In the past three days, I have written two posts (Friday and today) that have taken Apple Computers to task for sheltering their profits in Ireland as a way to avoid paying taxes to the US and several other nations. It is not that I have a personal beef or vendetta against Apple -- I don't use their products -- it is more that the way they do business is emblematic of today's corporate culture.
That Apple and other rich corporations hide their profits in those locations that allows them to shirk their tax responsibilities is not all that surprising. What is stunning is that Apple is the darling of many who consider themselves liberal and/or progressive!
How can this be?
In my opinion, it all has to do with the rose-colored glasses liberals wear a good deal of the time. These folks tend to look at singular aspects of a corporation and, if the corporation appears progressive in a particular area, these folks extrapolate this one high mark to mean that the whole of the enterprise is progressive.
For example, if a particular company has a good environmental record, then a lot of liberals will tell you it's a great company. Said company might engage in deplorable anti-union activities or, like Apple, figure out creative ways to avoid paying its share of taxes, but those folks simply ignore these aspects!
For me, if you want to give a company your seal of approval, you need to look at the company's business practices in their totality. Yes, XYZ Company might have an exemplary record when it comes to its labor practices, but if they are major polluters or they ripoff municipal governments left and right, you really can't hold them up as a shining example of progressive values.