The Apple – US Merger
So, Apple is sitting on something in excess of 100 billion dollars in cash, and there are somewhere on the order of 207 million eligible voters in the United States. What happens if Apple creates the Apple Political Party, with the platform of “Apple Should be the Official Business of the United States” — with a bunch of subsidiary planned laws like “Apple shouldn’t have to pay any taxes” and, I don’t know, “Everything that ISN’T Apple should pay MORE taxes”.
And then they run a candidate for every congressional seat in the next election, as well as the presidency, and say, “We will give a thousand dollars to every registered member of the Apple party, but only on the condition that we win ALL of our races.”
I don’t know if it’s legal to do this. You wouldn’t technically be paying people for VOTES, because you’d pay out to members of the Apple party regardless of how they voted (you’d just be giving everyone who was a member of the party a huge incentive to vote for you). So, best-case scenario (for Apple), Apple basically seizes control of the US government; worst-case scenario, they just become a reasonably-large voting block and don’t have to pay any money.
Hell, you wouldn’t even have to run campaign ads. Just setting up the offer would get you constant nationwide media attention no matter what. All you’d need for it to work is slightly more than a hundred million Americans who care more about getting a thousand dollars than they do about the essential principles of democratic government.