Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Blames Unemployment on iPad

By Tracey E. Schelmetic April 18, 2011

While it's probably not news to you that many of our representatives in Congress are a bit out of touch, the latest “Huh?” moment comes courtesy of Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), who apparently believes that Apple's iPad is responsible for high American unemployment.

Jackson, who owns an iPad himself, resents the fact that Apple's popular tablet computer is made in China by manufacturing company Foxconn. Jackson also blames the fact that people who own tablet computers can download e-books onto them for the demise of book store chain Borders.

“Now Borders is closing stores because, why do you need to go to Borders anymore? Why do you need to go to Barnes & Noble? Buy an iPad and download your book. Download your newspaper. Download your magazine,” he said, going on to criticize a Chicago State University plan to establish a “textbook-less campus” within the next four years, reported Digital Trends.

Is the guy off his rocker? Well, Jackson does make some valid points which have gotten lost under the iPad rant and its subsequent media coverage. He points out that during the tenure of the 112th Congress, unemployment stands at nine percent, and not a single piece of legislation offered up by Congress this session has addressed this.

Of course, his complaint that far too many manufacturing jobs have been sent offshore is one also shared by a significant number of Americans. However, singling out Apple for this phenomenon is hardly fair, and his speech went too close to being downright anti-technology for many people. Technology companies such as Apple are the U.S. economy's bright spot for economic performance and innovation.

While shopping styles may be changing: yes, some brick and mortar stores are going to close as people buy more on the Internet. Changes in shopping habits are bound to alter. If Rep. Jackson believes we should do things “like the old days” in a desperate, misguided effort to stop time and hold off innovation, then he's not thinking very clearly.

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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