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Should Atlas Shrug Off Apple?

The spirit of James Taggart possesses Apple CEO Tim Cook. See Vodkapundit's response: here.

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

March 5, 2014 - 7:08 am
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It’s a view Apple founder Steve Jobs did not share, as reported in The Economic Times:

CEO-author Walter Isaacson, who wrote Steve Jobs’ eponymous, [authorized] biography, says the iconic co-founder of Apple Inc didn’t believe in throwing his money away in charity and instead thought his products would help people live better.

“(While writing Steve Jobs) I asked him about charity. He said that he would be able to do more to reform education, for example, by creating an iPad that had interactive textbooks than by being a philanthropist giving his money away.

Jobs recognized that wealth creation was life-giving. The value which Jobs created through his company dramatically improved the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people now living and billions more yet to be born. That value was not created by giving money away or throwing it down some environmental rat hole, but by seeking innovative ways to produce more at the least possible cost and provide the highest return on investment.

Cook, by contrast, has declared himself a destroyer of value. He has defied the very purpose of his position with Apple, and told its owners that they should not expect efficient production of value.

This leaves those Apple stockholders who would prefer their CEO fulfill his fiduciary responsibility with a choice. They can accept his stance in light of their minority ownership status and earn less than they otherwise could. They can sell their stock and thus shrug off Apple. Or, they can organize to bolster their ownership position and work to oust Cook from the company.

No matter Cook’s fate, the fact that his value-destroying stance earned applause bodes poorly for the future of Apple. Mashable sums up the situation unwittingly:

So far [Cook's] legacy is largely comprised of incremental improvements in established products, tweaks to the supply chain, and more corporate transparency.

But Cook does care about the environment

Care for the environment will not sustain the brand Jobs built.

****

Updated: see Stephen Green’s dissent: Tim Cook as James Taggart?

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Walter Hudson advocates for individual rights, serving on the boards of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota, Minnesota Majority and the Minority Liberty Alliance. He maintains a blog and daily podcast entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of conservative Minnesotan commentary, and regularly appears on the Twin Cities News Talk Weekend Roundtable on KTCN AM 1130. Follow his work via Twitter and Facebook.

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Top Rated Comments   
An Apple stockholder not, an Apple product purchaser, now also not.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
If he is so unconcerned about profits, maybe he could move his production lines out of China's slave labor camps.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cook is a fool, but in this case his advice is sound. I took it and sold my small holding of Apple shares. If he wants to pursue philanthropy, let him do it with his own money.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (41)
All Comments   (41)
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I do not believe companies should generally be involved in charity work. I also do not believe they should do things they know to be immoral. If management thinks that using paper is immoral, I may think them wrong because I think trees are a renewable resource and then gauge their perhaps expensive avoidance of paper as a negative factor in evaluating their operations. If a company acts as though it believes that catastrophic global warming will occur due to man's use of fossil fuels, I see that as a reason to question their judgment. But I do not expect people to do what they think is wrong. If I disagree with them, I choose to associate with people have a more rational judgment.

Cook should be thinking about how his actions affect Apple's bottom line. Yet this does not necessarily mean that every project must yield a profit immediately or directly. A company may have an internship program which may allow them to identify a really good hire down the road, or it may just energize its own employees because they get enthusiastic explaining their work to a young person. Or, making a device for a small, unprofitable market may have great potential for proving an idea with a major impact on future operations and profit. The CEO should be thinking about profit, about risks, and about payoffs in time. Sometimes a charitable activity can also become a source of profit, but this almost always means the activity is closely connected to the company's mission and expertise.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love Apple . i have numerous Apple products . I think they are the best . I am very concerned that they will not remain so with such an idiot running the company now . If he believes the Global warming hoax and wants to run people off if they disagree I do not think his judgement is good enough to run Apple .
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a difference between a company 'doing good' by (in this case) making their product more user-friendly, especially for those with handicaps, and 'doing good' by diverting money to unrelated causes. The former is inherent in the company, and commendable. The latter is a wasteful boondoggle to make the elites in the company feel good.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Time to take a long-term short position on Apple stock!
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why would the CEO of Apple call for a divestment of his stock by making controversial statements?

Can't think of any reason except that Apple is buying back billions of dollars of its own stock, a move spearheaded by Cook.

Never let emotions guide investment decisions.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Collectivism" on full display for all the World to witness the demise of a very dynamic, very innovative and extremely gifted Founder and visionary...Steve Jobs. A very tough act to follow, though it merits honorable mention, Steve Jobs, too, almost took Apple into the ground. Maybe Tim Cook will wake-up to capitalism's reality and shrug off his "let's lower the bar" philosophy.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cook is running Apple the same way Obama is running the country...right into the ground.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hmm, should I short Apple, or will Wall St eat up this crap?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
This Apple CEO has an interesting marketing and business strategy.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cook is clearly insane, be believes in Global Warming/Climate Change.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am utterly no fan of "Global Warming," and all for good, solid and quantifiable scientific reasons.

Unfortunately, "Warmists" won't listen, preferring to place their hands over their ears, shout "LaLaLaLaLaLaLaLa," and walk around with a Unicorn's horn up their...

...well, you know.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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