There’s sovereignty, and there’s sovereignty. Michael Graetz, in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, talked about the European Union’s extra-legal tax crime creation and its retroactive application of its newly minted crime to a number of multinational corporations. Interestingly, the “felonious” multinationals are American, so far.
These companies’ offenses? Tax agreements they entered into with the governments of Luxembourg and the Netherlands (and with Ireland…).
Graetz went into considerable detail about the nature of the so-called crimes in his piece. What’s interesting to me, though, is that these agreements were entered into in good faith on both sides: the multinationals on the one side and supposedly sovereign nations’ governments on the other side. However, the European Commission says it’s sovereign over these nations, and their solemn agreements cannot be allowed to stand.
This is the price of doing business—or trying to do business in good faith—with a fundamentally socialist polity—even if that polity has not the sovereign superiority it purports to arrogate to itself. On the other hand, this is the damage done by erstwhile sovereign nations surrendering even a part of their sovereignty to a supra-national construct.