When I contemplate the spectacle of a New York City company combining with a company based in Parsippany, N.J., to form a company based in Ireland, I can’t decide whether to laugh or rant. So I will do a little of both.
What I’m talking about, of course, is the attempt by New York-based Pfizer to lower its income tax bills by buying New Jersey-based Allergan, which is a faux-Irish firm nominally based in Dublin. Pfizer would become an Irish company, presumably called Pfizer PLC.
Polite people call this a corporate inversion — but I call it desertion. Pfizer wants to keep all the benefits of being in the United States — our rule of law, deep financial markets, great places for employees to live, first-rate education systems — without having to pay for them.
Allan Sloan is a columnist for The Washington Post. He is a seven-time winner of the Loeb Award, business journalism’s highest honor. View Archive