Steve (No American) Jobs

                           Why do American jobs end up in China?  Answer:  Because unconscionable wheeler-dealers like the late Steve Jobs, don’t give a damn about American workers, and would rather exploit quasi-slave labor abroad to make a bigger pile of loot.  When Jobs, that great icon of American entrepreneurship, wanted to replace the screen on the iPhone  he contracted with a Corning Glass plant in China.  The small glass panes arrived at the infamous Foxconn factory in the middle of the night( where according to Mr. Jobs the suicide rate among its workers were not a concern) , thousands of workers were rousted out of  their dormitory beds, were given biscuits and tea, and were compelled to work a twelve hour shift without a break at a fifth of the compensation American workers would receive.  The differential in labor cost for the iPhone is about $5 in China and $22 in the U.S.A.  Still leaving a whopping profit for the Apple fat cats.

                             Naively, President Obama asked Steve Jobs: “Why can’t that work come home?”  Mr. Jobs curt reply: “Those jobs aren’t coming back!”  An Apple executive told the New York Times: “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.”  

                            But apparently the U.S. taxpayer was obliged to solve some of Apple’s problems.  Mr. Jobs and his executives “had the funny notion that the U.S. government had the obligation to help them.  Virtually everything Apple had for sale, from memory chips to the pointer mouse had its origins in some program supported by government money.  The heart of the computer is the microprocessor developed with the direct assistance of the Defense Department. Most computer software was derived from work with government backing.  Apple also arrogantly  assumes that the taxpayer, through government agencies, is obliged to stop foreign pirating of Apple’s intellectual property.  And if supply chains in the Far East are threatened, the taxpayer is obliged to offer Apple the support of the Seventh Fleet.”

                           Pathetically, the ever-wise American buying public, waiting on long lines through the night for the next
 version of the iPhone, or SmartPhone, or MePhone, or YouPhone, or ThisPhone, or ThatPhone is, in effect shooting itself in the foot, or a better analogy would be “robbing itself blind!” Because of what Arriana Huffington called “The Third Worlding of America”, those millions of Americans lucky enough to have a job can only stand helplessly by as their wages fall,and those unlucky millions of unemployed might very well be haunted by the specter of low-wage worker dormitories.

Al Salzman


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