Friday, December 22, 2006

Blogging Responsibly

With the ability to reach out to others by way of the internet with issues of interest comes a responsibility. That responsibility is to state matters of opinion in such a way that it represents the views of the blogger while at the same time maintaining the same degree of integrity and truthfulness as is expected of the old media journalist.

While venturing forth with this humble little blog I have come to realize that what I say could have potentially serious consequences to others. So, with that in mind I want to state here and now that it is not nor has it ever been the intention of me or this blog to cause any “undeserved” harm to anyone.

For the record if the words which I write here within the confines of this blog have caused or may be causing or might in the near future cause a chain of events to unfold, then the results of that chain of events are to be measured and judged by society and the governmental agencies holding jurisdiction.

The true measure of responsibility is resting upon those who have by way of their previous actions and business strategy brought potential critical review upon themselves by their own well conceived and executed stratagem.

In example I offer for your valued and enlightened consideration the example of a portion of a previous article. In that article I stated the following quote which in part said “I would imagine that anytime a company attempts to get over on the federal boys that such company is just flirting with disaster. So how then is it that Lab Corporation of America seems to continue to flirt by allowing the fleet staff to use company vehicles for much personal use? Perhaps their stockholders should ask the question. Perhaps the I.R.S. should like to ask as well.”

Well, since it is a well documented fact that the government of these United States of America doesn’t overlook a thing which is written on the internet as you can imagine I once again seem to have managed to set off a few bells and whistles in the capitol of our great nation.

I offer in proof of this statement this visit to this blog and the above quoted comments of mine as proof in point.

IP Address 152.216.11.# (INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE)
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : District of Columbia
City : Washington
Lat/Long : 38.8933, -77.0146 (Map)

This I.R.S. visit is apparently in response to my point in matter of course and in furtherance of their understanding and review of my comments as quoted herein: “And since they have still failed to explain to me, Snake Oil Sam how they can allow their employees the ability to utilize Lab Corporation of America corporate fleet vehicles as personal vehicles for sixteen out of every twenty-four hour day in addition to a forty eight hour weekend and all vacation time while using fuel, oil, tires, maintenance costs associated with mechanic labor costs while writing off that expense on tax records, then I fail to see just how they expect to gain the trust and confidence of the medical community or the patient.”

And in continuation of point “After all, who could do business with a company which gives their employees something akin to an employee benefit and then manages to list it on federal tax records as the cost of doing business when that in fact might not be the case?”

In addition to those above quoted words of mine and after having given it a little more thought it occurs to me that not only are certain employees of Lab Corporation of America getting the benefit of a company paid vehicle potentially at the expense of the American taxpaying public, but in fact the employee is getting a portion of his or her weekly or hourly pay without the necessity of paying any income tax represented by the value of the personal usage of that vehicle and the cost saving of its operation.

If Lab Corporation of America conducted business the same way that Quest Diagnostics does in regard to fleet vehicles then Lab Corporation of America would be required to pay their driving staff a wage of several dollars an hour more than they now pay them in place of the free company vehicle deal. And that is a deal which appears to be offered at the expense of the American taxpayer as higher wage generates higher income tax.

How is it that a company can do business in that way? If business is to compete fairly in the United States of America then it is the obligation of the government to assure that all companies comply equally with the corporate business tax codes of the United States of America.

That is especially true if those companies receive money from agencies of the government in regard to things such as Medicare and Medicaid payments or any sort of federal agency reimbursements.

If this is a practice which has been going on for any number of years then I believe that there is an obvious question to be asked. That question is simply this. When extrapolating the years of potential abuse of a tax code just how much does Lab Corporation of America owe to the government of the United States of America in back taxes, interest and penalties? Perhaps Lab Corporation of America is acting completely within the law. I simply want the executives of Lab Corporation of America to defend their current fleet policy.

There are of course other questions. Does it owe anything? Have they in fact either intentionally or unintentionally misrepresented their cost of doing business? It is because of questions like this that blogging has become such an important issue. Honest and sincere questions which until now would never see the light of day can be asked in a public venue.

Yes, blogging is serious business as it can directly or indirectly affect things such as I.R.S. investigations or even possibly issues related to the perception of a company tied to stock market valuation. That is a profound thought and one which points out the importance of fair and honest blogging.

When someone does a Google search on finance for purpose of better understanding a company for investment purpose it even takes into consideration words at a blog such as this. In example I offer this link to the results of a
Google search which contains a link back to an article on this site dealing with the issue of the power of blogs.

Without question, blogging is a very large responsibility which must be taken seriously since the results can prove disastrous for a large economic engine. In conclusion I can only say that it seems that even a humble little blog such as this is not something to be taken lightly.

Words have power and blogging is a large responsibility so always blog responsibly when speaking about important issues. And don’t forget to eat your oatmeal.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

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