Corporate leeches merit shaming

Economics “It is disgraceful that Qantas is paying a small amount of tax. More so, Alan Joyce’s salary is offensively high and he has just bought a $5 million house in Sydney (“Qantas boss lands $5m Palmie pad”, December 18). We need to boycott Qantas.”

Illustration: Alan Moir

I grabbed this from The Sydney Morning Herald’s letter section. Its always good to check out what others around the world are thinking. Australian’s seem to be expressing the same thing we all are, frustration and anger at corporate greed.

In Canada our Provincial and territorial finance ministers are scheduled to gather tonight in Ottawa with federal counterpart Bill Morneau. No doubt they will review the hard economic truths facing Canada and Justin Trudeau’s new liberal government.

[pullquote-right]“…it no longer seemed so important whether the world was Adam Smith or Karl Marx. Neither made very much sense under the new circumstances.”… Isaac Asimov, I, Robot[/pullquote-right]What they will find out is that they are knee deep in financial quicksand. And if they try to solve this mess using old economics they will fail. What is needed is a new method of sharing the wealth. Like our Austrailian cousin’s we know the current scheme of taxation is highly manipulated. Especially by larger corporations. The Sydney Morning Herald reported as many as 4 in 10 companies pay no tax at all. That is a lot of forgone revenue.

Wonder if that is why the middle class carries the burden?

Corporate leeches merit shaming


If the outed finances of an Australian test cricketer, movie star or politician revealed tax dodging on the scale of at least some on this roll call of corporate parasites, a gaggle of reporters would assemble immediately outside their homes (“Four in 10 companies pay this much tax … $0″, December 18). Cameras would flash as they scurried for their cars, hiding their faces in guilt and embarrassment. The tabloids would gleefully catalogue their portfolio of trophy properties, their kids’ expensive schools, their overseas holidays and shopping sprees.

Quite rightly, such individual tax cheats would cop the full media perp-walk treatment, leaving no citizen – least of all them – in doubt about the shamefulness of freeloading on honest taxpayers. Yet none of this due public reckoning will be visited upon the discreet senior executives who run these companies, earning their million-dollar salaries and bonuses at least partly for devising and executing the dubious taxation strategies that, “legal” or not, are no less morally contemptible and civically corrosive.

If these corporate “leaders” were individually named in the media alongside their tax-rorting companies, it would allow a most interested public to extend each one the appropriate personal credit for their professional cunning.

Jack Robertson Birchgrove

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Image courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald

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