Nick Shaxson ■ The political mathematics of tech giants


techSome political mathematics.

A + B + C + D + E = F.

Here’s AUS tech giants launch fierce fightback against global tax avoidance crackdown. Reforms “must be resisted.”

Now B: The libertarian Cato Institute, funded by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, said it had received support from Google in the form of free web advertising. Among the issues on which this lobby group campaigns is taxation; it expounds the virtues of tax havens and has described the G20-led efforts to reform international tax as a “global tax cartel” plot. The lobbying, the lobbying.

C: The job-killing nature of many technologies.

D: The worries about surveillance.

E: the problem of market monopolies, quasi-monopolies or oligopolies enjoyed by the likes of Amazon or Google, and the ensuing rent-seeking bonanza.

The result of all this?

It’s obviously going to be F. We’ve checked our sums carefully with a calculator here, and they’re quite correct.

Here’s F, via the FT:

“the collapse of trust in technology companies could be “just as big” as it had been for banks.”

Indeed it could. And note that all of A-E have powerful implications for worsening economic or political inequalities.

Is that fierce fightback against “a global tax avoidance crackdown” really such a good idea?

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