Tim Cook talks Apple’s ‘moral responsibility’ to grow the US economy in new interview

While on his cross-country jaunt last week, Tim Cook took time to sit down with The New York Times for an interview. The talk focused primarily on Apple’s investments in the United States, as well as education and protecting the environment.

Cook took time to praise one of his biggest inspirations, President Lyndon B. Johnson, explaining that what Johnson accomplished in his presidency was monumental, political opinions put aside:

“One of the things that hits you,” he said, is “all of the major acts, legislation, that happened during just his presidency.” His eyes widened as he listed some: “You have the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Act, you have Medicare, you have Medicaid, you have several national parks, you have Head Start, you have housing discrimination, you have jury discrimination.”

“Regardless of your politics,” he continued, “you look at it and say, ‘My gosh.’”

The Apple CEO also talked about the company’s responsibility to the United States, rehashing his opinion that Apple has a “moral responsibility” to grow the economy. Cook also noted that there’s “probably a more significant group” that believes his only responsibility is to Wall Street.

Cook then shifted focus to the environment, touting that Apple powers 100 percent of its operations on renewable energy in the United States, as well as 23 other countries.

Apple last week announced that it is expanding its Swift curriculum to more community colleges, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Cook was quick to tout Apple’s education efforts. Cook explained that one reason Apple is targeting community colleges is “the community college system is much more diverse than the four-ear schools, particularly the four-year schools that are known for comp sci.”

“There is a definite diversity issue in tech, in particular in coding and computer scientists. You want it to increase the diversity of people that are in there, both racial diversity, gender diversity, but also geographic diversity,” Mr. Cook said. “Right now, the benefits of tech are too lopsided to certain states.”

Cook was then asked if “his focus on jobs and speeches in front of American flags” is a hint at something bigger…like a presidential run:

“I have a full-time job,” Mr. Cook said. “I appreciate the compliment,” he added with a wry look, “if it is a compliment.”

Tim Cook spent much of last week traveling around the United States. He visited an Apple testing equipment partner in Ohio as well as the site of Apple’s new Iowa data center. Cook also visited Austin, Teas.

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