More than three months after the European Commission started investigating the possibility that Ireland had been providing illegal state aid for Apple, it finally published a letter containing the information that aroused its suspicions. Essentially, in 1991 and 2007, Apple and Ireland agreed that much of the money flowing into the company’s Irish accounts had nothing to do with its operations in the country, and hence shouldn’t be taxed as profit in Ireland. Instead, the two sides negotiated a deal in which Apple paid tax on a certain percentage of its Ireland-related costs. The deal stood for 15 years, much longer than most European countries would allow such tax rulings to remain in force. Even after some amendments, Apple Sales International paid taxes on less than $80 million in 2011, a year in which the Ireland-incorporated entity recorded $22 billion in pretax income, according to the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Hey so now we know how Apple’s been avoiding taxes in Ireland - in exchange for situating a few employees in Ireland, the Irish government agreed to pretend that the profits Apple was storing in Ireland didn’t actually count as profits. The European Commission has been investigating and their letter is actually pretty angry by government bureaucracy standards. Let’s review why this kind of special tax shelter deal is terrible for everyone:
So yeah, what Apple has done here is just terrible. Seriously hoping the European Commission can crack down effectively? Obviously it would be cool if the US government could act but not holding my breath on that one.
There are people replacing farm workers, so you can weed plants and provide plant-by-plant care. People who are doing machines to make hamburgers automatically, all the way up the chain to people who are replacing law clerks or even doctors, psychiatrists, ENT specialists, you name it. So the whole span, from very simple work to very large work, is being replaced in a way that is a little bit scary.
To say it has been a pleasure and privilege would be an understatement.
I wanted to take a moment and list the top five lessons I’ve learned (or relearned) working here. They may seem obvious, but it is easy to lose sight of them when you find yourself so deep in the trenches of the day-to-day.
Be realistic in quoting what you can do, and timely in doing it.
Problems rarely matter as much the next day. Those that do are the ones that deserve your focus.
You cannot eliminate your biases, but you can correct for them. This has to be done in a structured manner - relying on your gut to correct your gut is a recipe for disaster.
The demands of your job should not override your responsibilities as a human being.
I’m incredibly grateful to have gotten to know everyone working here, and to work alongside them on a product I believe in. Stay wonderful, Tumblr.