How Apple Single-Handedly Lays Waste to Conservative Ideology

By kos, Daily Kos

Riding high after yet another gangbusters quarter, Apple reached a new high, worth more than $760 BILLION. This makes it worth more than, well, a ton of things, including all but 18 COUNTRIES in the world. Think about that … Apple is worth more than the GDP of Saudi Arabia, or Switzerland, or Sweden. And despite being this financial juggernaut, the company is still experiencing double-digit growth. In just the past three months, Apple booked profits of $13.6 billion on $58 billion in revenue. Four years ago, the last of Steve Jobs’ reign, he bragged about hitting $50 billion in revenue … for the YEAR.Not only are those numbers eye-watering, but that profit margin is the envy of the entire business world. The company has just shy of $200 billion in its cash hoard, even as it has stepped up efforts to return cash to its shareholders. A $1 trillion valuation isn’t far away.So by all objective measures, Apple is the most successful company in the modern era. (The Dutch East India Company wins overall top honors, with an inflation-adjusted valuation of $7.3 trillion.) Yet, keep in mind the following:

* Apple is based on California, and continues to expand its operations in the state. Conservatives bray incessantly about the Golden State’s “high taxes and burdensome regulations,” yet the world’s most high-value and innovative companies continue to be based here. You don’t see Apple or its peers fleeing to tax havens like Alabama. Why? Because those taxes and regulations actually create a favorable business climate for Apple, delivering it the talent it desperately needs.

* Apple is a corporate leader in diversity. Sure, CEO Tim Cook is the most powerful out-gay person in the corporate world, if not the entire country, but the company itself has long been a champion for gay rights, even excluding anti-gay material from the iOS app store. It seems that unlike conservative orthodoxy, tolerance and respect for people’s private life are good for business.

* Apple takes global climate change seriously, as the image at the top of this post makes crystal clear: “We don’t want to debate climate change. We want to stop it.” To that effort, Apple is spending gazillions on reducing its carbon footprint and generating its power via renewables. Not only is it good for the environment, however, but Apple makes the case that it is good for the bottom line, a reality that conservatives insist on glossing over in their desperate attempts to destroy this planet. (And yes, right wingers are waging proxy battles to reverse Apple’s investments.)

In short, conservatives are convinced that it is impossible to profit without trashing the world we live in, that environmental regulations are overly burdensome, and that our natural resources exist only to be exploited. Apple proves that profit and environmental degradation can be mutually exclusive.

* Apple profits by not making everything 100 percent about profit.

[T]he NCPPR (The National Center for Public Policy Research) representative asked Mr. Cook to commit right then and there to doing only those things that were profitable.What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.

Now Apple isn’t perfect, of course. Of that $200 billion stash, about $180 billion of it is parked overseas, which Apple refuses to bring home lest it be forced to pay taxes on it. Much of it is routed through tax havens like Ireland, drawing the ire of the European Union which has begun cracking down. Also, the company aggressively shuttered its US factories and offshored the work to lower-cost Chinese manufacturing plants. But even that trend is now starting to reverse, and Cook has committed to bringing more of those jobs back stateside.

Thus you have a company with the bulk of operations in California, committed to combating climate change and bigotry, and doing things because they’re right, not because they’re necessarily the most profitable, and the result? The world’s most successful company.

Conservatives could learn a thing or two from that.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos



Posted By: Nick Vanocur

A talented nut in search of a publisher. Author of 'From the Desk of Nickileaks', @

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