“Next Wednesday, Apple is slated to unveil the iPhone 5 — the latest in a series of magical devices that have captured the world’s imagination. Given its incredible success with consumers and phenomenal stock price gains, Apple has come to symbolize the best of American ingenuity, technology and innovation,” Aaron Task reports for Yahoo Finance. “But Apple actually represents the worst of American business, according to award-winning journalists Donald Barlett and James Steele.”

“In their latest book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, Barlett and Steele cite Apple as a prime example of an American outsourcer,” Task reports. “Apple products are still conceived and designed in the U.S. but the company ‘very quickly’ made the decision to manufacture its goods in other countries, Steele observes. ‘That manufacturing base, the heart of so much American middle class is very quickly yanked out.'”

“In the 1990s, Apple products were produced at plants in Elk Grove, Calif. and Fountain, Colo. In the Colorado Springs area, Bartlett and Steele estimate more than 15,000 jobs, paying between $55,000 and $80,000, were lost when Apple sold the Fountain plant in 1996, costing the local economy $500 million,” Task reports. “Similar devastation occurred around Sacramento when Apple closed its Elk Grove plant in 2004… To be sure, Apple is not the first or last U.S. company to move its manufacturing overseas and Barlett and Steele write extensively about Boeing (BA), which is increasingly moving its operations to China. But Apple is the ‘most visible’ with the “most visible products,” Barlett notes, and the company symbolizes how outsourcing has moved far beyond the ‘Rust Belt.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This meme, blaming Apple for the U.S.’s lack of assembly jobs that, in reality, simply cannot exist today (CE assembly line jobs were and are simply not worth anything close to $55,000 and $80,000 per year), seems to be all the rage again lately. Whether it’s to sell books, an attempt to somehow damage iPhone 5 sales, or for some other reason, it smacks of a intentional PR effort. It’s FUD, plain and simple.

Apple is a symptom (and a minor one at that), not the disease.

Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: What would it take to make iPhones in the United States? Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” he said.Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher, The New York Times, January 21, 2012

And, by the way, many make their living from Apple who do not work for Apple, ourselves included. Mac developers and iOS developers, for two examples. iOS device accessory makers, for another. Extrapolate. The impact Apple Inc. has is enormous and the amount of employees on Apple’s payroll, regardless of country, pales in comparison to the number of jobs and economic activity the company actually generates around the world.

As per China (and Brazil, etc.) CE product assembly:

It isn’t just that workers are cheaper abroad. Rather, Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.

Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

Though Americans are among the most educated workers in the world, the nation has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need, executives say.

To thrive, companies argue they need to move work where it can generate enough profits to keep paying for innovation. Doing otherwise risks losing even more American jobs over time, as evidenced by the legions of once-proud domestic manufacturers — including G.M. and others — that have shrunk as nimble competitors have emerged.Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher, The New York Times, January 21, 2012

A study by Analysis Group found that Apple has directly or indirectly created 304,000 U.S. jobs. These jobs — spread across all 50 states — include thousands of jobs in numerous industries, from the people who create components for our products to the people who build the planes and trucks that carry them to our customers. For example, this figure also includes workers in Texas who manufacture processors for iOS products, Corning employees in Kentucky and New York who create the majority of the glass for iPhone, and FedEx and UPS employees. Together with the 210,000 iOS jobs generated by the app economy, these 304,000 jobs make a total of 514,000 U.S. jobs created or supported by Apple.

More info: 514,000 U.S. jobs created thanks to Apple Inc.

Related articles:
Why Obama chose to use Steve Jobs over Google founders in DNC speech – September 7, 2012
Economists weigh in on Apple’s U.S. job creation claims – March 5, 2012
514,000 U.S. jobs created thanks to Apple Inc. – March 2, 2012
Launched by Apple, ‘App Economy’ has created 466,000 jobs in the U.S. alone since 2008 – February 7, 2012
Apple and the American economy – January 24, 2012
Apple, Steve Jobs, Obama, America and a squeezed middle class – January 21, 2012
Apple’s real market value: How many U.S. jobs it creates – November 21, 2011
iOS developer salaries skyrocket – November 9, 2011
How many U.S. jobs has Apple’s iPod created? – July 8, 2011