Las Vegas Sun

July 5, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Apple’s model is anti-American

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We know of the company founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs and its humble beginnings. In January 2013, Apple fell to the second most-valuable corporation on the planet, behind ExxonMobil. Its stock was worth $422 billion. Apple sometimes has more cash in its bank accounts than the U.S. Treasury. But that does not make Apple an all-American company to be revered.

Its first three plants in the Western U.S. closed, and all production moved to China.

The move to China was quiet and hardly noticed because Apple collaborated with China and had built plants that carried the name of their Chinese contractor while making only Apple products.

The Apple story went viral in 2012 when The New York Times published accounts of worker abuse and harsh working conditions. Workers in these plants worked 10- to 12-hour days, often 10 days in a row without overtime pay. Their pay was about $1 per day. Apple pledged to improve conditions but did not follow through; instead, Apple moved production further inland in China, where there is less oversight.

In 2011, Steve Jobs’ replacement as CEO received a compensation package of $380 million. That is roughly equal to the combined annual salaries of 10,000 American factory workers. I am sure the Koch brothers and other U.S. multinational corporations would approve of this business model, but anyone with a conscience should be disgusted.

Apple’s stock has fallen recently, and it could not happen to a more deserving company.

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  1. Throughout its history, Apple has created or supported nearly 600,000 jobs for U.S. workers from the engineer who helped invent the iPad to the delivery person who brings it to your door.

    How many U.S. jobs has Dave Starr created or supported?

  2. Apple is a free and creative entity that has the right within the law to run its business in the manner that it believes will yield it the best results. It hs the legitimate right to accumulate as much cash as it decides it should have, and employ those persons in those places where it believes its best interests are served. The letter writer choses to impose his own standard of morality on a company that operates within the legal framework estabished by the jurisdictions where it operates. To this end the letter writer expresses an opinionated and irrelevant standard for a free and successful company which has a right to do exactly as it wants.

  3. Apple's business mistake was tying it's success to its founder Steve Jobs. When Steve Jobs died, so did Apple.

    Carmine D

  4. Houstonjac says "To this end the letter writer expresses an opinionated and irrelevant standard for a free and successful company which has a right to do exactly as it wants."

    Certainly the writer has a right to his opinion. He expresses his expectation is that a company, whose degree of success is dependent on American prosperity, might find it more self-serving to maximize their contribution to that proseperity. Appearing more interested in the well-being of the country and less parasitic has relevance.

  5. Future - "But the real problem is that American taxes, regulations and rules, energy cost, unions, make it too expensive to manufacture some product here and be able to sell for a profit."

    Bullcrap, the real problem is our great nation has become a plutocracy with banks and corporations dictating financial domestic and foreign policy. A number of our politicians are nothing more than arse kissing prostitutes who became wealthy while undermining the working class.

    Thank you Mr. Starr you are correct in calling out Apple as well as others who align themselves with communists. You right wingers are so friggin hypocritical screaming about commies here at home but cater to companies acting like parasites bleeding the Chinese people and feeding off of China's communist dictatorship.

  6. Put me in the camp agreeing strongly with Mr. Starr's excellent letter.
    The primary corporate goal of "maximizing shareholder value" is actually not a value or societal good at all. Pursuing that perverted mantra does indeed relegate to almost insignificant status true values such as loyalty to employees and concern about the viability and sustainability of the communities housing the factories and offices of the corporation.
    American political and corporate leaders over the past twenty or so years have betrayed their home country by refusing to enact laws designed to encourage American companies to be patriotic and retain their primary production facilities in the USA. Now look at the mess that has resulted. A company as American as "Apple" pie has turned its back on the very country which permitted it to be so innovative and successful.
    Wake up America. Your future depends on putting yourself first and protecting your industries.

    Donald W. Desaulniers

  7. We American's complain about jobs being lost to foreign countries such as China,S.Korea,Japan,etc.,and these are all legitimat claims.

    We cannot pick and choose which companies are guilty of shipping jos overseas, they are all guilty including Apple.

  8. Some Americans don't like our system. Apple hasn't done anything that is illegal, as far as I know. Is what they've done to be admired? Probably not as it concerns moving production overseas. Dave Starr and the rest of us have 3 options it seems to me: Change our system. 2) Move out of the country and live somewhere else. 3) Choose not to buy Apple products.

    Americans don't seem to be doing any of the 3 in large numbers, so I guess we are where we are.


  9. Donald from Canada is right, to a degree. The truth is that Apple already charges a premium for their products. That makes them less competitive than they'd be if they charged less. Id they moved manufacturing back to the US, their products would cost even more. Look around! A huge number of Americans go for the less expensive product or service (see Walmart or Costco for exhibit A). If Americans want jobs here that can be done elsewhere for much less, they must be willing to pay higher prices. So far, we are not willing to do that.


  10. Bradley your not a Republican commenter ?

  11. Comment removed by moderator. - -

  12. The real question should be this: Is Apple paying an appropriate amount of taxes/tariffs on the products sold to American consumers?

    I have my own reasons for being disgusted with Apple that have nothing to do with the aspect brought up by this letter. That said, I do find this practice by Apple to be distasteful.

  13. PICES41
    No company has the obligation to base its business decisions on altruism. The very companies that benefit from American institutions, reciprocate in turn by providing society with a product or service which adds value to the nation and to the very institutions which benefit and support it. That is the bargain that free enterprise makes with the nation, in addition to taking a profit if the market returns one for the benefits provided by the firm. Other than the payment of taxes if they be due in accordance with the law, no other obligations exist. It is a figment of your imagination to conclude that any firm has any other duty to society beyond the benefits that the firn bestows on society through the furnishing of valuable goods and services and the payment of legal taxes due. It is quite a different thing if a firm by its own volition and free will decides on its own to make additional contributions of economic value to society,but no such obligation exists. This of course is the premise of free enterprise,and not of socialism or communism the latter two which undermine free will and self deternination.