To the editor:
Political cartoonist Mike Luckovich (Journal-World, Aug. 31) missed the mark when he wrote, “For America to prosper, we must create more Jobs” and the character offers a “cloning contract” to former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. While Jobs has done well for himself and his stockholders, he can hardly be called on to create a prosperous America. Apple employs some 50,000 people in the United States, and that’s great, but a million or more work in its “supply chain” in other countries. In fact, Apple subcontracts its manufacturing needs to outfits such as Taiwanese-based Foxconn whose workers in its China plants are housed in crude dormitories, treated ruthlessly and toil in unsafe workplaces for 15 hours a day for about $50 a month. Conditions are so bad that nearly a dozen workers have killed themselves by jumping off company buildings.
One result of this form of labor “utilization” is that many of the largest transnational corporations (these are not really “American” companies) like Apple are sitting on a mountain of cash, an estimated $2 trillion that they refuse to invest in the U.S. because, clearly, they can make a lot more money elsewhere. Meanwhile, over the course of the last decade we have lost one-third of our manufacturing jobs, 14 million are now unemployed, and consumers have put themselves into crushing personal debt, in part, by buying every iWidget Jobs can dream up. The current circumstances are untenable and we will not be saved by the likes of Steve Jobs.