How the news would look if everyone stopped waffling and told the truth.
Friday, 14 December 2012
Google's Ratner Moment.
Eric Schmidt, the head of Google, has thought about the recent row in Britain over multinationals not paying tax and has decided that his considered reply should be "Up yours." Dodging tax and refusing to contribute to the society that supports your profits is "capitalism" apparently. "I am very proud of the structure that we set up," he told us during an interview in New York. "I am not confused about this." Really? Well perhaps he should consider a couple of other things. In a world where capitalism has forced down wages and reduced demand in the process, where the taxation system seems to offer the only hope of redressing the balance and where, despite all the hubris, the customer is still always right, he might be well advised to consider what happened to Gerald Ratner when he cheerfully admitted that his company's products were crap. People voted with their wallets and took their business elsewhere. Eric Schmidt has not said that his company's product is a piece of crap, he's told us, instead, that we are. Which is why I've changed my browser and why I urge everyone else in Britain to do so. Imagine Eric Schmidt's face if he wakes up tomorrow morning and finds that Google's business in Britain has simply ceased to exist. That, too, is capitalism.