I always get a little annoyed when those who suggest that commerce is the only way to create wealth ignore the fact that those companies that very often attract the highest publicity for being in the forefront of the entrepreneurial revolution get some of the biggest tax subsidies. Richard Branson's Virgin is one such enterprise that seems to live off subsidies. Google is another. As Web Host Industry Review reports:
Google is going to build a $600 million data center in Lenoir, North Carolina. That [means] Google will receive $100 million in tax benefits over the next 30 years. That's $500K for each of the 200 jobs that the data center is expected to create.
So much for the risk taking of free enterprise. Google has been the fastest growing stock over the last few years. And it still requires the state to absorb its risk.
As ever, don't get me wrong. I'm pro business. But I also argue that business would be completely lost without government. The evidence is plain to see. Without taxes (which Google is keen to avoid) Google could not do what it does. Which makes it a hypocrite for locating its entities in low tax zones, like Ireland.
I guess they've got that in common with Microsoft and Apple.