Monday, June 16, 2014
Yet another US company is seeking to change its tax status by moving its headquarters out of the country. This time it is Medtronic, the medical device maker. It wants to shift its corporate headquarters to Ireland where its potential acquisition is domiciled and taxes are much less. There isn't much the US government can do. Corporations are not patriotic entities. They are businesses with interests around the globe, and they can move where they wish when they wish. One can attempt to besmirch a company's reputation for leaving a locale, but it rarely stops the company from doing so. Politicians need to remember this when they diddle with tax structure and seek to raise more money for the government. With global communications systems and fast travel, corporations are more mobile than at any time in history. Their public relations are not community-bound but worldwide. That is as it should be. The era of state-identified companies is largely done, China notwithstanding.