just do it (unless it involves taxes)

Nike Will Trade You 500 Jobs for Billions of Dollars in Tax Revenue

you're not the boss of us. Nice local economy you have there, Oregon. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to it would you? Good, then you’ll surely trade us billions of dollars in tax revenue, for, say, 500 jobs. Isn’t that a sweet deal? Sure it is, it’s a great deal:

Under pressure from Nike, Governor John Kitzhaber took the extraordinary step Monday of summoning lawmakers for a hurry-up special session to give the giant sportswear company greater tax certainty. Doing so, Kitzhaber said, would spark a big expansion by Nike in Oregon. It’s unclear where the company plans to grow, but construction alone would tally $440 million, he said.

Also too, did you notice the very first sentence in the very first paragraph of this article?

“Under pressure from [corporation], the elected representative of [given group or constituency] summoned a meeting like a fire had been lit under his ass to MAKE SURE he could meet [unstated demands] of [corporation] according to [unspecified] time table to provide [financial incentives] in exchange for [some vague thing corporation hasn't defined or committed to].” Also, “tax certainty” is usually a euphemism for “not paying any taxes,” but you probably already knew that.

Anyway, in exchange for “tax certainty,” Nike thinks that it might — just might — be able to let Oregon hang on to about 500 jobs and spend enough money to maybe create 11,500 other jobs, but they can’t promise anything, so hurry up and create some “tax certainty” for them, OK?

On Monday, Nike committed to spending at least $150 million and creating at least 500 jobs in Oregon — if the Legislature approves a tax-guarantee bill [known as] the “single-sales factor,” in which companies are taxed only on in-state sales

“To me, that’s an easy call,” Kitzhaber said.

To be FAIR, Nike really really needs the money, OK? It’s only ranked 136 on the Fortune 500 list , and FY revenues in 2011 were only up 10%. So clearly they need this tax break more than the people of Oregon need, say, to deal with a decade of projected budget deficits. The people of Oregon will just have to make difficult choices, that’s all, and decide which government services they can do without so that their corporate overlords can operate in an environment of “tax certainty.”

We should try that one day, wouldn’t that be fun? As in, “hello [corporate overlord], we can no longer purchase any of your goods or services because we need wage certainty. Will you call an emergency hurry-up meeting with [elected official] to pass a bill guaranteeing wage certainty? After all, that’s a nice company you have. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to it…would you?”
[OregonLive]

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson
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105 comments

    1. OneYieldRegular

      Nothing says "Nike" better than the Nike outlet shop in San Ysidro, California, just across the border from NIke maquiladora in Tijuana.

  1. hagajim

    Now to be fair there is wage certainty in Oregon…minimum wage. But it does go up every year in line with the CPI. But seriously, this is the kind of shameless sell out shit that usually is the bailiwick of Rethugs. But Nike is indeed the corporate overlord of this fine state.

    1. hagajim

      If all Oregonians boycott Nike they would pay zero state taxes since only their in-state revenue is taxed.

  2. Spider-Jerk

    "Hello (state legislature)! Act now and, for the price of denying your state hundreds of millions in tax revenue, maybe get a couple hundred crap jobs! Plus maybe who knows whatever! Maybe!

    Act now, before we decide to find some other state dumb enough to trade solvency for some non-living wages!"

  3. Callyson

    As a runner, may I say…

    FUCK YOU, NIKE! YOUR SHOES SUCK!

    Seriously, the one time I gave in and got Nike shoes they were a major hassle–damn shoelaces kept getting untied even when I double knotted them and they wore out more quickly than any other brand's shoes.

    Now, the running store I go to does not even *carry* Nike's merchandise. I am a customer of theirs for life…

    Also: FUCK YOU, NIKE! YOUR SHOES SUCK!

    1. Jennyjen798

      This a million times! Nike's are the worst, most uncomfortable running shoes ever! The things are basically just brag tags for people with too much money and/or image issues.

  4. Beowoof

    I haven't purchased Nike products in about 24 years now. Where ever possible I buy made in USA New Balance. (The CEO is a Rmoney supporting asshole, but there are Americans working to make the shoes).
    I know how important it can be to raise my taxes, on pretty much everything so a huge douche bag such as Phil Knight can continue to make lots of money.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      I haven't bought Nike products in about 24 years. Or any other sports equipment. Which explains why my belly looks like the guy's belly in hagajim's avatar.

    2. BerkeleyBear

      Gotta be careful with NB these days. They are no longer primarily US based for all products – although at least they still make some products here (and have wide sizes).

      1. Beowoof

        I am, you can search for their Made in America shoes and there is a separate page dedicated to those specific shoes. I do that and buy those. I have also hit the NB outlet in Vegas and asked for the Made in America shoes. Clerk said they got a lot of requests for those.

  5. EatsBabyDingos

    Well, when they relocate the Vietnamese to work in the Oregonian sweatshops, the 500 jobs will pay $1.12 a day, so the state income tax revenue will be at least $42.37 and a half eaten bag of pork rinds. #WHINING!

    1. BerkeleyBear

      You joke, but fucking Intel imports engineering and science students to Portland State from Vietnam so they can then either ship them back or keep them here on H-1B visas, in either event with lower salaries than they'd pay someone who didn't get educated on their dime.

    1. CommieLibunatic

      It would be rather refreshing if we just came out and declared ourselves a capitalist society instead of a democratic one. I mean, when I'm not hearing about the Gays or Muslims, it's MONEY MONEY MONEY.

  6. freakishlywrong

    When Fascism comes to Ameriduh it will be wrapped in deep fried bacon and carrying a pair of Nike's.

    1. sewollef

      You mean, Birkenstock Orthopädie GmbH & Co. Registered in Vettelschoß, Germany….. in 1774?

      You're probably right Baldar, since their site claims all their shoes are made in Germany, and paying German taxes (except for one line made in Portugal).

  7. Jus_Wonderin

    Tax Certainty for corporation is different than Tax Certainty for individuals. We go to jail when we exercise our Tax Certainty.

    1. glamourdammerung

      Well, Paterno praised Bush I during the Republican National Convention. And if anyone knows about someone that showing "quiet, dignified confidence", it is Joe Paterno.

    1. CommieLibunatic

      You know how the old Will Rogers quote goes: I'm not a member of a species with a spine, I'm a Democrat.

    2. PopeEdgardo

      Kitzhaber is kind of one of the good guys – kind of – but his track record makes this move unsurprising.

  8. Baconzgood

    Several years ago I spoke to a graphic designer. He wwas hired my nike when it was a new company. They couldn't pay him his fee for his services so he decided to take payment in a certain way. They agreed to pay him 3 cents on every product that had his wdesign work on it. He was hired to make their logo he called it at the time "a swoosh". Needless to say he's fucking loaded as shit.

    1. PubOption

      1. A scheme into which a worker makes payments, with the hope that he/she will be able to draw from the scheme in time of need.
      2. A scheme into which a large company makes no payments, in the knowledge that the government will give money to said company, at the expense of the workers described in definition 1.

  9. upthruster

    I'd give a shit about Nike if they could fucking manage to make shoes the same every fucking time. But since they choose to alter every shoe model every fucking year… I shalt not give a rodents petoot. Let Oregon suffer or go barefoot.

  10. DixvilleCrotch

    OT: how many mouth-panties have we ordered so far? I pray the sales put Wonkette in the black, finally.

      1. James Michael Curley

        I can't imagine why I just threw mine away when DROS came. They were damn comfortable, water proof, of course, and always fit. Also hard to wear out a steel core tire tread merely by walking.

  11. SorosBot

    It seems Nike has learned from its' sponsorship of the major sports teams, and is doing to Oregon what they do to their host cities when they force the city to pay for their new stadiums while the owner gets the profits.

      1. BerkeleyBear

        Which actually gets shipped out of state for packaging, then sent back here (among other places) and labeled local.

        Don't misunderstand, I love some Tillamook, but its reputation as a local company is a little misleading.

      1. mayor_quimby

        I have an awesomely ugly tweed wool coat from out there that is testament to that. So ugly, I get compliments on it, cuz people are just dazzled.
        Pendleton Mills made some very cool stuff, somehow I found mine in a consignment shop in ATL.

  12. Spider-Jerk

    I can't help but think that the states wouldn't have to grovel like this if the US had a saner policy regarding the importation of goods made abroad by so-called American companies.

  13. SayItWithWookies

    I'll have to remind myself to be thrilled that I have tax certainty. Death certainty too. And pity those poor corporations that never know where their next tax cut is coming from — it must be hard living from one corporate favor to the next.

  14. Terry

    “Under pressure from [corporation], the elected representative of [given group or constituency] summoned a meeting like a fire had been lit under his ass to MAKE SURE he could meet [unstated demands] of [corporation] according to [unspecified] time table to provide [financial incentives] in exchange for [some vague thing corporation hasn't defined or committed to].”

    This is nothing new. Hamtramck used to be a fairly vibrant Polish-American community in the Detroit metro area. GM told the politicians that they needed a site for a new facility with very specific requirements. The only place that filled the bill was Hamtramck, except that Hamtramck was full of pesky houses and people. So…..the politicians got rid of a lot of the people, except that it took time to do so and by then GM said….oh…our requirements have changed. That's not the best spot anymore. A community was destroyed. Yes, there's still a GM plant in Hamtramck, but not the scale promised by GM.

    1. DCBloom

      Yeah, we had something similar happen here with Caterpillar. Also, we gave Dell a huge incentive to come here and they ended up laying off most of the jobs they got the incentive for.

      1. emmelemm

        Yeah, we here in Washington bowed to Boeing time and again, and they still moved their corporate HQ to Chicago and a number of their plants to South Carolina (no pesky unions).

    2. Negropolis

      Actually, Hamtramck was pretty lucky. Much of the plant is in Detroit, and it's there that the Poletown Plant destroyed most of the Poletown neighborhood. In fact, were it not for the Poletown Plant, Hamtramck would have ended up like Highland Park. Detroit really took that bullet.

  15. decentcitizen

    I want a tax abatement based on the possibility that I maybe might do something somehow vaguely beneficial to the local economy.

    1. oenspiek

      This sort of thing is capitalism when it benefits large corporations. If it were to benefit the people, that would be socialism.

  16. HRH_Maddie

    Can't remember where I heard it but: "Today is Bring Your Child to Work Day, or as Nike calls it, Thursday."

  17. ttommyunger

    Pay at the cash register, subsidize them again when you pay your local taxes. Sounds fair, after all they're a non-profit, right?

  18. TootsStansbury

    Fascism swooshes in
    On little wingtips

    It sits and
    Devours its hapless prey
    And then it moves on

  19. mrpuma2u

    Motorola pulled the same shit in IL before they sold off their mobile division (sweet no state tax deal included, natch) to Google.

  20. carlgt1

    it's something I've noticed with "job creators" — it costs us all at least a million bucks for every low-paying job of $20K or so they create.

  21. PopeEdgardo

    “To me, that’s an easy call,” Kitzhaber said, "seeing as how they have a gun to my head and I'm standing here with nothing but my dick in my hand and Nike could turn this state into Mississippi Jr. if it pulled out."

  22. dadanarchistmk2

    Kitzhaber said Nike officials approached him more that a month ago to discuss the company's expansion plans. Kitzhaber said they told him that Nike was being "heavily courted" by other states but wanted to stay in Oregon.

    This is a wonderful argument against our stupid state's rights-based political "system" (we need one single federal tax policy to stop this sort of bullshit) as well as a good argument in favor of teh soshulism.

  23. valthemus

    Silly hippies! Don't you know that as long as the *right* people are making oodles and gobs of filthy lucre by strong-arming politicians it's all good? At least that's what Professor Soprano taught us at the Corleone School of Drive-by Business.

Comments are closed.