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Submission + - Steve Jobs Told Obama Made-in-the-USA Days Over 9

theodp writes: At his Last Supper with Steve Jobs, reports the NY Times, President Obama had a question for Jobs: What would it take to make iPhones in the United States? 'Those jobs aren't coming back,' Jobs replied. The president's question touched upon a central conviction at Apple: It isn't just that workers are cheaper abroad; Apple execs believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that Made in the U.S.A.' is no longer a viable option for most Apple products. 'The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,' a former Apple exec gushed, describing how 8,000 workers were once roused from company dormitories at midnight to address a last-minute Apple design change, given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. 'There's no American plant that can match that.' What's vexed Obama as well as economists and policy makers is that Apple — and many of its hi-tech peers — are not nearly as avid in creating American jobs as other famous companies were in their heydays. 'We don't have an obligation to solve America's problems,' a current Apple exec is quoted as saying. 'Our only obligation is making the best product possible.'
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Steve Jobs Told Obama Made-in-the-USA Days Over

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  • Whether slaves in the field or factory, the USA still hasn't learnt it's lessons.

    • It's called complaining.
    • Without the damn unions, America can make anything

      With the damn unions, oh no, you gotta pay up, way way up, just to get the workers to lift up their little finger

      • by oxdas ( 2447598 )

        And yet the country in the world with the highest level of per capita manufacturing and exporting has more than twice the unionization rates as the U.S. and is overall much more worker friendly, Germany. Clearly, high unionization and/or worker rights are compatible with a strong manufacturing and exporting economy. Is the problem the American union model or is the culprit elsewhere?

        • by evanism ( 600676 )

          This is the RIGHT question. The culprit is ENTITLEMENT. People may expect to receive something, but the ponzi fails when those expectations turn to entitlement. Expectations result from hard work and input (the quid pro quo) whereas the entitlement cancer is demanded by those whom should be least rewarded.

          Germans, as a culture work like crazy. Japanese and other cultures *expect* people to work hard. Not so here (Australia). The least productive and the laziest are rewarded with benefit and privilege.

      • Over 100 workers in the factory that makes iPads just climbed on the roof of the building and threatened to jump to their deaths because conditions are so bad.

        Their actions were inspired by the many of their co-workers who have committed suicide from that roof individually.

        Workers driven to mass suicide? That's your vision for America?

        If so I'm sure glad you're just an idiot Randroid basement dweller with no power to affect change. But if I'm wrong and you;re actually an idiot Randroid WITh the power to af

        • by evanism ( 600676 )

          You should have included only the first three paras. It was powerful. The rant at the end made you look a bit psycho.

          Power to effect change is very hard to attain. Societal inertia is immense. Change, you would agree comes with only a few stimulus: threat, intimidation, coercion, monetary or religious.

          Unions have level led the playing field for the schlebs and workers. Rising above the noise take immense effort.

          Unions may bring the low slightly higher, but they certainly drag everyone else down.

          The USA n

          • Do you actually think that unions have any power or effect in the US anymore?

            The era of union influence in the US is long gone. Their ghosts have nothing to do with the problems facing the US workplace.

  • You could probably hire people in the US to live round-the-clock at a factory and pull 12-hour shifts on demand just so you can make a last minute manufacturing change.

    But you're not going to do it when you're paying people per week what you'd pay a US worker in an hour -- that is, an ordinary US worker, not one on call 24/7.

"It might help if we ran the MBA's out of Washington." -- Admiral Grace Hopper