“Delaware Tax Haven: The Other Shale Gas Industry Loophole”

That Delaware is a global safe harbor for business misconduct should not be a secret to anybody.  Delawareans tend to support the shameful situation out of a belief that they pay lower taxes as a result.  (Of course, they’ve never been asked: Delaware’s political system doesn’t involve consulting the people on major decisions.) 

Maybe the public support is there, but I have long thought the price we pay–that of living in a corporate colony in which justice is rarely available to human residents–is way too high. 

The issue hits the national press once in a while, as it did some years ago when it was revealed that hundreds of Enron–the rogue energy giant–subsidiaries were incorporated in Delaware.

In any case, a current cycle of interest involves the fracking (shale gas drilling) industry and its use of Delaware as a hideout. 

It is interesting to contrast this with the favorable notice Governor Jack Markell has received for blocking Delaware River Basin Commission regulations related to fracking.

Delaware Tax Haven: The Other Shale Gas Industry Loophole

(The better known one is the exemption of fracking from most of the basic environmental laws, generally said to have been engineered by then-Vice President Dick Cheney on behalf of Halliburton.)

How Delaware Thrives as a Corporate Tax Haven

The fundamental problem, of course, is that Delaware spawns artificial business entities–corporations, etc–which have far more rights and power than human citizens.  But Delaware accepts no responsibility for regulating the conduct of these entities once formed.  Secrecy and evasion of responsibility is precisely what Delaware has on offer.  Other states also do this, but not so flagrantly. 

Delaware is never going to abandon this lucrative scam voluntarily, no matter how much is done to however many people. Most likely, the only real solution is to prohibit states from chartering corporations.  This needs to become a Federal matter.

Thousands of people all over the world have lost their jobs, their homes, their savings, likely sometimes their lives, as a result of "legal" and illegal scams run out of Delaware.  As Delawareans, we all bear a degree of moral responsibility.

The quality of our physical atmosphere:  Friday was a very bad air day in Delaware:  Code Orange for ozone and Code Yellow for Particulates.  Saturday was Code Yellow for ozone.  Sunday and Monday are forecast to be Code Green–decent air–for both.  Code Yellow and Orange conditions are likely later in the week.

Alan Muller

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