Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rant #1,277: Whopper North?

I am sure that you have heard that Burger King is set on buying Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee powerhouse which has been likened to Starbucks, in a deal that will expand its reach both here and in our neighbor to the north.

Nobody drinks Burger King coffee--my wife, the coffee maven, says it is horrid--and by having Tim Hortons under its wing, Burger King can better compete for that market with McDonald's, which is so proud of its coffee that it is going to soon sell it in a supermarket near you.

That would be all fine and good, but then comes the kicker to this whole ball of wax--

Burger King will relocate its headquarters to Canada to get tax relief from inflated taxes here in the U.S.

Other companies have done this, but whether you like it or not, Burger King is as American as, let's say, apple pie, baseball and Chevrolet--wasn't that a commercial a few years back?--and it has put people in an uproar.

Even legislators have said that they will boycott Burger King if this happens.

Laws are being looked into, loopholes are being studied, to try to prevent Burger King from abandoning the U.S. for lower taxes in Canada.

They wouldn't be the first company to do this, and yes, as you know, very wealthy individuals go to places like Monaco, where they set up residency and are immune to the taxes of the U.S. and elsewhere.

But they reap their livelihoods on the American dollar, so it doesn't seem quite fair.

Honestly, not being a tax lawyer, I really don't know what the U.S. can do to block such a move by Burger King.

I don't think it can claim a monopoly, because it's not like Burger King is buying McDonald's.

It is simply buying Canada's top coffee house, and everything that goes with it, but Tim Hortons doesn't make hamburgers.

I am sure that legislators and lawyers will figure out something to keep Burger King right where it is, whether the company likes it or not.

You simply can't have major American corporations--which is what Burger King has become--run away to another country to escape taxes.

I am sure Burger King's lawyers are looking into this, too, trying to find every opening for the possibility that the fast food giant will run for the north.

And what can the average American citizen do about this?

Nothing, except not eating at Burger King anymore until, and if, this thing is resolved.

On my end, my son loves Burger King, much better than McDonald's or Wendy's or any other hamburger chain.

I can live without it, although I do eat it on occasion.

My wife hates it, so there you go, it won't affect her at all.

And overall, it won't affect most Americans, whether they like Burger King or not.

Whether they are based in the U.S., Canada, or wherever, if you are in need of a quick fix for your appetite, Burger King will always be there.

It's just the way they are trying to escape this country that is getting some people angry, all the while they still love American greenbacks.

It's a Whopper of a story, and I wonder how it will all work out?

Extra pickles, please.


  1. We can start by revoking tax breaks for companies that relocate offshore . That's what was threatened when Walgreen's started making noise about leaving. That, and the uproar from customers who claimed they would boycott "America!s Drugstore".

    Tim Horton's style and business plan is actually closer to Dunkin Donuts, BTW. The franchise that runs all the fast food restaurants on the LIRR level of Penn Station got rid of Dunkin Donuts a few years ago and brought in Tim Horton's. I'm not impressed. The Krispy Kreme and the new Dunkin Donuts on the Amtrak level are better.

  2. I will take your word for it. The only time I was ever in a Tim Hortons was in Oswego, when my daughter was in college there. I bought a donut there, and it was awful, dry and not very tasty. I was a bit disappointed. I know that Burger King and Tim Hortons will not blend their outlets together, but I just think it is something that people will be outraged at, like right now, and in the future, they won't care much about. Heck, Warren Buffet, who supposedly wears America on his sleeve, helped finance this transaction, showing that he is businessman first, "real American" second. That is how big business is, I guess. They are out to enlarge their profit no matter at what cost.



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