Cites Apple's CEO as an exemplar of the American Dream
"We celebrate wealth," said President Obama in his year-end press briefing Wednesday afternoon.
"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, who went out of his way to schedule a one-on-one with Apple's (AAPL) CEO during his fund-raising swing through Silicon Valley in October, was responding to a question about whether there is a divide between middle-class and wealthy Americans.
His answer had it both ways. Yes, the divide between the rich and the middle class is wider than any time since the Roaring Twenties. And yes, most folks haven't seen an increase in real income in a decade.
But, he added, "something that's always been the greatest strength of America is a thriving, booming middle class, where everybody has got a shot at the American Dream. And that should be our goal. That should be what we're focused on. How are we creating opportunity for everybody?"
For people like Steve Jobs.
The full text of his answer is copied below the fold. Meanwhile, the Jobs shout-out is getting some blowback in the blogosphere. Take, for example, the reaction of FudZilla's Nick Farrell:
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