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in a perfect world, apple would socialize that shit

February 15, 2014

For about 6 months now, the notorious corporate raider and billionaire Carl C. Icahn has been badgering Apple to buy back $50 billion worth of shares by September. Apple itself has implemented a plan to return $100 billion to shareholders through increased dividends and a $60 billion buyback program by 2015.

Much of that wealth is, in the final analysis, the surplus value produced via the production process and realized via market exchange that’s appropriated by Apple. (To the owner, the spoils.) The money hasn’t been reinvested most likely because it can’t be done so profitably. It’s excess (superfluous) capital in a period of overproduction (of primarily capital) that’s up to now simply been hoarded and burning a hole in Apple’s proverbial pocket.

Icahn is of the opinion that Apple is depriving shareholders by holding onto all that excess capital. A buyback will put much of that wealth into the pockets of shareholders and help improve Apple’s earnings per share (even if profits remain the same, the earnings per share increase due to the reduction of publicly traded shares). In essence, it’s a way for capital to redistribute surplus value and maximize profit without actually producing anything new.

Instead of redistributing all the surplus wealth to its shareholders, though, Apple could just as easily redistribute it to the ones producing that wealth, giving $1,245,300 to each of its 80,000 full-time employees worldwide or $166,666 to each of the 600,000 workers working jobs created or supported by Apple. In a perfect world, right?

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