I’ve had some experience with Silicon Valley high tech folks a few times over the years, including once sitting in on a meeting of some Valley CEOs with a very slick California Democrat (who is now in Congress), who had them completely bamboozled that he was “pro-business.” High tech people are mostly clueless about politics, chiefly because their tech background leads them to think that political problems should be solved like engineering problems. This is why so many of them fall for the general “Progressive” message, since “Progressives” embrace a social engineering that seems harmonious with the way techies see their own world.
This is prologue to the story reported today that the forthcoming Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs, who naturally supported liberal Democrats (and for some reason put Al Gore on Apple’s board) ripped Obama when they met. From the Puffington Host:
“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them.
Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.
Jobs clearly had no clue that he was essentially asking Obama to become a Republican, since reining in the regulatory state and stiffing the key power base of the Democratic Party amounts to asking Democrats to give up their reason for being. Did Jobs really not know that the public school system is run for the convenience of the teachers? Does he really think the union would sit still for working longer hours and being open 11 months a year?
Of course, if Jobs understood politics, he’d have abandoned the Democratic Party a long time ago. It’s a good object lesson on the limitations of genius.
JOHN adds: You can look it up, but I believe published research suggests that even the most accomplished people are barely above average outside their areas of expertise. Anecdotally, that certainly seems to be true. Still, I think Jobs, who swam pretty much exclusively in liberal water all his life, deserves credit for seeing how badly Obama was failing, and, to a considerable extent, why.