Apple and the Conservative Noise Machine

As those who have followed this weblog from the beginning know, I have been highly critical of Apple on several occasions. Going all the way back to 1977 I have experienced great triumphs with Apple and also several highly disappointing failures. Did you buy a Lisa? An Apple serial card for your Apple ][? What about that Cube thing? So despite my allegiance to Apple products and my complete avoidance of anything from WINDOZ, I am aware that Apple is not sacrosanct and I will readily admit it.

However, Apple is the most successful company on earth and the second most successful company in the history of the earth (the original Dutch East India Company has top honors when adjusted for the present value of money). I smile nowadays when I think back to the dark ages when all the rumors were that AT&T was going to buy out Apple—that Apple was in a death spiral—and now they are poised to become the first one trillion dollar company in the modern era. Where is IBM? Where is AT&T? Where is GE?

What is most fantastic about Apple is that they are turning in these huge profits while at the same time being concerned for their employees, compensating their employees quite well, maintaining their headquarters in the state that has high taxes and broad regulations, and just about every condition or situation that right-wing conservatives persistently insist are the enemy of big business.

So, being that Apple is the biggest business, could it be that the conservative whining is just hot air?

Read a fascinating article at the Daily Kos called

How Apple single-handedly lays waste to conservative ideology

Tuesday morning, 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 horde, 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. … 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. …

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.

It’s a great article and it even points out Apple’s faults so it’s not just a puff piece. Read the complete article at the Daily Kos.


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