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Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds 716

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the where-else-would-you-put-it dept.
mspohr writes with news that Apple might be in a bit of hot water over its policy of offshoring revenues to favorable tax jurisdictions. Only they take it a step further, from the article: "Apple relied on a 'complex web of offshore entities' and U.S. tax loopholes to avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes on $44 billion in offshore income over the past four years ... The maker of iPhones and iPads used at least three foreign subsidiaries that it claims are not 'tax resident in any nation' to help it avoid paying billions in 'otherwise taxable offshore income,' the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a statement yesterday."
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Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:11AM (#43780143)

    If what they did is legal, so what? I take every tax deduction I can legally find, why shouldn't Apple?

  • by bmo (77928) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:11AM (#43780145)

    ...Apple isn't the only one that does this.

    Taxes are for little people. They aren't for the rich or corporations. Taxes are for you and small-business, not for people and corporations that can hire the best people who know the best methods of tax avoidance (legal) and tax evasion (it's only illegal if you get caught).

    --
    BMO

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:14AM (#43780163)

    If everything legally permissible is deemed morally acceptable then humanity is doomed.

  • Re:A win for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:15AM (#43780169)

    So all government is evil?

    There are plenty of places on the planet with ineffective/nonexistent government. They are all hellholes.

    Please move to one of them.

    --
    BMO

  • Re:A win for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:18AM (#43780181)

    You understand that the government offsets lost or unavailable corporate tax revenue by increasing the taxes it does collect, i.e. yours, right?

  • blahblah (Score:1, Insightful)

    by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:18AM (#43780183) Homepage Journal

    If it is legal, and apple DIDN'T do it, then they are not doing what is in the best interest of their sharheolders.

    Don't like it? Get the law changed. Corporations exploiting the rules for profit is just what they do. I'm sure every single person here tries to ensure they get the biggest tax refund / avoids paying as much tax as they legally can.

  • by telchine (719345) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:22AM (#43780203)

    If what they did is legal, so what? I take every tax deduction I can legally find, why shouldn't Apple?

    Because the world is changing and it's no longer socially acceptable to just pay what's legal, it's considered inappropriate to pay less than what people would consider to be a fair amount. If you're paying $1 of tax on $1000 of earnings because you've cleverly nested your business assets overseas in a complex web of tax avoidance schemes, then most people would consider that unfair, even if it is legal.

    Tax avoidance (NB not the same thing as tax evasion) was once considered socially acceptable. Of late there's been a swing the other way and national governments are now putting pressure on organisations to pay their fair share of tax (as opposed to just their legal obligation). Companies that don't conform get "outed" in the media. This bad publicity can cause the companies involved to suffer a punishment of a loss in revenue - the public are less likely to do business with companies they see as not paying their fare share of tax.

    Sort of like an extortion racket, except it's okay because it's the government doing it :p

  • by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:26AM (#43780239) Homepage Journal

    Yes, apple are being targeted. In australia, we have a term for this. It is called "tall poppy syndrome".

    Yes, other companies do it. Any company that does NOT do everything within the law to minimize their tax burden is both not doing the right thing by their shareholders, and handing their competitors a competitive advantage.

    If apple have been avoiding tax like this, and you disagree with it, petition your government to get the loopholes tightened. If it is possible to structure their business to minimize the amount of tax they pay, then why shouldn't they?

    If Tim Cook or whoever wants to donate their own money to charity or pay more tax than they need to that is their decision. However the money apple makes isn't owned by apple. It is owned by the company shareholders - who will pay tax on any dividends or capital gains from sold shares in any case.

  • by Barsteward (969998) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:26AM (#43780241)
    "Corporations aren't people with morals, etc." - this is one of the biggest bollox arguments. If the corporation could run without people then this may be an argument,
  • Taxes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shellster_dude (1261444) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:26AM (#43780243)
    With the recent IRS debacle and large corporations like Apple and Facebook avoiding billions in taxes, it should be obvious to everyone that taxes are not about fairness. They are a weapon to be wielded by government to attack opposition and to grant favors to business cronies who elect them and donate to them. If ever there was an argument for a simple tax system, like a flat tax, this is it.
  • by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:30AM (#43780275) Homepage Journal

    Because the world is changing and it's no longer socially acceptable to just pay what's legal, it's considered inappropriate to pay less than what people would consider to be a fair amount. If you're paying $1 of tax on $1000 of earnings because you've cleverly nested your business assets overseas in a complex web of tax avoidance schemes, then most people would consider that unfair, even if it is legal.

    A company is doing its shareholders a dis-service if they pay more tax than legally required.

    If you don't like the amount of tax a corporation pays, due to their corporate structure, petition your government to close the loophole.

  • by Twanfox (185252) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:33AM (#43780299)

    It isn't just that tax avoidance has lost favor. It's that most people have come to the realization (I think) that big money interests work with legislators, whether obviously or covertly, to see to it such loopholes and 'special perks' exist in the first place. It's like playing poker and stacking the deck in your favor every time. It isn't hard to see how that puts the corporations on the 'wrong side' and how it comes off as unfair in most people's minds.

    If the perception was that big money does not have a hand in the creation of laws and receives the same "bad treatment" everyone else does, then I imagine you'd see tax avoidance come back into favor.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:38AM (#43780347)

    I for one applaud Apple on using the all the help provided by the US government in the way of tax loopholes to minimize its tax liabilities.

    If the US government takes issue with any of the legal mechanisms used by Apple they need only change the laws to make them illegal.

  • by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:41AM (#43780373) Homepage Journal
    Sure. What the law requires them to pay. Which they paid... unless someone has proven otherwise?
  • by gtbritishskull (1435843) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:41AM (#43780379)

    I do not have a problem with them not paying more than they are legally required to, but only to a certain extent. And that extent is when they start pumping money into lobbyists and political donations to KEEP those laws unfairly in their favor. If businesses stay out of politics, then they cannot be blamed when they get advantages from it. But, when they essentially buy our politicians and laws, I have a lot less tolerance for the "I was just following the law" excuse.

    For example, I had a big problem with Mitt Romney's tax rate, but not necessarily because it was low. The rate was so low because there is a preferential tax rate for carried interest [wikipedia.org]. I had a problem with it because he was on owner of Bain Capital and they had spent millions of dollars lobbying Washington to keep "carried interest" at a preferential rate. When you have bought and paid for a law, then you become responsible for whether it is fair or not.

  • Re:A win for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pod (1103) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:41AM (#43780381) Homepage

    Judging by the deficit... I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with you.

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:42AM (#43780385) Homepage Journal

    Because the world is changing and it's no longer socially acceptable to just pay what's legal, it's considered inappropriate to pay less than what people would consider to be a fair amount. If you're paying $1 of tax on $1000 of earnings because you've cleverly nested your business assets overseas in a complex web of tax avoidance schemes, then most people would consider that unfair, even if it is legal.

    A company is doing its shareholders a dis-service if they pay more tax than legally required.

    If you don't like the amount of tax a corporation pays, due to their corporate structure, petition your government to close the loophole.

    No one is challenging that, you just keep restating the obvious. The point of the scrutiny is to shine enough light on the loophole that there will be political will to close it without just the usual one-sided "they are raising taxes!!!".

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:44AM (#43780399) Homepage Journal

    If this is the case, the root cause of the problem is your government, not Apple/Google/GM/whoever.

    If you suspect the government is doing this (from the outside, it's pretty clear actually) why the fuck haven't you guys had another revolution yet?

    Too much time on Xbox? Complaining about it on the internet is more attractive?

  • by bmo (77928) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:44AM (#43780405)

    >But... I applaud Apple for not paying into our tax system.

    So instead of the load being distributed properly, you want the government to shift most of the load to your back?

    Good to know.

    --
    BMO

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:49AM (#43780447)

    I actually don't understand what the issue is... It seems to be "wha wha wha, apple leaves the money it makes in other countries in those countries, rather than bringing it into the US"... It seems to me that apple is perfectly entitled to do that.

    It's certainly nothing compared to google's "We don't sell anything in the UK, it's all in Ireland, honest" bullshit.

  • by Cenan (1892902) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:51AM (#43780455)

    Cannot be done, moral is per definition a subjective concept - you can only prove it to yourself, your conclusion is not valid for anyone else. We may arrive at similar conclusions with regard to certain actions, and word them into law, but they remain subjective. Most of us might agree that murder is not acceptable, and thus we write it into law that in order to participate in our society, you cannot murder people.

    What the big corporations are doing, to me at least, is morally questionable. Short story is that they buy services and goods from branches located in places where the income tax is lower than where the actual revenue is generated. This shows a blatant disregard for the fact that, to generate the revenue, they make use of infrastructure, labor and the market that buys their shit - not only a disregard for the services offered to the corporation in order to help it create said revenue, but a decision that paying society back for those services is not necessary.

    Another side of the story are governments who decide that they would like a bit of the cut in aforementioned revenue, and undercut their neighbors corporate tax (hello Ireland, various piece of shit Island states in the Pacific, and so on), thereby creating the tax havens Apple is raking in the dough from. This to me is equally morally questionable.

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:53AM (#43780467) Homepage
    Or possibly many of the shareholders are smart enough (or can pay someone smart enough) to find their own tax loopholes. The is the real problem as you pointed out. The tax system is too complicated. Making things too complicated allows for loopholes. Also Apple employs more than 50,000 Americans [apple.com]. Mind you those are Apple's numbers, so take them as you will, but I'm sure there's no denying that Apple is a doing a lot of good for the US economy.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:54AM (#43780479) Homepage

    Nobody has shown that what Apple has done shouldn't be morally acceptable.

    Jobs/Woz grew up in the USA, they were educated there and used the resources/facilities/opportunities of the USA to earn their fortunes. Many of those resources/facilities/opportunities were provided using taxpayer money.

    Not giving back to the young people growing up today is morally acceptable to you?

  • Re:A win for me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:54AM (#43780483)

    This is a good analogy up until the "deprive it of food..." bit, since a weak wild dog can't do its job, and, arguably, that is exactly what happened here - a smart wolf came in, stole some of the dog's food, and the dog couldn't do anything about it. Keep developing the analogy though. If you can make the argument of limiting the "dog" without limiting its effectiveness against "wolves" you have a useful rhetorical tool.

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:55AM (#43780499) Homepage Journal

    I'm hoping someone with some econ knowledge can enlighten me, although I fear since this is the Internet and Slashdot comments it's probably not going to happen ;-) I've never heard of a situation where companies tried to pay taxes because they like them and if they're publicly traded they had a fiduciary responsibility to avoid them in order to maximize returns to the shareholders, and when forced to pay them they just try to find ways to force the cost down to the customer.

    So why do we bother at all? Personally, I'd rather pay higher property/income taxes and abandon corporate taxes so that money comes back into the country for reinvestment and so that the companies don't leave the country and expand their business elsewhere.

    If a corporation's income were tax free (or if the base rate were significantly lower) you would simply see everyone in the country start their own one-owner corporation and proceed to funnel all of their income in and out, tax free. See the problem? Then you need *another* rule to stop that from happening. The tax code looks as ugly as it does due to the vicious cycle of constituents rallying for less complex taxes, and corporations using political clout to make only everyone elses' taxes "less complex" (i.e. preserving the loopholes they cherish). Sadly, the political system as it stands is not well equipped to actually do the will of the people, and instead creates token efforts to appease the masses, while for the most part doing whatever it is that large corporations want.

  • by Mike Mentalist (544984) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @08:57AM (#43780523) Homepage
    A company is doing its shareholders a dis-service if they pay more tax than legally required.

    Contributing towards the infrastructure that allowed the company and the shareholders to get to their positions of wealth in the first place is doing them a dis-service...? If you don't like the amount of tax a corporation pays, due to their corporate structure, petition your government to close the loophole.

    You seem oddly concerned with stopping people from criticising what Apple are doing here.

    If I slept with your wife, would you listen to those who told you to stop moaning about it and begin petitioning for adultery to be made illegal?
  • Re:A win for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tbannist (230135) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @09:03AM (#43780571)
    Yes, the best thing to do with a guard dog is to mistreat it and starve it. That will never backfire.
  • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @09:06AM (#43780591)

    What seems unfair is the US government attempting to lay a claim to revenues that were generated by Apple's related entity in another country.

    You're not an accountant, are you? Ask a decent accountant what profits were made and what expenses were incurred by your operations in country X, and he'll ask what you want them to be. There are endless games that can be played, like transfer pricing. And what about the profits that Apple claims were generated outside of any country. Does Apple have significant operations on ships in international waters? From the NYT article:

    Congressional investigators found that some of Apple’s subsidiaries had no employees and were largely run by top officials from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. But by officially locating them in places like Ireland, Apple was able to, in effect, make them stateless — exempt from taxes, record-keeping laws and the need for the subsidiaries to even file tax returns anywhere in the world.

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @09:19AM (#43780717) Homepage Journal

    The point of the scrutiny is to shine enough light on the loophole that there will be political will to close it without just the usual one-sided "they are raising taxes!!!".

    Last I checked, Apple doesn't write the laws. They don't even spend that much money lobbying. In fact, it is Congress that writes the laws.

    Apple is huge, highly profitable, highly visible, and probably the US company with the single highest net favorable opinion among voters... If you want to make a splash, you start at the top. In case it's not obvious, the point of these hearings is not to actually find out how/why Apple or any other company does what they do (congress has no problem knowing all of that), it is to raise visibility so that there is political will that can be capitalized upon to change the tax code.

  • by mmcxii (1707574) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @09:25AM (#43780763)
    I'm sure they spent loads of money to lobby to make our current system of laws beneficial to them. They used their huge pocketbook to game the system to make their pocketbook massive!

    Just remember, you can't buy what isn't for sale. If companies are able to buy their way into writing legislation that means that there is a deeper problem in play here and attacking each company over each incident is like not seeing the forest for the trees.

    No one will get anywhere by attacking Apple (or Google or MS or IBM or GM or Boeing or Lockheed). If there is a deep rooted problem of this nature in the system then the system needs reformed. Going after those who offend loopholes in that system isn't very advanced. It's not much different than a dog chasing his own tail.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @09:55AM (#43781075)

    Actually Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt lobbied for a one-time tax holiday so they could repatriate their income earned overseas without losing a large portion of it in taxes. Congress didn't like the idea. Congress is putting on a dog-and-pony show to chastise Apple but doesn't seem to mind giving extremely profitable corporations like Exxon tax subsidies.

    I wish you ass-clowns would quit obsessing over the US on every fucking story that comes along. Try paying attention. Here, I'll help out:

    " In addition, the subcommittee review discovered an unusual tax scheme: Apple’s claim that three key offshore companies are not tax residents of Ireland, where they are incorporated, or of the United States, where Apple executives manage and control the companies. One of those Irish subsidiaries has paid no income taxes to any national tax authority for the past five years."

    This isn't just about using loopholes in a country's tax code. They are claiming that the largest part of their core business isn't under the authority of anybody, anywhere on the planet.

  • by alexander_686 (957440) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:05AM (#43781207)

    By “Cash Hording” the OP was not saying (at least I hope) that corporations were strangling America by vacuuming up all of the loose change. America has rock bottom interest rates and companies find it easy to hawk bonds to raise money – even junk bonds. So don’t worry about the Fed.

    No, the issue is that big corporations are making large profits and are doing nothing with it. No reinvestment, no dividends, no capital investment – it just sitting in a bank account (well, short term high quality bonds) which, if lucky, might be beating inflation. If I am a shareholder – that is an owner – I can think of better things to do with it then sit in a bank account.

    Now yes, corporations need to keep some cash on hand. However, the trend line for the past 5 years is just going up and up – and way above historical levels.

    Apple is a really bad case. They are sitting on a huge pile of cash and can’t explain what they need it for. They don’t have large capital expenses such as buying a foundry. They don’t buy out other large companies, preferring to grow organically. (Small companies don’t count – their like a single potato chip to Apple – easily swallowed without having an real effect. )

  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:08AM (#43781241)

    The most significant quote of the article: "we expect overseas cash balances will continue to grow unless tax laws encourage U.S. companies to repatriate money".

    The corporate tax rate for what Apple is doing is around 35%; that is, Apple would have to pay 35% of their cash pile in taxes if they repatriated it. Which would be generally reasonable if not for the fact that it was already taxed once in the originating country on the original sale. As a result the 35% tax rate is essentially a kind of 35% tariff on exports and foreign sales. You only need to pay it once if you sell within the US, but you pay it along with a second set of local taxes on anything you sell outside of the US, regardless of whether it was even made here. The ultimate effect is that if every dollar were immediately repatriated, foreign sales would either be immensely less profitable than domestic sales, or American companies would be at a significant competitive disadvantage against foreign companies that aren't getting taxed twice (e.g. Samsung).

    Congress needs to give up on this pipe dream that they can have 35% of the profits made off of all foreign sales. When no one else is double-taxing like this, it makes the American tax system look foolish and antiquated.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:08AM (#43781249) Homepage Journal

    I wish you ass-clowns would quit obsessing over the US on every fucking story that comes along. Try paying attention. Here, I'll help out:

    Well, slashdot *IS* a US centric website, so, you have to expect a good bit of US centric comments and stories.

  • I am not a tax accountant, nor a tax lawyer, but I did have to read and convert into code a lot of tax law.

    The tax law is written WITH THE ASSUMPTION that taxpayers will include all income, take all credits, use all deductions, and make all payments that the law requires. This is the only working definition of "fairness". When you're talking taxes, fairness has nothing to do with paying back society, it has to do with following the rules as written. Fairness is what happens when the IRS treats all taxpayers the same, and doesn't apply special rules and handling to some but not others. That's what is fair.

    Which is what brings the latest scandal into such sharp focus. It is absolutely unfair for the IRS to target one group of taxpayers for special focus based just on their names. It is absolutely unfair for the IRS to ask these organizations to list the books they read, the content of the prayers they pray, the names and addresses of their major donors, and the content of their blog posts. Those things have nothing to do with following the tax rules fairly.

    If anyone has a beef with Apple paying foreign taxes instead of US taxes, any fault would lie with Congress, either for too-lax laws that permit the tax to be legally avoided, for too-generous tax credits that reward major corporations for "investing" in the US, or for too-stupid economic policies that raise the cost of doing business in the US to astronomical heights, making almost any foreign country a cheaper place in which to do business.
  • by I3OI3 (1862302) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:55AM (#43781823)

    Corporations are in no way legally (nor, in many cases ethically) responsible to maximize their bottom line. Many companies (Ben and Jerry's as a common example) consider themselves ethically bound to take huge swaths of cash from their bottom line and give to the community and good causes, even if there's no possible hope of ROI.

    The oft-cited Ford v. Dodge basically says that a company can't go out of its way to screw over the shareholders. There is a huge space of good acts between "legally required to maximize profits at all costs" and "screwing the shareholders." [wikipedia.org]

  • by dmbasso (1052166) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:57AM (#43781845)

    It's kinda sad to have to spell it out loud... but here it goes: your tax money is used to benefit society; when you don't pay your taxes you are not contributing to society, yet you still benefit from those who contribute - that is immoral. Please, cayenne8, tell me how isn't that obvious?

    Furthermore, how can a system where the "I'm gonna get as much as I can (regardless of my needs) and give as little as possible" mentality is the norm be considered moral?

  • by larkost (79011) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @11:16AM (#43782103)

    You are missing a very important bit about US taxes in this case, one that invalidates your whole concept and semi-anticdote: as the laws work you only pay the higher of the two systems in total. A couple of examples to illustrate: if you would owe $50 in the other country, and $60 in the US, then you would pay $50 to that other country, and only $10 (the difference) to the US. If you reverse the numbers and the forign tax was higher then all of the money would go to the foreign government, and the US would get none.

    There are odd cases where that tax codes in the seperate countries tax totally different ways, so making a hypothetical case where one country has only a value-add tax vs. the US's focus on proffits, in that case it could wind up that you would pay the full brunt of both taxes, but that is not anything like the "$110 for every $100 in profit" that you talked about.

    I have personal experience with this, since my wife sold her apartment in Budapest, and we had to pay the difference in the taxes. We got caught a little, because a couple of exemptions that would have applied here did not apply because it was foreign (and thus not under those specific real-estate rules, but rather generic capital gains), but that was minor.

    But the bigger concept here is that these multinationals rely on the services that the US provides both explictly and implictly. For example they are backed and defended by the US Military and State Department. Without the latter's constant negotiations (backed by the formers Big Stick) there is little chance that China would be do any inteletual property enforcement of "Western"-owned ideas at all. A somewhat stark example, but when you look into it further you will find more and more.

    These companies are the biggest benifiters of the services that those taxes provide. It only makes sense that they pay for them.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @11:42AM (#43782431) Homepage Journal

    It's kinda sad to have to spell it out loud... but here it goes: your tax money is used to benefit society; when you don't pay your taxes you are not contributing to society, yet you still benefit from those who contribute - that is immoral. Please, cayenne8, tell me how isn't that obvious?

    Sorry, I didn't know I was born obligated to be my brother's keeper.

    And for the most part, here we're talking about Federal taxes which has little if anything to do with my use if LOCAL infrastructure and services which I pay for with my local city and state taxes.

    But I don't feel any moral obligation to take care of society at large. I am charitable, and give first to family and friends, and then to external charities, but I don't consider that to be a morality issue. I certainly don't see the govt in general forcibly taking my money for other people to be a moral thing.

    Furthermore, how can a system where the "I'm gonna get as much as I can (regardless of my needs) and give as little as possible" mentality is the norm be considered moral?

    That's just nature at work..survival, I get mine first, etc. Nothing moral or immoral about it, just a fact of life my friend. Human nature since day one.

  • by MitchDev (2526834) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @11:54AM (#43782639)

    People like cayenne8 have a mental problem where they mistakenly believe that :

    Legal = RIGHT
    Illegal = WRONG

    They are severely deluded however.

  • by dmbasso (1052166) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @12:25PM (#43783035)

    Furthermore, how can a system where the "I'm gonna get as much as I can (regardless of my needs) and give as little as possible" mentality is the norm be considered moral?

    That's just nature at work..survival, I get mine first, etc. Nothing moral or immoral about it, just a fact of life my friend. Human nature since day one.

    Except we're far from just barely surviving, while there are people actually struggling. Your indoctrination in individualism does not allow you to see how immoral that is...
    A little bit of empathy would do you good.

  • by scot4875 (542869) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @12:39PM (#43783219) Homepage

    That's just nature at work..survival, I get mine first, etc. Nothing moral or immoral about it, just a fact of life my friend. Human nature since day one.

    Ahh yes, just like it's human nature to go pick dollars off the dollar tree and spend them as they see fit.

    Wait, what? You say dollars don't grow on trees? You say that dollars are created by the government, and only have value because they're backed by the government that created them? Pfft. That's stupid. Next you'll try to tell me that some of those dollars need to go back into that system to help support it, so that it can continue to back them and give them value.

    Idiots. The fed can print money for the government forever, it doesn't need me to give MY hard-earned dollars back. I got mine, and fuck everybody else. I'm an island who doesn't need anyone or anything.

    Except the police. Those guys have to protect my dollars. And the justice system, obviously. And roads, too, because they help the police get around and help me get to my job where I earn those dollars. Maybe water and sewage as well. Also, food inspectors and regulations would be good, because who wants to get sick and die from buying tainted food? Maybe also some sort of people who vet drugs to make sure they're safe. I'm sure there are 1 or 2 other really small things that I'm forgetting. But that's it! Anybody who thinks the "government" should do any single thing beyond what I think is correct is a damned socialist out to destroy my freedom and STEAL my hard-earned dollars at GUN POINT! (well, figuratively. And I know I said the police were necessary, and that they should obviously have guns, but when they're used to force me to do something I don't like? Oppression!)

    --Jeremy

  • by argoff (142580) * on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:39PM (#43784659)

    >So instead of the load being distributed properly, you want the government to shift most of the load to your back?

    that argument is no logically different than saying, "well if that nigger escapes from the plantation, the master will make us other niggers work harder"

    It's just plain stupid.

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