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Free Minds & Free Markets

Liberals Greet Apple Watch With Fresh Assault on Company

According to the left, Apple "didn't build that." Big government did.

The Apple watch goes on sale Friday, and, just in time, the left is preparing a new assault on the world’s most-admired company.

The signal came in The New Yorker magazine, a publication that embodies elite left-wing political sensibilities and one that has also happily accepted its share of Apple advertising dollars over the years. It came in a New Yorker article written by Jill Lepore, a professor at Harvard University, an institution that rivals The New Yorker as an elite left-wing flagship and that has also sold its share of Apple products over the years.

The key passage in the New Yorker article went like this: “The iPhone exists, as Mariana Mazzucato demonstrated in her 2013 book ‘The Entrepreneurial State,’ because various branches of the U.S. government provided research assistance that resulted in several key technological developments, including G.P.S., multi-touch screens, L.C.D. displays, lithium-ion batteries, and cellular networks.”

What a breathtaking claim. By this analysis, Apple’s success isn’t the result of Steve Jobs’s brilliance or Apple executive Jonathan Ive’s design savvy or international trade. It’s the product of the U.S. government.

I must confess that I find this claim troubling. Even if one concedes that various components and technologies in the iPhone—and in the Apple watch—had origins in the U.S. defense technology, this explanatory framework leaves a lot to be desired. Why did Apple successfully commercialize the technology and not some other company or branch of the government? Why are Apple stores so much more pleasant to be in than, say, a post office or a veterans’ hospital waiting room. Why does the online Apple store work so much better than Healthcare.gov?

Searching for answers, I bought Professor Mazzucato’s book. Disappointingly, there is a lot of nasty name-calling. One chapter title refers to “rotten apples,” as if the author were an ill-behaved youngster insulting someone as a “rotten egg.” Private businesses—Apple included—are repeatedly described as “parasitic,” an unwelcome contemporary twist on the age-old anti-Semitic libel of capitalists as blood-suckers.

Typically of the left at its worst, the book not only refuses to seriously engage with different views, it denies even the possibility that they can exist. “It is indisputable that most of Apple’s best technologies exist because of the prior collective and cumulative efforts driven by the State,” Professor Mazzucato writes. Got that? “Indisputable,” as in, impossible to dispute.

Mazzucato, who teaches at the University of Sussex in England, declares on her website that her current research is funded by the Ford Foundation, by the European Commission, and by George Soros’s Institute for New Economic Thinking. Maybe in her next book she’ll explain how the government is responsible for the outperformance of Soros’s hedge fund, or for the invention by Henry Ford of the Model T. (The Ford Foundation no longer has anything to do with the auto company, though it did occur to me that Mazzucato’s writings about the “parasitic” private sector might have been something that the Henry Ford who distributed “The International Jew” could relate to.)

Until then, one must wonder at the urgency of this cause. Why is it so important for the left to show that the government, not Apple executives or investors, deserves the credit for Apple’s success? The answer is right there in Professor Mazzucato’s book: she’s afraid that giving Apple rather than the government the credit will result in “denying the State its reward (via taxes…).”

Never mind all the sales taxes generated by the sale of Apple products, and never mind all the capital gains taxes generated by the astronomical rise of the company’s stock, and never mind the income taxes and payroll taxes paid by the company’s employees. Mazzucato’s view is that Apple doesn’t pay enough tax. The claim about the government’s role is the company’s success is at the core of her accompanying claim about the justice of increased taxes, miraculously transforming the tax collection from a government confiscation of the fruit of private industry into a “reward” the state duly earned for its “indisputable” efforts.

If this argument sounds familiar, it should. It’s not confined to some obscure book by a European academic or even to the pages of the New Yorker—it’s the fight at the center of contemporary American politics.

In 2011, then-Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren said, “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.” In 2012, President Obama said, “you didn’t build that.” In 2014, Hillary Clinton claimed, “Don’t let anybody tell you that corporations and businesses create jobs.”

These are all variations on the Apple watch argument. The left-wing politicians want you to thank them for the watch instead of thanking Apple. And they want to seize a larger share of Apple’s profits in taxes so they can spend the money on things that are a lot less useful than Apple products.

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  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAaaaaaaaaa

    Apple will be eaten by its own proggie customer base.

  • Suicidy||

    I buy their stuff and I'm well known here for advocating the mass....attrition of progressivekind. I suppose I'm the exception that proves the rule.

  • Private FUQ||

    I have a MacBook Pro that I wouldn't trade for anything. It has been the best laptop I have ever owned. But I would rather use Android/Windows/Linux for everything else. If the government ran everything I wouldn't have all these options that let me use the device best suited for my needs.

  • Ron||

    don't worry thanks to net neutrality soon everything will work the same, poorly.

  • ||

    yeah I am no progressive yet i use an iPhone and have an iMac I used just before I switched back to linux.

    Thing is apple stuff lasts. My iPhone is 5 years old and keeps on chugin. Hell my Nokia brick from years ago did not last that long. My iMac i bought in 2008 and it still boots just fine. It is pretty rare for a PC to last that long without repair.

  • Rhino||

    This is true, but i think it may be because IOS is proprietary and so it doesn't go through as much change as Android does being open source. My company gave me a Droid Bionic when i started in May 2012. By January 2014, I had to wipe off all the apps i could in order to keep it from lagging so bad that i couldn't answer phone calls because the droid's processor couldn't keep up with the requirements of new technology and operating systems. The background apps killed my phone. Took it to the Verizon store and the tech said it was dead technology.

  • John Galt||

    Heh,heh,heh very amusing.

  • Happy Chandler||

    I'm not sure what comes across as more touchy, the accusation that "parasitic" is anti-Semitic or the idea that government research contributes to the success of the iPhone.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    It's a very apt metaphor. Jews were constantly relegated to dirty jobs, such as merchants and bankers, because they were too dirty to handle noble jobs like farming or the aristocracy. When they became successful and their work was in demand by spendthrift aristocrats, they were denigrated as parasites to make confiscation of their wealth seem less grubby.

    Same thing here. Academics and progressives can't stand real work, so they take pure jobs, like professor of philosophy, and when the filthy capitalists make money, they must be denigrated as parasites to make confiscation of their wealth seem less grubby.

  • Nick W B||

    Is calling capitalists parasites a bad metaphor? Yes it is. Is calling capitalists parasites an insulting metaphor? Of course. Is calling capitalists parasites a metaphor that aims to move the argument to ad hominem attacks by resorting to name-calling instead of a discussion of facts and principles? Obviously, yes. Is calling capitalists parasites a metaphor that shows how poorly thought out this guys reasoning actually is? Yes again.

    Is calling capitalists parasites an anti semitic metaphor? No. Remember, you can be an fatuous half-wit without being anti semitic.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    All that blather for ... that?

    You get 99% of the way towards admitting the similarity, then make a u-turn. Actually, I'm not sure at all what you are trying to say. But you seem to have had fun typing it.

  • Nick W B||

    Fine I'll dumb it down for you.

    It no anti semite.
    It stupid though.

    Better?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    No, you are still stupid.

    It's not anti-semite. It's LIKE anti-semitism, which is like other similar elitist put-downs of competent people who don't please the elites.

  • Nick W B||

    Its like a lot of things. But by invoking the inflammatory term "anti-semite" you are helping push the conversation further down in the gutter in a name-calling ad hominem screamfest.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Academics and progressives can't stand real work, so they take pure jobs

    There is nothing "pure" about my job.

  • AlexInCT||

    That's what she said!

  • PapayaSF||

    You all know the matrix:

    Good things in the private sector? Thank government.
    Good things in the public sector? Thank government.
    Bad things in the private sector? Blame the private sector.
    Bad things in the public sector? Blame the private sector/lack of government.

  • Kenner||

    The US Taxpaying Citizen can be THANKED for starting businesses, providing items & services that people purchase, thus providing TAX REVENUE that funds those idiots in Govt.

    Jill Lepore thinks nothing of the Taxpayer and only of the Leviathan Govt that sucks up as much money as it can, borrowing what it can’t take and spewing forth that which the Taxpayer funded. Waste, fraud and abuse are the chief elements of the those who’s money is not at stake, HeathCare.gov comes to mind. Corporations, partnerships, athletes, entrepreneurs, those who work through great effort to accomplish, can ill afford to be so wasteful.

    So when I hear people spewing the kind of drivel that Jill Lepore is, I look for their level of achievement through great effort and I find NONE in comparison to the actual achievers.

  • plusafdotcom||

    What Lepore missed is that Apple's success was based on R&D funded by tax dollars paid to the Government!...

    So, Obama was wrong... I DID BUILD THAT!

    Jill, you wanna get pissed at ME for having contributed to Apple's success? Go right ahead.
    See what that gets you...

    What a twerk...

  • John Galt||

    That pretty much sizes it up.

  • ||

    "You didn't build that" was something festering in the deepest recesses of the prog mind for a long time, but it was Obama putting it like that that gave them their way to articulate it. Any possible way to lay claim to the possessions and labor of others, they will take. Because they are complete and total parasites.

  • Zeb||

    Well, we have always had people telling us that we wouldn't have this or that if not for the military or NASA or whatever.
    Before I realized why that was bullshit, I never thought of it as denigrating anyone's work or products. It just seemed like a sort of interesting observation
    I wonder, is it a new thing to use this as an argument tearing down entrepreneurs and creative people, or am I just more cynical and/or paying more attention?

  • kbolino||

    The distinct concepts of sufficiency and necessity are very difficult for people to distinguish for some reason.

  • ||

    you didn't build that is particularly stupid. the government didn't build any roads. the contractors did. and if they claim that paying for it is the true act of buildng something then the mass of dem voters don't build much of anything ever.

  • kbolino||

    and if they claim that paying for it is the true act of buildng something then ...

    ... the government has been building a class of unproductive and dependent people through welfare payments.

    Nah, couldn't be.

  • Puddin' Stick||

    ... the government has been building a class of unproductive and dependent people through welfare payments.

    Well, they consume goods and services without jobs so they have a multiplier effect.

    Lord Keynes just thought it would be people like him who would be subsidized to be consumer and not produceers.

  • rocks||

    "the government didn't build any roads. the contractors did."

    And the taxpayers paid for it. The government is nothing more than the intermediary.

    Once people understand that, they can also see that other intermediaries are possible which would also result in the construction of roads and other services, but without the government.

  • Juice||

    The government is nothing more than the violent intermediary.

  • Cyto||

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Not only complete and total parasites, but perhaps the worst sort - moral parasites. The entire "You didn't build that" line is a means to erase or eradicate the moral worth of one's creative effort. It's roughly the equivalent of saying the man or woman who painted a beautiful work of art is no different (or only different by accident of genetics or circumstance) from the layabout who sat around eating bon-bons all day. Forget about the time and effort to learn their craft. Forget about the soul searching to put together their work. Nope. Their achievement is just a social achievement that they're unfairly laying claim to.

  • ||

    I hesitate to even mention this because it makes my blood boil so much, but most creative efforts require overcoming government road blocks at every step. People succeed despite extreme resistance from the government, and progressives still believe government made those successes possible.

  • Juice||

  • ||

    The cult of envy, moreover, dictates that people only see the end result of a successful business and pass judgment on the owner as being 'lazy' once he or she begins to enjoy the fruits of their labor (labor, I might add, they stole from other people by purposely keeping their wages low). They don't see or worse, refuse to see, the PROCESS - all the blood, sweat and tears so to speak - of building a business on your own. The government wasn't there when you ensured you made payroll or paid rent or covered your loan, made sales etc. The government, in fact, would just as fast ruin you if you missed a payment to them. That they overlook thoughl

    But, hey, you built a business on roads the government apparently built ergo you owe them and society at large. That's what they come up with. It's retarded.

    Parasite raping the productive is all they are.

    It's an untenable and immoral belief they hold. It's so ridiculous that once stripped to its illogical end, is nothing but naked envy and ignorance.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    It's an untenable and immoral belief they hold.

    It's not only immoral, it's actively destructive of morality. It expects you to feel guilt for your being moral. All that blood, all that sweat, all that sacrifice, you're not supposed to be proud of any of it. You're not supposed to acknowledge that any of it got you your success. Your business was a success because it just happened to be on the right road. And the fact that you had that lucky spot means you should feel guilty about all the people who didn't.

  • sasob||

    But, hey, you built a business on roads the government apparently built ergo you owe them and society at large.

    Yes, government roads built and paid for with money confiscated in the form of taxes from successful businesses and workers.

  • You're Kidding||

    Ants and grasshoppers. But the grasshoppers have multiplied much faster than the ants. Probably because the government was taking from the ants and feeding the grasshoppers so they could breed.

  • Nick W B||

    If I recall correctly, it was Elizabeth Warren who first came up with it. Obama was just trying to maintain relevance in progressive community by emulating the new cool kid.

  • ||

    And soon enough, it found its way into Canadian political discourse. Chrystia Freeland, a Liberal twit and former editor of The Financial Fricken Times, has jumped on that meme as well as 'pay your share'.

    The last bit angers me since something like 20% of North Americans pay for the lion's share of all taxes. How much share do you want us to fucking pay?

    One side are parasites and the other are opportunists.

  • Nick W B||

    Is she at least doing it politely and in both English and French? That has to be a plus, right?

  • sasob||

    "You didn't build that" was something festering in the deepest recesses of the prog mind for a long time, but it was Obama putting it like that that gave them their way to articulate it. Any possible way to lay claim to the possessions and labor of others, they will take. Because they are complete and total parasites.

    Obama and his crew didn't build it either. That incompetent clown probably doesn't even know which end of a nail to hit with a hammer.

  • Zeb||

    Even supposing that none of the technologies in the iWatch would exist without givernment funding (which is an absurd suggestion), I'm not sure how that is an attach on the product.

    It seems like it is just an observation (a not very correct one) about how government affects or supports all industry.

  • Dweebston||

    Precisely. Government can throw gobs of cash into research, but it cannot create an efficient, profitable enterprise. Packaging the thing into a cost-effective product people actually want to buy at a price that will sustain the company and create value for investors, thus spurring more innovation, is a feat completely outside the government's demesne. And it's not throwing gobs of cash anywhere without piggybacking on the productivity of industry.

  • JW||

    It's funny how when I buy a product of any kind, the mfr doesn't insist that I must keep kissing their ass. I give them money and they give me stuff with value. We're done.

    OTOH, the drooling sycophants of this other entity, which has produced nothing but misery and death and demands that I give it money or else, insists that we face the seat of power and pray to it daily.

    Funny that.

  • Zeb||

    That's a good point. Let's unreasonably suppose those technologies wouldn't have come about without government funded R&D. So what? We already paid for those things and now they are in the public domain. Every tax payer has the same access to the same technologies. Apple using them doesn't take it away from anyone else, so why should the owe society something because of past government R&D projects?

  • JW||

    Their arguments are so fatuous, that you have to wonder why anyone is actually taking them seriously.

    The one thing that is serious about this *cough* professor, is how wrong she is. The "government" didn't create it. It may have provided funding, with wealth taken from the private sector, but *people* came up with the technology and the means to express it. More to the point, private companies figured out how to make money on it, by giving consumers something that they wanted. Gubmint only signed the first few checks, at best.

    I had the same argument with leftists over DARPANET and Internet. Without inventive and innovative people, the gubmint research would be worth jack and shit. It's like saying that the Wright Brothers invented the 747.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I've seen some people justify the FCC net neutrality regs on the idea that the government has an ownership claim to the entire internet because of DARPANET. Never mind that what the internet is today is because of the interacting developments of private companies over the last few decades.

  • Rich||

    And don't get me started on the idea that the government has an ownership claim to the Fast Fourier Transform.

  • d3x / dt3||

    Keep your dirty government hands off the FFT.

    NO JUSTICE
    NO PEACE

  • Jimothy||

    I've seen the same claim, and it's disturbing, because DARPA's contribution—while essential*—is comparatively minuscule to what we think of as the Internet today. If private industry hadn't gotten involved, no one outside of the DoD and perhaps universities would know about, care about, or have access to the Internet. And yet, this early but tiny contribution gives perpetual license to restrict, regulate and tax the vastly larger contributions of private industry and individuals.

    As Grand Moff Serious Man points out in another comment, it's as if you bought a Craftsman hammer and Sears claimed ownership of every structure you built. It's worse than that, even, because while your purchase of the hammer was voluntary, your funding of the DoD and ARPANET was not.

    * I qualify "essential" because it is naïve to assume that, absent ARPANET, an interconnected network would never arise. It's just as foolish to assume that, had it not been for ARPANET that the Internet, or something like it, would not exist, as it is to assume that if it weren't for Henry Ford, mass production of the automobile would never have occurred and we'd still be riding horses.

  • Jimothy||

    Allow me to break down this claim "the government invented the Internet" further, phrase by phrase:

    "The government": Which government? The federal government, via the DoD, of course played an important role in the early days of what would become the Internet, but so did researchers working at public state universities (among others). So does "the government" refer to the state of California? Or maybe the state of Illinois? Or maybe the various European governments behind CERN?

    "Invented". ARPANET was not the first computer network, of course. It built upon existing the concepts and technologies of existing networks, built by companies like AT&T and IBM. If the same logic were applied, IBM could claim authority over the U.S. government.

    "The Internet". ARPANET is not the Internet (nor does ARPANET exist any longer). While some of the technologies and concepts behind ARPANET are still relevant to the Internet today, what we think of as the Internet today bares little outward resemblance to what came out of the DoD. The contributions of Netscape, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, NeXT, Xerox (where Ethernet was invented), Google, AT&T, Cisco, Sun, and countless others (even such hated companies as Comcast) are so much larger than those of the DoD, that it's no more reasonable to credit "the government" with the creation of the Internet than it is to credit Sears for the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • ||

    It's important to remember that nothing on ARPAnet was ever even connected to anything we know of today as the internet. Every computer on ARPAnet was effectively hardwired into the network, so you couldn't just hook up new computers willy nilly. Researchers at universities essentially had to invent a new technology to create an open network that anyone could connect to. THAT is what became the internet, not ARPAnet. It was an open-source public alternative that university researchers came up with because ARPAnet was restricted so they couldn't use it for their non-DOD military work.

  • You're Kidding||

    WRONG!

    The internet was invented by Al Gore. Just ask him.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Who built the first jet airplane? Who built the first practical rocket engine?

  • Homple||

    The first jet was built by Heinkel. One could say the ancient Chinese made the first practical rocket engines.

  • Nick W B||

    I think its hilarious how people use the Internet as an example of how the government needs to provide the "basic research". Nevermind that much of the basic research on abstract concepts such as information theory that support the Internet was developed by Bell Labs and that ARPANET was intended as a practical network for the military.

    The fact that much of the technology used today was originally developed by/for the the military is not because they are much better at developing technology. Its because for a good part of the last century tons of money and resources were pushed into the military as part of the cold war. It was merely the setting, not the enabler.

  • ||

    I would argue that the telegraph is the internet. It did the exact same thing only that the processing was done by people rather CPUs.

  • Nick W B||

    That is a pretty big difference.

    Also, while they may appear similar from a functional point of view, there are plenty of differences in the implementation.

  • Juice||

    The government and arpanet were only one of the major players in the internet/networking game throughout the development.

    http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep.....the-state/

  • ElDuderino||

    I had an enormous tax bill this year. The last time I gave anyone that amount of money, I also drove home in a new fucking car.

  • Sevo||

    "[...]“It is indisputable that most of Apple’s best technologies exist because of the prior collective and cumulative efforts driven by the State,” Professor Mazzucato writes.[...]"

    And he left out the fact that they are delivered by trucks (undoubtedly developed by the gov't) on ROADZ!

  • Cyto||

    And they require the use of the public airwaves (radio spectrum). And they use the heavily regulated cell phone companies.

    Basically, they didn't do anything. They should just be taken over by the feds anyway.

  • Jimothy||

    And yet, even after doing all the real, hard work, government still couldn't do the simple task of giving us a phone that doesn't suck.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Jesus Christ, I grew up in (at least nominally) a Communist country, and this sort of thing would get laughed out of a newspaper after 1970 or so!

  • You're Kidding||

    Congratulations!

    Could you please shout this from every mountaintop to the myopic, complacent, easily duped, U.S. citizens?

  • OldMexican||

    Ira Stoll on the Left’s Bogus Attack on the Apple Watch


    ALL their attacks are bogus. That is why they're little red Marxians.


    "Because," replied the scorpion while the frog was slowly drowning, "that is what I do."


    That is what they do.

  • ||

    You didn't build that iThingy! Now give it to us, it's ours!

  • ||

    you didn't build that sandwich yet sweetcheeks?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    This is the same kind of crap as the claim that the government gets credit for the creation of the internet.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The government does do some things we find useful. And,historically, fostering networks before the buying public is willing to foot the bill on a cash-for-services basis is one of the government's better enterprises. Did the government set out to create the internet as we know it? No. But it did lay some of the foundations.

    Of course if the government was 100% responsible for the internet, it would be floundering around at about the level it was in, say, 1985.

  • ||

    And if the government wants to charge people for benefitting from the internet, it should be charging royalties and licenses fees, not demanding money randomly from anyone who happens to have some.

  • sasob||

    ...demanding money randomly from anyone who happens to have some.

    But that's what thieves do.

  • ||

    You've seen that Stonehenge thing?

    Some people think that is a religious site or some type of celestial calendar. Bullshit! That's where the government sat around and dreamed up big inventions. All of those castles that later appeared in England? The bureau of Stonehenge invented those!

    You know, we can't find the earlier structures, the ones where government invented fire and the wheel, because the government hadn't invented stone yet!

    I rest my case, you anti-science teabaglicans.

  • ||

    Look you benefitted from the invention of fire, didn't you? Society invented fire. So you owe society. See that guy over there living on welfare? you owe him, because fire!

  • sasob||

    Ah! But fire has already been paid for by the burning at the stake by his fellows of the poor sucker who invented/discovered it.

  • ||

    Right, why the fuck should I pay money to the descendents of the people who burned the inventor of fire at the stake?

    The only way this makes any sense is if you think of the entirety of society as a big amophous blog with not internal structure or cause and effect.

  • OldMexican||

    “The iPhone exists, as Mariana Mazzucato demonstrated [?] in her 2013 book ‘The Entrepreneurial State,’ because various branches of the U.S. government provided research assistance that resulted in several key technological developments, including G.P.S., multi-touch screens, L.C.D. displays, lithium-ion batteries, and cellular networks.”


    Actually, satellites are not a government invention; neither are cellular networks (we owe Hedy Lamarr and George Antheill for that). And LCD displays? Give me a break. Those come out of research done by RCA.


    What a breathtaking claim.


    You bet it is. It sounds like something taken from the Encyclopaedia Of The Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics.


    Private businesses—Apple included—are repeatedly described as “parasitic,” an unwelcome contemporary twist on the age-old anti-Semitic libel of capitalists as blood-suckers.


    You're completely WRONG, Ira. That epithet comes straight from Marxian Exploitation Theory - the one that was debunked and left for dead by Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. Little red Marxians really believe that capitalists' profits come straight from paying their workers less than the "true
    worth of their work. Little red Marxians have called capitalists "parasites" since 100 years ago at least.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    That's Hedley!

  • Pan Zagloba||

    +1 Almost Certain Academy Award Nomination for a Best Supporting Actor

  • d3x / dt3||

    It's twue! It's twue!

  • Sheriff Bart||

    +1 schnitzengruben

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Or +17?

  • ||

    Man's gotta know his limits.

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't understand. If the government contributes a single dollar to a research project, then the government gets all the credit. And by contribute I mean grants, tax breaks, public education (that includes state colleges), roads, regulations, and everything else. In other words, government gets all the credit for every invention ever. That includes the wheel and fire.

  • ||

    If the government contributes a single dollar to a research project, then the government gets all the credit.

    I *wish* they only contributed a dollar and then took all the credit.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Little red Marxians really believe that capitalists' profits come straight from paying their workers less than the "true
    worth of their work."

    I believe they call that the labor theory of value.

    And it is complete crap.

  • OldMexican||

    Marxian Profit Theory is premised on the Labor Theory of Value

  • AlexInCT||

    So it ignores the fact that government has no money that it hasn't confiscated from people by making them pay their fair share? By hat logic wouldn't we conclude that since the bulk of taxes are paid by the 1% they now own all these things the proggies say government creates?

  • sasob||

    Actually, satellites are not a government invention;

    If I'm not mistaken, the science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke is usually given credit for first envisioning the idea of telecommunications satellites. Weren't the Telstar satellites the first?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    the world’s most-admired company

    *dryheaves*

  • Suicidy||

    I admire Brazzers more than Apple.

  • You're Kidding||

    But, Brazzers look better on a high res Apple.

  • Chumby||

    +1 retina display touch screen.

  • Rich||

    And they want to seize a larger share of Apple’s profits in taxes so they can spend the money on things that are a lot less useful than Apple products.

    "Actually, those things are a lot *more* useful. It's just that we can't tell you about them."

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Why did Apple successfully commercialize the technology and not some other company or branch of the government?

    Other companies did. There were phones with the same feature set as the Iphone available almost two years before the iphone launch.

    As is typically the case, Apple copied another companies tech and then claimed to have invented it. And as is typically the case, apple fanboys like Stoll eat it up.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Apple has a long history of taking ideas that are already out there and packaging them in such a way that they suddenly sell. That,too, is a service.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Yes, but Jobs isn't remembered as great salesman. He's remembered as a tech genius, despite not knowing jack shit about tech.

    One of my pet peeve's as an engineer is slick MBA types who build a career off stealing credit for other people's brilliance.

  • Agammamon||

    Stop bitching about it, get an MBA, and start stealing other people's ideas.

    But, consider this - how many of those engineers with brilliant ideas had the knowledge and skillset to bring a product to market?

    There are probably a thousand different people who can take credit for some small part of a product but it was likely an MBA, trying to exploit a market niche that the current level of tech opened up, that made got the *product itself* made.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    So in your mind, James Taggart was the hero of Atlas Shrugged?

  • Overt||

    The idea that the first iphone was not novel is just absurd on its face.

    Prior to the iphone, the dominant player among smart phones was the treo and the blackberry. They had perfected a bunch of standard conventions among cell phone manufacturers. You needed a physical keyboard, not a touch screen. You needed just enough lcd real estate to view your emails and texts- really the main use for smart cell phones with contacts and reminders as followups.

    True to those above tennents, the primary market for smart phones were as productivity devices for enterprise and important VIPs.

    The iphone turned this on its head. It integrated the strong featured browser and itunes music as first class citizens, turning the phone into a full featured consumer device targeted at consumers, not business. The touch screen and swipe/app model were well done. Whereas trying to surf the internet on a treo was like driving your car with only a 4 inch square to look out of, the iphone made it rich and engaging.

    No, in and of themselves, the technologies used were not novel. But the integration of touch interfaces, wide format LCD, and the cellular technology were novel. This required substantial R&D- and yes, substantial technical expertise. You cannot read a description of all the technical decisions made over battery life and other design details without understanding this.

  • Overt||

    And btw, it wasn't just apple fanboys who bought the phone. It was a wide success that took all the manufacturers by storm as customers old and young adopted it. In the first years of production, a vast proportion of iphone activations were via the Windows Itunes application, not apple fanboys.

    (Note that there were still a lot of apple fan boys.)

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Again, this isn't true. There was a number of wide format LCD smartphones before the iPhone such as the LG Prada and the Samsung F700. Not to mention the various PalmOS devices from the 90s on.

  • Overt||

    The samsung F700 was released a mere 4 months prior to the Apple, the Prada 1 month ahead (February and May 2007). So it was not taken and repackaged as you indicated. It is pretty clear from Apple-Samsung litigation that multiple companies were working on this type of form factor for years.

    The palms had, by this time migrated to the Treos which generally relied on smaller screens and keyboards.

    No one is saying that other companies weren't playing with the ideas, but Apple completely dominated the market, not with fanboys or wide format touchscreen LCDs, or a browser, or fancy voicemail, or innovative touch/swipe heuristics. They did it by integrating it all into a far superior product that absolutely delighted consumers.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    That really is a retarded interpretation.

    Taking an existing set of technologies and reconfiguring them into a more useful amalgam is a perfectly legitimate creative action.

    Ellis Wyatt didn't invent oil drilling. Ken Danneger didn't invent coal mining.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Neither of them claimed to have done so. Jobs was constantly referred to as "the inventor of the smartphone".

  • Agammamon||

    Jobs *being referred to* and Jobs *claiming to* are not the same thing.

  • Agammamon||

    Uh, no.

    But I am pointing out that those guys 'stealing' from 'smarter' people is not what's happening.

    They are adding-value themselves. Even the *myth* that Jobs invented this or that helps make these damn Apple products more valuable.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Yes. And Bell didn't invent the telephone, and so on and on. And I will agree that Edison and Ford and a lot of the other "innovative geniuses" of Teh Narrative were swine.

    BUT

    No invention does anybody any damn good until it is spread. We do need to keep track of what a rotating bastard Edison was, but we also need to acknowledge what he actually did accomplish.

    Early Christianity and Confucianism share the train of despising the merchant, who moves product but does not make it. And one of the consequences of such beliefs is persistent poverty in countries that follow it too closely. We tend to do the same kind of thing to the likes of Jobs and Edison. We assume that, absent their marketing of ideas that somebody else came up with, the inventions they claimed credit for would have come along about as fast, and there really isn't one hell of a lot of evidence to support that. Centuries can pass with some piece of tech right under everybody's nose, and then somebody comes along and says "Hey, why don't we use A to do B" and suddenly a lot of people are smacking themselves on the head and thinking "Why didn't I see that?"

    The classic is the two ancient civilizations (Egypt and Sumer?) that both had the wheel. one used it for chariots, but not to mill grain, and the other used it to grind grain but not for transport.

  • ATXChappy||

    I had an iPaq with a cell phone attachment a full decade before the iPhone. It was a great little device, but a few too many years before it's time.

  • Agammamon||

    So did I - and before the iPhone, HP dumped the idea, thinking no-one really wanted this.

    One of the last iPaqs even had a spot in the case where a SIM chip could have gone if they had hooked up the hardware.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Apple copied another companies tech

    Kid, you are so full of shit, the whites of your eyes have turned brown. I was there at the iPhone launch, and it was ground-breaking. Palm Pilot, Danger, Motorola, all the rest of them were left in the dust.

    -jcr

  • Paul.||

    The point of government-funded R&D is that research goes into the public domain so that anyone may used it and profit from it if they can turn it into something that consumers want.

    I paid for that research, why shouldn't I be able to benefit from it by either buying products from someone who turned that research into something tangible and usable or using it myself to build something valuable?

  • Rich||

    The point of government-funded R&D is that some research goes into the public domain

    FTFY

  • ||

    Exactly. Why single out JUST the people who managed to make money?
    If you want people ot pay for technology they benefit from, charge them license fees or royalties.
    Duh.

    But that's no good, because that doesn't let us fuck over the RICH! How are we supposed to single out only special people we hate for extra taxes if we have to charge EVERYONE royalties?

  • Jerryskids||

    "You didn't build that" really does apply to the government. "The government" doesn't do jack without first taking the means to do so from the private sector. It wasn't government funding that birthed the internet, it was my funding. I built that.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    If the government had built the Apple Watch, it would weigh 45 lbs., have a battery life of minutes, and claim to do a lot of wonderful things that don't quite work. It would be years late and billions over budget, and various Congresscritters would be saying it was "to big to fail"

    You know, the watch equivelent of the F35.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    More like the watch equivalent of the Lada.

  • ||

    If the government had built the Apple Watch, it would weigh 45 lbs., have a battery life of minutes, and claim to do a lot of wonderful things that don't quite work.

    Apple leaks nude photos of Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence, and Yvonne Strahovski.

    Government-run Apple just chronically hemorrhages nude photos that are somewhere between mostly garbage and medical anomalies.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Instead it weighs half a pound and the battery lasts a day and a half.

  • d3x / dt3||

    You forgot to include that we would have to buy one.

  • thom||

    If the government built the apple watch it would be classified military tech.

  • ||

    This sort of argument also assumes that Apple hasn't in some sense already paid for the development of those technologies. After all they pay their taxes just like everyone else, and they are equally entitled to benefit from those technologies, so they don't owe anyone else anything special.

    In a sense, holding Apple as a specially beneficiary of stuff "we" built is holding Apple outside the "we". Is apple not part of the society that constructed those things? Have they not contributed to those technologies as much as the next man? Why does one think this is an "us" versus "them" thing, and what makes Apple the "them", as if they were outsiders begging permission to use something owned by someone else? They are just as much a part of this society as any other company and equally entitled to use GPS or any other publicly disclosed technology.

    If the government wants to hang onto patents and charge royalties for using patented technologies it holds, is can certainly do that. That is the correct way to recoup benefits of having developed a technology - charge people for using it. But if you're going to charge royalties to use GPS , or LCD displays, or whatever else, those royalties should apply equally to EVERYONE. You can't just single out Apple, or "big corportations" for using GPS because they make more money. And you can't just blindly charge people for making money out of proprtion to how much (or whether) they are even using them.

  • ||

    " Why does one think this is an "us" versus "them" thing, and what makes Apple the "them", as if they were outsiders begging permission to use something owned by someone else?"

    This is what bugs me about the whole "you didn't build that" argument. Elizabeth Warren has a similar speech she made at some point along the lines of "poor people pay taxes to make society and then you rich people benefit. Unfair!" As if rich people don't pay taxes. Or it doesn't count when they do. Or something.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Ah, but you see, all of us, rich or poor are "Them" to the Progressives. Stupid benighted peasants and rapacious robber barons alike; we exist to do as we are told by our "betters".

    There are times I wish they would get the Revolution they seek so devoutly. Watching a modern Stalin liquidate their silly asses would almost be worth putting up with the Fascist State that would be built on their bones.

    Almost.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why does one think this is an "us" versus "them" thing, and what makes Apple the "them", as if they were outsiders begging permission to use something owned by someone else?

    Because we are the government, and the corporations are them. You know, "We the people" and all that. Those three words mean that the government is us and we are the government. The government IS the people. Corporations are marauding thieves who steal from society as they force goods, services and jobs onto people who don't have any choice in the matter. Government coercion isn't really coercion because we're coercing ourselves, just as the debt doesn't matter because we owe it to ourselves. That makes it voluntary. Corporations though, what they do is coercion because people have no choice but to work for them and buy their products in order to survive. In addition, government is more efficient than the private sector because it doesn't siphon off immoral profits to greedy rich people.

    It feels true so it must be true.

  • John C. Randolph||

    they pay their taxes just like everyone else

    Actually, they pay a hell of a lot more than everyone else.

    -jcr

  • sasob||

    In a sense, holding Apple as a specially beneficiary of stuff "we" built is holding Apple outside the "we". Is apple not part of the society that constructed those things?

    The term society always includes everybody EXCEPT the poor bastard who's about to be thrown into the volcano to appease the gods.

  • toolkien||

    Well, one can only wonder just how much BETTER Apple might be at creating products if it WEREN'T bound by the protocols created/mandated by government. As it is, there's really only a calculation error involved in what Apple products cost, just as with any other nascent socialism behind all and everything. Apple may be using technologies invested in at large, and so the real cost of their products are hidden. But that's true in any facet of our corpora-fascistic economy. What's the REAL cost of labor when workers are subsidized via socialized transportation? What's the REAL cost of corn due to subsidies. What's the REAL cost of anything. We simply can't know. And that's the shame of it. The whole thing is one great big gray lump of smoke and mirrors. All we need to know is we are tens of Trillions in debt, the infrastructure is crumbling, we're involved in five wars at once, and we've got hundreds of thousands of people in metal and concrete boxes for ingesting entries on the naughty list. The system sucks. People are afraid of real "free markets" but it simply can't be WORSE than what we currently have.

  • Agammamon||

    Its considered perfectly rational to allow a government to expropriate all the oil fields within its geographical area and parcel out access to those resources to private companies for exploitation - this is just the same idea extended to IP.

    http://cafehayek.com/2015/04/y.....more-38859

  • ||

    Not really. If it was the same idea, the government would license technologies or charge royalties. Which would be fair, as long as the patents expire in the same amount of time as privately held patents.

    But that's NOT what they are advocating. What they are advocating is that all "rich people" should just pay higher tax rates willy-nilly, because it's all a big indistinguishable mush and leftists are mentally incapable of sorting out complex economic interactions, so they just assume that it's cosmically impossible to tell who benefits from GPS or LCD displays. Because they are morons whose knowledge of IP is limited to conspiracy theories about GM quashing developing of cars that run on water. So it's never occured to them that if you want people to pay for the development of new technologies, you patent them and charge royalties and license fees.

    Or maybe they have thought of that, but it doesn't quite serve their purposes. After all, if everyone has to pay license fees for GPS, then that doesn't let them disporoprtionately screw Apple, because they make more money.

  • Agammamon||

    Its the same *thinking* - that government is the legitimate rights holder because . . . *mumble* funded development *handwave* . . .

    This is what is used as justification for the 'fairness' of government being allowed to arbitrarily raise taxes and impose other fees.

    So, you find a huge resource cache and government *charges* for licensing *and* extracts whatever taxes they can get away with while a private company takes the risks and does the heavy lifting.

    Sure, the government is licensing IP *now* - but do you really think that Mazzucato and the NYT would come out against it if it were mooted?

  • ||

    The other thing is that patents expire over time and go into the public domain. But leftists basically want to charge you FOREVER for using shit that was invented before they were born, in a way that they would never suffer any private company to do.

    I bet anything they would actually be in favor of making patent lives even shorter, just to fuck over private inventors, which makes them massive hypocrites.

    Their entire argument boils down to "some shit happened so you owe everyone!"

  • Brian||

    It's so stupid.

    First, they say we need taxes and public works projects because we all benefit, and it's just so swell and awesome. It stimulates the economy and creates jobs! Everybody wins!

    Then, someone makes some money using the public works projects that they paid for, and, suddenly, they're "parasites". I thought using public works projects for the good of everyone was the point. Apparently, it's mooching.

    Whatever.

  • sarcasmic||

    But it's not for the good of everyone. We've got a problem with inequality you know. Unless the goods, services and profits are evenly distributed, then it's not fair. Not fair not fair not fair!

  • ||

    But society just emrges from the ether as a big indisiguishable mash of interconnectedness. There's no way to tell who deserves what, because the economy doesn't exist, or at least it's too hard for me to understand! Markets have nothing to do with producing the stuff people benefit from, NOTHING! it just pops out of "The People" full formed!!!

  • ||

    No, see, your problem is that you're thinking in terms of *money* and *what people deserve* instead of what people *need.* What sort of base materialist are you?

    Why do you hate children?

  • Agammamon||

    Which is exactly why its necessary for government to take charge! and ensure we all get what's coming to us, nice and hard.

  • sarcasmic||

    it just pops out of "The People" full formed!!!

    No. it is carefully nurtured and shaped by the loving hand of government. Government wills the market into existence, and then gives it shape through research grants and regulation. As it slowly forms under the watchful eye of its creator, it tries to destroy everything around it in its ravenous quest for profits. It's creator must reign it in to protect The People from what The People through Government have brought forth. Otherwise it will consume everything, which is what is happening right now as evidenced by the vast inequality that we see today. That inequality is the result of the Corporations controlling the Government from which they were spawned, and the solution to the Corporations controlling Government is more Government, because more Government will control the Corporations that control it. If that doesn't work, then obviously Government needs more power.
    And if that doesn't work, Government needs more power.
    And if that doesn't work, Government needs more power.
    And if that doesn't work, Government needs more power.
    And if that doesn't work, Government needs more power.
    And if that doesn't work, Government needs more power.
    And if that doesn't work, Government needs more power.
    And if that doesn't work, Government needs more power.
    And if that doesn't work, Government needs more power.
    And if that doesn't work, Government needs more power.
    Because Government is Us, The People.

  • ||

    In a real sense, this entire argument is a sleight of hand used to justify taking what is convenient without thinking much about fairness.
    Leftists are well known for their adamant refusal to understand basic economics, one part of which is that people get what they have through a series of market exchanges. They would like to wipe over all of that and pretend that all of the economy is a big murky mass in which it is impossible to distinguish who got what and how or whether they did so fairly. If it's a big, mysterious black box out of which randomly pop winners and losers, then why not redistribute? Nobody "deserves" anything.
    But if it's not a mysterious black box at all, but a complex, self-organizing network of voluntary exchange, production, incentives and rewards, then those who are rewarded are rewarded in proportion to the benefits they provide others, and they deserve what they receive.

    Saying that Apple benefits from government funded technologies, is a way of denying the very real chain of market transactions that Apple makes money off of matters. it's saying that all of society is a vast indistinguishable "we" that Apple is somehow outside of so it's getting something from "us" collectively, as if "we" all contributed to producing those things and they didn't.

  • sarcasmic||

    Um, no. Markets are a product of government. Without government creating regulation and controlling every aspect of any economic activity, then there would be no market. If government didn't tell people what to do, then no one would do anything. Government funds research because no one else will. Government makes roads because no one else will. Without government, everyone would lay down and die because no one would tell them what to do. Heck, without government telling parents to take care of their children, they'd all let their kids die. Without government our species would cease to exist. Government is the only reason we even exist as a species on the planet.

  • d3x / dt3||

    The funny part of that is that PBP or Tony would have posted that in all seriousness.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Is it just me, or does anyone else get the impression that both Lepore and Mazzucato would fit in perfectly with the villains in Atlas Shrugged?

    While Rand's heroes were often cardboard cutouts, the woman had villains down pat.

  • ||

    "While Rand's heroes were often cardboard cutouts, the woman had villains down pat."

    This. I've never met or witnessed a real person who resembles her heroes much (at least not placed in the social class she places them in), but boy her villains are everywhere . . .

  • ||

    Nevermind that if Apple owes anyone anything, maybe the people it really owes are the actual engineers and scientists who did the development. Not the government and not random nobodies all over society.

    Why the hell should they owe some random nobody welfare benefits for the use of the GPS system, when that person had nothing to do with producing GPS, or at least no more than every single one of Apples employees and shareholders?

    The way the progressives argue this, they say "why can't we say the deal is that you have to give people welfare benefits, in exchange for GPS". Again, as if Apple is some exterior nobody that has no right to have any say about the rules, the rules don't matter and "the people" can just take whatever they want because "we said so".

  • sarcasmic||

    Those engineers and scientists went to public schools. So government gets all the credit since without government, education would not exist.

  • ||

    But the government officials went to public schools TOO! OMG! IT'S LIKE A SNAKE EATING IT'S OWN TAIL!

  • Agammamon||

    Its like *god* Hazel. God was the cause of the universe but you don't go around asking what came before God.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Q: What was God doing before the creation of the universe?
    A: He was getting Hell ready for people like you.

  • sarcasmic||

    What was he doing before that?

  • sasob||

    Probably sitting on the can, daydreaming about nothing - since there was nothing else in existence.

  • Michaelmas||

    The acid and hateful tone of the Apple hating is incredibly strong, and inherently political in nature. ALL scientific and technological advances build upon a vast body of prior and existing products. That's how we advance, a lot of times, a key discovery or breakthrough results from a minor tweaking of existing products. BUT, that minor twist may be the key to make the product more accessible, or user-friendly. I know the left thinks that the government funds all of this research and invents everything, when in fact, just the opposite is true. 98% of all new drugs come from pharmaceutical research, from companies that spend billions of dollars in research and in satisfying arcane FDA requirements. From the discovery of fire, tools, the lever, the wheel, EVERY other discovery has built upon the broader base of knowledge. Utilizing this knowledge and finding even better ways to do things is called PROGRESS, and it is a good thing, not a bad thing. For example, the microwave came from WWII radar technology, but the first microwaves were incredibly expensive, poorly marketed, and ultimately a failure ( sounds like government in action ). The re-launch of this technology, focussing on time-saving properties and ease of use, rather than the science, was why we all own a microwave today.

  • ||

    But, you didn't create all that other stuff you're building on, THE PEOPLE did! And YOU are NOT "the people". We're the people. You're just an evil selfish capitalist and we get to tell you what to do. As a representative of the left, I represent the interests of billions of dead people that developed all those technologies, and I say that because someone not you invented fire, that you owe some members of THE PEOPLE (again, NOT YOU) some money. Also, I get to decide who belongs to THE PEOPLE and who doesn't.

  • sarcasmic||

    Now you're getting it. The People means everyone except you. When the police do The Will of the People, they are doing the will of everyone but you. When the tax man takes your money he is doing The Will of the People, and same thing when the bureaucrat spends it. They're doing The Will of the People which is the will of everyone but you, and you, and you, They're doing the will of Us, The People. Representation, as in voting, means it's everyone's will. It's exactly like The Divine Right of the King. Only instead of getting its power to rule from God, the King Government gets it from The Will of the People. Who are you to question it? To question the Representation is to question God.

  • Win Bear||

    I disagree with the left wing criticism of Apple. But let's be honest: for Apple, there is a huge discrepancy between the perception of technological innovation their marketing department has created and the reality. In reality, Apple has never invented anything of significance; what they have been good at is taking other people's inventions and creating successful products out of them.

  • Suicidy||

    Science needs to invent a cure for progressivism.

  • Mark22||

    The acid and hateful tone of the Apple hating is incredibly strong, and inherently political in nature. ALL scientific and technological advances build upon a vast body of prior and existing products.

    Techies have good reason to hate Apple: the company has ripped off a lot of other companies while contributing very little. And that observation has nothing to do with politics.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Didn't Ayn Rand address this line of thinking directly in Atlas Shrugged? Could swear one of the characters made a speech about how just because you didn't invent the hammer doesn't mean you don't own what you build with it.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    What I find most amusing is that the technologies that the socialists like to claim come from the government come predominantly from the one part of government they want abolished, i. e. defense.

  • hvera35||

    I'm making $86 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbour told me she was averaging $65 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I'm my own boss. This is what I do...
    ✒✒✒ www.Work4Hour.Com

  • XM||

    So that goodwill Apple bought by standing up to a pizza joint in Illinois just vaporized? Wow, that was unexpected.

    I guess the left can now go back to addressing allegations that Apple plants in China mistreated workers.

    Gosh, if all the beneficiaries of free market policies were non whites and gays, we'd be downright libertarian right now.

  • ||

    See? No amount of moral signalling about gay marriage is actually going make a difference to progressives, because what they really care about is taking your property.

  • Homple||

    The penny dropped.

  • ||

    According to the left, Apple "didn't build that." Big government did.

    Considering the passive rift Apple gained from previous and ongoing 'Anti-Trust' strong-arming that happened in the tech field, combined with the amount of active IP bludgeoning they've participated in, I'll be sure to pour some beer out on the keyboard of my iMac once their gone.

  • ||

    Yes, to be fair, it's not like Apple hasn't used the strong arm of the law against it's own rivals many a time. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    Still, perhaps they will learn a lesson from this.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I understand schadenfreude, but I also remember a wise quote about what happens when you don't fight the tyranny at your neighbor's door.

    The sort of "thinking" on display by Mazucatto is dangerous and needs to be fought no matter who it is applied to.

  • ||

    The sort of "thinking" on display by Mazucatto is dangerous and needs to be fought no matter who it is applied to.

    I don't live anywhere near Apple and I've never had to buy or upgrade any of Mazucatto's products for any arcane reason just to get simple tasks done or acquire a license to help support her and her ideas.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's less defending your neighbor, the Jew, from the Nazis and more defending your neighbor, the Neo-Nazi, from the Soviets.

  • Bubba Jones||

    But Hillary is what democrats call a centrist.

  • Brian||

    Hey, politicians? You know that government you're running? You didn't pay for that.

  • gaoxiaen||

    But they did build it. And build it. And build it.

  • ||

    And buy built it you mean hired contractors.

    Ross Perot 2016!!!!

  • sasob||

    Is that old fart still kicking?

  • Spaceno42||

    I'm sorry but this amused me. So the left isn't worried about you know slavish labor in China, or pollution from making the watches, or rampant customizes between it's basically the same phone every year but shiner, they just want their cut.

    I'm not an Apple fan, I think ITunes is horrible and like to be able to customize my phone, but the left...

    Wow I can't even say except I am Groot. The government planted a tree. That tree made oxygen. All oxygen is now owned by the government

  • sasob||

    ...they just want their a cut.

    ftfy

  • sasob||

    damn tags

  • ||

    It really is mind-boggingly astonishing how far people will go to defend and praise the government.

    And then they get angry when you call them envious socialists or commies.

    What else can it be at this point?

  • ||

    I don't even think they like the government that much. They just like other people's money.
    The government is merely a means to an end.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's wrong to steal, but when government does it for you it's not stealing. Because might makes right.

  • Chumby||

    You didn't design that, Braun did. Like thirty years ago.

  • Zeb||

    The funny thing about the "you didn't build it" thing is that it is true, but the government is only a small player in the whole thing. All of our technology is the result of generations of scientists and engineers hard work. And it is great exactly because no one owes anyone anything for it. It was almost all done willingly and often profitably.
    It's not so much that the people saying "you didn't build that" are wrong, but that they totally miss the point.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Apple not only stands up for gay marriage, but defend the "right" to coerce small businesses. Shouldn't the Left give them some gratitude?

  • ||

    Apples mistake was showing weakness with their hyperactive social signalling. Never show weakness to the left. Once they know that your fear them and crave their approval they will turn on you.

  • LynchPin1477||

    The correct response is, "So what?"

    Yes, Apple benefited from things "the government" helped pay for. That's true of all of us to some degree or another.

    And we pay our taxes, so even if you want to ignore the obligatory nature of taxes and treat this exchange as being analogous to a private transaction, the "deal" was concluded when we payed.

    After all, isn't the point of the government investing in this type of research to promote the "common good"? Apple is doing exactly what the government ostensibly wanted it to do when it invested in this research: use it.

    And of course, Apple had no say in whether or not the government invested in these technologies. So to hold their feet over the fire for something they 1) had no part in and 2) is the purported desire of government investment is beyond disingenuous. It's evil.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And I often hear bullshit from conservatives like "Warren Buffett didn't earn his $50 billion. He is a crony capitalist! Only conservatives are real capitalists!"

    It is the same bullshit Stoll writes about but different TEAM!!

    TEAM RED! GO GO GO!

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Peter Caca,

    And I often hear bullshit from conservatives like "Warren Buffett didn't earn his $50 billion.


    Really? You talk to conservatives?

  • LynchPin1477||

    There is a difference between taking advantage of what government does without actively advocating for it and actually pushing for laws or policies that favor you or hurt your competition. I don't obsess about Buffet or Apple so I don't know to what degree either engages in the latter. My guess is both, to do some degree. And that is wrong.

    It is the same bullshit Stoll writes about but different TEAM!!

    Right, because Apple is first company that comes to mind when you think of Republicans.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Someone should tell Apple (which is filled with liberals) that conservatives are mocking someone who wrote a book about the company and said something stupid in it. I am sure that they will suddenly all run to Team Red for protection.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Peter Caca,

    Someone should tell Apple (which is filled with liberals) that conservatives are mocking someone who wrote a book about the company


    I can tell Apple that little red Marxians love to eat their own and that there's nothing anybody can do to keep little red Marxians satisfied once they have a taste of human blood.


    What do you think? Would that be more useful to Apple that what you want someone else to tell them?

  • Quincy, 12D||

    Let's go full prog here: Most of the rare earth elements that make so much high tech possible were first isolated by Swedes working for the Bureau of Mines. Make Apple mail a check to Stockholm.

  • LynchPin1477||

    The Swedes didn't make those elements. You can thank supernovae for that. Mail a check to the astronomers!

  • Quincy, 12D||

    Supernova says you didn't build that!

    And what did you do, astronomers? You just watched it happen. You just watched a star explode and did nothing!

    You callous bastards!

  • LynchPin1477||

    Heh, I'm going to start asking people during talks if they ever stopped to consider the civilizations wiped out by supernovae.

  • Quincy, 12D||

    The aliens' globes were warming so they had it coming. Don't worry about it.

  • Win Bear||

    What a breathtaking claim. By this analysis, Apple’s success isn’t the result of Steve Jobs’s brilliance or Apple executive Jonathan Ive’s design savvy or international trade. It’s the product of the U.S. government.

    Well, the argument may take your breath, but as far as Apple is concerned, it is essentially correct: very little technology has ever been invented at Apple. Apple's strengths have been quality control, marketing, and sales, not technology and probably not even engineering.

    It is also true that government spent a shitload of money on many of the technologies Apple and other high tech companies use, in the form of research grants, stipends, and funding of public research institutions. Acknowledging that fact isn't the same as saying that it was money well spent.

    The argument against public funding of research is not that it hasn't yielded a lot of great results, because that's hard to dispute. The argument against public funding of research is that the money probably would have yielded more results if it hadn't been taken out of private hands in the first place.

  • Sevo||

    Win Bear|4.20.15 @ 8:43PM|#
    "What a breathtaking claim. By this analysis, Apple’s success isn’t the result of Steve Jobs’s brilliance or Apple executive Jonathan Ive’s design savvy or international trade. It’s the product of the U.S. government."

    Well, the argument may take your breath, but as far as Apple is concerned, it is essentially correct: very little technology has ever been invented at Apple."

    No, it isn't. Regardless of Apple's skills, it was NOT the product of the US gov't.

  • Win Bear||

    No, it isn't. Regardless of Apple's skills, it was NOT the product of the US gov't.

    In fact, leftists have a reasonable argument that much of the technology used in Apple devices was initially funded by the US government.

    But that isn't an argument for government funding, any more than than the fact that the majority of US students is educated in public institutions is an argument for public funding of education.

    Are you capable of reading beyond the first sentence of anything? Did you make it to the second sentence this time?

  • sgreffenius||

    I like it that Mazzucato capitalizes the word State in her book. If the State is that entrepreneurial, maybe it should levy taxes on itself. I wonder how that would work?

    It's actually a truly strange argument, that government is essential to innovation, job growth, and business formation. Government has made it so hard to start a business, add jobs, or launch innovative products that it's hard to believe we still see these things happen. Wondrously, they do. If you want to give credit to government for these things, you have to show how much growth we would have had without government involvement in the economy. Data for that counter-factual don't exist, and never will. Engaging in this argument is a waste of time, for people on the left, and elsewhere.

    Thank you, Ira, for point to the argument's driving motivation: to collect more taxes from business firms! There was a time, including JFK's presidency, when economists and policy makers who wanted to stimulate economic growth immediately thought of one tool: reduce business taxes. Now we are in economic trouble, and all you hear are arguments to extract more money from business firms!

  • widget||

    ...because various branches of the U.S. government provided research assistance that resulted in several key technological developments, including G.P.S., multi-touch screens, L.C.D. displays, lithium-ion batteries, and cellular networks.

    I love the unintended Jingoism in that. Like the Japanese, Koreans, Germans, et al, are chopped liver.

  • Timon 19||

    I despise Apple and think the Watch is a retarded waste of hipsters' money, but these attacks are retardeder.

  • widget||

    Apple software is Linux with a polished GUI. Tim Cook needs to write a big check to each of 1000s of open source programmers. He can afford it.

  • Sevo||

    widget|4.20.15 @ 11:31PM|#
    "[...]Tim Cook needs to write a big check to each of 1000s of open source programmers.[...]"

    Nope.
    Those folks said 'we'll work for free; we are wonerful, new era, we-don't-like-profits people'. He owes them a great big Bronx cheer.
    And they should prolly look for a paying job.

  • Win Bear||

    Those folks said 'we'll work for free; we are wonerful, new era, we-don't-like-profits people'.

    Try actually hiring some open source developers; you'll find that they get paid tons of money and very much love profits.

    He owes them a great big Bronx cheer. And they should prolly look for a paying job.

    Apple doesn't like a lot of open source software because a lot of free software comes with licenses that Apple finds inconvenient to exploit (they tried a few times, were threatened with legal action, and gave in).

    In fact, Apple's operating system is based on Mach and BSD. The people working creating those didn't work "for free" either; they were largely funded by government grants.

  • widget||

    I get that sevo. What's done for free is forever for free. What curls my toes is that Apple, with the wealth of King Tut, couldn't make a reliable IP stack. The basement kids did that for King Tim.

  • David Emami||

    Actually it's BSD-based, via NEXTstep. If it were Linux-based, they'd have to release the source due to it being under GPL.

  • ||

    Can't we just say Unix based?

    What ever happened to just calling stuff Unix based?

  • Win Bear||

    Can't we just say Unix based?

    Apple's operating system source code isn't based on UNIX source code, or on Linux source code; it is based on Mach and BSD source code.

    Apple's "UNIX-based" claims refer to the fact that it kind of works like a UNIX system. That's relevant in some contexts, but no in this context, namely who paid for the development of their software.

    UNIX was developed by Bell Labs, Linux was developed by a Finnish student in his spare time. Mach and BSD were largely created by government grants to universities.

  • widget||

    The kids who write the code don't read the license agreements. They don't care what it says. Grok that.

  • ||

    NEXT was coded before linux was a thing widget. Did those kids also not read the laws of entropy and travel back in time?

  • widget||

    I am ancient, I am a PDP-11, RT-11, RSX kid. DECs RT-11 had a software kizmo called KED, short for Keyboard Editor. This was the first, AFIK, WYSISWYG text editor. I also played around with Unix on the PDP-11 and VI. I would have been better off now had I gone that way. I call it star-nix, *nix. It's a clusterfuck to the core, from Bell Labs to Apple.

    Semaphores, event flags, connect and emit status. It 's a wonder traffic lights work, but they do. Not from rigorous computer science.

  • Win Bear||

    But Steve Jobs very much did read license agreements for the software he appropriated for his companies. That's why he generally chose BSD-licensed software over alternatives.

    The leftist criticism of a lot of companies that "they didn't build that" is unwarranted. But when it comes to Apple in particular, the criticism is somewhat valid, given how much they took and how little they have contributed. In particular, Apple has chosen government-funded freebies over privately developed open or closed source software for some of their key software.

  • ||

    Again, if the government wants to charge people for using government-funded technologies, they should have held patents on it and charged people license fees or royalties.

    There are already rules governing intellectual property. We already have a system for this!

    The left just wants and excuse to grap rich people's money without bothering with quaint notions about rules and fairness.

  • Win Bear||

    Look, you aren't listening. I'm not advocating government funding of research. What I am telling you is that Apple is a piss-poor example of a private company making it without government funding because Apple, in fact, did rely on a lot of government funded research, and deliberately looked for technologies they could use with a minimum of legal requirements and with no obligations to give anything back.

    Now you can keep getting into arguments with the left with your erroneous ideas about what Apple is and did and have them justifiably laugh at you, or you can actually learn some facts and make a stronger argument.

    What the left gets wrong is not that the government paid for a lot of the technologies that Apple is shipping, it's that we'd be better off if the government hadn't paid for those technologies in the first place.

  • Timon 19||

    It's actually NetBSD (or is it OpenBSD?), which is a separate branch of the *ix family. There's overlap, but less than you think.

  • Win Bear||

    Apple software is Linux with a polished GUI

    No, it is not. Apple's software is Mach combined with BSD. Both were government funded projects, and neither received a lot in private code contributions. That's probably why they suck so badly.

  • Sevo||

    BTW, with regard to the homeopathy thread, there's 'ol nasty Steve, sucking down apricot pits or some such until the idjit died.
    He truly was an asshole; the closer you got to him, the further away you wished you were, but he turned a near bankrupt company into one of the most valuable in the world.
    Steve, you are dead (not living) proof that smart people can make stupid decisions, and when you were alive, I prolly wouldn't have pissed on you if you were on fire. But thanks for making me a ton of money.

  • ||

    various branches of the U.S. government provided research assistance that resulted in several key technological developments, including G.P.S., multi-touch screens, L.C.D. displays, lithium-ion batteries, and cellular networks.

    lithium-ion batteries

    Fun fact: Exxon developed the lithium-ion battery

  • Win Bear||

    They were proposed by Whittingham. They were developed by a large number of people and institutions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery

  • ||

    Some dude invented written language (probably 3 or 4 dudes really in different times and places) anyway one can make a pretty good claim all technology we have today can be credited for that first invention. Why aren’t we paying all our money to that dudes descendants?

    Considering how many people were alive back when he invented it and how many people are alive today literally 99% of everyone alive owes their live to that guy. We should all be slaves to that guy's descendants.

    Yes this is sarcasm.

  • ||

    That's exactly their argument. It's impossible to know who really "deserves" credit for written language. So therefore basically everyone does. So therefore you owe everybody else everything you own. So therefore, communism.

  • sasob||

    We should all be slaves to that guy's descendants.

    What makes you think his fellows allowed him to live long enough to produce any descendants?

  • vgodinez46||

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  • jjjjj||

    The Apple Store is not a pleasant place if you're an Android user. I felt like a Jew at a mosque.

  • Akira||

    Two things that are particularly maddening about this argument:

    1. It ignores all of the technologies that have been invented by the private sector - that's right - CORPORATIONS. Even if government agencies came up with some of these technologies, it's just about always the private sector that makes it into something cheap, accessible, and useful.

    2. It ignores the fact that our taxes paid for those government-created technologies in the first place. What do they think happened, a bunch of government officials just labored late into the night with no pay to create these things hoping to make life better for everyone, and now they're tearfully begging for their fair share?

    It's like if I went to a pizza joint and paid money for a pizza, then the cashier said to me, "you wouldn't have that pizza if not for me... You should pay your fair share and give me more money!"

    But wait, government interactions are involuntary, so it's more like this: I'm sitting at home when a pizza man knocks on the door. When I answer, he points a gun in my face and forces me to pay him in exchange for a pizza, which I may or may not want at the moment. Then he says, "you wouldn't have that pizza without me, so pay your fair share, you blood-sucking parasite!"

  • ||

    It's even worse than that. It's like someone came up and forced you to buy the pizza. And then someone else showed up a little while later dragging a homeless man in tow and said "Look, you wouldn't have that pizza if it wasn't for 'society', so you owe this homeless man a living. Fork over the Pizza, your wallet, and empty your jewlery chest while you are at it. "

  • sasob||

    Hmm. Something, something, Obamacare

  • Akira||

    And what about all the inventions by the private sector that end up being used by the government? A ton of innovations in firearms technology, which were invented by private gun companies with the goal of selling more guns to civilians, are used by the military and police all the time.

    So is this prog going to argue that we should lower taxes? In fact, let's make a tally of all the technologies invented by the government versus those invented by the private sector. If the government has more, I'll agree to keep paying taxes. If the private sector has more, the government should give pay ME a few thousand per year for the rest of my life.

  • MarkLastname||

    As far as who owes who, the progs have it ass backwards. By their logic, if we remember that the government services are provided at taxpayer expense, the corporations owe the taxpayers. Of course, corporations are taxpayers. Chances are, for almost every major corporation, the total value of their consumption of public services falls far short of the billions they generate in tax revenue for the state; so in fact, the government owes those corporations (tax cuts anyone?); even more in fact since the vast majority of the value generated by corporate innovation is not captured in profits; just think how many people have benefited enormously from google without ever having to pay them a dime. So in fact, corporations give more than they take.

    It is poor people who use public services more than they pay for them. If we apply proglogic consistently (they erroneously believe it justifies higher taxes), it would actually require us to give rich people and companies preferred access to roads, public schools, and other public services which they disproportionately finance.

  • Akira||

    Exactly.

    Progs seem to have this delusional belief that any time a corporation or an individual (who is not classified as "poor") draws a benefit from something, they MUST be made to pay for it.

    (of course, this doesn't apply when the government or a poor person draws a benefit from a corporation or wealthier individuals)

    It's out of touch with reality for them to think that they can force compensation for every single externality that occurs in a modern economy.

  • Mike Kaz||

    Fascinating how the left can be so quick to turn on its own in an astonishing display of hive mentality. Apple, always portrayed as hip, cool, and possibly progressive (whether rightly or wrongly) is now under attack.

  • ||

    Apple's rich now, so they've got dollar signs in their eyes.

  • dpbisme||

    I loved the article except the beinging where the Author suggested that since these Liberal Rags (I don't read them) took money from Apple that they were not supposed to report negitive opinions on the company.

    Well the opinion expressed by these LIBTARDS are "crazy" but to suggest that a News Orgsanization is beholding to those it sells ad space to is just wrong.

    I mean this is the same argument that Obozo used when he said "you did not build that".... and this is such an ignorant statement only a Liberal would beleive it.

    True I did not pay for the building of the schools I attended or the roads I drove on when I was a kid, but my parents, grand parents and the rest of the family did so I could use them.... Now I pay for schools and roads for other people to use...

    The fact that Apple found a consumer use for publically available data does not diminish it's accomplishment... (and I don't even own an Apple Product nor ever plan to again? not a fan of the company but I will defend it against ideological Libtards tthat are trying top change the relationship of the Government to the individual...

  • Akira||

    I loved the article except the beinging where the Author suggested that since these Liberal Rags (I don't read them) took money from Apple that they were not supposed to report negitive opinions on the company.

    Well the opinion expressed by these LIBTARDS are "crazy" but to suggest that a News Orgsanization is beholding to those it sells ad space to is just wrong.

    Maybe the author was just pointing out that The New Yorker is being hypocritical by denigrating a company as an example of corporate greed while simultaneously cashing in on their success by selling them ad space.

  • walkthejosh||

    While I disagree with her conclusion that Apple owes the government any "reward," it's pretty hard to deny that at least some of Mazzucato’s case is correct. This whole segment of the tech industry pretty much survives by having the government kill the competition.

  • Loki||

    By this analysis, Apple’s success isn’t the result of Steve Jobs’s brilliance or Apple executive Jonathan Ive’s design savvy or international trade. It’s the product of the U.S. government.

    If the US government tried to develop the iPhone, they would just now be releasing the iPhone 1 (~10 years behind schedule) and it would be the size and weight of a brick, with a tiny little LCD screen and giant buttons, and would cost at least $5,000.

    But don't worry hipsters, they'll offer subsidies so everyone can afford the POS after they pass the Affordable Smartphone Access Act (aka Obamaphone) mandating that everyone purchase one.

  • ||

    Here's another thing as well.
    We're right smack in the middle of an era where unbelievably rich internet tycoons are investing in all sorts of advanced technologies. Look at Elon Musk going all science fiction with the Hyperloop and SpaceX and Tesla.

    And the left is basically saying that the government should take all of Elon Musk's money, because, what? They're going to spend it more wisely? HAHAHA.

    It's a verifiable FACT that SpaceX is more efficient than NASA. NOBODY can fucking beat their launch costs. And I will bet money on the Hyperloop being more efficient than the billion dollar train system California is building. And does anyone think a government built electric car would be better than Tesla?

    And then the left will turn around and say that it is stupid to spend money on pie-in-the-sky technologies when there-are-starving-people-to-feed!

    The fact is that most of those leftists HATE the space program and want to kill it, and they HATE the DOD and would defund most of it. They want to use the money to hand out to poor people so they can sit on their asses and watch TV. What exactly is supposed to be the benefit I'm going to derive in the future from THAT?
    At best they would shovel they money into "green energy" boondoggles, so I can have the pleasure of seeing my electricity bill double, because morons are afraid of radiation.
    Yay. The left has nothing of value to offer me that they want to do with the money they want to seize. NOTHING.

  • sasob||

    But...but....they offer you your life. It belongs to them - didn't you know?

  • Ron||

    the left always assume that because of government a thing exist but in many cases because of governments obstructionism and regulation many things happen much latter than if the free market was allowed to explore. A prime example is space exploration the only reason private enterprise has not done work in that field until recently is because they were not allowed to. BTW ask the Wright brothers how much money they got from the government or Ford or many other business. Lets talk PG&E created by three guys in the California gold fields to provide energy there was no government involvement there until they came in a regulated it.

  • Arthur45||

    While govt funds may have had a part in the development of some or all of those cited components, they certainly did not account for their entire creation,which involved research by others, etc. Nor is it provable that those components would not have been created without govt funding. For certain, today's lithium batteries, which are far superior to any of those early models which may have been created with govt funds, were created by Japanese companies, without any govt assistance. Ditto for most of the other components, which are not remotely the same as the originals. And, of course, one of these component's availability can explain Apple's success : Apple's success was due more to their design of their gadgets than anything else. So their success DOES NOT rest largely upon the existence of those components.

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  • alvisstromeyer||

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  • alvisstromeyer||

    I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I'd be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I've been doing,

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  • You're Kidding||

    And yet, the tech community here in the silicone valley still gravitates to the leftist pols like moths to a flame.

    In the words of a one time, leftist poetry man:

    When will they ever learn?
    When will they every learn?

  • Cis-Gendered Shitlord||

    The "You didn't build that" argument has been more and more prevalent lately. I got a good dose of it from like, 6 different people when arguing about the whole freedom-of-association thing. (You know, gay wedding cake, etc.)

    Their argument: Since a business relies on government services, the government has the right to tell them to do whatever they want. Basically, fuck private property because you should be grateful you're allowed to have anything.

    It's not just about corporations "paying their fare share" in taxes, it's also about control and power. It's a truly terrifying mindset that many people seem to hold.

    I thought people laughed at Obama's line, but it's actually taken seriously by people. I don't like where this is going.

  • ||

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