Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Meyerson on tax avoidance: More than one bad Apple

Meyerson reminds us that:

 ... the system of sovereign nation-states — a pretty impressive creation in its day — has become a plaything for big business in the age of globalization and digital communication. The world is full of places with dirt-cheap labor, low or no taxes and scant or non-existent regulation.

We call sovereign states' total submission to corporate puppeteers in this globalized system "the race to the bottom."

Meyerson also keenly notes that lowering U.S. corporate tax rates is not the solution for corporations' tax avoidance: 

Reducing the nominal tax rate on corporate profits in the United States to 25 percent, or 15 percent, from the current 35 percent won’t deter some future Apple from shifting profits to some future Ireland if the tax rate there is zero.

So what are the solutions?  Meyerson says we should consider: 1) replacing corporate profit tax with an increase on capital gains tax; or even 2) a tax on corporate sales revenue earned in the country, not corporate profit.

By Harold Meyerson
May 29, 2013 | Washington Post

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