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vansmith

 
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Member Since: Oct 19, 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 18,352
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I'll bite.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
But in fact it's the politicians who deserve condemnation, not Apple.
Because Apple moved/kept massive amounts of money overseas with the explicit purposes of protecting it from taxation? Yeah, they did make use of loopholes. There's a reason they kept the money in Ireland specifically (source). Given that, of all the people, the politicians are to blame?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
First, as Apple CEO Tim Cook pointed out in Congressional testimony, his company paid all the corporate taxes it legally owed—estimated to be around $6 billion. It broke no law.
Doesn't negate the fact that Apple did what it did. Did they break the law? No but that doesn't negate the fact that they're playing the system which is questionable and potentially reprehensible. Remember, you can separate moral judgment from legal ramifications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
Second, anyone with a proper sense of self-worth seeks to pay no more taxes than they legally owe.
That's quite the broad and sweeping statement that unnecessarily ties perceptions of self-worth to financial solvency and unreasonably fervent protection of one's assets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
If that’s “tax avoidance,” everyone does it and should do it.
Attempting to play the system and robbing the government of money benefits no one. A "let's keep our money from the government" was and continues to be devastating to a system that depends on taxation to fund public projects. Might people in certain places be taxed too much? Probably but that's besides the point. This garrison mentality when it comes to financial assets is nothing short of destructive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
Third, if Apple had shoveled more of its cash into the federal government’s insatiable maw, this would have meant some combination of higher prices for Apple consumers, less Apple investment in developing cool new products, lower prices for Apple stock (check your portfolio!), and less profits for the individuals who earned it.
That's fallacious logic at its finest. Apple has total control over its pricing structure and as-is, has one of the highest profit margins in the industry. Apple could easily take a hit to their profit margin, still invest heavily in R & D and design excellent products. This whole notion of "higher taxes means higher prices" is a joke. If that were the case, Americans would pay more for Apple products that Canadians since the U.S. has a higher corporate tax rate but that isn't the case (source). A more stark example would be Australia - a country whose corporate tax rate is 9% lower than the U.S. and a country that pays considerably higher prices for most electronics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
Fourth, the huge, arcane, incomprehensible tax code is a political document. Every deduction is there because Congress put it into law, whether it’s for oil companies purchasing drilling equipment or Green consumers purchasing Chevy Volts.
This whole problem with loopholes has to do with the Irish tax code, not the American. There's nothing wrong with companies holding assets overseas. Any attempt to do otherwise would seem to contradict the principles of the free market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
Conclusion: Apple was not trying to screw anyone, just trying to use every legal means to keep from being looted.
Looted? You might want to look up what that word means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
Neither Apple nor any enterprise or individual needs to justify why they should keep their own money. The government must justify why it should take it away since the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect our lives, liberty and—yes!—property.
Protection of the citizens is by no means free. Regardless, if that's the only purpose of government, I suppose it should stop building roads, building schools, funding scientific research, etc. since none of that has to do with protecting the individual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
Most government activities nowadays are by no rational standard authorized by the Constitution.
That's not how a constitution works. Constitutions are designed specifically (in part) to outline what level of government does what (if the U.S. constitution is like any other which I presume it is).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
So let’s praise Apple both for being one of the world’s most productive companies and for keeping its tax bill low.
Regardless of whether or not this is problematic, I find it hard to believe that Apple deserves praise for this. Even if they did nothing wrong (which they probably didn't), why should I or any other non-investor praise Apple for protecting its assets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
And let’s condemn politicians who try to cripple the productive while demanding that the productive turn over more of the fruits of their productive efforts to politicians to be wasted.
Again, you really seem to be leaning heavily on this rather sensational notion that taxation is an all or nothing game, that it's either severely crippling to the point of being authoritarian in nature or, without taxes, we'll all live free and the banalities of life (roads, schools, etc.) will somehow magically take care of themselves.

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