Disney may be as American as apple pie, but now we find Disney biting the hands that feed it. Part of being an American Corporation, entertainment or otherwise, is taxpayer subsidies, and the Disney Company is no different. For example, Florida Watchdog reported in 2013:
According to Disney’s lastest financial report, it received $183 million through the film tax credit in 2011, for its movies and shows, an amount projected to exceed $200 million in 2013.
These tax credits make up more than a quarter of the total $718 million in public dollars the Walt Disney Co. received from federal, state and local governments in 2011, when the company generated more than $40.9 billion in revenue.
While Disney is supposed to be the epitome of family entertainment, H-1B Visas are supposed to be for employers who can’t find American workers. Hopefully, never the twain shall meet. But what’s a poor little company to do when it’s netting a measly $5.7 billion in profits? Outsource of course, you idiots!
This is the definition of the H-1B program from the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (my emphasis):
The H-1B program applies to employers seeking to hire nonimmigrant aliens as workers in specialty occupations… A specialty occupation is one that requires the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The intent of the H-1B provisions is to help employers who cannot otherwise obtain needed business skills and abilities from the U.S. workforce by authorizing the temporary employment of qualified individuals who are not otherwise authorized to work in the United States.
Employers must attest to the Department of Labor that they will pay wages to the H-1B nonimmigrant workers that are at least equal to the actual wage paid by the employer to other workers with similar experience and qualifications for the job in question, or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment – whichever is greater.
The real question here is: How much money is enough money? Is it really a burden, with billions in profits, to employ American workers here in America? The Economic Policy Institute reports, (my emphasis):
The Disney Corporation had its most profitable year ever, with profits of $7.5 billion—up 22 percent from the previous year. Disney’s stock price is up approximately 150 percent over the past three years. These kinds of results have paid off handsomely for its CEO Bob Iger, who took home $46 million in compensation last year.
I’m betting Mr. Iger wouldn’t give up a dime of his salary to save money. As the Orlando Sentinel put it:
I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m getting damned sick and tired of the state and federal governments handing companies like Disney enormous tax breaks after which, they turn around and outsource jobs while squirreling money away overseas.
It seems relatively simple to me: You don’t want to pay taxes, then no tax breaks; you want to replace U.S. workers with foreign workers, then your company should receive no business, employment, or benefits deductions for those workers; in fact, you should have to pay a fee to the taxpayers for hiring temporary foreign workers when you don’t actually need them.
Meanwhile folks, for what Disney charges for a one day pass, you can get a season pass at a place like Dollywood., a 2 day ticket to Seaworld Orlando, or a pass to Seaworld and Busch Gardens together. America’s got lots of beautiful sights to see as well. Think about it.