Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2011-08-24/Apple-says-Jobs-resigning-as-CEO-effective-immediately/50126292/1

You may be wondering how this story is relevant to the topics addressed on this blog.  I just thought it was a good opportunity to make a point.  Our politicians on both sides of the aisle have often proclaimed that what America’s economy needs is more entrepreneurs and innovators, and more than one has held up the example of Steve Jobs.  No doubt, Steve Jobs was an incredibly successful and creative individual.

In spite of that, where are all of Apple’s products made?  I will freely admit that I don’t know the answer to that question, since I haven’t gone to the Apple store and inspected their packages, but I’d be willing to bet that not a single product is made in the U.S.  I do know that my wife’s Mac Book was made in China. 

This isn’t unusual.  Name any new product that has been introduced in the last 50 years, and you’ll find that that product was created by a U.S. company.  But the vast majority are imported today.   The net result is that all of this innovation has done virtually nothing for our economy.

Politicians are also fond of proclaiming that we need our universities to turn out more engineers.  Why?  Where have all the engineers gone?  To the unemployment lines.  We don’t need more until we put the ones we have back to work.  Too much government spending?  Cut spending on education.  What’s the point, anyway?  You don’t need a degree in engineering to fill out an unemployment application.  High school drop-outs can do as much.

The point here is that it’s not a shortage of people like Steve Jobs or engineers that lies at the root of our economic problems.  It’s trade policy that gives away their innovations to become manufacturing jobs in other countries.

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9 Responses to Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO

  1. Tony Newbill says:

    3 things going on in the economic policy making circles of the support structure of our current Presidential Administration would tend to suggest Cause for Fear of taking Risk Investment Positions in the Free market when you consider these Top Advisers are making suggestions like this , don’t you agree ???

    An Alien Invasion Would Boost the Economy…Says Paul Krugman

    and simotainiously this is out at the Discovery channel how strange don’t you think ?
    Michio Kaku speaking about Alien Invasions ,

    http://www.educatinghumanity.com/2011/08/alien-invasion-what-would-alien.html

    Max Keiser talking breifly on the Krugman commentsbut then in the second half of this video about Federal Regulators at SEC shredding Bank Fraud Documents and evidence of Market fraud ,
    http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report/keiser-herbert-treasury-sec-456/

    And then to top all that off we have this Jobs Killing policy at work by the Leading CZAR in all developments , this Link , http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/75388

    So no wonder we are failing in all directions ………

    • Pete Murphy says:

      “Tony”, the abundance of links in your comment landed it in a “hold” pattern until I’ve had a chance to approve it. The “alien” stuff you’ve included is off-topic, so I won’t address it. However, the last link you provided in this comment, the CNSNews article, is thought-provoking and contains statements both accurate and off-base.

      First of all, I wouldn’t exactly characterize Holden as a “leading czar” in the Obama administration. I’d be surprised if he gets an audience with Obama more than once a month. But his thinking may have some influence on Obama’s thinking. Perhaps his opinions about the use of the “free market economy” to “de-develop” the U.S. into a state of sustainability can help to explain that, for whatever reason, Obama has chosen not to interfere in the “free” market, contrary to his campaign pledges to correct inequities in our trade treaties.

      Holden is right in believing that further population growth is unsustainable. But he’s wrong to suggest that we need to “de-develop” to protect the environment. Like many economists who suggest something similar, claiming that we can be just as happy leading simpler lives with less consumption, he doesn’t consider what would happen to unemployment. Like economists, he seems to shrug it off, as evidenced by his definition of “de-development”: “What we meant by that was stopping the kinds of activities that are destroying the environment and replacing them with activities that would produce both prosperity and environmental quality.” He has no clue what such latter activities might be and he completely misses the unbreakable link between per capita consumption and per capita employment, thinking that there’s some magical activity out there that can provide employment without consuming anything. It simply doesn’t exist. If our population produces strains on resources and stress on the environment that can’t be overcome, then the answer is not to drive everyone into poverty through “de-development,” but to reduce our population to a level where everyone can sustainably maintain a high standard of living. That level could be achieved relatively easily and quickly (in historical terms) if only we put our minds to it. Doesn’t it make more sense than de-developing ourselves back to the stone age when life expectancy was less than 30 years?

      Now I’ll review your other comments.

    • Pete Murphy says:

      Another good topic: government spending and its use to stimulate the economy. First of all, government is an absolute necessity, and it costs money, as much as some people would deny those facts. It’s also a fact that the more densely populated a nation becomes, the more central a role government has in maintaining an orderly society. The advocates of a “smaller government” would be wise to be even stronger advocates for reduced immigration and policies that encourage a reduced population.

      So are Krugman and other economists right in advocating spending on infrastructure to stimulate the economy? To some extent, yes. Infrastructure is critical to a vibrant economy. If we need more, we should build more, and fund it with revenues. I doubt that anyone would say that we didn’t need to expand our infrastructure from what it was 100 years ago. In a lot of cases, it resulted in deficit spending, especially in the 1930s. But it was money well-spent, for the most part. Much of our park system – the envy of the rest of the world – was built by CCC workers in the 1930s, and we enjoy its benefits to this day. It took a lot of deficit spending, nearly all of which was paid off over the next couple of decades. In the same way, the interstate highway system took a lot of deficit spending. But it was money well-spent. Can you imagine if we had no interstate highways today?

      But what about now? Our infrastructure is actually in pretty good shape, with one glaring exception – our rail system – the laughing stock of much of the developed world. We could put a lot of people to work there.

      But then what? Yes, we could use that to put some people to work for a while, but that’s a temporary fix, and one that has to be paid for with future revenues. The problem is that it’s impossible to pay down deficit spending in the future when you’re locked into a permanent, massive trade deficit. It’s impossible to pay for the deficit spending and it’s impossible to do anything but continue deficit spending, as we’ve seen for the last 3-1/2 decades.

  2. Tony Newbill says:

    So I guess we have Entered a Point in Time where True supply-side growth is now being challenged by the leaders with a Fundamental that is from a ZONE we have not considered substantial before …. but now might be ???
    This was a great comment on the Theory to boost economic productivity by Ed Morrissey ;
    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/08/15/krugman-you-know-what-this-economy-needs-a-space-alien-invasion/

    Ed Morrissey picks apart the Keynesian/Krugman/Zakaria economic theory:

    Krugman, who won a Nobel Prize in economics, somehow forgets to tell Zakaria that seizing capital from productive enterprises in taxes (or worse, borrowing against future legitimate production in deficit spending) to fund the “ditch cycle” has opportunity costs — namely, the opportunity to produce something other than pre-filled ditches, which have a real value of zero. That’s actually a significant part of what’s wrong now. Government spending doesn’t create economic growth; it takes money from actual production, and so should be used sparingly and only for necessities.

    • Pete Murphy says:

      Same thing. Yes, Krugman’s right that preparations for an alien invasion would boost the economy. But what he doesn’t address is what happens afterward, when all of the deficit spending has to be paid down. That’s a net drag on the economy and you end up back where you started from, just as you suggest, Tony.

  3. Tony Newbill says:

    Pete wouldn’t it make more sense to innovate and develop things like this rather than prepare for space alien invasions ??? This what a Steve Jobs innovation would simulate I would think , and certainly Jobs would have not had the benefit of success in Innovating the Apple Corp to the point its become if the DE development phase was fully implemented , so we need to be Smart about development like you say Pete and debate of this more is needed I think .

    http://www.optimumchoices.com/BioSuperfood-Algae-Spirulina.htm

    http://www.verticalfarm.com

    I mean if what these guys are saying and the cite Holdren and Elirich over and over in here and they are in Obamas policy advisory seats , I think like you say we should be challenging them to debate the differences in DE development vs Developing both a sustainability across the broad of humanity for a peace process to emerge , it will never happen their way . http://dieoff.org/page1.htm

    • Pete Murphy says:

      Gotcha, Tony. The only problem with the whole algae bio-fuel thing is that it isn’t viable in the quantities needed to provide us with a renewable source of fuel. I’ve been hearing about algae bio fuel, nuclear fusion, wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy and a host of others for many years and none are even close to taking up the slack that would be left by a collapse in oil supplies. I think that talk of all of these is designed to delude us into believing that growth can be sustained.

      • Tony Newbill says:

        I don’t see how the theory of supply-side economic value growth can be sustained in terms of the expansion of supply being the driver of profits and economic growth , if we cannot have a expanding development in some forms of resources or renewable resources , and the alternative to this loss of FREE market fundamentals is not acceptable either so what is the plan ?

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