Not only does Apple make incredible products, turns out it also pays incredibly small rates of foreign corporate tax. Yes that's right, the most valuable company in the world paid just 1.9% in corporate tax on profits made outside the US this past year. That's dramatically lower than the general corporate tax rate of 35% in the US and 24% in the UK.

After foreign earnings of $36.8bn last year (a 53% increase from 2011), you'd think Apple might be able to cough up something closer to the general rates levied on companies.

Apparently not. And this isn't anything new; Starbucks, Facebook, and Google all pay extremely low corporate tax rates on overseas profit.

Let's be clear: Apple and these other companies aren't breaking any laws. What they're doing is simply "smart business" from their point of view. (The BBC has a good explainer on how multinationals avoid corporation tax while still playing within the rules.)

But this version of so-called "smart business" ignores the need to support the basic services tax revenues provide. Apple has relied upon such things as education, security and infrastructure to build its business, and will continue to rely upon them as it grows.

As this spoof from points out, Apple has up to $117bn in cash reserves it can "coast" with. But that fat cushion would disappear fast without the basic services that all companies and citizens need.

Apple prides itself on being a leader. If you think it's high time Apple started leading not just in technology, but in corporate ethics and integrity, share this story with everyone you know.

Sources: ThinkProgress, Huffington Post, Telegraph, AP, BBC, TechCrunch