Intrusive corporations

An executive with Uber, the app-based cab service, said how he wants to spend $1 million to dig up dirt on its critics, wanting to get at “your personal lives, your families.”  This from the same company that blogged about the data it has on its riders’ “brief overnight weekend stays”; that is, sexual rendezvous.

But Uber is not the only company that is amassing vast stores of personal data on its customers and that is not afraid to use it.  We worry about an intrusive government invading our privacy and taking away our liberties.  But we have constitutional protection against that, for whatever that is worth.  But what about intrusive companies invading our privacy and taking away our liberties? [Read more...]

Why corporations move

We blogged about “inversions,” when a corporation moves its official headquarters to another country.  George Will offers an explanation from the corporation’s point of view, going on to criticize liberals for waxing indignant over the consequences of policies they themselves promoted. [Read more...]

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...]


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