Bernie Sanders Says Apple Isn’t Destroying Fabric of America

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Wait, Apple was brought up in the campaign for U.S. president? Must be Tuesday. Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders (D) said specifically that Apple isn't one of those companies he's accused of "destroying the fabric of America," but he had two things he wished Apple would change. The first is that he wants Apple to make some of its products in the U.S. (spoiler, Apple already does), and the second is that he wants Apple to pay "[its] fare share of taxes" (spoiler, it does).

Apple and the American Flag

Mr. Sanders was talking about Apple in the first place because he was asked point blank about the company in an interview with The New York Daily News. Here's the relevant quote:

New York Daily News: You've said that the greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the fabric of our nation. So if we can get particular: For example, in corporate America, Apple happens to be celebrating, today, its 40th birthday. It's a company that grew from nothing to 115,000 permanent employees. And I'm wondering, is Apple destroying the fabric of America?

Bernie Sanders: No, Apple is not destroying the fabric of America. But I do wish they'd be manufacturing some of their devices, here, in the United States rather than in China. And I do wish that they would not be trying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

The actual target of Bernie Sanders's ire is Wall Street and U.S. banking giants. You can read about that aspect of his comments at The Daily News. It's his comments about Apple that are germane to The Mac Observer.

Apple is Big Business

Apple has been mentioned throughout the ongoing presidential campaign. In January, Donald Trump (R) said, "We're going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries."

In February, he said he would lead a boycott against Apple for not cooperating with the FBI in unlocking the work iPhone of Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino terrorists. Mr. Trump continues to use his iPhone to tweet things, for those keeping score at home.

Other candidates have been more circumspect about mentioning Apple specifically, but the company's enormous size, revenues, and earnings mean that it does enter into the political arena even without issues like encryption coming front and center.

In the case of Mr. Sanders's comments to The Daily News, we see an instance where that exposure is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the progressive candidate isn't lumping the largest corporation in the world in with the banks. Depending on where you stand, that's a good thing.

Next: Apple Making Stuff and Paying Taxes

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Sanders’ comment, “But I do wish they’d be manufacturing some of their devices, here, in the United States rather than in China,” can be read in two ways: your interpretation, which seems to be that Sanders believes that Apple does not manufacture any of their devices in the USA, or that Apple manufactures some of its devices in China and these should be manufactured in the USA, which is how I understand it.
Whilst Sanders seems to be the only half-reasonable candidate running in the USA, I don’t agree with him on this point: building such barriers is not productive in the long term.

Lee Dronick

I would say that he is less than half reasonable, I support Hillary who is much more pragmatic, presidential, and experienced.


Apple does not pay the taxes it owes.  Through tax evasion Apple has significantly reduced the taxes it pays,  a practice common among publicly traded companies,  any one of the loop holes and shelter schemes that Apple employs to reduce its tax burden if used by Bryan Chaffin would land him in prison.


Comparing Apple’s tax practices to Bryan’s is nonsense. It is apples to oranges. Bryan files income taxes under laws governing individual tax payers. Apple files corporate tax returns under laws governing corporations. What Apple is doing is perfectly legal. What Sanders is complaining about is Hillary’s connections to the corporate and banking world. He believes she has helped them get what they want so that they can legally do this. Strangely enough Trump says the same kinds of things against these hidden deals with politicians.

The problem for Sanders is that he cannot make tax policy for other nations like Ireland. His solution of raising tax rates on corporate America will only encourage more companies to do what Apple and others are doing now. The problem for Clinton and Trump is that they have been a part of this whole process for years.


The thing that is often overlooked in discussions about taxes is whether the government is a good steward of the money that they take forcibly from taxpayers. When I consider the wars of aggression in which this nation is involved, the actions of agencies like the CIA, government waste, government mismanagement or comments made by to me personally by individuals who joke about how their company significantly overcharges the government shouldn’t we look at fixing these issues before asking individuals or companies to give away more of their income to the government?


“Comparing Apple’s tax practices to Bryan’s is nonsense. It is apples to oranges. Bryan files income taxes under laws governing individual tax payers.”

You know what, if corporations aren’t people, then why the hell do we allow them to act like people (under the law)?


“This nation has no future until it gets rid of two great falsehoods. That money is speech and that corporations are citizens.” Coretta Scott King.

But skipaq is right. Actually the whole tax code is so convoluted and full of special exemptions and rules for this group or those organizations that really the Corporate Tax Code, and Personal Tax Code are literally out of two different books. While I don’t agree with a flat tax, the code could be vastly simplified, all of the special allowances for companies and people dropped. I would not stop with the Federal either. Look at the tax breaks given to Apple by Austin and Texas to get them to put a factory there. Make ALL of that sort of “incentive” illegal. Business and the country would be a lot healthier.


Spoiler Alert: Do a quick search Apple’s Tax Avoidance and behold. Couple that with their most profitable popular devices being made by slave labor in Asia using Korean and Chinese parts and Apple doesn’t look so good no matter how you spin it.


Cudaboy, could you share any evidence about Apple devices being made by slave labour with us? I would be really interested to see it. I really hope that you will post some evidence, because otherwise I would be forced that the “slave labor” was just made up, which would be disgusting.


Referring to Foxconn known as a Labor Camp (by 20 Chinese universities) with many worker abuses such as long hours with low pay and no overtime. Many many suicides because of this abuse. To this day they have suicide nets around some factories. Workers were forced to sign a contract stating they or their relatives would not sue in case of injury or death, or suicide.

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