Intel’s tax holiday is a sheep in wolf’s clothing

[This is a comment I had to make at NPR on March 15, 2011 after hearing a disgustingly self-serving interview with the CEO of Intel, Paul Otellini, by a sycophantic NPR reporter. When I made my comment right after I heard it, there were about five posts; when I returned to about 11pm tonight to post this to my blog, there were 39 comments — all of them slamming the falsehood and hypocrisy of the statements by Otellini. It was heartening to see there are a lot of other pissed off Americans out there who are tuned into the economic class warfare going on in our country — and that they’re not afraid to let NPR know about it!]

While I enjoyed most of what Mr Otellini had to say about creating more jobs in America, his remarks about how a ‘tax holiday’ would help create jobs tipped his hand as a wolf in sheep’s clothing — which I wish the NPR reporter would have pursued.
“A tax holiday costs us nothing!”, Mr Otellini asserts; this is wrong. I teach economics, and know full well the disingenuousness of that statement. This is the typical comeon of so many corporations that beg for tax relief, promise much, and deliver little, often pulling up stakes well before the length of time they promised to stay in a community is up; there are many, many examples of this, and it has only become worse as globalization has increased over the years. If Intel truly wants to create jobs in the US, then why don’t they invest in the US as they’ve done in Vietnam over the past five years, where they’ve invested millions in not only their own factories, but even in schools in those communities. Why? Not out of the goodness of their hearts, to be sure, but because of the cheap labor Vietnam can provide — and, I would bet, a tax holiday! No, tax holidays are a race to the bottom, and communities should stop giving them!

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