Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. knows what's keeping the unemployment rate so high: iPads. On Friday, Jackson railed against the tablet for "eliminating thousands of American jobs." His reasoning here is that you can "download your book, download your newspaper, download your magazine"--and so "all of the jobs associated with paper" are in jeopardy. "Borders is closing stores," said Jackson, "because why do you need to go to Borders anymore?"
People aren't taking Jackson's comments very seriously. Joe Wiesenthal at Business Insider writes that "obviously he ignores all the wealth the iPad has created in America, and the fact that there are all kinds of other jobs that have been created around the iPad." Peter Cohen at ZDNet echoes this thought, pointing out that Apple has generated billions in software revenue, not to mention "the millions in revenue generated by the sales of iPad accessories--cases, screen covers, cables, and so on."
Meanwhile, Piers Hausjell at Neowin dryly notes that "Jackson has changed his views significantly since last month"--when he sang the praises of iPads and Kindles on the House floor, and called upon the federal government to hand them out to schoolchildren.
Jackson does have at least one defender--Tommy Christopher at Mediaite, who writes that "if you listen to a fuller context of his remarks, he's actually not slamming the iPad or the iPod, but our consumer economy for not retaining a manufacturing base."
Here's Mediaite's clip of Jackson's remarks, including a section at the end where he talks about the federal government's "obligation to sustain full production and full employment":