We’re Not Broke

True dat patron saint of capitalismGreat news, America! Despite decades of war fighting and tax cutting, and despite a national deficit of nearly $1 trillion, we’re not broke!

Well, we, the citizenry and its treasury, are collectively broke. But we, the collective earning power we, are most definitely not broke.

American corporations, those paragons of civic virtue and societal responsibility, have collectively stashed $1.7 trillion overseas. Apple, the greatest company ever, has about $145 billion in cash on hand, $102 billion of it parked in foreign banks. There’s an excellent reason our very best companies have all their money sitting overseas instead of here in America, where it might give the national economy a nice boost. By parking it in places like Ireland, rich corporations such as Apple – and Google, and just about all the rest of the biggies – avoid paying American taxes!Yay for tax avoiders!

They’re very clever, these great companies. Good thing they have inspiring corporate mottoes, like Google’s “Don’t be evil.” Because with all their smartness, they could probably do some rather evil things – you know, like stealing from those less fortunate.

Transfer pricing, cost-sharing agreements, tax treaties – oh, it’s all so complex and mathematical, and we’re just glad that super smart lawyers understand all this stuff so Apple and its peers can continue to wow us with their amazing slave-assembled products and their fantastic ability to figure out the best ways to hoard more cash.

We’re profoundly impressed with Apple’s ability to earn profits and not pay taxes on them. It’s the American Way, and we salute them. We also thank them for being such powerful job creators in the United States. You guys are awesome!

Success!And now we humbly ask Apple and General Electric and Exxon-Mobil and all the rest, if it’s not too terrible of a bother, would you mind repatriating all the exiled dollars?

That would be really terrific of you. Maybe this is all crazy talk, but if we didn’t feel like we were broke all the time perhaps we wouldn’t have to continue to cut essential services. And maybe – and this really is crazy! – we could afford national healthcare.

Oops. That was probably going too far. That would be, like, socialism. What Americans want is capitalism, the brilliant kind. The kind where you earn billions and billions and billions, pay foreign labor a pittance, pay yourself a fortune, and stash the excess where none of the undeserving can get their filthy hands on it.

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2 Responses

  1. Sorry, but apple sucks, point blank. I busted a screen on my old ipad 2. With the ipad 1 you could replace it, but they made it difficult to do with the 2nd. I took it to the apple store. They said they can’t fix the screen but they can take my ipad2 off of my hands and give me a brand new one for $400. That’s just $100 off of the original price. When I asked what they would do with my old ipad, they said they would refurbish it. Basically, they were going to make me pay $400, take my old ipad, fix the screen (which they couldn’t do for me for a cheaper price) and sell it for another $400! I asked if they had some kind of buyback program, she said they can recycle it for free, meaning that I just give it back to them so they can fix the screen (which again, they wouldn’t do for me), and resell it for $400. It is all a scam. I can imagine them having a board meeting somewhere after the ipad1 where they were saying (lets make the second version where you can’t easily fix the screen, then just give the customer a new one for a 400% profit.

  2. Kim Bond says:

    We don’t want to be crushingly, permanently indebted for wanting to better ourselves and thrive in the world. The government (ahem, President Obama) should not be in the business of reaping massive profit from students’ investment in the future. It’s just robbing the future to pay for today.