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

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  • Reply 121 of 159
    luykxluykx Posts: 20member


    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"?

  • Reply 122 of 159
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gregord View Post


    A personnel department is part of a larger firm. If the firm as a whole fails to make profit, it fails.



     


    Exactly. And its productivity, while not measured in sales or profits directly, is measured by how well it takes care of and hires and handles the employees of the firm so it can make a profit. The claim pof un-productivity for that department was absurd.

  • Reply 123 of 159
    gregordgregord Posts: 36member


    Well it appears we dispatched Luykx with our unassailable logic and wit. If only Carl Levin read AI.

  • Reply 124 of 159
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,338member


    But doesn't that simile take you back to the earlier point?  If government is the personnel department (and other analogues) then the overall firm is the nation.  If the nation fails the government has failed.  There can be intra- and inter-department failures, resulting in reshuffles and restructures, but as long as the firms stays in the black (and doesn't revolt against the personnel department) then it's doing well enough.


     


    Of course, USA Inc isn't in the black, so read into that what you will...


     


    Governments aren't companies, it's a silly analogy.

  • Reply 125 of 159
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post


    Governments aren't companies, it's a silly analogy.



     


    We start and end there I think.


     


    The closer analogy for a government is a criminal gang.

  • Reply 126 of 159
    gregordgregord Posts: 36member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post


    But doesn't that simile take you back to the earlier point?  If government is the personnel department (and other analogues) then the overall firm is the nation.  If the nation fails the government has failed.  There can be intra- and inter-department failures, resulting in reshuffles and restructures, but as long as the firms stays in the black (and doesn't revolt against the personnel department) then it's doing well enough.


     


    Of course, USA Inc isn't in the black, so read into that what you will...


     


    Governments aren't companies, it's a silly analogy.



     


    I agree it is a silly analogy. It was Luykx that brought it up. I was extending his analogy to demonstrate its falsity.

  • Reply 127 of 159
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,338member


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    We start and end there I think.


     


    The closer analogy for a government is a criminal gang.




     


    Now you're getting into unique absurdities.

  • Reply 128 of 159
    luykxluykx Posts: 20member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gregord View Post


     


    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.



    Interesting post. Sorry for not addressing al questions. It's not that I'm using not enough words, I believe. Can't adress everything at once. Especially when people nitpick on each individual sentence. as mentioned, I'm sorry but I'm just not a native english speaker. and not canadian, either btw ;)


     


    Why is the (un)productivity of government relevant? The only argument I've seen is that government is unproductive, and there shouldn't get any money. What kind of nonsense is that? That's just like saying government should not exist. You should try to read Montesquieu, perhaps. I'll try to go for Hayek. What would the business case of having a government look like? Well, for starters, the business case should be based on the comparison of a situation between having no government and having a government. I think the notion of how productive a government actually is, would be a different notion than the one you currently seem to hold.


     


    Also, I hope you're not implying that a distinction between having a statist or libertarian (?) view implies one is better than the other (under all circumstances, at any point in time...etc). That's a pretty static view on what liberty would be, and I do believe pragmatism is as much of a fundamental part of the American society as liberty. Or that might just be my personal delusion. 


     


    Sorry for the extra final post. It's getting late on this side of the pond, so I should be really going. (But it's such a friggin interesting discussion... :/)

  • Reply 129 of 159
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post




    Now you're getting into unique absurdities.



     


    Am I? How so?

  • Reply 130 of 159
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,338member


    I think the broader political discussion should be left out of the thread.


     


    Needless to say I don't agree with your opinion of government.  Doesn't mean we can't be friends though image

  • Reply 131 of 159
    gregordgregord Posts: 36member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post




     


     


    Now you're getting into unique absurdities.



     


    Not a unique absurdity, rather a repeated truth. It is on the bottom of his every post, if you cared to pay attention.

  • Reply 132 of 159
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,338member


    Good point.  A not-so-unique repeated absurdity then. image

  • Reply 133 of 159
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post


    I think the broader political discussion should be left out of the thread.



     


    Fair enough. I suppose. Problem is that these issues are all interconnected.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post


    Needless to say I don't agree with your opinion of government.



     


    Understood. Many don't.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post


    Doesn't mean we can't be friends though image



     


    That all depends. Do you advocate using the government to steal from me and make me do (or not do) things I wouldn't (would) otherwise do?

  • Reply 134 of 159
    luykxluykx Posts: 20member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gregord View Post


     


    I agree it is a silly analogy. It was Luykx that brought it up. I was extending his analogy to demonstrate its falsity.



    The whole point on the (un)productivity of government was brought into our discussion by you, btw. Ironical, isn't it? See post #98


     


    Before that I can't see where I brought the government is a firm point, btw. I'd assumed the (un)productivity point to be about firms. That's my mistake perhaps. But you happily dug that hole with me by pointing towards Hayek, so I think it's a bit of an hypocrisy to start pointing fingers in my direction now others have argued it's just a ridiculous argument. Pretty weak as well, imo.

  • Reply 135 of 159
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,338member


    Depends what things you would or would not otherwise do, and why the government is impelled to force you to do or not them I suppose.


     


    Though I tend not to advocate either way with regards the US government.  Not my business what your criminal gang does.

  • Reply 136 of 159
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post


    Depends what things you would or would not otherwise do, and why the government is impelled to force you to do or not them I suppose.



     


    Fair enough. Let's just say that if is anything beyond prevention of left, fraud, assault, murder, etc. Then you'd be overstepping the bounds of our "friendship."

  • Reply 137 of 159
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,338member
    I like the leeway granted in not straying beyond "etc", so on those terms I'll agree.
  • Reply 138 of 159
    gregordgregord Posts: 36member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Luykx View Post


    The whole point on the (un)productivity of government was brought into our discussion by you, btw. Ironical, isn't it? See post #98


     


    Before that I can't see where I brought the government is a firm point, btw. I'd assumed the (un)productivity point to be about firms. That's my mistake perhaps. But you happily dug that hole with me by pointing towards Hayek, so I think it's a bit of an hypocrisy to start pointing fingers in my direction now others have argued it's just a ridiculous argument. Pretty weak as well, imo.



     


    The comment about the unproductivity of government was intended as a truism. You brought up the concept of government qua management. I interpreted Crowley's quibble to be about this. If you think this is pedantic, you might be right. I do not apologize for being misinterpreted.

  • Reply 139 of 159
    luykxluykx Posts: 20member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gregord View Post


     


    The comment about the unproductivity of government was intended as a truism. You brought up the concept of government qua management. I interpreted Crowley's quibble to be about this. If you think this is pedantic, you might be right. I do not apologize for being misinterpreted.



    LOL


     


    You got that right! And pedantic is pedantic in and of itself too. So the internal consistency is both waterproof and an understatement.


     


    You deserve a star!


     


    Also, truisms don't grant you freedom from their implications. As far as I'm concerned, whether or not the "government is productive" point is a truism, the idea is that talking about government in terms of productivity implies business-like, or rather, "being an (un)productive part of the economy"-like notion of what a government is or does.


     


    The act of making a point like that implies some sort of equivalence between firms and governments, at some level. No matter how others might argue the analogy doesn't make any sense. The economy needs governments and laws as much as it needs firms, imo. Where else would Apple go to with their set of precious patents? To a certain extent the business model on making money on producing (patented) technology is built upon the existence of governments and the set of laws they produce (or should produce). Perhaps firms should invest in governments to produce better laws by paying taxes, instead of lobbying? (Of course, the counter argument would be "but every other firm lobbies"...as if that is a good excuse)

  • Reply 140 of 159
    gregordgregord Posts: 36member
    luykx wrote: »
    LOL

    You got that right! And pedantic is pedantic in and of itself too. So the internal consistency is both waterproof and an understatement.

    You deserve a star!

    Also, truisms don't grant you freedom from their implications. As far as I'm concerned, whether or not the "government is productive" point is a truism, the idea is that talking about government in terms of productivity implies business-like, or rather, "being an (un)productive part of the economy"-like notion of what a government is or does.

    The act of making a point like that implies some sort of equivalence between firms and governments, at some level. No matter how others might argue the analogy doesn't make any sense. The economy needs governments and laws as much as it needs firms, imo. Where else would Apple go to with their set of precious patents? To a certain extent the business model on making money on producing (patented) technology is built upon the existence of governments and the set of laws they produce (or should produce). Perhaps firms should invest in governments to produce better laws by paying taxes, instead of lobbying? (Of course, the counter argument would be "but every other firm lobbies"...as if that is a good excuse)

    You write and comprehend English quite well. Which EU country are you from?
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