Apple Inc. Has More Cash Than The U.S. Government

Amidst all the debt ceiling confusion surrounding today’s financial drama, it’s amazing to find out that a large corporation such as Apple actually has more cash on-hand than the whole United States government!

Ok, maybe it’s not such a surprise after all given that our government spends more than they bring in and when they need more cash, they practically just print it. I won’t go into all the details here, but to summarise the situation very quickly, our country has a limit to how much debt we can have. That limit is currently set at $14.4 trillion dollars. Let’s see that number in all its glory: $14,400,000,000,000 That’s a lot of money. Anyway, it appears that we’re nearing that limit and fast, so the debate is redhot: do we increase the limit to allow us to borrow more money or do we cut spending to reduce the amount borrowed?

As a result of trying to figure out how to solve this problem, politicians have let our national coffers dip to a dangerously low amount. The best analogy for this chaos is if our government was using a single credit card for all of its spending, they are reaching the credit limit. To offset this, they have practically wiped out their bank account and are now waiting to see if their credit limit will be increased. That leaves the whole United States with an unmanageable debt and only $73,768,000,000 ($73.768 billion) in the bank.

Apple Inc. currently has $76,156,000,000 ($76.156 billion). The maker of fine products such as OS X, iPhone, iPad, iPod and Macbook is theoretically richer than the whole country. How does that sit with you?!

While this $2.388 billion difference might seem like a small number, it’s really not when you consider that the country’s income is comprised of every tax-paying individual living in this country, every product exported out to the world and a slew of other things like investments, bonds, etc. Since it’s clear that the government’s income is far greater than Apple’s, the problem must lie with the spending—wow, did I just solve a major national crisis with just one sentence?! Someone please send this link to Obama and Congress. 🙂

On a sidenote, Apple is now poised to become the largest corporation on the planet (in terms of profit) after reporting an estimate $5.5 billion in iPhone sales in this year’s third quarter. Let’s see if someone can finally take down oil-giant ExxonMobil!

If you were wondering what it would be like if Apple gave all of its money to the government, you could expect the cash to run out in about a week because according to Fortune magazine, the U.S. government spends roughly $10 billion a day! Maybe the government should start selling iPods to recoup some of their losses. I guess it wouldn’t matter because I’m sure they’d find something frivolous to spend it on.

No more Google in China

I must say that I think this is great. To clarify, I think the business end of it sure looks grim, but what did China expect after forcing Google to censor it’s web search? For those of you that aren’t aware, China censors the country’s Internet access to block all “offending” subjects from entering their citizen’s computers. What the exact definition of “offending” may be is anyone’s guess, but all the standards are sure to apply.

All this is controlled by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and in total, there are over 60 regulations just on the Internet, which not only includes content blocking, but also the monitoring of Internet usage directly into people’s homes. This is all accomplished by enforcing these regulations at the state-owned ISP level. According to Wikipedia, in December of 1997, these regulations were entered into law:

No unit or individual may use the Internet to create, replicate, retrieve, or transmit the following kinds of information:

  1. Inciting to resist or breaking the Constitution or laws or the implementation of administrative regulations;
  2. Inciting to overthrow the government or the socialist system;
  3. Inciting division of the country, harming national unification;
  4. Inciting hatred or discrimination among nationalities or harming the unity of the nationalities;
  5. Making falsehoods or distorting the truth, spreading rumors, destroying the order of society;
  6. Promoting feudal superstitions, sexually suggestive material, gambling, violence, murder;
  7. Terrorism or inciting others to criminal activity; openly insulting other people or distorting the truth to slander people;
  8. Injuring the reputation of state organs;
  9. Other activities against the Constitution, laws or administrative regulations.

Of course, nobody really wants to promote that kind of stuff, but the idea of a government controlling this content is disturbing to say the least. Imagine how many doors this can open (or close for that matter). It is said that China has the strictest laws about what kind of content can be seen in its country and because of this, they also have the largest number of journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world!

Google says, “no way”.

Google’s position stems from their will to keep the Internet free of censorship and to provide a freedom of self-expression and free speech environment for the whole world to enjoy. And frankly, they do a damn good job of it. At this time, it’s not completely official, but the plan is to be out of China by April 10th. Currently, Google is operating under the domain name with censored search results and if the site does go dark, it may still be possible for Chinese web surfers to access Google through our domain–that is of course if the PRC doesn’t block all of Google entirely.

This is what the homepage of appears like today: homepage on April 11th,

Let’s just hope this whole thing isn’t powerful enough to complete sever ties between our two countries.

::UPDATE:: is now forwarding traffic to (the Hong Kong Google) which was supposed to allow Chinese surfers to view uncensored search results, but it looks like it’s backfiring on them because China is till censoring Internet traffic at higher levels. I have a feeling this virtual war is going to be bad.