I address myself to you, Google, because I believe in you. I’m a fan since the first time I used your search engine, although before I could find practically anything on Altavista (or the non-sponsored variant, but I forgot the name, something with “race” or a checkered flag). But you added something to it, you were the first to acknowledge the importance of advertising and the money that could be earned with advertisements. So, when I’m asked by you to give up my privacy in order to get personalised advertisements, I agree with it.
I regard you as the smarter because you don’t sell products (like e.g. Apple), you sell an idea.
And everybody knows that not much can go wrong with an idea, it won’t bend in your pocket, it will still work when touching the edges and you won’t get sued if your idea looks a lot like someone elses. And with you being the smarter, I can ask you: don’t dodge taxes.
Why wouldn’t I, you might ask, if governments practically beg to do so? My answer is easy, because we need your money. Let me explain briefly why we need the money, taking the example of e.g. Belgium: everyone in Belgium gives a part of his earnings to the government. In return the government takes care of education, roads and health care (amongst others). In the case of health care it means that a very wealthy person can go to the doctor, pay between 25 and 30 EUR, and get the bigger part of the money back. But the government goes a lot further. Say that the very wealthy person sudddenly gets ill, loses his job and is left with no income, then the government gives this person a monthly income. It could happen to the Belgian CEO of Google, we don’t want him to end up in the gutter if something bad happens to him.
I know that many of your competitors (I mean, every big company is a competitor) try to pay as less taxes as possible, but let’s be honest, what a sorry company you would be if you have to make a profit in a dishonest way, taking money away from people that really need it. A company that cannot make enough profit with their actual business isn’t worth doing business with. Dodging taxes to put more money in the stakeholder’s pockets isn’t related to business, it is related to theft.
Google, be the example for your competitors, show them that you don’t have to be a crook to be succesful. Show them that you care about people who work in your company and other companies. Show that you care about people that don’t work at all, because they chose to take care of an ill relative, or people who only work part time because they have to take care of three children who lost their father. The Belgian government will make sure your money is spend wisely.
post scriptum: I know that not everyone in the Belgian or regional government wants to spend money to the majority of the people. They are convinced that giving money to the rich and wealthy is far better than to give enough to everyone. I’m sure you are familiar with trickle-down economics, but that is an idea of the 70’s and you would think that by now the government would have noticed that is doesn’t work. So if they still want to put money in your pocket that isn’t yours, tell them that you don’t want it and that you want to pay your fair share. Thanks.