President Obama and Apple CEO Steve Jobs

  • Posted: 22 October 2010 01:21 PM #31

    I would love to pick Jobs brain with regards to the world economy and where he sees Apple’s business in the next 10 years.  How are we going to deal with trade and world currencies is of major concern as we go forward in this global economy.  The days of looking at the U.S. for growth are over as emerging economies will lead the growth ... how business and our government deal with this change would make for a important discussion between the two.

         
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    Posted: 22 October 2010 01:34 PM #32

    JDSoCal - 22 October 2010 06:32 AM

    Oh yeah, great idea, I cant wait for the new $2500 iPods. They’ll sell like cold cakes.

    firestorm - 22 October 2010 12:07 AM

    What I would like to see is an agreement to bring most Apple manufacturing back to the USA. I am concerned that when Apple is creating some of the most innovative intellectual property ever, they are simply handing it to the Chinese to steal.

    Comments like this are why I am against more shareholder decision making in corporations.


    Please explain this to me JD. Please, and tell me just how long you think it takes to assemble an ipod. :apple:

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    Posted: 22 October 2010 01:42 PM #33

    Zeke - 22 October 2010 04:03 PM
    Zeke - 22 October 2010 03:49 AM
    mbeauch - 22 October 2010 03:30 AM
    Zeke - 22 October 2010 03:24 AM

    What Obama should ask Jobs about is leadership style and skills.

    I can’t help myself with this little gem. The president of the United States is suppose to ask for advice on leadership skills.  rolleyes

    So then, which president was it that couldn’t have learned anything about leadership from Steve Jobs?  You start with the assumption that if Obama does something it must be wrong and then you find some convoluted justification for that prejudice.  It’s not just a display of willful ignorance, it’s boring and a waste of everyone’s time.

    Still waiting for a list of those presidents.

    I don’t want to bore you with my ignorance, you arrogant fanboy. I don’t revere SJ the way many (you) in here do. BTW, I don’t think Clinton or Reagan (long list) would get anything from SJ in the leadership dept.

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  • Posted: 22 October 2010 04:59 PM #34

    mbeauch - 22 October 2010 04:34 PM

    Please explain this to me JD. Please, and tell me just how long you think it takes to assemble an ipod. :apple:

    Unfortunately, the cost of assembly isn’t why Apple manufactures in Taiwan and China. It’s not why most companies do, and it’s a problem I don’t quite know how the US gets out of - and this would be an excellent question to ask Jobs.

    The benefit China brings is that the Chinese government has (by fiat) consolidated so much manufacturing into such small regions, that companies get a massive time-to-market advantage to manufacturing there. The plants that assemble iPods are right next to plants that assemble the LCDs, the plants that manufacture the flash memory, and so on. If Apple needs to ramp up manufacturing, they don’t need to do much to coordinate shipping, they don’t need to zip all around and see how their suppliers are keeping up, and so on, and these regions are in many ways autonomous. Their regulatory process is minimal because they don’t need to worry about homeowners (everyone living there is in a company dorm or apartment) and that kind of thing. And there’s such a large consolidation of manufacturing that if you need to expand and grab some production line, you’re not talking about a factory across the country that you need to set up new logistics with, but across the street where it’s MUCH easier. Those Hon Hai factories are MASSIVE. Apple just buys out some HP netbook production and turns it into iPad. It was probably in the same building. But tech is all about time to market. How many tablets have been cancelled or moved back because Apple secured the early ground? What if iPhone 4 didn’t start shipping until now, after the various Android phones that shipped over the last 4 months?

    If Apple wants to move manufacturing to the US (something I would love to see happen) it’s not just covering the cost of the assembly labor, it’s also the shipping and logistics of parts, managing that inventory, keeping that constant contact with suppliers, and ensuring that when they hit that ‘ZOMG, we need to make another 5 million iPhones this quarter!’ that there is manufacturing capacity to absorb. That’s a very big problem to solve.

    Part of the problem we face is that US companies are competing not just with Chinese companies, but also with the Chinese government. I don’t see US companies can win that battle without the help of the US government which a rising group of Americans don’t want to help. But I think in order for Apple (and HP, and Dell, and a whole host of others) to move manufacturing to the US and be competitive, then we would need to have some equivalent to the Chinese enterprise zones. You’re basically talking about carving out one county in the US, eliminating all non-industrial governmental concerns (schools, etc. - we do have some small cities like this) and offering tax benefits and targeted subsidies to get key industries to move in. Remember, China’s enterprise zones aren’t random - they target certain kinds of industries. This region would need a heavy port, and a lot of infrastructure investment beyond the power/water/waste that such a dense industrial area would require, but also rail and road to efficiently move goods out of the area.

    China doesn’t leave these matters to the free market. They build it themselves. They see this as a long-term economic investment, jobs for the public, increased manufacturing competence (Japan did something similar after WWII - moving from low-tech shipbuilding to leading robotics design in 2 generations). Politically, I don’t know how the US could do in this environment. Even if they could get the public on board, where would you build such a thing? Our port cities are pretty well spoken for (New Orleans being probably the best option, but with a LOT of money dumped into it - and China is perfectly willing to evict every single person from their economic zones.) And the states fighting for such a region would be incredible. As it is, we’re currently making the problem worse by having Congress split up our existing federal contracts across states so that everybody gets a little piece of the new bomber. Not only would that have to end, but we’d need to do the opposite - concentrate *all* of it in one place.

    Bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US isn’t just a question of tariffs and labor costs. It’s a question of how to compete with *nations* that are making that task far more efficient and effective than the US. I’d love to see it fixed, but I really have no idea how.

         
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    Posted: 22 October 2010 05:11 PM #35

    Johnsonwax - 22 October 2010 07:59 PM
    mbeauch - 22 October 2010 04:34 PM

    Please explain this to me JD. Please, and tell me just how long you think it takes to assemble an ipod. :apple:

    Unfortunately, the cost of assembly isn’t why Apple manufactures in Taiwan and China. It’s not why most companies do, and it’s a problem I don’t quite know how the US gets out of - and this would be an excellent question to ask Jobs.

    The benefit China brings is that the Chinese government has (by fiat) consolidated so much manufacturing into such small regions, that companies get a massive time-to-market advantage to manufacturing there. The plants that assemble iPods are right next to plants that assemble the LCDs, the plants that manufacture the flash memory, and so on. If Apple needs to ramp up manufacturing, they don’t need to do much to coordinate shipping, they don’t need to zip all around and see how their suppliers are keeping up, and so on, and these regions are in many ways autonomous. Their regulatory process is minimal because they don’t need to worry about homeowners (everyone living there is in a company dorm or apartment) and that kind of thing. And there’s such a large consolidation of manufacturing that if you need to expand and grab some production line, you’re not talking about a factory across the country that you need to set up new logistics with, but across the street where it’s MUCH easier. Those Hon Hai factories are MASSIVE. Apple just buys out some HP netbook production and turns it into iPad. It was probably in the same building. But tech is all about time to market. How many tablets have been cancelled or moved back because Apple secured the early ground? What if iPhone 4 didn’t start shipping until now, after the various Android phones that shipped over the last 4 months?

    If Apple wants to move manufacturing to the US (something I would love to see happen) it’s not just covering the cost of the assembly labor, it’s also the shipping and logistics of parts, managing that inventory, keeping that constant contact with suppliers, and ensuring that when they hit that ‘ZOMG, we need to make another 5 million iPhones this quarter!’ that there is manufacturing capacity to absorb. That’s a very big problem to solve.

    Part of the problem we face is that US companies are competing not just with Chinese companies, but also with the Chinese government. I don’t see US companies can win that battle without the help of the US government which a rising group of Americans don’t want to help. But I think in order for Apple (and HP, and Dell, and a whole host of others) to move manufacturing to the US and be competitive, then we would need to have some equivalent to the Chinese enterprise zones. You’re basically talking about carving out one county in the US, eliminating all non-industrial governmental concerns (schools, etc. - we do have some small cities like this) and offering tax benefits and targeted subsidies to get key industries to move in. Remember, China’s enterprise zones aren’t random - they target certain kinds of industries. This region would need a heavy port, and a lot of infrastructure investment beyond the power/water/waste that such a dense industrial area would require, but also rail and road to efficiently move goods out of the area.

    China doesn’t leave these matters to the free market. They build it themselves. They see this as a long-term economic investment, jobs for the public, increased manufacturing competence (Japan did something similar after WWII - moving from low-tech shipbuilding to leading robotics design in 2 generations). Politically, I don’t know how the US could do in this environment. Even if they could get the public on board, where would you build such a thing? Our port cities are pretty well spoken for (New Orleans being probably the best option, but with a LOT of money dumped into it - and China is perfectly willing to evict every single person from their economic zones.) And the states fighting for such a region would be incredible. As it is, we’re currently making the problem worse by having Congress split up our existing federal contracts across states so that everybody gets a little piece of the new bomber. Not only would that have to end, but we’d need to do the opposite - concentrate *all* of it in one place.

    Bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US isn’t just a question of tariffs and labor costs. It’s a question of how to compete with *nations* that are making that task far more efficient and effective than the US. I’d love to see it fixed, but I really have no idea how.

    In other words, we’re screwed. American capitalism apparently can’t compete with government-led communist capitalism, and yet the right wing claims that government can’t do anything right.  Unless we can get out of this ideological morass, we’re screwed.

         
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    Posted: 22 October 2010 05:52 PM #36

    I just give up on the libs on this board. They really don’t believe there is a clear, shareholder-enriching economic reason why Apple doesn’t manufacture in the US. How can you even address such “logic”? Economic nincompoops. I only hope you never, ever have any influence on Apple or any other company I own. Please go buy Google and help ruin that company. TIA.

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  • Posted: 22 October 2010 06:04 PM #37

    firestorm - 22 October 2010 08:11 PM

    In other words, we’re screwed. American capitalism apparently can’t compete with government-led communist capitalism, and yet the right wing claims that government can’t do anything right.  Unless we can get out of this ideological morass, we’re screwed.

    I think that overstates things and ascribes too much blame on the right. Democrats are offering some little things here and there, but they wouldn’t support this either. They’re no less culpable than anyone else at furthering the pork-barrel policies of the country. Republicans have expressed similar support as Democrats to ideas such as this in past years, so I think there’s a genuine agreement there. The tea party/libertarian types are the ones that seem most strongly opposed, and they’re the one that’s got the microphone now. I don’t know how much political power they’ll ultimately end up with, but enterprise zones are ideas that guys like Reagan and Bush Sr and Jr have supported as well as many in Congress, so the traditional right isn’t the problem here.

    But on the manufacturing front, without changes we are indeed screwed. Granted, as a society we don’t seem to really mind. Sure, we’ll complain about the loss of jobs, but are any communities encouraging our kids to learn trades? Are any parents telling their kids ‘no, no, don’t waste your money on a non-professional college degree that won’t get you anywhere but a job at Starbucks, go work in the factory instead’? No, if we wanted manufacturing we’d actually act like we wanted manufacturing. We act like we want everything *but* manufacturing, so why should our elected officials actually work to bring manufacturing here?

    That’s not a failing of government, or even industry, but of society. So yeah, I think we’re screwed on manufacturing.

         
  • Posted: 22 October 2010 06:19 PM #38

    JDSoCal - 22 October 2010 08:00 AM

    As for Lehman, they were allowed to fail, the exact right decision. Too bad the gov didn’t allow more of them to fail. Instead, the government gave all the banks the moral hazard of FDIC insurance.

    They would have all failed. And all of the insurers. And anyone that relied on credit, which would have been well, everyone but Apple and Google, but even they would have failed because nobody would have jobs.

    Letting even one more fail would have required the federal government to seize the banks and probably a lot more companies beyond AIG. Your idea would have destroyed the economy. I don’t know a single economist who thought that intervening was a bad idea, and quite a few think that letting Lehman fail was a huge mistake in itself.

    Shareholder checks are to sell the stock, and to diversify. The last thing I need as an AAPL stockholder is some lefty pension fund coming in and suing Apple, as recently happened, enriching lawyers. Or telling Steve Jobs how much he can make. Argh, libs want to ruin everything.

    Yes, they all hate America, and you individually. In your rational self-interest free-market, half of the participants are not only irrational, but actively self-destructive. And how dare the owners of the company have a say in how the company is run and how much the executives are compensated.

    Oh, and what is a ‘lefty pension fund’ anyway? Or is that shorthand for fund managers that actually are looking out in the best interest of their account holders?

         
  • Posted: 22 October 2010 06:21 PM #39

    mbeauch - 22 October 2010 04:42 PM
    Zeke - 22 October 2010 04:03 PM
    Zeke - 22 October 2010 03:49 AM
    mbeauch - 22 October 2010 03:30 AM
    Zeke - 22 October 2010 03:24 AM

    What Obama should ask Jobs about is leadership style and skills.

    I can’t help myself with this little gem. The president of the United States is suppose to ask for advice on leadership skills.  rolleyes

    So then, which president was it that couldn’t have learned anything about leadership from Steve Jobs?  You start with the assumption that if Obama does something it must be wrong and then you find some convoluted justification for that prejudice.  It’s not just a display of willful ignorance, it’s boring and a waste of everyone’s time.

    Still waiting for a list of those presidents.

    I don’t want to bore you with my ignorance, you arrogant fanboy. I don’t revere SJ the way many (you) in here do. BTW, I don’t think Clinton or Reagan (long list) would get anything from SJ in the leadership dept.

    The defense rests its case.

         
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    Posted: 22 October 2010 06:47 PM #40

    JDSoCal - 22 October 2010 08:52 PM

    I just give up on the libs on this board. They really don’t believe there is a clear, shareholder-enriching economic reason why Apple doesn’t manufacture in the US. How can you even address such “logic”? Economic nincompoops. I only hope you never, ever have any influence on Apple or any other company I own. Please go buy Google and help ruin that company. TIA.

    So, let me get this right:  the only way that an American company can make money is if we have the communists do our work for us?  That is clearly what you and the rest of the right wing zombies seem to be saying.  I would give up on you and your kind, but there is too much at stake. America HAS to begin thinking in the long term, instead of the next quarterly statement.  Steve Jobs has a knack for that, but I don’t think any right winger has a clue how we can be economically competitive. All I hear is the constant whine:  “I’ve got mine and to hell with the rest of you!”  Ayn Rand selfishness may enrich individuals, but it puts a whole nation at risk.

         
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    Posted: 22 October 2010 09:40 PM #41

    Johnsonwax, America at one time had a manufacturing environment similar to what you described in China. It was called a factory town. A good example was Timkin Roller Bearing of Canton, Ohio. Started in the late 1890s. They produced the specialty steel to the finished product. Timkin built the neighborhoods for their employees. The schools for their children. Hospitals and parks were built by Timkin. There were many support industries that grew from this company and prospered. This nation was once full of factory towns at one time. Fords River Rouge plant is a great example, iron ore went in at one end and cars came out the other end. What China is doing is not a new idea. It was an idea that was copied. So now the question to ask is why it is not working here, now, as it once worked?  To quote a great man: “Government is not the solution, it is the problem.” What is amazing is that we have any industry at all.


    :apple:

         
  • Posted: 22 October 2010 10:08 PM #42

    MacCube - 23 October 2010 12:40 AM

    What China is doing is not a new idea. It was an idea that was copied. So now the question to ask is why it is not working here, now, as it once worked?  To quote a great man: “Government is not the solution, it is the problem.” What is amazing is that we have any industry at all.

    You didn’t address the other part of my assertion - it’s not working here because we don’t really want it to. We say we do, but we’re not training the next generation of workers to work in industry nor do they desire to. That’s not the fault of government or of either political party - it’s a social decision just as it was a social decision to shift from agriculture to industry a century ago.

    Less than 5% of our population now works in agriculture, and we have no shortage of food. Industry is going the same way. We can bemoan that or accept it, but if we’re going to bemoan it we need to show value for those jobs. Do the pay well? No. Do they get good benefits? No. Are we expanding training opportunities? No. Are you willing to tell your kid to bypass college and work on the assembly line? No. And ask yourself why. Can you really fault the next set of workers to not want to do that work? Supply and demand works in all kinds of ways. If we as a society truly do want manufacturing jobs, then we’d be willing to pay for them, but as a society we demand a standard of living that’s higher than what we’re willing to pay for manufacturing, and we crave cheap products. That’s a societal formula that works entirely against manufacturing.

    You say that ‘Government is the problem’. So are you suggesting that the Constitution should never have been written? It’s a dishonest slogan because is suggests nullifying the federal government. I don’t think you intend that, so you’re going to have to be more specific than the bumper sticker. What exactly is the government doing to prevent manufacturing? Keep careful mind that this trend started in the 50s, as Japan and Germany recovered and has proceded steadily to today - through Democratic and Republican administrations.

         
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    Posted: 22 October 2010 10:56 PM #43

    MacCube - 23 October 2010 12:40 AM

    Johnsonwax, America at one time had a manufacturing environment similar to what you described in China. It was called a factory town. A good example was Timkin Roller Bearing of Canton, Ohio. Started in the late 1890s. They produced the specialty steel to the finished product. Timkin built the neighborhoods for their employees. The schools for their children. Hospitals and parks were built by Timkin. There were many support industries that grew from this company and prospered. This nation was once full of factory towns at one time. Fords River Rouge plant is a great example, iron ore went in at one end and cars came out the other end. What China is doing is not a new idea. It was an idea that was copied. So now the question to ask is why it is not working here, now, as it once worked?  To quote a great man: “Government is not the solution, it is the problem.” What is amazing is that we have any industry at all.

    Why in the world would you blame this on government? There are undoubtedly a variety of causes, but remember that the government is US, you and me and all our friends and neighbors and families. To claim that it is all just a problem is to deny all the good that government does, such as Social Security, Medicare, Defense, National Parks, National Forests, dams for power and agriculture, auto safety standards that save tens of thousands per year, food safety standards, great universities, and on and on.

    The only people that condemn government for being the problem are the simple minded.  Reagan comes to mind.

         
  • Posted: 22 October 2010 11:18 PM #44

    Zeke - 22 October 2010 03:24 AM

    What Obama should ask Jobs about is leadership style and skills.

    So instead of people accusing the president of being a Socialist you want him to turn into a dictator?

         
  • Posted: 23 October 2010 12:21 AM #45

    Gtrplyr - 22 October 2010 04:21 PM

    The days of looking at the U.S. for growth are over as emerging economies will lead the growth ...

    I believe that the country that leads in technology, is the country that leads the world.

    Knowledge is power.

    The USA still leads the world in technology. Rumors of it’s collapse are greatly exaggerated.

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