Joseph Stiglitz, an economist professor at Columbia University and 2001 recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, has described Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland as a “fraud” in a recent interview with Bloomberg TV.
“Here we have the largest corporation in capitalization not only in America, but in the world, bigger than GM was at its peak, and claiming that most of its profits originate from about a few hundred people working in Ireland — that’s a fraud,” Stiglitz said. “A tax law that encourages American firms to keep jobs abroad is wrong, and I think we can get a consensus in America to get that changed.”
Here’s the problem with that line of reasoning: what Apple has done is perfectly legal and reasonable. And it’s what each one of us individually does on our taxes: we take every possible tax break and loophole that’s allowed by the law.
If people don’t like Apple’s following the law, then change the law. But don’t criticize them for doing what’s legally best for their company, stock holders, and customers.