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La Jornada, Mexico

Career of Steve Jobs Showed How Capitalism was Supposed to Work


"This is the crux of the current crisis. There is no sign that the link between production and income generation on the basis of employment will be mended for the purpose of creating wealth. Those protesting on Wall Street have already realized this, and they certainly use Apple products to maintain their communication with the rest of the world."


By Len Bendesky


Translated By Anthony Figueroa


October 10, 2011


Mexico - La Jornada - Original Article (Spanish)

Economist Joseph Schumpeter: You may never have heard of him, but Steve Jobs was perhaps the most effective representative and follower of his notion concerning the 'creative destruction' of capitalism.


FINANCIAL TIMES VIDEO: Apple faces future without Steve Jobs, 00:05:37, Oct. 6.RealVideo

Steve Jobs is the face of an economy directly associated with productivity and a very sustained cycle of accelerated innovation. The Apple Company, which was his creation, the symbol of which is recognized around the world, is a global reference to the era of personal computers, telephony and communications right in the palm of your hand - and the way we obtain and listen to our music. With Pixar, he also developed the use of computer animation in film.


Seventy years ago, Joseph Schumpeter indicated that capitalism involves a form of economic change that by its nature can never be stationary. According to Schumpeter, this trait isn't only due to an ever-changing social and natural environment that includes rapid population growth, which is constantly altering the data that propels its evolution. He declared that the fundamental thrust that maintains the capitalist engine comes from consumers, the goods that are produced, and new markets and forms of industrial organization.


So it was that Jobs became a contemporary exponent of this dynamic, which is based on what Schumpeter dubbed the process of creative destruction. That is, overcoming conventional ways of making money by generating new avenues for value and wealth.


Apple definitely got it. Jobs created, literally, new needs and ways to satisfy them, starting with a series of new businesses, investment opportunities, job specializations and employment possibilities. Above all, he created a special kind of pride for those that use and identify with Apple products.


A similar process of developing products based on direct consumer consumption has succeeded on several other occasions, as was the case, for example, with cars, products like televisions and radios, household appliances, and later, products associated with the use of microelectronics. A mere 25 years ago, computers didn't even exist. Today, many wouldn't know how to use a typewriter with its color ribbon or dial a rotary phone.


Now that such a huge segment of financial activity is being openly questioned, especially with regard to the major banks and the way they manage the debts of families and even states, it is sensible to refocus on the essential meaning of production and work.




Diario Economico, Portugal: Life of Steve Jobs Should Inspire 'All Portuguese'

Wen Wei Po, Hong Kong: 'Where is China's Steve Jobs?'

Le Monde, France: From Mac to iPad, Jobs Rode Imagination to Power

Asia Times, Hong Kong: iSad in Damascus: Syria Reclaims Jobs

Estadao, Brazil: Jobs Embodied Spirit that Still Makes America Great

Yedioth Ahronot, Israel: Steve Jobs: Rabbi's Inspiration

Der Speigel, Germany: German Editorials: The Passing of Steve Jobs

Times of India, India: People of India Pay Tribute to Steve Jobs

The Hindu, India: iConic Jobs

The Hindu, India: Jobs - The Inimitable iMan

The Montreal Gazette, Canada: Steve Jobs was a World-Changer

Adelaide Now, Australia: Steve Jobs Earns Place in History

Daily Mail, U.K.: Dying Jobs Left Plans For Years of New Products

Die Welt, Germany: Wall Street Occupied by Tea Party of 'Generation-Twitter'

Il Sole 24 Ore, Italy: How Finance Sector Greed Tramples on Human Rights
FTD, Germany: America's Economic Crash Had Little to do with September 11
Estadao, Brazil: To Shorten Crisis, U.S., E.U. Should Look to Latin America
Frankfurter Rundschau: Obama's Middle Road is Fatal
La Jornada, Mexico: The 'Grand Debt' of U.S. Families
Jornal Do Brasil, Brazil: American Default and the End of 'Zero Risk'
The Telegraph, U.K.: World Needs America to Come to its Senses
El Pais, Spain: Playing Chicken is the World's Newest Sport
Mainichi Shimbun, Japan: U.S. Must Prevent Another 'Made in U.S.' Disaster
Yomiori Shimbun, Japan: U.S. Lawmakers Should 'Stop Playing Political Games'
Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia: The U.S. and Soviets: Pyramid Builders to Raiders
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: 'Radical' Republicans Threaten U.S. with Ruin
Tiscali Notizie, Italy: The Fiscal Decline of the 'Apocalypse'
News, Switzerland: Notion: 'Pay Politicians Based on Performance'
Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria: Debt Ceiling Attack By Republicans 'Backfires'
Gazeta, Russia: America's Astonishing 'Battle for the Ceiling'
People's Daily, China: U.S. Game of Chicken Threatens Creditors and Economy
Die Zeit, Germany: U.S. Risks 'Plunging World' Into New Financial Crisis
O Globo, Brazil: Global Economy Hangs on 'Mood' of U.S. Voters
The Telegraph, U.K.: Down on the Fourth of July: The United States of Gloom
Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: For Americans, a Dour Independence Day
Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: Who Cares about the U.S. Economy?


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Jobs underpinned that part of the economy which combines scientific advances and available technology to develop new and attractive products and expand markets. In terms of the famous Disney characters, he was a Scrooge McDuck type of businessman, only much more sophisticated and in a vein more characteristic of an innovator rather than an inventor like fellow character Gyro Gearloose.


The impact of Jobs' quite public departure is apparent among his closest associates, competitors, the global press, and even his customers. It isnt unusual to see this kind of reaction in a world characterized by goods and services where everything is exchanged on the market; but not so much on one focused on money and rampant speculation, which has been called the "financialization" of the economy. This can be seen in the recent history of capitalism, and is clearly illustrated by the way it has operated over the last decade.


The simple fact is that production and credit go hand-in-hand. When financial activity becomes an autonomous form of conducting transactions, it turns into speculation and tends to go too far. Today the two are divorced and there is no reconciliation in sight.


In the most fundamental sense, this is the crux of the current crisis. There is no sign that the link between production and income generation on the basis of employment will be mended for the purpose of creating wealth. If this process does not guarantee widespread social equality, then this ongoing disassociation will only accentuate inequality. Those protesting on Wall Street have already realized this, and they certainly use Apple products to maintain their communication with the rest of the world.



The destruction of value and the break in the generation of human and material wealth that is being caused by the financial markets is a disease that constitutes a criminal act; an act that leaves politics and even governments themselves completely impotent.


One need not reach the corporate heights of Steve Jobs, whose company was recently valued higher than petroleum giant Exxon Mobil. There are innumerable scales of production that thus generate income and consumption capacity. That must be based on the capacity to raise funds.


But the scale of micro, small and medium-sized businesses is often ignored. The big banks in particular have abandoned the provision of credit as a part of their core business in favor of handling transactions and reaping the benefits of outrageously-priced commissions. The speculators, meanwhile, gorge themselves on the feast.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US, Oct. 13, 10:23pm]


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