Apple’s revenues come from purchases made by consumers across the entire wealth distribution, but … [t]he preponderance of Apple’s income is transferred to shareholders, who largely fall into the upper echelon of the economy.
This redistribution is trickle-up, not trickle-down. The resulting concentration of capital at the top results in even more money being made for people who do not have to perform labor to watch it grow. This is the root mechanism by which corporations like Apple contribute to an increasingly unequal society.
… In the United Kingdom, about 10 percent of profits were paid to shareholders as dividends in the 1970s, whereas today that number is closer to 70 percent.
—Robert Homan, Boston Review1