Apple computers are in the process of becoming banned from purchase by employees of the city of San Francisco.  The ban is not because of any safety issues; it is not because Macs are made in China; it’s not because of any shortcomings in Apple products and it’s not because Apple has broken any laws.  It is because the company chose to drop out of an environmental program that is the ideology du jour of city officials.

San Francisco’s 50 departments and 28,000 employees will no longer be able to use city funds to buy Apple desktops, laptops or monitors because the Cupertino, California-based company dropped out of a rating system called EPEAT to track the environmental impact of computers.

To borrow a phrase from Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny, the move by the city is an act of soft tyranny.  The impact on the company’s sales was made possible not by law but simply by the power of the purse.  Located just 30 miles to the south, Apple is a local boy to the City by the Sea.  Apple was the little company with the better product battling the rich and powerful Microsoft that that represented the establishment.  Like Volkswagens and Starbucks, the Mac took on some of the aura of the left.  But now many on the left are eyeing all that cash the company accumulated and thinks it’s Apple’s moral duty to spend it.  The conditions of the employees at the factories in China that build the computers have not escaped notice either.  Once a favorite, now Apple is a whipping boy of the left.

Apple dropped out of EPEAT because they were denied a favorable green ruling for a new product line.

At the heart of the controversy is the company’s newest MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which Apple designed in such a way that it’s difficult to disassemble for the sake of repairs, upgrades, and recycling.

So an international agency that rates a company on its greenishness gives an unsatisfactory rating to Apple because some of its new computers are hard to take apart. What’s next, a ban on Oreo cookies because a Swedish cookie rating agency says they are black on the outside, white on the inside and can be used as hate filled analogies?

Apple can survive a city ban; the impact will not even be noticeable.  But if a city can bring this off on such a frivolous basis, who is to say the federal government could not do the same?


  1. The city of San Francisco has now responded by announcing it will no longer be buying Apple Mac devices for its 28,000 employees as it only purchase computers listed on the EPEAT registry.

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