Mass Protests Outside Of Apple Stores Planned Next Week

Mass Protests Outside Of Apple Stores Planned Next Week

This photogenic gang might be waiting for you outside your local Apple Store on June 4th.

Prepare to get buckets of blood splattered all over your new white iPhone as you exit the Apple Store next week. A group that feels that Apple tries to weasel its way out of too many taxes will be protesting Apple’s retail locations around the country.

The group is called US Uncut, an organization that tries to stop corporations and companies from avoiding US taxes, and they are protesting Apple’s participation in the Win America Campaign, in which Apple and other companies are trying to get one-time tax breaks on profit that they are currently holding overseas.

“Apple plays huge games with their taxes. By disguising profits in the U.S. as foreign earnings in low-tax countries, Apple dodges billions of dollars of taxes they should be paying,” US Uncut said in a statement.

Other targets of US Uncut include Bank of America, Verizon, FedEx, GE, and BP, although for publicity reasons, they seem to be targeting Apple for their most public protesting.

This is sort of a complicated issue. The bottom line is that if Apple doesn’t get this one-time tax break, they’ll just continue to keep their money overseas, where the tax laws are more forgiving. While the principle of that tax break might suck, and could be a slippery slope, the actuality is that if Apple can’t bring that money in-country, it can’t spend that money in-country… which may or may not have a marked positive effect on our economies.

What do you think? Sympathize with US Uncut, or think they’re a bunch of buttinski bozos?

[via CNet]

  • Imp

    When Obama spends 800 Million in a failing Economy to send a Robot to an Asteroid for NASA, I would search for any possible means to avoid giving that moron a penny as well.

    Nice work Jobs.

  • Michael Griffin

    Lets hope there’s a group nearby willing to whoop some ass. Protestors ass, that is.

  • GregsTechBlog

    Well, I’m usually not for targeting Apple just for publicity, but tax evading companies need the bad PR. 

  • Ed_Kel

    What Apple is doing is completely legal. I think what these people should really be protesting is the close to 25% corporate tax rate that our Government imposes. Until we create an ecosystem that allows these businesses to prosper inside the US, things like this needs to happen in order for these companies to make profit.

    These people are probably just jealous that they don’t have the intelligence nor the resources to create a profitable business. Therefore, they bitch and moan about the others that are creating good profit margins and also are smart enough to keep more of their well-earned money.

  • ElVox

    I don’t understand how you ‘mercans can stand that kind of protesting…PETA and so on…if somebody threw blood or paint at me, he’d get at minimum a broken arm, if not both.

  • Sportello

    Good for the protesters. While the stated corporate tax rate is high, the effective tax rate is actually quite low. All these people are asking is for corporations to pay taxes in the same way the rest of us (who don’t have the benefit of off-shore subsidiaries) do. 

    I don’t have a problem with Apple taking advantage of tax loopholes, but it’s sad to see them supporting the Win America Campaign. Pay the taxes, bring the money on shore, and go about your business. 

  • Bpjauburn

    Not 25% corporate tax rate. The statutory corporate tax rate is 35% and is the second highest int he world behind japan. The US tax system does not allow these earnigns to be repatriated without a punitive tax so corporations choose to keep the earnings (and cash) overseas.

  • Ed_Kel

    I may have heard wrong.. Japan was dropping their rate (to 25% I believe; where that figure came from) making the US highest in the world. Either way, you make it impossible to do business in your country, things like this happens.

  • Ed_Kel

    The aren’t evading taxes. What they are doing is completely legal and necessary at times to keep their profits. I would do the same thing.

  • GregsTechBlog

    These corporations are brining in millions, and yet the average person pays more in federal taxes. There’s something wrong there.
    It’s not illegal, but it should be. Rather than cutting back on funding and middle class jobs, we should be asking why corporations who could contribute billions to our economy are instead sitting on the money. Why CEO pay is higher than ever, and the gap between executive pay and median company salary are so vastly different (and more than ever). And yet the most wealthy are getting tax breaks. 
    No, it’s not necessary to keep profits. While I’m not saying they should all be paying the full price of doing business here in the US, but we should ease them back into paying federal taxes. 

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Brownlee can actually write articles.  Who knew?

    Apple can still spend money in the US the same way we spend money in China; through exports.

    Still, I don’t see much difference either way.  The consumer always ends up paying for everything in the end.  Higher taxes for Apple just means higher prices for us, and if the government can’t get at Apple’s money directly, they’ll just raise our taxes to compensate.  It’s a win-win really.  

  • MeanKidneyDan

    oh god look at the Arial on that banner. BOOOO.

  • B066Y

    “It’s not illegal, but it should be.”Then protest tax law not the companies that take advantage of it. If the loopholes were there for me I would use them too.

  • B066Y

    Then protest tax law not the companies that take advantage of it. If the loopholes were there for me I would use them too. You can’t blame Apple or any other company for doing what is legally in their best interests.

  • mattster

    do people have nothing better to do?

  • Ed_Kel

    In some regards I agree with you, but I can’t help but to think that you aren’t trying to preach class envy/warfare. I want the wealthy to be given tax breaks just like the rest of us because they are job creators. Ever been employed by a poor person? I pay roughly $5,000/year in federal income tax; it’s ludicrous to say that the average person pays more than corporations in federal taxes.

    You need to look at the grand scheme of things. Apple among most, if not all companies, reinvest into their business. Profitability is essential to any business at any scale and you can read blogs on this very website saying that, that is exactly what they are doing! Apple employs thousands of people. They buy out entire market sectors (like LED displays) for their  products which creates job growth in those sectors. Not to mention they have Shareholders to answer to and research and development. Without obscene amounts of profit, Apple couldn’t invest and create the exceptional products that they are known for. Which brings me to my next point; they aren’t sitting on their money. It may only look as so because they consistently show net-growth.

    With all do respect, I think it’s ignorant for you say that big corporations like Apple aren’t contributing to the economy because they don’t bleed their profits into the Government. Contributing to the economy isn’t giving the Government their money, it’s reinvesting and employing. Companies don’t grow without those two key contributions. It speaks for itself.

  • GregsTechBlog

    The whole trickle down effect is BS. The gap between executive pay and the median salary has increased tremendously. They’re only lining their own pockets, not passing their savings onto their workers. 
    Yes, these corporations are creating jobs. But they could be doing a lot more. And when jobs are being cut so executives can ensure that their next 5 generations don’t have to work a day in their lives, then I see a problem. 

  • Mike Rathjen

    “Tax Dodger”? OH PLEASE. Supporting legislation that reduces or removes a tax does make one guilty of dodging taxes.

    If I support the mortgage interest tax break, am I a tax dodger? If I support reducing taxes for the middle class am I a tax dodger? If I suppose the removal of tax from bottled water am I a tax dodger?

  • Allan Robertson

    Well said.

  • Alex Hebden

    Statistically speaking, 9 out of 20 of those protesters are likely to be not paying income taxes in America, but we don’t really talk about the 45%+ of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, much less protest them.

  • Ed_Kel

    Trickle down economics is proven! Let people keep more of their own money and watch the economy grow while also seeing more tax revenue because products and services that we get taxed on are flourishing! Check the economic growth numbers between 1970-1980; they speak for themselves. It’s common sense!

    At first I thought you were somewhat of an intellect engaging in a very good debate until this. There is no possible way you could back that up with facts! You only speculate that people like Steve Jobs are only in it for themselves and in no way want to give back to society.
    You’re an ignorant idiot. And I’ll even go as far to say a liberal.. 

    Lets give all the money to politics! Obama knows how to grow an economy better than any other business!! How dare these companies! Obama 2012!

  • GregsTechBlog

    Erm, why not check out the deficit? The lowest under Clinton, and incredibly high under conservative economic policy. 
    Or better yet, look at the spending that got us out of the first great depression. 

    Bring forth any facts that the Bush tax cuts have improved our economy or shrunk our deficit. Then, bring me whatever drugs you’re on, because at this rate, I’m going to need that level of delusion!

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Hey Apple isn’t it enough you make obscene profits off the backs of Chinese workers.

    PAY YOUR TAXES YOU BUM

  • TylerHoj

    The protesters are just jealous they can’t get the same tax cut. When all those protestors build a computer in their garage, and then start their own multi-billion dollar company from the ground up…they’ll understand the tax dodge. 

  • Ed_Kel

    No no no you are wrong! Look at the spending that got us out of the recession BEFORE leading us into the great depression (you can find charts and graphs anywhere on the internet). The only thing that helped us out of the great depression was military spending on WW2; tanks, guns, etc. and anyone who knows economics know that there tends to be higher economic moral (meaning you and I spend more) in times of war (check market highs prior to 2008) which again, leads to higher tax revenue.

    Ask your holy savior Obama as to why he thought it was necessary to prolong the Bush tax cuts; I won’t go there.

    Clinton had a conservative house and senate. In fact it was Clinton’s idea of “everyone who wants a house gets a house” and the inevitable downward spiral of sub-prime lending that led to high foreclosures and bank failures in 2008; ultimately, what got us where we are today.
    Congress is voting on raising the 14.3 trillion dollar debt ceiling just so we don’t default on our loans. Please explain to me and everyone else your logic on spending.. Explain to me on a consumer level how spending more and creating more debt (in the form a credit cards or line of credit) can help me flourish..? Same rules apply to our Government.

  • GregsTechBlog

    The war created jobs, it didn’t help us simply because it was a war. Pulling back on government spending gets rid of jobs. However, if the government didn’t have to cut back on spending, but rather, could increase it, then we could have more publicly funded jobs. More money in the hands of consumers means a better bottom line for companies as well. 

  • Ed_Kel

    In theory, yes. But look at our deficits just since Obama took office! If your theory truly worked, then we wouldn’t be where we’re at right now. And if every job was public there wouldn’t be a bottom line for private companies because there would be no private companies. So when should the spending stop? When do we say enough is enough?

    One flaw in your statement. How would the Government pay for all their spending? By raising taxes? How then would that give us money to help other companies bottom line?

    Smells like socialism to me. Ask any Brit how the 1960’s were and they’ll tell you that we are traveling down the wrong road..

  • GregsTechBlog

    If my theory had been tested yet, I would agree. But Obama has not quite done all that he set out to do, has he? Prevented by the right, in many aspects, and even slowed by his own party. 
    Obama is not some godsend. He is a politician, like the others. The only difference, is that he set out to do his job right. 

    My theory has not been tested yet. Tax rates remain the same, the rich continue to enjoy their tax cuts, and companies continue to take advantage of loopholes. We increased spending, but were not able to increase our money coming in. The PWA and WW2 helped us out of a depression before. Creating jobs creates a flow of money. People need to not only have jobs, but confidence that the economy won’t take a downturn again anytime soon. Unless our government finds a way to increase the flow of cash, rather than having it sit in an executive’s bank account, we’ll lose our strong middle class. And that’s not a mess we want to see. 

    On a side note: are you interested in seeing how thin these columns can get as well?

  • lwdesign1

    OK, this may be the thinnest column yet, unless someone wants to try for one more.

  • GregsTechBlog

    I wonder just how far it willgo…

  • jif

    If corporations are people (according to the Supreme Court) then they should pay as much as people do… and if I can’t establish a tax haven in the Cayman Islands, then neither should they be able to.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Pretty far.

  • GregsTechBlog

    And I think that may have been the limit. Unless, of course, you post another reply…

  • Yasaswy Nagavolu

    me too

  • Michael Kaplan

    You mean we don’t already have a system where corporations prosper in the U.S.? Tell that the companies (like Apple) that are making enormous profits, while cutting payrolls and outsourcing manufacturing. Right now, corporations and their enablers are the ONLY people prospering in the U.S.

    Remember, while the overall rate is 35 percent, the REAL rate with all the tax loopholes lobbied into the tax code — is about half that. 

    I don’t begrudge Apple’s efforts to lower their tax liability. That’s just self-interest. But individual who want corporations to pay even LESS are fighting against their own self-interests. And I just can’t understand that. The less that corporations pay the more that individuals pay. That’s us.

  • Michael Kaplan

    So you think spending on scientific research is bad? I’d rather pay $800 million for a NASA mission than for another two weeks in Afghanistan, wouldn’t you?

  • Michael Kaplan

    It’s not like that “9 out of 20″ aren’t paying any taxes. They still pay sales tax, utlility taxes, property taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes, gas taxes, cigarette taxes and on and on. I’d venture that even without an income tax liability, low-income workers pay a higher share of their salary in tax then most millionaires.

    By the way, the exact same scenario exists for illegal aliens. They pay tons of taxes, yet hcan’t take advantage of most government services.

  • Howie Isaacks

    I think that these tax practices are pretty shady myself, but they should be protesting Congress to change the tax laws, not hounding corporations.  What these morons don’t understand is that Apple, like other publicly traded companies, have to answer to stock owners, and continue showing huge profits.  Therefore, they will take advantage of tax laws to lower their tax burden.  Change the law, and this practice will stop so long that the companies follow the law.

  • JDWages

    If more people would strive to reduce the size and reach of government (the real source of our problems), the US would then become a “low tax country” and this would no longer be an issue.

  • Bob Forsberg

    The problem with freedom of expression is we must tolerate these wack-jobs for all of us to enjoy that freedom.

  • Ed_Kel

    Governments don’t have control in profits made outside the U.S. Your statement is irrelevant because money we make is taxable; money in question isn’t…

  • Ed_Kel

    Haha I never saw this column shrink so much! Good talk. Seems that we agree in philosophy; but you believe in public sector and I believe in private.

  • Alex Hebden

    Which is why I said Income taxes. I know everyone pays taxes to some degree. However your second statement is a bit unfair. “low-income workers pay a higher share of their salary in tax then most millionaires” This is just the same as saying I bet someone with a 1,000$ monthly incomes pays a higher percent of that money for food then the percentage of some one who makes 100,000$ and what the second person pays for food. 

    Naturally the percentage paid will be greater due to a smaller pot. So although it is true it doesn’t really justify a “Feel sorry for the poor and tax the rich higher” mentality. 

  • Joanne

    Who is it that you think writes these laws for Congress to enact, Howie?

    It’s the lobbyists that are hired by this highly profitable corporations.  In other words, the act originates with the corporations.  And that is why the corporations need to get called out for this at least as much as does the Congress. 

  • Joanne

    And yet what you seem to be missing here, BO66Y is that Apple is engaged in trying to create a new loophole.  It is not one that currently exists and likely would not come to pass were it (and its coalition partners) not pushing Congress to create it.

  • Jens Hauge

    Wow… most people here LOVE corporations. Corporations make the world go round. Apple and Walmart should rule the world. Down with the small man (meaning everybody) and up with Corporate Power. Apple should just be it’s own country. Every Walmart should only have to pay taxes to itself. No more helping out anyone who is not already rich. Apple = Walmart (but more expensive)!

  • Jens Hauge

    I think you’re one of very few people on C.O.M. who thinks taxing corporations is okay. I’m with you in this lonely hole beneath a world of exploitation. Makes me wonder how warped my generation is (I have no idea if you’re part of my generation, but you get it). 

  • imajoebob

    How much do make make as a propagandist for the Koch brothers? (Denying it will just make your disgusting reactionary lying that much more pathetic).

    The speed limit on the Interstate is 55-60 mph.  How many people actually drive 55?  About as many as corporations that pay anything close to 35%.  In truth, the EFFECTIVE tax rate is closer to 20%. below that in many cases.  The effective tax system in the US is one of the lowest in the world, and it is actually REGRESSIVE.  The more money you make, the less you’re likely to be paying, and corporations pay even less than individuals.

    As for “repatriated earnings” paying punitive taxes, take a look at that phrase: repatriated.  That means they were HIDDEN overseas to begin with, and haven’t paid their share of tax to start with.  You can’t use the tax system to hide your earnings overseas and then complain that you’re paying a “penalty” to use them here in the States.  If you’re honest with your books to start, this isn’t a problem.

    Stop spouting right wing lies, start paying your fair share of taxes, and don’t be such a complete tool for the wealthiest people and corporations for the world (despite the fantasy they’ve sold you, you’re never going to be one of them).  They’ll sell your sorry ass down the river faster than you can say, “Please sir, I want some more.”  And make you pay the shipping charges.

  • imajoebob

    “Profit?”  Profit is not income, profit is an abstract number derived from a number of factors, including income.  But you and I, unlike corporations, can’t use completely fictional concepts to reduce, hide, and just plain lie about our net income.  We can’t write off our washer, our car, our furnace year after year.  We can’t pay our family members “management fees,” “goodwill,” or “operating expenses” as a way to hide or move or actual income into shelters.

    AOL/Time Warner actually considered bankruptcy when the rules on Goodwill were changed from a complete and total fiction to just bald face lying.  The reduction in what AOL could be charged by Time Warner for allowing them to buy the company cost TW BILLIONS in faux expenses. Again, we can’t do that.

    Those billions in tax subsidies for oil companies are (in part) to pay them to replace their old equipment – which they’ve already completely depreciated, so they never actually paid for them to start with – we did by paying the extra taxes they would have, had they been individuals.  Then, they just write the things off again, after getting government money to buy it.  They then assign ownership of the oil from those DOMESTIC wells to overseas subsidiaries, who then SELL IT BACK to the US subsidiary.  

    They make the profit on the oil being pumped out, they charge it off as an expense when they sell it to themselves, they then write off the new equipment they bought with OUR money.  I lost count, is that 35% they’re paying on that income, or is it actually a 400% rebate??

  • imajoebob

    If there’s a cop or someone with a camera they get arrested for assault and damaging property.  Their little “demonstration” eventually costs them about 3 Grand in fines and attorney’s fees, plus whatever it costs to clean/replace your white iPhone.

    Except, of course, if they’re right wingers.  If that happens multi-billionaire funded AstroTurf “advocacy” groups jump in and spend tens of thousands of dollars frustrating the courts and even paying the fines for the “victimized” criminals.

  • Joanne

    That little comment about the bucket of blood wasn’t at all inflammatory, was it?  I mean, given that this group has absolutely no history whatsoever of staging anything but peaceful protests, and never has engaged in such a tactic seems not to have been an impediment to Mr. Brownlee irresponsibly implying something quite the contrary anyway, nonetheless.

    Really objective reporting, Brownlee… NOT!

  • MC

    Actually you’re wrong on that argument.  I’m a US citizen living and working outside the US.  Does the US government insist on knowing what I make and do take a piece of it?  Yes they do.

  • JDWages

    Actually, here are the facts.  

    I too live outside the US and have since 1994.  Not all countries require tax reporting to them when you live outside those countries simply because, most of the time, these intelligent and peace-loving countries know you’re going to be paying taxes in whatever country you reside and to avoid complexity and double-taxation they leave it at that.  But the US, being in a state of perpetual war and with a welfare-dependent population that has slowly learned to live off governmental assistance, needs as much money as it can lay its hands on.  As such, the IRS demands that all citizens of The Land of the Free report their worldwide income annually.Of course, if most of your income is from outside the US, you do get an inflation-indexed exemption that tends to cover most of that foreign earned income, at least for most people (filed as a Form 2555, along side your 1040).  But if you make more than that exemption outside the US, and/or if the money you make on investments and interest inside the US exceeds your personal and family deductions, then you must pay Uncle Sam his due or face fines and jail time.  Uncle Sam cannot fight billion dollar wars without your contributions, so don’t complain, you tax payers.  Until Americans stop the wars, Americans must pay, and pay dearly.  But of course, these wars, TSA and the Department of Homeland Security are all for your safety and freedom from the threat of terror.  The loss of your individual freedoms (at airports) and money (through excessive taxes) should be worth that peace and security, right?

  • Hell

    The “US Uncut” group are a bunch of people who have nothing to do but destroy the future, namely Apple. So if they ever throw blood all over the iPhone I’m buying, Im not gonna stop until I break their necks.

  • Joanne

    That little comment about the bucket of blood that the author of this blog made was baseless and inflammatory.  This group has absolutely no history whatsoever of staging anything but peaceful protests, and never has engaged in such a tactic, yet that does not seem to have been an impediment to Mr. Brownlee irresponsibly implying something quite the contrary, nonetheless.
    That said, however, no matter what you may have originally believed your justification to have been when you posted it, your comment is completely over the top.

  • byron church

    Could you give me an example of a low tax country that your referring to ?

  • byron church

    9 out of 20 of us don’t make a profit . They barley can pay their rent and car fare to get to go to work every day for the corporations and the stock holders that do everything to keep there pay as low as possible and maximize profits 

  • byron church

    If you’re making a profit in America  and you’re not paying taxes you are a dodger. And yes greed is one thing that acutely does trickle down from the rich 

  • byron church

    Hello !!??? No Blood .  Not Peta.  Stay on topic!

  • JDWages

    I was not referring to any specific country.  I was merely quoting the article, which in turn was quoting US Uncut.  My previous statement merely said, “smaller government should result in lower taxes.”  And when taxes are lower, there are then fewer individuals or corporations who would go to extraordinary lengths to dodge those taxes.  And if the taxes are low enough, it may even be advantageous enough for some corporations to bring part of their manufacturing back home rather than keep it overseas.  And that’s what this article is all about.  Taxes and overseas manufacturing.

  • Marc Martinez

    Greed truly knows no limits…..

  • byron church

    To me it seems so obvious If greed and maximizing the amount of profit is our highest motivators we are more like a cancer to society and to the planet . One reason the government is to big is people and corporations  using their power and influence to subvert our resources to maximizing their personal treasures instead of our common good . We need to have a healthy government and a safe and just society with checks and balances . The clever and resourceful will take good care of themselves .

  • byron church

    If Hell and his head strong patriotism is instigating violence on a group of legal protesters by spreading false allegations of throwing blood or destroying our future than he should be arrested . If you youtube US Uncut and check it out you’ll find them totaly non-violent and refreshingly entertaining and possibly, hopefully some deferent perspectives which is always good for a healthy society don you think ?

  • hardcache

    It would help if there was evidence or any facts to the matter.  The facts are as follows:  Apple does a majority of its business overseas.  A majority of its’ profits are made overseas.  Example from Q3’11: Net Sales Americas: $9.32 Billion Non-Americas: $12 Billion!  Now in those countries Apple operates taxes are already paid.  Now this ignorant group wants that overseas money to be taxed in the U.S.?  Thats double taxation without representation.

  • Bobbytyliu

    Bunch of bozos..don’t know the workings of the tax system, and how companies have a right to exercise its financials…if these people had a job, they wouldn’t be protesting in the first place. Or are they so surprised that there’s actually an economy outside of the US?

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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