“During his speech last night President Obama made an unplanned reference to Steve Jobs, which is weird because the two didn’t have the best relationship, nor was Jobs that categorically great for America,” Rebecca Greenfield writes for The Atlantic Wire. “Originally, Obama was supposed to mention Google, but instead inserted the Apple icon’s name into the following line: ‘We believe that a little girl who’s offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the next Steve Jobs,’ he said. Not only did Obama snub Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, but he chose to insert a man who once said to the president’s face that he was ‘headed for a one-term presidency,’ according to Walter Issacson’s Steve Jobs biography. Even so, his choice makes total sense.”
“Obama has used Jobs to exemplify the American dream before. During last year’s State of the Union Address, Obama dropped Jobs into his speech as such: ‘You see, an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country. That … means we should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs,’ he said, with Jobs’ wife Laurene Powell Jobs sitting as a guest of honor right next to Michelle Obama,” Greenfield writes. “As we noted back then, however, Jobs as a symbol of the American dream presents a lot of contradictions. Yes, he came up from nothing to build the now most valuable company of all time. But the company itself isn’t very patriotic. Contrary to what it claims, it hasn’t done very well at creating U.S. jobs, and much of its product manufacturing happens in less than stellar factories in China… Despite that, Obama chose Jobs over ‘the founders of Google’ because his name resonates with us more.”
Greenfield writes, “Jobs means more to more people, which makes him the perfect name to get people’s attention. That’s also why Republican nominee Mitt Romney stuck him into his acceptance speech last week with the following lines: ‘Business and growing jobs is about taking risk, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always striving. It is about dreams. Usually, it doesn’t work out exactly as you might have imagined. Steve Jobs was fired at Apple. He came back and changed the world,’ he said. The specifics of Jobs’ politics don’t matter. He signals success, the all-American way.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Oh, God, not this again. Of course, Jobs was great for America. As for the U.S jobs that Apple has created:
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.
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
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How many U.S. jobs has Apple’s iPod created? – July 8, 2011