Thursday, October 06, 2011

Apple--Good Company or Evil Corporation?

I found this quote, from an article mentioning how Steve Jobs ended philanthropic programs at Apple, to be very illuminating about economics in general and about how differently conservatives and liberals see economic issues:
Whatever drove Jobs, it drove him to create superior products, better stuff at better prices. Profits are not deductions from the sum of the public good, but the real measure of the social value a firm creates. Those who talk about the horror of putting profits over people make no sense at all. The phrase is without intellectual content. Perhaps you do not think that Apple, or Goldman Sachs, or a professional sports enterprise, or an Internet pornographer actually creates much social value; but markets are very democratic — everybody gets to decide for himself what he values. That is not the final answer to every question, because economic answers can satisfy only economic questions. But the range of questions requiring economic answers is very broad.


maxutils said...

At what point did Jobs offer better prices? Compare any Mac to a comparable PC. Compare any Ipod to a comparable MP3 player. Look at the restrictions on I tunes . . .he had a far superior product, that he essentially had a monopoly on, and he was allowed to keep it. Great innovator, but consumer friendly? No.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Every time someone chose a Mac over a PC the "better price" of the Mac was established. For that purchase and that purchaser.

Also, from the point of view of Apple shareholders the Mac, and other innovative and well-designed Apple products, were beautifully priced in that they yielded a handsome profit.

Being a tech-head I never bought a Mac since I could get pretty much everything out of a PC that I could out of a Mac but that didn't blind me to the advantages of controlling the hardware and the operating system. It also didn't blind me to the distinctly superior user interface of the Mac.

Also, that monopoly was based on swifter, and better executed, innovation and it was temporary. But by putting a stake in the ground well ahead of his competitors, when he had competitors, Jobs drove the entire industry to greater efforts.

From what I've read of Jobs he was a manipulative, heartless prick but then Henry Ford wasn't anyone's idea of a great guy either. But his innovations also set the same stake in the ground forcing his competitors to efforts that put America, and the world, on wheels. Efforts they wouldn't have expended without the goad of being left in Henry Ford's, or Steve Jobs', dust.