While I like the Apple products (e.g., IPhone, IPad and MacBook Pro) I detest the company and its management. Founder Steve Jobs was a horrible human being who created a commercial monster that is a study in hypocrisy. For example, Apple is big on fighting global warming but relies on production facilities in China that are among the worst polluters. Apple touts personal freedom but relies on a Chinese labor force that earns far less than a living wage.
Jobs’ successor, Tim Cook, takes the hypocrisy to a new level. He pretends that Apple is an “American” company. It is not. It is a global behemoth that uses every accounting trick in the book to make its shareholders wealthy without worrying about the consequences of being a bad corporate citizen.
Two separate headlines caught my eye today that bear on Apple and Cook.
The San Jose Mercury News reports, Apple’s Tim Cook hosting Silicon Valley fundraiser for Clinton
Hillary Clinton’s late-summer fundraising tour is coming to the Bay Area on Wednesday with two galas, including one hosted by Apple CEO Tim Cook
Cook’s event, co-hosted by Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, will raise money for the Hillary Victory Fund, which allocates money to the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Party operations in 38 states. . . .
Cook has made no secret of his distaste for Trump. Two months ago, he hosted a fundraiser for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has not been shy about criticizing Trump even though he continues to endorse him.
Guess who sits on the Board of the Clinton Foundation? Yep, Lisa Jackson. This is but one way the revolving door of influence peddling works. Get a cushy board assignment and then raise money for the lady who helped get you the job.
But then I saw this headline in the Financial Times:
Poor Apple. The Europeans think that Apple is avoiding paying its fair share of taxes:
The US has launched a stinging attack on the European Commission in a last ditch bid to dissuade Brussels from hitting Apple with a demand for billions of euros in underpaid taxes. . . .
The criticism came as the European Commission was finalising a probe into an alleged sweetheart tax deal that Ireland gave to Apple, the biggest single case in a crackdown on corporate tax avoidance across the EU. After prolonged delays, a definitive ruling is expected next month.
The Obama administration is stepping up its assault on the probe having failed to deter Brussels earlier this year by arguing publicly that it was setting unfair and “disturbing” precedents and singling out US companies.
The Apple probe, which began in mid-2013, centres on “transfer pricing”, a practice by which companies move profits to low-tax jurisdictions through internal transactions. The commission has accused the Irish authorities of “reverse engineering” tax opinions to help Apple minimise its tax bill. The company has faced criticism in the US Senate for paying a 2 per cent corporate tax rate in Ireland, far lower than the headline 12.5 per cent rate.
I encourage you to read the full piece at the Financial Times link provided above.
Apple is all ready to support Hillary Clinton who vows to impose new taxes (just no taxes on her buddies, such as Tim Cook.) If Apple actually believed all the hopey, changey bullshit it spouts the would happily pay more in taxes and ensure that the people who work for them making the Apple products get a genuine living wage. But that ain’t happening. Cook and Jackson are buying themselves some insurance. Not only will they get the full benefit of the protection of the United States and its laws and its banking system but they won’t have to pay for it. Instead, they will get protection from the likes of Hillary and Paul Ryan and keep their operations and cash offshore.
This is one way to Pay for Play.