Steve Jobs was Not a Patriot

Rarely has the world seen such enormous praise upon the death of anyone as what we have seen in recent days upon the death of Steve Jobs. Much of the praise for Jobs has been misplaced. Sure, he definitely achieved enormous success in several of his corporate endeavors, particularly at Apple. But a few things about his style of corporate leadership are not very positive.

I have never been a fan of Apple products because I always felt that they were overpriced. Indeed, all you need to know is that Apple is sitting on $80 billion in cash. That tells me that Apple products, regardless of their design and quality, have been overpriced. Jobs was obsessed with making huge profits.

The other side of this is that Apple has always pursued a strategy of sophisticated planned obsolescence. Anyone who bought any kind of Apple product should have been prepared to discover in a relatively short time that a newer and better version of that product would be hitting the market at an even higher, outrageous price. Apple products were like a technological addiction that, personally, I wanted no part of.

But what really made Jobs seem to me to be very unpatriotic is that he outsourced nearly all manufacturing of Apple products to China. In fact, Apple created about 200,000 jobs in China, where people earn very little and work in terrible conditions. Why? Because it meant even higher profits. The US has paid a high price for losing all those manufacturing jobs. Clearly, Apple could have afforded to pay higher wages for making their products in the US. That would have been the patriotic thing to do.

Just as Jobs mistreated many individuals as documented in the new authorized biography of him, he also should be seen as mistreating the public and his country through both exorbitant prices and the export of good manufacturing jobs. Time for all the Apple enthusiasts to wake up to some ugly truths.

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