Friday, September 16, 2016

Update: US Government action on Apple-Ireland and "The Corruption Industry"

Obama Is Cracking Down on Corporate Tax Evasion

Headline from Fortune 16 September 2016.

Somewhat garbled, yet evidence of a potentially significant shift in the way the US Government considers the actions of companies like Apple in keeping cash profits offshore.

In refusing to repatriate funds to their headquarters in the US (Cupertino, California) Apple does not contribute to national welfare through the taxation scheme. The efforts by Apple to maximize profits through deals with the Irish Government where they pay almost zero tax - but create employment - is negative governments and citizens in both nations. Public culture suffers as a result.

There is much more to write about the link between the privatization of finance by public companies like Apple and the privatization of public interest. Simply put, privatization by Apple involves a claim in which they say the company owes nothing to American citizens in the companies home country. And anyway, they continue, our "home" is now Ireland!

They further claim that the private interests of their shareholders are more important than American citizens to whose welfare they refuse to contribute by paying their taxes. This is the double edge of privatization.  

The Fortune article struggles to make sense of what the Obama announcement means. And rightly so.

If Apple repatriates some of its case profits next year as Tim Cook has suggested, Apple should not get an American discount for the relatively low taxes they paid to the Irish Government. As they say in some parts of the world: "Pay up you Bastards!"