To the president of Apple, the fine that he received from Brussels for receiving illegal, individualized, and anti-competitive public funds in the form of taxes in Ireland was “total garbage.”
The pretty expression is not fit for a discussion. It is Cook’s declaration of war against European democratic power: much more democratic than what Eurosceptic braying claims. After all, democratic governments chose it. And now these governments do it, too, as a result of the outcomes of the elections in the European Parliament.
In this war, the courteous Tim Cook is employing insidious weapons. He succeeded in his extortion of the Irish government. Dublin will go to court against the Commission: it was enough for Cook to insinuate that, if Dublin did not do so, he would leave Ireland. Well, he pays less in taxes than a sausage stand, according to Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern. Cook’s promise to give Ireland 1,000 employees as well as multi-million dollar investments if the country supported him also helped. The servile government opted to bend over even more. It prefers to maintain its repugnant prestige as a fiscal paradise in order to attract tax evaders who make more than 13,000 euros of the (glorious) sanction.
Cook also cuddles with the White House, denying to repatriate $220 billion to the U.S., money that he keeps in a Catholic island and other delinquent hiding places… unless they lower his fiscal bill, which would require him to pay 35 percent to social taxes.
And Obama’s criticisms against tax evaders, whom he labeled tax traitors, are being forgotten. His treasury secretary is already applauding the worms in the apple with the help of, oh God, Neelie Kroes, predecessor of the current European Commissioner for Competition, the brave Margrethe Vestager. Kroes, luxuriously employed by American tech companies, is the herald of her delicate lead partner, Durao Barroso, the snazzy Mr. Clean for Goldman Sachs, an investment bank that has shown and admitted to corruption multiple times.
We were seduced by the company with the little apply, the fertile imagination of Steve Jobs, the shape of the garage-based Schumpeterian entrepreneur’s social elevator, his clean enrichments with clean technology. And suddenly we are discovering how long-standing Standard Oil or AT&T, champions of carrion diplomacy, also embody the imperial evil—version 2.0, carrion-eating diplomacy. That said, it's only fiscal, without bullets.