The attached article is a vile bit of prose. 3 pages are dedicated to explaining that the Washington lobbyist core feels put out by Apple Computers. Apple only spent $500K on lobbyists last year! Why can’t Apple be more like Google or Microsoft which have teams of insiders?
I have always been a PC guy. I have had a computer in my house since the 70s turned into the 80s and it has always been a PC. My next computer however will be a Mac, largely because of the below article.
I have shied away from Apple because PCs are what I know, and also because I despise the cult of Apple. Apple stores are annoying. The people working in them even more so.
However, in light of this threat from Washington, I have been pushed over the edge to one button mouse land.
Politico is the ultimate insider rag. Roll Call and The Hill are important but Politico is the lobbyist’s best friend. Every Starbucks in Downtown Washington (and there is one on what seems like every block) has them available for free. The fat cats read Politico.
The attached article basically is a shot over the bow of the most innovative large firm in the United States, and one of the few which has thrived during this long and nasty recession. Washington wants a piece of Apple’s pie, simple as that.
The fact that Apple has embraced a “just leave us alone” attitude when it comes to Washington is just not acceptable.
“We are the rule makers.” DC says in so many words in the article. “We are the rulers. You will pay tribute. And let’s be frank Apple, you have so much tribute to pay. You’d be smart to see that some of that cash finds its way to K Street. If it doesn’t, well, then we just can’t guarentee your legislative safety. And that would be such a shame. Do the easy thing and pay us.”
Think I’m over reacting? I’m not.
The company’s attitude toward D.C. — described by critics as “don’t bother us” — has left it without many inside-the-Beltway friends. And that means Apple is mostly on its own when the Justice Department goes after it on e-books, when members of Congress attack it over its overseas tax avoidance or when an alphabet soup of regulators examine its business practices.
“I never once had a meeting with anybody representing Apple,” said Jeff Miller, who served as a senior aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee for eight years. “There have been other tech companies who chose not to engage in Washington, and for the most part that strategy did not benefit them.”
What exactly does “did not benefit them” mean?
Or how about this bit:
“It’s a new world for Apple. And old Washington hands say it’s time for the maker of Macs to take a more traditional path — in essence, to act more like a PC — in its dealings with the government.”
Read—Steve Jobs is dead. Pay up.
And just to make it absolutely clear why the article was written, it ends this way:
“There’s another place Apple’s not playing the game: pre-emptive visits to federal agencies and congressional offices that might cause trouble down the line.
“What’s happened in Washington more and more is that companies spend money dealing with the regulators even in the absence of pending investigations. … These are de-biasing visits,” said Bill Kovacic, a George Washington University law professor who was a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission from 2006 to 2011. “I don’t remember Apple making a visit.”
A lobbyist who does contract work for a competitor said Apple will learn the Washington game — possibly the hard way.
“They will,” he said. “They can keep going the way they’re going, and they’re going to keep getting hit over the head until they build relationships and until they build a Washington brand.”
Maybe Steve Jobs hasn’t really passed. Maybe he’s in Galt’s Gulch.