I think a number of people reading the article have the tacit impression that if the government taxed the money from Apple, that they would somehow benefit to a greater extent. But given that the US Government spends $11.5 billion more per day than it receives in taxes, even seizing all of Apple's worldwide profits would just be a drop in the bucket.
A separate question is why the New York Times has declared war on Apple. It looks like with the departure of Steve Jobs, the Times has started to treat Apple with the hostility normally reserved for Exxon, what with this article and the iEconomy series of articles. It would be interesting for a large technology company to turn the lens on many of the Times' own abusive practices, or the Times journalists' entitlement complex. It would be particularly interesting to look at the tax status of the pensions which rather well-paid reporters like Charles Duhigg and David Kocienewski wish to keep receiving.
> I think a number of people reading the article have the tacit impression that if the government taxed the money from Apple, that they would somehow benefit to a greater extent. But given that the US Government spends $11.5 billion more per day than it receives in taxes, even seizing all of Apple's worldwide profits would just be a drop in the bucket.
What about the net effect of the government going after every company that does this?
> Exactly. And this extends down to the personal level. Elizabeth Warren, a millionaire Senatorial candidate who supports the Buffet Rule, nevertheless did not voluntary pay a higher tax rate:
I think it is entirely consistent and rational to support a rule for higher taxation while still striving to pay the minimum required amount.
Say in the NFL a group of players started advocating for a change in rules. Say, they want a rule where a player must be evaluated and sit out of a game after taking so many hits of so many g forces to the head.
If certain teams decide to implement the rules unilaterally it would put them at a disadvantage. The rules have to change for everyone for it to make sense. It is perfectly reasonable for a team or player to advocate for a rule change without acting as if that rule is in place without a hint of hypocrisy.
In the press, it seems like Apple went from years of being unmentionable without the term "beleaguered" straight to being a manipulative, dominant monopolist. The company has certainly undergone a striking and highly unlikely reversal, and perhaps that's a reason for the tonally confused seas. "Beleaguered Apple Inc. now the most profitable company on Earth".
Monopolist. Let's look at Apple's product lines and see:
1. MP3 players. Yep, they own the largest portion of this shrinking market. But their monopoly share doesn't seem to have hurt the customer; and in fact, I still can find numerous non-Apple MP3 players without much trouble.
2. Smartphones. Nope, not even 50% of the US, much less the worldwide market for smartphones. The fact that they are much better than their competition at extracting profits is immaterial.
3. Tablet Computers. Clearly a yes, but in any market segment that explodes like this one, you'll have market shares that swing wildly. Currently Apple dominates this segment; but it's not clear that they will retain a monopoly position. And again, I still can find numerous non-Apple tablets without much trouble. And I don't see any damage to the consumer.
4. Personal Computers (i.e notebooks and desktops). Clearly not a monopolist in this segment.
5. Software. LOL
I do agree that Apple is going through a "striking and highly unlikely reversal" in terms of how it's portrayed in the media. Perhaps that's due to competitors not liking the fact that Apple is eating their lunch?