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#46805 - 11/06/17 04:47 PM Apple and tax dodging
jchuzi Online

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Although all of us are Apple fans, let's not forget that Apple is a business and will, as businesses do, maximize profits. After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits. Yes, it's all legal, but it doesn't look good. What are the odds that the Republican majority will rein in corporate loopholes? I see the odds as similar to winning Powerball. Nah, less.

ADDENDUM: Apple's rebuttal: Apple slams story of cash hidden in Jers...r in the world'

Edited by jchuzi (11/07/17 02:58 AM)

macOS 10.15.5, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

#46806 - 11/07/17 09:28 AM Re: Apple and tax dodging [Re: jchuzi]
Virtual1 Offline

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Nearly 100% of large businesses use some form of tax shelter. There's nothing more wrong with that than using a coupon you clip from the newspaper, or looking for deductions on your income taxes at the end of the year.

If anything's wrong, it's the legislators that wrote the laws that they are working within to hold onto as much of their money as they can. If you don't like me using the coupon, you shouldn't have put it in the paper to begin with, or added some fine print to it to restrict my use of it.

Taxes are just a best-effort attempt to collect the funds necessary to pay for public services, the trick is there will never be a best way to determine what ratio to take from whom when trying to pay for the services that most of the people are using. And "everyone is always going to prefer that someone else pay more so they can pay less", and that's never going to change either.

I personally don't see why they don't just convert it to something besides currency, maybe precious metals. I suppose they do already, to a large extent. They invest heavily, preferably in something safe, but companies need to have some liquidity and for that they have to have cash on hand. I don't see how having cash (or property / assets for that matter) can have that great of an effect on one's use of public services. I don't require more water to my house or dog catchers on my block just because I have another million in the bank, so should I have to pay more taxes as a result? It's never made much sense to me. Seems to be based more on "those that have more should contribute more, even if they don't use more", and that can't seem fair at all from the "haves"'s perspective. There's a definite disparity of wealth though, I can see where people look at that as the counter-balance. But is it robbing Peter to pay Paul? Even if in the end the money is (however roundabouts) going to and from where it needs to be, the obvious path it takes nowadays doesn't seem to be very logical. Bit if it is doing the right thing for the wrong reason, won't cutting the tax shelters just move/change the problem, instead of solving it?

Looking a little deeper into the whole philosophy of the problem... a free market economy will always tend toward a disparity in wealth, driven by the population tending to be willing to pay slightly more than something is worth because they want it. Eventually wealth starts to pool, and pockets of poverty emerge. But that's not the fault of the wealthy, the others freely gave up their wealth a little at a time over the years, and they continue to use the public services. It could be argued that they should still be paying for their share of the services despite having less wealth simply because they were foolish enough to give some of their wealth away. If I'm poor but I spend my savings on a new $1,000 iPhone, and now I can't pay my utilities, does that mean Apple should help me pay my electric bill? That's kind of how I see the problem. The population created the disparity of wealth (and benefited from it in the process) and now looks at things like raising taxes and removing tax shelters as the response to the disparity of wealth, where they will again benefit from it. Comments?

I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

#46812 - 11/08/17 09:29 AM Re: Apple and tax dodging [Re: Virtual1]
Ira L Offline

Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Well... I am not a social scientist nor an economist, but it seems to me that a tenet of a free market/capitalistic society is that we all come into this world the same way so if some have more than others, it's just because those people made "bad" choices. The new poster boy for this is Ben Carson, the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, whose biography states that he "journeyed from humble beginnings to become a prominent surgeon". He also believes that "Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery." Really? Worse than 9/11? Worse than two World Wars, the Depression, the Civil War, the internment of Japanese-Americans, early 20th century pandemic flu?? But I digress.

What Ben Carson and others are missing, and to which others would be more qualified than I to address, are the social and political elements of poverty. Sure some people overcome their "humble beginnings", just like some people survive exposure to the Black Plague, but the numbers are not large. It would be better, healthier to treat the sources of the problem than to just say "I did it, so can you."

To that end, while I do not support a perpetual welfare state, I believe that a principle and a practice of a healthy democracy is to help those who are less fortunate, and taxes are one way to accomplish that end. The concept of "I earned it so I get to keep it" does not support this principle and leads to pooling of wealth, as stated above by Virtual1 (cf. 7 members of the Walton family, controlling owners of Wal-Mart, whose combined wealth equals the combined wealth of the first 42% of the US population []).

So while Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and others may be doing nothing wrong where the tax laws are concerned, it just "feels" wrong where a healthy society is concerned.
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!


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