at all. Not 20%, not 7%, but zero percent.

Of course, you still will be on the hook for individual taxes but the same is true of Microsoft's shareholders.

Anonymous said...

Many of the posts here show the Libertarian mind in action.

1-Defend Big Business no matter what.
2-Support cutting taxes no matter what.
3-Support "free trade" and outsourcing, no matter what.
4-Defend massive illegal and legal immigration, no matter what.

You see, we need to do what Big Business wants because otherwise we'll lose our liberty or go bankrupt or something.

Svigor said...

Corporations get to expatriate themselves, humans don't. And the IRS is a global entity these days. Just ask the Swiss.

Yeah but what's the diff? I'm not an employee of X any more, I'm the sole employee of Y, which "contracts" with X. Same exact job, different paperwork, corporate tax rate. Why not?

Svigor said...

What do you want, that the govt steal more from companies? Just because it steals from you?

No, you stupid asshole, I want the same sweet deal the companies get.

Svigor said...

I have never understood why conservatives were so eager to let corporations get away with this. Maybe you paleocons aren't, but most of the Republicans I talk to come up with all sorts of strange justifications...

Wait, you have it backwards, too? I think a SEVEN percent tax rate is highway robbery, never mind 25 percent. I don't want to stop corporations from getting away with it, I want taxes (as far) under 5% (as possible) for everyone. Except people who advocate higher taxes. They should pay 75%.

Mark said...

"I don't want to stop corporations from getting away with it, I want taxes (as far) under 5% (as possible) for everyone. Except people who advocate higher taxes. They should pay 75%."

Well Microsoft's PAC contributions indicate their support for higher taxes. Virtually every candidate they contributed to was an incumbent. They contributed without regard to political affiliation. Therefore, according to you, they should pay higher rates.

Anonymous said...

Businesses are a sight better than the US Govt.

There's very little difference between the two.

For every Gates in tech, there's a hardcore libertarian like TJ Rodgers.

No, there is not. Tech is crawling with lefties. You might as well say "For every Barney Frank in Congress there's a Jim DeMint". As with business so it is wth Congress - the bad guys greatly outnumber the good.

Anonymous said...

of course every party fights like mad to control the writing of such laws. Who wouldn't? I'm not surprised that smart powerful organizations act rationally.

It's rational of us to oppose their actions. By what moral code are we suposed to applaud Microsoft for actng in its best interests, but not act in our best interests ourselves?

Anonymous said...

You see, we need to do what Big Business wants because otherwise we'll lose our liberty or go bankrupt or something.

But if we tax the corporations too much, they'll just move overseas and stop hiring Americans, so there won't be any jobs. Errr, wait...

Irishman said...

Sorry Steve,

We Irish proles get taxed at confiscatory rates. Someone has to pay our bankers debts!

The 12.5% rate doesn't really benefit Irish people much anyway. There is little supply side justification for it as the "double dutch double Irish"(you run the profit twice through The Netherlands and twice through Ireland, I had it explained to me once, it's complicated) method Microsoft and google employ means we get little or nothing from them anyway.

You don't have to bribe an Irish politician. All you have to do is make demands, bang on the table and they'll give in. The USCOCommerce has spent the last year screaming blue murder about corpo tax advantage because the government was going to trade it away for leniant bailout conditions from the EU. They won. So instead we're selling off state assets, closing all major hospitals in the northern third of the country and working till we drop in order to pay bank debts.

PS. Sorry about Teddy Kennedy and Paul Ryan, Jerry Brown, Joe Biden, the Daleys and Rosie O'Donnell.

Anonymous said...

Puerto Rico also does a nice little business in fake birth certificates for Venezuelans, Hondurans, and a host of other Latin Ams who don't have automatic rights of citizenship in the US, which explains in part why there are more "Puerto Ricans" living in the US than there are in PR. This is clearly something else the geniuses in the US Govt never considered, or don't care about.

NOTA said...

Svigor:

That really boils down to what services you want from government. As long as we retain social security, Medicare, our the military in all its gold-plated glory, and the homeland security and spy agencies, there's very little room for any tax cuts, and most likely we'll end up having to raise taxes.

Social security has so many voting beneficiaries, I think serious cuts are politically impossible. That means you can't get rid of the social security part of your taxes. Medicare has a similar number of beneficiaries, plus a whole industry that is heavily dependent on it, so again, I think serious cuts or repeal is instant political suicide. The homeland security/spy agencies are also untouchable--in a country where they've been doing massive illegal surveillance of everyone for a decade, nobody much wants to take them on. The military has high prestige and even more industry dependent on it than Medicare and homeland security. Faux tough guy politicians wont cut it because they want to keep bombing peasants; other politicians don't want to look insufficiently tough so they won't cut it.

So my guess is taxes keep going up. Since the folks at the top have entirely captured the political process when it comes to details of laws and tax regs, mostly that extra burden will land on middle class people.

The only way I see of taxes getting down where you'd like them involve civil war or seccession or some similar massive shift in the world.

Nota said...

Anon:

ISTM that as businesses get bigger, they become more and more like government--they become more bureaucratic, able to ignore reality for years before the market imposes it upon them, parts of a large company can benefit from cross subsidies and do stupid things for decades. As they get bigger, they become more politically influential. Laws bend around them, like light bending around a really massive object in space. The local government, the governor and stae legislators, and their US senator and representative care about their concerns. Offsetting this, as a company becomes big and visible, it attracts parasites like any other successful system, and even a company whose management doesn't want to play the lobbying and campaign contribution game may find itself compelled to play in self-defense.

At the extreme points, the differences almost blur to nothing. A factory town looks a lot like a certain notion of the ideal outcome of socialism--the state provides all the jobs, all the stores,all the housing, and owns everything. It's just that the state is a coal company.

Gunnar L said...

"Can I get my personal income taxed at the rate of some random foreign country? For example, I became a lifetime foreign member of the Ballybunion Golf Club in 1987, so therefore I should be able to take advantage of any tax breaks Ireland happens to be offering, just on general principles."

- Possibly. Granted, I'm not an accountant, but if your blog was run through a blogger site headquartered in Ireland, than I would think revenues to you that you get through donations from readers would be considered taxable at Irish rates. Granted, Ireland may not be your best choice; I've heard European taxes are worse than the US. Maybe follow the big guys in your article and go with somewhere like Singapore?

I know a little about how it works for individual taxpayers; not so much for companies though. If you are living in a US address then you get taxed as a US resident. I think you can subtract out what you paid to foreign entities, but you will still have to pay the difference. If you reside there for the whole year, then your income (up to a certain allowable amount, I think around $80k) only gets taxed at the foreign rate. And I think there are some additional rules for the transitional year that make it more complicated.

So long story short, I think you can only benefit from playing that game with taxes if you actually move to another country.

Mr. Anon said...

"Traveller said...
Nice communist post."

And just how capitalist is it for Microsoft to sit on $ 50 billion dollars that rightfully belongs to it's shareholders? Why don't they distribute them as dividends. Why is that not considered embezzlement?

Just because the government is your enemy, it does not follow that big business is your friend.


"Anonymous said...
For every Gates in tech, there's a hardcore libertarian like TJ Rodgers."

Rodgers is a big proponent of outsourcing and H1-B insourcing. Screw him.

If these companies want to thumb their nose at the nation in which they were born and be international corporations rather than American enterprises, I say we should involuntarily separate them from the U.S. Put them on notice that henceforth we consider them to be foreign entities. Meaning that if their executives are arrested or kidnapped overseas, the U.S. government won't lift a finger to help them.

Of course, the U.S. government doesn't do anything so quaint as answer to its own citizens, it answers to those self-same plutocrats.

rob said...

I thought to myself that the "libertarian" alien and his sock puppets look so dumb with "their" absent logic, broken English, and power worship that they must be parody. Then I remembered we call them libertardians for a reason.

What do you want, that the govt steal more from companies? Just because it steals from you?

So, if you get cancer, would you hope your neighbour get cancer, just for "equality"?


We want the burden of taxation spread equally. My neighbor getting cancer won't cure my cancer. Various tax dodgers paying their share would reduce my tax burden. Do you see the difference? If not, stick with shapes.

(What brand of Asian are you, btw?)

Isn't one of Steve's main themes that we become a power based society and the "who/whom?" has replaced "right/wrong"? Why the fake outrage?

"Isaac" you should stick with shapes as well. Steve's theme is that becoming a who-whom society is a bad thing. The outrage is real.

These aliens argue hard that we have to meet every demand or they'll take their tiny balls to some zero tax Utopia.

Business has its bad apple libs and crony capitalists who push for illegals. But government is *all* bad apples.

It's hard to imagine a corporation doing bad things for money, but it shouldn't be that hard to remember. You should stick with shapes too.