Apple Inc. is the world’s largest company with a market cap of $405 Billion, and they are flushed with cash at $135 Billion. Because of this, they have even been accused of having a cash problem…That is; having too much of it! Think of it, a publicly traded company being in the hot seat for having too much cash, isn’t that really what shareholders want? Well kinda… Some would say, “cash is trash” because money parked in a short term savings account is yielding next to nothing. So what is the opportunity cost of holding all that cash? I am sure that Apple Inc. plans on spending a significant amount on research and development. I am sure they have a well paid team scouring the internet, trade shows, colleges, shareholder events, looking to invest in or buy the next Facebook or Dropbox. That said, maybe they should continue to evolve their products, grow their brand and not worry about their cash “problem”.
Having to answer to board members and shareholders!
This is the difficulty with running a publicly traded company and having to answer to a board, shareholders, and the media. Maybe if it was up to Apple Inc, they would worry less about appeasing the shareholders who are mainly concerned about putting that Motherload of cash to good use. Instead, perhaps they would create the best products possible using U.S. Labor, even if it costs considerablly more. Through employment, and by building production centers in ‘middle America’ they could change entire communities in this country. Reminiscent of what the oil boom is doing to North Dakota. They could also aid, through technology, in the research of cures for diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV. Also, in an effort to build a more educated American workforce, Apple Inc. could fund technology learning centers, perhaps in inner cities so that less fortunate, young kids can understand the future of technology.
I believe Apple has an obligation
Surely Apple Inc. has thought about this, maybe even have plans like these in the near future. Heck, maybe they have implemented projects like this and I haven’t heard? I just think that a company this successful and this influential, has an obligation. I know this is all pie in the sky dreaming, because the shareholders want their investment to thrive, which, dont get me wrong, I certainly understand. I just think that Apple Inc. could do so much good for our struggling country, they could impact so many lives in such a positive way.
I know that the labor pool in China where most of the guts of their products are built, is cheap and ambitious labor. I get that, but Apple Inc. is essentially building communities in China, making them stronger and us potentially weaker. Maybe I am oversimplifying things, and these products cannot be built in this country, for an litany of reasons. It would almost be enticing for our friends in D.C. to create a bill which could award companies who provide major employment in the U.S, with exceptional tax breaks. Maybe organizations like Apple and similar sized companies with a market cap of over say, $100 Billion, would be glad to keep jobs here if there were considerable financial incentives. I think for this country to climb out of our economic doldrums, it may take an ambitious leader like Apple to pave the way for job creation in this country. Our friends in Washington have proved to be unsuccessful at creating jobs!