Elites at the top continue to battle over how to apportion the wealth. This type of activity has been going on a long time, but as countries have less-and-less of a surplus, they must dig deeper to get the taxes needed for day-to-day expenses. Recordable entertainment has some problames (pirating), but none-the-less tends to scale easily to a global audience. Thus top entertainers reap some the largest advantages of the global mass-information economy; and therefore are prime targets to be plucked.
Of course in a country with popular elections it is important to dress up the battling language in suitably populist language. This is particularly successful against populist leaning musical groups.
Simon Bowers, The Guardian Co. UK, 5 June 2011. Hat Tip NC.
"Bono claims to care about the developing world, but U2 greedily indulges in the very kind of tax avoidance which is crippling the poor nations of this world," said a spokesman for Art Uncut, a group with strong links to UK Uncut.
Campaigners also… to draw attention the impact of tax avoidance on Ireland's parlous public finances. "We will be showing the very real impact of U2's tax avoidance on hospitals and schools in Ireland. Anyone watching will be very much aware that Bono needs to pay up."
The band sparked a wave of criticism in 2006 by shifting parts of its business affairs from Ireland to the Netherlands in response to a cap on generous tax breaks for artists in the republic.