Apple holds over $180 billion in offshore cash that it has hardly paid any taxes on. If they brought it back to the US, they would owe over $50 billion in taxes. Google has over $40 billion stashed away.
Big numbers. Unfair practices. What's to be done?
I have a proposal.
Both Apple and Google are heavily invested in the digital content business, especially music and video/film. Apple's iTunes and Google's YouTube are excellent content distribution and consumption platforms.
There is a slight problem, however.
Content producers, very talented ones, traditionally have struggled to fund their projects.
If Apple and Google believe that they would like to have more talented content producers bubble up to the surface, so that they can make more money off distributing their works, they should fund these creative types.
Each of them should create a substantial (I am talking billions) foundation for supporting the creation of digital art. They should fund musicians and film-makers to create content, and distribute that content to their hundreds of million users.
Art will thrive.
They don't have to pay taxes.
Indirectly, they would make revenues.
Photo credit: IncaseFlickr.com.