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Apple has given Ireland €14.3 billion. Ireland doesn’t want it.

The EU forced Ireland to take the money after saying it was illegal to ask Apple for so little tax.

The EU forced Ireland to take the money after saying it was illegal to ask Apple for so little tax.

What it means: Governments make a lot of their money from taxes. And while none of us really like being taxed, most of us do like the stuff a (competent) government pays for with those taxes - roads and schools and hospitals and so on.

So it seems kinda weird that Ireland would look at Apple, see all those billions of dollars the smartphone company makes, and ask it for less than one percent of that money. It’s not like Ireland is completely anti-tax; most Irish workers pay a 20 percent tax on their salary and most businesses in Ireland pay a corporation tax (that’s just a tax on a business’ profits) of 12.5 percent. So what gives?

Basically, the Irish government really, really wanted Apple to set up its European HQs in their country, so much so that they offered it a super-low tax rate as an incentive (tbf, it’s not like they were going to win on their weather). That’s because if Apple was based in Ireland, they would hire lots of Irish workers. Which they have - about 6,000 of them. And that’s not including all the other Irish people who got jobs doing things like selling lunches to Apple employees or actually building the new HQ.

But the EU thinks it’s unfair for Ireland to give Apple such a good tax deal and not offer the same low rate to all other companies. It calls this ‘illegal state aid’ which is basically accusing the Irish government of helping a (rich and powerful and American) company get a leg up on its competitors.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?