A recent interviewer posed an offer to about 20 respondents, questioning, that if he gave them $3 million to leave the country and never return would they do it. The majority said they would. (CBS Morning Show) The root cause for this answer was despair and hopelessness about the future of the USA.
Some of the respondents focused on the Burger King Companies moving out of the Country, others mentioned corporate tax loops holes, still others mentioned the lack of an ability to make a living wage.
So, how should it be handled; This apparent increasing sense of national hopelessness in this country? How would you fix it?
First, our national corporate tax structure has seen a number of companies avoid taxes by moving subsidiaries or headquarters offshore. The Burger King announcement to move to Canada, seemed to cause more stir than when Micro Soft moved to Ireland. The promoters of the corporate movement out of the USA, point to the USA’s 36.5% tax rate, one of the highest in the industrial world. There is a cry that the tax rate is too high and needs to be reduced to keep businesses here. It’s mid-term election time again and do you know what the mud-slingers are doing. They’re pointing to the incumbents’ and yelling they’re soft on business because they’ve given special tax benefits to business. (STOP, who pays that tax, not the business, rather it’s you and I. It’s the those of us that buy a product because the tax built into the price!)
Second, what about loop holes? Some of the people believe there are too many loop holes for business. Wanting to close the loop holes means businesses will be paying more taxes, causing them to look for more offshore opportunities. Here’s an interesting note, about half of the corporate (tax) reporting companies in this county don’t pay any tax! How? You ask? Many companies use the loop hole of corporate restructuring, layering so many subsidiary or sister-bother corporations and/or partnerships that profits flow all over without getting taxed. Loops holes are generated not for everyone but selected industry segments. Loop holes are created to keep business (and employment, thereby wages) in certain geographic-political territories.
Thirdly, making a living wage. The talk around the news rooms today has been McDonalds workers not able to support their families on the current national minimum wage. The interviewed group seemed to indicate that too little money was offered for an advanced economy as ours compared to other countries. No mention was made, however of the other countries cost of living, so we don’t have a true comparison.
So here’s some things to think about.
1. How do you close loop holes, which would/should create more tax revenues while dropping taxes sufficiently to keep business here?
2. When a company leaves, doesn’t it also take its jobs with it? How can you keep better paying jobs in the USA if the higher paid corporate positions are elsewhere?
3. Is it fair for a business to leave this country for tax saving reasons, but still expect to earn profit from the unemployed it left behind?
4. If people, like McDonalds employees have their minimum wage doubled, will you still be able to buy the happy meal if its price doubles?
5. It was mentioned at the end of interview that as of now, 31% of this countries population is receiving some sort of governmental income, (whether welfare, disability or social security). How can this be sustained if, businesses leave or minimum wages are not increased.
6. If the minimum wage is increased, I don’t have any reason to tip my servers for good service, because higher paid servers had better give good service. If service is bad I can complain and servers can be/and should be treated like any other wage employee and be reprimanded or fired for poor performance.
7. If minimum wage goes up, doesn’t product cost go up, making your other living costs go up? Which is the beginning of spiraling inflation? ( I doubt the Mr. Obama can remember the double digit inflation of the seventies.)
And so, back to my beginning; How should it be handled; This apparent increasing sense of national hopelessness in this country? How would you fix it?
When you figure it out, vote for the person that best represents you, better yet, run for office. However, anyone that runs for office, tends to sell their soul to the party and lobbyists. Wait that sounds a little hopeless?