Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs will hit the book store and kindle outlets this coming Monday, October 24, 2011. It will be a best seller. Jobs was a “tell it like it is” kind of guy who didn’t suffer fools gladly. That’s why, according to excerpts released to the Huffington Post, Jobs was fed up with President Obama’s approach to business.
Apparently in the fall of 2010 at a meeting with Obama in San Francisco’s Westin hotel, Jobs told Obama, “You’re heading for a one-term presidency.” Jobs told Obama to ease up on regulations that were stifling American firms in their attempt to compete against foreign rivals in Asia. Jobs also realized that teachers’ unions are killing our competitiveness. He told Obama that “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.”
Let’s talk about education first. Steve Jobs has been hiring software engineers for decades. Most of them grew up in Asia, where dedicated teachers, along with parental insistence, resulted in a superior education for young Chinese and south-Asians. These savy Asians work for Jobs by the legions. The entitled, lazy American kids who spent years in well-funded US public schools don’t work in silicon valley. Jobs, more than most, knows that we have ransomed nearly two generations of school children at the alter of the teacher’s unions.
Barack Obama is a superb politician who is drunk on power. The politician has the ability to coerce others; the businessman has no such power. The businessman can sell only what someone else voluntarily pays for. The essence of politics is coercion; the essence of business is voluntary cooperation.
Steve Jobs was a million times the man that Barack Obama will ever be. Last night after dark I took a spin on my bicycle. I went into the east end industrial park of Winona, Minnesota. I passed our factory where our dedicated men were moving industrial machinery between two of our buildings. I love our employees as well as our business. These men know the value of work, both with their hands and with their intellect. They create value…which no politician can do.
As I peddled further through the industrial buildings I heard the loud slamming of a metal stamping machine reverberating from a neighboring building. Inside that building was a man wearing ear plugs and safety equipment, slamming out metal parts. Those parts are important, or no one would be willing to pay for them. The sound of that stamping machine was for me a symbol of the manufacturing heart of the American economy.
In this star lit night as I weaved my bicycle through the back alleys and parking lots of these Winona, Minnesota industrial plants, a thought occurred to me. My partner and I own a small manufacturing business not a lot unlike the other businesses around us. And deep inside we are proud of what we have built, and humbled to have the dedicated employees who have made our business possible. It occurred to me that the pride that we feel in our hearts will never be felt by a man like Barack Obama. He has never created any products nor has he toiled by the sweat of his brow.
Barack Obama has never produced anything that anyone else would buy. His political standing allows him to rule us with a destructive agenda that is ultimately enforced at the point of a gun. But Barack Obama will never know the joy we feel. Ours is the joy of a producer, who must combine skill, dedication and knowledge to create something of value. Obama and his friends in Congress are looters who, unable to produce, use the force of law to steal what others have created.