Nobody ever said our elected representatives were all brilliant, or even sane, but this statement by one Congressman just boggles the mind.
It’s pretty obvious from observing the actions of some members of
Congress that they lack any sense of how the government operates, but
one of them also seems to have slept through economics class in high
While speaking out on the nation’s unemployment crisis on Friday,
Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) stated that the iPad “was probably
responsible for eliminating thousands of American jobs.” How did he come
to this earth-shaking conclusion? In reference to the bankruptcy of
Borders Books, Jackson said, “Why do you need to go to Borders anymore?
Why do you need to go to Barnes and Noble? Just buy an iPad and download
your book, download your newspaper, download your magazine.”
The Congressman also found fault with Chicago State University’s plan
to replace textbooks with iPads to achieve a “textbookless campus
within four years.” What’s his beef with this? “What becomes of
publishing companies and publishing company jobs. What becomes of
bookstores and librarians and all of the jobs associated with paper?
Well, in the not-too-distant future, such jobs simply won’t exist.”
Jackson’s next complaint was that iPads are being produced outside
the U.S. “The iPad is produced in China. It’s not produced here in the
United States. [...] There is no protection for jobs here in America to
ensure that the American people are being put to work.”
OK, there are several fallacies at work here, Congressman. The major
one was addressed by Business Insider, which answered Jackson’s theories
thusly: “Obviously he ignores all the wealth the iPad has created in
America, and the fact that there are all kinds of other jobs that have
been created around the iPad [...]”
He also failed to look very deeply into the reasons for Borders’
bankruptcy, like high prices and competition from Amazon. As for those
publishing companies, aren’t they keeping pretty busy producing e-books
for the Kindle, Nook and iPad?