At this point, it’s fairly common knowledge that Apple outsources its manufacturing work overseas. Labor is much cheaper in countries like China, where there are no minimum wage laws, so it’s a huge draw for companies looking to lower their costs.

But not everyone’s ok with this. CNN’s Clyde Prestowitz recently wrote an article entitled “Apple has an obligation to help solve America’s problems.” The piece is essentially about the company’s lack of job creation in the US, and what it should do about it…

Prestowitz writes:

“As a business, Apple has a right to fear that moving the assembly work from China to the United States will entail raising labor costs so high as to make the company less competitive and profitable. But for it to say that it has no obligation to help solve America’s problems is completely unacceptable.”

That’s a pretty outlandish claim — to say that because Apple has become extremely successful, and because it’s headquartered in America, that it should put domestic job creation ahead of its own business needs. I have to agree with The Loop‘s Jim Dalrymple here:

“The problems in the U.S. economy are not for Apple to resolve. They pay taxes — I’m sure they pay a lot of taxes — and they employ tens of thousands of Americans in high paying jobs. Apple is not a charity, nor should it make business decisions based on a country’s needs or wants. Apple has one financial responsibility — to make money for its shareholders.”

Apple has come under heavy fire during the past few months over its refusal to bring its manufacturing jobs into America. In fact, the criticism has prompted the company to create a new section on its website explaining its value to the US work force.

I’ll be the first to admit that it would awesome if Apple could find a way to create more jobs in the US — I’d say the same thing for any company. But to say that it’s obligated to do so is a bit ridiculous.

What’s your take on this? Does Apple have an obligation to create more American jobs?

  • By that logic, people in countries like china who desperately need a job will suffer….people in china and brazil are human beings too who need these jobs more desperately than those in the united states…

    • Anonymous

      How do people desperately need a job in one country more than another?

      • Well in the united states the standard of living is much higher….and the population is less…in the united states even if you aren’t in job paying 6 digits the quality of life is good…in these countries people struggle to meet basic standards of living….creating more jobs could only help the vast population struggling in these countries…

      • Anonymous

        There are homeless people here too and unemployment benefits don’t last forever. You can go hungry in this country.

      • I don’t know how to reply further there’s no option
        Well i completely agree
        But the population is less in the united states…if there are a million homeless people in the united states there are 10 billion homeless people in these countries…if these people in the united states manage to find a job(even the most menial job possible) they can still have 3 meals a day if not anything else….but in these countries there is no question of finding a job owing to the huge population…there are people who have just one meal a day which is very sad…I mean people complain about low wages at Foxconn and stuff like that but these people REALLY need that money…they are struggling to achieve basic needs of having 3 meals in a day…I completely agree people can go hungry in the states too…but apple manufacturing in china is really helping the people there…it wouldn’t help mankind as much if they manufactured in the states itself….

      • Anonymous

        @quietstorms Of course there are homeless people and hungry ones in America but there’s more in countries like Philippines, Vietnam, Africa, China, etc. There are billions of people in poverty and they don’t even have a fraction of unemployment benefits/any type of benefit from the government at all.

  • if it weren’t for a capitalistic free market, apple wouldn’t exist in the first place. Prestowitz is too much of a coward to share in the responsibility for finding a solution, so he dumps the responsibility on others.

  • Anonymous

    Apple shouldn’t feel obligated just like the US didn’t feel obligated to help Apple out when they were going broke. That said, they are an American company and probably wouldn’t be the company they are today without being from the US.

    Ironically, the day you will see Apple bring back manufacturing to the US is the day when the plant will be almost fully automated with little need for workers.

    • Don’t think been based in the US would have made any difference. Good design and products what people want are the reason for their success. They could have been based anywhere in world because of that.

      • Anonymous

        There is a reason why many popular apps don’t come from outside of the US. The problem is that there are a multitude of laws that have to be negotiated from country to country which stalls the process. Almost everyone goes to the Valley instead.

        The same thing applies for OSes. The US is a very large country of middle class customers and it is easier to gain marketshare here. The US is also extremely business friendly – to a fault.

  • Take care of your own country first. It should be a form of treason to take jobs overseas. Or tax the hell out of companies that outsource and then sell the goods right back to us. We lose twice, losing jobs and then buying stuff we didnt make. The US has a problem with trying to help the world, take care of your own house before you clean your neighbors. If Steve Jobs salary was a $1 like they say then trust me Apple doesnt need the money. Bring it back to your homeland

    • Anonymous

      I couldn’t agree more… If you were talking about governments. As for companies, no. Their obligations are to the shareholders, their bottom line, their employees, and success. Being nice in any way doesn’t factor at all as an obligation.

  • So ridiculous. This guy obviously has no knowledge at all about the amount of people apple already employ. From a retail standpoint, they employ hundreds of people per store, I happen to know that the George St, Sydney store has 305 people on their roster.

    • making minimum wage in these retail stores doesn’t sound so great

  • Anonymous

    The problem is tax laws that allow Apple to hide their wealth overseas and not be taxed by our government. If we were able to tax them, then who cares where the jobs are. Same with GE, Motorola, Exxon Mobile, etc.

    • Anonymous

      I doubt there’s any “hiding”, per se. I suspect the bulk of that money is revenue. There’s so much now stored overseas the tax alone would buy out many well known companies.

      Being taxed on money generated overseas on products created overseas doesn’t sound right to me.

  • This is the government obligation to creat more jobs and not Apples’s. If our nation’s government wants Apple to create more jobs in America they have to fix the business infrastructure and make America more attractive for manufacturing here.

    • with obama as president, we have a better chance of getting more jobs if Apple does something. or we can wait till jan when a new president is sworn in.

      • Anonymous

        Stop waiting for a president to fix things. Those guys have their hands tied. Get to the people really in charge, the background secretaries and all the other people who don’t have much to worry about concerning future elections.

    • Anonymous

      Yep. Fix the business infrastructure, the education system, and all the other low level crucial sectors. Why put my best into educating a bunch of unruly kids who I’m not allowed to punish when my salary is so low I have to get a second job?

  • ALL electronics companies do their manufacturing and assembly in china and not in the USA or Europe. why would apple do this differently?

  • This is why America is rapidly on the decline because the companies values are based more on greed than in the country where it comes from that’s why china and Japan and other countries succeed more than us because they have more pride in their country then greed for money.

  • Anonymous

    Nope. Why should they? Such things should come from initiative, not expectations.

    The advertising still claims America to be the land of the free. If this is still the case, leave Apple and every other company alone.

  • If Apple were to bring those jobs back, maybe they’d have $50 billion in the bank instead of $100billion. I remember when America touted country first and actually meant it. When it was an honorable thing to say your company employed thousands of jobs in our own country. But with the publicly run company model, shareholders are all that matter. We live in a day an age where profits trump humanity. I’m sorry, I don’t feel sorry for a company that makes billions of dollars touting that America’s tax laws prevent them from creating jobs here. It’s plain and simple greed. That goes for Apple and any other company that choose profits over their fellow countrymen.

    • I agree 100%. Apple has more money then the US government. The people that run Apple have money that they will never see or touch even if they lived to be 300 years old. How greedy can you be? You love seeing your idevices in our hands so why not have these same hands manufactoring these products?

  • i never never tought of this, american people crying bcuz capitalism! welcome to the real capitalism my dear american fellows 🙂

  • Apple is not obligated to save the planet.