Just another corporation...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Les Kern, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #1
    As a HUGE Apple fan and a user since 1985, I have lately become disillusioned about Apple the company, and the latest story concerning their employees at Apple stores leaves quite a sour taste in my mouth.
    Apple has almost 70BN in cash, and besides the new data center, refuses to consider doing any manufacturing here. How many of us would pay a bit more knowing some guy in Texas or Virginia or Chicago made it? All of us I'll bet. They also have billions in overseas banks including the Cayman Islands, and refuse to bring it back because it will be taxed. A lot of companies do this, some pay zero taxes anyway, and Apple is close to paying zero as well. I know Apple REALLY doesn't care about anything but profit. Look at what they did to FCP. Instead of investing in the re-write a new more powerful version, they looked at what they'd get back from the millions they'd need to spend doing it for a few thousand users and said "nope!". Okay, I can KIND of get that, but don't be fooled: Apple is in it for the money PERIOD and are masters at manipulating the world. All I am saying is "I'll use your gear, but quit lying to me... it makes you look ugly".
    Here's a story of just what they think of their Apple employees:
    http://www.alternet.org/economy/151...apple_'should_be_looked_at_as_an_experience'/
     
  2. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

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    #2
    Of course Apple is all about profit, just like all corporations.

    I'd rather pay cheaper have my machines built overseas than pay more just for U.S. work. If I were the head of any company it would be the same way, of course you find the cheapest way to make things and then maximize your profit. Same with taxes, why wouldn't they send their money elsewhere? If you don't have to pay as much taxes somewhere else then do it, it is business.

    Do you have a problem with a company wanting to make as much money as possible?
     
  3. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #3
    In the 19th century, people like you were in charge in the UK: "***** the people, it's business!" :rolleyes:
     
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #4
    There's a difference between profit and greed. I can get a Dell that's aproximately comparable to a $2000 MBP, for $1000. With that extra grand, I'm sure Apple could afford to pay some worker a $15/hour to assemble a laptop. Plus, they then save on shipping costs, and become a greener company because the container ships are filthy.

    What exactly are the drawbacks?
     
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #5
    Interesting story just published about where the iPod jobs are, and that is relevant to this discussion. The highlights are:
    1) Twice as many jobs are outside the USA as inside - approx 27k vs 14k
    2) Of the foreign based jobs, fewer than half are in China, interestingly.
    3) Yet, even with only half the jobs in the USA, the dollar value of those jobs is twice as much as the dollar value of the foreign based jobs.

    One could then argue that the cheap assembly jobs that are off-shored allows Apple to give Americans the high paid jobs. But wait, there's more.....

    Of the approx 14k USA jobs, more than half were for non-professional staff (retail, office, freight, etc) but they earned far less than the fewer-in-numbers professional staff ($220 millions vs $525 million).

    So, one could argue that the cheap foreign jobs allows the professional staff earn the big bucks.

    Note that the study looks at the state of things in 2006.

    Story Link
     
  6. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #6
    Why in the world would someone pay more just to keep a job in Texas or Virginia? If I'm from let's say Greece why would I do that? Or if I'm from Australia why would I pay more to protect a job in Virginia?

    Would you pay more for a BMW knowing that it's made in Germany to protect german jobs and close the american manufacturing site of BMW? Makes also no sense.

    I would pay a bit more if I know that workers get treated fairly regardless where their job is located.
     
  7. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

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    #7
    It costs more.
     
  8. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    #8
    If you don't approve of Apple anymore, quit using their products. Find a more "socially responsible" manufacturer that you can deal with better.

    I recall looking at previous threads about Apple retail employees thinking of unionizing. At the time, it seemed to me that most peoples' reactions were basically "if you don't like it, quit". No one's forcing them to work there, they are choosing to stay.

    The previously posted Reuters blog points out that Apple is able to pay its engineers better by offshoring the manufacturing. This not only keeps them competitive salary-wise, but probably allows those engineers better standards of living, enabling them to actually spend more and pay people like landscapers and pool-maintenance people and house-cleaners, who also benefit. Of course, that part doesn't fit the "evil corporation" template, though...
     
  9. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #9
    I was with you up until the manufacturing section. Why would I, as a chap in Britain, give a flying hoot if someone in Texas made my Apple product? They're already quite highly priced here (and I imagine everywhere else), what benefit would I see if the price went up but it said "born in the USA" instead of "built in China"?

    Nope. If anything I want Apple products to cost less, but still keep the factory workers in fully paid jobs. (no slave labour)
     
  10. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #10
    There are none. My point is essentially that we are broken. We have become the land of the 10 buck an hour forklift job. Since 2000 a total of more than 50,000 factories have closed here, and every day companies are rewarded for moving offshore.
    I knew there would be at least one poster who would say "buy something else" missing the point of the post by a 100 kilometers.
     
  11. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #11
    It's an American company. Well, sort of.

    Nope, the race to the bottom is almost complete. Pretty soon those buck an hour workers will make everything.
     
  12. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #12
    Business as usual going on!

    Seriously, if you accept capitalism, you must accept this kind of behavior.
     
  13. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #13
    Yes pretty much. Because at what price to society? And where do we draw the lines?
    I am all for competition, but there is very little any more unless you toss in weapons manufacturing. We rule THAT world.
    Unless the tariff laws are changed we are DOOMED to a society where there is no middle, just the overlords and the minimum wage idiots who let them get away with it.
     
  14. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #14
    Not true at all. Unregulated capitalism is a cancer. I'd rather not throw up my hands and say "well, that's capitalism!" and wander off, not wondering why fewer and fewer people are eating.
     
  15. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #15
    And?
    Should Apple have never hired British designer Jonathan Ive? Should Job's parents have never moved to the US? Should Apple be 100% US?
    It makes no sense to do any of that. There is massive international talent, there are countries that are better suited through their society, their materials, their governments that are better equipped to deal with certain things.

    Right now China is great at manufacturing. They're paid a wage they can live on, we get products for a good price. Perfect really.

    But the matter of the fact is Apple sells products internationally. US-based factories would have no benefit to the rest of the world, or to poorer US citizens (including students).
     
  16. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #16
    Well since, we are talking about american jobs. Lets not forget that those same americans will bitch and complain when the jobs are kept here. They will want more money for doing less, they will unionize and then well we all know where that will go. Sorry, keep the R&D here and let the building take place somewhere else.
     
  17. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Apple has a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders.
     
  18. Daffodil macrumors 6502

    Daffodil

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    #18
    Yeah, andiwm2003 got it right. We need to ensure that all workers have safe working conditions and a living wage, but beyond that, nationalism is becoming increasingly outdated in a globalized world.

    They're pretty arbitrary boundaries, really - who are you to say that due to the fact that you were lucky enough to be born in the U.S., you should be able to exploit people who so happened to be born elsewhere? And as various internationals have pointed out, it's ridiculous to think of large multinational companies from the perspective that all their efforts should be directed towards a "parent country."

    Does that mean no regulations, though? Absolutely not.
     
  19. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #19
    I submit that this is where we went wrong. The health and well-being of the shareholders, which is mostly financial institutions and not individuals, trumps and common good? So the ends justifies the means? Just asking.
     
  20. Les Kern thread starter macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #20
    Broad-brush ("these same americans"), supposition without empirical or historical proof ("they will unionize") union-bashing ("we all know how that will go"), all in one paragraph. Impressive.
    But the last sentence REALLY gets to me.
    Sigh.
     
  21. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Lots of retirement and pension funds hold those shares. By extension, lots of people (individuals) either benefit or not based on the overall market.

    One could just as well point the "ends justify the means" argument in your direction. So, corporations should take it upon themselves to pay a larger wage for domestic production, to the detriment of competition, consumer benefit in lower prices, and shareholders (and said companies' own existence)? Or the government should impose tariffs, creating a domino effect when other governments do the same, increasing prices for a wide spectrum of products for all consumers?

    Look at comments from people posting from other countries. They don't care to pay more to keep manufacturing here in the U.S., nor should they. They'd just as well it be in their country, or if not, where the product will cost less for their consumers.

    Capitalism isn't evil, it's just neutral. Sure, management can choose to do what it wants, for "good" or "bad", but they had better be able to compete, or they won't be around for long.

    IMO, fighting capitalism is pointless and unsustainable. It's the way the world works, has worked, and will work. Do most people choose to personally give money to prop up impoverished nations? Or do nations thrive, or not, based on their resources and the management of those resources? (I'm not arguing against personal charity, BTW.)
     
  22. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I should probably admit that the apparent decline in the middle class here in the U.S. is distressing to me as well, but at least to some degree I blame the education system. People are not taught capitalism. For example, is it "morally right" that a firefighter makes less money than a pro athlete, a soldier less than some fund manager, a teacher less than a successful rap artist? Probably not, but the explanation is as simple as supply and demand.

    I think this thread should probably move to the political section.
     
  23. vvswarup macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    There's an inherent flaw in questions like "Why should a pro athlete make more than a firefighter?" or "Why should a soldier make less than some fund manager?"

    The government didn't decide what a pro athlete would make. Neither did the government decide what a successful rap artist or fund manager would make. Private organization decide what these people should make. But the government decides what a teacher, soldier, and firefighter make. The government is a representative of its citizens. Therefore, it's the citizens who have decided what firefighters, teachers, and soldiers should make. If people want these people to make more than a pro athlete, some fund manager, or a successful rap artist, they should put that measure on the ballet and support a tax increase.
     
  24. vvswarup macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Apple is one of dozens of companies engaging in the business practices that you dislike (offshoring cash to avoid taxes and making stuff in China instead of USA). Yet, somehow, Apple is the only company that ends up with egg on its face. Obviously, it's easy to bash Apple, but it's much harder to hold everybody else to the same standard.

    You bring up the fact that an MBP costs $2000 while a comparable Dell is only $1000 to indicate Apple's greedy nature. It sounds like you think Dell sells its laptop for half of what Apple sells it at out of the goodness of its heart. Every company in the tech industry would kill to have Apple's profit margins. Like other Windows PC manufacturers, Dell has almost no pricing power. The Windows PC industry has turned into a "race to the bottom."

    Also, did you ever believe that Apple is not about making a profit? You sound like Apple should say, "We're making too much money. We're going to cut our prices and give away our hard-earned profits." In business, once you've made a certain amount of money, that's where the bar is set. Next time around, you fall below that bar and you've failed.

    You take the short-sighted view that Apple is taking jobs away from Americans because it does not do any manufacturing in the USA. Apple products like the iPhone say, "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China." Apple products are assembled in China, but the components themselves come from all over the world. A lot of those components are designed by American companies. Also, Apple has paid out over $2 billion since the iOS App Store opened two years ago. So one could say that Apple helped create hundreds of jobs. Apple has helped the mobile app market grow by leaps and bounds in the past three years.

    It's easy to believe what eyeball-mongering sensationalists in the media tell you-that Apple is a greedy corporation that continues to send jobs to China even when we have 10% unemployment. Call Apple a greedy corporation all you want, but show me the flaw in my arguments.
     
  25. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    #25
    vvswarup, I concede your point. (BTW, I am told by a public school teacher that private school teachers are paid even less than public, the theory being that most private school teachers have better-paid spouses, and that this teaching is looked at more as a secondary income. Not sure this anecdote disproves either of our points, however.)

    Regardless, the example could just as easily be "custodian" or "burger flipper". While it's easy to say everyone deserves a "living wage", some of these positions are considered part-time or temporary work, or the assumption is that they should be.

    The point being, lots of people are qualified to sweep floors. And certainly more people can and do qualify for police work than, say, brain surgery.

    The overall point being, corporations exist to produce a profit by offering a successful product or service. They do not exist for the purpose of creating jobs, here or elsewhere.

    ... And you do make a great point about the app store, BTW!
     

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