Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Tim Cook on Apple’s Moral Responsibilities

Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times:

And now Mr. Cook is one of the many business leaders in the country who appear to be filling the void, using his platform at Apple to wade into larger social issues that typically fell beyond the mandate of executives in past generations.

He said he had never set out to do so, but he feels he has been thrust into the role as virtually every large American company has had to stake out a domestic policy.

He was vocal, for example, in criticizing Mr. Trump after Charlottesville in a memo to his staff: “I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”

Watching Mr. Cook over the years, I’ve been fascinated to see how he has become as animated when talking about big issues like education and climate change as he is when talking about Apple.

Though many of Apple’s environmental and ethical initiatives have roots during the Steve Jobs renaissance, these efforts have accelerated dramatically under Tim Cook. I applauded Cook’s response to a shareholder who questioned the company’s social commitments.

Even so, I feel as though Apple’s international tax avoidance strategies somewhat compromise their moral high ground. I think it’s great that Apple is stepping up to get diverse groups of community college students into programming, but perhaps they should simply pay taxes at a rate closer to what the tax code says it ought to be.