If you live in the USA there's a good chance you live within spitting distance of one of Walgreen's 8,000 plus stores.
Walgreen's, a 113 year old Chicago (now suburban Chicago) based corporation, is the largest drugstore chain in the USA, with a 2012 net income of over two billion dollars.
Today's papers are filled with the news that Walgreen's is being pressured by its investors to "move" its corporate headquarters (a purely paper transaction) to Switzerland, to avoid our country's "onerous" tax burden.
And the company is thinking of doing it. Follow me below the orange bag of cotton balls for more.
From today's Chicago Tribune:
Walgreen plays an integral role in the U.S. health care system, dispensing drugs to millions of consumers through its more than 8,000 stores. A significant portion of its $72 billion in annual sales comes from Medicare, the federal government's insurance program for the elderly.The Tribune could have also mentioned that Walgreen's 8,000 stores enjoy all the benefits of operating in the USA, including, but not limited to, the roads its suppliers use to stock its stores, the educations of its workforce, and the protection of our armed forces.
Of course, I wouldn't expect the paper to mention that, especially when the same edition has a mendacious editorial titled, I kid you not, "Will Washington evict Walgreen?" (Note: The headline has been changed for the online edition. Hmmmm......maybe they've received some blowback already?)
The paper and its ancillary publishing and broadcast businesses receive a fortune in advertising revenue from Walgreen's every year, and I long ago gave up any hope of its editorial board changing its pro Wall Street/anti-Main Street ways.
And Walgreen's is certainly not alone among ostensibly American corporations whose only allegiance is to the almighty buck.
But unlike numerous other companies that have abrogated their responsibility as corporate citizens, Walgreen's is a pretty high profile operator. As the Tribune article (not the editorial) puts it:
Shifting its profits overseas to avoid payment of U.S. taxes could make Walgreen an easy target for politicians and a public keenly attuned to issues of fairness and income inequality.Gee.....ya think?
Perhaps a good place to start would be a visit to Walgreen's Facebook page to let them know your feelings.