Within the last week or so, I’ve been wrestling with political ideas involving the US economy. On the one hand you have Democrats who believe that big corporations should pay higher taxes, which drives them out of the country to avoid the taxes, leaving people who might’ve worked for them without a job. On the other hand, you have the Republicans who believe keeping taxes on corporations extremely low will encourage them to hire more people because they have money that would have otherwise gone toward taxes. Of course that’s assuming people are generous and if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that people care only about themselves. From my perspective, this is a lose/lose situation for the working people of this country.
However, after going to the local cinema last night for a preview of the movie Deepwater Horizon, I know which side of this economic conundrum I fall on. Solidly.
As I have already said a few times this morning, it’s not a movie that can be classified as good or bad. Yes, the filming is well done and the acting is what I have come to expect from the big name actors who portray very real people. The word I would use to describe my feelings on the movie as a whole: enlightening.
Yet there are not enough negative words in the English language for how I feel toward British Petroleum (BP), the company solely responsible for the largest oil spill in American history. Though they tried to spread the responsibility to include TransOcean, the other company involved in the operation of Deepwater Horizon, the fact is, all of the decision making happened on the part of the representatives (employees) of BP. Consequently, those decisions were made with the thought toward saving money rather than any safety concerns.
There were representatives from both BP and TransOcean on the oil rig when everything went straight to hell. Unfortunately, at least one BP representative got saved, even after having the shower of a lifetime in the crude oil that burst up from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico to rain down on the whole structure before it burst into flames. Equally as unfortunate, that man and all others involved in this disaster were never held responsible for their crimes. Neither their crimes against humanity nor their crimes against nature. Such is the way things go here in this amazing country. Criminals of the corporate variety get off Scott-free.
So I have concluded that higher taxes are about the only way we have to get anything from these corporations that would make them hurt. Sure, they can be un-American and go elsewhere to thrive in tax havens and countries with lower taxes for corporations. But those countries are waking up to the fact that they are losing out on millions if not billions of dollars that they could use to fund all manner of things for their country. One such example is the Republic of Ireland and Apple, Inc. Ireland has been a tax haven for many companies and it has recently been decided that Apple owes the Irish government millions in back taxes that were not paid due to the tax haven status of Ireland. But even if there are corporations who would leave, there are just as many foreign companies who are willing to open branches of their companies here in the US. Besides that, how many times have you called a company that you know without a shadow of a doubt is based here in the US, but have some man or woman in a foreign country taking your customer service call? Basing the company here in the US means little, ultimately.