Apr 302012
Authors: The Rocky Mountain Collegian Editorial Board

Take a quick look at your iPhone, iPad or Macbook. They’re pretty awesome, right? What with the streamlined design and functionality, it’s easy to understand why Apple is expected to rake in a record $45.6 billion in profits this fiscal year, and why the company has legions of devout followers.

But have you ever taken a step back and wondered where that iPhone, iPad or Macbook actually came from?

If you haven’t, you should. As revealed in a series of articles by the New York Times detailing Apple’s at-times-dubious business practices, which include using suppliers that pay employees $17 a day to work in dangerous conditions and setting up satellite offices around the world to maintain a tax rate that is far lower than average.

It’s pretty fair to say that your iPhone comes with a higher cost than what you pay per month on your cellphone bill.

According to a report by the Times this weekend, without its current tax strategy, Apple would have most likely owed the U.S. $2.4 billion in taxes more than it ended up paying last year.

Think about it. If that $2.4 billion went to higher education (a totally theoretical model), that would mean an extra $48 million dollars more in funding per state.

While it’s true that countless other companies use the same practices as Apple (many have even used it as a model), and while there are tons of companies out there guilty of far more heinous crimes against its workers than Apple is, it’s still worth it to stop and wonder.

Stop and think about what exactly had to be sacrificed so that you could Facetime or play Angry Birds.

Because while your iPhone may seem like it’s totally awesome, what it symbolizes isn’t quite as awesome as you think. And we’ve got to ask ourselves: Is it worth it?

 Posted by at 2:25 pm

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