Reuters Exposes 'Apple Tax' for 'Enslaved' iOwners

Finally! Reuters has exposed the deep dark secret marring our miserable existence, the "Apple Tax" that we pay to Cupertino every year. Reporting for Reuters, Chris Taylor tells us that we are "slaves" to our devices, and that our families are "indentured servants" to Apple because we buy its products.

The Apple Taxman Cometh

The Apple Taxman Cometh

Mr. Taylor sets the stage by drawing on ominous imagery. He reminds us that the fiscal cliff is approaching, that tax payers are worried, and that investors are worried about capital gains tax increases that are on the way.

"But," he wrote with an internal voice that is probably well-suited to a horror film trailer, "when it comes to immediate impact on their wallets, maybe they should be thinking about something else entirely: The Apple tax."

Duh duh duhnnnnn!

The dreaded Apple Tax! You know, a tax, "a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions," but this one is being levied by Apple.

That is egregious in both the scope of its stupidity and its lack of accuracy, but it doesn't stop there. In another paragraph Mr. Taylor corrects his own misuse of the word, while doubling down on the dark imagery.

"Remember," he wrote, "this is not something that consumers are being forced to pay. They are dipping willingly into their own pockets, because they're essentially slaves to the devices."

Yeah, we're essentially slaves. You know, a slave, "a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them." I'm using OS X's built-in dictionary for these definitions because I'm a slave, and I was forced by my masters at Apple to do so.

But there's yet more. Writing for Reuters, reporter Chris Taylor (I just want to hammer that point home) tells us about the family of Sam Martorana. There's three in the family, and they own three MacBooks, two iPhones, two iPads, and two iPods.

That's US$5,000 of Apple Taxation in their household, and $700 of that was just this year.

"As for Martorana," wrote Mr. Taylor (for Reuters), "his family's indentured servitude to Apple looks like it will continue indefinitely. He is looking to replace his MacBook with a newer model within a year or so, which he guesses will cost at least another $1,300. While he loves the products unreservedly, he sees no way out of the annual Apple tax."

You know, indentured servitude. OS X's dictionary's access to Wikipedia tells me that, "Indentured servitude was a form of debt bondage, established in the early years of the American colonies."

Or, a form of debt bondage practiced by Apple today...

Duh duh duhnnnnn!

The basis of the piece Mr. Taylor wrote for Reuters is comments from JP Morgan's Katy Huberty, who said that in 2011, American families spent an average of $444 on Apple products. That's almost double 2010's average of $295, and more than three times 2007's $150. She said that if Apple released a TV, that number could double again to $888 by 2015.

Writing for Reuters, Mr. Taylor pointed out 33 percent of Americans want a tablet, and that 25 percent of those people said, "They'll cut back on other holiday purchases this year to afford these pricey gadgets."

"These pricey gadgets." You know, because Apple's tablets are way more expensive than everyone else's. The American people would be way better off buying cheap plastic tablets, or maybe some of those Samsung Android smartphones or something. Or maybe no tablets. Yeah, that would be way more awesome.

But we can't, because we're slaves serving out our indefinite indentured servitude (never mind the contradiction of slaves also being indentured servants) and paying our Apple Tax.

Oh, that reminds me. I need to send off a check to the Apple Revenue Service before they put a lien on my iPhone.

"The analogy of an Apple tax might sound facetious," Mr. Taylor wrote for Reuters, "but think about it."

Pro tip: When a reporter tells you "to think about it," he or she is full of crap. It's bad enough when used in an opinion piece, but in a news piece?

Speaking of which, I asked Reuters if this was a news or opinion piece, but hadn't heard back at the time of publication. Either way, "but think about it" is always a warning sign of bad writing.

Now, as I offer my own opinion on that phrase, I am feverishly hoping I haven't used it. If I have, I encourage you to call me on it.

Anyway, he continued, "Median U.S. household income was $50,054 in 2011, according to the Census Bureau. That means a sizable chunk of that is getting diverted to Apple headquarters in Cupertino."

That's 0.89 percent of our annual income being "diverted to Cupertino," for those following along at home. Oh, sure, it might be less than my annual "food tax," or that awful "clothing tax" we pay, but it's just awful anyway.

Image made with help and help from Shutterstock.