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Submission + - America Doesn't Need More Tech Giants like Apple

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Optimists says that if only America produced more companies like Apple and Amazon and Google and Facebook, the country's problems would be fixed — America could retrain its vast, idle construction-and-manufacturing workforce, and our unemployment and inequality problems would be solved. But Apple's $1 billion new data center in North Carolina has been a disappointing development for many residents, who can’t comprehend how expensive facilities stretching across hundreds of acres can create only 50 new jobs, especially after thousands of positions in the region have been lost to cheaper foreign competition. In fact, Apple actually exemplifies some of the reasons why the US has such huge unemployment and inequality problems: Digital" businesses like Apple employ far fewer people than traditional manufacturing businesses, Apple's 60,000+ jobs are not just in the US — they're spread around the world, and Apple's extraordinary ~25% profit margin means that the benefits of its success accrue primarily to a relatively small group of rich shareholders rather than a broad base of middle-class employees. Companies like Apple "create amazing products and vast shareholder wealth, but they don't spread this wealth around as much as earlier industrial giants did," writes Henry Blodget. "So, yes, we should celebrate the success of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon. But we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking they're going to solve our unemployment or inequality problems.""

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