Thursday, February 9, 2012

A "Capitalist Tool's" Defense of Apple Morphs into an Anti-Obama Screed

Posted: 02/ 6/2012 
Forbes' (which bills itself as the "Capitalist Tool") publisher, Rich Karlgaard, writing in the Wall Street Journal, defends Apple's creation of a criminogenic environment that produces endemic anti-employee control fraud by its suppliers and unlawful and brutal working conditions that Apple refuses to stop.

How does a defense of Apple's suppliers driving their workers to suicide end up attacking Obama? Here's Karlgaard's clumsy but brazen effort. He relies on the January 21, 2012 New York Times article, which recounts Obama's February 2011 dinner meeting with Steve Jobs and other executives. This is Karlgaard's version of the conversation between Obama and Jobs as reported by the New York Times.

It turns out Apple employs 40,000 workers in the U.S. but has 700,000 workers in China. Last year President Obama asked Mr. Jobs why that was so. "Those jobs are never coming back," Mr. Jobs reportedly said, then turned the heat back on Mr. Obama's anti-business policies.

 Sadly, Mr. Cook [Jobs' successor] is not allowed to display this kind of cheek, even if his sweet soul wanted to. Except that this is not what happened. Here is what the actual article reported about the exchanges between Jobs and Obama (and other executives).

Not long ago, Apple boasted that its products were made in America. Today, few are. Almost all of the 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products Apple sold last year were manufactured overseas.

Why can't that work come home? Mr. Obama asked. Mr. Jobs's reply was unambiguous. "Those jobs aren't coming back," he said, according to another dinner guest.

At dinner, for instance, the executives had suggested that the government should reform visa programs to help companies hire foreign engineers. Some had urged the president to give companies a "tax holiday" so they could bring back overseas profits which, they argued, would be used to create work. Mr. Jobs even suggested it might be possible, someday, to locate some of Apple's skilled manufacturing in the United States if the government helped train more American engineers.


The executives had suggested that the government should reform visa programs to help companies hire foreign engineers. Some had urged the president to give companies a "tax holiday" so they could bring back overseas profits which, they argued, would be used to create work. Mr. Jobs even suggested it might be possible, someday, to locate some of Apple's skilled manufacturing in the United States if the government helped train more American engineers.

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-k-black/a-capitalist-tools-defens_b_1257583.html