Business

The capitalist case for business taxation


The real winner would have shorted the shares beforehand. This week, with the moral authority that comes from the abs you can cut sushi on, Cristiano Ronaldo removed two bottles of full-fat Coca-Cola from his press conference desk and praised Water While that.

Blame from the most followed person on Instagram would sting any company. So will the subsequent market value of $4 billion. But few are quite as self-doubting as Coca-Cola. Prepares ‘Business, Environmental, Social and Governance Report 2020’ (Yes, two ‘and’) 82 pages An apology for its core product, if not the trade itself.

At this point, it is only natural to compare the piety of the modern corporation with its rococo tax schemes. (Coca-Cola certainly had financial problems with the feds.) But I no longer see that the first contradicts the second. It is best understood as an outgrowth of it. rise of “Corporate Social Responsibility” And the “ESG– How could the brevity not love – reflects the gradual decline of the effective corporate tax rate.

The rationale for C-suite is clear: What we deny about the shared bag, we make up for, or at least muddy, in other ways. It’s not just guilt that makes a multinational company make the argument of the cultural left. It’s not just naivety that drives the bank to hire battalions of floundering sustainability advisors. It is an account. The cunning fox throws the hounds out of the smell.

If I’m right, it follows that higher taxes and better enforcement mean the end of the miserable company. In essence, companies will buy the right to live the uncommitted life again. We can go back to a time when producing the things people wanted, and sharing the proceeds with the government, was a social good. In this sense, a stricter tax regime is a strengthening of capitalism. Few things are praised The last G7 agreement About it more. Few things make the supposed Conservative opposition even stranger.

1984, which is the least thing Orwell has ever written, misread the Left Path. The next power was not the state, which peaked even in Russia around the time of publication. It was Gramsci’s walk through institutions. The result will not be totalitarian, only backward and strict.

A harmless aspect of this therapy is the workplace as a group therapy. Call me UK, but my expectation from my employer is that they send the monthly wire transfer and meet the statutory minimum paid leave and such. If they help me through a difficult moment, they can expect mutual loyalty. What I don’t want is to enter into pastoral fellowship with them or remake the world together.

The Remote Creeper is the truly salvific project. Coca-Cola wants its US workforce to “align” with ethnic census data, such as an apartment complex in Singapore. Microsoft’s corporate social responsibility mission seeks immigration reform, a better response to humanitarian crises and “alternatives to imprisonment.” It’s like a political party platform (one, to be clear, I’m going to vote for) and sometimes a nation-state bill of rights. Even if you can live with the tax starvation of the government, who thinks this set of Napoleonic activities is good by Business? Who thinks they are sustainable in the old-fashioned sense?

Christopher Hitchens had a reaction when the goodwill but hurried hold on believers who do not preach or act according to the simplest parts of the Bible. “All it’s saying is that these people are very nice and hardly religious at all.”

This is CSR all over the place. The gist of it is that a business is good precisely to the extent that it does not act like a business. Job creation, innovation, consumer choice: these become givens. In its special report Please Like Us, Nike assured adults who buy its silly shoes that at least 1.5 percent of total revenue goes to “community impact.” The implication is that the employment of people does not affect the society.

As an intellectual privilege, this is a vast matter, and corporations have walked with it as cover to strengthen the tax man. The state hit is broadcast well enough. It is the damage to capitalism itself that builds up maliciously over time. The immediate cash savings are not worth the long-term damage to the atmosphere in which the business must operate. The obvious way out of this trap seems expensive. It is, in fact, a bargain. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.

Email Janan at janan.ganesh@ft.com

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