On Thursday afternoon, The Tell reported that Apple was closing in on Exxon Mobil’s crown — $364 billion versus $405 billion, respectively — as the biggest U.S. company using a market-cap measure.
Matt Hartley of Canada’s Financial Post has gone one further and made the claim that “the world’s largest technology company now has more cash on hand than the most powerful democracy on Earth has spending room.”
Citing U.S. Treasury data, Hartley writes that whereas the U.S. has an operating balance of some $73.77 billion, Apple’s cash reserve is $75.88 billion (per its latest June earnings report).
This might amount to an Apples-and-oranges-type comparison, but it’s a sobering thought.
The Tell. This does not mean government should be run like a corporation. Far from it. I don’t want government to be efficient, growing, innovating, profit-seeking. All those attributes come at the expense of human freedom because government growth is a coercive, zero-sum deal. Corporate growth is a voluntary, positive-sum deal. A customer get’s their product or service and the company gets paid for it.