Greed must be identified not by the income a corporation earns, but how much yield the risk-takers (shareholders) earn.
A corporation is mainly created by shareholders as a legal conduit. To generalize that multi-million dollar corporations are greedy lacks merit.
Hypothetical ABC Corporation earns pretax net income of $10 million. Individual investors created the business with an investment in stock of $200 million. Assuming a "right" to judge economic reasonableness, does greed exist?
The corporation earns a pretax yield on invested capital of 5 percent ($10 million divided by $200 million) and an after-tax yield (35 percent tax rate) of 3.25 percent ($6.5 million divided by $200 million).
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The corporation distributes its net income of $6.5 million as dividends to shareholders, who pay an income tax of 15 percent (or $1 million) and are left with cash of $5.5 million, for a yield of only 2.8 percent ($5.5 million divided by $200 million).
The same income is taxed twice; once to corporation and again to shareholder. On uninsured risky investments, 3.25 percent corporate and 2.8 percent individual returns are far from greedy. Even if the corporation pays a low effective tax rate, so what? Are the rates of return unreasonable? If the corporate tax rate is reduced to 10 percent, the shareholders' after tax return is still only 3.8 percent. Hardly an example of greed. Don't generalize. Analyze financial statements and form conclusions based on fact and not class-warfare emotion. Are some corporate officers greedy? Yes. However, that is an issue for shareholders and not unrelated protesters or government.