Corporations changing their citizenship

The corporate tax rate in the United States is 35%, the highest of all developed nations.  So more and more companies are practicing “inversion,” a transaction on paper that relocates their corporate home (while leaving most operations and employees where they are) to another country, such as Ireland, where the corporate rates are 12.5%.

Even President Obama wants to lower corporate rates–to 28%–and Republicans would like it much lower, but tax reform has been going nowhere, so lots of companies are making their move.  Do you blame them?  Are they un-patriotic or just doing what they have to do? [Read more...]

Big corporations & big government

Progressives are outraged at the power over the government wielded by big corporations.  But, in a comment made in a column on a different subject, George Will observes that the big corporations wouldn’t have the power they do if it weren’t for the existence of big government, a creation primarily of progressives. [Read more...]

Corporations with “values”

Liberals are generally deriding Hobby Lobby’s claim that its religious freedom is being violated by the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.  How can a corporation, they ask, have a religion?  But companies liberals love–such as Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Whole Foods–make a big point of asserting their “values” (being “sustainable,” helping the environment, treating people with respect, etc.).  So how can a corporation have “values”?  True, corporations cannot have faith and go to Heaven.  But surely corporate entities, even if they are for-profit, can make “values” part of their missions.  Hobby Lobby’s corporate values include being pro-life, just as Ben & Jerry’s include being pro-environment.  Trevor Burrus argues that corporations do indeed have “rights of conscience” that need to be protected by law. [Read more...]

Just let Google run the country?

Justine Tunney, one of the founders of Occupy Wall Street, is calling on President Obama to resign, have all government workers retire, and transfer all administrative authority to the tech industry, making Google chairman Eric Schmidt the “C.E.O. of America.”

But aren’t leftists always complaining about the influence of big corporations on the government?  Ms. Tunney claims that the tech industry is actually “post-capitalist.”

OK, she only has two signatures on her petition at the time of the news report, so this isn’t a realistic threat to our constitutional republic.  But still, even people on the right say that government should be run “like a business.”  What are the problems with this? [Read more...]

Corporate assaults on freedom

When we think of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other civil liberties, we usually think of the way the government has violated or could potentially violate them.  The Bill of Rights limits what the government can do and thus is an important safe guard of its citizens’ freedom.  And yet, the government is not the only institution that can quench civil liberties, as we see in the Duck Dynasty controversy.  Phil Robertson’s freedom of speech and his freedom of religion were punished not by the government but by the Arts & Entertainment Network, along with the corporations that sponsor his show.

Corporations are not restricted by the Bill of Rights.   Nor is the more generalized “social pressure” that comes from cultural disapproval. But individuals who are silenced by corporations–which in some ways have more power than the government–are not free.  Individuals whose religion is persecuted by the society–whether from mobs or cultural sanctions–are not free. [Read more...]

Businesses have religious liberty rights

A court stopped the imposition of fines being levied on Hobby Lobby for refusing to go along with the Obamacare contraception and morning-after-pill mandate until the case is fully litigated.  In doing so, the court ruled that corporations and for-profit businesses have religious liberty rights. [Read more...]


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