Ireland's PR strategy

Feb 6, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here are some need-to-know numbers for your day. 

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U.S. companies are able to dodge federal taxes through a bit of corporate restructuring: a merger with a foreign firm. And when drug makers do it, that can have big implications for insurance programs. One pharmaceutical looking to land an international partner is Pfizer, which is in the deal-making stage with Allergan, a company headquartered in Ireland. If the deal goes through, Pfizer could avoid paying “the very taxes that support Medicare or Medicaid,” reports Marketplace’s Dan Gorenstein. And by virtue of being a drug maker, it’ll earn profits from those very programs it’s failing to support. A Pfizer “tax inversion” would result in, at least, a $22 billion loss for the federal government, according to one expert.  

Speaking of American-Irish relations, today’s St. Patrick’s Day, and that means a big public relations opportunity for Ireland. Tourism is huge in the country, pulling in 8.6 million overseas travelers last year, which signifies what’s at stake when appealing to those abroad. Ireland has a “Global Greening initiative,” with a number of sites around the world pledging to be lit in green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Having the financial resources to fund an overseas trip may be difficult for many Americans, though. One of the questions we asked in our Marketplace-Edison Research poll was how difficult it would be to pay an unexpected expense of $1,000. Twenty-six percent of  respondents said it would be “very difficult,” while about a third said it would be “somewhat difficult.” Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams writes that things are “particularly bad for African-Americans,” as only half have personal savings, whereas that figure is 68 percent for the overall population. Amid the release of our findings, we wanted to take a look firsthand at the financial struggles Americans are facing. Earnest Pettie, a 38-year-old Los Angeles resident, shared with us what it’s like to have “no economy safety net,” which you can read here.