By Bill Boyarsky
Posted on May 1, 2012
By chance, the revelation of how Apple evades millions of dollars in taxes broke three days before May Day, when workers of the world traditionally protest such injustice.
Although the Apple practices aren’t illegal, the dodging of taxes on revenue generated, to a large extent, by low-wage Chinese workers, was a perfect introduction to this year’s May 1 observance, highlighted by the Occupy movement’s call for strikes and demonstrations around the country. The goal: Protest corporate domination of an economy being pulled downward by growing income inequality and intractable unemployment.
The New York Times reported that the technology company has used loopholes to reduce its tax bills in 21 states and overseas by billions of dollars annually by creating subsidiaries in places with low-tax or no-tax policies. In January, the paper told how Apple’s Chinese workers “often labor in harsh conditions” with “onerous work environments and serious—sometimes deadly—safety problems … excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms.”
The latest Apple story broke at an opportune moment. Occupy and other campaigners for social justice are hoping this exposé of the evil side of globalization will enrage American workers and persuade them to join protests.
Thousands of Angelenos demonstrating against income inequality and immigration policy marched Tuesday into the financial heart of Downtown Los Angeles. Last week, not far from there, I spent a day with more than 400 activists, most of them young community organizers not working with Occupy. They discussed turning protests into political action that will lead to economic reform.