Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st May 2017 10:56 UTC
Apple

Apple Inc. is expected to report Tuesday that its stockpile of cash has topped a quarter of a trillion dollars [actual source is the WSJ, but it's paywalled there], an unrivaled corporate hoard that is greater than the market value of both Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. and exceeds the combined foreign-currency reserves held by the U.K. and Canada combined.

The goal of a capitalist, free market-based society is that as companies get more successful, they invest their winnings back into the company, increasing productivity, hiring more people, and thus improving the overall state of the economy. While inherently flawed, this system has brought us a lot of good, and has lifted quite a number of people out of abject poverty.

However, one has to ask what individuals and corporations hoarding this much money as Apple is doing are contributing to society. Apple's 250 billion dollars are locked away, and aren't used for anything. Every day, Apple is extracting vast sums of wealth from society - as they should in a capitalist society - but they are no longer investing it back into society. And Apple isn't alone in this, of course - a rich few are extracting immense amounts of wealth from society without giving back.

This breaks the traditional capitalist model.

Things like increased automation and robotisation are only going to accelerate this process. At some point, we're going to have to stop and ask ourselves if this is tenable, and if not, what we are going to do about it. It goes against the core 'values' of die-hard capitalists, but we might reach a point where we have to forcibly - through law - take it from companies like Apple.

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it's all about tax
by kristoph on Mon 1st May 2017 17:54 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

Apple has money in offshore accounts where the revenue was generated in accordance with tax laws in those jurisdictions ( you may argue under questionable tax agreements, with the likes of Ireland for example ).

Apple does not have the means to spend that money in those jurisdictions so all it does is invest it, hence increasing it's cash hoard.

In order to bring the money into the US it would have to pay a bunch of tax which it doesn't want to do while US politicians are working on a tax repatriation deal.

I expect once Apple et al can bring the money into the US under favorable terms they will likely do something with it: either buy something major or just return the money to investors.

Reply Score: 3

RE: it's all about tax
by Alfman on Mon 1st May 2017 21:16 in reply to "it's all about tax"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kristoph,

In order to bring the money into the US it would have to pay a bunch of tax which it doesn't want to do while US politicians are working on a tax repatriation deal.

I expect once Apple et al can bring the money into the US under favorable terms they will likely do something with it: either buy something major or just return the money to investors.


Nobody should be made to struggle like that. How can we claim to support the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when we don't even let companies repatriate hundreds of billions of untaxed dollars without favorable business terms? Just think of the message it sends if we punish successful billionaire corporations by making them pay taxes just like smaller companies... nobody in their right mind would want to be a billionaire! What's the incentive when you get there only to find you have to pay taxes like any other schmuck? It's a rotten deal if you ask me.

Reducing and even eliminating taxes for billionaires will increase the incentives for millions of people in poverty to work harder, and then america will be great again.

/sarcasm

On a less sarcastic note, you're right that's clearly what these multinational companies want. But it seems incredibly unfair and unjust to reward the tax evaders at the expense of other taxpayers (both companies and individuals) who paid their full share.

Edited 2017-05-01 21:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: it's all about tax
by kristoph on Mon 1st May 2017 22:02 in reply to "RE: it's all about tax"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

The dollars are not 'untaxed'. That's really the whole point. The money has been taxed in one jurisdiction and so many companies - including Apple - don't want it to be taxed yet again in the US at the 35% rate.

Reply Parent Score: 2