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"Anything that impinges on Ireland's competitiveness is going to be a big thing for Google, including corporation tax." John Herlihy (head Google Ireland)

Perhaps the Don't Be Evil Dublin local office is just trying to figure out how it's going to pay for that 10% pay-rise they handed their 2,000 employees. Oh, and DBE (Dublin) is apparently not the only ones trying to run the local government. Intel (4,000 employees) is also getting antsy.

The Germans are, apparently, fully behind Ireland's "courageous [proposed] reform policies". Wow. Good for you, Deutschland. But, it might be a great idea if you made your press release sound a teeny bit less like "I've called you all here to tell you that I'm giving a vote of full confidence in our head coaching staff" or "We're waiting for the Dail to approve a rate increase so that more companies decide that working in the rest of Europe, including beautiful Germany, is an awesome idea".

PS -- Ms Merkel's press relations: anyone who's watched "Yes, Minister" or "Yes, Prime Minister" knows damn well what the adjective "courageous" really means in neuvo-politico...

Date: 2010-11-25 00:47 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd hate to try and get into a cynicism bidding war, but one of m'gamer buddies is of the view that most of the US "FDI" (lack of) corporation taxes get funnelled back via Delaware anyway, where they'll pay even less, and the "attractive to inward investment" rate mainly ends up being paid by domestic companies, who might otherwise have been milked for a good bit more, and UK and German financial services companies tax-dumping without any meaningful economic activity here.

I suspect it's testament to just how dire things are that the corp-tax-rate situation isn't being pushed by the rest of the 'zone. Will Hutton (of The Observer, etc) was on the phone to one of the news programmes to opine that RoI couldn't expect to be getting bailed out by the very same countries that are having their "tax bases stolen", as he put it. Apparently it can, but is still very deep in the mire anyway.

Date: 2010-11-25 03:37 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sigh. I will not engage in a cynicism bidding war with you. I have sympathy for your country's situation. But it pisses me off that one of the richest companies in the world, with a 2,000 person commitment to the nation, couldn't instead have said, "We believe that in these tough times, it's important to help our Irish employees keep food on the table for their families, so we're here for the long haul even if their country must take steps that might seem like it'd be tougher for us to do business here."

But of course, corporations (even self-declaratively non-evil ones) don't have consciences like people do. Bah.

Date: 2010-11-25 03:38 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Perhaps I should say "apparently richest". I have no real evidence that T3h G00gl3s are actually one of the richest companies in the world, and being in the high tech industry tends to warp one's sense of scale...

Date: 2010-11-30 19:29 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But in the Wonderland-logic-world that is Irish politics, this "threat" *is* the solidarity that the consensus is looking for. Every single political party here has insisted on keeping the 12.5% corp rate (including the mainstream left, the hard left, and the notionally "left" irredentist ueber-nationalists); every European political grouping (or at least, their representatives on the appropriate committee, "speaking in notionally personal capacities") has criticised it.

So while I agree that Google is indeed being "evil" here, it's being evil in that it's (admittedly somewhat left-handedly) supporting an "evil" Irish policy; not in cutting Ireland off at the knees in opposing anything it's shown any desire to do at all.

Date: 2010-11-30 19:34 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ahh! This wasn't clear in my reading of the article: that could be my lack of perspicacity, admittedly -- thanks for the clarification.

Date: 2010-11-30 23:45 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think the article hints at that, but granted doesn't spell out the whole background. If one's on the receiving end of the local media on the topic, though... ("We're putting 200 billion into the zombie banks, we'll take bailouts from the IMF, the ECB, and -- gasp! -- the former colonial power, we're cutting spending on anything and everything, we're raising income tax, VAT, etc... but at least we're all agreed that we'll keep our beggar-thy-neighbour policies on company tax, even if it pisses off all the people giving us the money!")

On Google specifically, I will grant you that it's crass at best, and fundamentally destructive of any hope at social justice at worse, for multinational corporations to be blatantly holding forth on matters pertaining to local politics in any of their various "host" countries. Or in other words, global capitalism's "business as usual".


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