Skip to comments.Apple under Jobs was quintessentially corporate (Hey Protesters, Wall St. brought us Apple)
Posted on 10/07/2011 6:33:49 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
In the overflow of tributes to one of the greatest entrepreneurs in history, to his genius and drive and amazing qualities as an innovator and leader, maybe a few words could be added to highlight another element in the rise and phenomenal success of Steve Jobs.
Nothing can take away from Mr. Jobs achievement as a creator and one-man economic transformer who made billions of dollars and millions of people happy. But he could not have done it outside the corporation-dominated economic system that is American capitalism. Nor could he have done it without the international economic structure of free trade and open financial markets that is globalization. Steve Jobs and the company he created, Apple Inc., are quintessentially corporate, funded by investors from Wall Street the very same corporate Wall Street that unions and activists across the United States are marching against today under the banner Occupy Wall Street.
What a stunning paradox we have here. Around the world, down to some of the more cynical leftist commentators, there is admiration and even wonder over Mr. Jobs and the iPods and iPads, Macs and iPhones this driven individual delivered almost single-handedly to an eager world. Apple is the corporate emblem and Mr. Jobs the personification of the American Dream.
But when Mr. Jobs death was announced Thursday, the union-backed Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were winding up their march on Lower Manhattan, an alleged attempt to reclaim the American Dream, take it back from the corporate system that had enabled Apple Inc. and helped create a consumer and technological revolution.
The demonstrators might as well call their movement Down with Apple. The irony was not lost on at least one observer on Wall Street. Businessweek.com recorded the reaction of one bystander: Theyre just a bunch of wacko leftists trying to get on TV, said Onel Delorb, 33, an unemployed office worker from the Bronx. Its my fault that Im not doing anything for work. Its not the governments fault.
He said the demonstrators undermined their credibility by carrying iPhones and iPads made by Apple Inc., which Businessweek noted is valued at $350-billion on todays global Wall Street.
The slogan for OccupyWallStreet The American Dream has been stolen from the world blissfully ignores the part of that dream demonstrators are carrying in their pockets. It ignores the corporate and financial system that fostered Steve Jobs success.
This ignorance was blissfully ignored by Naomi Klein, Canadas own Wall Street whacker, who was in New York to address the Occupy Wall Street encampment Thursday night. She blamed the corporate media for underplaying the demonstrations.
Speaking on the leftist media show Democracy Now!, Ms. Klein denounced the system that opened the world to Apples products. One of the contradictions of capitalism, she said, is that it is so destructive that it destroys its own base, whether thats its base of consumers who buy its products or whether [it] is the destruction of the ecosystem.
The contradictions, however, are all on Ms. Kleins side of the fence. The demonstrators, to the degree they have a mission, seem to want to bring down the market-based institutional structure that allowed Steve Jobs and Apple to flourish.
That Wall Street played a leading role in Apples development is beyond doubt. Morgan Stanley underwrote the companys December 1980 initial public offering of shares, a historic and sensational event that has become legendary. Mr. Jobs and two others each put in $250,000 to form Apple Computer Inc., holdings that were transformed into $1.8-billion after a public share sale that at the time, it is said, was bigger than the 1956 IPO when the Ford family sold their first shares in the Ford Motor Company.
A preliminary version of the public-offering document is a model of pre-Apple capitalist initiative, including a hand-written profit-and-loss statement and revenues (1978) of $13-million.
The globalized business strategy for Apple was apparent even then. Apples July 1981 business plan for the Macintosh computer on public file with the Computer History Museum sets out the masterful pricing and sales strategy for a series of Macs. Profit was the motive. One profit analysis had a Mac priced at $995 retail generating operating profit of $197; at $1,495 retail, profit would be $497.
Where would the Mac be manufactured? Singapore was an early speculation. The company also had a Taiwan connection at the time. These international relationships, as globalization took hold, are often fodder for Apples critics, including the Wall Street bashers.
Slate magazine reports that the announcement of the death of Steve Jobs generated a rash of anti-Jobs comment on Twitter from Wall Street demonstrators. A sample from Twitter user @VoidDelete: RIP Steve Jobs? How about RIP AMERICAN JOBS? Apple products are made in China.
No, theyre not. Various studies have broken down Apple products into inputs over the years, including the first $499 iPad. The value added in China, strictly for assembly, was about $12. The rest of the import cost of $250 was estimated to come from South Koreas Samsung, Japans Toshiba, Broadcom in the United States and (for batteries) Amperex Technology, a Hong Kong company owned by TDK in Japan. The touchscreen, processors, wireless gear and a score of other elements are created and manufactured around the world.
The biggest beneficiaries of the iPad: Intellectual property held in the United States and Apple shareholders. And because of a global supply chain that kept prices low, the true beneficiaries of Apple products were consumers. Thanks to Steve Jobs mastery of what consumers would want, and his unsurpassed skills in design and marketing, iPods and iPads were born in the belly of corporate capitalism.
The model for national and international corporate achievement is known as the Anglo-Saxon corporate model, with shareholders, managers and consumers benefiting from a symbiotic relationship that today is symbolized by Wall Street.
No nation has mastered the corporate model like America. It is the same model that today gives the world Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg, Microsofts Bill Gates, Googles Larry Page, Dells Michael Dell and many others. Even if these masters of the corporate model do not know it personally, it is the system that allows them to be great.
And not a politician or a government bureaucrat can be seen, nor a Naomi Klein or a union leader. Even where a government fingerprint can be found at some point in history, the role of the individual working in a corporate environment is the dominant player.
At the free-market oriented Ludwig von Mises Institute, a recent paper explored the origins of the Internet. Was it the brainchild of government policy and research? Initially, yes. But that original role is dwarfed by what happened later. Government did invent the Internet, says the paper, but the market made it glorious.
Steve Jobs and the global corporate trade and financial system were part of that process. They made Apple and the world of phones and communications glorious.
That’s what these little Communists forget. If their laws go into effect, innovation stops. We will be stuck at current levels of technology and income. Then we will start moving backward like North Korea or Albania or Cuba—Communist hellholes that implemented pure Communism. We’ll be back to horse carts again. A Steve Jobs would be jailed or lynched for having more than his fair share, or vilified for producing a new product that everyone wanted to buy. But at least everyone will be equal.
I guess one of their “flags” instead of stars has corporate logos and Apple is one of them and so is MTV. Weird. These are the anarchists who have been showing up in Europe for years. And the unions and the pols are just trying to get the votes from them but don’t really believe their inane proposals.
Fixed wages and fixed prices fixes NOTHING
Then we will start moving backward like North Korea or Albania or Cuba or CaliforniaCommunist hellholes that implemented pure Communism
What a bunch of dumb a$$es ...If the following questions were asked of the protesters, I’ll bet the answer would be yes to all of them:
- Do you use a cell phone? (Corporation)
- Do you have internet access? (Corporation)
- Do you use a computer? (Corporation)
- Did you get to the protest via any vehicle which was powered by fossil fuels or electricity? (Corporation)
- Do you use electric power? (Corporation)
- Do you eat food that was not grown by you? (Corporation) And if not, do you using farming implements that were not made by you? (Corporation)
- Do you sleep in a building? ((Corporation probably made the building materials)
- Do you wear clothes that were not made by you? (Corporation)
Apple's iconic Superbowl ad was a message that using Apple computers was a way to "rebel against the machine". Apples success made them no less of a machine than what they claimed to be rebelling against.
RE: Apples success made them no less of a machine than what they claimed to be rebelling against.
The “machine” Apple was referring to was the then and still dominant WINDOWS operating system and Microsoft.
Ironically, Microsoft seems to be quite hated even in FR.
Just read the many sarcastic remarks everytime a Microsoft thread is posted.
We must live in different dimensions. In my dimension this commercial aired in 1984, and Windows didn't appear for another 5 years.
I've read these remarks you speak of. Many of them appear to be based on some very questionable premises and assumptions.