Bob Spencer
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Patagonia’s Socialist Owner Plans to Avoid Taxes

Patagonia Logo

How many times have we heard a wealthy Democrat asserting that everyone’s taxes should be increased while they are doing everything in their power to avoid paying their own taxes. These wealthy people also like to talk about their disdain for wealth and all of its trappings. They often extoll the need for saving the environment from the evils of capitalism. These same people are quick to jump on their Gulfstream jet and fly to Europe to attend an environmental fundraising gala. The organizers of the gala will spend enormous amounts of money on security personnel to make sure the wealthy socialites whose lives are devoted to protecting the environment never have to be approached by the working-class peasants. (Has anyone seen where John Kerry is flying today?) 

Yvon Chouinard is the founder and owner of Patagonia, an outdoor clothing retail chain. Yvon has stated: “I’m an avowed socialist. I’m proud of it.” His net worth is estimated to be over a billion dollars. Chouinard has made a fortune selling outdoor gear and clothing to wealthy people. Chouinard pretends to dislike business but he has no problem marking up prices in a manner that would make John D. Rockefeller blush. 

Chouinard has announced that the “earth is our only shareholder.” He is transferring his ownership of Patagonia to a trust that will invest all of the company’s profits in environmental causes. Bloomberg Inc. looked at the 

arrangement and concluded that Chouinard would avoid 700 million in capital gains taxes through this tax avoidance scheme. He will also avoid a sizable amount of estate taxes through his maneuvers. Interestingly, he and his family will still control how Patagonia’s profits will be distributed. 

You would think a wealthy leftist like Chouinard who has lobbied for higher taxes and more government control of our lives would be willing to pay his “fair share” of taxes. You would think wrong. These leftists want everyone 

else to pay higher taxes but they believe that these rules don’t apply to them. They believe that they know best how to spend their money and they spend millions of dollars in order to avoid paying taxes.

The next time you hear someone lobbying for higher taxes, remind them about the line at the bottom of their tax return. The line at the bottom of their return provides a chance for them to pay to theUnited States government an amount above and beyond what they owe. Don’t worry, they will never pay an extra cent in taxes. They need that money to pay for their new yacht. 

Mr. Chouinard of Patagonia comes from a long line of left wingers who refuse to walk the walk to match their left-wing talk.

Bob Spencer
Manatee Herald

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