Baldwin tweeted last night about the death of Steve Jobs:
Sad about Steve Jobs. On par with Henry Ford, Carnegie and Edison.
Would that be the anti-Semitic and anti-union Henry Ford? Would that be the Andrew Carnegie whose Pinkerton security force shot and killed striking workers? Or is it the Andrew Carnegie whose private-fishing lake for his rich friends accidentally flooded the city of Johnstown, Penn., killing over 2,000? And the great Thomas Edison, known for inventing the light bulb, but not so much for his ownership in the utilities that would power his light bulbs? Or maybe Baldwin meant the Thomas Edison who helped promote the electric chair in order to portray a competing electricity-distribution technology in a negative light?
I doubt Baldwin meant the comparison this way, but it fits.
Listen, Steve Jobs is a great entrepreneur and he made wonderful products, but what happened to all of the bleeding-heart criticism of Apple for, say, their working conditions in China? Just two of dozens upon dozens of examples:
NYT September 29, 2011: A Trip to China Can Make a Guy Hate His iPhone
Telegraph Feb. 27, 2010: Apple admits using child labour
There’s no mention of any of the above controversies in the obituary in today’s New York Times, however.
Respect the man’s accomplishments, mourn his death, but at least be honest on the manufacturing legacy he leaves in China.