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Apple's tax strategy portrayed by Senate subcommittee as a unique 'absurdity' - Page 3

post #81 of 158
The US gov't no doubt made the loopholes in the first place at the request of special interest groups filling politicians back pockets, and now wants to leach more money back to feed it's machine churning away while striping away citizens rights.
post #82 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Congress is just grandstanding. If it was really an outrage they would have passed new laws to close the loopholes. This isn't a new thing.

^this^

post #83 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Considering the Government is "by the people, for the people", perhaps the real problem, is, well... people.

 

lol.gif Now that's a good one!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

As a whole, people are stupid and shortsighted.

 

True enough.

 

But your general point is correct: We get the government we deserve (collectively).

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #84 of 158
Apple or any corporation uses its legal leverage to take advantage of US tax 'avoidance' (not tax evasion or fraud) due to the Byzantine and arcane tax system that the law makers (either intentionally or not) have put into place over decade after decade of enacting more and more laws. While no one wants to pay taxes, who in their right mind want to pay more than that which is legally obligated? No one! That reason, along with the tax code complexity, is the reason why US citizens and corporations pay professional tax preparers and attorneys. The solution is both pragmatic and practical, yet for vested interests no one wants to take the 'giant step' and reform the tax system to make it equitable and SIMPLE! I think that US tax reform should have been placed as a priority ahead of any national health care proposal, as taxes effect every single American and at every income level. There should be an honest intellectual debate on the best, optimal ways of having a tax system, then we need to work the details on the individual and corporate tax rates.

Any tax reform needs to encourage re-investment and re-capitalization of investment back into business on the shores of the USA! A strong economic America was the entity that socially changed the US and the world, a poor democracy cannot do such things (witness India in the 1960s). We, the citizens, need great thinkers and people of action in our government, inter-party politics is slowly diluting the vitality of our country because a viable solution on any given issue is automatically dismissed by either the opposing party or the invisible fourth branch of government- the lobbying system. Just my 2 cents folks. America is still a great country and it is because of the good people that we have in it, may it always remain so and be a beacon of hope and inspiration to others.
post #85 of 158
No, they should not close the loophole, they should abolish the IRS, the entire tax code that was desinged to make a profit-churning industry for greedy lawyers, and institute a flat taxacross the board so that we no longer have to listen to smarmy, slimey politicians and liberals alike bitch and complain about who is or is not paying their fair share. And by "fair" they mean "whatever the hell i feel like sliding the scale to on any given day for the purpose of trying to discredit or destroy for personal gain."
post #86 of 158

I'm a longtime reader, but first time poster. The reason is I'm a bit surprised by the reactions in this thread to the hearings. Although it's obvious stories are produced by the media with a minimum of nuance and fact, and an optimum of opinions and sentiments, I'm surprised this is largely copied here in an otherwise sensible forum, imo.

 

In the documentary I'll post here, is a bit more info about the practices of Apple, amongst others, in the use of off-shore tax havens. Whether that's legal or morally correct is in the eye of the beholder, as far as I'm concerned. But the idea that government is some kind of idiot is as idiotic as that government apparently looks.

 

It's a dutch documentary, but there are subtitles available (by clicking the "double lines" icon). Regardless on your take of this issue, this documentary gives an interesting and - as far as I can see - balanced approach to describe the current situation.

 

Things which are explained is, for example, how profits are channelled through various (non-transparent) setups with the goal to minimize taxes. Regardless of the location these profits originally had been made. As mentioned in the documentary (again, it's Dutch so there's no involvement of US-money), Apple is famous for pioneering things like the "The Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwitch" (as explained roughly 6mins in).

 

Personally, I think the US government has every right to ask Apple for some sort of explanation. Regardless of the eventual outcome of such a questionnaire, btw. As many of you have argued, it's all legal. So the point should be: what should the US and the international community do about these tax-free havens. Because the underlying issue is that a lot of money (profit) evaporates from the top of the economy into some non-transparent black hole outside the economy. And that's just in nobodies interest (despite what a very happy few would argue, of course).

 


Edited by Luykx - 5/21/13 at 10:46am
post #87 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...

Levin
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin gave the opening remarks of Tuesday's hearing on Apple's tax policies.


...

The senator did praise Apple as an "American success story," and noted that he carries an iPhone in his pocket. He also acknowledged that many U.S. multinational corporations beyond avoid taxes by exploiting loopholes in the law.
...

 

I do believe he is a troll.  The highlighted comment is straight from TS's rules of a troll.  Somehow his comments are OK as he too has an iphone.

post #88 of 158
The Senate brands another organization a "unique absurdity". Oh, the irony!
post #89 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6ryph3n View Post

Rand Paul 2016. The only senator there with an ounce of sense.

 

Um excuse me, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

 

Paul being right on this ONE topic does not make the man presidential material, FFS!

 

Believe me, I pay attention. The rest of the garbage that comes out of this guy's mouth is, well, just that… stinky rhetoric and waste product. Please!

post #90 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In opening remarks of a hearing Tuesday morning, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations accused Apple of being the mastermind of elaborate tax avoidance practices that are unique to the iPhone maker.

Here's a tip:

If Apple did something illegal, turn them over to the IRS. If they didn't, stop the ridiculous grandstanding and do something useful for a change.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #91 of 158
There is a difference between "avoiding" taxes and "evading" taxes. Apple has done nothing illegal by avoiding taxes. All corporations do it, all taxpayers do it. Change the tax codes, close the loopholes and move on. In other words Senators, do your jobs and quit grandstanding and wasting taxpayer money!
post #92 of 158
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Personally, I think the US government has every right to ask Apple for some sort of explanation.

 

Government: Why, Apple?

Apple: Why what? You have no right to force us to bring money into the country.

 

Government: Oh.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #93 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Personally, I think the US government has every right to ask Apple for some sort of explanation.

 

 

Personally, I think you are entitled to think what you like, even if what you think is wrong (as in this case.)

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #94 of 158

"Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Personally, I think the US government has every right to ask Apple for some sort of explanation."

 

Yes, but the agency to do the asking is the agency actually tasked with tax code enfoprcement and compliance: The IRS, who, to all reports, do NOT have a problem with Apple's compliance, i.e. Apple has done zero illegalities.

post #95 of 158
Looks like Apple hasn't been paying its "protection" fees. Reminds me of the china anti-Apple PR campaign. Looks like congress was taking notes.

At least Apple is creating lots of jobs and great products. Unlike some other businesses, which are skimming off other people's hard work (much of the financial activity, for one), and doing so using blatant manipulation (LIBOR, etc) and unethical government influence.

The optimistic part of me would like to think this is a way to actually promote tax reform by providing Apple a platform to promote its ideas. Yeah, I think that part of me is naive and stupid too.
post #96 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

Personally, I think you are entitled to think what you like, even if what you think is wrong (as in this case.)

 

Thanks for actually providing an argument here. Have you seen the documentary?

 

There comes a point where "because it's legal", or "because everyone does it" stops being an argument. They say it's legal, but is it? And to what extent? It's at least debatable, as shown/argued in the documentary. And everyone does it? Well, multinationals do, but in terms of people, that's a very small minority. As mentioned in the docu, and estimated .14% of the population owns 95% of the estimated offshore capital. And offshore doesn't just mean "not in the US". It basically means "outside of the normal world economy".

 

Imo, this discussion is somewhat similar to the discussion in cycling. As long as everyone uses performance enhancing products which are practically outside of formal regulations (either because it's not on some list of forbidden products, or it's not traceable, or traced) and nobody's caught it's OK, right?

 

There's obviously an argument here which goes beyond a "what you (or I) think is wrong". It's a valid discussion, imo. What I do think is odd, is that the focus of the current discussion in congress is primarily aimed at Apple. Although Apple might have "pioneered" some techniques, that doesn't mean they should be a single target of this discussion. The practice among multinationals is obviously widespread.

post #97 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Thanks for actually providing an argument here.

 

I don't know if you're being sarcastic or not, but there's no real argument to make here. You claimed the government has a particular right. They don't. They have the power to do it, but that's not the same thing as having a right to do it. Arguably the government has no rights here at all and Apple's rights (including its owners) are being violated.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Have you seen the documentary?

 

Nope.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

There comes a point where "because it's legal", or "because everyone does it" stops being an argument.

 

Actually, we've come to the point of asking whether what the government is doing here is morally defensible at all. What Apple is doing is 100% morally defensible.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

They say it's legal, but is it?

 

If there is something illegal, there's a process for that. Surely if there was, Apple would have been outed for it by now.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

There's obviously an argument here which goes beyond a "what you (or I) think is wrong".

 

Actually that discussion hasn't even been had in its proper entirety. To the extent that the question has been asked, it has been primarily focused on whether what Apple is doing is right or wrong. There is a deeper question here of what the role, rights, responsibilities and legitimate, morally defensible roles of the government are. This is basically being ignored and everyone is begging the question on it.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #98 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post
extent? It's at least debatable, as shown/argued in the documentary. And everyone does it? Well, multinationals do, but in terms of people, that's a very small minority. As mentioned in the docu, and estimated .14% of the population owns 95% of the estimated offshore capital. And offshore doesn't just mean "not in the US". It basically means "outside of the normal world economy".

 

I fail to see how .14% controlling 95% of the estimated offshore capital has anything to do with this. This is a characteristic of capitalistic firms that are successful. A huge amount of profit is accrued and is being held by Apple in cash and cash equivalents outside of the U.S. The reason they do not repatriate the cash is that it would be subject to U.S. tax. By avoiding this unnecessary expense they are bringing value to their shareholders. It also indicates that Apple does not see voluntarily giving away its profit to an unproductive enterprise such as the U.S. government as good for business. If you are in favor of giving your profits to the government feel free to lead by example.

 

Your quote about "outside of the normal world economy" is puzzling. Do you think only money that is subject to taxation is part of the economy? What is the economy as your refer to it? By this logic all the money that is tied up in cash/cash equivalents is not part of the economy. A basic fact of the free economy is people can do what they want with their money, they do not have to subject it to taxation willingly, or be forced to invest it.

post #99 of 158

He won't stand a chance because of the entitlement mentality of American citizens and corporations.
 

post #100 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

If there is something illegal, there's a process for that. Surely if there was, Apple would have been outed for it by now.

 

 

 

Actually that discussion hasn't even been had in its proper entirety. To the extent that the question has been asked, it has been primarily focused on whether what Apple is doing is right or wrong. There is a deeper question here of what the role, rights, responsibilities and legitimate, morally defensible roles of the government are. This is basically being ignored and everyone is begging the question on it.

 

No, the whole point is, that these practices are currently outside the reach of being either legal or illegal. If laws are imperfect, which they trivially are, is it just OK to make use of those imperfections? And does that make that legal? That's a moral argument right there which goes beyond whether this government is morally defensible. 

 

The scary story is that these tax-laws are practically written by the same people who practice them. The big 4 accounting firms. Is that morally defensible? It is practically defensible, but morally? That's another discussion on morality.

 

IMO, the deeper questions actually go beyond the roles of government. Hitting the ball back to government just doesn't cut it. That would only work in some kind of abstract perfect world where laws and regulations are perfect, people behave rational and information on financial transactions are perfectly transparent. I hope you don't believe this abstract world is close to the real world.

 

Whatever you think of my arguments though, the documentary makes a better case of what I'm trying to argue. It's obvious I'm unable to convince you in any way (one of the reasons is that english is not my natural language), but I do believe there's a valid argument. If you, or other people, are willing to see why, at least view the first 15 mins. I've edited the link to a better version without any hassle with subtitles. If you're not willing, well I don't see a point in arguing. In a context which is as difficult like this, where few people actually have sufficient facts to make any argument (which go beyond: "if it's illegal, let the IRS take care of it!"), so every argument becomes "true"-ish. And the majority decides on what it thinks is right or wrong. In a context where a majority don't have all the information, it becomes a Lord of the Flies situation where wrong can become right and vice versa. 

post #101 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post
Actually that discussion hasn't even been had in its proper entirety. To the extent that the question has been asked, it has been primarily focused on whether what Apple is doing is right or wrong. There is a deeper question here of what the role, rights, responsibilities and legitimate, morally defensible roles of the government are. This is basically being ignored and everyone is begging the question on it.

 

Great point here MJ1970. The hope I have is the ridiculous grandstanding here and elsewhere by our elected officials will be seen as such by the people. The IRS scandal will do much to create an atmosphere of mistrust among the public. The coming obamacare debacles as the exchanges start to be implemented will hasten this lack of trust. I don't cheer for either team, but team blue has done enough damage I would not mind seeing a chastening at the midterms.

post #102 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

There's obviously an argument here which goes beyond a "what you (or I) think is wrong". It's a valid discussion, imo. What I do think is odd, is that the focus of the current discussion in congress is primarily aimed at Apple. Although Apple might have "pioneered" some techniques, that doesn't mean they should be a single target of this discussion. The practice among multinationals is obviously widespread.

Thanks for posting the documentary, I look forward to watching it. I'm aware of Apple's practices, and while I disapprove of the existence of the loopholes used, I don't think Apple is doing anything illegal. Whether it is ethical is a gray area, but in my opinion the only clear-cut unethical behavior in this sphere is using inappropriate influence (such as lobbying, cronyism, revolving door regulators) to influence the legislative process. I don't believe Apple does anything inappropriate in that regard, and even if so, is certainly not even close to being a particularly bad offender.

I agree it IS curious that Apple is being singled out. I hope it is for positive reasons, like getting people to pay attention. It is my understanding that they pay a higher percentage in taxes than many other similar companies, so while it may be absurd, I don't think there is anything unique about their behavior.
post #103 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

No, the whole point is, that these practices are currently outside the reach of being either legal or illegal.

 

I don't even know what that means.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

If laws are imperfect, which they trivially are, is it just OK to make use of those imperfections? And does that make that legal?

 

Well, it's true, laws are imperfect and have "loopholes." I don't see that as being relevant to what's going on here. But to your question, I think it depends on the law as to whether exploiting its holes and imperfections is okay.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

That's a moral argument right there which goes beyond whether this government is morally defensible.

 

You lost me.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

IMO, the deeper questions actually go beyond the roles of government.

 

What questions are those?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Whatever you think though of my arguments though, the documentary makes a better case of what I'm trying to argue. It's obvious I'm unable to convince you in any way (one of the reasons is that english is not my natural language), but I do believe there's a valid argument.

 

A valid argument for what?!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

In a context which is as difficult like this, where few people actually have sufficient facts to make any argument (which go beyond: "if it's illegal, let the IRS take care of it!"), so every argument becomes "true"-ish. And the majority decides on what it thinks is right or wrong. In a context where a majority don't have all the information, it becomes a Lord of the Flies situation where wrong can become right and vice versa. 

 

1confused.gif Are you suggesting there's no way to determine right and wrong? True and false?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #104 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

I don't even know what that means.

 

 

 

Well, it's true, laws are imperfect and have "loopholes." I don't see that as being relevant to what's going on here. But to your question, I think it depends on the law as to whether exploiting its holes and imperfections is okay.

 

 

 

You lost me.

 

 

 

What questions are those?

 

 

 

A valid argument for what?!

 

 

 

1confused.gif Are you suggesting there's no way to determine right and wrong? True and false?

Let's stop the breakdown of sentence by sentence... 1 TS is enough.  ;)

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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post #105 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Senate hearings and committees are all about grandstanding.  What the head guy waffles on about in his opening remarks is essentially meaningless.  
It is the new McCarthyism. The Russians aren't the favored target of the exploiters anymore, rather it is anybody or any corporation that is a success story. This whole administration is dangerous to our way of life, I hope people realize this come the next election and vote for people willing to block this non sense.
Quote:
We won't have an idea even of how it's going for many days yet.  

It won't be good for Apple, America or most of the peopl on these forums. Sadly we need massive change in Washington, once you have a permanent committee on anything you have problems. But a Subcommittee on Investigations - this is a joke and has no prospect but to do evil. It is the old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
post #106 of 158
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
Let's stop the breakdown of sentence by sentence... 1 TS is enough.  ;)

 

If it's just that wrong, it's more confusing (they pretend) to reply in a block.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #107 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregord View Post

 

I fail to see how .14% controlling 95% of the estimated offshore capital has anything to do with this. This is a characteristic of capitalistic firms that are successful. A huge amount of profit is accrued and is being held by Apple in cash and cash equivalents outside of the U.S. The reason they do not repatriate the cash is that it would be subject to U.S. tax. By avoiding this unnecessary expense they are bringing value to their shareholders. It also indicates that Apple does not see voluntarily giving away its profit to an unproductive enterprise such as the U.S. government as good for business. If you are in favor of giving your profits to the government feel free to lead by example.

 

 

 

Your quote about "outside of the normal world economy" is puzzling. Do you think only money that is subject to taxation is part of the economy? What is the economy as your refer to it? By this logic all the money that is tied up in cash/cash equivalents is not part of the economy. A basic fact of the free economy is people can do what they want with their money, they do not have to subject it to taxation willingly, or be forced to invest it.

 

at first paragraph:

 

 

A characteristic of successful firms perhaps, but in an economy which is dwindling. How long do you think this success will be sustainable? Is it sustainable? You do have a bigger scope than just a successful firm and it's shareholders, right?

 

Also, the cynicism behind a remark like "unproductive enterprise such as the US government" is scary. That government is not much more than the management (government?) of a firm which is called the US, right? Is the US unproductive as well? 

 

And finally, there is a very thin line between "not voluntarily giving away its profit" and "doing everything to give as little as profit as possible" (despite making direct or indirect use of facilities paid by taxes/taxpayers - which we all are). This is exactly where one of the moral issues is, imo.

 

at second:

 

It's about transparency. If it's not transparent, where does it go? At this point firms are making profits, and as long as that keeps on happening, shareholders will be happy, right? But there might come a point where the economy gets worse and worse, and this once successful tax-avoidance might not even help generating more profits. Now what?

 

That's the point where these shareholders will probably start to demand more transparency. In your view this might be enough to trust this economic system. This is self-correction, right? The actual underlying moral issue here, might be in the department of "but at what cost to the rest of the global economy?". Do shareholders actually have this broader picture? Firms? Is this where governments and regulations come into perspective? And what would that process of governments and regulations adapting to these new circumstances look like? Kinda like what is happening now? Or are you as naive to assume that the government(s) will actually be able to rewrite the laws before the actual damage has been done? I mean, the US government is as unproductive at writing legislations as you probably think at is. To the extent they actually write it themselves (which they don't). And the EU government, or any other for that matter, has its own challenges. Again, this moral discussion goes way beyond just a government, a single firm, or a .14% of population.


Edited by Luykx - 5/21/13 at 1:07pm
post #108 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

I don't even know what that means.

 

 

 

Well, it's true, laws are imperfect and have "loopholes." I don't see that as being relevant to what's going on here. But to your question, I think it depends on the law as to whether exploiting its holes and imperfections is okay.

 

 

 

You lost me.

 

 

 

What questions are those?

 

 

 

A valid argument for what?!

 

 

 

1confused.gif Are you suggesting there's no way to determine right and wrong? True and false?

 

Why are loopholes not relevant when a large part of the discussion, or even most of the people discussing here, are arguing this "McCarthyan" process of shooting at Apple is useless, and they should instead work on closing those apparently not-important loopholes? Are there goalposts being arbitrarily put on some invisible field? It's (the discussion in congress) amongst other things about whether or not Apples practices are moral/legal within the current tax-laws, right?

 

And the argument is, they're legal exactly because these socalled loopholes, right? How come you can argue at this point that these loopholes themselves are unimportant? You may think they are, because it fits in your argument that government is on the wrong side of the fence. Perhaps you should try to do a silly mental exercise and try to take any position regardless of where a fence may be.

 

Imperfect laws imply situations where law (or in this case, the IRS) are unable to do what some might argue they should be doing.

 

And the right/wrong discussion. Well, in the real world, where things like ethics exist and problems where right/wrong are not trivial, or even undefined - a different world than the 1's, 0's, AND-gates and XOR-gates world many in IT seem to dwell -, I'd argue it's hard to decide what is right/wrong. My suggestion is, that this process to determine what is right/wrong is imperfect to begin with.

post #109 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Also, the cynicism behind a remark like "unproductive enterprise such as the US government" is scary. That government is not much more than the management (government?) of a firm which is called the US, right? Is the US unproductive as well?

 

Wow. I'm not even sure what to say to this statement. It is so misguided...I'm just...wow.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

And finally, there is a very thin line between "not voluntarily giving away its profit" and "doing everything to give as little as profit as possible" (despite making direct or indirect use of facilities paid by taxes/taxpayers - which we all are). This is exactly where one of the moral issues is, imo.

 

What are you saying here?! 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

It's about transparency. If it's not transparent, where does it go? At this point firms are making profits, and as long as that keeps on happening, shareholders will be happy, right? But there might come a point where the economy gets worse and worse, and this once successful tax-avoidance might not even help generating more profits. Now what?

 

Huh? Transparency of what?

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

The actual underlying moral issue here, might be in the department of "but at what cost to the rest of the global economy?".

 

What does that even mean?

 

You seem to be saying a lot of things that have the air of sounding meaningful without actually being meaningful.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Do shareholders actually have this broader picture? Firms?

 

Probably not, but why does this matter?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Is this where governments and regulations come into perspective?

 

I don't see how. In fact, I see this being much worse. This is what Hayek called the "knowledge problem."

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #110 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Why are loopholes not relevant when a large part of the discussion, or even most of the people discussing here, are arguing this "McCarthyan" process of shooting at Apple is useless, and they should instead work on closing those apparently not-important loopholes? Are there goalposts being arbitrarily put on some invisible field? It's (the discussion in congress) amongst other things about whether or not Apples practices are moral/legal within the current tax-laws, right?

 

And the argument is, they're legal exactly because these socalled loopholes, right? How come you can argue at this point that these loopholes themselves are unimportant?

 

Because the discussion is not so much about so-called "loopholes" as it is about the general issue of whether Apple has done something wrong or even illegal here.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

You may think they are, because it fits in your argument that government is on the wrong side of the fence.

 

That's exactly my argument in fact.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Perhaps you should try to do a silly mental exercise and try to take any position regardless of where a fence may be.

 

1confused.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Imperfect laws imply situations where law (or in this case, the IRS) are unable to do what some might argue they should be doing.

 

Imperfect in relation to what exactly? What is the standard you're using here? What should the laws be doing?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

And the right/wrong discussion. Well, in the real world, where things like ethics exist and problems where right/wrong are not trivial, or even undefined - a different world than the 1's, 0's, AND-gates and XOR-gates world many in IT seem to dwell -, I'd argue it's hard to decide what is right/wrong. My suggestion is, that this process to determine what is right/wrong is imperfect to begin with.

 

In the real world? Is the implication here that I'm not in the real world?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #111 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngexec View Post

He won't stand a chance because of the entitlement mentality of American citizens and corporations.
 

 

Well, at least this goes beyond any content of the argument. Thanks for the probably unintended support, I guess. I don't stand a chance because American citizens have a specific view on how the world should function. Relativity is not part of that specific worldview, apparently. Of course, people are entitled to have such a worldview. I'd actually agree on that point. Ironically. Seeing the current economy, it may not be the most profitable worldview, imo. But that's another discussion.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrob View Post


Thanks for posting the documentary, I look forward to watching it. I'm aware of Apple's practices, and while I disapprove of the existence of the loopholes used, I don't think Apple is doing anything illegal. Whether it is ethical is a gray area, but in my opinion the only clear-cut unethical behavior in this sphere is using inappropriate influence (such as lobbying, cronyism, revolving door regulators) to influence the legislative process. I don't believe Apple does anything inappropriate in that regard, and even if so, is certainly not even close to being a particularly bad offender.

I agree it IS curious that Apple is being singled out. I hope it is for positive reasons, like getting people to pay attention. It is my understanding that they pay a higher percentage in taxes than many other similar companies, so while it may be absurd, I don't think there is anything unique about their behavior.

 

No thanks. Hope you like it. (And I'm pretty sure you will, btw)

post #112 of 158

I work for a Fortune 20 company with an 'office' in Ireland also.  I know we're not the only ones.

 

Also, 2 little words:  TERM LIMITS

post #113 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

@MJ1970: Just give it a rest. I'm just a EU-commy. End of argument.

 

OK. That explains a lot actually. Thanks.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

Do you actually want to argue with me, or is this just about showing your buddies at AI how smart you are at not having an argument, but instead telling I'm misguided? I guess having lots of post on your name allows for bullish practices around here. Gosh, you're so smart.

 

1rolleyes.gif

 

Well, if you don't wish to discuss what you post here with the people who are here, then maybe just start a blog where you can post your opinion and ignore any questions and responses to what you post.

 

I'm sorry for having the temerity to actually try and question you on what you're saying.

 

1hmm.gif

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #114 of 158
I absolutly loved Rand Paul's defense of American corp minimizing taxes. If the CEO of apple didn't minimize apples taxes, but instead, maximized apples tax picture he'd be one if the worse ceo's ever allowed to serve. Fu*^king politicians! It's not the amt of taxes that is a problem, it's how poorly they manage our tax dollars! Levin & McCain need to focus on the laws they helped create rather than on a company that chooses to utilize the laws as they are written.
post #115 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luykx View Post

 

A characteristic of successful firms perhaps, but in an economy which is dwindling. How long do you think this success will be sustainable? Is it sustainable? You do have a bigger scope than just a successful firm and it's shareholders, right?

 

Also, the cynicism behind a remark like "unproductive enterprise such as the US government" is scary. That government is not much more than the management (government?) of a firm which is called the US, right? Is the US unproductive as well? 

 

I mean that Apple knows how to allocate its capital better than the government. More importantly, they have the right to the fruits (apples, of course) of their labor. Government is by its nature unproductive, it only exists by taking resources from productive members of society. If a company fails to produce goods and find customers it fails the most basic test of productivity (profit) and goes out of business. Government does not produce, and it continues to exist regardless of having customers and making a profit, therefore it is by definition unproductive. That you think government is the management of a firm called the U.S. makes me think you need to read some Hayek.

 

The rest of your reply is hard to decipher. Since you did not address my questions directly, I will not answer yours. You do appear to come to this discussion from the perspective of a statist. This is understandable, since you presumably reside in Europe. Being American, I approach things from a perspective of liberty.

post #116 of 158

A Personnel department is also by nature unproductive by your measures, if "productive" is only going to equate to $ output.  Doesn't mean we can or should do without them.

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post #117 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

A Personnel department is also by nature unproductive by your measures, if "productive" is only going to equate to $ output.

 

You're dangerously close to sounding incredibly foolish.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #118 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

A Personnel department is also by nature unproductive by your measures, if "productive" is only going to equate to $ output.  Doesn't mean we can or should do without them.

 

A personnel department is part of a larger firm. If the firm as a whole fails to make profit, it fails. Government is predominantly personnel departments and your comment does not change the fact that it is not subject to market discipline.

post #119 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

If it's just that wrong, it's more confusing (they pretend) to reply in a block.

sarcasm little buddy.... sarcasm (hence the wink)

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #120 of 158

As far as I'm concerned this is my final post.

 

One point, as a response to MJ1970's remark: "Well, it's true, laws are imperfect and have "loopholes." I don't see that as being relevant to what's going on here. But to your question, I think it depends on the law as to whether exploiting its holes and imperfections is okay."

 

Isn't this odd? Law is imperfect, but still defines what is "okay" or not "okay"? Doesn't this "imperfectedness" imply there's "something" else besides law deciding on whether - in this case  - Apple (or any other firm making use of loopholes in tax) is actually "okay" in doing what they are doing? What do you think that "something" would, or should be?

 

A better context for allowing morality into this discussion would be the practices of big pharma, btw. Lots of things happening "within law and/or its loopholes" right there. But not in the sense that it's "okay", I'd argue. At least, "not okay" for the people outside of those firms or their shareholders. Wouldn't you agree? Or rather, see there could be circumstances where "okay" might go beyond "the law"?

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