Sanders unloaded on Apple, saying, “We cannot rely on corporate tax evaders to solve California’s housing crisis.” But at least he didn’t call their CEO “Tim Apple.”
It’s becoming fashionable for top-tier Democratic presidential candidates to rally against the tech industry, as seen with Elizabeth Warren’s recent deliberately picked fight with Facebook. (The exception is Joe Biden, whose idea of the “tech industry” appears to be record players). Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the latest to unload on tech companies and their outward displays of philanthropy, in the immediate wake of Apple’s Monday announcement of a $2.5 billion commitment to California housing as their new spaceship doughnut campus expansion further stretches the Bay Area housing supply.
Sanders was totally unimpressed with Apple's $2.5 billion promise, as Recode reports Sanders called Apple’s announcement “hypocrisy.”
“Apple’s announcement that it is entering the real estate lending business is an effort to distract from the fact that it has helped create California’s housing crisis—all while raking in $800 million of taxpayer subsidies, and keeping a quarter trillion dollars of profit offshore, in order to avoid paying billions of dollars of taxes,” Sanders said in a statement reprinted by Gizmodo. “Today, more than 134,000 Californians are homeless and renters need to earn $34.69 per hour to afford the average two-bedroom apartment. We cannot rely on corporate tax evaders to solve California’s housing crisis.”
The senator also alluded to his Housing for All plan, which he says would dedicate another $2.5 trillion to build housing by taxing the wealthiest .01 percent.
Sanders is getting a terrific amount of national coverage on this announcement, and merely for sending a press release email to various publications. Sanders’ Twitter feed has not yet mentioned any thoughts on Apple’s housing pledge, his only tweet calling out the industry today (so far) is the below slam on Jeff Bezos and Amazon in reference to a Seattle city council race.
Jeff Bezos and Amazon think they can buy elections.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 5, 2019
They spent $1 million to stop City Council candidates @d1forLisa, @TammyMoralesSEA, @VoteSawant and @ElectScott2019.
Show Amazon that they can't buy our democracy and that their corporate greed won't stand. Get out and vote!
Curbed tsk-tsk’ed Sanders for not going YIMBY enough in his argument, noting that Cupertino and Palo Alto have been unwelcoming to numerous housing development projects. Cupertino’s Vallco “dead mall” project, for example, hoped to turn an abandoned mall into 2,400 housing units, but has been rejected by Cupertino voters and is now in its fifth consecutive year of limbo.
And as Curbed noted yesterday, Facebook and Google have also made recent billion-dollar pledges toward California housing. But as the Panama Papers that serve as the basis for the new Netflix feature “The Laundromat” will tell you, Apple, Facebook, and Google are all stashing far many more billions in tax-free, offshore accounts that free them from funding similar domestic infrastructure initiatives.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr