George Will's support for corporate inversions will bring back the robber barons

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I had a good laugh reading George F. Will’s column “Inversions Are Sensible: These Corporate Mergers Strengthen the U.S. Economy” (Aug. 18). He opines that corporate “inversions” (whereby U.S. corporations merge with foreign corporations to avoid paying U.S. taxes) are good for the American economy and Americans. He bases his argument on the fact that the corporations will become more profitable and this will result in increasing the “pool” of profits available for the wages of U.S. workers and by making the companies’ U.S. shareholders wealthier.

I can agree wholeheartedly that the companies’ U.S. shareholders will become wealthier, but it is laughable to assert that U.S. workers will benefit. I would suggest that the workers who benefit would be in China, India or some Third World country but not in the United States.

Apple (which is sitting on $60 billion to $70 billion of cash in offshore accounts) had approximately 430,000 workers in China based on estimates a few years old. In 2001, China’s average manufacturing wage was 58 cents an hour, although that number has risen in recent years. Almost every goods manufacturer has shifted production to countries like China where factory workers’ wages are around $4,000 or less annually.

Now U.S. corporations have located another shady method of increasing shareholder and executive profits/​salaries — by denying the United States the taxes needed to maintain all the elements necessary to sustain this country.

The robber barons of the late 1800s and early 1900s were amateurs compared to today’s 21st-century robber barons.

PAUL RICHARDS
Penn Hills


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