The New York Times article about Apple's (perfectly legal under current laws) tax avoidance got my wheels turning. When you combine that with Apple's record of off-shoring their manufacturing to China, it looks as if Apple wants to squeeze out every penny of profit possible, even if it hurts our country in the process. Though what they are doing is prevalent in American industry, it is endemic to Silicon Valley in particular. I feel that the culture of Silicon Valley has engendered a particular mindset that makes the acts of job off-shoring and legal tax avoidance perfectly acceptable to their hi-tech CEOs and execs.
Silicon Valley's real product isn't computers, smartphones, MP3 players, hardware, software or websites, it's intellectual property! In the 1980s/1990s, entrepreneurs became very rich building their empires from mere ideas. The cost to bring many of those concepts to life was mainly paid in research and development man/hours and in many cases, bought with stock options. The majority of those concepts were virtual only and existed as software routines running on computers or pieces of dedicated hardware such as mobile phones.
Ideas that only exist in virtual space do not rack up large manufacturing expenditures. Silicon Valley CEOs are most comfortable with things virtual and least comfortable with things physical. After all, unlike virtual products, physical products cost real money to manufacture and can't be conjured up out of thin air. Is it any wonder that most of Silicon Valley contracts out its hardware production to factories in China?
Are the people who run and manage America’s hi-tech industries cold, calculating and self-centered? My theory is when they spend most of their time working in the virtual world, they tend to see everything in life as an abstraction. They put infinite value on their virtual intellectual property, but want to get their physical products manufactured for the lowest possible cost. They are not concerned about little things like putting their country first by manufacturing in the USA or the fact that many of their Asian sub-contractor factories pay low wages and have oppressive working conditions. They can't see the suffering that it takes to hand make their luxury-priced products in those factories or the unemployment that we face here, those are concerns of the physical world.
When it comes to non-virtual products that must be built in a factory, they know the price of everything and the value of nothing!