Finnish Prime Minister: ‘Steve Jobs took our jobs’

“Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb has accused Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs of crushing his Nordic country’s job market by selling innovations that caught Finland’s companies off guard,” AFP reports.

“‘We had two pillars we stood on: one was the IT industry, the other one was the paper industry,’ Stubb told Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri,” AFP reports. “‘Nalle Wahlroos, president of (Swedish bank) Nordea, described it quite well when he said the iPhone knocked out Nokia and the iPad knocked out the forestry,’ accelerating the fall of paper demand… ‘Yes, Steve Jobs took our jobs, but this is beginning to change,’ Stubb said.”

“The main symbol for Finland’s economic difficulties was the fall of Nokia, the one-time world leader in mobile devices, which in April sold its loss-making handset business to US software giant Microsoft,” AFP reports. “Stubb, a champion of liberalism and European integration, warned that he could not promise an immediate shift in the economic landscape. ‘We shouldn’t create the illusion that the state can create growth,’ Stubb said.”

Read more in the full article here.

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    1. > “Stubb, a champion of liberalism and European integration, warned that he could not promise an immediate shift in the economic landscape. ‘We shouldn’t create the illusion that the state can create growth,’ Stubb said.”


      1. I don’t think I understand what you’re saying. The point that I left dangling for inference was that if their leadership feels that it was Steve Jobs who “took” their jobs, rather than their company leaders who let this happen to them, then it’s not all that surprising that their company leaders sat on their laurels and missed the technology nexus taking place.

    2. Reminds me of a poem….
      Two legs sat upon three legs, with one leg on his lap
      four legs snatched one leg and run!
      up jumped two legs, picked up three legs
      and threw three legs at four legs,
      four legs dropped one leg
      two legs picked up one leg and sat on three legs
      two legs ate one leg!

      It goes something like that, correct me if you know the original version.

      Just saying………..

      1. Second read through doing what “seb” suggested (“READ”) and I got it.

        Your poem reminded me of the story about how far a frog can jump. The scientist set out a piece of graph paper, a notepad, a pencil, a measuring tape, a knife, and a frog. “Jump frog, jump!” he said, and the frog jumped quite far! The scientist recorded the distance (“Frog with four legs can jump 6 feet.”) and reset the frog at the start of his graph paper. Using the knife he cut off one of the frog’s legs. “Jump frog, jump!” he called out, and the frog jumped not as far. Again the scientist noted this distance (“Frog with three legs can jump 4 feet”), retrieved the frog and cut off another leg. “Jump frog, jump!” he commanded, and the frog jumped a little ways. After recording the distance (“Frog with two legs can jump 1 foot”), he reset the frog and cut off the third leg. “Jump frog, jump” he begged, and the frog made a little bit of lopsided hop. Noting this distance (“Frog with one leg can jump 4 inches”) he slid the frog back into place and cut off the fourth leg. “Jump frog, jump!” he begged. Nothing happened. “Jump frog, jump!” he pleaded. One last time he tried, “Please, frog, jump!” Because the frog of course did not jump, the scientist recorded “Frog with no legs can’t hear.”

        “Steve Jobs took our jobs” indeed.

    3. Nokia is a victim of it’s own hubris and complacency. They were never interested in changing the world, just making more of the same crappy phones they always did and paid the price. Did they really think the world would cut them a break forever on paradigm shifting innovations without them trying to do the same before the horse was out of the barn?

    1. You wonder if the Swiss watch-making jobs are headed the way the Finnish cellphone-making jobs went. Come to think of it, surely there is a former Microsoft executive who is positioning himself/herself to step in and help Swatch recover from what’s about to happen to them!

  1. Typical socialist.. learning that government really can’t do everything, that it actually requires someone working to actually produce something to survive..

    1. As a Canadian, this hits home for me. Our Ontario Liberal government keeps extolling the virtues of creating jobs (which it has shown it has no idea how to do). All government can do is provide a fertile climate for businesses to grow. People create jobs…NOT GOVERNMENT!

        1. Infrastructure to allow business to work is arguably the job of government.

          Without that, you revert to the lord of the valley who charges at his road toll booths and river transit points.

        2. Did you ever play SimCity? All the things you mention come *after* the local economy needs them. They don’t generate a tax base, they live off of it. Does everyone in the community benefit from their presence? Of course, absolutely. They kind of go hand-in-hand, but a business can exist without a police department, etc., yet a police department without businesses can’t afford to pay the officers and put gas in the patrol cars.

      1. Society makes jobs: entrepreneurs, consumers, laborers, infrastructure builders, educators, traders, researchers, manufactures, miners, transporters, and yes policy makers working together are what makes jobs. It’s not just thanks to the rich business guys who like to take all the credit.

        Governments directly employ millions of people and make decisions that effect billions of jobs; so clearly, they have some part in job creation.

        1. Government does not create jobs! It either allows other to create them or prevents them to do so. We the people are the force here not the policymakers, politicians, bureaucrats- they only disturb and complicate our simple lives!

    2. It wasn’t that they didn’t have people working, They had plenty. It was that the people on top weren’t thinking. It had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with bad decisions made by the leaders of the country’s main technological corporation.

      The Finnish government had nothing to do with the stupidity of Nokia’s executives as Canada’s system of government had no bearing on RIMM’s whistling past the graveyard.

      No government can legislate creativity and innovation no matter what political system is in power. All that can be done is to pour money into education and encourage creativity.

      1. I guess I see the Finnish government’s relationship with industry and leadership the way John F. Kennedy saw it so many years ago: (replace “space” with “smartphone” or whatever)

        “This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.

        “So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this state of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward–and so will space.

        … (replace “go to the moon” with “incorporate touch” or whatever)

        “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

        The fault is clearly Nokia’s. I wouldn’t argue against that with anyone. But it doesn’t appear that the Finnish government was setting down new challenges, nor excoriating Nokia’s complacency.

  2. Even worse, the Finns took the Nokia train to Siberia without working on how to use iOS to simplify healthcare, retired peoples services etc. Basically, the Finns were left holding outdated Nokia phones while everybody else started developing and utilizing the new smartphone ecosystems.

  3. Nokia still makes tires and rubber boot….those products didn’t carry them through the transition?

    Could be worse, Nokia could have been Blackberry

  4. I think it’s more an observation than an accusation per se, however the latter is more likely to cause outrage so that’s the narrative that AFP have chosen to pursue.

    It’s click-bait designed to provoke a defensive response from sites like MDN and their audience. Better to treat it with the contempt it deserves.

  5. Lost in Translation?

    I don’t see how the, “FINNISH Prime Minister Alexander Stubb has ACCUSED…” anyone, let alone Jobs.

    He stated a fact! “The iPhone knocked out Nokia and the iPad the [their] forestry [industry],’ in fact, a comment that was PREVIOUSLY said by the president of the Swedish bank!

    There doesn’t appear to be any animosity towards Steve in the comments he made. They realize they were beaten by innovation and they need to move on.

    If anything, the headline right from the beginning and continued there on is an example of Yellow Journalism at its best.

  6. Nokia failed due to arrogance, stupidity and slimy shenanigans by certain board members and stock holders to sell Nokia to Microsoft.

    # arrogance and stupidity:

    Nokia chief Strategist Vnajoki 2009:
    “The development of mobile phones will be similar in PCs. Even with the Mac, Apple has attracted much attention at first, but they have still remained a niche manufacturer. That will be in mobile phones as well.”

    (Davewrite: from niche to country killer!)

    # Msft shenanigans
    is too complicated to explain without going novel length (which I’ve been accused off) but Elop (according to some with insider info) was a Msft Mole. Cancelled successful Nokia phones, did his burning platform speech, cancelled Meego (while Samsung desperately developing in-house Tizen.. ) all the while commuting back to USA where he had a house near Ballmers where they allegedly met for ‘clandestine’ meetings…
    After destroying Nokia and selling the phone part for garage sale price Elop went back to work for Msft!
    You can internet search the whole sordid mess yourself.

    1. I can see Apple knocking Nokia for a loop by changing the direction of the phone industry and Nokia not being able to adjust, but the paper industry has been in danger for far longer than the iPad has been around. These were simply two industries that failed to cope with changing times.

      On the other hand, if Microsoft and Nokia had shady deals going on that resulted in Finland going into a recession, I wonder if Microsoft and/or some Nokia executives could be prosecuted under Finnish or international law.

      Imagine Elop being tried for treason.

  7. Paper mills have been dying off in Wisconsin as well, and that’s been happening for years as more and more things get digitized.

    As for Nokia, he would be best to blame Nokia for floundering. It was yet another example of a company with a huge stake in an existing market that did next to nothing to innovate and improve its products. The same happened to RIMM and is happening now to Microsoft.

    Stay stagnant and die.

  8. Worse yet, Apple decided to buy Beats instead of Nokia.
    What a crappy decision that was.

    Still, the advent of the PC didnt reduce paper consumption it just gave the opportunity for everyone to print reams of crap where before only a few did. The tablet wont stop people wanting to print crap even if they use a different device at home/school or office to produce it.

    1. You’re so wrong. Dozens of major newspapers have stopped publishing on the past 15 years. When was the last time you got a phone directory dropped at your door? And corporations have ditched print for thousands of publications that are now more easily edited, updated and distributed digitally.

      Print is far from dead, but its uses are far fewer than before…

      1. SJ was responsible for many things but the Internet is not one of them.
        Papers have been going to the wall because people get their news from the WWW. Its faster, more responsive and has a million sources. SJ did not cause papers to go out of business. Tablets and imacs are no more responsible than PCs for this trend.

        Tablets may replace PCs but that wont necessarily lead to a paperless world.

      2. The shift away from print to online/electronic documents was in full swing 20 years ago. Roughly coinciding with big increases in printing cost, particularly in paper and ink, certainly accelerated by those increases.

    2. Not that I’m a great fan of the Beats deal, but even I can see some benefits to it. On the other hand, what possible benefit could be gained from Apple buying Nokia?

      Microsoft is trying to mimic Apple by building their own computers (Surface Pro), tablet (Surface RT), phone (Nokia) and spread its vision of an ecosystem (the various flavors of Win 8 and its app store) to them. It makes sense for them to buy a phone manufacturer rather than start from scratch. Apple has been doing this for years and buying Nokia for just a few patents wasn’t worth the money or effort.

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