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Obama: Steve Jobs Deserves His Wealth

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Steve Jobs is living the American Dream.

At least, Barack Obama thinks so. The president cited the Apple CEO as an example of one American whose innovative work entitles him to his enormous 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," Obama said.

Obama's comment came during a news conference, when someone asked him if there was a divide between middle-class and wealthy Americans. He noted that the top 1 percent of Americans have a larger share of wealth than any time period since the 1920s. But he also credited those individuals with making it possible for the country's middle class to flourish.

Obama said,

And 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? So that 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.

The president met with Jobs earlier this fall to discuss "the economy, innovation in technology, education."

Obama's praise coincided with Jobs's nomination as the Person of the Year by the Financial Times. The paper's reason for the nod? The iPad, which they called "the culmination of an approach that he has seemingly been perfecting for his entire career. They credited Jobs with understanding "the art of the possible," while remaining dedicated to pushing Apple "relentlessly forward."

Jobs was also named the number four wealth creator in the country by Chief Executive.

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