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Apple Pledges $1 Billion Toward Creating Manufacturing Jobs In US (cnbc.com) 285

Apple announced today plans to create a $1 billion fund to promote creation of advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Cook told CNBC in an interview that Apple will announce the first investment later in May. CNBC reports: "By doing that, we can be the ripple in the pond. Because if we can create many manufacturing jobs around, those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them because you have a service industry that builds up around them," the CEO said. Apple has already created two million jobs in the United States, and Cook showed no signs of shrinking the tech giant's reach. "A lot of people ask me, 'Do you think it's a company's job to create jobs?' and my response is [that] a company should have values because a company is a collection of people. And people should have values, so by extension, a company should. And one of the things you do is give back," Cook said. "So how do you give back? We give back through our work in the environment, in running the company on renewable energy. We give back in job creation."
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Apple Pledges $1 Billion Toward Creating Manufacturing Jobs In US

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  • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:11PM (#54352027) Journal
    Most Apple products are the most difficult to recycle. By design.

    Not to mention the wasteful packaging...
    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:34PM (#54352111)

      Most Apple products are the most difficult to recycle. By design.

      Who cares? The volume of Apple products in landfills is totally negligible. More disposable baby diapers go to landfills everyday than all the iPhones ever made.

      You need to get some perspective. America consumes 20 million barrels of oil everyday. Don't you think we should focus on that, instead of worrying about what happens to a few iPhones? You remind me of my idiot neighbor who drives ten miles to the recycling center in her gas-guzzling SUV to drop of a dozen grocery bags that collectively weigh less than a gram, and thinks she is an "environmentalist".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Does Apple make baby diapers? Is it Apple's fault that the USA consumes 20 million barrels of oil per day?

        We're simply pointing out that while Apple keeps talking about the environment, they're making non-upgradable, hard-to-repair devices thus putting profits before the environment - and that makes them hypocrites.

        • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @10:08PM (#54352233)

          We're simply pointing out ...

          ... and I am pointing out that you should be pointing at something that matters. Apple products consume a negligible amount of resources. Their employees' daily commute has more impact on the environment than their products.

          ... and that makes them hypocrites.

          Can you blame them? Many environmentalist, like you, focus on "environmental theater", so they put on a act. If you really gave a crap about the environment, you would be complaining about Exxon's refineries, Ford's SUVs, or Cargill's feedlots, and not focusing on silly trivialities like iPhones. They don't matter.

          • by lucm ( 889690 )

            ... and that makes them hypocrites.

            Can you blame them?

            Yes, because Apple makes $400 on every iPhone they sell. Instead of adding every single one of those $400 to the pile of 200 billions idle dollars they have hidden in foreign countries, they could do things properly.

            They have no problem building a $5 billion head office that they will tout as "green" but they can't be bothered with the environmental impact of their products. They are repugnant in a way that even greedy banksters will never approach.

            • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday May 04, 2017 @12:41AM (#54352665)

              You are demanding the worst form of environmental theater. Let's say it would cost Apple $5 to make their phone more recyclable. For $5 they could buy carbon credits to eliminate 800 kg of CO2. Yet you are whining about them not spending the same amount to recycle the 2 ounces of plastic in an iPhone.

              If Apple spent money on environmentalism, spending that money money on "recycling iPhones" would be about the least effective possible way to do it.

              So why don't they spend it on things that make more sense? They do [computerworld.com].

              • You are demanding the worst form of environmental theater. Let's say it would cost Apple $5 to make their phone more recyclable. For $5 they could buy carbon credits to eliminate 800 kg of CO2. Yet you are whining about them not spending the same amount to recycle the 2 ounces of plastic in an iPhone.

                You are being a child. They can reasonably be held accountable for both, and if they can't operate under such a scheme then they should fuck off and let someone who can take their place.

              • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                It's not the plastic, it's the stuff they have to mine to get at. The rare earths, nickle, cobalt, lithium. The batteries in particular are highly recyclable, and the cost to do so is below the cost of building new. Even at phone scale... So long as opening the damn thing isn't too difficult.

                The other issue is that landfill is itself a problem. Again, burying large numbers of LiPo batteries that have not been fully discharged is turning out to be not such a great idea in the long run.

                This isn't theatre, it'

              • Agree 100%.

                Another question: How many people throw their old iPhone in the trash when they get a new one?

                I've had 4 or 5 iPhones over the years, my wife about the same. Every single time we upgraded, we either sold the old phone back to Apple or gave the old one to a family member. (Same thing with previous non-Apple phones, by the way.)

                Why should I care how recyclable an old iPhone is? I haven't recycled a phone ever.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            This same excuse is used by everyone for not acting. There is always someone worse.

            iPhones, like all phones, do use some materials that are well worth recycling. Do you know where most of the lithium and rare earth metals come from?

            • Recycling the materials in a phone doesn't require Apple to do anything. Just turn the used phone in at the store, or a recycling station for used electronics.

        • In our school's experience, Apple products have a very long useful life - far greater than other manufacturers of technology.

          Most of our current fleet of iPads is over 5 years old. We also have around 4 MacBooks that are at the 7-8 year mark - and still going.

          We are easily getting 30% longer life out of Apple products than we do other technology vendors.

          That results in less stuff in the landfill - and that fact is frequently ignored by Apple's detractors.

      • by bongey ( 974911 )

        Last time I check pampers doesn't contain significant amounts of rare-earth metals.

        • Last time I check pampers doesn't contain significant amounts of rare-earth metals.

          An iPhone contains very small amounts of tantalum, neodymium, and europium, but not enough to make recovery cost effective. None of these are a health hazard in landfills, and certainly not in the milligram amounts in a cell-phone.

          If you made a list of a million things we could do to help the environment, and ordered them by importance, this wouldn't be on the list.

      • Who cares? The volume of Apple products in landfills is totally negligible. More disposable baby diapers go to landfills everyday than all the iPhones ever made.

        You need to get some perspective.

        Anyone with some basic common sense should care, because baby diapers are indeed a much lesser issue, than iPhones. First of all, diapers are made from cotton and a very tiny amount of sodium polyacrylate (which then absorbs the baby pee and expands to about three orders of magnitude of its original volume). Neither cotton, nor the tiny amount of sodium polyacrylate, are a serious concern to the environment, unlike the inert polymers and metallic alloys in a smartphone, not to mention the horrible shit that

      • by olau ( 314197 )

        Why do you put baby diapers in landfills instead of burning them for energy?

    • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:39PM (#54352133)
      They actually require that all their hardware be shredded, no extraction of parts. https://motherboard.vice.com/e... [vice.com]
    • Not to mention non-upgradable...

    • WTF? Apple has built these little robots that take iPhones apart into little recyclable pieces... Except that any iPhone you buy today will not be recycled any time soon, it will first be handed down to another member of the family, then it goes to eBay, and years later it goes to the Apple Store because you get a bit of rebate towards your next iPhone - making sure that iPhones are actually recycled and not thrown in the dump like other phones.

      And excuse me, have you actually ever seen the packaging for
  • Pay some folks 20-30k a year to maintain robots. Some lucky folks in management get to make 100k.

    That's a lot of robots, but nothing compared to what they're doing in China.
    • I guess it's possible Apple is going to 'in-source' the final steps of the product build. It might help them out in lots of interesting ways (not least, it obfuscates the import bans on their products). Doubtless this is a PR-play to appear to be reacting to Trumps calls for such things. I suspect Apple will only do half what it says it will, and will cite 'changing economic circumstances' or some such as the reason.

      It's also possible Apple will build it's own chip fabs. I doubt it though, because for a fab

  • Trump fear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:14PM (#54352039)
    1 billion USD is a large sum. Is it because they fear president Trump's wrath? Or is it part of a deal that involves bringing back tax-free some cash from offshore?
    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      They said why: as a gesture to Americans, to share some of their success with people who want manufacturing jobs in the US.

    • 1 billion USD is a large sum. Is it because they fear president Trump's wrath?

      It's because Apple has been trying out doing more manufacturing in the U.S. - as with the Mac Pro - and they would like to see more of this being possible.

      If you want to think of Apple's reasons as being purely selfish (and many Slashdot Apple Haters can only think that way), then imagine they simply want a manufacturing environment were they have much better control over leaks.

      Or a last way to look at it is, Johnny Ive has decide

    • 1 billion USD is a large sum. Is it because they fear president Trump's wrath? Or is it part of a deal that involves bringing back tax-free some cash from offshore?

      c) It could have nothing to do with Trump.

      Now here's the real question, regardless of the reason do you give Trump credit?

      Giving Trump some jobs to crow about should protect you from regulatory action, and maybe even result in a favourable ruling thrown your way.

      But Apple has a very progressive target demographic, one that is unlikely to look kindly on giving Trump political favours.

      Such is life under crony capitalism.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      They have spoken to Trump... Presumably he offered them something, tax breaks or other favorable terms.

    • a billion dollars is peanuts compared to their offshore stashed cash mountain...
  • I smell BS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:17PM (#54352047)
    2 million jobs? So apple is claiming to be responsible for almost 1.5% of US employment? sounds like bullshit marketing speak to me
    • Re:I smell BS (Score:5, Informative)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:40PM (#54352143)

      2 million jobs? So apple is claiming to be responsible for almost 1.5% of US employment? sounds like bullshit marketing speak to me

      According to Wikipedia, Apple has 115,000 employees. I have no idea how Tim came up with "2 million".

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Perhaps they mean indirectly, if you count up people working in their supply chain.

        • Perhaps they mean indirectly, if you count up people working in their supply chain.

          I don't think so. Tim said two million jobs "in America". Nearly their entire supply chain is in Asia. The screens are made in Korea, the CPUs in Taiwan, etc.

          • by Kohath ( 38547 )

            About half the semiconductor industry works with them on some part for some product. They have a large number of products. Add glass, metal, chemicals, transportation, real estate, banking, etc. I could see an argument for getting to a phony number like 2 million.

            But it's probably a spreadsheet function that says $x expenditure leads to the employment of roughly n people, where n turns out to be 2.6 million or something, and then you safely say 2 million.

          • I think they include "app developers" in their numbers.

        • directly or indirectly he is completely full of shit claiming such numbers.
    • Re:I smell BS (Score:4, Informative)

      by pointybits ( 818856 ) on Thursday May 04, 2017 @12:00AM (#54352551)
      This figure is itemised on the Apple site [apple.com] . Basically they're claiming every job that touches Apple in some way, e.g. the workers at Caterpillar that make the generators used in Apple's data centers. 1.5 million of them are "jobs created and supported by the App store", which is sourced from a report [progressivepolicy.org] that uses a really broad definition of an App Economy worker and includes support workers and "spillover" jobs.
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:19PM (#54352055)

    Part of what has made Apple successful in Asian manufacturing has been low wages coupled with conditions that favor the employer. Workers do not have overtime, do not have a lot of other protections. Some workers seem to essentially be prisoner to the company town, living on company grounds in company dormitories, shopping in company stores, eating in company cafeterias. That sort of thing is generally unacceptable in the United States.

    American wages, even wages for manufacturing, are probably too high if the products are still priced roughly where they are now combined with the amount of manual labor used to individually assemble devices like phones and tablets. This means the alternative to all of this is automating as much manufacturing as possible. It may mean paying a manufacturing engineer a couple hundred thousand a year to work with designers to adapt designs to machine-manufacturable products, such that humans barely if at all touch the actual products being built- humans will be more likely to work on the factory itself, reconfiguring for new products or maintaining the machinery so that it keeps on producing units.

    The effects of manufacturing will not be as strongly felt as they used to be. Sure some workers will still be employed at the factory, and arguably those employees might even be higher paid due to the technical work of maintaining the machinery, but the total number of workers won't be enough to support whole communities like it used to, and due to the technical nature of what work there is, the jobs are more likely to go to existing urban areas rather than rejuvenating rural towns. If the manufacturing was labor-intensive and unskilled then of course it would make sense to consider towns where wages could be lower, but that won't be as much a factor in this era.

    Nevertheless I would like to see manufacturing come back; some jobs are better than no jobs, and higher paying jobs are good when the wages are fair for the kind of abilities the work requires.

    We'll just have to see what happens.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:56PM (#54352195)

      Workers do not have overtime, do not have a lot of other protections.

      Workers in China have a right to overtime pay. It isn't always enforced, but it is certainly enforced in the export factories in Shenzhen. Chinese workers in non-SOE companies also have a right to strike. Chinese workplace health and safety regulations are not as strict as OSHA, but they are reasonable, and they are enforced in Shenzhen.

      Some workers seem to essentially be prisoner to the company town

      Bullcrap. Some factories have dormitories, but living in them is optional, and most workers do not live there. This isn't the 1990s.

      shopping in company stores

      More bullcrap. I have never seen a "company store" in Shenzhen. It is a bustling metropolis with plenty of options for shopping, and there are no restrictions on how or where people can spend their money.

      Have you ever been to China?

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Wages across the world are equalizing to a point where it no longer makes sense to do manufacturing abroad and shipping things all over. The wages in the US on the other hand aren't raising nearly as quickly as they do in China or India. I think this is just a bet on manufacturing jobs becoming cheaper in the Americas again, the people that invest now and if/when the economy supports it, they'll make a huge profit.

      Another line of thought, just like they started designing their own chips, they may want to sh

    • I think you're going by old news stories about Foxconn. China still has much progress to make (remember Tiannamen Square) but it's going overboard to describe today's China as a labor colony. Like India, there is a middle class larger than ours who live quite well. Indeed, in some ways they make the US look backward.

      • Like India, there is a middle class larger than ours who live quite well.

        And like India, there is a massive peasant class shitting in the water and burning plastic trash. And it's larger than our entire population. The relative size of the middle class is far from the most relevant statistic. They have three to four times our population, they should have three to four times as many middle-class citizens, right?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Apple's profit margins are huge. They can afford to pay better wages, and doubtless extracted a tax break when they met Trump too. I'm sure they have done the sums on minimum wage factory jobs.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Move to much cheaper workers Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia.
      Hire token workers in the USA to accept the product lines in a shipping box from Asia.
      Workers in the USA unbox the bulk imported products. Assemble high tech part A with part B.
      Place into a really pretty box with Made in the USA on it for each consumer.
      Profit and PR win.
    • Some workers seem to essentially be prisoner to the company town, living on company grounds in company dormitories, shopping in company stores, eating in company cafeterias. That sort of thing is generally unacceptable in the United States.

      You are confusing Foxconn with Samsung's plants in Malaysia. At Samsung's plants, people have taken their passports away, own recruitment agencies tons of money and can't leave until that money is paid back. At Foxconn, in large part due to pressure from Apple, the company has to pay back any money that an employee paid to recruiters. They can leave any time they want to leave.

      Company dormitories and company food keep the cost of living down - which is exactly what young people want who come from a tiny

  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:27PM (#54352083) Journal

    If Apple would just pay their taxes and stop hiding money in foreign countries, this would be a moot point. They are of course not alone or entirely at fault for taking advantage of loopholes bought and paid for by corporations, but the point remains.

    • by bongey ( 974911 )

      "Hiding" , you mean by telling the public exactly what they do is "hiding". You expect a corporation to pay more than they are legally required to do is absolutely nuts.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:44PM (#54352159)

    How about giving back an actual pro laptop with something truly innovative, instead of that silly touch bar? How about giving back the MagSafe power adapter? How about giving back a laptop with a variety of useful ports?

    How about giving back an honest-to-goodness pro desktop?

    • Ah the magsafe power adapter that falls out if you don't use your laptop at a desk.
    • I don't have the current Macbook Pro but when playing with it in the shop I thought that the adapting touch bar was a useful innovation, very nice to scroll through photos, do video edits etc. I fail to see why I should pour hate on it, after all you can set it to standard F keys if I am not mistaken.
      Yes, the MagSafe adapter is a loss. It saved my Macbook Air once. Also agree about the ports. Apple is usually ahead of the curve in removing old ports and adopting new ones, but here they went too quickly. No
  • ... promote.

    Part of the campaign strategy is to have people change their Facebook Profile picture to a silver ribbon with the Apple logo on it for promoting "Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in the U.S. Awareness Month."

  • If it's just going to more Silicon Valley types, that means next to nothing.

    If it's going to the Rest of Us, then that would be news.

  • by gweilo8888 ( 921799 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @10:35PM (#54352309)
    ...to offer to bring back a tiny, tiny fraction of the vast sum they've avoided paying a cent in taxes on so they can get some good PR and hope we ignore the rest of the money they've stolen from the US public. (And make no mistake, tax evasion is just another form of theft, with the victim being society.)
    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      If one is not legally bound to pay, then not paying cannot be called theft. Unless you're a greedy, shit-wad who deserves to be tortured.

    • by monkeyxpress ( 4016725 ) on Thursday May 04, 2017 @05:13AM (#54353179)

      ...to offer to bring back a tiny, tiny fraction of the vast sum they've avoided paying a cent in taxes on so they can get some good PR and hope we ignore the rest of the money they've stolen from the US public. (And make no mistake, tax evasion is just another form of theft, with the victim being society.)

      I'm no fan of our current global tax system and the wealth distortions it has created. But going around trying to label companies/people legally minimising their tax 'thieves' is not much different from the RIAA moral police style anti-piracy campaigns. It's childish, and discredits serious arguments.

      Firstly, almost every western country's tax system is based on self declaration. We don't have tax inspectors hovering over every transaction you make, with the big eye in the sky then sending you a bill at the end of the year. You go about your business, and at the end of the year, you report to the government what tax you think you owe. In the vast majority of cases, the government does not challenge your assessment. It is an honesty based system (albeit with stiff penalties if you abuse it) and it tends to work pretty well. By claiming that all these billions or dollars are being stolen, you are insinuating that the integrity of the system has broken down. This is dangerous, because the next step then is to crack down on these phantom tax cheats, by doing things like banning cash, and having your bank account data fed directly to the IRS. Obviously this would have no impact on what Apple and Google etc are doing, because the IRS already knows what they are doing. All you have done is given the government a populous excuse to invade our lives further.

      Secondly, company tax is nowhere near as big a moral issue as you think it is. Fiduciary duty means that a company is limited in its ability to live it up on income like an individual can (and perks like staff parties, corporate jets, are generally deductible anyway, so company tax is irrelevant). Net profits must ultimately be either distributed to shareholders or re-invested in productive activities. Saving them just delays this, but unless you save them forever, the company must ultimately 'consume' the profits by distribution to shareholders or investment.

      If it re-invests the profits, then almost always it can claim the tax back over time through depreciation. In other words, it might earn $10000 of profit, pay $2000 of tax, spend the resulting $8000 to buy a machine, but over the next five years claim back $2000/5 in tax credits due to the depreciation of the capital asset. Ultimately the taxman gets no tax on the profits, but the company has to lend the taxman the tax for five years. For small and medium sized businesses trying to grow off cashflow, this is really stupid. If the machine they wanted cost $10000, then they would have to borrow $2000 to lend onward to the taxman for five years. Indeed, many small businesses have to do just this, which is why most countries have generous capital allowances to prevent such pointless cashflow disruption.

      Alternately, if it distributes the profits to shareholders, the shareholders pay tax on the dividends against their individual income. You might notice a potential issue with this - distributed profits get taxed twice. A company could make the $10000 of profit, pay $2000 of tax, and then pays $8000 to a shareholder. The shareholder might then pay $2500 of tax on that, resulting in a net dividend of $5500 arriving in the shareholder's account. Of the $10000 the company made from a profit on selling widgets, barely half gets to the owners. People in partnerships (as opposed to limited companies) don't have this problem, which puts companies at a big disadvantage (even if you think such a punitive effective tax rate is okay). This is why almost every country has various tax credit systems or lower dividend tax rates to prevent this issue.

      Now where I agree with you there is a problem is in the loopholes that develop when you start tryin

    • by kenh ( 9056 )

      the vast sum they've avoided paying a cent in taxes on

      No, they paid taxes on the money - in the countries where the earnings were booked. The US gov't is not owed taxes on earnings in England on devices manufactured in Asia (for example), England and Asia are.

  • Apple does most of its own manufacturing in Asia. If they really want to create manufacturing jobs in the US, how about just bringing some of their own manufacturing back to the US!

  • Out of the 250 billion we have stashed away out of reach of not only the US government but also our shareholders, we will magnanimously allow you to see 1/250th of it.
  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Thursday May 04, 2017 @07:29AM (#54353557) Homepage Journal

    "A lot of people ask me, 'Do you think it's a company's job to create jobs?' and my response is [that] a company should have values because a company is a collection of people. And people should have values, so by extension, a company should. And one of the things you do is give back,"

    Wasn't that same argument the basis of the infamous "Citizens United" decision, that corporations are collections of people, and that corporations have the same rights as individuals in many respects?

    Interesting.

  • on $250 Billion dollars in cash you are hoarding...http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-to-report-on-Tuesday-that-it-currently-holds-250-billion-in-cash_id93610

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