Doug's Mailbag: Google's Tax Loop, IE9 Beta Thoughts
One reader doesn't see the fault in Google's tax situation:
I don't see Google, Microsoft or any other U.S. company as wrong because they try to maximize the return on investment for their shareholders. I also disagree that they are being a "bad corporate citizen" by operating in this manner. Capital will always flow to wherever it gets the greatest return, and trying to prevent it from doing so is tantamount to taking away freedom. We now live in a time with a truly global marketplace, and if the tax structure in the United States isn't competitive with the tax structure elsewhere then freedom must allow individuals and corporations to move to places that are more competitive.
The truth of the matter is that the United States has slowly become less and less business friendly over the past 50-60 years. The U.S. now boasts one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world. You mentioned all of the taxes that individuals pay, but you forgot to mention all of the taxes (other than income) that business pay. What about payroll and unemployment insurance taxes? Add to that the thousands and thousands of restrictions and regulations placed on business and we should feel fortunate that Google and others haven't moved their entire business to a different country.
Google and others are behaving in a completely logical fashion. They don't exist to provide a source of funding for the political class -- they exist to provide a return on investment to their shareholders. No country can force individuals and corporations to work hard without keeping the fruits of their labor. This has actually been tried many, many times, and it has a perfect record of failure. The bigger the government, the smaller the people. If we want Google and others to keep their profits in the U.S. then we should lower our corporate income tax rate to make it competitive with the rest of the world.
Here's some thoughts on the beta of IE9 by a user:
I use IE9 at home. I don't put beta software on my production network without testing it first. Boy, am I glad I did with this newest version of Internet Explorer. IE9 works OK, but it seems a bit slow when it comes to drawing some of the dynamic images on HTML5 pages. I really miss the progress bar -- when I click on a link I have no idea if IE9 is doing something or not.
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Posted by Doug Barney on 10/27/2010 at 1:18 PM