Congressman blames U.S. unemployment crisis on iPad

In it U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr (D-IL) blasts Apple and Steve
Jobs claiming that the iPad is responsible for killing thousands of
American jobs.

Jesse Jackson i Almedalen 2011
Image by Socialdemokrater via Flickr

In the rambling manifesto Jackson claims that the iPad is to blame
because it enables anyone to easily download books and newspapers. Thus
everyone who works at bookstores (i.e. Borders) or the publishing
industry will lose their jobs to workers making iPads in China.

Over the top?

Well, he is a politician.

However, there is this:

Yet, last week, the president met with eight CEOs such as the heads of
Xerox and American Express to ask what he could do that would give them
confidence to invest in the United States. But these are precisely the
wrong people with whom to consult and the question is precisely the
wrong question. They are the wrong people because they have benefited
enormously from offshoring and from the distortions built into the
global system. Their interest is not the same as that of the United
States but rather that of their shareholders and, in some cases, of the
authoritarian governments of the countries to which they have moved much
of the production capacity. The question is wrong because rather than
trying to bribe them the president should, a la The Godfather, be making
them “offers they can’t refuse.”

In South Carolina, Governor Perry emphasized that he would make
Washington disappear from the lives of the people in his audience. That
did not strike me as the comment of a person using all his power to find

But think about it for just a moment. There will be no more significant
fiscal stimulus for the economy. The emphasis is all on debt reduction,
cutting expenditures, and retrenching. Not only will the federal
government be cutting back, but the state and municipal governments are
already slashing and burning. All of this will result in further job
reduction, less consumer spending, and declining stimulus which in turn
will lead to reluctance on the part of business to invest. In these
circumstances, the only possible source of jobs is a reduction of the
trade deficit.

He or she who wakes up to this fact first is likely to be the next president.

That’s my emphasis in red.

These executives are responsible to the shareholders, though the board.  If the economic climate and system of taxation – that is the employment costs, make it favourable to employ foreign workers rather than American workers than that is what these people will do.  If they do otherwise then they are clearly not acting in the best interests of their corporations and will be dismissed and replaced by someone who will.   This is basic corporate economics, and any politician who fails to recognise it may popular for crowing about “America First” but is displaying woeful ignorance.

The other way to look at it is that US workers have priced themselves out of the market.

Dwight D. Eisenhower photo portrait.
Image via Wikipedia

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

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