Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is expanding his party’s war with tech giants to new frontiers, slamming Apple’s announcement to donate USD 2.5 billion to help address the affordable housing crisis in California.
In a statement on Monday, Sanders said that people of California should not rely on corporate tax evaders such as Apple to solve their housing problem.
In addition to that, Sanders also pointed out that Apple does not aim to tackle the housing crisis but to enter the real estate lending business.
Furthermore, Sanders also heavily criticized the Silicon valley firm for not paying what he considers its fair share of taxes and keeping a significant amount of its profit offshore.
In conclusion, Sanders called the Apple’s donation “an act of hypocrisy and a false philanthropic altruism.” In his view, the only way to provide Americans with affordable housing is to defeat Trump and require companies like Apple to start paying taxes at home, according to the statement.
Apple announced on Monday a pledge of USD 2.5 billion to combat the housing availability and affordability crisis in California. How is the tech giant planning to do it?
Apple will establish a USD 1 billion affordable housing investment fund. It also committed to inject USD 1 billion in a state-run mortgage assistance fund for first-time home-buyers.
In addition to that, Apple also created a USD 150 million fund to distribute long-term forgivable loans. The tech firm also promised to make ”available” USD 300 million in the land it owns in the San Jose area to build affordable housing.
Unlike his political ally Bernie Sanders, California Governor Gavin Newsom appreciated Apple’s move, saying that ”unparalleled financial commitment” is a proof that the company is taking the housing issue to heart.
Apple is not the first Big Tech firm to address the housing issue in the United States. In June, Amazon announced a donation of USD 8 million to non-profit organizations that provide housing for homeless people in Seattle and Arlington, Va.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai also announced in June the company’s plans to invest USD 1 billion in the next ten years to build 20,000 housing units.
More recently, Facebook announced in June a pledge of USD 1 billion and a partnership with the state of California to build 20,000 new housing units for teachers, nurses, and other first respondents to live closer to the communities they serve.
What do you think? Do you support or oppose Bernie Sanders’ opinion that Apple’s donation is an act of hypocrisy?