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Opposite of Progress is Congressman Jackson: iPad Eliminating Thousands of Jobs



We usually avoid discussing politics here at GBM, but this is just ridiculous. The son of a man who’s led change in America seems determined to keep America in the stone age. Jesse Jackson Jr is blaming the loss of thousands of jobs on the iPad.

The congressman rattles off a list of things that the iPad threatens, all of which are apparently sacred. Things like textbooks and bookstores. He really seems to have a thing for paper.

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He seems pretty upset that the device is made in China, but fails to mention the billions of dollars U.S. companies are making off of the device. The money’s going a lot further than Cupertino. App developers have made billions of dollars off of iOS devices, as have accessory makers, music labels and movie studios. Amazon, Google and Microsoft are just a few of the American companies making heaps of cash thanks to the iPad.

And Jackson seems to forget about the up and coming American companies that will employee even more people. Companies like Flipboard, which just raised another $50 million in capital, and Kno, which just raised another $25 million. Kno is working on disrupting the paper textbook industry, which Jackson apparently views as a sacred cow.

As the old saying goes: The opposite of progress is Congress

A transcript of the Congressman’s comments below:

“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.”

Transcript via GeekWire



  1. Viet Huy

    04/18/2011 at 1:31 pm

    I would be more than grateful for my kids if school textbook came in a electronic format. Junior High school and high school really strained my back with books

  2. Daniel Eggert

    04/18/2011 at 2:55 pm

    Interesting comment how Microsoft has made billions off iOS. Please explain…

    One thing to remember is that electricity, the telephone, the phonograph, the automobile, and just about any other innovation in history displaced workers when it rolled into the market place. Yet with each and every one of those displacements the workers being displaced called the new innovations evil and tried to have them banned. It is a difficult time for some and a boom for others. The last thing we need is governement intervention to keep the innovations from rolling in!


    • Xavier Lanier

      04/18/2011 at 3:24 pm

      I don’t know the exact $ Microsoft has earned from the iPad, but its advertising business is huge. The more time people spend browsing the web on devices, the more Microsoft, Google, etc. make $. Compared to a book, which publishers make $ off once, the iPad earns a lot of companies a lot of money every time someone browses the web, searches for something, buys something online, etc.

  3. R Campbell

    04/19/2011 at 1:49 am

    He’s not railing against the I-Pad. He does use it as an example of how technology can permit companies to do more with less – or “productivity gains”, the same term used when companies don’t hire additional engineers like myself and expect us to work insane hours to make up for it – partially explaining the “jobless recovery”. His complaint – if you would watch his full speech – is about calls to cut spending when we do not yet have a robust economy, especially the “Main Street” economy. I agree in that regard. I, however, would craft a more careful and clear argument, although anything can be taken out of context.

    Rob Campbell

  4. Metaphase

    04/20/2011 at 7:41 am

    LOL since when has employee become a verb? I think you mean employ :-)

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