The Macalope Daily: Taxing analysis


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Writing for Reuters, Chris Taylor is overturning a semi full of truths on One Infinite Loop! (Tip o’ the antlers to publicfarley).

With the “fiscal cliff” looming, taxpayers are wringing their hands about all sorts of things.

Pff, people are so sensitive with their concerns about their jobs and their incomes and whether or not they can buy shoes for their kids! So stupid!

Income taxes might rise, dividends might get walloped, lifetime gift-tax exemptions might get slashed.

Yeah, blah, blah, blah. Let’s get to the real problem.

But when it comes to immediate impact on their wallets, maybe they should be thinking about something else entirely …

Continued high unemployment? Banks performing money laundering? The inexplicable success of Once Upon A Time? An alien invasion? No!

The Apple tax.

Oooh, boy. The Macalope’s going to have to check, but he’s pretty sure this is it—the dumbest thing written in 2012. Admittedly, there are still a few weeks left, so we can’t go out handing out awards yet.

But congratulations, Chris! What a masterpiece.

Americans are shelling out big bucks annually to outfit the entire household with Apple products.

And why is that? Must be religion, or stupidity, or both. Couldn’t be that Apple actually makes better products, products that consistently have the highest user satisfaction numbers.

And they are spending hundreds—if not thousands of dollars—more each year for the unexpected Apple “taxes”—add-ons that lock them into the Apple system: iTunes downloads for music, movies and games, along with subscriptions and accessories.

Is it possible that a writer for Reuters, which bills itself as “the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals” (presumably without irony), does not know the definition of the word “tax”? It certainly seems like it.

Of course, no other devices have restrictions like these, just Apple’s. Everyone else lives in a magical wonderland of open content and identical devices.

Then there are the replacement costs for lost or broken equipment.

Like when you break an iPad by banging your antlers against it while reading a column by Chris Taylor.

For a family with multiple children, each with their own technological needs, the total annual bill can get downright ugly—like going over a familial “fiscal cliff.”

Like facing familial “unemployment”! Like going through familial “bankruptcy”! Like having familial “explosive diarrhea”! The unpleasant things to which we can compare buying devices we like are limitless!

In 2011, the average amount U.S. households spent on Apple products was $444, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

That figure has been rising smartly every year. In 2010 it was $295. Back in 2007, it was only $150.


The analogy of an Apple tax might sound facetious …

Or flat-out bonkers.

… but think about it.

OK, let’s!

Remember, this is not something that consumers are being forced to pay.

Oh! So, then it’s not a tax at all! Boy, that was easy!

As for [Sam] Martorana, his family’s indentured servitude to Apple looks like it will continue indefinitely. … While he loves the products unreservedly, he sees no way out of the annual Apple tax.

One the one hand we are told that it’s nigh impossible to leave Apple; on the other we are treated to almost weekly breakup notes to Apple from various technology popinjays.

(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)

You probably should have made that the lede, Reuters.

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