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Apple’s CEO Tim Cook— Serf Labor, Overpriced iPhones, and Wasted Burning Profits

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook— Serf Labor, Overpriced iPhones, and Wasted Burning Profits

Ralph Nader

The New York Times screamed its Headline— “In 1997, Apple was 90 Days from Going Broke. On Thursday [Aug. 2, 2018], It Became the first publicly traded American company to be valued at…$1,000,000,000,000.” The first trillion dollar company!

I take issue with the notion of “gouging iPhone customers.”

No one is required to buy an iPhone, and there are plenty of other smart phones and operating systems out there. The company charges what they think people are willing to pay, and lo and behold, people are willing to pay it.

Whether their smart people, or just members of an iCult, I’ll leave to others to discuss, but no one is being “gouged”.

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With all due respect - its naive - not to mention self-deceptive - to conflate naivete with sound principles that are inconvenient to systems run amok.

One of the bizarre twists in the commons these days is the propensity to buckle under the manipulations so utterly dependent on fostering public belief that all is naive when faced with hegemony of corruption.

Never give in to it. Hand them as much rope as they want - and never lose sight of solid grounding.

I’ve never bought an apple product and never will.


Hi TomJohnson------but wasn’t capitalism regulated after WW 2? People had good jobs, and apparently only 1 person needed to work to buy a house. College was really cheap, and America made a lot of things and people had full time jobs with health benefits and retirement too. I also read that corporate American paid 90% in taxes ------and they were still rich.
Since Ralph Nader grew up, in that time, it seems like capitalism was regulated back then. Besides, I like Ralph Nader, who has been in and around government for a long time, and his ideas make sense to me. I don’t think he’s naive, I think he’s trying to remind people that what was possible once is possible again, even with changes in the world.


You have to remember that post-WWII, the US was the only country with an untouched industrial base. Therefore, there was an almost endless market for American manufactured goods and no competition to speak of. To the other points you note:

  1. The cost of college has gone up at roughly 2x the rate of inflation for more than 50 years. Because colleges have had access to subsidized tuition (e.g., student loans and grants) they have been able to throw money at all sorts of non-educational things, including high end dorms, college sports, and an ever increasing administrator to teacher ratio.

  2. They had those jobs because, as noted, most of the industrial base of Europe and Asia had been destroyed in WWII. With manufacturing in full swing there was a need for workers (driving up wages) and because of the culture of the time, roughly one-half the work force (i.e., women) weren’t in the workplace.

  3. Very few people paid the 90% rate, and looking at the then-existing loopholes (business meals, company cars, company-supplied housing, clothing allowances, company-paid clubs, etc.), even for the high end, the “90% tax rate” rarely mattered.

  4. Capitalism is regulated more now than it was in the 1950s. In the 1950s, there were no class action suits, there was no EPA, Taft-Hartley had been passed to rein in the labor unions.

It wasn’t a golden age, despite what Ralph might think. As noted elsewhere here, ask Blacks in the South (or even the North), ask women who aspired to be secretaries, or had to stop teaching (grade school only…) once they got married.

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The aspects of capitalism that posed the most risk to society and the economy WERE regulated MORE, not “less in the 1950s”, most notably the financial services industry, prohibiting securitization of mortgages, stock buybacks, co-mingling commercial/investment banking, being a few of many examples.

Capitalism continued to be more regulated through the 1980s when more than 1,000 bankers served time for their roles in the savings and loan scandal that negatively impacted hundreds of THOUSANDS of Americans. Compare that to no bankers even being indicted for their roles in the 2008 crash that negatively impacted BILLIONS of people on every continent, making the S&L scandal look like a boutique event by comparsion.

“The 90% tax rate rarely mattered” except that the 1% was left with only enough money to buy all the goods and services they wanted, the exception being that higher taxes limited how many politicians they could buy.


There has never been a limit on bought politicians.

Sell your stock now, when the coming deep recession/depression hits, the first thing people will drop will be all the services that they’re subscribed too. Apple like many large companies biggest growth has been in services.

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I can only speak from my experiences in the late 60’s and 70’s as a working women. Corporation in my city were community minded and treated workers well and I felt fortunate to receive compensation for my secretarial/bookeeping abilities which afforded me to pay rent, eventually buy a house and raise a child. These corporations had profit sharing or retirement, picnics and Christmas parties for the girls and of course good healthcare benefits. College grads would come in and make pittance for a time before they moved up into lower management and…These corporations participated in the communities thru donations to institutions and sponsored numerous sporting activities. I did not have to pay for my child’s sports or arts or music, it was a given in education. These CEO’s were rich, rich, rich but gave back to our community.
Nothing like the greedy sycophants in today’s world. They invested in buildings/equipment, people products and community.


So the people of the US are being asked to pay over 700 billion for defense-----does Apple benefit from this massive outlay of funds for defense? Has there been a negative effect on society by all these Apple products ?Apple spends its time trying to avoid paying taxes as if it has no social responsibility for all the benefits it gets operating in this corporate state system. Apple and these other big corporations need to be giving back a LOT MORE to the owners of this country-----SUPPORT INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM----SUPPORT THE COMMONS.