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What Steve Jobs Would Tell Wall Street Protesters.

“First off, thanks for being such loyal Apple fans and using the ipods, iphones and ipads I created while you sit around the park all day. I know you’re unemployed and I appreciate you taking what used to be an entire months salary for you to buy Apple products. As for  protesting, I know you’re all very mad and frustrated at the current political, social and economic imbalance that there appears to be in the U.S. right now, but you’re forgetting one very important thing…

We live in a country where everyone has the opportunity to be the richest 10%, 5%, 1% or .001% of society. This isn’t a system of government where power is inherited from one generation to the next. How the hell do you think I got so rich!? While your hippie parents were smoking pot at Woodstock, I was busy building fucking computers on a shoe string budget with Wozniak and I didn’t have half the resources you little punks have today. You think it’s hard to start a company now? Try starting a company 30 years ago when I was your age.

These days everyone is throwing cash at startups trying to get in on the next big deal. You have all sorts of meetups, forums and websites connecting VC’s and Angel Investors with entrepreneurs. You can market your products and create buzz for next to nothing using social media and uploading videos online.  Now I know that I’ve entirely turned industries upside down and some people are temporarily out of work because what they used to do isn’t good enough anymore, but it’s during these rapidly evolving times and disruption when the greatest opportunities to become rich exist. You just have to figure out what people want and build it.

Lastly, why did you start your protests in Wall Street?! Everyone knows we live in a day and age where anyone can be traders using online trading desks like Fidelity, Etrade or TD Ameritrade. You can trade currencies, commodities, stocks and bonds just like all those greedy Wall Street types you’re so made at. If anything the people that should be mad is the corporate folks, because any jackass now has all the same tools available to them as what was exclusively available to big corporations just a few years ago. It seems that the big banks helping companies go public can’t even charge their big fees anymore because companies create liquidity and don’t even have to go public anymore thanks to secondary investment markets like SecondMarket.

Now I’m only going to tell you this once because I have to get back to work, but get off your sorry, lazy ass and instead of being a menace to society and creating attention to yourselves by blocking traffic, go build something people in the 21st century can use. Stop believing in the promise that if you go to school you are sure to land a high paying job that will be able to pay off all those student loans you owe to the very banks you’re so mad at. Nothing in this life is guaranteed and you are going to have to fight tooth and nail potentially just to make a modest living, but I assure you it’s better than how billions of others live, because unlike in other countries Americans have a chance to become extremely wealthy.

So instead of bitching about how this life is unfair and why you are at such a disadvantage, follow the advice I gave during my Stanford commencement speech, find work you love, find a spouse you love, never settle and most importantly stay hungry and stay foolish. And for Pete’s sake quit wasting all the good oxygen and make yourselves useful.”

3 thoughts on “What Steve Jobs Would Tell Wall Street Protesters.”

  1. Although I don’t feel surprise by the level of scorn you are professing to these “hippies”, I do sense you are suffering from the same sort of naiveté you are accusing them. Let me first be clear, I do not commend the approach of blocking public ways. On the other hand, I do applaud the awareness young people are bringing to the societal class disparity that for some inexcusable reason has become the new normal. We live in a system where destructive financial hedges are rewarded, and every day workers that put all of its creative productive efforts see their rewards fade. This is not the only reason for the discontent. While unproductive finance, which is the culprit of the financial collapse of 2008, reeks in record profits and acquire systemic protections, we are witnesses of the largest wealth transfer in generations. According to the Census Bureau’s 2010 annual report, Median family income fell 2.3 percent between 2009 and 2010—to $49,445—but more significantly, is down 7.1 percent from its peak in 1999. The percentage of the population in poverty—15.1 percent—is the highest since 1993, and the total number—46.2 million—is an all-time high. We have given back a generation of economic progress. But here is the worst news, Income for households headed by people under 24 fell an astounding 15.3 percent between 2007 and 2010. The poverty rate among those under 18 is 22 percent. For those 18 to 24 it is 21.9 percent, and for blacks under the age of 18 it is a staggering 39.1 percent.
    It is simply nonfactual and non evidential the prism of egalitarianism of which you interpret the way through which an individual such as Steve Jobs was able to achieve wealth. Out of every Steve Jobs, there are millions of others who try, fail, and suffer, thus making this argument of simple mobility non-sequitur. There is a class struggle happening and to not recognize is foolish.

    PS. I am pretty sure Jobs heated Wall Street too!!!

    1. Adrian Childers

      I have no scorn whatsoever for people out of work. On the contrary I feel very bad for them and I hear you on all the facts from the Census Bureau about rising rates of poverty. I don’t think anyone in the world wishes poverty on anyone, but allow me to address your points.

      Financial hedges are not destructive. On the contrary, they find inefficiencies in the market and correct them. The only person they can be destructive for are the people who placed the bet and whose money is on the line.

      What is criminal and what people should demand accountability for is how banks can make unlimited profits by taking huge risks, but be bailed out with taxpayer money. This is essentially privatizing profits and socializing the losses. Absolutely unacceptable, but thankfully it appears taxpayers have recouped most of their money during this last instance.

      As to how Steve Jobs became rich, it is absolutely factual as anyone who followed the Apple story can tell you. Steve didn’t have any advantage or additional tools available to him other than his natural gift of being able to create such world class companies.

      In a perfect world, nobody would be in poverty and I simply think that instead of protesting with no one in particular to direct their anger towards, they would be much better off trying to build something of their own that others can use.

      Anyway, I’m glad to see our debates continue even many years after college.

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