Let’s thank Steve Jobs, Tim Cook and Apple. Let’s thank John McCain, the US Congress and the American tax code. Let’s thank consumers world-wide.
We have just experienced the iMirror, an Apple phenomenon many years in the making. Like many Apple products, upon close inspection, it will be found that it is not original, innovative or unique but has been produced and executed magnificently.
As Congress often does and does well, it is has once again found some busywork to make itself seem important and upstanding.
This is all possible and brought to us by consumers- like you and me.
To understand this situation, a necessary primer is a short, insightful article
NY Times: Apple’s Web of Tax Shelters Saved It Billions, Panel Finds
Synopsis: A Congressional panel’s findings were remarkable both for the tens of billions of dollars involved and for Apple’s audacity in saying some of its subsidiaries are stateless and beyond any tax authority’s reach.
It is a mirror because it has just shown all of us what we as a country have been for a very long time (if not always): not a Democracy but a Capitalist Republic.
The reality is that for-profit business and wealthy individuals will have the laws and tax codes designed to protect their interests. Apple is not the first, will not be the last but like many endeavors has become one of the best at exploiting the system from within and with help from the system itself.
While the final determinations have not been made, it appears that Apple did nothing illegal. My understanding is that Congress has not alleged that they actually did anything illegal.
What has happened is that at least 18 months were spent and countless American tax dollars spent to come to this conclusion.
Yes, tax dollars were spent to find out that a company was legally avoiding paying billions of dollars in taxes. (We must acknowledge that Apple did also pay billions of dollars in taxes it was required to.)
Now, for the kicker: Congress looking for us- the individual, hard working average Joe- to now pay taxes for buying the very goods and services such as Apple produces when purchasing them on the Internet which their products enable us to do.
The iMirror has been held up high for all of us as a nation to see. Smile. How do we look?