Tax Justice for WorkersOn November 12, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Tax. It’s not everyone’s favourite
subject. But without it we wouldn’t have access to quality public services like education for our kids, hospitals for our families and public roads to drive around on. This isn’t just good for workers. Research consistently shows that it’s great for business to have a highly trained highly skilled and healthy
workforce. Public investment can play a key role in innovation. You see companies like Apple try and convince us that products like the iPhone are a direct
result of private-sector ingenuity But, let’s take a look. While Steve Jobs was still fiddling around with computers in his garage, his company received a five hundred thousand dollar small business grant funded by the taxpayer. And since
then Apple’s products have benefitted from heaps of public funded developments Like the lithium battery or GPS invented by the US military or the LCD screen developed by the US Science Foundation or HTTP technology invented by the EU
funded CERN project. And after stuffing their phones full of public sector know how, Apple then turns around and decides to avoid over 50 billion dollars by keeping their money in offshore accounts. Now that’s rotten. When it comes to workers and small businesses we pay our fair share. But like Apple some of the
world’s biggest players don’t. Let’s take Mr. McDonald for example I mean Mr. Mc RONALD, Mr Mc. Ronald Mr Mc Ronald is one of the world’s richest businessman I’m really rich! Now just imagine how much Mr Mc Ronald’s business would suck if his staff didn’t know how to read or write. or if they were constantly sick or if there were no roads to drive his products around on. All of mr. Mc Ronald’s employees pay their fair share of tax directly out of their wages every month But Mr Mc Ronald doesn’t He uses a wide global network of tax havens and loopholes to shift his money to what bankers call offshore financial
centres – like the Cayman Islands where corporations pay zero percent tax And this creates a range of problems for his workers. Firstly the share of the tax bill paid by the working class increases to plug the hole which their boss made then governments are forced to privatize
public services and cut costs which leads to rising user charges and a declining standard of living for the average Joe and Josephina! But that’s not all. When workers enter into wage negotiations with Mr Mc Ronald he claims he can’t afford to increase salaries because he’s not making any profits even though he has plenty of money stashed away, tax-free in the Cayman Islands Please sir can you pay a bit more? Nope. Not a chance. And Mr. Mc Ronald is not alone. Conservative estimates put the total amount of money stashed away in tax
havens at over 20 trillion dollars. Now that’s enough to give a
three-thousand-dollar end of year bonus to every single person on earth. This is part of the reason why inequality is rising world-wide. Why workers in many countries haven’t seen their wages increase despite sustained growth and why fat cats keep getting fatter, while the poor pay the price. And just imagine all that money sitting underneath the mountains of Switzerland or the beaches of the Cayman Islands could instead be used to reinvest in our economies to employ new doctors, new road workers, new teachers. Wait are you trying to say that making corporations pay taxes would actually create jobs? Yep. But that’s not what they keep telling us! No. And I wonder why.. So how can we stop these shifty swindlers? Well there’s a new movement gaining support across the world. The campaign for Tax Justice. The idea is that we tell our governments that we’re sick of corporations and the mega-rich avoiding their taxes while they’re
workers pick up the bill. Unions and activist organizations can play a key role in engaging and educating workers and the public as well as convincing politicians to stop letting these guys get away with it. So learn more, get involved and join the fight to make sure that dirty dodgers like Mr.
Mc Ronald start paying their fair share of tax.