US president Barack Obama cited Apple boss Steve Jobs as an example of the ‘American dream’, saying that the incentive to be rich is a ‘good thing’ and part of the free market.
Speaking to a reporter, Obama admitted the growing wealth gap in North America, saying “people in the top one per cent, people in the top one tenth of one per cent, or one-hundredth of one percent have a larger share of incoming and wealth than at any time since the 1920s.”
However Obama defended the ‘booming middle class’, saying the demographic had been “the greatest strength of America,” and that American was a place where “everyone has got a shot at the American dream.”
Obama said the pursuit of the ‘American dream’ ought to be the goal “that should be what we’re focused on,” he said. “How are we creating opportunity for everybody?”
The US president equated the equality of opportunity with the ability to become wealthy, saying “we celebrate wealth.”
“We celebrate somebody like a Steve Jobs, who has created two or three different revolutionary products. We expect that person to be rich, and that’s a good thing. We want that incentive. That’s part of the free market.”
Obama drew reporters’ attention to meetings earlier this month that he had with heads of some of North America’s largest technology companies including Intel and Google.
“How do we get all these profits that companies have been making since the economy recovered into productive investment and hiring? That’s a conversation that I had with the 20 CEOs who came [to Washington] and that’s a conversation I expect to continue in the months ahead.”
Apple will doubtless be pleased to have their products called “revolutionary products” by the President of the United States.