Page 2 – Do the Right Thing, Apple’s Good, and Final Thoughts
Do the Right Thing
But here’s the thing: just because we can do a thing doesn’t always mean we should do a thing. When we pay blind allegiance to corporate profits above right and wrong, we have lost our way. Tim Cook cites Martin Luther King, Jr. frequently about the importance of standing up for what you believe.
Timeless words from #MLK, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 19, 2015
Not paying local taxes is something that matters to me, and I’m a tiny, insignificant $AAPL shareholder. From city, county, and state deals where companies negotiate sweetheart deals, to corporate structures that shift where profits are generated, it may be legal to avoid taxes, but that doesn’t make it right.
Apple Does So Much Good
There are so many areas where Apple does enormous good—far, far more good than any other electronics giant, and probably any other for-profit company.
Apple goes above and beyond in minimizing its environmental footprint, even in countries where regulations are nonexistent or unenforced. Apple has also been aggressive and innovative in developing multitudinous renewable energy sources for its global operations.
Apple should be lauded for this, loudly and clearly.
Apple wrongly takes heat for its labor practices in China, when I believe the company should be praised for improving workers’ lives with higher wages, worker training, and constant monitoring of the companies it works with. No other American outsourcer I know of has taken such strong steps to protect worker rights outside the U.S.
Apple’s record on diversity is also outstanding, especially under CEO Tim Cook.
But local taxes matter. Roads matter. Schools matter. Housing authorities matter. Health care matters. Regulation enforcement matters. All of the things that support civil society matter. Apple’s profits are made possible by that civil society, and the company should contribute its fair share.
As should every other company, whether or not there are legals ways to avoid doing so.
I’m not trying to pretend this is an easy topic, and I sure as heck won’t pretend to know precisely what Apple’s “fair share” is. But it’s clearly more than “nothing.”
According to The New Zealand Herald, “Had Apple reported the same healthy profit margin in New Zealand as it did for its operations globally it would have paid $356m in taxes over the period.”
That kind of money matters to countries the size of New Zealand. To me, Apple should kick in to help pay for the civil infrastructure it needs to make those profits.
And I won’t be silent about it.