Thursday, April 29, 2004

The iPod and the Cult of the Super Genius

Title: Father of the IPod
Source: Cult of the Mac Blog, Wired, NYTimes
Date: April 26, 2004

One aspect of the CEO's Cult of the Super Genius is the fact that the CEO inexplicably gets credit for the contributions of thousands of employees. For example, in last week's Time Magazine, Steve Jobs is lauded as one of the "Time 100" (The People Who Shape Our World). The article says, "Jobs has been synonymous with the kind of ingenuity that's at the forefront of the tech industry." If you believe that sort of thing about a CEO, then the CEO is worth $75 million.

What Father of the IPod points out is that Jobs had nothing to do with the IPod. From the article:
    "(The iPod) was put together starting in 2001 by hardware designers led by Tony Fadell."
    "Since Mr. Jobs returned to Apple, he has increasingly insisted that the company speak with just the voices of top executives, so Mr. Fadell was not permitted to comment for this article."
This is true in every industry. Do the CEO and shareholders of Pfizer invent, test and manufacture the drugs that Pfizer sells? Of course not. Yet the CEO and shareholders get the lion's share of the money those drugs generate -- billions of dollars. This is a classic scheme for concentrating wealth -- taking credit (and massive amounts of money) for the work of others, while paying those others as little as possible.

The CEOs and shareholders redistribute the wealth generated by thousands of employees to a very small group of extremely wealthy people. That is how the concentration of wealth works.


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