Former Reagan staffer: Apple has an obligation to help solve America’s problems

“Americans have become used to the fact that most of the jobs created by Apple are in China,” Clyde Prestowitz writes for CNN. “We know that Steve Jobs told President Barack Obama that ‘those jobs aren’t coming back.’ Recently, an executive at Apple said that the company has no obligation to solve America’s problems by moving some of those jobs back to the United States.”

“As a business, Apple has a right to fear that moving the assembly work from China to the United States will entail raising labor costs so high as to make the company less competitive and profitable,” Prestowitz writes. “But for it to say that it has no obligation to help solve America’s problems is completely unacceptable.”

Prestowitz writes, “Virtually every piece of technology in any Apple product had its origin or was partially developed on the basis of a U.S. government-funded program. In a global world where piracy of products is commonplace, Apple, like other multinationals, has continuously pressed the U.S. government to enforce copyright and patent laws to protect its intellectual property from international theft. Does Apple owe anything to Uncle Sugar? You betchum. Big time.”

“Skeptics are right to point out that moving the factory assembly operations to the United States is a nonstarter as long as we continue to have free trade with China. These kinds of jobs are labor-intensive, and the differential in the cost of labor between America and China is just too large. But this is not where the real value or the good jobs we want for Americans lies,” Prestowitz writes. “The assembly value in an iPhone is only about $7. The real treasure-trove is in the parts. For example, the displays, the processors, memory chips and other key electronic components comprise nearly half of the value of the iPhone. These components require intensive capital and technology investments, but they do not require a great amount of labor. In other words, they can all be produced in America.”

Read more in the full article here.

Clyde Prestowitz is the founder and president of Economic Strategy Institute. A former counselor to the commerce secretary in the Reagan administration, Prestowitz is the author of “The Betrayal of American Prosperity” and blogs about the global economy at Foreign Policy.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related articles:
CNBC’s Santelli: Why doesn’t Obama go after Apple’s profits? – March 31, 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
How Rick Santorum would lure Apple to move assembly from China to Charleston – 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


      1. A guy is visiting San Francisco, and walks into a small store in Chinatown.

        He notices a small bronze statue of a rat.

        He asks the owner “how much”, and the owner replies “$50 for the bronze rat, and $1000 for the story behind it.”

        The guy says, “forget the story”, and buys the rat.

        As he’s walking down the street he notices two live rats following him. As he continues to walk, more rats start following him.

        He starts to get a little concerned, and heads for the waterfront. By the time he gets there there are thousands and thousands of rats following him.

        He walks up to the end of the pier and throws the bronze rat into the bay, and the rats all follow and leap off of the pier and drown.

        The guy rushes back to the store and walks in. The owner says, “Ah!, so your back for the story”.

        The guys says, “No, I was wondering if you have any bronze liberals?”

          1. A Democrat found a magic genie’s lamp and rubbed it. The genie said, “I will grant you one wish.” He said, “I wish I were smarter”. So the genie made him a Republican.

      1. Don’t cha just love the calm rantings of tolerant liberals……

        That said, this guy is way out of bounds. As stated elsewhere, Apple pays it’s taxes. If the government expects them, or any other company to create more jobs in the US then they should fix the rules and taxes to make it beneficial to ALL parties. I DON’T mean some special tax break or payoff, but a real reform of the tax code and onerous regulation. That way Apple wouldn’t be the only company creating jobs.

      2. Oh, come on. Can’t we just get off the “us vs. them” bus just for once?

        I for one am tired of the flame bait and polarizing comments from both sides that add nothing to the discussion.

            1. This exchange is actually very interesting.

              It underscores the fact that left-wingers and right-wingers are passengers on the exact same short yellow bus, fighting pointlessly like mentally-challenged children about which side of the aisle is best.

              Meanwhile, the rest of us–the rational–do our best to live right, raise our kids right, work hard, and not act like total tools.

        1. Then let’s abolish the US Government because isn’t that what they do all the time vis-a-vis “us vs them”?

          And the only “arrests” involving Clinton and Obama ARE the arrest of Clinton for rape (ask Juanita Broaddrick) and the arrest of Obama for shredding the Constitution.

          Regarding this Reagan staffer dill hole, “Prestowitz writes, “Virtually every piece of technology in any Apple product had its origin or was partially developed on the basis of a U.S. government-funded program.” and by the same token, other U.S. government-funded programs more than likely can be linked to the ills that this country is facing ie. the problem these idiots in Washington are bitching about, was created by those same idiots and their meddling poised as worthwhile legislation who conveniently turn a blind eye when things go south and look to other entities to blame! Despicable.

          And another thing, “every piece of technology in any Apple product had its origin or was partially developed on the basis of a U.S. government-funded program” while that may have merit, it doesn’t mean jack without someone with a vision like a Steve Jobs. Otherwise it’s just decoration… looks pretty, ie “What can be done with it? I dunno!”

            1. We’d be better off defeating intolerance. Unfortunately this country is full of hate-happy ass clowns; democratic, republican, conservative and liberal …It’s apparent a lot of people here would rather live in a fascist state versus a liberal one. Not to worry, you’re going to wake up one day and have exactly that.

            2. Liberals are the party of intolerance, Race Hate and class warfare.

              Republicans are the party of live and let live! Love thy Neighbor!!!

            1. Well, Nancy, I was asking a simple question about a tech site, all of a sudden someone is coming at me with “panties” and “sissy” which you have to admit is an entirely bizarre answer to: “is there a good apple tech site anyone can recommend?”

              Plus, the “commie” thing was hilarious, especially to my fellow programmers here at this financial institution.

              But, anyway, I don’t judge.

              Just, no thanks.

          1. You’re right! Republicans should pass some laws to force Apple to bring manufacturing back to America where the the cost of labor will leech away all of Apple’s profits, thus forcing them to raise prices, causing fewer people to buy their products and send them on a downward spiral to utter bankruptcy and put Americans out of work.

            Republicans need to go back to being Republicans and should just keep their noses out of business the way they’re supposed to. Apple is fine. They’re success fosters the growth of many other sectors.

            1. No dumb ass they shouldn’t pass any laws to force any business to do anything or tell them how to run their said business.

              Only a brain dead liberal would suggest that. This person is not a Republican. They have obviously gone over the dark side of liberalism. You should welcome the fool with open arms!!!

            2. @Alex: Finally, an admission that Reagan would be considered a Republican-In-Name-Only and labeled a communist by today’s blind lemming Republican supporters.

            3. You are such a freaking communist, lemming No America for Americans.

              One Libtard worked for Reagan and you fools think that’s what Reagan was. You are pathetic, a simpleton, can’t think for yourself, a loser in life, probably on public assistance of some sort.

              Go screw yourself.

            4. Public assistance? Nice try, I know for sure I make more than you.

              Those who blindly follows the religious extremists in charge of the Republican party are the lemmings who can’t think for themselves.

              Hint: that’s you, Todd.

            5. No America for Americans,

              Anyone who says I know for sure I make more money than you is full of it. You are the problem with our once great nation. I own a very successful business and do very well despite all the Democrat waste, theft, lies, red tape, anti-business tactics, Fees, barriers to doing business, unions, and more………

              You are one of the America Hating Parasites that suck the life blood out of the US.

              I don’t claim to make more than anyone else but you are a loser posting from your mommy’s basement and on public assistance. You reek of it!

            6. “Business owner”, I didn’t start that useless dick-waving contest. Anyone who accuses someone else of being on public assistance just because his opinion is different (hint: Todd), and anyone who defends him (hint: you), are blind lemmings, puppets of the wingnuts trying to screw you over, and who obviously hates his own lot in life. For that, I pity you both deeply.

            7. No America for Americans,

              No you see, you are the lemming. I very much love my country and my business. What I hate is liberalism and it’s path of misery and destruction. I don’t think you’re American either. You phrase things like a foreign troll. So please do us conservatives a favor and GO TO HELL!

            8. LOL, “phrase things like a foreign troll.”

              Why, because I use the right spelling and grammar and know how to use “its” correctly? Newsflash moron, many Americans think education is important. Real conservatives are fine, but the religious zealots want to destroy that, and by blindly following them just because they’re not Democrats, you are not a real conservative.

  1. Apple pays huge amounts of money in taxes, unlike the corporate welfare queens in the military-industrial complex. Why isn’t this guy bitching at GE?


    1. Right. GE head Jeff Imelt is both an Obama BF and headed his Competitiveness Council. In 2000 GE had 54% of its employees in the US, 46% overseas. By 2011 those numbers had reversed. Imelt took over in 2001 and GE has shed over 25,000 American jobs since then.

  2. I believe what I have just read could be referred to as “hyperhydorfecalflorilorious” diarrhoea of the mouth. Apple does not owe the US Government anything. How many other companies in the US are employing directly or indirectly !/2 million jobs?

    Please site them.

    (crickets chirping )

    Still waiting.

    50% of all consumer goods are now produced in China. Not just for the US but worldwide. Mr. Presto-whiz have you taken that into consideration? Maybe you will want to press to have Jeep manufacturing return to the US.

    Sorry, I have an issue with a-holes who feel that they can solve all os the world’s problems by blaming someone else – no matte the political affiliation.

  3. “…but they don’t require a great deal of labor.” So exactly what is this solving?

    This isn’t “typical Republican” anything. It’s just stupid, which is completely non-partisan.

  4. So, Apple has shirked it’s patriotic duty, but all the other companies it competes against have not? That’s nuts. The problem of overseas labor is a national economic issue, not a company or industry-wide issue. BTW, I love the guy’s name – “Clyde Prestowitz”. He sounds really smart.

  5. Maybe the “servants of the people(pfffft)”, ought to observe how a company/country should be managed? Working together as a team instead of throwing stones like the asswipes out of Fox News does on a daily basis? But then again, how can America hold their heads up high after going thru 8 years of Alfred E. Bush?

    1. “like the asswipes out of Fox News” yet you fail to mention how the entire rest of the Drive By Lame Stream Media is Government-Lemming-Propaganda.

      Who the F*CK would ever want to work with you Half Wit!

      Go back to Rachel Madcow on PMSNBC!!!!!

      1. You got it. Fox is biased to the right. Others are fair to a fault. CNN is trying to emulate the faux clowns also. And please take your morning Joe from “pmsnbc”. He is an ass hat just like the conservative dip holes that frequent this site. Face it you guys suck. Your candidates suck. Cons ervatives are liars and greedy slime sucking bastards who hide behind Jesus. Well phuc u!

  6. this is one of the dumber things i have read in a long time. and i am saying this as someone who worked for goldwater in ’64 and have read lots of dumb things across the political spectrum.

  7. Moving back those jobs to the U.S. current unsuitable place for manufacturing jobs, would be like plastering a hole in a wall full of holes.

    As usual people thinking it is someone else’s fault or blame; and if that someone else has got money, what better to go after?

    This needs source, “the fact that most of the jobs created by Apple are in China,”

    Not listening right is uuaceptable. The executive said has no obligation to help “by moving some of those jobs”, he did NOT say “has no obligation to help.” Apple is helping in the U.S. quite a lot already in other ways.

    “they do not require a great amount of labor. In other words, they can all be produced in America.” Sure, whenever U.S. workers can be paid the same as Chinese workers per hour.

  8. This guy is obviously and idiot, but here is a much bigger one:

    At President Clinton’s direction, no fewer than 10 federal agencies issued a chilling ultimatum to banks and mortgage lenders to ease credit for lower-income minorities or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related adverse publicity. They also were threatened with denial of access to the all-important secondary mortgage market and stiff fines, along with other penalties.

    The threat was codified in a 20-page “Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending” and entered into the Federal Register on April 15, 1994, by the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending. Clinton set up the little-known body to coordinate an unprecedented crackdown on alleged bank redlining.
    The edict — completely overlooked by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the mainstream media — was signed by then-HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, Attorney General Janet Reno, Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, along with the heads of six other financial regulatory agencies.

    “The agencies will not tolerate lending discrimination in any form,” the document warned financial institutions.
    So this is where it all started.  In 1994.  When the government pressured lenders to qualify the unqualified.  To put people into houses they couldn’t afford.  Or else.

    1. The agencies will not tolerate lending discrimination in any form

      ..obviously including discriminating on the basis of ability to make the loan payments.


    2. I believe the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977 during the first year of President Carter’s term & actually started off the beginning of the ‘funny’ loan programs.

      Democrats chose to do this to try to keep more low income citizens as voters for the Democrat candidates.

    3. THANK YOU! Why aren’t more people aware of this????? Jimmy Carter popularized the ‘redlining’ movement in the ’70’s, as a political tool to basically garner votes (every politician loves to accumulate political points, and in this case, home ownership is a hot ticket!). Just before he left office, Clinton then went on to ‘order’ Fannie and Freddie to absorb this (bad) debt, to the tune of 50% or more of their balance sheets. The incentive was thus established for slavish and gluttonous lending activities. Interestingly, it was none other than George W who started calling for the abolishment (or at least downsizing) of Fannie and Freddie as early as 2001.

    1. I, for one, am glad there wasn’t an MDN Take on this, given how many other MDN Takes there were on politically slanted posts.

      I also wish it hadn’t generated the political flame war that other politically slanted posts have generated on here.

      *goes back to TUAW, where cooler heads prevail*

      1. Welcome to the world of Maobama and CommieTards, ERIC! You better start sticking up for your country and fighting LIberals or you’re not gong to have a country left.

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