After Steve Jobs’s death a few weeks ago, I noted that the encomia for his life’s work seemed strange to me because he was a celebrity CEO who outsourced jobs to China, which doesn’t strike me as a particularly patriotic or environmentally responsible business plan. Some of you objected. Well, friends, I’ll let you be the judge as to whether this was unnecessarily harsh. The Huffinton Post (via RealClearPolitics) offers some choice tidbits from Walter Isaacson’s not-yet-released biography, which was written with Jobs’s cooperation. Here’s the HuffPo’s reportage on what’s to be found in Isaacson’s tome:
Jobs, who was known for his prickly, stubborn personality, almost missed meeting President Obama in the fall of 2010 because he insisted that the president personally ask him for a meeting. Though his wife told him that Obama “was really psyched to meet with you,” Jobs insisted on the personal invitation, and the standoff lasted for five days. When he finally relented and they met at the Westin San Francisco Airport, Jobs was characteristically blunt. He seemed to have transformed from a liberal into a conservative.
“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them.
Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.
How do you like them apples? That’s Steve Jobs’s great respect for American workers and professionals: deregulate until this place runs like China, “break” teachers’ unions, and keep those schmucks on the job until 6 p.m. every night year-round. (I guess he must have felt really poorly served by his elementary school teachers. How much richer and more successful might he have become if they had stayed at school until after 6 p.m.?)
Go click on the story and read the whole thing–I didn’t even quote all of the pi$$ing contest-y stuff between Jobs and Obama, if you can believe it!