Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Pfizer Inversion And Corporate Citzenship

Pfizer's plan to merge with the Irish drug company Allergan is part of a corporate trend to reduce their tax payments to the US.  Ireland has a much lower tax rate than the US.  The CEO of Pfizer claims that one of its missions to be a better corporate citizen.  It would appear that Pfizer's real mission is to make its shareholders and its CEO richer by avoiding US taxes.  Pfizer gets a lot of assistance from basic research conducted by US agencies that help it develop new drugs.  The US government also protects their patents in many ways.  Perhaps the government should stop sharing its basic research with Pfizer and it should allow US citizens to purchase generic versions of blockbuster Pfizer drugs from overseas. At present the US government does not even allow US residents to purchase patent protected drugs from Canada where the same drugs are sold for lower prices.  The government is a good corporate citizen but multinational corporations are not good national citizens  They employ every means available to them to avoid US taxes.  Corporate inversions are simply the most recent tax evasion strategy.  They operate in a global economy and they have been unresponsive to requests from national governments to be more patriotic.

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