Sunday, May 19, 2002

On Stanley Works moving to Bermuda


I note that James Maloney and his peers are upset about Stanley Works reincorporating offshore ("Maloney Rips Stanley for Relocating Abroad, May 19, 2002 CT Post), even going so far as to compare the corporation to the infamous Benedict Arnold. I suggest that Maloney and his fellow legislators stop blaming others and take a look inward to find the reasons - and solutions - for that relocation.

Stanley is a for-profit corporation. It has a responsibility to its shareholders - especially those among the working class - to produce a profit. Without that profit the shareholders lose their investments, and not only are large financial investors (such as the mutual funds in which much of our individual 401k and pension plans are invested) affected, individual shareholders, such as Stanley employees, would be hurt as well. With the profligate tax levels to which our legislators are becoming accustomed, most corporations are starting to see those profits quickly dwindling, and they have a responsibility to their shareholders to do something about it.

Stanley's solution is to re-incorporate its holding company outside of the United States. While Stanley will still maintain its headquarters here in Connecticut, will still keep jobs and continue to manufacture many of its products here, and will continue to pay taxes on all of those associated profits, Maloney will lose the ability to tax Stanley on profits made outside this country. Why Maloney feels entitled to cuts of profits made outside the USA baffles me.

Where does Maloney get the gall to compare Stanley to a traitor? Can he not see that the reason this corporation wishes to leave is solely due to the stifling taxes that our various governments have applied to the company, apparently for the "right" to do business in this supposedly free country? Can he not see that the reason countries such as Bermuda are so attractive is because they have developed attractive and efficient tax structures, rather than an oppressive and punitive one?

Maloney apparently feels that the Federal, State, and local governments are "entitled" to taxes on profits, even those made outside the USA. It's indicative of an attitude of how our governments feel they deserves cuts of profits that exist around them, regardless of their involvement in the production of those profits, not unlike the way "protection money" was paid by local businesses to organized crime. We threw most, if not all, of those guilty parties in jail for a long time...

Is Maloney's concern really about the loss of the holding company from Connecticut, or he is more concerned that the cash trough might be drying up just a little bit, threatening his ability to "bring home the bacon"? If it's so important to him, why not use the opportunity to reform the tax structure to be more attractive to corporations, thereby enticing them to stay, rather than attempting to use strong-arm tactics to attempt to *force* corporations to stay? Who's really the traitor here?

James Maloney should be applauding Stanley Works for using the opportunity of the freedoms of this country (and of the world) to find creative and peaceful alternatives to the burdensome tax rates that he himself is associated with creating, rather than the war time methods used over 200 years ago by other "tax dodgers" to defeat another profligate taxer and spender, King George III.

Greg Amy
Milford CT