Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Nov 2017 09:52 UTC
In the News

Five months after Mr. Cook's testimony, Irish officials began to crack down on the tax structure Apple had exploited. So the iPhone maker went hunting for another place to park its profits, newly leaked records show. With help from law firms that specialize in offshore tax shelters, the company canvassed multiple jurisdictions before settling on the small island of Jersey, which typically does not tax corporate income.

Apple has accumulated more than $128 billion in profits offshore, and probably much more, that is untaxed by the United States and hardly touched by any other country. Nearly all of that was made over the past decade.

Apple is the largest company in the world, so they're the big target - but tons of other companies engage in the same shady activities.

Every euro or dollar Apple, Google, and Facebook dodge in taxes is a euro or dollar regular folk like you and I have to pay instead. These companies make use of all the facilities and infrastructure paid for by our tax euros and dollars, but then turn around and stab society in the back by extracting vast sums of wealth from it without paying their fair share of taxes. It's exactly this reason why the divide between rich and poor is growing exponentially, which in turn is destabilising our communities because it becomes ever clearer that the Tim Cooks and Mark Zuckerbergs of this world get to live under a different set of rules than you and I.

I am lucky to live in an incredibly solid welfare state, where, while exceptions exist, we take care of each other (interestingly enough, The Netherlands is also one of the biggest shady tax havens in the world). A welfare state is built upon the concept of the strongest shoulders carrying the heaviest burdens, and the knowledge that Joe Billionaire is capable of paying more into the system than Jane Minimum Wage. When this system of trust breaks down - as it clearly is at risk of - our society breaks down. The fact that Tim Cook et al. have the gall to claim their 0.0002% tax rate is "fair" just rubs more salt in the wounds of any regular person who dutifully pays her or his 20-40% taxes every year.

Sadly, any meaningful change to the tax codes of the US and the EU will be blocked through the corruption and bribery Apple, Google, Facebook, and so on engage in on a daily basis. Unless we break these giants up into small companies that aren't 'too big to fail', our societies will grow ever more at their mercy.

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Troels
Member since:
2005-07-11

Wow, best comment on any site i have seen in quite a while.

The sad part is indeed that there is absolutely no solution in sight currently. Maybe we are seeing the limit of democracies?

EU seems totally incapable of making any major decisions because there are so many different interests represented, and most governments are so terrified of their voters that everything gets muddled and no one has a master plan, except trying to get reelected. Some of the geeks in the EU Commission might think they have a plan, but they will probably never present anything that is understandable by non-bureaucrats. Probably we need simpler rules, not more bureaucracy. But they cant even decide where the parliament should reside ffs.

This is fueled by todays media who are also desperate to stay in business in this social media age, and are throwing themselves like hungry piranhas over all kind of news that can somehow be twisted to resemble a scandal of some sort, and then we can all spend time reading about non important shite instead of getting in depth information allowing us to figure out who to vote for.

The mainstream politician today is so afraid to say or do something wrong that they spend a lot of time and words saying and doing nothing, while no one are really trying to identify, much less fix, the real problems we face. The fact alone that most of our laws these days are so complicated that the politicians don't understand the stuff they vote for i see as a huge problem.

The ironic part is, that all our problems are social of nature, and not technical, even something like CO2 emissions could be solved in a relatively short time if everyone decided to do so. Of course it wont happen, because everyone thinks of themselves first and are waiting for everyone else to blink.

No wonder the extremist parties are winning everywhere, they have clear understandable messages that a lot of people can at least partly identify themselves with.

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