Flush with cash, Apple unveils plan to shift 700,000 jobs to United States

by on February 28, 2012 · 22 comments

in Are You Kidding?, Culture, Economy, Labor, Popular, Satire

CUPERTINO, CALIF. — Giving new meaning to corporate social responsibility, Apple Inc. announced it is “bringing home” more than 700,000 manufacturing jobs currently held by workers in foreign countries.

“As a leading corporate citizen of the United States,” the company said in a press release, “Apple can’t help but feel some sort of responsibility to its fellow Americans. So why not start hiring them?”

Apple plans to spread the employment across ten different U.S. cities, bringing each city an average of 70,000 new jobs, all with full benefits, by the end of 2013.

long-term_unemployment_map“We basically just gave our outsourcing team a different task,” Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook told The OB Rag. “Instead of scouring third-world countries to find where workers come cheapest, we surveyed America to find areas where these new jobs would make the most sense.”

Currently, 12.8 million people are unemployed in the United States, a rate of 8.3%. But Apple’s plan will provide jobs to at least 700,000 Americans, slashing the rate to 7.8% and providing a needed surge to the American economy.

Apple said entry-level assembly-line jobs it was bringing to the United States would pay an average of $25 an hour, or about 10 times the rate currently earned by a typical Apple employee in China.

“When the dust settles, this might reduce Apple’s profit margins and put upward pressure on the price of Apple products,” the company’s press release said. “But honestly, Apple can afford it, and so can Apple consumers. So we’re honored to be in a position to help make America stronger.”

Wealthy consumers around the world have embraced products such as the iPhone and the iPad, drawn to their reputation for high quality and — perhaps more importantly — the social value seemingly signified by their possession.

Dorms of employees of FoxConn, a major Apple sub-contractor

Accordingly, Apple’s profits have soared and its stock market value has surpassed all other publicly traded companies.

With this success have come more questions about Apple’s hiring practices. A recent New York Times expose revealed the company employs only 43,000 people in the United States versus 700,000 people through sub-contractors in foreign countries with lower standards of living.

Success has also swelled Apple’s cash hoard to an incredible $98 billion.

“Frankly speaking, it’s more than we need to run the company,” CEO Tim Cook told shareholders at Apple’s recent annual meeting.

Cook acknowledged that some shareholders might prefer to see Apple pay out much of the cash in a massive one-time dividend. “This isn’t a case where 100 percent of people are going to agree with what we do,” he said.

Indeed, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a statement condemning Apple’s plan. “Just because corporations get the rights of American citizens doesn’t mean they should be burdened by the same responsibilities,” the statement said. “For example, everyone knows people can’t kill people — but sometimes job creators like corporations need to be able to kill people, as the Supreme Court is working on right now.”

Alan Ableman, a 35-year-old former construction worker who has been unable to find work since 2008, took issue with the Chamber’s analysis.

“Job creators aren’t very helpful when the jobs aren’t in America,” Ableman said. “And then there’s the fact that leaving the jobs in China would mean continuing to hand over billions of dollars to a rival superpower that also happens to be a Communist regime.

“I mean, when you think about it, hiring workers overseas when Americans need work is not just economically short-sighted but kind of like a form of treason,” Ableman said. “So good for Apple.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Tim Cook, Apple CEO

CEO Cook described Apple’s move as a long-term winner for not just the country but for Apple, too.

“Corporations get a lot of value out of America, as our massive campaign contributions indicate,” Cook said. “Accordingly, it’s in our best interests to keep the country strong.”

Ableman, who plans to apply for an Apple job, couldn’t agree more.

“I hope other executives start thinking like Apple executives,” Ableman said. “Because if America’s most valuable companies don’t start hiring Americans, what kind of an America will we all end up with?”

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Anna Daniels February 28, 2012 at 8:55 am

Shane- I read the headline, and thought YES, all those emails & articles really did make a difference…. What was I thinking???? Well done Shane.

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avatar Steve February 28, 2012 at 9:00 am

Something’s not right with this blog post. It states: “As a leading corporate citizen of the United States,” the company said in a press release, “Apple can’t help but feel some sort of responsibility to its fellow Americans. So why not start hiring them?”

So where is this press release? I don’t see it at Apple’s website (http://www.apple.com/hotnews/)

Then: We basically just gave our outsourcing team a different task,” Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook told The OB Rag. So the OB Rag actually interviewed Tim Cook, really?

Are you a month early for April Fools or something?

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avatar Dixon Guizot February 28, 2012 at 10:13 am

It’s satire, indeed. Apple would never really do something like this, nor would any other major US corporation. The real question is: why not?

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avatar Jeff Heilman March 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Because, something like this would render Apple a myth. Average wage $25 , times 8 a day, times 5 per week, times 4.3 weeks per month, times 12. . . . $35 Billion. Before tax (Fed., State,local,), Workers comp, SS, vaca., health, overtime, any other beni’s. The REAL ,real question is, if they’re paying slave wages over seas, how the f$@# does my iPhone cost $650 + ?!?!? :-/

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avatar Dixon Guizot March 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Jeff, please jump down to comment exchange below started by Megan.

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avatar Doug Porter February 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

Troll alert… This article might be satire. Be sure to check the tagline with the keywords under the author’s name.

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avatar butch February 28, 2012 at 9:32 am

::double checks headline::

::sees “satire” tag::

::shakes fist at Shane::

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

It’s funny isn’t it how satire can make us wish for a better reality?

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avatar dude February 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Dont see the supposed “cleverness”. Kind of like a fat joke or a fart joke.. Its funny, but really any idiot could lie about something

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avatar JMW February 29, 2012 at 7:04 am

Possibly, any idiot could lie about something, but not so darn well.

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avatar Megan February 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Did some math. If this were true (and the $25/hr for entry level, assembly workers set my bullshit alarm right off), then it would cost Apple $36,400,000,000. That’s thirty six billion, four hundred million dollars.

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avatar Dixon Guizot February 29, 2012 at 12:36 am

Your math looks good to me. Let’s keep going:

1. As you calculated, the $36.4 billion for US jobs was a ten-fold increase, so it would represent a $33 billion increase over non-US costs of $3.64 billion per year.
2. Apple’s financial statements show its 2011 net income before tax was $34 billion. https://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:AAPL&fstype=ii
3. $34 billion is greater than $33 billion, so all else being equal, Apple could have paid the extra $33 billion and still turned a profit

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avatar Megan February 29, 2012 at 9:25 am

This would work if they only had just 700,000 employees @ $25/hr. Cook made over a billion last year. However, they could pay all of their employees a living wage and have enough money to change the world in a radical and positive way. Living wage tends to discourage materialism and consumerism though, so I doubt that will ever be a glimmer of hope.

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avatar Dixon Guizot February 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

“This would work if they only had just 700,000 employees @ $25/hr. Cook made over a billion last year.”

No, Cook’s compensation and all other expenses are included in the calculation of the $34 billion in net income before tax.

Apple could have paid each of its 700,000 foreign workers 10 times more, and still turned a profit.

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avatar Webb March 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

That raised my eyebrow too, but a couple of things you have to consider here:
1. The new Apple business brought in just by new employees, family of employees and friends of employees alone would be astounding.

2. The fact that we would now have an American alternative in the computer world would have people lining up in front of Mac stores everywhere to do business. I, for one, would immediately start converting my company over from PC.

3. There are many depressed areas of the country where assembly line labor for half the suggested $25 an hour would be miraculous.

4. The sheer volume would create need for more jobs, and even though Apple would make less per unit, their profits would spike exponentially.

I run my business this way and that’s what got my attention when I read it. It works for us: Give my labor resources a much bigger lion’s share of the profits, which in turn brings the best workers to us, and enable us to provide services that have our phones ringing off the hook with a waiting list of customers wanting our services. We still will eventually be able to give 50% of our profits away to charity, which, in turn, inspires our labor force and contractors to follow our lead in being benevolent. There is no reason companies can’t adapt to this model. It is ingenious, charity-producing, community building, nation-building capitalism, and it not only exposes the bad players in an economy, it makes them look very bad, and ultimately forces them to compete with quality rather than cutthroat or go out of business. This is exactly what America needs. It was a great and inspiring satire.

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avatar mr fresh February 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

hey kids! this story is being passed around on Facebook like it’s the real deal. lol!

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avatar Larry Boatman March 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

Perhaps prompted by a combination of the Citizens United decision (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-205.pdf), and the methodology of the Yes Men (see “The Yes Men Fix the World” – – the article “The Financial Psychopath Next Door” (CFA Magazine, March-April, 2012 issue [http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-02-28/wall_street/31106457_1_psychopath-wall-street-psychologist]) hadn’t yet appeared . . .

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avatar john March 4, 2012 at 3:45 am

unless you want to rename the blog “OB Onion” I think such satire should be a little more clearly identified. most people don’t appreciate getting played like this.
yeah it’s funny. yeah it is provocative.
yeah I’m going to approach every article I see in the rag for awhile looking for the bucket of water over the door and Allan Fundt to step out.

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avatar Dixon Guizot March 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

I appreciate your comment, John.

People have sued newspapers after “getting played” by satire. As I understand, the courts have protected satire as free speech, as long as a reasonable person can recognize the satire as satire.

With that in mind, perhaps I should have inserted a few more clearly untrue tidbits in this article to make the satire more obvious.

But then again, I think this article has some obvious whoppers. Would a CEO ever say something like “But honestly, Apple can afford it, and so can Apple consumers”?

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avatar blaw0013 March 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

Not so far from the truth, actually. http://bit.ly/xbzRmW

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avatar Dixon Guizot March 4, 2012 at 8:53 am

So that’s Apple’s defense? “Indirect” jobs? Like the guy who pumps the gas of the guy who is driving to the store to buy an iPhone? Please.

There are 700,000 “direct” jobs that Apple chooses to locate outside of America. Plenty of other companies do the same thing, of course. Maybe as Americans we need to re-think that?

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avatar Dixon Guizot March 4, 2012 at 9:15 am

Hope everybody saw this!

BEIJING — China announced a double-digit increase in military spending Sunday, a rise that comes amid an intensifying strategic rivalry between the United States and China in Asia and concerns in Washington about the secrecy surrounding the Chinese defense budget.

The increase, reported at 11.2 percent, is in step with the increased pace of military spending by China over the past decade, but the official statement did not give details of what weapons systems China is developing or offer a description of military strategy beyond protection of the country’s sovereignty. And China analysts say the true figure is probably significantly higher, underreported because much of the military’s decision-making is kept opaque.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/world/asia/china-boosts-military-spending-more-than-11-percent.html?hp

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