We have to spend some time this week carefully watching BC business playing good cop and bad cop. The good cop is opposing the idea of a corporate tax rate of zero, while the bad cop says that corporations should be able to vote, like real human beings.
British Columbia Chamber of Commerce president John Winter has said … “I’m not so sure getting down to a zero tax rate is really the right place to be for business in British Columbia at any rate. I think that we should all be taxpayers and contributing to the economy.”
This sounds great. The stunning tax cuts for corporations in BC and throughout the OECD world show that governments are largely just compradors for corporations. But to hear a BC business leader suggest that BC should not be a Cayman Islands tax haven, while encouraging, is somewhat suspicious.
But the other shoe did verily drop:
Last week, British Columbia Chamber of Commerce president John Winter … encouraged the Clark administration to give business back the right to vote in local elections – an idea that was rejected by a 2010 provincial task force. But Mr. Winter acknowledged there would be some barriers to making all of that happen.
I certainly hope there will be barriers to allowing these corporation frankenthings, these rapacious virtual human beings, entities whose legislated mandate is to maximize shareholder wealth, to vote in municipal elections along with me, you and all the other real human voters around.
It is wrong to argue that corporations should pay taxes so they could have the right to vote. Corporations are creatures of economics. Their operation should generate taxes for society.
Democracy, however, is a thing of, by and for real human beings…some of whom run corporations, people who do not deserve a double vote. Just as I’m reading about the potential end of Great Britain with Scottish, Welsh and Irish independence movements objecting to the monarch having more rights than other human beings just because of her ancestry, we should not be empowering certain people to have more votes than others by virtue of their involvement with corporations.
So, beware chamber of commerce presidents bearing gifts of rhetoric. They never give something for nothing.