New York Times: The iEconomy

XX55XX

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2009
147
0
Anyone reading these articles? I find them to be one of the best critical reports on our gluttonous consumption of consumer electronics to date. Granted, the report is skewed against Apple, but I think it can apply to any company that outsources manufacturing to China.

You can read today's article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/b...-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html?hp

Thoughts? Should we halt our purchases of electronic goods made in China and demand accountability from the companies that employ these people?
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,606
New England, USA
Anyone reading these articles? I find them to be one of the best critical reports on our gluttonous consumption of consumer electronics to date. Granted, the report is skewed against Apple, but I think it can apply to any company that outsources manufacturing to China.

You can read today's article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/b...-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html?hp

Thoughts? Should we halt our purchases of electronic goods made in China and demand accountability from the companies that employ these people?
Oy vey, you suggest that on this site!!??:eek:

Brace yourself...:D
 

mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,350
6,291
The Anthropocene
Anyone reading these articles? I find them to be one of the best critical reports on our gluttonous consumption of consumer electronics to date. Granted, the report is skewed against Apple, but I think it can apply to any company that outsources manufacturing to China.

You can read today's article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/b...-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html?hp

Thoughts? Should we halt our purchases of electronic goods made in China and demand accountability from the companies that employ these people?
For all of our moralizing, no one seems to care enough to do anything---especially when that means giving up toys.
 

XX55XX

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2009
147
0
For all of our moralizing, no one seems to care enough to do anything---especially when that means giving up toys.
Some of the comments indicate that people are willing to give up their iDevices in indignation of Apple's labor practices.
 

mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,350
6,291
The Anthropocene
Some of the comments indicate that people are willing to give up their iDevices in indignation of Apple's labor practices.
Noble statements, for sure. It becomes uncomfortable when they realize pretty much everything is made in China under similar conditions. Although I don't think one needs to be "in for a penny, in for a pound," as even coordinated partial boycotts on a large scale could theoretically raise some heads. But I'm pretty cynical when it comes to consumer culture, our various luxuries have insinuated themselves into our lives so as to make us feel that they are essential.
 

XX55XX

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2009
147
0
Yeah that Apple is greedy as hell. They have the power and money to force a real change a day really they are choosing to do nothing.
Well, it's a sign that we consumers are quite greedy, too. But, anything that eat into Apple's fat margins is anathema to the company, even at the expense of doing the right things.

Granted, I don't own any Apple products at the moment, but my wool suit jacket is Indonesian, the slacks I'm wearing are Vietnamese, and the dress shirt on my back is made in Honduras. My Thinkpad is made in China. Unless I want to start forking over huge amounts of money for an Italian suit, I guess the uncomfortable status quo will remain as is.
 

mstrze

macrumors 68000
Nov 6, 2009
1,915
0
As bad as it sounds for those of us living in the US or Europe, for many of these workers, a Foxconn job is head and shoulders above the normal sweatshop jobs that are available.

Not saying I don't think things need to improve, they do. But to many who literally have nothing, many consider themselves lucky to have this job and would gladly risk everything for their company. I need only think back to my grandparents generation back in northeastern Pennsylvania and how many of them, including my family members, risked life and limb in the depths of the earth in the coal mines to make money to raise a family. Many for laughable wages, with constantly dangerous conditions and forced overtime.:(
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,397
12,511
Yeah that Apple is greedy as hell. They have the power and money to force a real change a day really they are choosing to do nothing.

That's a nice talking point but it's simply not true. I don't see other companies releasing supplier reports and publishing infractions they find. Apple is but one of dozens of large companies who manufacturer in China. They can't do it alone but can certainly do more.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
That's a nice talking point but it's simply not true. I don't see other companies releasing supplier reports and publishing infractions they find. Apple is but one of dozens of large companies who manufacturer in China. They can't do it alone but can certainly do more.
True there are other companies but of those companies who has the most power and money to do something. Apple can lead a trend and Apple should be taking the most heat because a change by one of the others is not going to start anything but a change by Apple will.
 

Heilage

macrumors 68030
May 1, 2009
2,592
0
Apple could pave the way to better worker's rights in Asia and help construct a stronger global economy, but that would lower their profit margins.

EDIT: Actually, they could all band together and say "Screw brands, we don't want you to treat people like this. Fix it." I'll concede to Apple being far from Foxconn's only customer, it would be stupid to assume that they are, but with Apple's extremely solid economy, it's those things that should be put on an agenda.
 

Nebrie

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2002
573
66
Apple could pave the way to better worker's rights in Asia and help construct a stronger global economy, but that would lower their profit margins.

EDIT: Actually, they could all band together and say "Screw brands, we don't want you to treat people like this. Fix it." I'll concede to Apple being far from Foxconn's only customer, it would be stupid to assume that they are, but with Apple's extremely solid economy, it's those things that should be put on an agenda.
Cnbc just had a bunch of supply chain experts who have visited these factories 50+ times on to talk about this and according to them, Apple does pay its suppliers more than competitors like HP and Dell because they rank quality over price. They also mentioned two other things

1. Conditions have improved drastically everywhere, part of this is due to China's 20% yearly minimum wage hike.
2. Conditions at Apple factories are significantly better than everyone else's. The obsessive focus on Apple is having no impact on conditions at any other factory.
 

vvswarup

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2010
540
215
True there are other companies but of those companies who has the most power and money to do something. Apple can lead a trend and Apple should be taking the most heat because a change by one of the others is not going to start anything but a change by Apple will.
What's to stop businesses from seeing Apple's "change" as an opportunity to completely undercut Apple?
 

jackc

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2003
1,490
0
Blah blah blah, types on iPhone: "look at how greedy and materialistic we are!"
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,784
213
UK
I'm going to put this honestly. I don't care. I probably should do, and y'all probably think I'm acting selfishly, but I really couldn't care less about where Apple's devices are built. Building them in America wouldn't make me buy them any more or less than I am doing now.

Apple *could* do something about it. As *could* other companies. But it is not in their interest to.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.