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Government The Almighty Buck Apple

How Apple Sidesteps Billions In Global Taxes 599 599

An anonymous reader writes "An article at the NY Times explains the how the most profitable tech company in the world becomes even more profitable by finding ways to avoid or minimize taxes. Quoting: 'Apple's headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company's profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains. California's corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada's? Zero. ... As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world. ... Without such tactics, Apple's federal tax bill in the United States most likely would have been $2.4 billion higher last year, according to a recent study (PDF) by a former Treasury Department economist, Martin A. Sullivan. As it stands, the company paid cash taxes of $3.3 billion around the world on its reported profits of $34.2 billion last year, a tax rate of 9.8 percent."
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How Apple Sidesteps Billions In Global Taxes

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:23PM (#39834399)

    Good citizens pay their fair share, so it must be asked: why does Apple hate America?

  • This is news? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Swampash (1131503) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:23PM (#39834401)

    Pathetic.

    Once upon a time Slashdot really was "news for nerds, stuff that matters" - now it's "any excuse to get the word APPLE into a story headline for the SEO bait to get ad impressions up".

  • by MacDork (560499) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:24PM (#39834419) Journal
    But my capital gains have already been taxed once!! Er...
  • by sam_paris (919837) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:27PM (#39834443)
    I mean, I know it's the fashion to bag Apple now they're the biggest company in the world, but I thought it was common knowledge that virtually all big companies do everything they can to avoid taxes. In fact, I don't see how it's much different from pretty much every individual in the USA trying to pay as little tax as possible either. If an accountant said, "Oh hi there, I can help you avoid $3000 bucks in taxes and it's all legal" what would you say, no?
  • by sycomonkey (666153) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:28PM (#39834453) Homepage
    Apple has a fiduciary responsibility to avoid as much taxes as legally possible. This is more indicative that the laws are not written correctly, rather than that Apple is doing something "wrong". Of course, congresscritters might be hesitant to fix these loopholes, since a lot of their sponsors directly benefit from them. In fact, that may or may not be why they are there in the first place, but the saying "don't attribute to malice what you can attribute to incompetence" probably holds here.
  • by PhunkySchtuff (208108) <`kai' `at' `automatica.com.au'> on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:29PM (#39834459) Homepage

    Why should anyone have to pay more tax than they're required to by law?

    Corporations have more loopholes than natural people to reduce the amount of tax that they pay, but even normal people have a number of ways that they can minimise the amount of tax that they're required to pay. If these methods are perfectly legal, then why would you not avail yourself of them?

    Would you voluntarily pay more tax than you are legally obliged to?

    Furthermore, I can absolutely guarantee you that Apple are not the only company doing this, they're just the flavour of the month and they generate page views around here. s/Apple/Microsoft/g, s/Apple/IBM/g or s/Apple/Google/g or pretty well any other large company at all and the story will read the same.

  • by mcavic (2007672) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:34PM (#39834499)
    As long as they're doing it legally, there's nothing wrong with playing the game by the game's rules.
  • Oh Look... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:37PM (#39834509)

    Oh look, another story that is actually about virtually every major company in existence but it's turned into a story by replacing "every company" with "Apple" to make it sensational and generate page views. *yawn*

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:56PM (#39834627)

    It's not a straw man. You're of the opinion that it's immoral to avoid taxation, even when it's entirely legal, suggesting that your "fair share" is every tax that could possibly be applied to you if you volunteered to do so.

    He's saying that's crap, and I have to agree. As far as I'm concerned, the tax liabilities you subject yourself to is largely an ammoral subject, as long as you're working within the law.

    If you don't like the tax code, deal with that. There's no reason to be angry at individuals and companies doing what they legally can to avoid taxation above and beyond what they're required to pay. You're only owed what tax law says you're owed, and they're abiding by it.

  • by DogDude (805747) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @09:01PM (#39834667) Homepage
    Oh, please. Quit with the taxes=theft thing. Sane adults understand that we need governments and taxes. Ayn Rand/Tea Party silliness isn't based in reality. You'll understand when you grow up and interact with the world a bit more.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @09:12PM (#39834729)

    Rich Liberals (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, GE, Apple) talk a good line about how we all need to pay our fair share (i.e. always more than we're paying now), and they become Good Liberals for saying so, but they never walk the walk. Buffet has been fighting a full billion $ that he owes for the last decade. Gates doesn't write checks for above his minimum tax, but instead employs highly paid accountants to minimize his taxes. GE hides profits overseas and you just read all the twists, turns, and contortions that Apple goes through to avoid US taxes -- yet we celebrate them as a company and continue to buy their overpriced trinkets manufactured by outsourced overseas jobs.

    But do we ever hear about all of that? Hell No! We only hear that ROMNEY (who is paying his lawful rate) DOESN'T PAY ENOUGH TAXES!

    We are clueless as a society overall. In Pogo terms: We have met the enemy, and he is us.

  • Re:To be fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fjandr (66656) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @09:17PM (#39834749) Homepage Journal

    You absolutely do not need to sell stocks. You can simply borrow against their value for your expenses. The only thing you end up paying is interest on what is basically revolving credit. That interest rate will be much lower than paying yearly taxes on the same amount.

  • by Fjandr (66656) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @09:32PM (#39834831) Homepage Journal

    Nobody should quit saying it, because it's true. However, most people realize that there are overall benefits to such systematic theft. As long as it's pointed out, we may have some restraint on how much is taken because the ends should be justifiable given the means. If they are not justifiable, the means should not be employed in that area and there should be a great deal of protest if they are employed in such a manner anyway.

  • by jejones (115979) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @09:32PM (#39834833) Journal

    "Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands."

    Now, you may think the law should demand more. I would disagree with you. I don't resent Apple their ability to avoid taxation, any more than I would resent a friend who managed to escape a thief or mugger with minimal damage or loss.

  • by Fjandr (66656) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @09:47PM (#39834901) Homepage Journal

    No, Apple sells a physical product, which limits their ability to minimize their taxes through holding companies in other jurisdictions. That is the one and only reason they pay more taxes.

    Microsoft's product is all intellectual property which, even when licensed, has no physical manifestation in higher-tax jurisdictions. That means it can be held (and thus profit generated from it based) in low-tax jurisdictions. The company in the US then licenses its own technology, thus incurring a tax loss in the US.

    You can't do that the same way with a physical product.

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @09:57PM (#39834931)

    If you want, you can waive your mortgage interest deduction or pay your full tax rate on your capital gains. But why would you do that when you don't have to and no one else is?

    It's absolutely morally OK to do anything in your legal power to minimize your taxes. Just as it should be a moral imperative for lawmakers to stop caving to the corporate lobbyists and FIX those loopholes. If it's legal, it's not cheating (which should be self evident from the word CHEATING). So change the rules!

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @09:59PM (#39834937) Journal

    Why should anyone have to pay more tax than they're required to by law?

    Tax avoidance is different from maximising your tax entitlements under law. This is clearly avoidance.

    Corporations have more loopholes than natural people to reduce the amount of tax that they pay, but even normal people have a number of ways that they can minimise the amount of tax that they're required to pay. If these methods are perfectly legal, then why would you not avail yourself of them?

    Minimising your tax obligation according to your entitlements is legal and expected. Tax avoidance by setting up tiny offices in places with favourable tax laws to collect revenue is a deliberate construct made to avoid paying tax to the community, not a loophole.

    Would you voluntarily pay more tax than you are legally obliged to?

    The key word here is "obliged". I meet my obligation under law. If a company want to operate with all the benefits my state provides then why is it too much to expect them to contribute to the community that supports their profitability. If they want access to great tax laws, then move. What they want though is access to great talent from one community and exploit the tax laws of another community trying to attract business and employment to theirs.

    If the law was amended so that the offices had to have a *minimum* employee count before being eligible for the tax breaks and they were made to conform to the intention of the tax laws then the story would change very quickly.

    I'll bet money that personal tax obligation is a lot higher than company tax obligation.

    Furthermore, I can absolutely guarantee you that Apple are not the only company doing this, they're just the flavour of the month and they generate page views around here. s/Apple/Microsoft/g, s/Apple/IBM/g or s/Apple/Google/g or pretty well any other large company at all and the story will read the same.

    All that says is this is a widespread problem that has to be addressed. It would seem that all of these companies want the benefit of the talents that the community provides but they have no interest in paying their fair share in developing that community with schools, hospitals, roads etc. The flip side is that the technical talent to create that technology in the first place is devalued, driving IT salaries lower because the demand for the jobs are focused in an area of their benefit. The state with the favourable tax laws still hasn't attracted jobs for taxpayers who drive up demand for other services and the state with the population still has the cost of the services the community needs, offsetting those costs onto the individual taxpayer who receives poorer community services.

    Theirs is not ethical taxation behaviour, it's called plundering communities with tax avoidance.

  • by cfulmer (3166) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:08PM (#39834963) Homepage Journal

    There's no such a thing as "fair share." Your fair share is whatever the tax law says it is.

    Apple employs thousands of people. Those people pay taxes on their paycheck, and Apple pays payroll taxes on those individuals. Apple pays property taxes. It collects and pays sales taxes. It generates revenue for the music industry, which pays taxes. It generates revenue for the movie industry, which pays taxes. It pays rent to hundreds of shopping centers where the Apple stores are located; they all pay taxes. It pays advertising agencies, who pay taxes. It pays for medical benefits for its employees, and those doctors pay taxes. Its cafeterias purchase millions of dollars worth of food every year. And, what's more, Apple makes products which make the lives of tens of millions of people better.

    Here's what happens when you try to start imposing some sort of "You're an American Company; pay American taxes" argument: Apple re-incorporates off-shore; its US operations are shunted to a US subsidiary, who works under contract with the main off-shore company. In the end, it pays a lot less tax, but is now a Cayman Islands company.

  • Re:Legal != moral (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@ma[ ]om ['c.c' in gap]> on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:10PM (#39834973) Journal

    that's borderline illegal AND morally corrupt.

    No, the moral issue is the taxation. Your diatribe above presumes that a company's revenues belong to the state.

    -jcr

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:26PM (#39835013)

    Taxing corporations is important for two reasons. The first obvious reason is that it raises revenue for the state. The second is that if you tax corporate income, then it is in the corporation's best interest to minimize income - i.e. to not pile up wads of cash as Apple is currently doing. It's not money per se, but the velocity of money, that moves the economy. Fat cats getting fatter is bad economics - unless you're the fat cat or one of their apologists of course.

  • by mellon (7048) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:36PM (#39835065) Homepage

    You think it's theft because you think that property is a natural right. Property is no more a natural right than copyright. Property is a right that exists by consent of every person who does not own it, or else by force. If by consent, then consent can be withheld. If by force, then you initiated force, and you no longer hold the moral high ground. In neither case is taxation theft.

  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:38PM (#39835071)

    Certainly its logical to minimize your tax liability. But its interesting to me that Apple only paid 9.8 percent. We individuals pat at least twice that, and closer to 30%. The country is by and for corporations, I can't see that there's much one can argue against that. The constitution is dead, a more current one should probably read like a EULA.

    But you as an individual most likely aren't taxed by multiple countries. Say a company operates in 4 countries. Now image if every country claimed 30% on the total net profit. That would make the company owe 120% in taxes. That's obviously absurd and unsustainable so you need to only tax on the income earned in that country. So 9.8% is a meaningless comparison to your 30% tax rate since the 9.8% is averaged all over the world. You need to compare your tax rate to the tax rate Apple pays in the United States. After all most of Apple's growth isn't in the United States it coming from China.

    Strawman, strawman, burning bright...

    I as an individual earn 'revenue' in one place because I only 'do business' in one place. Multinationals earn revenue in multiple places. The profits on that revenue are taxed in those places as a percentage of the revenue. If you have revenue of 20% in Great Britain, for instance, the Brits only tax that 20%. Your statement implies the corporations get taxed everywhere for their full revenue/earnings/gains. They don't. And the way the laws are, a corporation can have its main offices in one country where all business is conducted, but be 'headquartered' in a post office box in a country where the tax rates are significantly lowered.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:48PM (#39835113)

    Simple solutions for complex problems don't tend to work. Individuals would use that to evade taxes and, maybe even worse, that would make it harder to control the market (something libtards believe is a sin). Want greener cars? Raise taxes on oil-fueled cars, lower them for electrical/whathaveyou cars. To develop a region, lower the taxes there as an incentive for companies to invest there. Taxes allow the state to steer corporations towards a (ideally good for all) goal that the "free" market would not reach without a push.

  • Re:To be fair (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:50PM (#39835125)

    Loopholes exist for everyone, including the guy you replied to. People smart enough to use them become rich. People that are not smart enough whine about it.

    Bullshit. You have to be rich to begin with to use such "loopholes".

    Tell me, struggling to pay my rent each month with no savings, how I am supposed to use loopholes to become rich"? I don't need less tax, I need more income.

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:53PM (#39835139)

    Higher then Japan.

    So if you actually made Apple and Google pay US taxes... they'd leave the country. And then instead of getting whatever they were paying plus employing all those people at fairly good wages and taxes those wages... You'd get nothing.

    Choose. Stop attacking companies for finding ways to do business in the US. Instead, try to find out why so many companies have left or are leaving and try to help them come back and stay.

    We need employers. Companies provide the jobs. If you want a job... you want companies. Stop attacking the companies. It's just going to make unemployment go higher.

  • by slowLearner (2498468) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:54PM (#39835147)

    Here's what happens when you try to start imposing some sort of "You're an American Company; pay American taxes" argument: Apple re-incorporates off-shore; its US operations are shunted to a US subsidiary, who works under contract with the main off-shore company. In the end, it pays a lot less tax, but is now a Cayman Islands company.

    The old "if we don't pay what we want we will leave" argument. If they are not prepared to pay the appropriate taxes for the privilege of doing business in your country then why let them? This goes for Micro$oft and General Electric too!
    Large corporations employ less people than small businesses (a small business is less than 500 people) and yet it is small businesses that bear the brunt of taxation while large corporates get the tax breaks, the ear of the government and multi-million-dollar CEO's

  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @11:12PM (#39835203)

    it would be other incentives to encourage companies to create jobs.

    You mean, outside of the profit they earn on our labors? That not enough incentive anymore, now the taxpayers have to kick in a little extra, too?

    God, what I would give to have a government with the sack to tell these extortionist fucks to go pound sand. Think Apple is going to risk the boycotts and bullshit if they fired all their employees? I doubt it very fucking much...

    Steve Jobs benefited from all the things taxpayers fund growing up, just like all of us did. He wasn't raised by wolves in the fucking forest, he grew up in California, the nanny state to end all nanny states, and all those things these assholes bitch about today played a part in making him who he was, as successful as he was. Now that the company is successful, what, they have no moral obligation to pay it fucking forward?

    I mean, that's what all this shit comes down to. These guys stood on the shoulders of who knows how many giants before them, giants that were subsidized by the tax dollars of the people of this country, and now that it's their turn to give a little back, they want to cry and complain about how unfair that idea is and do everything they can to hide their profits. It's no different than knowingly hiring illegals in this fucking country. People that do that shit, and play these fucking games where they only get paid a dollar on fucking paper so they don't have to pay taxes...they're doing more harm to our country than ANY fucking terrorist or gang member or welfare queen, and we all know this, so why the fuck are we playing this game?

  • Re:To be fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptainLard (1902452) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @11:16PM (#39835215)
    Speaking of bitching about paying taxes, I don't understand the mantra of "higher taxes means people won't invest in job creation" etc... Lets say you're a billionaire and pay 15% tax on your investments that earn you $50M/year. If the tax rate gets raised to 30% does that mean you're going to pull out of all your investments to avoid that extra 15% of taxes...and lose out on the frikkin 70% you still would have made!?!? Bullshit. I guess there is always the "they'll just take their money off shore crap.
  • Backwards Anger (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drainbramage (588291) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @11:35PM (#39835313)

    I wanted to mod you up, I enjoyed your passion, but I so want you to look at your reasoing.
    I am not defending Apple, it is about time you all noticed that Apple is given a pass by the media for using the legal loopholes that other companise are villified for.
    --
    Where do you git off blamming Apple or any other corporation for the disgusting acts of congress and the senate?
    Those insane loopholes were mostly created years ago and are constantly polished by your elected officials to continually encourage donations to those self same public officials.
    --
    You want to blame the person responsible?
    Look in the mirror, then start voting like the future matters.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @11:37PM (#39835327)

    It is immoral to avoid taxation if you bribe congressmen to get those loopholes created. Do you think these are all just oversights? Big corporations routinely purchase carefully thought out changes in the wording of laws to create loopholes for themselves. They're robbing us blind -- the bought-off congressmen blow a hole in the side of the bank, the corporations waltz in and take what they want, and then they give the politicians their cut.

    If I don't like the tax code, deal with it? Fuck that. I don't have the billions of dollars necessary to purchase a law. So I'll do what I can... vote for pols who actually understand that government shouldn't be killed off, and condemn all the corporate thieves who have been robbing us blind for decades.

  • by Shazback (1842686) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @11:57PM (#39835433)
    As an individual, when I buy things, I directly fund companies, therefore keeping them and their employees in business. I also pay sales tax on these good, and payroll tax is just as much a tax on me as it is on my employer, since it affects a contract between us. I generate revenue for my employer, who pays taxes. I generate revenue for retailers of my employer's products and other businesses that work with my employer, who both also pay tax. I rent a home which provides an income for my homeowner, who in turn purchases goods and pays tax. I pay insurance for medical care (part of my contract with my employer), which funds an industry that pays tax. By having children and keeping in touch with my family and friends, I provide not only for the future of the country, I also directly improve their quality of life.

    I hope this is a good argument to stop paying income tax. If not, I'll just move to another country. I'll pay a lot less tax, but it'll be in the Cayman Islands.

    On a more serious note, Apple benefits from infrastructure and regulation provided by the federal and state governments, be they in education, in transport, in public safety, in healthcare, in environmental protection or pretty much anything else that these governments are involved in. If Apple could move their research, their product design, their product development, and as much back-office work as they can to China, they'd do it in a heartbeat. The problem is that's not possible. Apple wants the best engineers, the best designers, the best R&D teams... And those kind of people don't just want a big paycheck, they also want to live in a nice environment, where they are provided with sufficient opportunities for their spouses and children's development, where they won't fear for their life, where transport if sufficiently easy and reliable, and so forth. Apple want to become a Cayman Islands company? They'll still keep their corporate operations in the USA, because they know it's too hard to even attempt to move a dozen thousand of the best paid engineers and designers and their families off-shore.

    Apple want the benefits from the infrastructure and the regulation that the USA provides, but doesn't want to fund the cost of maintaining and improving them. That's a free rider problem, and being a knowing free rider, that's hating the driver.
  • by Charcharodon (611187) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @12:03AM (#39835455)
    Uh governments provide practically nothing. EVERY SINGLE THING that the gov't "does" comes straight out of you, me, everyone else's pocket.

    When it comes to Wallmart "robbing" society, exactly how much should they pay their "working Impoverished" aka people who only qualify for unskilled labor? $100,000 a year? Would that be fair? Are you willing to pay the kid who mows your lawn $100 for an 30 minutes worth of work? Of course you wouldn't.

    If you won't why should they?

  • Re:Backwards Anger (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @12:32AM (#39835567)

    Oh, believe me, I know that Congress and the Senate voted for these fucking loopholes, but that's not a valid excuse for this crap. You don't think that Steve Jobs knew that he was paying an effective tax rate well below the entry-level guys he had working 70 hour weeks? This is a guy that parked in handicapped spaces looooooong before he actually got sick we're talking about here. [edibleapple.com] He rationalized it as "Horray for me, fuck everyone else", and that's a trait you see a lot among these 'Master of the Universe' types. People all over the world metaphorically polish his knob every time the subject of Apple comes up, but rarely do people talk about what an unbelievable prick he was [politicsnotasusual.com], and I don't just mean the way he treated his employees, he treated everyone that way.

    Yes, congress passed laws allowing these companies to do this shit. Congress didn't make them move their "offices" to tax havens all over the world. They didn't make them send all that money to banks in the Caribbean to hide it from the IRS. Nobody forced them to be leeches, sucking in subsidies while raking in billions. Apple's sucking up $30 million in Texan taxpayer dollars [theatlanticwire.com] despite the fact that they are literally the most valuable corporation in the fucking world [macstories.net]. They've got $10 Billion (with a b) in cash in the bank, and they still need Texans to cough up a little extra to build that fucking plant? Come the hell on. That's the extortion bullshit I'm talking about. They're taking $30 million from who knows how many social programs, schools, infrastructure...and in exchange we get what? The privilege of working for them so they can earn more money off of our labors?

    I mean, an unemployed mother looking for food stamps, she's a fucking leech on society, but the most valuable corporation on earth gleefully taking huge transfers of wealth from public coffers into their private accounts is what? A goddamn pillar of the community? A company to admire? Please. They're the real leeches. Let these mother fuckers move their corporate offices to fucking China, or better yet, let them take their shit and go to Africa, far from these pesky taxes and everything else. I don't really much give a shit, but I'll be damned if I'm going to sit here and subsidize their goddamn profit margin while half the houses in my neighborhood are sitting fucking vacant because the families that lived in them lost their jobs and then lost their homes, and then, when they hit the lowest point and have to go get some sort of assistance to make sure their kids eat decent food, get called "parasites". Fuck that shit. You want to see the real parasites, go fucking read Forbes.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @02:01AM (#39835859)

    Everything the GP said is correct.

    1) Roads. Did you read that article you posted? I encourage everyone to do so, so that they can see the pure, unadulterated crazy that right-wing think tanks like the von Mises Institute churn out. "Thousands of people die in traffic accidents, therefore we should privatize the roads." Because unregulated private industry does such a great job at promoting safety. That's why organizations like the FDA and OSHA never needed to be created.

    Learn some goddamn history. Corporations were quite happy to let people die to boost their bottom lines until the government stepped in and made such behavior unprofitable.

    2) Schools are just, in your own words, "starter-prisons" that "indoctrinate" the youth. Corporate controlled schools, I suppose, would be beacons of free thought. That's why ITT Tech grads are so much better than UC Berkeley grads. Oh, wait, that's backwards. American education needs work, but suggesting it would be better if it was fully privatized is stupid.

    Without public funds, it's not profitable to educate most people. Far better to keep them stupid and set them to work in a factory, while only providing education to the rich kids whose parents can afford it.

    3) Product safety. I swear, have you ever even seen a history book? Product safety before the government got involved was nothing short of abysmal.

    I notice you didn't even address his other points:

    4) Regulating insurance companies and the like. Without government courts you can take them to, they could simply refuse to pay out one claim in every ten, and there'd be no downside. If they get a bad reputation, they just change their name.

    5) Cops to keep you safe. I suppose you think that should be privatized as well? I'm sure they wouldn't spend all their resources defending the homes and offices of the 1%.

    6) Toxic waste being dumped in public watersupplies. Are you gonna try to deny that this one happened over and over and over again? Are you going to try to deny that without government oversight, corporations have no reason not to exploit public resources for private gain?

    Privatization is the mantra of the robber barons, seeking absolute authority over every aspect of our lives. They've been winning so far, taking more and more from us and giving us nothing in return. They don't need idiots cheerleading for them from the sidelines.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2012 @02:23AM (#39835911)

    Wait, the US has the highest corporate taxes... but corporations don't have to pay them?

    I'm not clear what point you're making.

  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @11:16AM (#39837625)
    The problem is that a corporation, unlike a massive grassroots protest, is largely controlled by the wealthy, and will be used in most instances to further the goals of those at the top, rather than the group as a whole. This give the impression that a company's entire workforce (10,000 people) is pushing for something, when in reality it's the C-level executives and the board (30 people) who are the ones benefiting from it. There are sure to be instances where what the 30 are pushing for is a boon to the entire company, but there's also the likelihood that a significant portion of stances taken "as a corporation" will be done in the advancement of only the 30.
  • by boorack (1345877) on Sunday April 29, 2012 @01:21PM (#39838315)

    I only partially agree with this. Starving big corps was possible few years ago. Then 2008 meltdown came and it became apparent that if they won't get money from you voluntarily paying for some goods/services, they'll get it anyway from you taxes (eg. bailouts), lucrative taxpayer-funded contracts (army) or by forcing bills for phony services down your throat (eg. Obama's healthcare 'reform').

    Add ever-rising intimidation of citizens to this (TSA, so called "war on terror", militarization and brutalization of police forces, ever-rising incarcerated population), add dual-standard when it comes to law enforcement (Corzine/MF Global fiasco etc.) and what you get at the end is corporate fascist state. So much for freedoms and constitution.

    If those corporate fucks won't get what they want from you voluntarily, they'll get it by other means. I'm not sure there is a good way to get out of this trap - peaceful civil disobedience is propably the only thing left.

[We] use bad software and bad machines for the wrong things. -- R.W. Hamming

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