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Sun May 26, 2013, 09:51 AM

Robert Reich:Why should Apple have access to consumers if it refuses to pay its fair share of taxes?

Why should Apple have access to consumers if it refuses to pay its fair share of taxes?
By Robert Reich, The Observer
Sunday, May 26, 2013 0:24 EDT

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A Senate report criticises Apple for shifting billions of dollars in profits into Irish affiliates where its tax rate is less than 2%, yet a growing chorus of senators and representatives call for lower corporate taxes in order to make the US more competitive. The American public wants to close tax loopholes and shelters used by the wealthy to avoid paying taxes, yet the loopholes and shelters remain in place.

These apparent contradictions are rooted in the same reality: global capital, in the form of multinational corporations as well as very wealthy individuals, is gaining enormous bargaining power over nation states.

Global companies are not interested in raising living standards in a particular country or improving any nation’s competitiveness. Their singular goal is to maximise returns to their investors. “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems,” said an Apple executive last year. “Our only obligation is making the best product possible” (he might have added “in order to make as much money as possible”). Likewise, the wealth of rich individuals flows all over the world in search of the highest returns and lowest taxes.

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Not only does money move immediately to wherever it can summon the highest return and be subject to the least tax, but jobs can be dispatched almost as quickly to wherever workers get the lowest wages for the most output.

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more:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/26/why-should-apple-have-access-to-consumers-if-it-refuses-to-pay-its-fair-share-of-taxes/

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Reply Robert Reich:Why should Apple have access to consumers if it refuses to pay its fair share of taxes? (Original post)
kpete May 2013 OP
AnotherMcIntosh May 2013 #1
byeya May 2013 #5
CincyDem May 2013 #2
FreeJoe May 2013 #3
former9thward May 2013 #7
FreeJoe May 2013 #8
former9thward May 2013 #9
FreeJoe May 2013 #10
burnodo May 2013 #4
Donald Ian Rankin May 2013 #6
randome May 2013 #11
NightWatcher May 2013 #12

Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 09:55 AM

1. Apple currently has the protection of U.S. patents and the U.S. military around the globe.

 

Solution: remove those protections.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:44 PM

5. I'd certainly support that!

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:15 AM

2. Yeah - let's boycott them because they didn't break any laws.



Of course bankers with robo-signing, mischaracterizing borrower incomes, charging more interest than allowable, making collection calls outside of legally defined time periods --- yeah...let's let them continue business as usual.

I understand all this moral positioning that somehow they should pay more taxes than is legally required and I love me some Robert Reich daily, but seriously - Bob...when your accountant tells you your tax bill for the year is $100k...do you say "let's toss another 20k in the envelope because it's the moral thing to do"?

Until then, how about we we focus our attention on the SOBs in congress who keep writing these dumbshit laws that ALLOW Apple to do this. They're not alone, they're just the biggest. Close the loopholes.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:43 AM

3. There is something amusing...

There is something amusing about lawmakers complaining about a company following the laws that they wrote. If they don't like the rules, they should change them, not badger companies following them.

Honestly, the best fix would be to replace the corporate income tax with taxes on corporate income at the shareholder level. People pay taxes, not corporations. When you tax a corporation, they collect it and remit it, but they pass those costs along. They get passed along as higher prices (typically regressive) and lower profits to shareholders (typically progressive). It seems to me that it would be better to just tax the corporate profits at the shareholder level. We tax internationally earned income, so running your business in Ireland wouldn't help.

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Response to FreeJoe (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:23 PM

7. Very difficult to do at the shareholder level.

A company like Apple has on average 16 million of shares being traded daily. Some of these shares are held for a few seconds, few minutes, few hours, or a few days. How do you access profit to them?

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Response to former9thward (Reply #7)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:42 PM

8. Dividends and Capital Gains

You tax the shareholders on their share of the profits, which come in the form of dividends and capital gains. We already do that, but we put low tax rates on those items to avoid "double taxation". I think we went the wrong direction by resolving that through cutting the shareholder tax rates. We should have kept them in place and eliminated the corporate side.

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Response to FreeJoe (Reply #8)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:52 PM

9. Then you would also have to allow full capital losses.

We limit that deduction against ordinary income at present.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #9)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:55 PM

10. That sounds fair

Although you've got to be careful to make sure that those are real losses.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:45 AM

4. That could be said of thousands of business entities

 

in this country.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:59 PM

6. Because it's a free country, that's why!

You want Apple to pay more taxes? Cool! pass laws requiring them to do so.

But don't complain if they don't pay taxed they're not legally required to, unless you voluntarily pay more tax than you have to.

The people to get angry at over tax avoidance are the politicians, not the avoiders.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #6)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:00 PM

11. Oh, yes.

 

And to frame this as a corporation getting access to consumers is backwards. It's the consumers who decide from where they buy stuff.

The focus should always be on Congress. All of these problems could be resolved with proper laws and regulations.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:06 PM

12. They've shown that Apple is the only company to do this?

And they've also done what no US citizen has ever done, right?

Didn't R$ hide money offshore and use tax loopholes? He was running for Prez.

Change the law and leave Apple alone.

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