Apple is often cited by politicians left and right as a great American success story, but Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. sees a dark side to the company’s success, particularly in regard to the iPad.
Speaking on the House floor on April 15, Jackson — an admitted iPad owner — says the device is “probably responsible for eliminating thousands of American jobs.”
He continued: “Now Borders is closing stores because why do you need to go to Borders anymore? Why do you need to go to Barnes & Noble? Just download your book, download your newspaper, download your magazine.” Jackson goes on to say that the iPad is also replacing textbooks in colleges and that the device will cause people who work in publishing, libraries and bookstores to lose their jobs.
Jackson, a Democrat from Illinois, continued by saying that “Steve Jobs is doing pretty well” thanks to the success of the iPad, but notes that the iPad is produced in China. “So the Chinese get to take advantage of our First Amendment value to provide freedom of speech through the iPad to the American people, but there is no protection of jobs here in America.”
Jackson’s opposition to the iPad seems to run against the Democratic party’s stance on technology. In January, President Obama declared the U.S. “a nation of Google and Facebook,” and former Vice President Al Gore sits on Apple’s board. Meanwhile, Hawaii Rep. Charles Djou became the first member of Congress to use an iPad during a floor speech last year.