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Jesse Jackson, Jr. Pins US Job Losses On iPad 628

Posted by timothy
from the protectionism-as-religious-talisman dept.
theodp writes "Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. went on an anti-technology rant on Friday on the floor of Congress, blaming the iPad for eliminating thousands of American jobs. 'Why do you need to go to Borders anymore?' asked Jackson. 'Why do you need to go to Barnes & Noble? Buy an iPad, download your book, download your newspaper, download your magazine.' Jackson continued: 'What becomes of publishing companies and publishing company jobs? And what becomes of bookstores and librarians and all of the jobs associated with paper? Well, in the not too distant future, such jobs simply will not exist. Steve Jobs is doing pretty well. He's created the iPad. Certainly, it has made life more efficient for Americans, but the iPad is produced in China. It is not produced here in the United States."
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Jesse Jackson, Jr. Pins US Job Losses On iPad

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  • by Cryacin (657549) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:15PM (#35844758)
    But are you for real?

    Talk about a load of xenophobe/technophobe nonsense! The trouble is not the technology, but rather that the good old US of A loves importing deflation and writing bad checks. Much easier to have a dumb populace of consumers who spend money they don't have, and then import deflation to counter it and blame a random fad technology than get to the actual issue.
    • Even more strange (Score:5, Informative)

      by alvinrod (889928) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:25PM (#35844824)
      Even more strange. Just last month he wanted to amend the constitution and give an iPad or similar device to every kid in school in the country [thehill.com]. Wonder what made him change his mind.
      • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:32PM (#35844870)

        He's a politician, he says what benefits him the most in that moment.

        But his complaints are not totally without merit.

        If he were smarter his point would be that all jobs have life cycles, and we need to develop and innovate so that we can place people in jobs that are ahead of the curve instead of behind.

        It's like everyone clammoring to bail out GM and save a bunch of low skill jobs that are going nowhere but overseas in the future anyway. It's a losing battle with the wrong objective.

        But from the left, his policies are reactive rather than proactive. Proactive would be getting out in front and stopping things that stifle innovation, like hostile business environments. Instead, he wants us (if he could expand, I'd wager) to outlaw things and restrict things and tariff things after the fact.

        Should we want to be one step ahead, or one step behind?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by khallow (566160)

          Should we want to be one step ahead, or one step behind?

          First, we need to keep in mind that proactive strategies aren't inherently better, if your understanding of the future is flawed enough or if it's just an outright bad decision. Being one step behind (as opposed to a zillion steps behind) means someone else can make some of your mistakes for you while you retain most of the advantage of being cutting edge (since you are almost cutting edge).

          Second, the stuff you refer to (such as bailing out GM) wasn't bad because it was reactive, but because it had no l

        • by Colin Smith (2679) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:52PM (#35845326)

          Which means the low skill jobs will be coming back.

          hth.
           

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by im_thatoneguy (819432)

            Only briefly.

            The root of the problem is that machine intelligence is eating away at jobs by IQ. Sure the high level strategy jobs are secure for some time since AI isn't very good at inventing a new product but manufacturing automation has certainly reduced our need for manufacturing.

            Web services are displacing many service based jobs. For most of the population that might have used an H&R block or such their website is far more useful and efficient and I doubt the website employs as many people as

            • by TheLink (130905) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @04:18AM (#35846262) Journal
              Thing is if people stop having jobs they stop being able to buy stuff from Amazon.

              Unless as you say, there is massive Welfare. In which case people could spend their "Allowances" to buy stuff they like from Amazon or elsewhere.

              Many of the EU countries already have massive Welfare and universal healthcare so if there ever is a future where robots do most of the work their migration path isn't so difficult.
            • by Znork (31774) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @06:55AM (#35846814)

              Not that many people lie on their deathbed wishing they had worked more over their lifetime. The fact that demand can't keep up with capacity means we're leaving the age of scarcity.

              There are two solutions to that problem; either 25% work, and we tax them 'til they scream and divide that wealth, as there is no demand for more work.

              Or everyone works 25% and we enjoy the free time.

              There are of course various other variations on that theme, like indentured servitude for the majority (the 'services' economy), or make-work ('keynsian') economy where the 25% productive work is taxed and redistributed through undesired jobs instead of directly, etc.

              But the least painful and wasteful way to deal is to cut down and distribute work less inequitably.

        • Re:Even more strange (Score:5, Interesting)

          by NetNed (955141) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @12:20AM (#35845476)
          So are you saying that you don't understand a need to keep low skill jobs in the US? Sounds like you need a tour of a local high school to understand that not all students are destined for upper management these days. Maybe if you said the days of high paying low skill jobs are not sustainable anymore, that would make sense. But to say this country doesn't need a lower level working class seems to indicate you have little grasp of what our economy needs.

          I don't think the GM bailout was the best thing, but many good things have come from it, far more then other industries that the government has bailed out in the past.
          • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @01:22AM (#35845678)

            So are you saying that you don't understand a need to keep low skill jobs in the US? Sounds like you need a tour of a local high school to understand that not all students are destined for upper management these days. Maybe if you said the days of high paying low skill jobs are not sustainable anymore, that would make sense. But to say this country doesn't need a lower level working class seems to indicate you have little grasp of what our economy needs.

            Even high-tech companies need janitors. OPs point is still sound though he left himself open for confusion. The goal is to fight to stay cutting edge, since every technical job will create a few non-technical jobs. It's not about the class of labor, it's about a constant treadmill of technology that allows one to stay ahead of the game as a country.

            For instance, consider textile jobs as a class of job that was once high-tech - during the time of the original Luddites, I believe. Over a couple of hundred years, that industry went from high-tech to relegated to the third world. Mindless factory work has been following the same trend. What we want to do is develop the Next Big Thing and keep the people who invented it here, train more people to do the work, and develop that Thing into a growth industry that provides jobs to people of all skill levels. After all, it still takes people to push the paper, build the buildings, clean the floors, assemble the new technical widgets, etc.

            The way to do that is to maintain the things that have kept the US (in my case) prominent in that game: invest lots of cash in higher education, allow students from all over the world to come here, and then let them stay. At the same time, provide an environment in which good ideas can easily find capital. These are the ingredients that create places like Silicon Valley.

            • by Just Brew It! (636086) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @07:35AM (#35846982)

              Speaking of textile jobs, the company I work for started out over 100 years ago as a textile mill. Today they make head-mounted "augmented reality" displays. Those who are able to change and adapt will survive over the long term; those who do not will find that they've become obsolete. This applies equally on the small scale (as an individual keeping your skills current is the only true long-term job security), the medium scale (as with my employer), and on a national scale.

              IMO the rise of Wall Street as the dominant force in our economy is a big part of the problem. Putting our "best and brightest" to work figuring out new and creative ways to skim profits off of people moving money around is not a good recipe for remaining an economic superpower in a global economy.

              • Speaking of textile jobs, the company I work for started out over 100 years ago as a textile mill. Today they make head-mounted "augmented reality" displays. Those who are able to change and adapt will survive over the long term; those who do not will find that they've become obsolete.

                Wouldn't be the first textile company that grew a little. You're in good company. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkshire_Hathaway

                IMO the rise of Wall Street as the dominant force in our economy is a big part of the proble

        • by williamhb (758070) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @12:29AM (#35845516) Journal

          It's like everyone clammoring to bail out GM and save a bunch of low skill jobs that are going nowhere but overseas in the future anyway. It's a losing battle with the wrong objective.

          Actually that's not true in two ways.

          First, I always think it's remarkably arrogant that we label manufacturing jobs "low-skill". My grandfather was a toolmaker in an aeroplane factory in World War 2. Imagine a job swap between us and see think which would be the bigger disaster: him trying to do some academic research and put a paper into a conference, or me trying to actually physically build an aeroplane good enough that your life could depend on it while the luftwaffe try to shoot you down. But for some reason it's his job that would be classified as "blue collar" and "low-skill".

          The second is that labour costs are much less of an impetus for moving "low-skill" jobs than they used to be. Wages in China have risen such that many companies have thought about moving manufacturing away to lower-wage countries like Bangladesh, etc. But the skills and infrastructure needed to run serious industrial scale manufacturing are not present there making business to difficult. It's no longer worth the saving. As globalisation equalises costs of living, the factories are going to stop playing musical chairs with countries, and start sticking where the capacity and infrastructure has been built up. And right now, regardless of costs, that is China because the US has been slashing and burning its manufacturing skills and capacity.

          • The reason manufacturing jobs are labeled "low-skill" is because they don't take much skill. Take your example. You and I are both in the academic field. Both of us can be trained in a few hours on how to assemble some machine components. The laborer, however, will most likely NEVER be able to conduct academic research. I think the anti-intellectual movement in the United States is a bigger disaster than if I were to go work on an assembly line putting airplane parts together.

            Nobody is arguing that low ski

        • He's a politician, he says what benefits him the most in that moment.

          Snip

          But from the left, his policies are reactive rather than proactive. Proactive would be getting out in front and stopping things that stifle innovation, like hostile business environments. Instead, he wants us (if he could expand, I'd wager) to outlaw things and restrict things and tariff things after the fact.

          Should we want to be one step ahead, or one step behind?

          As you pointed out, he is a politician. As with all politicians, they are for anything that protects jobs in their district / state and against any that eliminate them. It's not a left or right thing.

          That's why you have budget hawk Republicans defending (and taking) farm subsidies,; earmarks from both sides designed to funnel cash to the people back home; Democrats and Republicans rushing to bail out Detroit; and crying when their state didn't get a shuttle.

          Many are all for competition and free enterprise

      • His speech, from the snippet I read, had more of a "The times, they are a changin'" tone rather than "Damn you steve jobs" tone. It's nuance. I don't think he's suggesting that we try to swim upstream on the river of change, merely that we might consider building a boat or something. But hey, I don't know the guy, I can only try to guess.

      • by hey! (33014)

        Nothing strange here. People are reacting to a / . summary of some blogger's characterization of the speech as anti-tech or anti-Ipad. I think it might better be characterized as anti-China and pro-trade barrier, at least so far as trade with regimes with anti-Anerican values is concerned.

        Everyone knows that the Chinese regime is an abuser of individual liberties, but nobody sees it as their responsibility to take that into account when presented with a chance to share in the spoils.Even pro-regime thinker

    • by immaterial (1520413) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:26PM (#35844842)
      He's not wrong (about the US losing jobs part). Using the magic of economies of scale and increased efficiency, big internet companies are gobbling up the chain stores in almost the exact same way the chain stores gobbled up the truly local competition. I can't say I feel bad for the chain stores, but JJJr is right in that it will present a difficult challenge to the country once tens of millions of local "middleman" (sales) jobs and businesses are consolidated down to a few thousand each in two or three 50-square-mile warehouses in the desert somewhere.
      • Indeed (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:20PM (#35845158) Journal

        The US turned into a service economy, now even the service jobs are being taken away.

        Another poster above complains about the saving of GM for the low skill jobs... but that is what the majority of people do. The majority is NOT working on the next generation chip technology or moon rocket (oh wait, that is China isn't it, my bad).

        There are several key industries in which people work:

        Food production, read farmers. This was once the mass employer but also a poor employer. Crops especially needed massive amounts of labour but only in certain times of the year. Seasonal labour is not all that great to have. But it still employed a great many AND also added some extra cash for people with tiny farms suitable only for feeding themselves. But now, food production is left to a handful and employment in the sector itself is very low.

        Food preperation. Quick, when did you last buy bread (US people, read on, I ate what you think of as bread, go stand in the corner and be ashamed and remember this, bread does NOT bounce!) from a baker who had his hands involved in the process? Wanna bet most bread comes from a factory paying very low wages? Luckily enough people still out so some people still make their money from food preperation but the time every few thousand people had their own bakery, butcher and grocer is long gone.

        Resource gathering. Often not really represented as a seperate group, I am talking about the miners and loggers here. Well, you can watch swamp loggers. A dozen men hauling of a dozen truck loads of wood in a day. Very impressive but not exactly going to put the masses to work is it? And very dependent on everyone else, if nobody is using wood to build houses, then no trees need to be cut down.

        Production. Factory work, either heavily automated or shipped abroad. Try to find anything in your house that is not made in China. Can you? Was on a US bus recently, most used ropes to call for a stop (looped through a metal thingy labelled marked in China) but one used buttons, grey bulges of smooth plastic with a red button. Exactly the same as in use in many Dutch busses... wanna bet their origin? Yes, this is low skilled work most of the time and it doesn't pay much. But millions upon millions once employed funded the moon landings with their taxes. A termite mound stands tall on the back of countless tiny worker backs. With the industrial revolution, this was the backbone of the economy.

        Service. This was the great new hope. What people who favored outsourcing thought would keep people employed when production went away. Sure, the iPad is not produced here but it must be sold here (how people are going pay for it if they don't have a job was never answered, or maybe it was seeing the recent crisis with debt). And now those jobs are indeed going away as well. Amazon does not employ the same number of people and certainly not at the same wage as the bookstores it is so busily replacing. Sure, it means cheaper books but also more people unable to find a decent job or indeed a job at all.

        ?????. What else is there? When farming went away as a mass employer, industry took over. When industry left, service took over. If service goes away... what is left? Government jobs? The army? Sex? No, these "industries" can only exist on the back of an employed society making enough money to afford them.

        But slashdot is a very bad place to discuss this. Most here have higher level jobs which are not YET affected all that much. Except, who is going to pay you in the future? Game developer? Who can afford a new console and 60 bucks per game if they got to combine 2 jobs or more at below minimum wage to just make ends meet? Regular developer? Your jobs are already being outsourced. IT support? Cost cutting already outsourced those jobs as well.

        But we still think we are safe. Somehow, magic new tech development is to employ around a billion people (the entire "west" is affected, not just the US) with no new line of work in sight.

        IF the high street really gets replac

        • The final industry you missed is financial, which includes stocks, banks and insurance. Unfortunately, it doesnt take 300M brokers and bankers and thats just too bad for a lot of people looking to do anything tangible.
        • Re:Indeed (Score:5, Interesting)

          by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @01:15AM (#35845658) Journal
          Do you have a solution? The complaints you are making are not new, people have been complaining about similar things for three hundred years or more, as global economies moved away from feudalism and into the industrial age. Somehow we survived.

          We can't try to hold back changes with things like tariffs, or subsidies. We can't continue giving jobs to the buggy whip manufacturers, they need to find new ways to survive. What we can do is make the transition easier. The world is always changing, and those who can adapt are the ones who survive. This is the idea behind the best European welfare systems, like the Danish Flexicurity [wikipedia.org]. Help people adapt and adjust to changes in the world. That's the best we can do: the world is always changing.
    • And in other news, morons can get elected.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:10PM (#35845118) Homepage

      "There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back." - Heinlein, Life Line, 1939

      (Actually read that story yesterday. On real paper.)

    • by DurendalMac (736637) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:29PM (#35845194)
      This guy is a grade A moron and lunatic. Only a few months ago he gave a speech on how the US government should pay for everything for everyone, and he even said iPods or iPads! How this yahoo keeps getting elected is beyond me. He's dumber than a box of hammers and batshit crazy.
    • The trouble is not the technology, but rather that the good old US of A loves importing deflation and writing bad checks. Much easier to have a dumb populace of consumers who spend money they don't have, and then import deflation to counter it and blame a random fad technology than get to the actual issue.

      Did you expect them to place blame on free trade agreements? Or on the corporations that pushed for them and benefit from the increased profit margins from off shoring of labor? They defend their actions b

    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      Unfortunately for him, I think this also points out the problem: we need unprecedented economic reform right now. And it must come in these steps:

      1. Every government agency at the Federal, state and local level should be audited for bureaucratic overlap and agency size bloat and use the audit results to cut the size of government 30% now and eventually up to 50-60%.

      2. We should massively overhaul the US national taxation system with far less complexity, lower compliance costs, and make it more business-frie

  • by Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:18PM (#35844784)
    Where are you going to buy the e-books for your iPad? They don't come from thin air, and the iPad doesn't write articles itself. Just because we've moved from brick-and-mortar distribution to digital distribution doesn't mean ANY jobs were lost, they were just MOVED.

    Seriously, this made me sick to read. Rep. Jackson needs to keep his mouth shut on subjects he knows nothing about.
    • Video killed the radio star.
      Does that mean television ruined the economy?
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by gmhowell (26755)

      Rep. Jackson needs to keep his mouth shut on subjects he knows nothing about.

      Opining on things he knows nothing about worked wonders for his father. And it has gotten junior into the US House. Seems to work for them.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Sorry, but you're the one who knows nothing about the subject. Jobs weren't lost, just moved? Yeah, to China maybe. What are you gonna tell all the people who worked at Borders? That they should relocate to Taiwan and work on the iPad assembly line? You're saying something about "Where are you going to buy e-books... we've moved from brick-and-mortar distribution to digital". Do you really think that Amazon's ebook store requires even 10% of the staff that Border's employed? If so, then you truly kno

    • B&N have the Nook, even they see the writing on the wall. As for printed vs digital, people still read books. People just don't buy as much retail.

      In Australia, several of our major bookstores too face downscaling or closure. Recently I've attended a couple of fire-sales offering 30-50% off. The books that remain? Stuff that has been sitting on the shelves at full price for several years. Even at half price, material that's 4 years out of date ain't worth it.

      Amazon killed the chain store, not the iPad

      • Not sure if you are in Victoria but Borders opened on Lygon street Carlton right over the road from Readings [readings.com.au]. I reckoned at the time that that would be it for readings but they are still there and Borders are going out of business. Readings is always packed and people buy books there which they just wouldn't want to read in electronic form. People go there to browse after dinner and before their movie. I don't see them losing as long as they can keep the crowds coming in.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:57PM (#35845028) Journal

      Just because we've moved from brick-and-mortar distribution to digital distribution doesn't mean ANY jobs were lost, they were just MOVED.

      Uhh... moved where?
      The number of people required to run a datacenter 24/7 is a fraction of those required to run a bookstore, much less the supply chain that feeds the bookstore.

      The bookstore industry is facing a serious contraction/consolidation.
      They aren't going away, but there won't be as many bookstores around.

      • by JMZero (449047) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:27PM (#35845180) Homepage

        Uhh... moved where?

        At best, you're making a "broken windows" argument. Perhaps we could make book distribution even less efficient, requiring more people to be involved? Would that be positive?

        But even that's missing the point. The important job, the one we should focus on here, isn't "clerk at bookstore", it's "author". Because books are costly to produce, because money from sales has to be divided among so many, and because there is limited shelf space at a book store, very few people can make a living as an author. With e-books, there's the potential for many more authors to find niches, and I think the total money value of the industry could grow significantly as the breadth of subject matter, sales logistics, and means of discovery improves.

        Jobs generating ideas are the future, and having an efficient, vibrant market for books is great for that.

        • But even that's missing the point. The important job, the one we should focus on here, isn't "clerk at bookstore", it's "author".

          got news for you; most people who lose their jobs in the 'lower level' service industry are NOT going to be magically capable of being authors. you are *dreaming* if you think this is at all, overall, going to be a boost for the US. when labor goes away, 'new ones' do not just appear. usually, they leave for good.

          you are watching your local world burn. do you enjoy that? I do

    • BUMP!

      This retarded politician is attempting to treat the symptoms of a problem while ignoring the actual root cause.

      Rather ask WHY is it more commercially viable for American companies to actually produce *almost everything* in {some random foreign country}.

      THAT is the root cause of "american jobs disappearing".

      The iPAD is just the current POP Culture ICON he has attached his rant to, he deserves to be taken out the back and summarily fired from his position, clearly he is totally incompetent and 100%
      • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @01:13AM (#35845656)

        Rather ask WHY is it more commercially viable for American companies to actually produce *almost everything* in {some random foreign country}.

        Because everyone knows and no one wants to discuss it. The number one cause is environmental/safety regulations. Want lead in your toys? Lead in your water? Because that's what happens when there are no regulations. And that's a large part of the cost of manufacturing in the US. Labor counts, but not as much as you'd think. Automation can correct for much of that, but automation isn't needed as much in areas where the cost of labor is small enough. But all those numbers are well known. In fact, the answer is as simple as one simple law. Just tax imports for the cost of the externalities in the US that aren't accounted for in the country in question.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:34PM (#35845226)

      yup. moved.

      overseas.

      THAT was his point. and as much as I dislike the guy, he was right, on that point.

      if we don't help ourselves, no one else will.

      the overseas labor game is one we can't win and the terms are not fair yet we continue to try to play using fair rules. we lose every time. gee ....

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:18PM (#35844786) Journal

    "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself." -- Mark Twain.

    -jcr

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:20PM (#35844796)
    I've worked in the publishing industry. I have no sympathy for people who are holding on to the past with both hands, fiercely fighting for things to not change. Things change over time. Adapt. Evolve. Move forward. If you fail to do so, you'll be left behind and forgotten. Blaming the iPad or the internet or anything of the sort is foolish. Times change - find the new marketable product (hint: it's probably digital), make that, and profit.

    Evolve or get out of the way for those who are willing to move into the future.
  • by orkysoft (93727) <orkysoft@myr[ ]box.com ['eal' in gap]> on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:21PM (#35844800) Journal

    His rant can also be interpreted as against globalization instead of against technology. All the people who will become lose their jobs now that more and more brick-and-mortar stores are being obsoleted by websites, they're not getting jobs in electronics factories, since the electronic devices are almost all made in low-wage countries these days.

    • by SEE (7681)

      I figure a better explanation is that he's trying to shake down Apple for money. There's a reason why both progressive-left CREW and conservative-right Judical Watch list Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. on their corrupt politicians lists.

    • Would you grant that someday.. not now... but someday, machines will be able to replace all manual labor done by humans?

      How many humans are suited to "brain" work when that time comes? 5%? 10%?

      What's the value of a $200k degree when everyone has to have one just to get a job?

      Not everyone can be a rocket scientist- and... even if they could, the demand for rocket scientists is actually quite low.

    • Outsourcing iPad manufacturing to low wage workers in China is hardly the problem. According to iSuppli [isuppli.com], each iPad 2 costs $9 to assemble. This is only 3% of the overall manufacturing cost -- the rest is in parts that are made all over the world.

      The US benefits at least as much as anyone else from the availability of cheap electronics -- both for consumers and for industry. Unless we are prepared to make all electronics dramatically more expensive, we have to let the market decide who makes the parts tha

  • Does he not realize technology marches on whether we want it or not?

    And does he not consider how many R&D jobs, app developer jobs, sales jobs etc all created around these devices?

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:24PM (#35844816)

    Steve Jobs is doing pretty well. He's created the iPad. Certainly, it has made life more efficient for Americans, but the iPad is produced in China. It is not produced here in the United States."

    I for one will refuse to make a rich man even richer. I even wonder what will ever make me queue up in the dark of the early mornings just to get my hands on an iDevice. Am I boring or what?

    And on the subject matter, I happen to agree with the congressman to a large degree.

    • by Wovel (964431)

      If you refuse to make rich man river, you can purchase very litle and limit your entertainment to grammar school plays.

  • We should never have invented cars, it made all those other jobs obsolete, horse and buggy makers, livery stables, etc. Screw progress, lets all be Amish!
  • by unity100 (970058) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:24PM (#35844822) Homepage Journal
    Why dont we bring horse carriage jobs by banning cars. or, by mandating 1 horse carriage be sold per car, or, 1 horse carriage worth of extra charges on cars, to be paid to horse carriage industry ?
  • by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:25PM (#35844828)
    Does he know that Barnes and Noble has its own e-reader? Or that Amazon had one before the iPad?
    • by gmhowell (26755)

      Does he know that Barnes and Noble has its own e-reader? Or that Amazon had one before the iPad?

      When you get a good rant going, it doesn't matter if other people know about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor.

  • by Myji Humoz (1535565) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:28PM (#35844848)
    If the odd case that anyone thinks Jesse Jackson Jr. has anything close to a valid point:

    1) Though jobs for some brick and mortar retailers are lost, the loss is due to a structural change in the market induced by increasing digitization rather than through any one product. Horse buggy makers went out of business when automobiles came out, and much the same rhetoric was spewed to attack the manufacturers of cars.

    2) China makes the iPads. True, but manufacturing is no longer a $40+benefits job with enough seniority. Gone for the foreseeable future are high paying manufacturing jobs that we as a nation want to focus on. The success of the IPad has spurred other technology companies to push their own tablets onto market. What does that mean? The tech companies hire more mechanical/electrical/computer/systems engineers, computer/materials scientists, programmers, designers, and production line developers. Those workers produce far more "value" to an economy than a factory worker in a mass production line. Ask a Foxxcomm worker (the guys who make iPads and iPods) if they'd rather be working in a Chinese factory or at the Apple headquarters, and guess what? They'd rather be an engineer.

    3) Librarians aren't useful because the buildings they're in have information. They're highly useful because they can advise us where to find the relevant information. The librarians at my university aren't there to restock books or charge late fees. They're hired because they can help students track down critical papers, research vital bits of information, and educate them about how to find the right kind of sources. Brick and mortar stores are useful because they offer a tactile shopping experience that online systems can't seem to replicate yet. Same idea: physical locations and people offer have value added characteristics.

    4) There are many things to blame for the job market pains in the United States. I don't think anyone is educated enough to really understand the "true" driving factors, but you know what? I sincerely doubt that stiffing innovation, creativity, and technological development is the way to go.

    Actually sorry, I'm wrong. On behalf of the *IAA cabal and the Chinese Council for American Advisement, I suggest that we focus all of our governmental energy on stopping piracy of songs and movies instead of nurturing markets and funding basic science. If we can stop all illegal firesharing, we can save up to $13 trillion a year in damages!! That's several times more than the technology market makes in a year!
    • If he was smart, he'd focus on just problems of lopsided trade, which have more legitimacy in my opinion. Instead, he liberally sprinkled in some old-fashioned ludditism. He's giving trade complaints a bad name by mixing them in.

      I see it more as a symptom of regular folks getting nervous that the rich are getting richer while they are getting left behind. Regular folks cannot even afford an iPad. First manufacturing jobs were sent overseas, and now they are making products that most people cannot afford.

      It'

    • by happyhamster (134378) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:30PM (#35845202)

      Thanks for simplistic high school level economics lecture. You are conveniently omitting the factor of scale. One or two orders of magnitude of manufacturing jobs are lost for every "mechanical/electrical/computer/systems engineer" job created. Also, manufacturing jobs can be made attractive again if you slap punishing tariffs on chinese dumping and corporations that facilitate it.

      I don't think anyone argues about complete halt of technological progress, but making it orderly and less harmful to society is certainly needed. Instead of blindly throwing people on the street by the million and giving them the moronic advice to "adapt", we should provide those people with a few years of social support and "useful" job training, paid for largely by the companies doing the firing. We are supposedly living in a human society and not in the jungle.

  • by theodp (442580) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:33PM (#35844882)

    Must've been something going around last week: Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward said he told [Google CEO Eric] Schmidt that some day his tombstone will read, "I killed newspapers." [dailyherald.com]

  • So can we work less? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by h00manist (800926) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:37PM (#35844900) Journal

    If there is no need for wasting paper, why do we need to work? Is it a religion, does everyone have to work, consume, and waste? What's broken are the economists, who cannot adjust the economy to change with the technology. Humanity has evolved before, but it was never by resiting change, but thirsting for it. There is no need to work just to consume, consume, there is a need to study, research and invent. That is real work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:40PM (#35844916)

    It's not anti technology! The guy loves the iPad! He's just upset that the US is losing jobs to creative destruction and outsourcing and the GOP is worried about debt!!

    He's bang freaking on.

    • by scumdamn (82357)
      Getting the full source is hard. A misleading headline and a blurb that's out of context is all we need to get sand in our vaginas!
    • by ScentCone (795499)
      Except he completely misunderstands why companies overseas are sucking up the business. It's not just (or for long) cheap labor. It's a less expensive tax/regulatory environment.We aren't just losing manufacturing in the US, we're actively, aggressively driving it out of the US. Want less debt? Have a giant new pile of corporate and personal income tax by reducing the rates. The US is in the top 3 spots in the world when it comes to taxing a company for operating on our soil. And we act surprised that basic
  • Pitiful. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @10:46PM (#35844964) Journal
    Ah, a classic case of attacking the irrelevant symptoms and ignoring the relevant causes.

    Has the supply of US jobs that aren't either burger flipping or financial services scamming been gutted like a landed fish? Oh fuck yeah. Is that the iPad's fault? How can you even seriously consider such a foolish idea?

    With more respect than I can usually muster for Mr. Jackson, the numbers don't lie: American workers have been treading water or worse since the 70's. The economy as a whole has been doing OK, and productivity per worker has actually never been better; but fuck all of that has gone to the bottom 90-odd percent. The comparatively low-skill, low-capital populations that Jackson is probably most interested in appealing to have done particularly badly. The idea, though, that the destruction of a fairly modest number of low-skill, low-pay service sector jobs by technology is the root(or even a reasonably sized branch) of the problem would be hilarious were it not taken seriously. Low-skill, low-pay service sector jobs are the paltry rewards of the post-industrial economy, where people flip burgers for one another. If you are reduced to quibbling over those, you have already lost.
  • You would think that he would be opposed to Illegals as well as China's manipulation of economic situation. Instead, he wants to blame IPad. Tomorrow it will be Android. Of course, later, we will find paychecks from MS or Bill gates.
  • by rcpitt (711863) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:03PM (#35845062) Homepage Journal
    All this right after I read Wired Science's article on 7 science-education battlegrounds of 2011 [wired.com] If the US wants to be effective in technology they have to stop being stupid in education - otherwise we Canadians, along with the rest of the world, will beat the crap out of you.
  • by geminidomino (614729) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @11:04PM (#35845072) Journal

    In other news, people with at least half of a functioning brain blame US Job Losses on Congress (including JJJr)

  • ...playing Angry Birds on his ipad and laughing at how expertly he trolled slashdot!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17, 2011 @12:46AM (#35845568)

    How to Make an American Job Before It's Too Late: Andy Grove [google.com]

    How to Make an American Job Before It's Too Late: Andy Grove
    By Andy Grove - Jul 1, 2010
    Bloomberg Opinion

    Andrew "Andy" Grove, co-founder and senior adviser to Intel Corp., listens during an interview in his office in Los Altos, California. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg News
    Recently an acquaintance at the next table in a Palo Alto, California, restaurant introduced me to his companions: three young venture capitalists from China. They explained, with visible excitement, that they were touring promising companies in Silicon Valley. I’ve lived in the Valley a long time, and usually when I see how the region has become such a draw for global investments, I feel a little proud.
    Not this time. I left the restaurant unsettled. Something didn’t add up. Bay Area unemployment is even higher than the 9.7 percent national average. Clearly, the great Silicon Valley innovation machine hasn’t been creating many jobs of late -- unless you are counting Asia, where American technology companies have been adding jobs like mad for years.
    The underlying problem isn’t simply lower Asian costs. It’s our own misplaced faith in the power of startups to create U.S. jobs. Americans love the idea of the guys in the garage inventing something that changes the world. New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman recently encapsulated this view in a piece called “Start-Ups, Not Bailouts.” His argument: Let tired old companies that do commodity manufacturing die if they have to. If Washington really wants to create jobs, he wrote, it should back startups.
    Mythical Moment
    Friedman is wrong. Startups are a wonderful thing, but they cannot by themselves increase tech employment. Equally important is what comes after that mythical moment of creation in the garage, as technology goes from prototype to mass production. This is the phase where companies scale up. They work out design details, figure out how to make things affordably, build factories, and hire people by the thousands. Scaling is hard work but necessary to make innovation matter.
    The scaling process is no longer happening in the U.S. And as long as that’s the case, plowing capital into young companies that build their factories elsewhere will continue to yield a bad return in terms of American jobs.
    Scaling used to work well in Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurs came up with an invention. Investors gave them money to build their business. If the founders and their investors were lucky, the company grew and had an initial public offering, which brought in money that financed further growth.
    Intel Startup
    I am fortunate to have lived through one such example. In 1968, two well-known technologists and their investor friends anted up $3 million to start Intel Corp., making memory chips for the computer industry. From the beginning, we had to figure out how to make our chips in volume. We had to build factories; hire, train and retain employees; establish relationships with suppliers; and sort out a million other things before Intel could become a billion-dollar company. Three years later, it went public and grew to be one of the biggest technology companies in the world. By 1980, which was 10 years after our IPO, about 13,000 people worked for Intel in the U.S.
    Not far from Intel’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California, other companies developed. Tandem Computers Inc. went through a similar process, then Sun Microsystems Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Netscape Co

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