Steve Jobs Hate the State?
by Robert Wenzel: Super
Cluelessness From a Harvard Professor
are many clues that he just may have.
appears that Jobs was an original gold bug. He recommended in
1979 that Grinnell College, where he was a trustee, invest in gold.
This doesn't make him a hater of the state, but it shows an early
distrust of government created paper money. But, let's continue
a recent disclosure report, Apple spent $560,000 lobbying the federal
government in the first quarter of 2011, roughly one-third the amount
that Google and Microsoft each spent in the same period. And Apple
spent a good portion of its lobbying efforts fighting off the state,
versus using the state to hinder its competitors.
first-quarter filing lists lobbying activity for "issues related
to transportation of batteries." That is, in April, the House
of Representatives passed a bill protecting Apple and other electronics
manufacturers from limitations that would classify lithium batteries
as hazardous materials.
is part of the "Win America Campaign" lobbying group that
is calling for tax breaks for corporations who repatriate offshore
signed up to a campaign against US government's ability to inspect
customer data on computers without warrant.
Overall a pretty
damn solid anti-state lobbying stance.
And who can
forget the video which recorded
the icy silence from Jobs, when Cupertino city council members tried
to shake Jobs down for free Wi-Fi and an Apple Store in Cupertino.
Jobs never got a license plate for his car.
The auto marketing
magazine, Polk, writes:
drove a silver 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG without a license plate.
knows for sure, and multiple theories have been bandied about
in Silicon Valley. Some think it's a high-tech vehicle code distortion
field or custom-built mechanized plate retractor. Others insist
that overzealous fans swipe the roadster's tags every time they're
mounted. I even saw one blogger opine it was because the font
on California license plates is so ugly. His theory is that Mr.
jobs couldn't stand to mar the aesthetics of a beautiful vehicle
with the product of some state assemblyman's sense of style. Maybe
it's simply because he could get away with it.
brings us to the other aspect to this mystery. How exactly did
Steve Jobs drive a plateless car for four years without ever getting
ticketed for the infraction? A search of traffic records confirms
that he successfully avoided plate-related fines. Again, theories
abound, but I think it's just a matter of playing the odds.
it was simply that Jobs was not impressed with government demands
to do this or that.
smoking gun here, but the great entrepreneur appears to have had
at least a healthy distrust of government and perhaps much more.
A private man, perhaps he chose to keep his views about the government
private, since broadcasting them might have made Apple a more noticed
target by the government. But actions do speak louder than words,
and a pro-gold Steve Jobs, who stands up to a city council, lobbies
for tax cuts and doesn't bother to get a license plate for his car,
suggests an awful lot about what he likely thought about government.
with permission from Economic
Economic Policy Journal
Best of Robert Wenzel