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Wait. What? 20 May 2013

Posted by uggclogs in Life, Philosophy.
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Last week, at the hearings on alleged tax evasion, the chairwoman of the British parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, described Google as ‘evil’.

For allegedly trying to pay less tax.

Now, taxation, especially international rules surrounding the plethora of systems and legislation out there, is an entire separate kettle of fish, which I will not jump into.

But to describe tax evasion (whether perceived or real) as ‘evil’ is a bit much isn’t it?

The word ‘evil’ is defined (by my very limited internet search) as ‘profoundly immoral and malevolent’.

Genocide is evil. Tax evasion is, at best, not very nice, or at worst, illegal.

And I am sorry, it simply does not qualify as a moral issue. Taxes are a man-made invention. It is not actually a measure of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. It is an agreement that we as humans have imposed on ourselves to be able to provide a ‘greater good’.

And I get that it was a play on words, as Google’s mission is ‘do no evil’. And that we all have to pay our fair share. And that without taxes, a government can’t implement all the lovely things it would like to implement.

So if Google has broken laws in what it has done, let them pay restitution. Throw the book at them, or whatever. If they have not broken any laws, and you still disagree with the level of tax they paid – then change your laws.

But let’s not water down the English language and start calling all the things we disagree with as ‘evil’.

As they are plainly not.

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