Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. goes on an anti-tech rant, blames the iPad for U.S. job losses

Jesse Jackson Jr.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. appears to think technology gadgets — including tablet computers like the iPad — are the reason this country is shedding jobs. Really? The Illinois Congressman went on one of the more outrageous anti-technology rants on Friday on the floor of Congress. We transcribed the remarks below, since we couldn’t really believe what we were hearing.

“A few short weeks ago I came to the House floor after having purchased an iPad and said that I happened to believe, Mr. Speaker, that at some point in time this new device, which is now probably responsible for eliminating thousands of American jobs. Now Borders is closing stores because, why do you need to go to Borders anymore? Why do you need to go to Barnes & Noble? Buy an iPad, download your book, download your newspaper, download your magazine.

Chicago State University, in my congressional district, in freshman class, they are not being given textbooks any longer. They are all being given iPads as they enter school. President Wayne Watson hopes to have a textbook-less campus in four years, where at this state university they will no longer have textbooks.

Well, 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. So, the Chinese get to take advantage of our First Amendment value — that is to provide freedom of speech through the iPad to the American people. But there is no protection for jobs here in America to ensure that the American people are being put to work.”

Jackson didn’t take on the Kindle or any other high-tech device, most of which are assembled overseas. But he probably hated this recent headline on GeekWire: “Sales of ‘e-books’ soar, now the #1 format over paper.”

I actually had a hard time believing what I was hearing, but luckily Real Clear Politics has video of the remarks.

I guess you could debate whether products assembled in China are good for the U.S. economy or not, but most would agree that employing the smart people who design, develop and engineer the products is not such a bad thing.

Did Jesse Jackson Jr. simply forget about that?

[Via TUAW]

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews and Facebook.

  • http://techworthy.wordpress.com/ Chris Luzader

    Just, like.. WHAT?!
    I understand why he is concerned, with the old-time textile jobs being phased out, but that is how evolution of the economy works! Regardless of the iPad, jobs dealing with outdated practices will be few and far between; they will never completely die.

    tl;dr: Don’t blame a single device for eliminating jobs.

  • Guest

    Rep. Jackson seems to believe that iPad writes its own content. That’s simply not true. iPad enables men of all creeds, colours, and backgrounds to publish content — whether it be e-books, games, novelty apps, and even artwork — in exchange for money. I tried to place my own book on the shelf at Borders and a security guard instructed me to leave the store.

    In conclusion, Rep. Jackson, please consider the Long Tail to be an economic driver, not an economic brake.

  • http://www.jesseluna.com jesseluna

    If this sign at Borders is any indication, they blame Amazon.com – #iPad http://jesseluna.posterous.com/guess-where-im-at

  • Dave1x

    Job and business markets needs to change with progress.

  • Williams

    Yes, I am sure that book publishers are really distraught that their material is now much easier to distribute to the masses electronically with far less overhead. It will be interesting to see in the long term if overall readership of books, newspapers, and magazines will increase due to devices such as the iPad and Kindle.

    By the way, I worked for a book printing company which produced all their books in factories in China.

  • Dave

    I’m still pissed about the decline in jobs for manufacturers of buggy whips and horse drawn carriages.

  • http://profiles.google.com/3vi1jl Jesse Litton

    What a Luddite.

  • http://www.jrotech.com/ Jeff Rodenburg

    Classic political maneuver: telling you what to be afraid of (elimination of jobs), and who to blame for it (in this case, Steve Jobs).

    But seriously, the Chinese people get to take advantage of our 1st amendment? Um yeah, just head on over to Foxconn and watch everyone bask in the glory of their “freedom”.

  • http://twitter.com/wadexyz wadexyz

    Like father, like son.

  • http://twitter.com/GrantLehner Grant Lehner

    Technology and skilled labor is the only thing saving America right now. We live in a global economy. I’d rather have America churn out Ipads over books or shoes any day.

    • Djfjjd

      America doesn’t make iPads dipshit, china does

  • Redpeppertin

    I wonder why this article doesn’t mention he is a democrat. He also seems to be hypocritical as he himself bought a freaking iPad.

    Technology changes the game, yes. Companies that fail to adapt dissolve and the people go to work doing other things.

    He is simply yet another liberal out of touch with America.

    • Bjorg

      If he didn’t buy an iPad, you would say “how can he say anything about the iPad – he doesn’t own one?”

      I don’t like people like you.

  • jessecrossley

    i’m going to miss libraries.

    two, now three, jesses have commented on a store about another jesse’s son named jesse.

  • John Galt

    So here is my rant. Trying to keep this short.

    - That great suite Jesse has on is mass produced, but at one time they were individually made. Because of industrialization people can now afford those nice suites…much like what Jesse wearing.
    - Competition brings entrepreneurs with inventions that become great things, not just the iPad. Because of free markets we have the life style we so much enjoy. Is there any crime for inventing something people are willing consider useful or even revolutionary?
    - Green…I am sure Jesse would go off and give yet another rant about the need to be green, but forget to mention that creating hundreds of thousands of text books take away forests and add chemicals to our planet to build it. Something like the iPad is not totally green either, but it gets us closer since it is something that can hold thousands of books and throwing out an old book does not fill the land fill.

    Jesse is just another example of exactly what Atlas Shrugged points out. These liberal socialists think they are so much smarter, yet depend on big business like Apple because companies like Apple pay a lot of taxes. They are hypocritically yet want your money to support them.

    I hope people can think logically and see through people like Jesse and understand why America is so great though it is now going in the wrong direction if continues like it is we will become another banana republic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kmorrill Kevin Morrill

    The fallacy is to assume that destroying jobs is a bad thing. We want the value, not the work. That a product eliminates jobs is a great compliment. Rep. Jaskson sounds like a characters out of the dystopia book Anthem.

  • Xing

    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 Communications Corp., and on and on. Some companies died along the way or were absorbed by others, but each survivor added to the complex technological ecosystem that came to be called Silicon Valley.

    As time passed, wages and health-care costs rose in the U.S., and China opened up. American companies discovered they could have their manufacturing and even their engineering done cheaper overseas. When they did so, margins improved. Management was happy, and so were stockholders. Growth continued, even more profitably. But the job machine began sputtering.

    U.S. Versus China

    Today, manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is about 166,000 — lower than it was before the first personal computer, the MITS Altair 2800, was assembled in 1975. Meanwhile, a very effective computer-manufacturing industry has emerged in Asia, employing about 1.5 million workers — factory employees, engineers and managers.

    The largest of these companies is Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known as Foxconn. The company has grown at an astounding rate, first in Taiwan and later in China. Its revenue last year was $62 billion, larger than Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Dell Inc. or Intel. Foxconn employs more than 800,000 people, more than the combined worldwide head count of Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel and Sony Corp.

    10-to-1 Ratio

    Until a recent spate of suicides at Foxconn’s giant factory complex in Shenzhen, China, few Americans had heard of the company. But most know the products it makes: computers for Dell and HP, Nokia Oyj cell phones, Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles, Intel motherboards, and countless other familiar gadgets. Some 250,000 Foxconn employees in southern China produce Apple’s products. Apple, meanwhile, has about 25,000 employees in the U.S. — that means for every Apple worker in the U.S. there are 10 people in China working on iMacs, iPods and iPhones. The same roughly 10-to-1 relationship holds for Dell, disk-drive maker Seagate Technology, and other U.S. tech companies.

    You could say, as many do, that shipping jobs overseas is no big deal because the high-value work — and much of the profits — remain in the U.S. That may well be so. But what kind of a society are we going to have if it consists of highly paid people doing high-value-added work — and masses of unemployed?

    Since the early days of Silicon Valley, the money invested in companies has increased dramatically, only to produce fewer jobs. Simply put, the U.S. has become wildly inefficient at creating American tech jobs. We may be less aware of this growing inefficiency, however, because our history of creating jobs over the past few decades has been spectacular — masking our greater and greater spending to create each position.

    Tragic Mistake

    Should we wait and not act on the basis of early indicators? I think that would be a tragic mistake because the only chance we have to reverse the deterioration is if we act early and decisively.

    Already the decline has been marked. It may be measured by way of a simple calculation: an estimate of the employment cost- effectiveness of a company. First, take the initial investment plus the investment during a company’s IPO. Then divide that by the number of employees working in that company 10 years later. For Intel, this worked out to be about $650 per job — $3,600 adjusted for inflation. National Semiconductor Corp., another chip company, was even more efficient at $2,000 per job.

    Making the same calculations for a number of Silicon Valley companies shows that the cost of creating U.S. jobs grew from a few thousand dollars per position in the early years to $100,000 today. The obvious reason: Companies simply hire fewer employees as more work is done by outside contractors, usually in Asia.

    Alternative Energy

    The job-machine breakdown isn’t just in computers. Consider alternative energy, an emerging industry where there is plenty of innovation. Photovoltaics, for example, are a U.S. invention. Their use in home-energy applications was also pioneered by the U.S.

    Last year, I decided to do my bit for energy conservation and set out to equip my house with solar power. My wife and I talked with four local solar firms. As part of our due diligence, I checked where they get their photovoltaic panels — the key part of the system. All the panels they use come from China. A Silicon Valley company sells equipment used to manufacture photo-active films. They ship close to 10 times more machines to China than to manufacturers in the U.S., and this gap is growing. Not surprisingly, U.S. employment in the making of photovoltaic films and panels is perhaps 10,000 — just a few percent of estimated worldwide employment.

    Advanced Batteries

    There’s more at stake than exported jobs. With some technologies, both scaling and innovation take place overseas. Such is the case with advanced batteries. It has taken years and many false starts, but finally we are about to witness mass- produced electric cars and trucks. They all rely on lithium-ion batteries. What microprocessors are to computing, batteries are to electric vehicles. Unlike with microprocessors, the U.S. share of lithium-ion battery production is tiny.

    That’s a problem. A new industry needs an effective ecosystem in which technology knowhow accumulates, experience builds on experience, and close relationships develop between supplier and customer. The U.S. lost its lead in batteries 30 years ago when it stopped making consumer-electronics devices. Whoever made batteries then gained the exposure and relationships needed to learn to supply batteries for the more demanding laptop PC market, and after that, for the even more demanding automobile market. U.S. companies didn’t participate in the first phase and consequently weren’t in the running for all that followed. I doubt they will ever catch up.

    Job Creation

    Scaling isn’t easy. The investments required are much higher than in the invention phase. And funds need to be committed early, when not much is known about the potential market. Another example from Intel: The investment to build a silicon manufacturing plant in the 1970s was a few million dollars. By the early 1990s, the cost of the factories that would be able to produce the new Pentium chips in volume rose to several billion dollars. The decision to build these plants needed to be made years before we knew whether the Pentium chip would work or whether the market would be interested in it.

    Lessons we learned from previous missteps helped us. Years earlier, when Intel’s business consisted of making memory chips, we hesitated to add manufacturing capacity, not being sure about the market demand in years to come. Our Japanese competitors didn’t hesitate: They built the plants. When the demand for memory chips exploded, the Japanese roared into the U.S. market and Intel began its descent as a memory-chip supplier.

    Intel Experience

    Though steeled by that experience, I remember how afraid I was as I asked the Intel directors for authorization to spend billions of dollars for factories to make a product that didn’t exist at the time for a market we couldn’t size. Fortunately, they gave their OK even as they gulped. The bet paid off.

    My point isn’t that Intel was brilliant. The company was founded at a time when it was easier to scale domestically. For one thing, China wasn’t yet open for business. More importantly, the U.S. hadn’t yet forgotten that scaling was crucial to its economic future.

    How could the U.S. have forgotten? I believe the answer has to do with a general undervaluing of manufacturing — the idea that as long as “knowledge work” stays in the U.S., it doesn’t matter what happens to factory jobs. It’s not just newspaper commentators who spread this idea.

    Offshore Production

    Consider this passage by Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder: “The TV manufacturing industry really started here, and at one point employed many workers. But as TV sets became ‘just a commodity,’ their production moved offshore to locations with much lower wages. And nowadays the number of television sets manufactured in the U.S. is zero. A failure? No, a success.”

    I disagree. Not only did we lose an untold number of jobs, we broke the chain of experience that is so important in technological evolution. As happened with batteries, abandoning today’s “commodity” manufacturing can lock you out of tomorrow’s emerging industry.

    Our fundamental economic beliefs, which we have elevated from a conviction based on observation to an unquestioned truism, is that the free market is the best economic system — the freer, the better. Our generation has seen the decisive victory of free-market principles over planned economies. So we stick with this belief, largely oblivious to emerging evidence that while free markets beat planned economies, there may be room for a modification that is even better.

    No. 1 Objective

    Such evidence stares at us from the performance of several Asian countries in the past few decades. These countries seem to understand that job creation must be the No. 1 objective of state economic policy. The government plays a strategic role in setting the priorities and arraying the forces and organization necessary to achieve this goal.

    The rapid development of the Asian economies provides numerous illustrations. In a thorough study of the industrial development of East Asia, Robert Wade of the London School of Economics found that these economies turned in precedent- shattering economic performances over the 1970s and 1980s in large part because of the effective involvement of the government in targeting the growth of manufacturing industries.

    Consider the “Golden Projects,” a series of digital initiatives driven by the Chinese government in the late 1980s and 1990s. Beijing was convinced of the importance of electronic networks — used for transactions, communications and coordination — in enabling job creation, particularly in the less developed parts of the country. Consequently, the Golden Projects enjoyed priority funding. In time, they contributed to the rapid development of China’s information infrastructure and the country’s economic growth.

    Job-Centric Economy

    How do we turn such Asian experience into intelligent action here and now? Long term, we need a job-centric economic theory — and job-centric political leadership — to guide our plans and actions. In the meantime, consider some basic thoughts from a onetime factory guy.

    Silicon Valley is a community with a strong tradition of engineering, and engineers are a peculiar breed. They are eager to solve whatever problems they encounter. If profit margins are the problem, we go to work on margins, with exquisite focus. Each company, ruggedly individualistic, does its best to expand efficiently and improve its own profitability. However, our pursuit of our individual businesses, which often involves transferring manufacturing and a great deal of engineering out of the country, has hindered our ability to bring innovations to scale at home. Without scaling, we don’t just lose jobs — we lose our hold on new technologies. Losing the ability to scale will ultimately damage our capacity to innovate.

    Blade Didn’t Drop

    The story comes to mind of an engineer who was to be executed by guillotine. The guillotine was stuck, and custom required that if the blade didn’t drop, the condemned man was set free. Before this could happen, the engineer pointed with excitement to a rusty pulley, and told the executioner to apply some oil there. Off went his head.

    We got to our current state as a consequence of many of us taking actions focused on our own companies’ next milestones. An example: Five years ago, a friend joined a large VC firm as a partner. His responsibility was to make sure that all the startups they funded had a “China strategy,” meaning a plan to move what jobs they could to China. He was going around with an oil can, applying drops to the guillotine in case it was stuck. We should put away our oil cans. VCs should have a partner in charge of every startup’s “U.S. strategy.”

    Financial Incentives

    The first task is to rebuild our industrial commons. We should develop a system of financial incentives: Levy an extra tax on the product of offshored labor. (If the result is a trade war, treat it like other wars — fight to win.) Keep that money separate. Deposit it in the coffers of what we might call the Scaling Bank of the U.S. and make these sums available to companies that will scale their American operations. Such a system would be a daily reminder that while pursuing our company goals, all of us in business have a responsibility to maintain the industrial base on which we depend and the society whose adaptability — and stability — we may have taken for granted.

    I fled Hungary as a young man in 1956 to come to the U.S. Growing up in the Soviet bloc, I witnessed first-hand the perils of both government overreach and a stratified population. Most Americans probably aren’t aware that there was a time in this country when tanks and cavalry were massed on Pennsylvania Avenue to chase away the unemployed. It was 1932; thousands of jobless veterans were demonstrating outside the White House. Soldiers with fixed bayonets and live ammunition moved in on them, and herded them away from the White House. In America! Unemployment is corrosive. If what I’m suggesting sounds protectionist, so be it.

    Choice Is Simple

    Every day, that Palo Alto restaurant where I met the Chinese venture capitalists is full of technology executives and entrepreneurs. Many of them are my friends. I understand the technological challenges they face, along with the financial pressure they are under from directors and shareholders. Can we expect them to take on yet another assignment, to work on behalf of a loosely defined community of companies, employees, and employees yet to be hired? To do so is undoubtedly naive. Yet the imperative for change is real and the choice is simple. If we want to remain a leading economy, we change on our own, or change will continue to be forced upon us.

    (Andy Grove, senior adviser to Intel, was the company’s chief executive officer or chairman from 1987 until 2005. The opinions expressed, featured in the July 5 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, are his own.)

    • Yaaaaawn

      Could you please make this longer? I was ‘almost’ able to fall asleep as I scrolled through it, but not entirely.

      Sincerely, another paragraph please.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ghangstalked-Poisonradiationtorturee/1421820577 Ghangstalked Poisonradiationto

      Thank you for posting Dr. Grove’s comments.

      That was one of the best comments ever.

      Another thing that should be addressed is that companies are now avoidong the USA because of the gang stalking phenomenon – where fascist racketeering gang stalking groups are now allowed to poison whomever they like with no fear of arrest. Do web search on gang stalking in the unlikely event that this is news to you.

  • Slacker31415

    But the new technologies are not being built here. The paper jobs are drying up and not being replaced with manufacture of i-pods. How can you sell i-pods to people if they don’t have jobs.

  • Brian

    Maybe we should go back to stone tablets so stone cutters don’t go out of business. Cutting out middle-men like publishing companies is a GOOD thing. Electronic delivery means more people have an opportunity to publish their works because the barriers to entry are much lower and they get more of the profit. It’s frightening that people like this are making decisions for our country.

  • Joe the Coder

    Wow, I previously had see the Jesse’s as “cause opportunists” but this takes it to a new height. He clearly doesn’t understand history but even worse he doesn’t even understand the causes of the rise of ebooks. And, he also doesn’t understand the hardship of textbook costs to students. This hits the poorest students really hard – the very people he claims to represent. I hope the people in his district are smart enough to see him for what he is but they did elect him in the first place.

  • GeekTheGreat

    Such a waste. People who are in dying industry have to wake up before its too late and shift to other growing ones, instead of blaming new technology killing their industry.

  • Anonymous

    The fundamental complaint the Congressman seems to be voicing is that American workers are being hurt by offshoring manufacturing to China. And he is correct.

    I don’t think he’s complaining that technology is bad. In the past people have made that argument, but in the long run things balance out because that technology has to be designed and manufactured which results in creating better paying jobs to offset the losses.

    When the technology product is completely made outside the country and so many jobs are lost then the you have an imbalance, and I believe this is what the Congressman is complaining about.

    • debaser

      Maybe I’m crazy, but if China wants to manipulate an undervalued currency, permit its citizens to be underpaid, and keep the costs of high tech gadgets artificially low for American consumers, maybe we should thank them instead of making them the culprit. What would be the real cost of an iPad if we accounted for environmental impacts and living wages to those who assemble them at the point of sale? Congressman Jackson reveals a lot of flawed logic in his remarks. It’s difficult to infer what he’s really talking about. But I didn’t hear him mention artificially low prices.

  • Nobody

    This guy is as much of an idiot as his father is…

  • http://Androidized.com Lucian Armasu

    Why would a Republican ever say something like that.. I mean if he wasn’t corrupt and wanted to protect the old companies in the industry? So my guess is he’s either corrupt and being paid by those companies, or he’s simply clueless about how industries change and transform, and how that means a lot of jobs will disappear, but also many, very different jobs, will appear (hello “apps related jobs”?)

    • http://twitter.com/jens0771 Drew Jensen

      1. He’s clueless, just like good ole’ papa
      2. He’s a Democrat

  • Anonymous

    You realize of course that all that development is going overseas as well? Most of the software in my company is developed in China.

  • http://twitter.com/GlennF GlennF

    Most of the parts that make up the iPhone and iPad (along with most other similar devices) are produced in the US, Europe, and Taiwan, with a small percentage made in China. China provides cheap labor and shipping. The WSJ did a great breakdown of this last year. The value gets counted against China, but it should be split up among many countries and places. The profit is kept in the US, because Apple doesn’t offshore its profits.

  • RRossman

    What an idiot…

    “Congressman stands by his proposal: An iPad for every student”
    http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/148879-jackson-an-ipad-for-every-schoolchild

    Talk about flip-flopping…

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one who is wondering why the IPad is being singled out? Yes the form factor for IPad like devices makes it easier to read content in many circumstances, but I’d bet real money that more people still read e-content on ‘old fashioned’ computers with keyboards and stationary monitors.

    • http://twitter.com/jens0771 Drew Jensen

      It’s being singled out because it’s the only real tablet out there, or should I say, that’s actually selling.

  • Ann

    Those poor trees are out of a job. What ever will they do?

  • Reese Mitchell

    It was several years ago, the 80′s I think when the dire predictions were the have not countries were going to go to war with the have countries over the inequities of the distribution of wealth. This is about the same time as free trade was taking hold and jobs began moving to the have not countries there by giving them hope.
    It was inevitable that rich countries help poorer countries develop or their would be a terrible price to pay. The unfortunate situation this causes is a shift in the job market. The lower wage jobs are being done by countries with a lower standard of living. The jobs in the rich countries are moving toward a more educated and diversified job market. The times that we live in now are seeing a group of people who can’t find jobs because the jobs that are there are not particularly geared for the people who recently lost their jobs in the great recession. The only choice most people are going to have is either self-employment or more education.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ghangstalked-Poisonradiationtorturee/1421820577 Ghangstalked Poisonradiationto

    Since everyone attacked Rep. Jackson, I will stick up for him.

    Books are a form factor that is generally superior to electronic formats.

    You can mark the page, make notes, etc. Books are a thing of beauty.

  • Zandar

    But, he’s right. There are millions of Americans that expect congress to create jobs. And the ipad is destroying jobs. The problem is that millions of Americans are wrong, and that jobs should never ever be preserved for the sake of the job itself. The concept of a single ‘job’ that can be performed by a single person for decades is totally flawed. Demands change. Supplies change. People change. Jobs change. Job security is a complete oxymoron.

    Congress should completely disband, Americans need to re-learn what self-governance is, and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. should remember that he’s actually Mr. Jesse Jackson Jr. and go get a real job.

  • Gman

    He’s right…

  • Human#4563434333

    You people have all missed the point. The point is that they are made in China! They should be made in the good old USA!

  • Musykilagama

    It’s not about the ipad. It’s about the jobs American should have, given to chinese.

  • guest

    He’s not blaming the iPad. He is saying that it’s eliminating jobs, which is true, the internet is doing that. And we are not replacing those lost jobs because we are manufacturing over-seas. I only wish he would have gone further and pressured Obama to remove those tax incentives that corporations have to outsource American jobs.

  • http://twitter.com/SndChaser SndChaser

    The publishing (as much as any other media industry) has been undergoing a massive change over the last decade because of these newer technologies. However, there are several other factors to consider: the reduction in use of paper and other resources assist in reaching the goals of becoming a “greener” society (albeit somewhat offset by the chemicals and byproducts of producing the newer technologies). The other thing to consider, however, is that these the newer technologies are helping to level the field, and provide more opportunities. As a writer, I used to think that the only way to be published was to use the “old media” channels of distribution – now I can independently work through Lulu, SmashWords, B&N, Amazon, and numerous other distribution channels – meaning that I have a better chance of having my work viewed. Same thing is happening with music – no longer are musicians stuck trying to get on the big labels (Sony, Warner Bros., etc.). Now you can work with any of the hundreds of netlabels (check out sonicsquirrel.net for a portal to many of them), or sites like jamendo.com, bandcamp.com not to mention Amazon and iTunes.

    So, yes, there is a down turn in some parts of the industry – mostly in those that are lesser skill-oriented positions. However, the opening of these industries as a whole mean more opportunities where there had been significant barriers to entry before.

  • http://www.walterneary.net Walter Neary

    You’d only have to Google ‘borders debt’ to see several accounts of how the major issue with Borders was that they took on excessive debt to expand right before the recession and flourishing of e-readers. Having too much debt is an old problem whose history goes back as far as the history of business and government (Rome got in debt to the Visigoths, etc…).. E-readers are reshaping the industry, for sure, but Borders’ problems stem from the same kind of poor/unlucky decision making in business that could happen in any industry centuries ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1024658979 Cheryl Jocobs

    he is as dumb as his father

  • Anonymous

    Maybe his rant is precipitated by the fact that, without textbooks, politicians will be losing a major source of “influence money”.

    It’s been suggested that from each $100 textbook, $65 goes to “key influencers”.

    Nothin Jesse or his relatives does should surprise anyone.

    And the people from his district deserve this guy.

    I would think the rest of Illinois wants to hide in some hole.

  • BACzero

    My favorite line of the whole article is the first line of his quote, about how he just purchased an iPad… you know, the line that makes the rest of his rant sound like the ramblings of a hypocrite…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FFRXDV7BYSHR2D6IESIO4HGDUE Mumtaz Ahmed

    I can see his point that since the iPad (and probably other readers) are produced in China, American jobs are being taken away. But how about providing the American population with better education so that the publishing/librarian/etc jobs get converted to tech ones?

  • Gzulauf

    not to mention that those smart people designing the ipad require a good education. Maybe he can be a role model for his community and start promoting that parents are responsible for their kids getting a good education.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P4NYNOXG5NX3EQRCE5AWSZMRZY Matthew

    Mr. Cook – please don’t make me laugh at your comment about, “{…} most would agree that employing the smart people who design, develop and engineer the products is not such a bad thing.”

    That can only be agreeable if U.S. companies didn’t also outsource most of their design and engineering staffs to places Tata, Satyam, WiPro, and other outfits around the Pacific Rim. Hell, even the System and Database Admin jobs are being done more and more via remote centers out of places like Kuala Lampuur.

  • Aaa

    fuckn retard!

  • http://www.jobsearch4exects.com Rita Ashley

    And those watching the newest bull dozer excavate a vacant lot said, “Those machines put so many people out of work. 40 men with a pick and shovel could be employed.” And the wise observer said, “and just think how many could be employed if they moved the dirt with spoons.”