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Apple faces scrutiny again after paying no 2012 corporate taxes in UK

post #1 of 94
Thread Starter 
Apple may once again come under the spotlight over taxes, as the iPhone maker's latest filings reveal that it paid no corporate taxes in the United Kingdom last year, despite having pulled in billions of dollars from its European operations.

ireland
Headquarters of Apple Sales International in Ireland, which handles most of Apple's overseas revenue.


Deductions from share awards to employees essentially negated Apple's corporate tax liabilities in the UK through September of last year, The Financial Times reported this week. Apple's U.K. subsidiaries ? Apple (U.K.), Apple Europe, and Apple Retail U.K. ? reported pre-tax profits of ?68 million in the year through September 2012, with some ?27.7 million in taxes deducted due to

Apple's sales in the United Kingdom accounted for less than 10 percent of its overall sales.

The California based company's European operations pulled in $36.3 billion in net sales to European customers in 2012. Of that, Apple reported that $15 billion was operating profit.

Those European sales, along with Apple's other international operations, make up nearly two-thirds of the company's revenue. Much of that revenue is routed through Apple Sales International, an Irish subsidiary that ? due to Ireland's tax structure ? is not listed as a tax resident anywhere. That status allows Apple to pay just 0.05 percent in taxes in Ireland, a rate that contributes greatly to the company's massive profitability.

Apple has recently come under fire in the U.S. and abroad for what many have called tax avoidance. Most recently, Apple chief Tim Cook and a number of other Apple executives were called to testify before a Senate subcommittee to defend the low tax rate Apple pays on its overseas earnings. Cook maintained that Apple had done nothing wrong.

"We pay all of the taxes we owe," Cook said, "every single dollar. We not only comply with the laws, but we comply with the spirit of the laws."

The new U.K. tax revelation is not the first time Apple has garnered scrutiny due to its tax practices in that country. Last year, a British report found that basing its operations out of Ireland allows Apple to pay about half the U.K, taxes it would otherwise. A similar report from Spain's El Pa?s showed that Apple had routed 99 percent of its Spanish sales through its Irish subsidiary. That allowed Apple to pay about 2.6 million euros in taxes for the yeari in Spain, even though sales at Spanish Apple Stores were up 86 percent.
post #2 of 94
I hope the UK powers that be are checking into Google, Microsoft, etc. etc. etc .... 1oyvey.gif
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post #3 of 94

So Apple paid employees using stock awards to offset taxes. Sounds like good financial planning to me. It puts money in the hands of the people who sold Apple products instead of in the hands of greedy politicians. Of course, this type of income also requires the recipient to pay income taxes so Apple is simply passing on the tax liability to its employees. If this is legally allowed, then why are we complaining about it?

post #4 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I hope the UK powers that be are checking into Google, Microsoft, etc. etc. etc .... 1oyvey.gif

They are actually.  Google, Amazon and Starbucks have all been hauled in front of parliamentary committees recently over this exact same issue, so this isn't picking on Apple.

 

The issue is the Irish tax setup.  The Irish government says corporations incorporated in Ireland pay tax on where they're managed and controlled from (for Apple, this is the U.S.) but US rules (and most other major economies) say the tax should be paid where the company is incorporated.  If Ireland got in line with everyone else, a lot of this would go away.

post #5 of 94
This is not accurate.

When you buy an Apple product in the UK, you pay a VAT of %20. This is a huge amount of money on a MacBook Pro!

The government collects its taxes at sales time. The UK government has made a lot of money from Apple.

Further, since Apple made use of tax writeoffs for employee compensation, and the government taxes the employees income, the government collected taxes there.

For Apple to have paid taxes on that, and then the employee pays taxes on that would be double dipping-- something governments really like to do.

Taxes are theft. This is indisputable objective reality.

I look forward to the AppleInsider article "Apple, once again, doesn't have $4B in product stolen by thieves!"
post #6 of 94
Blame Ireland, not Apple.
post #7 of 94

So sick of these articles.  If Apple did something illegal than fine, lets see it.  If they are just following the tax laws which are all screwed up anyway than lets praise them instead since they are looking out for the interests of their shareholders.  They are doing nothing different than most other companies out there.

post #8 of 94

And one has to wonder how much VAT that same moaning government extracted from the consumers that purchased all that Apple product??
 

post #9 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

This is not accurate.

When you buy an Apple product in the UK, you pay a VAT of %20. This is a huge amount of money on a MacBook Pro!

The government collects its taxes at sales time. The UK government has made a lot of money from Apple.
 

I think you misunderstand VAT.  The consumer pays VAT at 20% at the point of sale, not the company.  Additionally, some consumers can reclaim VAT through their business so its not paid on every transaction.

post #10 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Waiting for the liberal freetards to come out of the woodwork and whine about Apple (but not Google, Microsoft, Intel, etc..) not paying any taxes that they legally did not have to pay, and fully approved by the government in which the brouhaha is occurring.

 

Of course the greed of politicians is insatiable.  Once they've gotten accustomed to a new level of theft, they always want more.

 

What better way to pave the ground for raising even more taxes than to run around and be "aghast" that people aren't already paying more taxes?

 

Get enough people duped into thinking taxes are too low (never mind that the people in the UK have a lower standard of living as a result of their high taxes) and they'll buy into the idea that taxes should be raised. 

 

Even better if you can make the people suffering from your theft think someone else is getting away with avoiding the theft, then they'll vote you the power to engage in even more theft, and never even realize that they are the ones who will suffer the most!

 

I think governments can only exist due to people's gullibiltiy and desire to have someone else "take care of them"... even though they are made worse off as a result. 

 

I lived in the UK, and have travelled the world extensively.  There are many poor countries, but the UK is a rich country where the people are impoverished.  Cheap chinese shoes that would be $1 in the US at Walmart go in the UK for 5 pounds!  Just one example of many. 

post #11 of 94
Has Apple done anything illegal? If not than this is a non story and AI shouldn't even be reporting on it. 1oyvey.gif
post #12 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by reefoid View Post

I think you misunderstand VAT.  The consumer pays VAT at 20% at the point of sale, not the company.  Additionally, some consumers can reclaim VAT through their business so its not paid on every transaction.

 

I understood VAT precisely. Nothing you said contradicts my point.  The VAT is a tax on Apple's business.  Who "pays" is one of those shell games that pro-tax people like to pay -- They pretend that the employer pays for your social security here in the US, which is silly, becuase you're salary is lower in order to cover that tax, so you're really paying.   Same thing with VAT.... Apple's sales are lower as a result of machines being higher cost due to VAT.  Apple and the consumer both suffer.  (as is the same case with social security- the employer and the employee both suffer.) 

 

Who pays games are silly evasions to avoid the fact that this theft hurts the economy and hurts the people. 

post #13 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Waiting for the liberal freetards to come out of the woodwork and whine about Apple (but not Google, Microsoft, Intel, etc..) not paying any taxes that they legally did not have to pay, and fully approved by the government in which the brouhaha is occurring.

 

I think you're mistaking "fully approved by the government" with "complex accounting practices that the government is actively trying to shut down".

 

And just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right. Paying no tax is sociopathic behaviour. If everyone did the same, society would collapse. And the more tax that the world's most profitable company doesn't pay, the more the rest of us pay.

 

Google, Amazon, Starbucks et al are no better.

post #14 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applehawk View Post

So sick of these articles.  If Apple did something illegal than fine, lets see it.  If they are just following the tax laws which are all screwed up anyway than lets praise them instead since they are looking out for the interests of their shareholders.  They are doing nothing different than most other companies out there.

 

If the tax laws are screwed up then how do you propose fixing them, other than by investigating how companies are taking advantage of them?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

 

Of course the greed of politicians is insatiable.  Once they've gotten accustomed to a new level of theft, they always want more.

 

If politicians are greedy and taxes are theft and these things are getting worse, then why do we have the lowest levels of corporate taxation and capital gains taxation in a century?

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post #15 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

Taxes are theft. This is indisputable objective reality.
 

Why undermine your own argument with such a dumb statement?

post #16 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

Get enough people duped into thinking taxes are too low (never mind that the people in the UK have a lower standard of living as a result of their high taxes) and they'll buy into the idea that taxes should be raised. 

 

There doesn't seem to be much correlation between living standards and taxes. Norway (high tax) ranked above the US. However, if you look at happiness, high tax countries dominate the top 10. There's an even stronger bias towards high tax once you look at education or health.

post #17 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

 

I understood VAT precisely. Nothing you said contradicts my point.  The VAT is a tax on Apple's business.  Who "pays" is one of those shell games that pro-tax people like to pay -- They pretend that the employer pays for your social security here in the US, which is silly, becuase you're salary is lower in order to cover that tax, so you're really paying.   Same thing with VAT.... Apple's sales are lower as a result of machines being higher cost due to VAT.  Apple and the consumer both suffer.  (as is the same case with social security- the employer and the employee both suffer.) 

 

Who pays games are silly evasions to avoid the fact that this theft hurts the economy and hurts the people. 

 

Doesn't change the fact that VAT is not paid on every transaction, and can be claimed back by the consumer, not Apple.

post #18 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

This is not accurate.

When you buy an Apple product in the UK, you pay a VAT of %20. This is a huge amount of money on a MacBook Pro!

The government collects its taxes at sales time. The UK government has made a lot of money from Apple.

Further, since Apple made use of tax writeoffs for employee compensation, and the government taxes the employees income, the government collected taxes there.

For Apple to have paid taxes on that, and then the employee pays taxes on that would be double dipping-- something governments really like to do.

Taxes are theft. This is indisputable objective reality.

I look forward to the AppleInsider article "Apple, once again, doesn't have $4B in product stolen by thieves!"

You are a voice of reason, therefore you must be ignored or attacked.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #19 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I think you're mistaking "fully approved by the government" with "complex accounting practices that the government is actively trying to shut down".

And just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right. Paying no tax is sociopathic behaviour. If everyone did the same, society would collapse. And the more tax that the world's most profitable company doesn't pay, the more the rest of us pay.

Google, Amazon, Starbucks et al are no better.

Now paying no taxes LEGALLY is "sociopathic"? Get bent.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #20 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 

I think you're mistaking "fully approved by the government" with "complex accounting practices that the government is actively trying to shut down".

 

And just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right. Paying no tax is sociopathic behaviour. If everyone did the same, society would collapse. And the more tax that the world's most profitable company doesn't pay, the more the rest of us pay.

 

Google, Amazon, Starbucks et al are no better.

Yea cause everyone filling out there tax returns at yearend looks to pay the most tax they can.  So glad our society will not collapse now.

post #21 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Now paying no taxes LEGALLY is "sociopathic"? Get bent.

Taking measures to reduce your tax bill might be passable as healthy self-interest.  Paying no tax at all verges on the callous.  Sociapathy seems an extreme description on the surface, but I can see where he's coming from.

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post #22 of 94

Welcome to the EU. ;-)

 

Sorry to say, but there is absolutely nothing surprising, new or noteworthy about this. Apple won't pay any corporate tax in the UK next year, either. And neither will any other multinational company that is based in Ireland or any other EU member state for that matter.

 

Obviously there are taxes involved in Apple's operations, however since their sales and profits are not subject to any entity incorporated in the UK, no corporate tax is due.

 

If people seriously complain about this, they should amend EU laws, instead of pounding on any company. Seriously, as long as companies can practice this way, they will. They'd be insane if they didn't.

post #23 of 94
Title of article should read. "UK faces scrutiny after major worldwide corporations pay no 2012 corporate income tax due to UK tax laws." Another title could have read "Apple commended for protecting shareholder value while paying all required corporate taxes"
post #24 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Now paying no taxes LEGALLY is "sociopathic"? Get bent.

I heard that it's racist too.

post #25 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 

I think you're mistaking "fully approved by the government" with "complex accounting practices that the government is actively trying to shut down".

 

And just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right. Paying no tax is sociopathic behaviour. If everyone did the same, society would collapse. And the more tax that the world's most profitable company doesn't pay, the more the rest of us pay.

 

Google, Amazon, Starbucks et al are no better.

If it legal than it is right and everyone does the same. Show what nations people pay taxes they aren't legally obligated to pay.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

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Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

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post #26 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by reefoid View Post

They are actually.  Google, Amazon and Starbucks have all been hauled in front of parliamentary committees recently over this exact same issue, so this isn't picking on Apple.

The issue is the Irish tax setup.  The Irish government says corporations incorporated in Ireland pay tax on where they're managed and controlled from (for Apple, this is the U.S.) but US rules (and most other major economies) say the tax should be paid where the company is incorporated.  If Ireland got in line with everyone else, a lot of this would go away.

Ok, so accepting your second paragraph, Apple did nothing wrong and the UK investigators should not have gone into Apple's HQ. So it is 'picking on Apple'. Perhaps they should have gone to Ireland instead? Meanwhile we have quite a few States in the US that offer special incentives to business. It seems to be a pretty normal state of affairs (no pun intended). Why should Ireland 'get in line' if it suits them not to and is legal? Isn't that called a free market?
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post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

 

I understood VAT precisely. Nothing you said contradicts my point.  The VAT is a tax on Apple's business.  Who "pays" is one of those shell games that pro-tax people like to pay -- They pretend that the employer pays for your social security here in the US, which is silly, becuase you're salary is lower in order to cover that tax, so you're really paying.   Same thing with VAT.... Apple's sales are lower as a result of machines being higher cost due to VAT.  Apple and the consumer both suffer.  (as is the same case with social security- the employer and the employee both suffer.) 

 

Who pays games are silly evasions to avoid the fact that this theft hurts the economy and hurts the people. 

 

Saying that VAT is a tax on Apple's business, and then likening that to Apple's not paying *corporate* tax on their profit (which is the entire point of this article, but your VAT argument was a nice red herring), one could say is the same as saying that Apple pays logistics companies to deliver their goods who pay tax on the revenue they earn from Apple, and therefore you stupid pro-tax people should just shut up, Apple has "paid" tax on its business, therefore, Grover Norquist is God. ;-)

 

This article is just plain silly, it demonises Apple for following the rules, along with all the other companies who do the same thing, just as individuals do the same thing (try and minimise their tax bills). If you have a problem with their not paying, tell your politician to change the rules, or vote for someone else. Since when did following the rules become such a bad thing?

post #28 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple may once again come under the spotlight over taxes, as the iPhone maker's latest filings reveal that it paid no corporate taxes in the United Kingdom last year, despite having pulled in billions of dollars from its European operations.

What a weird phrasing. Apple UK is only one of Apple's subsidiaries; every European country has its own. This phrasing makes it seem like the billions of operation income across Europe comes to the UK and then flow to Ireland. This is not the case. Each subsidiary gets the money made in each individual country, and has to adhere to each country's tax system. Then the money flows to the Ireland Holding; so to keep the money in one place. Apple pays taxes where the law stipulates and does nothing illegal.

 

However, Apple does have real sales operations for its online store based in Cork Ireland. All online sales across Europe operate from Ireland. So if you buy your Mac online, you officially buy something in Ireland. Same for iTunes and App store, I believe. And Apple adheres to Ireland tax laws for all these sales.


Edited by John F. - 7/1/13 at 10:50am
post #29 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Ok, so accepting your second paragraph, Apple did nothing wrong and the UK investigators should not have gone into Apple's HQ. So it is 'picking on Apple'. Perhaps they should have gone to Ireland instead? Meanwhile we have quite a few States in the US that offer special incentives to business. It seems to be a pretty normal state of affairs (no pun intended). Why should Ireland 'get in line' if it suits them not to and is legal? Isn't that called a free market?

Where does it say UK investigators went into Apple HQ?  I think you might have this confused with the French raid article.  This info is all from Apple's filings.

 

And no, its not picking on Apple.  Far from it.  It seems all countries are having the same issue at the moment, the companies are however complying with the law.  All I'm saying is that there needs to be a global agreement on this otherwise the richest companies in the world will continue to pay almost zero tax on their profits (which, again, I'm no criticising them for as it is their duty to maximise their value).

post #30 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

 

Saying that VAT is a tax on Apple's business, and then likening that to Apple's not paying *corporate* tax on their profit (which is the entire point of this article, but your VAT argument was a nice red herring), one could say is the same as saying that Apple pays logistics companies to deliver their goods who pay tax on the revenue they earn from Apple, and therefore you stupid pro-tax people should just shut up, Apple has "paid" tax on its business, therefore, Grover Norquist is God. ;-)

 

This article is just plain silly, it demonises Apple for following the rules, along with all the other companies who do the same thing, just as individuals do the same thing (try and minimise their tax bills). If you have a problem with their not paying, tell your politician to change the rules, or vote for someone else. Since when did following the rules become such a bad thing?

 

I completely agree with this.

 

Additionally, I'd like to add that all of this bad press and exposure Apple is getting is simply for Apple's big name and huge profits. There is absolutely nothing new here. In fact this doesn't only apply to the EU but to every place with double taxation agreements.

 

If an EU iOS developer sells a hundred million copies of some app with a nice price tag to US customers, no corporate tax or income tax whatsoever is due. The entity/developer is taxed where it is based.

 

I really don't get all this outrage. Sounds as if someone just wants a piece of the cake.

post #31 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I hope the UK powers that be are checking into Google, Microsoft, etc. etc. etc .... 1oyvey.gif

 

Nope. Only Apple does stuff like this. I read it on the Internet.

post #32 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by John F. View Post

What a weird phrasing. Apple UK is only one of Apple's subsidiaries; every European country has its own.

Or they don't. Because the laws in said country don't require it. Nor do those laws require Apple to pay corporate taxes in said country even without an office.

Which is rather the point. If the laws don't require it then Apple has done nothing illegal. Show where there is a law and proof that they have broken said law and then there is cause to demonize the company.

But don't paint them as villains for following laws that let them take deductions etc.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #33 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 

I think you're mistaking "fully approved by the government" with "complex accounting practices that the government is actively trying to shut down".

 

And just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right. Paying no tax is sociopathic behaviour. If everyone did the same, society would collapse. And the more tax that the world's most profitable company doesn't pay, the more the rest of us pay.

 

Google, Amazon, Starbucks et al are no better.

So you maximize your tax burden every year?

post #34 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

If it legal than it is right and everyone does the same. Show what nations people pay taxes they aren't legally obligated to pay.

 

I'm not arguing as to whether it's right or not, but conflating "legal" and "right" would put you on very shaky ground indeed. Slavery was once legal in the U.S., but it was never right. Beating your wife is legal in some countries, but it's not right. The idea that legality equals morality is absurdly mistaken.

post #35 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 

There doesn't seem to be much correlation between living standards and taxes. Norway (high tax) ranked above the US. However, if you look at happiness, high tax countries dominate the top 10. There's an even stronger bias towards high tax once you look at education or health.

You are free to send in an extra 30% every year if that makes you feel happy.

post #36 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 

I think you're mistaking "fully approved by the government" with "complex accounting practices that the government is actively trying to shut down".

 

And just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right. Paying no tax is sociopathic behaviour. If everyone did the same, society would collapse. And the more tax that the world's most profitable company doesn't pay, the more the rest of us pay.

 

Google, Amazon, Starbucks et al are no better.

 

In the U.S. there are lots of individuals who pay no taxes at all. Not only do they not pay any taxes, they get a check back from the government because they paid no taxes. It's called the earned income tax credit, all in the name of "fairness" of course. So are these individuals exhibiting sociopathic behavior too? Even though they make very little money shouldn't they pay their fair share too, even if they don't have to? 

 

I personally will take every legal deduction, use every legal loophole, delay payment as long as possible, to avoid paying one red cent more than I absolutely have to. If I could find a way to pay no taxes at all I would jump on it. If that makes me a sociopath then so be it. I'm proud to be on your evil list.

 

This debate is the classic battle between individualism and the hive mentality. The individualists cross over the mountain top and find new land. Then the hive shows up with its "community" mindset and screws it all up.

post #37 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I think you're mistaking "fully approved by the government" with "complex accounting practices that the government is actively trying to shut down".

And just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right. Paying no tax is sociopathic behaviour. If everyone did the same, society would collapse. And the more tax that the world's most profitable company doesn't pay, the more the rest of us pay.

Google, Amazon, Starbucks et al are no better.

Dear UK,

You wrote the bloody laws in the first place. Write better laws.

Not paying taxes by illegal means is sociopathic. Doing everything legally to minimize your taxes is smart.
post #38 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

Taxes are theft. This is indisputable objective reality.

 

 

No. Taxes are the main way that governments raise money to provide things for a country's citizens - the NHS Health Service, Education, roads maintenance, disability benefits, libraries, refuse collection, and ..., and ...

 

The rate of taxes and their type are certainly subjects ripe for debate but your bald and ill-informed statement is simply wrong.

 

This is indisputable objective reality.

 

1rolleyes.gif

post #39 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Waiting for the liberal freetards to come out of the woodwork and whine about Apple (but not Google, Microsoft, Intel, etc..) not paying any taxes that they legally did not have to pay, and fully approved by the government in which the brouhaha is occurring.

Why preemptively attack people who have different political beliefs? Don't you care how this reflects on your character ?
post #40 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

In the U.S. there are lots of individuals who pay no taxes at all. Not only do they not pay any taxes, they get a check back from the government because they paid no taxes. It's called the earned income tax credit, all in the name of "fairness" of course. So are these individuals exhibiting sociopathic behavior too? Even though they make very little money shouldn't they pay their fair share too, even if they don't have to? 

I personally will take every legal deduction, use every legal loophole, delay payment as long as possible, to avoid paying one red cent more than I absolutely have to. If I could find a way to pay no taxes at all I would jump on it. If that makes me a sociopath then so be it. I'm proud to be on your evil list.

This debate is the classic battle between individualism and the hive mentality. The individualists cross over the mountain top and find new land. Then the hive shows up with its "community" mindset and screws it all up.
Do you ever read your own stuff?
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