Seeing as nearly every site on the Internet has a tribute of some sort to recently deceased Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, I won’t bore you with another. Needless to say, as one of the millions who has contributed some portion of his salary to Mr. Jobs over the years, he has had an impact on my life. But I see him as more than a guy who made me fork over hundreds for fancy MP3 players, smartphones, and more.
Steve Jobs was, in my mind, the quintessential capitalist. He is not a man who was known for great charity, in the traditional sense. Instead, he contributed to society in a way that is far greater than that. He created things that we actually wanted, and that actually made our lives more productive and happy. And in the end, we were more than happy to give him our hard-earned money because these were, in our estimations, things of VALUE.
This is an important distinction in a world where the media and those left-of-center tend to obsequiously worship only those wealthy who set up foundations and grants, or who lobby for taxes on their peers to be raised (see Obama, Bill Clinton, Buffett, and many others). Now, there is nothing wrong with giving to charity, if that is your choice. But it is indeed strange for anyone to be lauded for advocating the forced confiscation of wealth from others. It’s a strange mindset indeed.
Steve Jobs, on the other hand, was the opposite of this. He was not a political player in any major way. He just innovated and put forth new ideas, new ways of thinking, new technologies that we didn’t know we needed. In this way, he was the living embodiment of the truly beautiful relationships that a free market can create - a system wherein millions got gadgets they wanted, and Jobs became incredibly wealthy.