The Cutest Corporation

It’s gotta be good to be Apple.  They’re the corporation everyone loves; the mascot of American ingenuity.  Are we surprised that the same ingenuity that brought us the Mac and the iPhone would also uncover perfectly legal and totally awesome corporate tax breaks?

The NPR journalist who reported today on the Senate hearings took an interesting approach.  The teaser was “Is Apple pulling shenanigans with corporate taxes?”  Shenanigans?  That adorable little imp of a corporation.  They are just always up to something darling aren’t they?

The journalist went on to report that while Senator McCain grilled Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, he didn’t grill him “really hard”, and he of course acknowledged the company’s ingenuity and much beloved products.  Cute.  Here is what I imagine was said:

Senator:  Mr. Cook, you are really cool.  What are you crazy kids at Apple cooking up these days?

Cook:  Well Mr. Senator, I can’t share all of our secrets (wink, wink)

Senator:  I show off pictures of my grandkids on my iPhone.  It’s a very superior product.  Blackberry who? (guffaw, guffaw)

Cook:  I would love to see pictures of your grandkids!

Senator:  Really? Awesome dude!  Ah but we do need to discuss the very serious question of corporate tax evasion.  Please explain how it is that you had time for tax shenanigans when you’re busy making iStuff? (wink, wink)

Cook:  We’ve done nothing illegal; we just take advantage of corporate tax loopholes like every other corporation in America.

Senator:  It’s all very clear now and I think we’ve heard enough.  Apple is so cool!  I can’t believe you hung out with Steve Jobs.  I mean, wow, right?


Cook:  Jobs was a good man.  I know there’s one thing he would want me to say right now.  Why don’t you go after Microsoft for more taxes?  Everybody hates Microsoft.  They bully us all the time.  They’re really mean to us and stuff (looking down shyly)

Senator:  We will schedule hearings immediately!  We must make an example out of Microsoft, in Steve’s honor.

Cook:  That means so much to me and the Jobs family (brushes away non-existent tears)

Senator:  OMG!  I totally just met Tim Cook (giggling and squealing like a little girl at a Beatles concert)

It’s good to be Apple.

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4 Responses to The Cutest Corporation

  1. Jill Foer Hirsch says:

    Thanks! Many people are alarmed by the number of people having conversations in my head…

    • David Cannon says:

      When I read articles detailing the lengths American Corporations will go to in avoidance of paying taxes, I flash back to my Marxist youth at University of California. Apparently overseas tax havens are the height of patriotism, but advocate raising the top marginal rate to 39% on high earners, and suddenly you’re a “socialist”….. or is that just a little too blatantly political?

      • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

        I grew up in Washington, DC so nothing is too blatantly political for me.

        When I went to business school a gazillion years ago it was drilled into our heads that the job of a corporation is to maximize profits, at any cost as long as it was legal. And that is still a corporation’s overriding responsibility-I really don’t blame them for taking advantage of built-in loopholes. Where did we go wrong? Our ethics discussions at the time were mostly fixated on the FCPA–no bribing of officials in other countries even if that’s how they did business in their culture.

        I guess bribery in our country is OK…isn’t that what lobbyists do? Someone is going to have to have deeper pockets than the NRA if they want Congress to pass gun control laws.

        Politics was never supposed to be a career. Put a two term limit on Senators and a 3 term limit on Reps, and reform campaign finance, and maybe they would do their jobs instead of worrying about who is financing their next campaign.

        And by the way, if corporations were run like Congress, they would go out of business. In my entire career I don’t remember an occasion when it was OK to stomp my foot and cross my arms and refuse to work with someone on the other side of the table just because he or she had different ideas. The last time that worked for me was in 3rd grade.

        OK–you see it doesn’t take much to get me on a rant. I think I hear fifes playing in the background (remember Green Acres?).

  2. Kate says:

    OMG! Hysterical (except it may be closer to the truth than we think). You do great conversations.

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