Monday, June 13, 2016

Nancy Pelosi: Steve Jobs Didn't Invent iPhone -- the Federal Government Did

More attacks on American ingenuity -- more bolstering of government as great, as the problem-solver, and the individual as needy and woefully inadequate. (It's government, not the individual -- as infused by God -- with all the knowledge, power, authority, talent, etc.)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told a Democratic National Convention Platform-gathered crowd in Washington, D.C., that unbenownst to most, it was the federal government – and not Steve Jobs – that invented the iPhone.

"Anybody here have a smartphone?" she said, holding up her own iPhone and waving it toward the audience, Tech Worm reported. "In this smartphone, almost everything came from federal investments in research. GPS came from military, flatscreen, digital camera, digital data compression, voice recognition ... The list goes on and on. If you want to learn more, look at the Association for the Advancement of Science in America, and they have a full list."

She then spoke directly to the idea that Jobs, as commonly regarded, invented the iPhone – the technological device that triggered the whole smartphone movement – and scoffed: He was little more than an assembler, she said.

"They say Steve Jobs did a good idea designing it and putting it together," she said. "Federal research invented it."

A spokesperson for Pelosi also said the California lawmaker considered herself a friend of Jobs and wasn't trying to disrespect him.

"But the point she was making is a valid one," Drew Hammill said to CNET. "Leader Pelosi believes that Steve Jobs and his colleagues at Apple deserve enormous credit for taking federally-backed innovations off the shelf, refining them, commercializing them and turning them into a beautiful device that changed the world."

Jobs may not have designed all the components that made the iPhone, but his  company did design, develop and assemble both the hardware and software that goes into the phone, and maintain all the IP rights to it, Tech Worm reported.

Pelosi's comments are similar to notions touted by President Obama, who in 2012 said from the campaign trail in Roanoke, Virginia: "Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something, there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelieveable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet."

Former vice president Al Gore fielded political fire for comments he made in March 1999 during an interview on CNN about his presidential aspirations and how he differed from his Democratic primary challenger, Sen. Bill Bradley. Then, he told host Wolf Blitzer that had it not been for his own work and efforts, the Internet may not have been invented when it was.

The question that fueled this claim, from Blitzer, went like this, Christian Science Monitor reported: "Why should Democrats, looking at the Democratic nomination process, support you instead of Bill Bradley?"

And Gore replied: "I'll be offering my vision when my campaign begins. And it will be comprehensive and sweeping. And I hope that it will be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be. But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection."

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