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Apple’s message to the millions of Americans and other business enterprises who pay their way, share the burden, and do so proudly, if not always happily, appears to be:
You suckers can carry the load . We’re not responsible to anything beyond our own greed.
Robert W. Butche
Our nation is not an opt-in event, nor ought it be. We are, by our nature and history, a thoughtful and responsible nation. Americans are not fearful people, or of diminished character, nor do we run from conflict or demand of others what we would not do for ourselves.
One need look no further than the official seal of the United States upon which, by Act Of Congress, is inscribed with our national motto: E pluribus unum, Out of many, one.
Except for Apple Computer.
Apple is not the first corporate entity born and raised in the opportunities of the great American dream to develop notions of royalty. It is the product of American education, financed by American wealth, inspired by American creativity and made successful by American drive and competitiveness.
It is a fine American company that has lost it way, forgotten, perhaps, its American roots and its connectedness to its nation and millions of ordinary hard working folk who make possible the enduring reality of American opportunity.
Based on Apple CEO Timothy Cook’s testimony in the U.S. Senate yesterday, it sounds as if Apple sees itself as above its Nation, neither a beneficiary of American values, nor responsible for supporting the greater good.
Mr. Cook’s words make clear that Apple feels it has no responsibility to the peoples of the United States, no obligation to support the infrastructures that make it strong, no obligation to invigorate American institutions that made possible a company birthed in a garage when two boys had better ideas, clearer vision and loads of American freedom to be all they could be.
We offer no tax planning advice to those who believe cheating the rest of us is good for either party. Those who work at the art of tax shifting are not the cause of Apple’s flagrant disrespect for America, only the practitioners of deceit and irresponsibility.
Our nation, should we survive the malaise evidenced by Tim Cook’s hubris, is what we make of it. Those who would steal from ordinary citizens, governments, institutions, and less coarsened business leaders and owners, as Mr. Cook says Apple has chosen, do damage to us all. Nothing good will come of this.
We take no issue with Apple’s ability to parse the tax code or that its lawyers find American taxes, like notions of shared burden, outdated and ill conceived. Nor are we unaware that Apple is not alone in such high-handed behavior. There are many today who believe their personal or corporate largesse is of their own making — that neither you, nor I, nor Thomas Jefferson, made any meaningful contribution.
Every American ought to take offense at the notion that Apple gives so little allegiance to the nation that gave it first breath. The nation whose young go to war, there to lose their lives if not their innocence, protecting the nation and system upon which Apple depends for its livelihood and protection.
Apple’s message to the millions of Americans and other business enterprises that pay their way, share the burden, and do so proudly, if not always happily, is you guys carry the load. We’re not responsible to anything beyond our own greed.
No wonder both Democrat Carl Levin and Republican Senator John McCain decried Apple’s abdication of responsibility to its nation, its customers, and its investors.
What Mr. Cook told Senators McCain and Levin, and every American who buys its products and services, is that Apple has knowingly and intentionally abandoned its American citizenship, that is it now a citizen of the world, parent of subsidiaries that have no nationality, and above being responsible for anything beyond its own self interest.
Mr. Cook ought have his mother wash out his mouth with soap to rid him of such embarrassing hubris.
Every American, no mater his age, gender or level of education, who pays his taxes and suffers the indignities of government, ought to be damned angry at what was once one of America’s most respected institutions.
If Apple doesn’t want to be an American company, share in America’s success and burdens, it might consider moving to wherever Apple’s self-created place of no nationality exists.