The six big US tech firms. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Apple and Microsoft are accused of avoiding tax by shifting revenue and profits through tax havens or low-tax countries, like Ireland. They are also accused of deliberately delaying payment of what tax they do end up paying. Fair Tax Mark accuses Amazon of being the worst culprit. Over the last decade its revenues have been $960.5 billion and its profits were $26.8 billion. During this period it has actually paid $3.4 billion in US tax, an effective rate of 12.7%, instead of the 35% nominal tax. Amazon, in reply, say that in fact they paid 24% between the years 2010 and 2018, or roughly the same period. We don’t know the truth.
Meanwhile, the US budget deficit is exploding and you can’t let that go on indefinitely. It Is both stupid and short-sighted. The signs point towards another financial crisis; the only thing we don’t know is when that will happen, not if. We know big tech, like the healthcare industry, gets special treatment. The problem is that the poor and the middle class are the sufferers.
Why is this a matter for followers of Epicurus? Because you cannot have peace of mind when you don’t know when the house of cards will collapse yet again. For those with money they have nowhere else to put it, so are stuck with the stock market which continues to rise , for the time being. For those without money and With maxed out credit cards, auto loans etc, the disaster, when it comes, will be as bad, or worse, than 2008.
I have done a post on being positive – it helps you live longer. Getting tough, being positive! Probably the answer is to ignore the dissonance, but then you are not being a responsible, well- informed citizen. Any ideas?