Earlier this year, Ralph Nader penned an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook criticizing the company’s plans for a $100 billion share buyback program. Now, Nader is back again to express his unsolicited thoughts on how Apple should spend its “excess billions.”
Speaking to NPR this weekend, Nader explained that instead of buying back shares, Apple should be using that money to do things like increase its number of employees:
“It could have been used to increase [the number of] employees. It could have been used to shore up the pension fund,” Nader says of the money Apple spent on stock buybacks.
Further, he says the money would have been better spent on improving recycling practices for older phones, increasing research and development, or increasing dividends to shareholders. While Nader did acknowledge that Apple has done a lot to improve working conditions and recycling practices, he thinks there’s much more the company could be doing.
For instance, he points to the amount that Apple supply chain employees make in China:
“The kind of income that the Chinese workers are making, under tremendous pressure by their contractor, is really not a living wage, even in China,” Nader says.
Ultimately, Nader admits that he doesn’t use an iPhone or Mac, but instead relies on an Underwood typewriter for all of this technology needs. “While they know how to make enormous money with their overpriced iPhones, they don’t know how to productively use it,” he said.
Earlier this year, Nader openly criticized Apple’s spending plans and said the company should use its cash to reduce product prices, fight obesity, and a whole string of other things. His comments were generally met with criticism last time, and we can only assume that this weekend’s remarks will receive the same reaction.
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