A report in the French weekly, Le Canard enchainé, gives a
clean-cut counter-example to one of the holy tenets of
politically correct thinking, i.e., of the IMF, World Bank
etc, who have among their ten commandments:
(*) Thou shalt encourage foreign Multinationals to invest in
thine country because Their Lordships will create many jobs
out of few loaves of bread.
One of our politicians, Alain Madelin, who was Minister of
Industry in 1986, decided to make some "free investment
zones" in France to encourage foreign investors, who would
not have to pay taxes for ten years. Coca-cola invested in
1989, opening one factory in Signes, beween Marseilles and
Nice, and another in Dunkirk.
So..., the factory in Signes now makes the concentrated
Coca-cola for "the whole of Europe." The factory in Dunkirk
mixes the coke with fizzy water and bottles it. This is "the
biggest bottling factory of Coca-cola in the world". (They
generally pay others to bottle the gunk.)
Coca-cola makes "nearly 10% of its world-wide profits in
France, without paying a cent of taxes. And it's totally
And what are the benefits to the locals ? Jobs ? The factory
in Signes has less than 200 employees. Without the tax break,
Coca-cola would have paid $US 130 million (FF 800 million) in
taxes in 1996.
That makes more than $US 600 000 subsidy to Coca-cola per
job per year, paid by French taxpayers.
Moral of the story:
(*) Thou shouldst render yearly unto their Lordships about
$US 600 000 worth of bread per job that thou wouldst have
Source: Le Canard enchainé, mercredi 18 juillet 1998, p4
printed version, but see the
unofficial site as well.