Thursday, December 13, 2012

Google boss: tax avoidance is just "capitalism" at work

I have to applaud Google boss Eric Schmidt who has defended Google’s tax avoidance as simply “capitalism” at work.  Google shifted $10 billion to Bermuda last year in order to avoid paying taxes on it. 

“It’s called capitalism” Schmidt announces triumphantly, “We are proudly capitalistic, I’m not confused about this.”.

“I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”

The government of course is a government for and of capitalists designed to defend and advance the capitalist mode of production and the profits they accumulate from it. So it’s no surprise that Google is not the only multinational that avoids paying taxes.  Rich individuals have also stashed away between $26 and $32 trillion in order to avoid taxes according to recent reports. 

Schmidt’s comments are important in that it is one of those rare occasions that an important figure, a representative of the few thousand unelected people that control the political and economic life of the country, admits that massive wealth accumulation in fewer hands and what amounts to plunder is an integral part of the capitalist mode of production.

If we think about it, the capitalist class rarely if ever uses the word capitalism with reference to production.  In fact they do their utmost to avoid mentioning that we live in a system of production and this system is known as capitalism at all.  You can be a “capitalist” which they link to freedom and individual rights, but there is no capitalist class or capitalist system.

In their serious journals though, they are very conscious of their role and discuss how best to manage the system they govern, the system called capitalism.

For the corruption and excesses and thievery that occurs day in day out, they apply terms like “crony capitalism” or describe corruption as a simply a product of  bad apples, evil individuals as opposed to an integral part of the system’s functioning.  Corrupt individuals just stray from the “Rule of Law.”

So I thank Eric Schmidt for his honesty and sharing with us the true nature of the system of production in which we live. 

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