I love this post, titled Steve Jobs: A One Percenter, Gordon Gekko In Turtleneck. For some reason I am riffing on OWS tonight, but the ignorance of many of these people is startling.
This was a nasty, vindictive man who laid off workers en masse, bragged about stealing ideas from competitors, belittled his employees with screaming tirades laced with oaths and imprecations, overburdened them with heinous work schedules, cheated his best friends and oldest colleagues when it came time to distribute shares, outsourced everything he could to Chinese factories that employ child labor under dangerous conditions, practiced a cruel Darwinian meritocracy that disdained diversity, lied constantly out of pure habit, sicced the government on his chief business rival, possessed a “Nietzschean attitude that ordinary rules didn’t apply to him”, and even denied paternity of his firstborn child. Then he took credit for the work he practically whipped out of people while posing as a benevolent sage. His name was Steve Jobs.
Was Jobs a great businessman? Of course. Was he a genius? The Isaacson book supplies much fodder for arguing either way. What there can be no doubt about is that Jobs was a full-on, unapologetic capitalist, with all that implies. He was hypercompetitive, merciless, exploitative, cold-hearted and underhanded. You can’t loathe capitalism and yet somehow revere this indomitable symbol of it. Steve Jobs may have been a god but he was no saint.
And apparently Jobs leased a new Mercedes every 6 months, due to a California loophole, whereby leased cars can be driven without license plates for up to six months! Ha.
Oh, and when my Dad says “I saw Richard Epstein on the New Hour on PBS and he was awesome” you know you have to watch this.
For my interview with Epstein, see here.