Class exploitation and the market: The secret of the $1 trillion corporation
4 August 2018
On Thursday, Apple Inc. became the first US corporation to reach a market capitalization of one trillion dollars. Its rival technology giants, however, are not far behind. Amazon, the online retail monopoly, is valued at $883 billion. The market capitalization of Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, stands at $854 billion, followed by Microsoft with a valuation of $821 billion.
The rise of the trillion-dollar corporation points to the most fundamental characteristic of contemporary capitalism: the degree to which the inflation of stock values has become an instrument for the upward redistribution of wealth, through share buybacks and capital gains at one pole of society and the forcible suppression of wages on the other.
When workers throughout the world dare to question why they are forced to toil in poverty, they are universally told: there is no money. But this is nothing but an absurd and transparent lie.
Apple’s profits are extracted through a coordinated and systematic process of exploitation on a global scale.
Apple spent $43.5 billion on stock buybacks in the first half of this year, 40 times more than it paid its iPhone assembly workforce in China over the same period. Its cash hoard, meanwhile, stands at $250 billion, and the company’s bottom line has been swelled further with the Trump administration’s offshore tax repatriation scheme.
While Apple is only the world’s third-biggest smartphone maker by volume, it is far and away the most profitable, as its products command a massive price premium over other brands. The company produces just 18 percent of the world’s smartphones, but it receives 90 percent of the profits in the sector.
According to one…