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Subject: If excessive profit is evil... then some of you people are enablers rss

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A short feature on one of the business shows about Apple's new iPad got me wondering. Why the hell does that thing cost $499? I've seen one. There isn't even close to that amount in the little waste of money. So, I went on a Google journey to find out what I could about the real cost to Apple and to see if my suspicions were correct. My suspicions? That Apple's real genius is in creating a perception that their products are indispensable and well worth what amounts to an enormous sum of money for a toy masquerading as a useful device.

Boy. Was I shocked.

Once you figure the actual cost of an iPad... let's assume one with the big memory and the wifi chip... Apple is making just about 100% on each device. That's right, 100% profit.

Now here in RSP... and around the world where insurance companies and oil companies are reviled and hated because they suck and bleed us poor defenseless citizens of our hard-earned bucks... profit is an unspoken negative. It's been what, about three or four decades since the term "windfall profits" came in vogue? And along with that descriptor, the demands for taxes on those unsavory leeches who make them.

So why isn't Apple being protested for reaching directly into the wallets of the uber-intelligent college-degreed, anti-capitalist know-it-all fucktards who are too self-involved to realize they are being fleeced by guys in jeans and dorky glasses who understand all to well what it takes to milk the elite for their bucks?

Now I don't hate big oil. Nor do I hate big insurance. Nor Apple. They are just enterprises to me. Apple isn't on my radar as an enterprise that directly brings value to my life because I haven't bought an Apple product since 1990. Once burned, twice warned. I overpaid for one of their computers and quickly realized they were very savvy flim-flammers who have built a cult of worshipers as fervent as a jihadist, Scientologist or one of these Global-Cooling Deniers. People buy Apple's shit, pay them 100% profits, slide into their new Prius (hoping it slows down when they want it to) and drive to a protest against Big Oil.

So I went over some of the reported profit margins from 2009 just to see if my suspicion that millions of you have rings in your noses that are chained to your ideology and thus, little ability to understand who is really sucking you for extra bucks. Here's some of the results:

Insurance Industry - 3.4% profit margin. The big earner was just over 4%.

Oil Industry - 9.7% profit margin. And that was a banner year.

Shite! I was operating at about 15-18% for two decades running a game store. True, had I branched out, expanded and opened more outlets my margins would have gone down, but I liked it as it was. I owned a restaurant for three years in California and my margins were between 12-15% for the duration. Not chicken feed, but still, a lot of work for the result.

But who are the real bad guys? The evil motherfuckers who are knifing you in the wallet all while appearing to be just like you... hip, informed, laid back cool and definitely not wearing a suit. Here's an example:

Google - 25%. Yikes! As one article said, maybe we need a windfall tax on advertising.

Microsoft - 24.9%. Okay, Gates used to wear a suit. And he is evil... despite having given a few billion to charity. He's evil because he's not Apple and his last name isn't Jobs.

The one I liked was this though...

Beverage Industry - 24.9% profit. Now I know a bit about this because I owned a restaurant. Sodas, beer and wine were huge profit centers for me. I laugh my ass off every single time I see someone buy a $5 glass of boutique beer. A few folks I know own small breweries (two with restaurant facilities) and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

But you know... people are herd animals by instinct. Except for me that is, herds reject me. And the herd usually doesn't question the direction it's headed. It just goes there because... because... because... the rest of the herd is going there. Mindless compliance. Still, the same article that had the windfall advertising quip also reported an interesting fact -- even more profitable than Google and beer is the industry that owns hospitals and health care facilities. That is a hugely profitable sector. More than Google and Microsoft.

Anyway, I just thought that if I posted these little factoids maybe one or two Big Oil Haters will redirect their hate to the people who are raking in near-criminal profits. Enjoy your micro-beer... while showing off your iPad to your fellow herd members.
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Matthew Kloth
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I hate all of those companies.

P.S. Apple is overpriced shit.
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Koldfoot wrote:


I'm tempted to look it up.... nah... I'll research it when IPad 3 comes out in time for Christmas.


Do that. As I understand it the $499 tech marvel doesn't even have a USB port. So if you want, as an example, personal pics on it, you have to email them or use iTunes. Which brings up another interesting (and truly evil) example of corporate greed... tech "experts" are predicting that the "ap" market for the iPad will hit $1B a year. You know, those silly little downloads that allow you to actually do something with your $500 toy while showing it off?

If Apple was smart they'd just give everyone in America a free iPad and rake in about a trillion a year selling amusing little 'aps' so your Twitter bird flaps it's wings or is yellow instead of blue.

As for the USB port... in my view anyone who buys any electronic device without a USB port deserves to be ridiculed. Verizon gave me a Droid phone which has a USB. My camera has one. My older phone had one. I think my toothbrush and crock pot also have USB ports. But not the iPad.

By Christmas Apple will have a version out that has a USB port... probably selling for an additional $50 or $100... but it'll also have other features, like maybe a built in guide for the best micro-breweries in America.
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isaacc wrote:


.


Whoa! That is one seriously messed up chick. I mean sure... I'd fuck her, but it's not like I'd hang around and talk afterward.
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DWTripp wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:


I'm tempted to look it up.... nah... I'll research it when IPad 3 comes out in time for Christmas.


Do that. As I understand it the $499 tech marvel doesn't even have a USB port. So if you want, as an example, personal pics on it, you have to email them or use iTunes. Which brings up another interesting (and truly evil) example of corporate greed... tech "experts" are predicting that the "ap" market for the iPad will hit $1B a year. You know, those silly little downloads that allow you to actually do something with your $500 toy while showing it off?

If Apple was smart they'd just give everyone in America a free iPad and rake in about a trillion a year selling amusing little 'aps' so your Twitter bird flaps it's wings or is yellow instead of blue.

As for the USB port... in my view anyone who buys any electronic device without a USB port deserves to be ridiculed. Verizon gave me a Droid phone which has a USB. My camera has one. My older phone had one. I think my toothbrush and crock pot also have USB ports. But not the iPad.

By Christmas Apple will have a version out that has a USB port... probably selling for an additional $50 or $100... but it'll also have other features, like maybe a built in guide for the best micro-breweries in America.


Now, if Microsoft had come out with an identical device sans a USB port, "what a piece of shit. I'm not gonna line Bill Gates pocket with $500 and I don't even get a stupid USB port."

Then again, do you really think the omitting the USB just slipped Apple's designers' attention? Could it rather be to force users to travel through iTunes or some other app selling app from Apple. No, of course not. Only evil Microsoft would do something like that.

The bottom line is that Apple doesn't do original R&D; it never has. People act as if Apple has access to secret technology and knowhow available only to Apple. If the device is 3 mm thick, that's because they left out a bunch of useful stuff. But, more importantly, it comes in 19 fashionable colours.
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It's always amusing to watch self-proclaimed experts on liberals have imaginary conversations among themselves about what liberals would actually say if such-and-such.

Carry on.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
It's always amusing to watch self-proclaimed experts on liberals have imaginary conversations among themselves about what liberals would actually say if such-and-such.

Carry on.


You know... I never once used the word "liberal". But hey, if you want to project your own sensitivities on my article about rip-offs, then by all means, go ahead.
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Koldfoot wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
It's always amusing to watch self-proclaimed experts on liberals have imaginary conversations among themselves about what liberals would actually say if such-and-such.

Carry on.
Imaginary? Corporate greed, profit margins, and vilifying profit motive aren't frequent topics raised by liberals here in RSP?


Par for the course. Chad always has something good to say but this time is an exception. Indeed, my experience is that the scales tip toward the liberal side for responding to argument with quips.
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DWTripp wrote:
isaacc wrote:


.


Whoa! That is one seriously messed up chick. I mean sure... I'd fuck her, but it's not like I'd hang around and talk afterward.


But how long do you wait before you get the restraining order?
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Koldfoot wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
It's always amusing to watch self-proclaimed experts on liberals have imaginary conversations among themselves about what liberals would actually say if such-and-such.

Carry on.
Imaginary? Corporate greed, profit margins, and vilifying profit motive aren't frequent topics raised by liberals here in RSP?


The problem is not with large profit margins per se, but with large profit margins when there are no alternatives. If you find a Mac overpriced, you can get a Dell special, or a Frankenstein running Linux.

Now, large profit margins where a market failure makes a company retain huge margins, or a patent stifles competition is a very different thing, and one that rational conservatives should not be in favor of.

And at it has been said before, the margins alone don't tell the whole story. Many of us are not big fans of situations that return very good returns of capital despite having a low margin, and with very low risks.
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When it comes to health of our fellow people and other monopolistic necessities, we care. When the profit comes from luxury entertainment items, we don't.

Of course, you just want to convince yourself that they are equal, so you could demonize it all together.

Keep purposely framing it in such a way that they compare, and you only cement yourself further as a hack.
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Koldfoot wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
It's always amusing to watch self-proclaimed experts on liberals have imaginary conversations among themselves about what liberals would actually say if such-and-such.

Carry on.
Imaginary? Corporate greed, profit margins, and vilifying profit motive aren't frequent topics raised by liberals here in RSP?


Nope, only to those who have no intention or desire to understand. For those with a brain, they could see the difference between monopolistic necessities and luxury items.

 
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I just wanted something to read my pirated comic books with, and instead I get a lecture.
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shadow9d9 wrote:
When it comes to health of our fellow people and other monopolistic necessities, we care. When the profit comes from luxury entertainment items, we don't.


Thank you for telling me that. Who is this "we" you speak of?

Quote:
Of course, you just want to convince yourself that they are equal, so you could demonize it all together.


My OP was about profit margins and the perception that they are evil only when ideology is involved.

Quote:
Keep purposely framing it in such a way that they compare, and you only cement yourself further as a hack.


This is pretty typical for RSP. I never called you a name, never made a disparaging comment about you as a person, never indicated that you were "less than" something or that you personally were the target of my point. Yet you feel it's perfectly fine to directly attack me as a response to whatever you are sensitive about. My term for that is "center-of-the-universe-itis"... a condition where someone believes that anything observed by them is actually about them.
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DWTripp wrote:
Once you figure the actual cost of an iPad... let's assume one with the big memory and the wifi chip... Apple is making just about 100% on each device. That's right, 100% profit.


Is the iSuppli estimate you're talking about? The one Ars Technica reported on here:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/04/499-ipad-component...

It said that the components cost about half the cost of the device. That's rather different from the claim that the profit on this device is 100%.
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Koldfoot wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
It's always amusing to watch self-proclaimed experts on liberals have imaginary conversations among themselves about what liberals would actually say if such-and-such.

Carry on.
Imaginary? Corporate greed, profit margins, and vilifying profit motive aren't frequent topics raised by liberals here in RSP?


Since that's not what I said was imaginary, I'm not sure what point you're making.
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DCAnderson wrote:
Anyone else who buys Apple is a tool


I buy Apple stuff, and I'm not a...

Okay, bad example.
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DWTripp wrote:
As for the USB port... in my view anyone who buys any electronic device without a USB port deserves to be ridiculed. Verizon gave me a Droid phone which has a USB. My camera has one. My older phone had one. I think my toothbrush and crock pot also have USB ports. But not the iPad.

By Christmas Apple will have a version out that has a USB port... probably selling for an additional $50 or $100... but it'll also have other features, like maybe a built in guide for the best micro-breweries in America.


Not to be a poser (I'm not ashamed to say that I've made my living working on Macs and not by fixing them) but I thought you might think it was interesting that if it weren't for Steve Jobs USB probably wouldn't be as widespread as it is today. Although not invented by Apple it's whole-hearted adoption as a standard in 97-98 forced the rest of the industry to follow suit. Pretty much with just about everything home-computing in the last 25 years.

Usually if there's something you like about your computer, you can thank Apple for inspiring another company to rip it off, tweak it, repackage it, and sell it. Which is great too.

Oh, and I'm also not ashamed to admit that I'm conservative AND use an Apple. This always makes it interesting when going to the Apple store. I like to tell them that if producing one harmed the environment more I'd buy two.
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Ryan Wheeler wrote:
I like to tell them that if producing one harmed the environment more I'd buy two.


...why?

No, seriously, why? Where does it say that "conservative" necessarily has to equal "prick"?
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Apple is a closed system, that's why it's uninteresting.

And Big Oil is evil because it pollutes the planet and meddles with world politics, the profit margin is insignificant (unless you're one one of those whose mileage/week means more than the happiness of all other people).
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Tripp, correct me if I am wrong, but I believe his general main point is the flexible and movebale moral centre of the Left. The Left has plenty to say on what others ought to be doing with respect to other-described luxuries, and how much of other peoples' standard of living is moral to be transferred elsewhere in the World. However, when it comes to the Left's way of life, everything is sacrosanct.

In Montreal there is a cheap morning radio program called, The Gang of Four, who discuss for 15 minutes or so some current topic. It is made up of a righty (in Canadian terms), a couple somewhere in the middle and an out-and-out communist. I think the communist is just there for effect as it si common for the other three to jump all over him.

There is no issue where the communist finds it wrong to pick the pocket of everyone. So, one day the topic is whether gasoline ought to be taxed even further to reduce consumption in order to meet Kyoto CO2 emmission targets. I was totally surprised to hear that the communist's response was no, it's a bad thing. Firstly, he despises big Oil; their profits can't be taxed too much. Secondly, he loves any kind of tax, so I was sure he would agree with the proposal.

Well, it truns out that he makes some of his money by publishing his communist local newspaper, which he hand delivers in his minivan. Suddenly, an additional gasoline tax is just going to hit the common man. My point is that as soon as it touched his pocket directly, the environment be damned.


In Vancouver a proposal was initiated to ban all disposable coffee cups as they unnecessarily add to the garbage load. People can just carry around their own mugs. Well, the Starbucks/Mac/Ecogear crowd just came out of the woodwork. What a terrible idea! As soon as their accepted way of life, indeed routine, was to be touched, the environment be damned!


This demographic group has decided what is the correct way of life. They don't have 3, 4, 5 kids and don't live in the suburbs, so SUVs are unnecessary and wasteful. Regardless of the actual argument at hand, if hypothetically there was a case to be made for heavily taxing bicycles or Ecowear, then it's all a bad idea.

A notable exception is Chad. He was recently recounting a story about a local initiative to expand a school, and he voted for the benefit of the community at direct personal expense.
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A 100% markup on an item between wholesale and retail cost isn't that unusual. I think distributors get that on boardgames even. Apple isn't making all of that money, the people who sell the iPad make some too.
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I like Apple stuff. Their laptops are really good (but expensive), their routers are pleasant to set up, and I just got an iPod touch which is excellent.

I would advise against buying a 1st generation iPad, just because Apple's 1st gen stuff breaks a lot. Other than that, it looks fine to me, as an ebook reader / netbook substitute. I think the point of it -- especially as relates to being locked down -- is to be something that doesn't need administration (in the sense of configuring GRUB, running endless malware killers, and so on). It still happily plays mp3s, ripped CDs / DVDs, ePub, PDF, and so on. If you need more flexibility, you can always get a netbook with Ubuntu on it.

Apple are a profit making entity, but there are plenty of free or cheaper alternatives if you don't want to help them make a profit. It is up to you who you support with your money.
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isaacc wrote:
In Vancouver a proposal was initiated to ban all disposable coffee cups as they unnecessarily add to the garbage load. People can just carry around their own mugs. Well, the Starbucks/Mac/Ecogear crowd just came out of the woodwork. What a terrible idea! As soon as their accepted way of life, indeed routine, was to be touched, the environment be damned!


This would be so damning, if it had ever in fact happened, which it did not except in Isaac's imagination.

What actually happened is that Toronto proposed this measure, and voting on it by city council was delayed until the Ontario government's proposed review of waste disposal laws was finished later this year.

And the "public uproar" against the bill wasn't led by the demon hippies in Isaac's mind. It was led by Tim Horton's, who took every opportunity to criticize the proposal because they felt it would make them lose money. (Hippies tend to like reusing containers, not least because the reusable containers are larger and get you more coffee for your money.)
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