Convinced: Obama Can Be Defeated

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been skeptical that Obama could be defeated next year. I also had my doubts that Hillary could get elected because I’d been following HCDS  (and BCDS) for 15+ years.

In late December 2007 or early January 2008 IKEA began running radio ads featuring a bossy sounding argument between Hill & Bill using voice actors. She was the president and was bossing him around. I remember my husband and I listening to it the car and my husband saying, “Okay, now I’m convinced. Hillary will win. I mean, if IKEA thinks so…” I so wish he’d been right.

I don’t want to make the same mistake he did, but I now think Obama can be defeated. Why, you ask? Because Steve Jobs said so. IKEA may be pretty good at picking up on trends, but Steve Jobs had vision for the future, which is quite a different thing.

“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them.

Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.

He also said this about his children, which I mention because his abandonment of his first child (his long-term girlfriend became pregnant as Apple was taking off, so he basically just said “Later” to her and their child until the child was about 6) has bugged me about all the glory he receives for a long time. It was a crappy thing to do. Glad to see he finally understand what he did to his child. Too bad he never apologized to the mother.

“I wanted my kids to know me,” Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying in their final interview. “I wasn’t always there for them and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”

Anyway, if Steve Jobs thinks Obama can be defeated, I guess I do too.

About Woke Lola

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25 Responses to Convinced: Obama Can Be Defeated

  1. Lola-at-Large says:

    I also think Jobs was dead-on with regard to our education system. Every idea was the right one. The unions aren’t the only problem, just the biggest one. Year round school and later hours are also fantastic ideas. Read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers to understand why.

    • myiq2xu says:

      School hours haven’t changed since I was a kid and most moms were stay-at-home. The 9-month school year came into effect when mandatory education became the law and many kids were needed during the summer to work on family farms.

      If we lengthened the school day and year we could put back in many of the elective type classes that have been stripped out (art, music, athletics) and make it easier for working parents who can’t afford child care.

      • Lola-at-Large says:


      • 1539days says:

        Time isn’t the problem as much as money. That’s where the union comes in. Where I live, the per pupil education cost is about 50% of the median income. Then we use the antiquated system of local property taxes that guarantees affluent suburbs get the best schools while low-income neighborhoods get the worst.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          Property tax issues are the second biggest problem. They entrench the current class system and it is ridiculous that our education system should be based on them in its current form. It’s a civil rights issue as far as I’m concerned. People are getting arrest and charged with theft for lying in order to get their child a “free” education. How can you steal something that’s free?

        • Dario says:

          Teachers don’t make big money. Most teachers do it because they love teaching. Sure, there are bad teachers, but most of them are good. Those who want to make good money don’t go into teaching, choosing instead other careers. It’s true that teachers get summer vacations, but teachers go home and work when most people who work at other jobs are done when they leave work.

        • angienc says:

          Most teachers do it because they love teaching. Sure, there are bad teachers, but most of them are good.

          You obviously haven’t been in any New Orleans public schools, because I tell you for a fact that for every 1 idealist who loves teaching & is a good teacher there are 50 who don’t & aren’t.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          My objections with unions have nothing to do with teacher pay. They are centered on merit and nepotism. It’s extremely difficult to fire an incompetent teacher, or teachers who behave inappropriately. If we want schools to improve, teachers are going to have to do it based on merit–how well they teach and if they accomplish their pedagogical goals within acceptable parameters. Teachers unions won’t even allow review of their members in most cases.

          Unions, especially teacher’s unions and other public employee unions, have become notorious for their nepotism. Outside of big cities, it’s all about who you know in the union or on the school board.

          Finally, they wrangled impossible restrictions on who can teach in order to protect their members, but it hurts everyone else. Only education majors can teach anymore, and studies have shown it is universally one of the LEAST rigorous programs out there. That locks out people who have subject degrees who can, you know, teach subjects.

          So please, try not to conflate my words with what you want them to mean. Not everyone who is opposed to unions does so because they want people paid less. There are perfectly legitimate objections to the role of unions today.

        • 1539days says:

          Teacher benefits can be half of total compensation, so it actually costs taxpayers twice the amount of the base salary to hire a teacher. Teaching is a skilled profession, but I think increased pay should come with increased accountability. If teachers want to face more evaluation and possible dismissal for bad performance, I could understand the need to pay them more.

      • soupcity says:

        There you go, myiq, making sense again.

        Lola, I really believe he will lose to Romney, but they are twins of a different mother politically, imho. It seems to be decided already anyhow.

        Good night, thanks to all at the hole for just being here!

      • Dario says:

        Schools haven’t changed much over the years, what has changed most dramatically is the home. Keeping the children on track is difficult when both parents work, or when a child is brought up by a single mother/father. I really believe that the problem we face in school has little to do with the teachers or the union. They can’t fix what is wrong at home, and they can’t be a substitute for the parents. It’s that simple. I don’t see how working parents can do parenting when they are busy making the money to survive. Companies are not willing to support the family structure. The teachers and the union are scapegoats.

        • trixta says:

          I’m with you on this one , Dario. I think teachers are expected to parent these days to make up what is missing at home. There is only so much teachers can do. Also, I believe it is the school administrators and bureaucrats who get the high salaries and who not only dictate the curriculum, but the ideological approach to education (e.g whole language vs phonetics; “no child left behind” and state testing, etc.”). I also think parents are overwhelmed just trying to survive and provide for their families. Nevertheless, the home environment is crucial for disciplining and motivating children, and parents should be ultimately responsible for how their children do in school.

          Speaking for myself, I come from a migrant background, and although it was tough following the harvest throughout the years (up until I was 11 or so), my parents instilled in my eight siblings and myself a sense of urgency when it came to getting an education and working hard to achieve our goals. My parents challenge vis-a-vis the poverty and instability of a migrant life was to give us hope, dreams, and to keep us focused on what was important (and they didn’t have to breath down our necks to do it!). We never expected a handout, and my parents would never have taken it (e.g. in the form of gov aid, etc.), in any case, as long as we were able bodied and willing to work and sacrifice for a better future. In this regard, my parents were successful, since my sisters and me are college graduates, etc., and are productive members of society. (But I knew many families like ours who had the same struggles and challenges and overcame similar dire circumstances.) It all sounds very cliche, but it was what it was.

          I understand that poverty in an urban situation presents its own challenges, but parents and family life are key in pointing the way for children. IMHO, part of a teachers job is to take it from there, rather than being solely responsible for a child’s success in school — and in life. Yes, parents have it very hard these days, but they also need to stop worrying about getting their children the latest shiny gadget and focus on instilling dreams and providing an environment of expectations for their children.

          Okay, I’ll step off of my soap box now.

  2. HELENK says:

    a really cool tribute to Steve Jobs.
    video made from his words and computer sounds

  3. HELENK says:

    this commencement speech should be heard by every graduating class

    Steve Jobs at Stanford

  4. Dario says:

    I think that in a few years, only the rich will be educated because only their kids have the support necessary to succeed in school.

  5. Three Wickets says:

    I’d heard something about this Jobs thing earlier today. Thanks for the post Lola. His views were typical of any big multinational business executive, though not sure all the Apple worshipping kids down at OWS would get that. They just like cults.

  6. r u reddy says:

    It sounds like Jobs wanted to see the introduction of Chinese wages, Chinese environmental standards, etc. here. And if he couldn’t get them here, either by threatening Obama with “one term” or by other methods; then he would just keep moving more digital-gadget production to China so as to work the differential-conditions-and-costs arbitrage rackets to Apple’s advantage. It poisons for me the appeal
    of Jobs’s visionary far-sightedness.

    A way to make Obama more defeatable would be to get the least scary Republican nominated for 2012 . . . whomever you think that “least scary” Republican would be. I think the “least scary” Republican would be Romney. Others may not agree.

    • 1539days says:

      Jobs could make iPads / iPhones here if he wanted to charge over $1000 for them. If some people did buy at that price, competitors would still sell their competing Android deices for 1/3 of the price instead of 80%.

      According to the US government, China is at the top of the list of good trading partners. Why should a company not do business with them? There was a Democratic Congress for two years under Bush and a Democratic president for the last 3 years. Why haven’t they done anything about the trade imbalance?

      The answer goes back to debt. If we tick off China, we couldn’t sell nearly enough debt at the low interest rate we pay now to creditors. This is why the deficit is important. It affects our ability to act in a way that’s best for the country’s future because we have to always think about the present.

  7. T says:

    If Jobs says it, I doubt it. Jobs designed his business line in a way that would ensure he stayed small. When he died, the IPhone was on it’s way to be a minority player, just as his desktop devices were minority players in the 80’s. In 2 years, Android will be the operating system.

    …not to mention that what he implied as the reason for Obama’s one-term is just pure evil. In Jobs’ world, we should earn the wages of Chinese children. In Jobs’ world, he’d rule the world.

    • 1539days says:

      Android is the new Zune. Unlike a PC, where poeple have been convinced that you need to clean your computer constantly and viruses are a necessity, the iPhone has a tight operating system and high quality hardware. Android as an OS can go on any device, whether it be poorly designed or not.

      Chinese slave labor is not what’s eating our lunch. Chinese trade policy is. Chinese factories are becoming better than ours, with increasinly skilled labor. What we have to fix is currency manipulation and Chinese tariffs on American products.

      • myiq2xu says:

        What is the labor cost of each iPhone? Not materials or R&D, just the labor cost to make and assemble it. Any idea?

        • 1539days says:

          I can tell you that a manufactuer of electronics in China makes approximately $3,000 US. But again, direct labor does not count the cost of benefits, the overhead of having a building, insuring it and keeping it to code. Plus, there are startup costs. China has a number of companies who have set up brand new facilities that build many different US companies’ worth of product at one time. There is an economy of scale that doesn’t happen here.

    • trixta says:

      Weren’t Chinese workers committing suicide (i.e. jumping off plant buildings) because the working conditions at Apple factories are so bad? (Or do I have my corporations mixed up?)

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        That was another company. Apple just made their Chinese employees sign a no-suicide pledge, which admittedly is a pretty futile effort. “Uh, I want to die! Damn that pledge!” seems a bit like fiction to me….

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