Bernie Sanders on Apple: "I wish they would not be trying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes"


Bernie Sanders is the working class hero of 2016: an unexpected success story, he is the only Democractic candidate that has a (slim but) real chance to win against Hillary Clinton in the race for delegates in the 2016 US Presidential election primaries.

In a recent interview with the NY Daily News, we found quite a few interesting thoughts by Sanders on the big corporations and Apple in particular that are worth sharing. Sanders is known for his sharp and relentless critique against big corporations that have irresponsible attitude. In fact, Sanders openly claims that JPMorgan and General Electric are destroying the fabric of America.

So it was only natural for the same question to pop out about Apple, the world's largest corporation. Is it also one that is destroying the fabric of America?

"No, Apple is not destroying the fabric of America. But I do wish they’d be manufacturing some of their devices, here, in the United States rather than in China. And I do wish that they would not be trying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes," Sanders clarified.

So what is then the type of company that is involved in the destruction of the fabric of America?

"JPMorgan Chase, and virtually every other major bank in this country. Let me be very clear, all right? I believe that we can and should move to what Pope Francis calls a moral economy. Right now, there are still millions of people in this country who are suffering the results of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street," Sanders said. "What we have seen over the many years is shutting down of many major plants in this country. Sending jobs to low-wage countries. And General Electric, doing a very good job avoiding the taxes. In fact, in a given year, they pay nothing in taxes. That's greed. That is greed and that’s selfishness. That is lack of respect for the people of this country."

Sanders then continues to speak about how the big corporations have moved jobs overseas in unfair and immoral trade agreements that compare the labor of the American worker against the labor of cheaply paid and often attrociously treated people in Asia. And that cannot be a fair comparison, according to Sanders. Fixing this would need reworking major trade agreements like NAFTA and PNTR with China, but at the end of the day, Sanders believes that this is the way to truly reform and rejuvenate the US economy.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that changing those trade agreements and having big companies like Apple move manufacturing in the United States would improve the US economy?

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127 Comments

1. maherk

Posts: 6749; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I love everything about this man

31. vincelongman

Posts: 5653; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

He's the only decent one left IMO (even as someone who's usually centre-left or centre-right) I really hope Clinton, Trump and Cruz are in the Panama Papers Hopefully more heads of state are in the Panama Papers too

40. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

No one gives a damn about panama papers. The rich have always avoided paying taxes. Your facebook ginger homie is making the biggest tax evasion move with the charity BS and you don't see too many people complaining.

58. vincelongman

Posts: 5653; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Touché. Tell that to Iceland's former PM

68. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

But his Party is Still in Power tho. The new PM is also from the same party.

59. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Trump said the EXACT same thing...

108. true1984

Posts: 864; Member since: May 23, 2012

clinton and cruz probably are, i doubt trump would be. and i wouldnt say bernie is decent. all of his ideas are pipe dreams

2. Gawain

Posts: 434; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

Well if Bernie knew how to read a 10K statement, he'd know that Apple paid over $15b in income taxes last year, an effective rate of over 25%. If he knew anything about economics, he'd know that moving manufacturing back to the US would mean paying $2,500 for a 16GB iPhone 6s - and that's assuming you could find enough talent to actually staff a manufacturing facility on the scale of Foxconn or Pegatron. This guy can't even balance his own checkbook.

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

You really believe Apple will sell its iPhone at $2500? Just because its made in US? I bought plenty of US goods, its pretty price competitive with the rest of the market. Yes, its cheaper in labour but are you sure the manufacturer is passing their saving back to the consumer?? They just end up more greedy that all.

17. Gawain

Posts: 434; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

Chinese labor is a fraction of the National minimum wage in the US. There is no way to get around the labor expense. What costs Apple $200 to make in China is about 6x that in the US due to labor costs alone. Those US goods you bought weren't complex manufactured products. They're all highly automated, using high volume (plastics, et al).

74. Nopers unregistered

Yeah but the cost of an iPhone isn't just labour, the parts cost. Labour cost for one iPhone is about $12.50. 6x that still = profits

83. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I think you guys in US are really selling yourself short. Companies can earn millions they are happy with millions. When they can make billions they are only happy with billions. Apple phone use the same part as any other smartphone yet they are so over price. Look at Apple cash reserves from selling iPhone. I used to.look.up.to American because I find them to be confident with independent thought. Somehow somewhere you forget to look up and aim high. I don't live in America. I do have subsidized education, an affordable apartment, health care plan and currently loan free. Think about that. You guys have been robbed by corruptions in governance.

62. jontaylor07

Posts: 169; Member since: Oct 12, 2015

Some goods can be made at competitive rates in the US, due to a lot of different factors. However, iPhones are not one of those things. That's why no one makes phones in America. We're not the market for that. Need great IT, lawyers, programmers, or accountants? The US is a great place to find that. Want to create tech? Go to Asia.

64. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Well take the math. 325 people are involved in making an iphone, an average manufacturing job in the US is minimum 35k a year. People making cars average 50-70k after benefits the union imposes on the company. It takes 24hrs to build one as well. Fox conn pays about 2/hr, CA just passed a 15/hr bill. 35k is 17/hr Basepay is not what the employer pays, a 35k employee is actually 40-45k depending on benefits package. So 325 people working at say...17/hr, is 5525 for one hour on the job to make the phone. Foxconn does it at a cost of 650 for the same ratio. That is an 850% increase. I don't think it would be 2500...but I would garner labor is about 20% of the phones 200buck cost. Or 40bucks. 40 Bucks vs 340. There is a 300 dollar price difference in Labor alone. This does not include the excess costs it requires to run a company in the states, nor the excess taxes they would be paying. You are looking at around 500 extra at that point.

94. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

But you aren't considering the tax benefits the Feds give for keeping the manufacturing here. So your math doesn't even matter because its wrong. Both Bertie and Clinton are both saying this equally. Corporations who keep their manufacturing here would receive huge tax incentives which would lower taxes. This basically means they will have more loopholes to keep more cash, while those who keep moving it overseas will have to pay more taxes which means less loopholes. My solution is simple. All US Americans should stop buying any product where an American company doesn't make that product here. They go out of business and that problem is solve. Those people can get a job at companies who are here because they will all be opening jobs everywhere. If Samsung had a factory here with 300,000 employees making $12hr+benefits, their products woudl cost the same or less. They could lessen the cost because the cost woudl drop due to pay for less taxes. All they woudl be paying is more wages and benefits. On my companies insurance, we pay $400 of each employees insurances and they pay $40 per month. That $400 is NOTHING compared to other employee expenses.

107. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Psst, that's crap pay for a assembly job. I can name a job that is much easier than any assembly job that pays 22/hr, not including benefits which push it higher. Its a call center to boot. And my city is not a high wage city either. And you keep saying their costs would stay the same...their costs would stay the same, freaking prove it dude. Pull up a Samsung factory from overseas, shows us their average pay, then compare it here. You cant. a 12/hr employee is a 30k/yr employee to the employer. That is 9 billion dollars in employee costs alone. That isn't tax, that is nothing but pure, pure, pure labor costs. Also pssst...Samsung was investigated for China Labor law violations. Their 10,000 worker factory was paying people 206/month. 206/month. 1.17/hr is no where near 12/hr. If you think the government tax incentive is going to make up the 90% of labor cost your freaking high as a goddamn kite.

121. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Maybe it'll go better next time around. Motorola did that with the original Moto X and nobody I sold one to cared it was made in the US. Of course, those that did care might have ordered it online or in other places, but still.

104. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You also aren't factoring in, many peopel have 100's of 1000's in debt before they even get their first job. which si why I support that people who go to scool and get very good grades, show get to go to a university of their choice and have the Gov't pay for it. After all, as much money as the unaudit military spends, sending 100,000 students per year to a top university and maybe 50,000 more to a nice college and maybe 5000 more to a community college is not a lot of money. After all, many of those students could be the next Bill Gates or Steve jobs and its the corps who are goign to benefit most for having them as an employee. A good doctor should have to pay $0 for his schooling consider the potential 10's of thousands of lives he potentially will or could save. For every man/ woman or child he helps saves, that is potentially millions in tax money collected. Why shoudl he/she start life in debt already. many people before they get a job when they get one are taking 10 years or more to pay a debt before they can even enjoy their money. Then when they get a job, because they have student loans to pay, their first jobs only pay so much. So they have to go in more debt because they dont have the cash to buy a car, or home without going into more debt to buy them. To buy clothes they need to have a credit card because they have so much debt already. Corps want people in debt because they make more money from people in debt then those who aren't. Rich people don't make car payments, they just pay cash. Its the rest of us who have debt. Rich people dont have mortgage payments, they pay cash. Rich people have credit card only so they don't carry huge sums of money in their pockets. But they pay them off every month so they dont have debt. The rest of us don't have this luxury. So our income does go as far as others. Most people who work everyday even with 2 income families struggle. I wish my wife could work. I'd be fine because my income pays all the bills, her money would help me kill debts which would increase my income and we both would be sitting pretty.

13. maherk

Posts: 6749; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

How come Motorola flagships are sold at half of the price of an iPhone?

20. Gawain

Posts: 434; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

Motorola shut down the US plant after 18 months. The Moto X from that period was also a far inferior product, inside and out. Old TI CPU, plastic, shoddy camera, low-spec displays, etc.

26. maherk

Posts: 6749; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

It's not like Apple are producing their components!! They can easily assmeble an iPhone in America instead of China, and it won't affect it's price that much. Apple simply don't want their phones to get assembled in the US to avoid taxes. If American cars have managed to offer excellent cars for a lower price than their Asian competitors, I don't see why an iPhone ASSEMBLED in the US, should cost 5x the price of a phone built in Asia.

30. Gawain

Posts: 434; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

First, Those lower priced cars are not made in the US. Second, labor is the *single* most expensive line item in a business. $1/hr vs. $8/hr+benefits is an insurmountable cost. That excludes every other factor, logistics, real estate (+ taxes), QA, utility costs. The cost of goods sold would increase at least 10x. Shop around on Alibaba and see how low the ODM pricing is in bulk. Then you'll get it.

97. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

YES THEY ARE. The Toyota Camry is made in the USA. It actually costs less money now than when it was being made in Japan. YOU'RE WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Import taxes on a car are much higher than if that car was made here. What Toyota was doing before was this. They took all the parts of the car and put them on a boat, because all the parts are cheaper to ship vs a complete car. While the parts are in transit, some cars are built right on the boat. These are the parts that can be done without machines. The rest was assembled at the [plant here. But now Toyota builds the Camry here, the cost of the care is much cheaper. The base price of a Camry in the USA is 21K, it use to start at 24k when it came from overseas. It is less now. This may not apply to every car company. I picked Toyota because they stated as fact, there cost for building this car dropped after changing th assembly plants to full blow plants that makes the parts and the cars too.

109. true1984

Posts: 864; Member since: May 23, 2012

thats true, toyota and honda now build more cars in the us than chevy and ford

110. Gawain

Posts: 434; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

Camry and Malibu class vehicles are not "low cost" vehicles. Look at compact class vehicles like the Chevy Cruz, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Yaris, etc. All, or the majority sold in the US are made in either Mexico or Canada. Toyota has a plant in Mississippi that makes some Corollas but aside from the Camry, Toyota makes its high-margin vehicles in the US - (trucks, some SUVs). All their hybrids are made in Japan.

113. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

As of 2015, thes eare the list of cars made in the USA, but I think this is a short list: Toyota Camry Toyota Sienna Chevrolet Traverse Honda Odyssey GMC Acadia Buick Enclave Chevrolet Corvette My SUV the Journey was made in Michigan, until Chrysler was bought by Fiat.Now my vehicle which is still carrying the Dodge badge in the USA, also now has a Fiat badge overseas and is now made in Mexico. Being from Mexico now doesn't make it a foreign car. It is still domestic because Mexico is on the same continent as the USA.. My Dodge Journey RT, which has now been replaced by a new trim level called the crosswords, still has my original sticker showing in the door that it was made in Michigan. Also I found this • The best-selling passenger car in the United States is a Japanese-brand car, the Toyota Camry. But the "imported" Camry is actually built in America -- at Toyota's plant in Kentucky. • Ford's best-selling F-Series pickup, meanwhile, is built at a plant in Cuautitlán Izcalli, Mexico, as well as in other plants throughout North America. • GM's popular Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon SUVs are also assembled south of the border -- at GM's Toluca, Mexico, plant. • German automaker BMW has a large assembly plant in Spartanburg, S.C., where the 3 Series sport sedan, Z4 roadster and X5 sport-ute are built -- by American, not German, workers. • Honda has six facilities in Ohio -- including plants in Anna, East Liberty and Marysville. The Accord, Civic and Element SUV sold here are built stateside -- not somewhere in the Pacific Rim. Now that you have digested all of that, let’s take a look at some of the partnerships that have helped change the definition of what a domestic or import car really is. • GM has bought engines from Japanese automakers -- and GM has sold its highly regarded hydra-matic transmissions to car companies all over the world; ditto its Harrison AC systems. • For a number of years, GM was partnered with Toyota -- and models like the Toyota Corolla and Geo/Chevy Prizm were essentially the same car. Just as the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe are today. Were those cars imports -- or domestics? Let’s take a look at some others: • Ford is partnered with Mazda; both the Ranger pickup and Escape SUV have sheet metal cousins in the Mazda B-Series pickup and Tribute SUV. • Ford uses technology acquired/licensed from Toyota in its hybrid vehicles, making its hybrid Escape SUV a true hybrid -- of parts, that is. And then you have the Volvo S80 and Ford Five Hundred, which share their DNA (and many parts). • Even the popular Chrysler 300 isn’t what you might think. It shares its underlying platform (but not its engines) with the Mercedes E-Class sedan … bet you didn’t know that one.

42. 8logic

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

actually, if you look at the earning reports for american cars and compare them to their asian counterparts, you'll be shocked at the cost difference and profit per a car. because of unions, americans companies are way over paying, therefore, they'll have to make less and/or use cheaper parts.

105. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Toyota doesn't. They simply make their own parts. As does Chrysler. Also American cars arent that much cheaper than imports. Example, look at the Ford Escape now. Its an expensive little SUV for it to me made here. Now I drive a Dodge Journey RT which cost me $31k sticker price. That little Escape with all what my car offers would be more than my SUV period. yet I have way more. I have 3 rows of seats, 9 speaker sound with sub, moonroof and more and my car is much bigger vs cramming into a tiny space. That's my work truck. For the weekend I drive a Lincoln with all the trimming which in an import would make the car cost me $55k yet I paid less than $35k. Those imports arent better. They are simply pricier pieces of junk that break down just as easy as an american car. Here in Chicago, I see just as many busted up Benz and BMW's on the side of the road as any domestic car made here. I can change all 4 of my disks brakes for less than it cost to just change 1 set on an import. Those parts arent better because they costs mosre. Example. I paid $750 to have all 4 rotors replaced with brand new aftermarket options, not original Mopar on my truck. That was 5 years ago and I drive my truck everyday in the city. So far I have had 2 cuts on the same rotors and they still dont need replacing. Yet on my Lincoln which is an import its not made here, It has had 2 brake changes in the same 5 years where I had to replace all for disks twice with a cost close to $2000 in the same 5 years. Which car is actually saving me money? My truck is. Its better on gas too as I get 500 miles out a full tank on the highway while my care barely gets 400 miles, My so-called cheap domestic Dodge is better than my imported Luxury branded car...lol This is why i said my next cars will never be another import...EVER! They are a rip off from the very first I ever owned. They cost to much to buy, cost to much to fix.

95. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Because it wont. The parts are still made overseas and would still cost Apple the same for the parts. Their only increase would be the cost of labor. There taxes would be the same or would drop because: 1. Apple would only b paying an important on components which is cheaper than shipping a completed product. 2. Amny of those componenets could be made here in the USA, and would be cheaper for the actual part itself, but again the labor cost would go up. 3. The FEds woudl lover taxes for these companies because they would oncentivise them which would halp a business cover the extra cost of providing a higher salary and benefits. Also with people making MORE MONEY, rasing the cost of a product a little bit wont hurt. For example, a person making $7 can afford an iPhone on monthly payments. But if that same person made $14, they woudlnt even need monthly payments or they could afford a slightly larger payment. At the very most, Apple would only need to increase the cost as much as $50. But considering they are already $40% to high anyways, they don't have to raise them at all. Just to the real math. How can Apple make $400+ of each phoen sale?

27. MucuCat

Posts: 50; Member since: Feb 19, 2014

fair point on closing down. but how was the phone inferior? it had sharper display than the 5s, better battery, and OMG the screen to body ratio of iphone 5s is a joke.. the camera was bad tho but i dont get for example if 1 american worker assambles only 1 iphone per hour and u pay him 15$, wouldent the cost of an iphone rise for 15$ (i have no clue how many per hour can be assambled but i guess more than a few)? so how would the iphone cost 6x more?

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