Does George Will expect citizens to pay the tab for corporations?

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In his Aug. 18 column “Inversions Are Sensible,” George F. Will extolled the virtue of corporate inversions and noted that a publicly traded corporation’s responsibility is to maximize the value of its shareholders’ holdings. He further derided the notion that American corporations have some patriotic obligations to the United States. In his view, corporations, also referred to as “people” by Republicans, have free speech rights and religious rights but no obligations to the country that guarantees those rights. Aren’t we fortunate that that was not the prevailing philosophy during World War II?

Remarkably, in his Aug. 29 missive (“Uncharted Waters”), Mr. Will worries about China’s claims on the Yellow Sea and the South and East China Seas and seems to endorse the strategy of expanding the U.S. Navy to meet this threat noting that aircraft carriers at $13 billion a piece are good investments. He notes that China depends on the orderliness on the seas over which pass 90 percent of the world’s trade.

Mr. Will neglected to mention that over the last 30 years this protected international maritime commerce has disproportionately benefited China, multinational corporations and their shareholders at the expense of working Americans.

I’m just curious who Mr. Will thinks should pay for the Navy that maintains the maritime order on which world commerce depends. We know corporations have only the obligation to increase shareholder value not to support the nations that provide the environment in which they may exist and thrive. Surely, Mr. Will does not think that Americans, aka “real people” should pay for this orderliness on the seas.

Mt. Lebanon


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