Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What have the corporations ever done for us?

I am absolutely pro-labor union.  Yep.

I thought I should make that very clear to my rabid right-wing debaters, if they have not figured it out already ;)

At this point, you perhaps are thinking that this is a set up for something else.  Yep.

I am pro union, if the labor belongs to a category that truly can be screwed over by the short-term profit seeking greedy firms and bosses.  If, for instance, Walmart employees want to organize, I am all for it.  If Foxconn workers wants to join hands in solidarity, I say "go for it."  

But, any public sector employees forming a union, well, that's a different story.  I don't care if the employees are police officers or sanitation workers or university faculty.  The logic is this: Who is "the man" that the union wants to stick it to?  "The man" being considered the oppressor is the taxpayer.  Not some greedy capitalist.  So, the union wants to stick it to the taxpayer?

Of course, the public sector union's leaders will argue that they are really after the greedy capitalist who wants to hoard it all.

Consider this: Here in the dark blue state of Oregon, the public sector unions, "led by teachers," are enthusiastically pushing a ballot measure:
If approved by the voters here in November, Measure 97 would create the biggest tide of new tax revenue in any state in the nation this year as a percentage of the budget, economists said — and one of the biggest anywhere in recent history. Oregon’s general fund would grow by almost a third, or about $3 billion a year, through a 2.5 percent tax on corporate gross receipts.
How would that money be raised?
If the ballot measure passes, not every company will be affected. Out-of-state corporations and those with $25 million or more in revenue would pay the new tax. Smaller businesses would not. That disparity has cut like a knife through the business community.
If only it were that simple to make corporations pay taxes.  I wonder if the unions have heard of gazillion-dollar earning tax lawyers and accountants, like the ones Apple has on its side to keep the taxes far, far away.  The public sector unions create and live in their own alternate universe!

The editorial chief at the newspaper from the state's capital had some awesome lines:
What gets me is proponents’ assumption that corporations simply will accept lower profits in order to pay the tax. At the Salem City Club recently, one advocate went as far as saying companies would transfer their revenue from other states to pay their Oregon taxes.
That’s not the way corporations work, especially ones that are publicly traded on the stock market.
Meanwhile, the state's Legislative Revenue Office ran the numbers because, well, they have to.  It is their job.  What did they find?  Much to the displeasure of the Measure's backers, the office concluded that it would harm the state's economy:
among other effects, Measure 97 would slow private sector job growth and boost the average per-person tax bill by $600 via price increases, with the burden falling mostly on low- and middle-income Oregonians.
Really?  I was going to bet that businesses love paying taxes and will never pass the costs down to consumers.  Oh, how could I have been that stupid! I need to sign up with the comrades the first thing tomorrow ;)


5 comments:

Mike Hoth said...

Yes, this is often what I rail against when I complain that unions are bad. Many private companies need an organized resistance to keep them in check, even if a good handful of unions have become their own abusive private companies, forcing workers to pick their poison.

Unions for government workers need to be replaced by something less fractured. Did you know, for instance, that the US Postal Service has TWO unions that bicker over anything and everything? That added complication doesn't help anybody. Unions are a mess and they need to be fixed.

Ramesh said...

Half the post that argues against unions in public sector but positively gushes at unions in "greedy capitalists" is where I disagree with every single word. What has ownership got to do with an argument for or against unions. And the implication that a union is for "sticking it to somebody" is simply mind boggling.

The other half of the post that argues against Measure 97 - I could agree with every word. Had no idea that such a Measure is going to be on the ballot. Maybe Bernie Sanders has moved from Maine to Oregon !!

I really have a problem on your railing against companies who reduce their tax liability. Why is it OK if you and I do it, but it is not OK if a corporation does it. By your argument, we should be foregoing the mortgage interest deduction in our tax bill ?? Why oh Why ?

Tax avoidance, as opposed to tax evasion is an acceptable thing to do. You do it, I do it and so do companies. If it was so reprehensible, by all means change the tax code . What is not acceptable is companies lobbying for tax deals and getting them - Apple's crime in Europe is not that they pay little tax; its that the government of Ireland shamefully bowed to them and gave them a sweetheart deal.

The real reason for all his problem for US companies is your outrageous tax code which seeks to tax global income. And you are so overbearing, that I, who has nothing whatsoever to do with the US of A, have to sign a FATCA form, for something that I do purely in India. I have to comply with your legislation although I have nothing to do with your country. Makes me hopping mad.

Sriram Khé said...

I suspect that even at "good unions" power tends to corrupt people.
At educational institutions, there are typically two unions: one for those who are directly involved in teaching, and another for those who are the support staff but not managerial. Multiple unions at a work place is quite common at large workplaces/industries. And, yes, they talk about "brothers and sisters" but each union looks after only its own.

As for Apple, I will continue railing that it is a horrible corporation--way worse than most multinationals. Apple has done an awesome job of presenting itself to the public--especially to liberals--that while Walmart has an image crisis, as it should, Apple has a halo around its name.
I will outsource the rest of anti-Apple rant to an op-ed in today's NY Times: https://twitter.com/congoboy/status/778590043191390208

I do agree with you that the tax code is where the problems begin. And, yes, I have even argued that there should not be any mortgage interest deduction. I am trying to be as consistent as I can.

Finally, yes, the "ownership" matters to me when it comes to unions. In a democracy, we the people get to decide--and such decisions result in the money allocated to different activities. If, therefore, less money comes to colleges, well, that is the will of the people and I have to respect it even if I disagree with it. This is why there can't be any public-sector union fighting against the taxpayers. (Even more troubling: most public sector union leaders are ardent fans of college football and basketball, and they never criticize the awful spending on sports. Atrocious leadership, to say the least!)
And, the more important thing here: we all share the same geographic area. We Oregonians deciding on government budget live in Oregon.
With multinationals, on the other hand, there is no allegiance to the people--It is almost like a 'f*k you' attitude towards the people, if money cannot be made of them.

Anne in Salem said...

I am appalled at the number of letters to the editor in support of Measure 97. It is frightening to think people this illogical are voting. Most seem swayed by the proponents' assertions the fund will be spent on education, seniors and public safety. Funds from 97 are not in any way earmarked for those expenses. Rather they go into the general fund to be spent however our legislators decide. I'd put money on Measure 97 funds paying PERS obligations, which will bankrupt the state long before funding education, seniors or public safety will. Of course, the unreasonable burden that is PERS comes from the public sector union negotiations. It's all messed up, whether caused by unions, tax codes or corporate greed - or all three.

Sriram Khé said...

There are people who vote who believe that Obama is a Muslim. Or that 9/11 was an inside job. Or that god created all these some 6000 years ago. All these people vote. And it always seems like these people never fail to vote.
The awfulness in a democracy is that there is no minimum intelligence requirement. All because other political systems are even worse!

As I understand it, Measure 97 won't be good news for Oregonians. Let us see what happens ... After all, we need to figure out how to keep paying a retired university football coach $50,000 per month--yes per month!!!

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