Response to Ken Wells’ July Letter to the Beacon

By Faith Clendenan

To the Beacon:
I read Ken Wells’ report on the legislative session in Concord and was dismayed at his uncharitable comments about corporations.  Corporations are organized under the law in order for groups of people to work together to achieve a common goal, whether that is construction of tangible products, providing services, or any of innumerable other endeavors.  The people involved with them are their employees, their owners or stockholders (if they are publicly traded), and their customers. Every one of those people that Ken ignores can be affected by increasing costs, including taxes, on them.  Stockholders or owners may receive less return on their investments causing them to divest their holdings, employees may forgo raises or have their hours reduced, and customers may end up paying more for the product or service, or the quality or features may decline.  All those people are paying these “corporate” taxes, usually with the customer picking up most of it. If the burden is high enough, smaller businesses may cease to operate.

Many people never realize that their retirement accounts (IRA’s, pensions, 401(k)s and the like) with Fidelity, TIAA-CREF or T. Rowe Price, or the investments their pension plans make, make them stockholders.  Hurting the bottom line of the corporations they are invested in hurts future retirement payouts. 

The people involved with those corporations have every right to be heard as represented by the corporation, as their lives are directly affected by the conditions the corporations have to deal with.  It’s myopic to think that corporations somehow have no contact with human beings and that increasing the burden on them will not end up being reflected in the lives of everyone associated with them. Denying those people the ability to express their concerns is unjust.

Faith Clendenen