The Oregonian’s Steve Duin, has yet to meet a profitable company that he likes. In an inane, painfully shallow, and vitriolically sarcastic "commentary" he lambastes Nike; who last week gave over $9M to local schools, and who happens to be the Oregonian’s number one target for its State fundraising "commentaries," for having successfully lobbied the State legislature (along with other Oregon companies) to change the basis for the calculation of their corporate income taxes.
Nike (along with other Oregon companies that Duin fails to mention by name) successfully lobbied to have the basis of their State income taxes determined by their in-state sales, vice total company sales revenue. This is known as the single-sales factor. And it indeed, lowered Nike’s income taxes from $16 million to slightly over $1M…according to Duin…I’ll accept that as fact.
In the interest of full disclosure I am a Nike stockholder, and I was a Nike employee for five years. I was the Facilities Operations and Property Manager for the Nike World Headquarters from 2000 to 2005. I have some knowledge of Nike and its practices. And so that I am not taken as a shill for Nike, I did not leave on the best of terms with my boss, which should go a long way in clearing up any misconceptions on why I would go to bat for the Goliath of sports companies. Regardless of my disputes with my superiors, Nike is a decent company that gives back far more than the $16M that Mr. Duin is crying over.
But before we get to that, Mr. Duin needs a schooling.
First and foremost he needs to be taken to task for his math skills. Any “journalist,” “commentator,” critic, should be able to divide the $16M that Duin weeps for, by the massive State budget of over $15 billion…billion with a “B”… and figure out, in the two thousand words or so he spewed onto page B1, that the resultant would comprise a whopping .10666% of the total budget. I guess they don’t have calculators at the Oregonian.
Additionally, any superior journalist type should be able also calculate that Nike’s stinginess is costing school districts a gargantuan $28 per student, per year. I am certain, in light of the nearly $10,000 per student the state will spend next year per student, that Nike’s miserliness will cause the demise of each and every student in the State of Oregon. No wonder Duin is apoplectic.