Regardless of playing politics, its a matter of freedom. Freedom to make as much as you want. Like it or not, greed is the foundation of all of our economies and will continue to be so.
Microsoft, for example, routes much of its revenue through an Irish subsidiary in order to avoid paying US taxes. Steve Ballmer recently whinged about Obama making it more difficult for MS to use this 'loophole' in the US tax regs.
This document has some more info. It's an industry-funded report, so is very anti-Obama's-reforms, but it has this quote:
All this gives MS, Intel, and other multinationals a very strong incentive to ask "How high?" when the EU tells them to jump.Intel, for example, employs 45,000 people in the United States and manufactures 75 percent of its products here; yet the world’s biggest chipmaker generates 80 percent of revenues abroad.
Tax loopholes is a whole new ordeal. Obama is doing good on that 1. Regulation for consumer safety is also important. I do not contest that.
But anti-competitiveness? that's anti capitalism. Businesses are not puppets that the government uses to leech taxes and manipulate (which to a degree they do already). If thats what businesses start to become then very little businesses will spawn and innovation along with it. You start a business to buy the bread, not pay taxes or get surrounded by red tape. Multinationals or not, the point is right now you cant live without M$ or intel when it comes to the daily operations of society. The thought of losing money shouldn't even be considered because they have the power to cripple the countries that oppose them. and i'll tell you what, thats not good for the consumer but these 2 companies earned the stage they stand on. You cant have both a vibrant economy and an equal society, you can have something in the middle. This middle ground protects consumer safety and security as well as sponsor small business growth, which as i recall, is one of obamas hitting points. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to look at either extreme of the spectrum (nazi and commie), and see how it rly didn't work out for them.
Ill make note, im a very liberal guy. But my eyes are open to the fact that western society runs on business. Not only that but business made western society what it is. This is accepted as fact.
And based on that, what environment might endorse you to start a company (which might i add, was a huge topic on the 2008 USA election):
A. Free market principals, make as much as you can or want. We will place restrictions on you to protect consumers health and safety but you are free to grow as you wish beyond that.
B. We endorse a competitive marketplace with choices. We will place restrictions on you to protect consumers health and safety. If a company gets too large and anti-competitive then we will slow it down.
If you chose (B), you are an idiot. I tried my best to minimise bias but the answer is so historically obvious it hits you in the face.
The US does exactly the same than the EU poking around with big mergers. True the EU does it with anyone - not scared of messing with american giants such as microsoft and intel which in the US are too big to be regulated by your corrupt political system full of lobyists.
But when a european company tries to buy a US one or do a big merger, look at what happens..... Fiat and Chrysler... Now they just couldnt stand the fact that their little star would get eaten by "fix it again tony"
Chrysler also had lots of debt with America, patents, who knows what else. For these reasons its no wonder they had to get involved. A similar thing happened when a chinese company wanted to buy some oil company a while back. It was stopped because it would mean the chinese could get technology that had military uses. This is protecting the people, not penalising a company for being too big. It came down to politics.
Regulations are not puppetry. People at the bottom get shafted, there is a reason they are at the bottom, like it or not. They need an opportunity to get back on their feet but beyond that something happened in their life for them to be at the bottom. Equal opportunity does not need to equal equality (sounds funny doesn't it). Everyone has a chance to succeed in the market if they make the right decisions. intel and MS made the right decisions.
A regulation could be considered how Canada managed its banking system and largely avoided the credit crisis (which as i recall, Europe largely fucked up on aswell). Our government stopped banks from doing these dangerous practices. They protected consumers. This is the job of a government, not to tell a company to pay a fine because they are anti competitive.
@lordmozilla - I am not american, and i am very content knowing that. This is not my "corrupt political system full of lobyists". They have these stupid lobbyists because unlike many countries, personal freedoms are respected to an extreme. This is a major problem for the USA that needs to be addressed however your rant seems like just another anti-american slide. When the EU gets into bed with these major corporations it is doing so under the assumption that it will get what it wants. I said it and ill say it again, the world runs on MS/Intel. if an economy took out the systems it uses to operate then you have no economy.
You can try this at home, use the TV remote. Now take out the batteries.
Oh and by the way. Say the EU fined me $7,000,000 for being too competitive in say.... Hard disk manufacturing. Where does my $7,000,000 go? to my competitors? because I have a hunch it goes to the EU.
So are you saying that they should be allowed to expand without limit? Isn't that exactly the problem with the US economy at the moment? Lax regulation allowed some corporations to become "too big to fail"?
I think the options are more like this:
A. Free market principals, make as much as you can or want. We will place restrictions on you to protect consumers health and safety but you are free to grow as you wish beyond that. Corporations are free to grow so large that when they fail the government has two choices:
- Allow the corporation to fail, costing millions of jobs, trillions of investors dollars and destroying the infrastructure that the corporation has invested in which also creates widespread panic in the market and major repercussions for the many other businesses relying on that corporation.
- Bail out the business with taxpayer dollars to avoid massive damage to the economy, but in the process nullifying the "invisible hand" of the free market and encouraging other big businesses to take increased risks knowing that they can rely on bailouts because they are untouchable.
B. Regulate the market so that no corporation can become too big to fail. If a company fails, the directors are the only ones held responsible for their own mistakes, any assets are liquidated and investors learn from their poor investment. ie. market forces are allowed to operate freely within some reasonable boundaries.
Surely B is a better option. Of course, what option B's boundaries should be is another discussion.