(buchanan.org) — “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”
Jefferson’s brutal verdict comes to mind in the fierce debate over inversions, those decisions by U.S. companies to buy foreign firms to move their headquarters abroad and renounce their U.S. citizenship — to evade the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent.
U.S. executives who engineer these inversions are undeniably acting in the best interests of their shareholders and companies.
But are they also lacking in economic patriotism? Are they also guilty of economic treason against the nation that nurtured them?
Are they, in the phrase tossed out by Barack Obama, “corporate deserters”? Adds our president, “I don’t care if it’s legal, it’s wrong.”
But are inversions wrong? Or are these relocations abroad neither more nor less moral than Boeing’s decision to save hundreds of millions in labor costs by shifting 1,300 engineering jobs out of Seattle and Southern California to St. Louis, Charleston and Huntsville?