“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Friday, 7 December 2012

Only total financial transparency for all will threaten the like of Starbucks.

For Starbucks paying tax is seen as a voluntary donation, part of their corporate social responsibility profile and something that they can opt in and out of at will. Tax was originally nothing more than a tribute in kind to the king or emperor with the sole aim of increasing the riches and power of the ruling elite. With the wealth collected ships could be built, armies raised and frontiers extended. Tax still fulfils this function of course but in the modern world is also expected to be a tool of redistribution where individual wealth collectively funds hospitals, schools and transport as well as nuclear deterrents and royal pageantry. For most people, locked into the PAYE system as they are, there is no question of choice regarding the payment of tax; they would like to pay less but recognise the redistributive element. For the suits at Starbucks of course, none of this is of any relevance. Their whole world, children's education, health, pensions, everything, is a private matter. We may get pissed off with the arrogance - but we can't fault the logic.
Only total financial transparency for all will allow us to see who has what and where the money goes.
Who would object to such a thing? Only those who have such a disproportionately large share of the cake that they fear expropriation - or those who feel in some way personally diminished by the few crumbs that they salvage. Total financial transparency for all might not lead to the eruption of the marvellous but it sure would be a step in the right direction.

1 comment:

Dr Llarregub said...

Starbucks centre of a Paris protest.
Be careful with this group, they are young, hostile to the 'baby boomers' and the 1968 generation, also opposed to Islamisation of France, and very active, but they need to be evaluated even if you decide to oppose them. No. I am not involved with them, just aware. These troubled times are producing some interesting movements. What did Spinoza say? 'Not to laugh, not to weep, but to understand'.

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