It’s criminal,‭ ‬but it’s legal‭!

An international collaboration between news organisations revealed some dark secrets of fiscal‭ “‬optimisation‭” ‬practiced by multinationals and‭ ‬the super-rich.‭ ‬In France,‭ ‬€20‭ ‬billion escape income tax,‭ ‬and that’s a conservative estimate.‭ ‬That’s four times the shortfall in‭ ‬the‭ ‬social security budget.

A world tour of tricks
‭ ‬It’s hard to find a multinational without an offshore subsidiary.‭ ‬Apple moves two thirds of its profits to Ireland,‭ ‬where it is exempt from corporate tax‭; ‬Nike saves‭ ‬€1‭ ‬billion through the Netherlands‭; ‬Facebook transfers its profits to the Cayman Islands‭; ‬Whirlpool shuffles its profits between its offshore subsidiaries while closing factories‭; ‬Renault,‭ ‬PSA and Auchan have saved‭ ‬€62,‭ ‬€57,‭ ‬and‭ ‬€22‭ ‬millions,‭ ‬respectively,‭ ‬through Malta‭… ‬Many small and medium size businesses are starting,‭ ‬too,‭ ‬as well as the rich.‭ ‬From Bernard Arnault to Queen Elisabeth to‭ ‬13‭ ‬of Trump’s close relations,‭ ‬including ministers and advisors‭… ‬The whole bourgeoisie uses tax havens to avoid paying taxes.

The immoralists
But rest assured:‭ “‬It’s all perfectly legal‭”‬,‭ ‬say the multinationals.‭ ‬You just need to have an army of lawyers and fiscal optimisation experts.
‭ ‬ Some kind souls,‭ ‬embarrassed,‭ ‬add that it’s legal but immoral.‭ ‬In other words,‭ ‬the bourgeois law and justice are immoral.‭ ‬We‭ ‬had‭ ‬already‭ ‬guessed it,‭ ‬but if they admit it,‭ ‬it must be true‭!
States are pushing this even further by rewarding the multinationals that use‭ “‬optimisation‭”‬,‭ ‬by offering all kinds of tax exemptions to improve their so-called‭ “‬competitiveness‭”‬.‭ ‬Anything to help the rich in dire straits.‭ ‬As Alphonse Allais,‭ ‬a French‭ ‬19th century satirist said:‭ “‬Take the money where it is:‭ ‬with the poor.‭ ‬True,‭ ‬they don’t have much,‭ ‬but they are so numerous‭!‬” So,‭ ‬to help the exploiters,‭ ‬the government makes cuts on hospital services,‭ ‬schools,‭ ‬the mail,‭ ‬doesn’t maintain the railways,‭ ‬and adds more‭ “‬Work laws‭”‬ that take away job security and put workers into poverty.
‭ ‬That’s how the political system is remodelled to make each country a paradise for the exploiters.

Fiscal paradise and social hell
Some rulers in France and abroad pretend to be outraged.‭ ‬But Macron is not embarrassed,‭ ‬and he’s inflicting a whole‭ “‬economic patriotism‭” ‬programme to be paid by the taxpayers:‭ ‬replacing the wealth tax with‭ ‬a flat rate withholding on capital gains,‭ ‬decrease in corporate tax rate coming after the hundreds of billions already gifted to companies since Hollande’s competitiveness tax breaks.‭ ‬A perfectly legal programme that makes France a great tax haven.‭ ‬At the same time,‭ ‬€5‭ ‬billions haven’t been paid to recipients of the earned income supplement,‭ ‬but these people have no advisors to assert their rights.

How do we stop this‭?
Offshore trusts and tax havens are‭ ‬parts of capitalism’s basic apparatus.‭ ‬How can we end them‭? ‬If it’s not about what’s legal but about social justice,‭ ‬then‭ ‬we have to impose another kind of law to the‭ ‬1%,‭ ‬our law.‭ ‬That means a social revolution.‭ ‬And it’s high time to put it on the working class‭’ ‬agenda.
‭ ‬For now,‭ ‬for us who cannot afford a team of fiscal optimisation experts and only have our job to live on,‭ ‬there is only our anger,‭ ‬which is still not expressed enough,‭ ‬or only through scattered fights.
‭ ‬But before we can organise and bring our fights together,‭ ‬we still have opportunities to express our anger in the streets:‭ ‬during the next interprofessional day of action,‭ ‬called on by the unions CGT,‭ ‬FO,‭ ‬Solidaires,‭ ‬and FSU,‭ ‬on November‭ ‬16th.