It has been confirmed that Apple now has more cash reserves than the United States of America Government according to figures from the US Treasury and Apple’s most recent financial results.
In a twist so strange that it could almost become a Daily Mash headline, the facts point to the US Government having a $73.7 billion cash balance to play with, whilst Apple is showing cash reserves of $76.4 billion.
While this does not necessarily mean that Apple can simply decide to buy the country and still have some loose change, the rise of super-corporations could reflect a new change in the global world order.
If Apple’s recent announcement is anything to go by then the world could see a growth of conglomerates who become de facto nations due to their wealth, worker base and support from their public (ie the customers, who in Apple’s case currently include President Obama).
In theory these could take over the role of countries and lead to people becoming cheerleaders for them rather than an actual nation, the difference being that if consumers were unhappy with the product they would align themselves with a different conglomerate.
Similarly to Marx and Engels’ theory in Das Kapital, democracy would not matter greatly as people would be able to think for themselves and the conglomerates would not mind who was voted in so long as they kept control of the money.
This is maybe a little far fetched from one news announcement, however should the fact that the leading exponent of capitalism has been overtaken by an American company lead to rejoicing that the system has developed a culture of mimicry and improvement?
Or should we be concerned that the richest nation in the world has mis-used the capitalist model to such an extent that it has been overtaken by a company specialising in one form of industry?
As ever, only future events will decide what is played out.