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Apple's Foreign Workers, Tax Record and Idealism Get the 60 Minutes Treatment

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In the episode of 60 Minutes aired this evening, Charlie Rose took a long and detailed look at America’s most valuable company, from the overly complicated job interviews, to labor conditions and the CEO’s sexual orientation.

There’s little new in the episode—no sudden announcement about self-driving cars, or a drone delivery service for that matter. There are a few facts that are interesting on their own (that Apple’s spending $5 billion on its new campus, or that 800 engineers work on the iPhone camera module alone), but what stands out equally is Cook’s stance on issues that have long plagued Apple’s PR department.


On tax:

Charlie Rose: But here’s what [Congress] concluded. Apple is engaged in a sophisticated scheme to pay little or no corporate taxes on $74 billion in revenues held overseas.

Tim Cook: That is total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.


On the use of Chinese manufacturing:

Tim Cook: China put an enormous focus on manufacturing. In what we would call, you and I would call vocational kind of skills. The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.

And on why Tim Cook (eventually) came out as gay:

Tim Cook: Well, I, honestly, I value my privacy. I’m a very private person. But it became increasingly clear to me that if I said something, that it could help other people. And I’m glad because I think that some kid somewhere, some kid in Alabama, I think if they just for a moment stop and say, “If it didn’t limit him, it may not limit me.” Or this kid that’s getting bullied or this kid that’s co— worse, I’ve gotten notes from people contemplating suicide. And so if I could touch just one of those, it’s worth it. And I couldn’t look myself in the mirror without doing it.


The full episode and script are up on CBS’s site.