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Robert Brown
Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 4:04:45 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/business/ieconomy-apples-ipad-and-the-hum...

Robert Brown
Editor/VFX/Colorist - FCP, Smoke, Quantel Pablo, After Effects, 3DS MAX, Premiere Pro

http://vimeo.com/user3987510/videos


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 4:34:47 pm

Looks as if Apple now falls into a new realm of uncomfortable press - with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Nike, Kathie Lee Gifford, Disney, and other sweatshop operators.

I guess those shiny new IPads and IPhones aren't quite as cool when you factor in the human misery which makes them possible - or does the coolness factor trump sweatshop misery?

So...the logic here would be..."Our products are in such demand, and we are making so many millions of dollars...safety and quality of life just can't be factored in. If we made the workplaces safe, and gave the workers a living wage, we'd only make 10 Billion instead of 15 billion!"

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 5:26:00 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "So...the logic here would be..."Our products are in such demand, and we are making so many millions of dollars...safety and quality of life just can't be factored in. If we made the workplaces safe, and gave the workers a living wage, we'd only make 10 Billion instead of 15 billion!"
"


Indeed. I think that would be the logic.

And Robert, thanks for posting.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 6:24:50 pm

I think that focusing on Apple is unjust.
I bet that the guys that makes your NIKEs in Vietnam support worst conditions than those working for Apple in China.
I don't know if most people know that all the wars and massacres going on in central Africa since years, are about the control of the mines of coltan; a little shit that everyone carry on his pocket inside the mobile phone.
Blaming Apple is easy, but lets think of the human cost of every single thing that we see or we touch or we eat every single day and lets get ashamed ourself.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 7:17:20 pm

Well, that is the dilemma, isn't it. Where do you start?


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Mark Dobson
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 7:37:23 pm

Lets' start with Apple.

We all use it - we could all influence a change.

Bill Gates is out there and trying to change the world why not Apple?


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Chris Harlan
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 7:52:59 pm

Hopefully, it has already started.


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 8:13:32 pm

[Rafael Amador] "Blaming Apple is easy, but lets think of the human cost of every single thing that we see or we touch or we eat every single day and lets get ashamed ourself."

The point of the article is not to blame Apple, although some people may use it to do so. It merely displays Apple as a functional poster child of a system that, in order to meet the demands of consumers, it has to rely on increasing human costs to keep going. It reinforces your own point, Rafael.

"In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers — as well as dozens of other American industries — have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history."

"Apple is not the only electronics company doing business within a troubling supply system. Bleak working conditions have been documented at factories manufacturing products for Dell, Hewlett-Packard, I.B.M., Lenovo, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Toshiba and others. "

"Executives at other corporations report similar internal pressures. This system may not be pretty, they argue, but a radical overhaul would slow innovation. Customers want amazing new electronics delivered every year."


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 9:15:29 pm

Ah - so we kill and maim the workers so that innovation can proceed at a blazing pace - of course that is pretty much negated by the fact that every new personal computer processor which comes out allows for only about a 15 percent increase in processor speed. If they gave away a 100 percent increase (which they could, by the way), we wouldn't have to purchase new computers every few years to keep up with the software bloat.

And of course, many of the companies I mentioned earlier did get bagged, and got the fines and the slap on the wrist which is so common when profit trumps the human condition. Try boycotting Apple in large masses, and you'll probably see the manufacturing being moved to the US. Of course, we're becoming the third world country now, so they can probably get cheaper labor here in a year or so!

The trick is for everyone to start thinking about what impact each and every item that we use, or eat, every day, affects the people and environment of the world. As soon as anyone (anywhere) starts feeling that "we're" better than the people in some other country, we open up the doors for the next Hitler, or Stalin, or Papa Doc Duvalier, or Pol Pot...or even the more benign dictators (corporate and otherwise) who are never brought to task.

What's wrong with a boycott starting with Apple? The core is looking pretty rotten these days. So much for the friendly, hip, smiley-faced, everyone's invited to the party image of their marketing machine.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Steve Connor
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 9:26:00 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "What's wrong with a boycott starting with Apple?"

Nothing, but where do you stop?

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 9:35:12 pm

You don't stop - every time we become complacent, or say, "there's nothing one person can do about it..." is when the trouble starts.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Steve Connor
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 9:42:24 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "You don't stop - every time we become complacent, or say, "there's nothing one person can do about it..." is when the trouble starts."

I agree with you but boycotting companies who use cheap Chinese labour means you probably won't use any electronics at all.

These comments, from Chinese people are an interesting read

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/chinese-readers-on-the-ieconomy...

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Richard Herd
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 10:03:54 pm

Why don't the workers unionize?


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Gary Huff
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:28:43 pm

[Richard Herd]Why don't the workers unionize?

It's illegal to do so in China.


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Chris Conlee
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:13:00 am

[Richard Herd] "Why don't the workers unionize?"

Because the point many folks forget about is that China is a brutal communist nation, where workers are basically owned like sheep and the haves and the have nots stare at each other across a strictly defined party line. That's the danger of a centrally planned economy, the likes of which our current administration is pushing for.

Chris


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Richard Herd
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 10:00:06 pm

Collective bargaining rights have been eroded in the US too.


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tony west
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:42:34 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "What's wrong with a boycott starting with Apple?"


I feel like it's time to shame them (and others)

Maybe call for a day of shame and have people all over the world for one day send an email and say "shame on you"

Public pressure.

I know it's not only them, but we start with them and go from there.

I feel like I have to do something.

It's in the news for one day and then they just keep going.

I'm going to organize something.


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Joseph W. Bourke
The Apple pit deepens
on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:26:46 am

I decided to do a little homework and search around for Apple workplace violations (off shore, of course) - everyone at Apple USA is a happy camper, I'm sure. What I'm finding is astounding:

http://peoplesworld.org/rotten-apple-ipod-sweatshops-hidden-in-china/

Now we're beginning to find out why Apple doesn't want anyone knowing who their suppliers are - they're busy killing off their workers.

http://news.change.org/stories/apple-admits-child-labor-sweatshops-used-to-...

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505124_162-43442599/high-tech-sweat-shops-is-ap...

Here's Apple's smiley-faced spin on the news in their 2011 Progress Report:
http://images.apple.com/supplierresponsibility/pdf/Apple_SR_2011_Progress_R...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 26, 2012 at 10:10:37 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "The point of the article is not to blame Apple, although some people may use it to do so. It merely displays Apple as a functional poster child of a system that, in order to meet the demands of consumers, it has to rely on increasing human costs to keep going. It reinforces your own point, Rafael."

I agree that Apple is just being used as a case study and is not the only company that does this, but I disagree that Apple's hand has been unequivocally forced. Divide Apple's profits (not revenue but profits) by their workforce (workers of contractors aren't counted) and you'll get $400,000.00 of profit per Apple employee. There's a lot of room there to absorb the higher wages of manufacturing in the US if they wanted to but it doesn't make good business sense for them to do so.



What I don't understand are the race-to-the-bottom apologists. The people that think we should force everyone down to a Chinese worker's standard of living instead of trying to bring a Chinese worker's standard of living up. The people that say, "If you think a factory job is bad you should see the rural work" as if factory owners are doing their employees a favor by moving them from 'really bad' to 'not quite as bad' when it's well within their power to move them from really bad to good. It's like wanting a pat on the back for donating tattered, thread-bare, moth-eaten blankets to charity while you have mountains of down comforters that you'll never use.


-Andrew

2.9 GHz 8-core (4,1), FCP 7.0.3, 10.6.6
Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse (7.9.5)



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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:10:01 am

I'm with you on this, Tony. If enough people send a "for shame" email to Apple, and it gets publicized (the tough part), then maybe they'll be forced to think about it.

I, for one, have never owned an Apple product, although I've worked on their computers in other jobs (no pun intended). I think the strongest message would be a day of boycotting the Apple stores and online sales. The only message they seem to understand is the green one with George Washington's picture on it.

Here's an interesting piece on organizing an effective boycott:

http://www.democracyeducation.net/HowToBoycott.pdf

Here's an even more interesting site which claims to do it for you via the web (I'll be reading up on this tonight):

http://www.boycottowl.com/

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 1:05:02 am

[Andrew Kimery] " There's a lot of room there to absorb the higher wages of manufacturing in the US if they wanted to but it doesn't make good business sense for them to do so."

I don't think that 1.000 ipad glass polishers, for example, would automatically translate to 1.000 american jobs in your scenario. You'd have to factor something in first; The technological approach to the production line that would be developed then. Almost every task would have a machine created to accomplish it. So, instead of 1000 ipad glass polishers at a hypothetical US plant, there would be a couple of dozen workers operating a machine that polishes the ipad glass, and much more efficiently. At the end of the day, good business sense has to be made, regardless of where it operates. It's a conundrum, really.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:28:04 am

Yes, but when you combine good business sense and ethics, it becomes clear that it costs more to do business in a humanitarian way. If those glass polishers were hired in the US and told to polish the glass by hand with hazardous chemicals, the Apple plant would be shut down in a heartbeat. The only reason Apple can get their glass polished on the cheap is that they CHOOSE to have it done where it's cheap, AND it kills people.

You don't think Apple hasn't done a cost-benefit analysis of this and said, "Sure we can do it in the US with expensive machines for x dollars per unit. But we can do it offshore where there's no OSHA, and sure, a few people a year will die, but we can do it for x dollars less - let's do it."

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:54:10 am

I haven't tried to defend Apple, what I wanted to say is that IMO the article is opportunistic.
Two days after Apple released his annual results.

[Chris Harlan] "Well, that is the dilemma, isn't it. Where do you start?"

Where to start?
Personally I'm more concern about the companies that monopolize seeds patents or set the international commodities prices (google Glencore or Monsanto) than those making chips or software.
The decisions and practices of the last can affect hundred of thousands all around the world. The decisions and practices of the first affect millions; full countries economies.
We can stop buying the last mobile or tablet, but you can't stop eating.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:10:07 pm

But Glencore and Monsanto aren't subject to the vagaries of the retail market - and they have most of our vaunted government officials in their pockets.

I guess it's a matter of weighing one life lost against many lives reduced in quality. I'm not prepared to make that decision, but I do vote with my wallet. I try my best to buy local, organic produce, meats that aren't pumped full of God knows what, and products that are made without killing or maiming people. That's a personal decision, and I don't want to push it on anyone else - that's why this is a free country (somewhat).

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:29:14 pm

[Rafael Amador] "I haven't tried to defend Apple, what I wanted to say is that IMO the article is opportunistic.
Two days after Apple released his annual results."


I find it relevant since Apple is at the spotlight now, don't you think so? Of course, this is not only a problem for Apple to solve but for the entire world, as it involves others industries and issues as well. And what about those articles stating that Apple is worth more than Greece? That's pure non-sense market hype and it's laughable that CNN pushes that "information" into place. Opportunistic at its ugliest.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:41:27 pm

There are cultural differences at play here as well. It is a huge piece of the puzzle, but one of the hardest to understand and grasp, and even harder to observe from an article.

I understand Apple has a ton of influence so they certainly don't get a pass, but unless they outright own Foxconn (and not just hire them), or start a dialogue with "The State" and try to change government policy, nothing will get done unless it comes from within the Chinese system. This is the first time I've heard that Apple is such a stubborn price bully (but really, what giant corporations aren't), and as a result, that method ripples down to the hard workers on the manufacturing line. I am not sure if any Non-Chinese company can take on the political responsibility, let alone the ethics of aiding in the creation or suggestion of foreign government rules and regulations. This is not an easy solve.

Here's another article that will link you to some responses, including Tim Cooks: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57367320-37/apple-foxconn-tale-goes-well-...

Jeremy


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Bobby Mosca
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:24:29 pm

And then they came for Apple, and I said nothing...

Because that bandwagon looks fun! And I don't want to know what economies of scale are! Pour me another! Woo-hoo!

Posted from my blood-stained iPad.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 28, 2012 at 1:09:52 am

[Jeremy Garchow] " I am not sure if any Non-Chinese company can take on the political responsibility, let alone the ethics of aiding in the creation or suggestion of foreign government rules and regulations."


Jeremy,


This is a good question. It is precisely this sort of question that companies like Apple rely on to shirk responsibility.

When stronger labour regulations are at play, the cost of doing business goes up. When that happens in China, you will see companies like Apple looking to other, less-regulated labour markets, once again - for cheaper labour.

That sort of behaviour is the root of the problem, and that is where the ethical and moral weight of the questions lay.

Also this is one area where I really abhor the anthropomorphized corporate identity. People make these decisions - individuals - and those people should be held to account. No doubt this is an area of certain sensitivity for Tim Cook.

It's funny that the article you link to gives Apple a pass for "being singled out". I suppose the argument is that if a lot of people do it, it can't be wrong? Or that since consumers buy things, the people who make decisions at corporations are absolved of morality?

There's also this line (from your link):

Deep down do you really give a rat’s ass about the working conditions that created those relatively inexpensive devices? Of course not, you’re from a Western economy.

I'm not sure on what authority Larry Dignan deigns to speak for me but he seems to be speaking against bringing these issues out into the open. One can hope that a better informed public can make better informed decisions and that the idea of "externalities" in business practice can slowly be whittled down to expose it for the abdication of responsibility that it is.

I am not so much speaking against you posting this as I am responding the general dismissive attitude of the public relations responses to these sorts of discussions.


Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 28, 2012 at 2:43:33 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I am not so much speaking against you posting this as I am responding the general dismissive attitude of the public relations responses to these sorts of discussions."

I completely hear you. I was just posting the other side as it is relative to the conversation. Also, I am not an expert in these matters.

If you were in the PR deprtment, what can you say, and more importantly, what can you do to change these conditions? Apple certainly needs to wield their influence, I just think they need to know where to point the sword. Everyone other tech company that uses Foxconn could say something, too. But what do you say? Do you completely pull out and search elsewhere? What about the rest of your business? As much as this is a dire situation, how do you replace Foxconn overnight?

[Franz Bieberkopf] "It is precisely this sort of question that companies like Apple rely on to shirk responsibility."

It gets messy though if an American based company goes to move in to a political/governmental/social organization role, doesn't it? Would that happen in America? We manufacture, let's say, Korean cars in an American owned plant, and Korea comes in to work with DC on new labor laws? Does the mean Korea now gets a say in how those rules are written? Or if things go back to dismal, does Korea come back and play the heavy?

[Franz Bieberkopf] "When stronger labour regulations are at play, the cost of doing business goes up. When that happens in China, you will see companies like Apple looking to other, less-regulated labour markets, once again - for cheaper labour.

That sort of behaviour is the root of the problem, and that is where the ethical and moral weight of the questions lay.

Also this is one area where I really abhor the anthropomorphized corporate identity. People make these decisions - individuals - and those people should be held to account. No doubt this is an area of certain sensitivity for Tim Cook."


Perhaps they will look around for cheaper labor opportunities if the cost of doing business in China rises, but the they'd have to wait for a company to build a plant, and get it up and running which will cost them too much money in downtime, I'd imagine. Also, one of these recent articles makes the case about labor not being the most expensive part of the equation.

You are absolutely right that people make these decisions and should be held accountable. I agree. In this case, what is Tim Cook accountable for? A flawed ventilation system at Foxconn? I'm just asking, I don't know.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "It's funny that the article you link to gives Apple a pass for "being singled out". I suppose the argument is that if a lot of people do it, it can't be wrong? Or that since consumers buy things, the people who make decisions at corporations are absolved of morality?"

Another part of it that was mentioned was about consumers "demanding new products every year". Do we or are we just conditioned to expect it?

There's also the difference of cultures, and also, the relative economic situation of the workers there. I believe (and have heard) that working in a situation like that is a step up for some of the workers. This shouldn't let Foxconn pass for handing out unreasonable requests of their workers, but if Foxconn goes away, that means hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people go back to destitution. Is that morally/ethcially right or wrong? And who is Tim Cook/any non-Chinese company leader to make that decision? Is it appropriate? Again, just asking.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I'm not sure on what authority Larry Dignan deigns to speak for me but he seems to be speaking against bringing these issues out into the open. One can hope that a better informed public can make better informed decisions and that the idea of "externalities" in business practice can slowly be whittled down to expose it for the abdication of responsibility that it is."

Absolutely.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 28, 2012 at 3:54:01 am

Jeremy,


You've raised a lot of issues, but I'll respond broadly.

I think this is a moral issue, not a public relations issue.

It's an interesting question you raise when you question Tim Cook's responsibility. I am not at all versed in corporate structures and responsibility, but I'd be interested to see what he does claim to be responsible for.

The issue of "consumers demanding new products every year" is daft - it suggests that corporations have no agency in the market and simply respond to demand. This is particularly amusing in light of Steve Jobs famous Gretzky quote.

Apple seems to aspire to innovation and leadership rather narrowly if it is content to be one of many doing the same thing, the same way.

You raise economic arguments in favour of the status quo ("working in a situation like that is a step up for some of the workers") - but similar arguments can be made (and were) in support of slavery. I suppose you have to ask yourself by what standard you're judging the realization of economic and social freedom (or perhaps you were just suggesting an improvement in sustenance and comfort).

In terms of solutions, I don't see that it needs to be a case of foreign interests meddling in sovereign laws at all - any company could mandate that they only do business with suppliers that follow an enforced labour standard. (I'm sure they have well-enforced standards for the production line in terms of product.) I'm sure there are precedents for this (the "blood diamond" issue comes to mind, but there may be better examples), and I'm sure there's probably wide ranging resources discussing just such a problem as this.

I believe Apple used to make their products in the U.S. - at some point a decision was made to shift to labour forces in China. This isn't a sudden issue - it is a business strategy.


Franz.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 28, 2012 at 2:16:00 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I think this is a moral issue, not a public relations issue."

I agree. I used the word public relations as you said it in your previous post.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "The issue of "consumers demanding new products every year" is daft - it suggests that corporations have no agency in the market and simply respond to demand. This is particularly amusing in light of Steve Jobs famous Gretzky quote."

Demand should be in quotes. I agree.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "You raise economic arguments in favour of the status quo ("working in a situation like that is a step up for some of the workers") - but similar arguments can be made (and were) in support of slavery. I suppose you have to ask yourself by what standard you're judging the realization of economic and social freedom (or perhaps you were just suggesting an improvement in sustenance and comfort)."

The notion of freedom is completely different in a state controlled society.

It is one thing to willingly go sign up and apply for a job at Foxconn, it is another to be ripped from your home country, sailed half way across the world to points unknown, and forced to work with zero pay. There is a difference.

What I am saying, after seeing the poverty in rural China, is that some people need these jobs. Desperately. That is the hardest part to understand. It does not justify the abuse or the deaths, it does not excuse or absolve anyone of responsibility, and it by no means suggests that this situation should continue. I am not lying when I say there's a major cultural difference here, and the role of Non-Chinese tech companies in changing this culture is unclear. My bet is that Foxconn probably has some of the better facilities. That's the truly sad part, it most likely gets worse.

I'm sure you've read about the villages that melt down the precious metals out of ewaste in Asia and Africa, right?

http://www.salon.com/2006/04/10/ewaste/







The news will constantly remind you about China's booming economy, but they don't report much on this.

[Franz Bieberkopf] "In terms of solutions, I don't see that it needs to be a case of foreign interests meddling in sovereign laws at all - any company could mandate that they only do business with suppliers that follow an enforced labour standard. (I'm sure they have well-enforced standards for the production line in terms of product.) I'm sure there are precedents for this (the "blood diamond" issue comes to mind, but there may be better examples), and I'm sure there's probably wide ranging resources discussing just such a problem as this."

Yep, you are right. But what if those labor standards aren't enforced? What if companies doing business in china think that Foxconn is actually playing by the rules because when clients are touring the plant, they are playing by the rules? While there aren't labor unions, there are rules that have been reported (60 hour work weeks, etc). Are they enforced? Perhaps foxconn puts their best foot forward until the executives are gone.

I was in Shanghai during the Special Olympics and we actually scored some tickets to the opening ceremony. The government had issued a mandate to Chinese vehicle owners to only drive on certain days a week before the games were to start. It was divided by license plate, certain letters could only drive on certain days. This was to reduce the pollution for foreign visitors. Certain factories were told to shut down as well. Certain sections of the Internet are permanently blocked and other sections can be shut down without any notice. We couldn't bring wireless audio gear in to the country for fear of spying. Who are they trying to fool?

From a tech companies perspective, you can't simply pull up stakes and move. You would have to shut down and retool for a number of years. Apple could probably afford it, but could any other company and does it make business sense?

Other people have said it, but this is a huge problem that does not involve only Apple. They are the tip of the iceberg, and their record profits make it blatantly obvious. Calling them out is a good thing as hopefully they can use their tremendous wad of money to make things better, and until then, we as consumers can choose to not buy any electronics.......

One way I think that might be able to make a huge difference is to make these companies responsible for the product after its useful life. If your cell phone dies, your computer is too old, your screen cracks, you send the appliance back to the company so they can recycle/recover it. It will make them rethink the design, it will force them to use different materials to be more easily reused if they have to deal with the fallout of all of this.

Jeremy


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Rafael Amador
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 29, 2012 at 2:53:36 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "One way I think that might be able to make a huge difference is to make these companies responsible for the product after its useful life. If your cell phone dies, your computer is too old, your screen cracks, you send the appliance back to the company so they can recycle/recover it. It will make them rethink the design, it will force them to use different materials to be more easily reused if they have to deal with the fallout of all of this."
Jeremy,
You touched here another very interesting issue: The planned obsolescence.
Companies limit lifespan of products to make more profits.
That could be acceptable if they wouldn't be filling the planet with rubbish and exhausting natural resources.
For any one interested, this is a great documentary about:
"The light bulb conspiracy".







rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Jan 29, 2012 at 6:44:44 pm

[Rafael Amador] "You touched here another very interesting issue: The planned obsolescence"

And things going obsolete is OK. Things change, new technology is developed, but as you said, don't throw it in a landfill.

Start with objects, materials, that can be easily reused or recovered, severely limiting what needs to go in the trash, but not only do you have to build this product, you have to take responsibility for it's demise. Of course, this is not an easy task to institute.

Also, it means the price goes up as the starting materials need to be more robust and "less cheap".

RoHS is a step in the right direction.

Building new things, selling new versions, is how the world goes around. Let's face it, I want clients to come back, I am happy for repeat business, I value the loyalty.

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

Jeremy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Interesting NYT Article
on Feb 1, 2012 at 9:26:21 pm

Thank you for posting that, Mark.


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