What Does it Mean when #Apple Has More $$$ Than the US Govt?

Posted: October 16, 2014 in Excess and Algorithms
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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by @anarchyroll
10/15/2014

It turns out Apple is worth more than a lot of things. A lot of things and a lot of other companies.

The company is valued at over half a trillion dollars and at any one time, has around $160 billion of liquid assets on hand.

The US government for instance, has less than 1/3 of that on hand. Although, as the Forbes article linked above makes sure to note, the US Treasury can at any time print more money and invest it into treasury notes.

What does it mean when a company has more than three times the amount of money as the government  of the country it operates in? Does that tremendous gift on incredible wealth come with added responsibility? A responsibility not just to employees and shareholders, but to cities, cultures, and societies?

Apple hoards so much cash, that Carl Ichan, the man who the lead character in the movie Wall Street is based on, thinks Apple is being too greedy with their profits. That takes a whole lotta greed. Ichan is as ruthless of a capitalist as it gets. If someone who makes his living using money to make money thinks Apple owes something to other people, that puts Apple in a different light than the idolatry bestowed upon their founder and products.

Apple already deserves some scorn for their notorious tax dodging/avoidance practices. They dodge taxes and hoard cash from even their own stockholders. What about the societies that have enabled the company to become richer than governments? What about the roads, schools, bridges, farms, poverty, intelligence, and morale of the places and people Apple has made their billions in? Do they owe something? Should they bear more responsibility to the public than slightly newer, slightly modified consumer electronic gadgets a few times per year?

With great power comes great responsibility. Money equals power in the world we live in. No one person, government, or corporation in the world has more money than Apple. Where does responsibility come in?

 

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