Paul Krugman: Soylent Green Is Corporations!


Soylent Green Is Corporations!, by Paul Krugman, in NY Times:
Or maybe it’s Mitt Romney.

I’m coming in a little late on already-famous Romney remark that “corporations are people“. It was an incredibly dumb thing to say. of course, he wasn’t really saying that legal persons in the form of corporations are real people. But he doesn’t deserve any slack on that account, because his real point was equally wrong, albeit in a subtler way.

Yes, corporations are organizations that consist of people. But the corporate profits tax isn’t a tax on these organizations. It’s a tax on these organizations’ profits — the share of their income that does NOT go to workers and suppliers. Now, stockholders are people too — but they are, on average, quite rich people, who are doing very well as most Americans suffer.

And yes, I know that the incidence of the corporate profits tax is controversial, but most evidence suggests that it falls largely on capital in the end.

As for the whole job creators thing: lots to say about that, none of it favorable, but let’s just point out that right now corporations are sitting on huge piles of cash; why imagine that making those piles bigger would lead to more job creation?

So Romney’s remark may not have been as stupid as it sounds, but it was deeply wrong all the same.

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