of the Apple
Many folks are sad because of the passing of Steve Jobs recently and even I feel sad that he has left this plane. However too many folks, act as if his passing was like the crucifixion of Jesus, minus the resurrection. Lets face it MacHeads are nothing if not loyal, of course once you become a Mac user you have to be loyal because MacWorld is an extremely proprietary universe.
No one, even an open source Linux inclined person such as myself could deny that Apple/Mac has produced elegant and highly functional devices over the years and the loyalty of the MacHeads is easy to understand. But the adulation for Mr. Jobs has gone beyond what he deserves, at least to a person who feels the most important technical innovator of recent decades to die recently was actually Les Paul. Unlike what folks like the locked into Mac products, king of BC Bloggers might think, Steve Jobs was not an engineering genius, he was a visionary who could see the opportunity to create a device to fulfill a need people didn't even know they had, but had to then team up with a REAL engineer like his original partner the Woz to implement his vision in hardware.
But I'm not really talking about Mr. Jobs here, my topic is the company he helped found and how they have turned into just another corporate abuser of the planet and especially anyone who has the misfortune of building their products.
Apple/Mac often pretends to be the good guy to the villain of Bill Gates and Microsoft, but it ain't that simple. For example, Apple devices are built in a factories where the slaves might make about $1.00 per hour and get ripped off for their non-optional overtime. And if exploiting cheap labor wasn't enough, they, like so many of their corporate partners in crime, stash as much money as possible offshore in havens inaccessible to the IRS who are mandated to collect taxes to support the infrastructure where most of their customer base resides.
In its fourth quarter earnings report released last week, Apple Computer revealed that 2/3 of its on-hand cash – some $54 billion — is squirreled away outside the boundaries of the United States, presumably to avoid paying its fair share of taxes. In the meantime, reports Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), a Hong Kong-based group, Apple’s major manufacturing contractors routinely subject employees to forced overtime, wage theft and no breaks — and even unprotected exposure to toxins.
The sleaziest thing that Bill Gates did was buy DOS from a cash strapped programmer in Seattle who didn't know that IBM was looking for an operating system, no matter how inferior, that would work and then turn it into millions or billions of dollars by clever licensing arrangements that set little Billy on the road to being the richest guy on the planet. Of course now, other sleazier guys, like tele-com magnate Mr. Slim, a Mexican, have made Gates' fortune seem like chump change and Mr. Gates has devoted himself to good works.
So I join those who mourn the passing of a true visionary, but I'm not about to give Apple/Mac, a corporation which on some days tops Exxon as the most valuable company on earth, a free pass for being typical greedy corporate pigs.