June Newsletter
   May 31, 2013         |    Santa Barbara, California                 

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For a decade or two, Apple bashers have been talking about the “Apple Tax.”  

This was the “tax” all purchasers of Apple products had to pay to make sure Apple made a tidy profit.  The argument was Apple computers and devices could and should have been sold at much lower prices like the nearly bankrupt Dell.  Purple Kool Aide drinking, reality distortion loving, true believers like me would argue for hours about why Apple computers were really cheaper in the long run.  We’d preach until we had worn the Apple bashers down and somebody would eventually end the debate with, “Get a Life!”  With no shortage of hubris or doubt, we’d wave our victory flag dramatically enough to annoy the non-believers, and retire to await another challenge to the faith.

Recent converts to Apple may not realize it, but this is not really a computing platform.

This is a religion.  

But it’s not just some moderate, middle of the road, reasonable, tolerant religion either.  This is an evangelical, charismatic religion where we’re all just a heartbeat away from knocking on your door to inquire whether you’ve accepted Steve Jobs as your personal technology savior.  

We hold regular meetings both online and off where we study the teachings of Steve and his disciples.  We have both the old testament of Steve and the new testament of Steve to quote from when challenged by the unenlightened.  The teachings from the old Steve were about the beginning of Apple in the Garden of Los Altos.  They conclude in 1985 when Steve was cast out of the company he birthed for taking a bite out the Apple CEO.  Not much is known about the dark years in between, but the new gospel of Steve begins when Apple, at the brink of collapse, calls him out of the wilderness to lead us back to the promised land.

And the rest is history.

Old testament Steve was amazing enough that most people thought new testament Steve could never top him.  But he did!  The second coming of Steve was filled with more miracles than anyone had hoped!  He raised the nearly dead Apple to the number one most valuable company on the Dow, surpassing even Exxon/Mobil.  

Spontaneous conversions were happening everywhere.  

The sign of Apple was appearing on every other car in town. Everyone was claiming to be an Apple believer.  AppleStores, or “Chapples,” as we like to refer to them, were in every major city in the world.  The faith was growing.

But, as with all faiths, we did have our challenges.  The passing of Steve, October 2011.  Devastating as this was, Steve left an amazing legacy and plenty of disciples to continue to spread the good news.  The apostle Tim, a quiet man with Southern roots, is now tending the flock. He’s been in the news recently defending an Apple Tax again.  

This time it’s a different kind of Apple Tax they’re talking about.

Apparently, it’s been discovered Apple has been tucking away about 100 billion in profits with shell corporations in Ireland.  Apple accounting priests were able to work out a notably sin-free 2% tax rate. 

Now there are some of my brothers and sisters in the Church of Mac who feel this is more than fair.  It’s not technically illegal and all kinds of American corporations (or “people,” as the Supreme Court calls them) do this.  Apple is just better than everyone else at it because it likes to be the best at everything it does.  Some believers argue that Apple should have a tax- free status with the U.S. Government.  It’s a church, right?  While it’s borderline heresy for me to suggest otherwise, I think arguing for a non-profit status might be challenging for one of the most profitable corporations in the world.  

I suppose some of my evangelism has worn off, but that’s mostly due to age and tolerance creeping in.  I now have friends that use PCs.  We try not to discuss platforms over dinner.  I still visit Chapples and (intentional or otherwise) I continue to tithe to Apple.  What they end up doing with that collection plate in the Emerald Isle will probably continue to be a source of speculation and debate.

We’re here for all hand holding, hymns, confessions and taxing Apple situations.

All the best,