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Rotten Apple: A Symbol of Labor Exploitation [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-3-12 00:01:42 |Display all floors
A Symbol of Labor Exploitation

In 1984 I bought one of the first Apple Macintosh computers to roll off the line in Cupertino, California.  At 132 K ROM (hardly enough to power a toaster by today’s standards), the Mac came loaded with a serviceable writing program (Mac Write) and an ingenious graphics program (Mac Paint) and the age of personal computing was born in earnest.

In those days Apple was a fiercely independent alternative to IBM, the corporate beast that monopolized the computer industry. Apple was a symbol of American ingenuity and innovation.  Apple users were loyal to the company and we believed that Apple was loyal to us.  We remained loyal even through substandard products because we believe that Apple had a social consciousness.

I don’t know when Apple changed.  It doesn’t really matter.  But when Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address, trumpeting the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as a job creator, I knew something was rotten to the core.  Daniels was right about Apple job creation.  The trouble is some 95% of those jobs were created in China under deplorable conditions.

In America the very same politicians whose policies wreaked havoc on the global economy spend most of their time attempting to exploit the devastation by attacking what remains of the rights of labor.  Too often on the so-called liberal establishment falls silent on the right to organize and the right to collective bargaining (an alternative to a general strike).

In Europe the same voices that claim to represent the left are planting their staffs with the anti-labor forces of austerity.

The recent New York Times exposing Apple’s exploitation of Chinese labor (“How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work” by Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher, January 21, 2012) reads more like a rationalization if not an outright defense.

On international labor rights the Times is as bankrupt as the Greek treasury.  An unashamed proponent of Clintonian Free Trade, the Times argued with an unmistakable tone of admiration that Chinese workers at substandard wages (the leading Apple manufacturer, Foxconn Technology, recently received two wage increases from an equivalent of $135 per month to roughly $300 per month) were so motivated that they could be roused to work at a moment’s notice.

They frequently work 24 or 36-hour shifts at tedious jobs with little complaint (except for the occasional riot or threatened mass suicide).  The story noted that there were plenty more sweatshops making complementary products just down the road.

The Times glossed over the rumored suicide rate and the fact that the company running the largest sweatshop on the planet had to install nets outside its walls to prevent workers from jumping to their deaths.

The Times’ Nicholas Kristof and his fellow compassionate compliciters will tell you that the workers are better off as exploited labor than they otherwise would be.  They could be back on the farm tending rice fields at a meager existence or worse; they might be on the streets of protest in open rebellion.

There is little to distinguish the defense of Apple and labor exploitation from the antebellum defense of slavery.  The advocates of slavery also argued with characteristic audacity that the slaves were better off than they would have been on their own accord.  They had roofs over their heads, clothing, medical care and meals on the table.  They were slaves, subject to beatings, inhuman treatment and whatever torture can be imagined, but at least they had food to eat.

Their white masters could rape the women at will and the men could do nothing about it but at least their basic needs were fulfilled.  If not for a few rabble rousers, malcontents and radical idealists, the slaves would have been happy to live out their lives, generation after generation, in contented servitude.

We recognize now that such arguments are an affront to human decency but in the land of antebellum slave plantations they were tolerated if not embraced.

It is by no means admirable that workers can be roused from sleep at any of the day or night to work another twelve-hour shift.  It is not laudable that workers can be forced to work in unsafe environments with toxic chemicals and hazardous waste.  It is not acceptable that children of twelve are subjected to these conditions.  When workers riot and threaten mass suicide it is not a sign of relative wellbeing.

I know that Apple is not alone.  Foxconn has contracts with Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Motorola, Nokia, Toshiba, Samsung, Amazon, Nintendo and IBM.

Apple has responded predictably to the negative publicity of the Times report and the potent monologue of Mike Daisey now playing at the Public Theater in New York (“The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”).  It has hired an “independent” watchdog to monitor and report on labor abuse in China and elsewhere.  Unfortunately, that organization receives its funding from the industry.

Apple perceives labor abuse as a public relations problem because Apple does not care about workers in China or anywhere else. Apple cares about the bottom line and Apple is afraid that this wave of negative publicity will forever tarnish its image and affect its profit ratio.

I know the futility of calling for a strike.  We are addicted to our intelligent devices and there are no viable alternatives.  We cannot for a moment believe that the sweatshops in Indonesia or anywhere else where the economy thrives on cheap labor is any better than those in China.

I am calling for a different response and one that would have an impact on the bottom line.  We do not need the latest gadget.  We do not need the immediate upgrade to the latest technological innovation.  We can wait.

That is what I am suggesting that every conscientious consumer should do.  Delay that next purchase.  Delay it as long as possible. Make that purchase only when it is necessary.

If enough people take this approach, Apple and all the others will notice.  They will make changes.  They may not move their plants back home immediately but in time, who knows?

If they were to move back home, you can bet that those 750,000 Chinese jobs would translate to 500,000 robotic devices and a handful of managers and maintenance crews.

So be it.  If they continue to operate as they are, they need to know that the fight for labor rights does not end at our shores.

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Post time 2012-3-12 13:02:22 |Display all floors
This post was edited by greendragon at 2012-3-13 11:29


Just read that HENAN PROVINCE external exports consist of 1/3 by FOXCONN.

Rather amazing.
It's better for HENAN province to send MIGRANT WORKERS and reduce the over population in the province.

It should encourage HIGH VALUE output on it's FARMS.
This will increase the dometic demand in HENAN.
Urbanization with BIG RANGE OF SERVICES (due to sensitivity of the province - they can choose any option or method to urbanized - descripton of OTHER CLANS, TRIBES urban business has often brought trouble to the OBSERVER doing the EXPLAINATIONS.)

Not only does these people have the MONEY, they also have the POWER, and MAN to harass, or do other horrible acts on the opinion giver!

AVOID the trouble.

Anyway, these stories are all OLD INFORMATION, no point to regurgitate it all!


(THIS MESSAGE is only for the GOOD HEARTED PEOPLE, who are calm, human like, who loves observation, discussions!)

Do not read messages, opinion, ideas that you don't like!


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To Mr. VanWilder : My many post is read by many ESTABLISHMENTS around the world!

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Post time 2012-3-12 19:40:50 |Display all floors
The firm is nothing but a bunch of bloodsucking vampires that drain their victims of blood and move on to the next victim. we all know that.

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Post time 2012-3-12 23:21:33 |Display all floors
no Apple , no jobs in China.
I've made my living, Mr. Thompson, in large part as a gambler. Some days I make twenty bets, some days I make none. There are weeks, sometimes months, in fact, when I don't make any bet at all because ...

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Post time 2012-3-12 23:23:46 |Display all floors
Now, I know why wildman  van hates Apple.

He hates jobs in China.  hahahahahahahahahahaha
I've made my living, Mr. Thompson, in large part as a gambler. Some days I make twenty bets, some days I make none. There are weeks, sometimes months, in fact, when I don't make any bet at all because ...

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Post time 2012-3-13 11:36:55 |Display all floors
This post was edited by greendragon at 2012-3-13 11:47

HAN GAN rear guard action worry!

Fu Man Chu the villian.png

Wall Street HAN GAN will be active!

The American Establishment controls a few pinnacle business. They can always depend on the REAR GUARD action of SELF INTERESTED Revenue Merchants. The Revenue Merchants are hard pressed - two face - figures.

Even State Establishments in ATRS (Asian Trade Route States) are not immune to this problem.
That's one advantage of controlling pinnacle businesses.
For many of us, this means the PETROLEUM-AUTOMOBILE industry, IT-TELCO industry, even COMMODITY-FOOD industry.

It's quite fun for OUTSIDERS (looking in) see how the FU MAN CHU'S of our world work their schemes to please the other stakeholders. This could include various PROPAGANDA tools, and use of MR. SAM'S etc. etc. etc.


Green DRagon
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Post time 2012-3-13 11:46:25 |Display all floors
Henan province is a SAD SAD province.

Lacking initiative, entrepreuners. (= lack of creativeness, enterprise, talents)

DOESN'T anybody want to tell them that CHINA has 1,350 million population.
With almost 300 million or so citizen in the US$10,000 per capita range - mostly in the COASTAL SUPERCENTRES and capital cities of the provinces.

That should give a MARKET SIZE of USA for basic consumer items SUCH as CLOTHINGS, TOYS, GIFTS, LUXURY FOOD etc. etc. etc.

Henan can grow less COTTON, plant more luxury food in green houses or DRIP AGRICULTURE method........
It can sub contract with LOCAL CHAIN STORES - Giordano, Hang Ten, G-2000.......
It can assemble TV, HI FI, appliances - for Giant hypermarket, Parkson......

Goodness gracious, ASSEMBLY WORKER for Rmb12,000 a year!
Workshop of the World.jpg

Domestic export to the China commonwealth is same as coastal exports to OVERSEAS.

ha ha ha


Green DRagon
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