With Steve Jobs' wife in the audience, Obama urges us to find the next one, asks all offshore accounts home

With Steve Jobs' wife in the audience, Obama urges us to find the next one, asks all offshore accounts home
At his State of the Union address yesterday, President Obama urged us to overhaul the culture in this country towards one fostering talent and innovation in search for "the next Steve Jobs", partly by addressing the current lack of qualified engineers and scientists at times when unemployment is soaring.

Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene, was sitting in the audience, when Obama also asked companies to bring back either the cash hoard they have accumulated in offshore accounts (nudge, wink, Apple, Google and the rest), try to bring jobs here, or both. For his part, the President promised to help create the environment to do so, starting with tax breaks for bringing back home cash or jobs.

It's easier said than done, though - when Obama asked Steve Jobs what can they do to bring Apple's manufacturing jobs in the US, SJ simply replied "These jobs are not coming back", partly because companies with the manufacturing capacity and flexibility of assembly juggernauts like Foxconn just don't exist in a service economy like the US one.

As for the tax amnesty on money in offshore accounts brought back home, history has shown that similar programs ended up with companies just hoarding the cash locally instead of abroad, but investment and hiring didn't budge above the usual levels, making most of these talking points moot. Oh, well, it's the State of the Union speech.



1. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

call centers in India and in Asia will be brought back home?

2. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I actually skipped this State of the Union. It's an election year. Wanted as much relief as I could get before it gets nasty......

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

u didnt miss much. it was a "feel good" speech that was written for an election. full of empty promises and half truths to make it look like he is a capable leader.

29. nickjjay

Posts: 79; Member since: Oct 10, 2011

I agree with you 100%. Its felt like an election speech more than a state of the union adress.

3. mctcm

Posts: 204; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Completely ignoring Obama and his BS, maybe since apple is making such extraordinary amounts of money, they can bring their assembly and manufacturing operations to within the United States. That would be a very impressive and respectful move

5. Tux4g63

Posts: 121; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Apple could, and some might say that under previous banners they even flew, read: proudly proclaiming at one time that there products were US made, they should, but most likely they won't. At the end of the day, the cheap labor afforded to them at overseas facilities trumps the business advantages that they could have here at home should they move assembly and manufacturing back into the US.

26. Goldeneye

Posts: 419; Member since: Jan 22, 2011

Yeah as soon as you're willing to work 16 hours day, share a dorm with 9 people and get paid like ยข30 an hour then that would be a respectful move

4. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Manufacturing is something that can be augmented. At the very least companies can produce efficiency systems that allow materials to be produced in the US however some of those jobs are simply not coming back because we are a service type economy. Plain and simple.

6. godsarmylds

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 05, 2010

It is sad how much apple is screwing everyone and people still love them. Billions in offshore accounts. And there not willing to help american econ. by bring more jobs to the US, What reason does a company needs that much money sitting doing nothing but building it's self more money

7. simplyj

Posts: 406; Member since: Dec 23, 2009

in the title, you don't need the extra "s" in Jobs because it already has one. The punctuation is correct though.

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

touting "manufacturing" sounds good during a speech, but the reality is that we moved away from manufacturing decades ago. Manufacturing is a process that needs to be cheap and we get paid too much. There is too much union BS involved. The products made would be 10x more expensive out of the factory then they are in emerging countries like india and china. We would never pay the mark up. You think stuff is expensive now? LOL. Its not just about the taxes, its also about the difference between pay and benefits. We've shot ourselves in the foot by refusing anything less than high standard american working conditions. Granted it shouldnt be nearly as bad as it is in china either.. they deserve much better conditions. With apple's margins they could very easily absorb the hit in manufacturing to bring it home. It would cut their margins in half. At least then they would have the "made in USA" moniker on the products again. They are not going to cut their margins in half to bring jobs home though. Its no benefit to the company.

10. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Should be illegal for american companies to use slave labor from overseas

13. mctcm

Posts: 204; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

More government regulation is probably the worst thing that could possibly be done Lets guarantee everyone citizen unlimited everything too.

25. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Yeah, because de-regulating the banks worked out so well for us all, why not de-regulate everything? First lets get rid of the EPA and FDA. Who needs clear air, water, and un-checked food? It's all over rated...I'm sure unregulated meat would be okay. A few mouse droppings in our kids cornflakes wouldn't neccesarily kill them right? And like they say, what doesn't kill you just makes you stronger

11. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Guys please, don't let these companies fool you into thinking Americans are paid too much and are too uneducated to build products in the US. It's Bullsh*t!!! I've seen cellphones built at a cost per unit of roughly 50 cents, for phone that were being sold for $200!!! That cost per unit included the cost of everything that went into building those units from rent for the building, the lights, our pay, benefits, hours worked, even breaks and lunches...yet it still only cost the company 50 cent to make a $200 phone. That is some serious markup! I myself lead a team of production workers that produced more than double our daily quota of phones. The plant was running at about 5.7 Sigma, with a goal of 6 Sigma...meaning we busted our collective a$$es, and still our jobs were shipped overseas. The same phone cost about 30 cents to make from start to finish, but the change was done not to SAVE the company from extenction or to combat sinking profit margins. Our jobs were shipped off because they simply wanted to make more money, and firing Americans made that possible! It's called greed. And for the Obama haters... It's cool you guys don't like him, I've that way for 8 years myself about a certain president. But at the very least, stop voting against your own best interest. I haven't seen, not one policy indtroduced by the other side that would benefit anyone who makes less that $250,000 a year. Now if you make that kind of money, I get it. But if you make less than that, I don't see any reason to give any of the current republican candidates your vote.

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

there hasnt been one policy that has benefited anyone that makes under 250k a year. Obama has tried twice during his presidency to let the bush tax cuts go up on the "upper middle class". Ever wonder what the line was on that? 31,500 a year. Exactly who is doing well at 31k a year? And exactly how does raising their taxes help them? Please dont try to sway opinion without actual factual evidence. Obamacare is doing more to hurt job growth than the Bush-Pelosi combination that got us in this mess to begin with. Tax and cap? Yes, more taxes = less job growth. That debt? That is being paid to china with interest. We are now 100% debt to GDP. Thats unsurvivable. Who did that? Obama. More debt in 3 years than from the inception of the country to his coronation. You talk about the other guys, look in your own house first. The housing bill that brought down the market was penned by Chris Dodd, a democrat. TARP was a democrat bill. The bail outs.. all of it was penned by democrats. You blame bush for being stupid enough to sign all of that and give the masterminds a complete pass. Bush was an idiot, but the Dems knew full well what would happen when they pushed it all. They bring down the economy and bush gets all the blame. They figured they could fix it and look like heros and they cant. Everything they do just makes it worse. The republicans havent gotten a single bill through since obama was in office. If you dont like legislation that has been pushed through, then u should look at the actual writer and head master, Reid. 3 years later, this is a 100% democrat problem. Dont fall for their constant blaming of the other side. They were given full control and it got worse.

16. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I never tried to sway anyone's opinion. I just said don't vote against your own best interest. You say Obama wanted to raise taxes on anyone making more than $31,000...when was this? Because when Obama tried raising taxes, it was only only the top 2%, people making more than $100,000. But the republicans said no! Then he raised it to $250,000, and what did the republicans say??? NO! When Obama wanted to extend unemployment benefits, the republicans said, "NO! Not unless you extend the Bush tax for rich people"! Obama: We may not like it, but we have to bail out the banks and auto manufactures to prevent a depression. Republicans: What's the worse that can happen? Let em' fail! Obama: let's work together to create jobs and put people back to work. Republicans: Our number one priority is to get you out of office and that's it. Obama: Everyone in the country should have healthcare. Republicans: Boo! Let me die! Obama: I was born in Hawaii. Republicans: Show us your real birth certificate, ya MUSLIM! I can go on and on about the same old DO-NOTHING republicans that would rather see this country go to sh*t than to allow Obama to be the one that rights this sinking ship. I wasn't trying to get info a political debate on PHONEarena. All I'm saying is if you are going to vote republican, vote for one that has your best interest at heart. Their are republican congressmen and senators that would never make it to the national stage because they can't sink low enough! They actually have their constituents in mind and not just big business lobbyist. And to be perfectly honest, they are too intelligent to get the nomination! I vote for whoever I think will have my best interest at heart, and if you think that's wrong, that's your opinion. But best believe, I know the facts before I vote. I have plenty of issues with President Obama, but when I match his policies and ideas against republicans, it's obvious who will work to better my life.

17. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Lol, find me one bill that Republicans were pushing for that would have helped out you? Unless you were making a million dollars a year then their bills would have been fine and dandy for you. You talk big but name one bill that would have helped the people the vast majority of people that do not make up that 3% of excessively rich. This country is broken, the politics is broken but if you think that the GOP is about the working man you are clearly off your rocker. There might be fringe Repub who care for the common man, but the fact that they splintered themselves into the Tea Party goes to show you that there is a greater problem. A house divided against itself cannot stand. There are too many special interests backing sides, too much shadowing. The lobbying with big bucks to sway candidates. This is how democracy works? Until we get transparency as to what is going on this will continue. Why is lobbying allowed to have such influence, because to campaigns need money to put together all these shindigs and what not. You say Obama caused more debt in 3 years...what you blind? Did he magically all of a sudden have to pay countries for something he signed? No it's long standing debt from over the years, you must watch a lot of FOX news. The House is Repub majority and has been that way for majority of Obama tenure...so you might want to change the channel from Fox to other news that don't try to paint themselves(republicans) as the saviors of the country. Mind you I find both parties to be disgusting and misleading and double talking at times, but we have to side with one and back them when they are in office and hope they steer us right. You would think that when a president is in office that his subordinates would advise him and try to keep the nation viable, but since he hit office it's been a war all the way until today and it's clear that it's not only Demo/Repub but just the tint of that skin. Pretend all you want, but I read it, watched it and heard it. This country is still full of bigotry, hate and racism(in high ranking positions) and you say that we have come far, some have others won't. America the leader of the free world, but our problem is when will be free of our own demons? This country is viable for one reason and you all probably know what it is, name the one nation that this country supports no matter what. If you can name that country then you are a individual that knows what will happen should this country turn it's back on that nation. Change is coming, prepare yourselves there is no turning back and it cannot be stopped.

18. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

For once remixfa we agree. Obama is playing the blame game and can't realize the effects of his policies on the economy. He has failed to reconize simple economics and I am affaird looking at the dreadful republican candidates that we might be due for another 4 years of the same. Whateverman there is no way an american company made phones at competive prices.

19. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I did it for 4 and a half wonderful years at Motorola. It can be done, but that's the excuse they give to silence the critics. Think about it my friend, it just works out better for the companies to project their greed on us. To say that all the high wages and benefit they have to pay to us selfish Americans are the problem. But the fact that the average CEO makes a whopping 300 times more money than their average worker. CEO definintly deserve to be well paid, but com'on. In 2010, the average CEO took home more than $11 Million in total compensation, enoght to support hundreds of thousands of jobs! The cuts really need to come from the top to remain competitive, not the grunts.

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I lubs ya, wem, but you're broad and inaccurate representations of everything you just said show that your eyes are closed to what's really been going on. A little research by non biased sources would help greatly. And letting the bush tax cuts "expire" is a tax increase. It's a different word that does the exact same thing. Three only difference is he can continue to blame bush for that...even though it's his decision to do so. Bio, Im not exactly enthralled by our choices to beat obama, but any one of them would be better, if not even just a little bit.

24. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Don't get mushy on me while I'm being a hardass! :) Those tax cuts should expire and the top 1% should pay their fair share of taxes. Why should they pay less than you or I? And that's exactly the group screaming the loudest. The taxes would simply return to the rate they paid when Clinton was in office, you know when we all had much more money in our pockets. It also helps that we are no longer fighting two wars. My only wish is that Obama had the backbone of GWB to push through all the policies we needed when he had the majority. Bush didn't care what anyone thought about his horrible desicions, he just rammed them through, and I wish Obama would have done that 2 years ago instead of trying to work with people who had no interest in working with him. But hey, at least he'll have another 4 yrs to correct that. (Com'on...could you really see yourself saying President Gingrich? The very thought of it makes me want to move to Canada!) P.S. We agree more often then not, so you know I still lub you too, man!

27. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the top 5 percent pay 52% of all taxes in america. What exactly is their "fair share"?? why should your tax % go up to some crazy high number just because you made smart decisions in your life? Thats punishing success. You also bitch about how much CEOs make and all that other nonsense, right? Yet you want to go back to a draconian 60%+ tax on "the rich".. what do u think is going to happen? they run the company. they will either find a way to pay themselves more for the trouble, or lay off some people. The answer isnt punishment and tax. Its less tax for EVERYONE and a government that can live within those tax boundaries and not put us in debt. We went 200 years without an income tax and it was the best 200 years of growth in this country. We didnt start a socialistic regressive income tax until the early 1900s. The less taxes you pay, the more money is in your pocket, the more money you spend.. .the more you " spread the wealth" through capitalism. Everyone wins that way. When the government takes it, no one wins.

21. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Just as a point, there was a Nokia factory where I used to live in melbourne fl, making those awesome old Nokia candy bar phones we used to love. It can be done. But good luck getting apple to cut it's huge profit margins to make it happen.

14. droidguy2323

Posts: 55; Member since: Sep 23, 2011

I'm for obama but if I got billions in offshore accounts and the government wants me to bring it back. So they can tax the sh*t out out it and then tell me I need to make jobs. Sh*tting me.

15. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Lol, reading the comments in here is interesting. We wonder why large companies are using labor in countries such as China and India? Simple reason the American worker won't work for such low wages end of story. High pay at manufacturing will result in higher overall price of the product and someone will have to foot that bill, either the seller or the consumer. Guess what, neither would like to do that...but if you look at it you see that the business would rather make more money than come back here. I say fine, that is their choice. So they will be taxed accordingly, don't proudly call yourself an American company but refuse to help your own economy that basically created you. @remixfa you are usually well spoken but your second comment is incredibly broken. What side are you speaking from? You say that the U.S. moved away from manufacturing a long time ago and say we get paid too much because the process needs to be cheap? Then you say that there is too much Union BS involved? Then we skip down to "We've shot ourselves in the foot by refusing anything less than high standard american working conditions." yea, no idea what's going on there. You sound like one of those flip-flopping politicians in an election year. Your comment about Unions is one I understand but make no mistake they are very useful and they do help secure payment for services. Some Unions are a bit ridiculous, like the UFT and their bold faced blundering, but a lot do their best to protect their members. I am a Union worker and I have watched it in action. Let's put it this way, everything underground in this city was built by our Unionized workers(yes the people that live here built it) and let me tell you it's hazard pay you can die at anytime. Without the Union backing us up, the contractors would have not paid us the wages and to show you just how much the union secures for such work is based on the overall cost of the job itself. A few years ago the Union secured $108 per worker, yes read that right $108. It was broken down to $33 an hour in direct to paycheck money and the rest was put into a savings account for each worker and other accounts that the workers could tap into multiple times a year if they so needed. Yes unions aren't all good or straightlaced but they are beneficial and are needed to help secure the working man a job with some sort of security. You are very correct about manufacturing not being a part of the U.S. economy, there just isn't enough willing to work for such low wages to support it. Large corporations won't want to take the hit and well that is their choice. Key thing is how do you support the American economy when you are getting your labor outside of the U.S.? How are they putting money into the U.S. economy? Well it's a choice and if Toyota and other large corporations can build plants in the U.S and sell their product here they come across more American than Apple does...go figure.

22. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

its pretty much accepted that manufacturing is screwed as long as americans refuse to pay more for american made products, so instead we shoudl be strict on imported products and tariff the hell out of them. We have been way too lax on imported products which cause our own manufacturing efforts to die, that's the way to bring back manufacturing, tariff the import products so much that the companies bringing it in would see greater incentive in bringing the work here. We dont have to worry about other countries punishing us in exchange because our main export is FOOD, and unless they want to starve they will buy, LOL. And its not like the companies will refuse to do business because America is still the #1 consumer based economy, our economy is based on spending, we buy more of the companies products than all other countries, and its not like we will stop buying.

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

sad point .. today's news highlighted the fact that we now import more food than we export. though without our massive grain exports the world would still go to hell. we just have a love of seasonal foods... all year round.. which requires massive imports.

28. SweetLou

Posts: 17; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

too many people know too little about politics, be it left or right, to be debating it so fervently. Partisanship will be the death of us.

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