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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Parade Keegan
I Can Hear You
07:52 PM on 01/31/2012
The country that houses these factories has more control over how they're run than the "holding company". If China allowed the "bosses" to be non native Chinese these incidents wouldn't happen. Honestly I think all American companies should pull out of foreign countries.
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CMontalvo
stranger in a strange land
07:36 PM on 01/31/2012
If the American public wants to take on the responsibility for ensuring the safety, health and security of every person on the planet, then they should pass laws that require all employers to affirmatively demand that American labor laws be applied by all foreign suppliers or be fined. To expect this to happen WITHOUT legislation will necessarily penalize the most ethical employers and reward those willing to turn a blind eye.

But in doing so, the public must be prepared to accept that prices will increase, that supplies may be constrained and that foreign competitors, unencumbered with such regulations, will steal market share, causing domestic job losses. With that kind of price tag, I'm betting that John Q. Public isn't about to foist America's moral and ethical standards on developing countries.
07:15 PM on 01/31/2012
"...a current Apple executive said. "The U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need."
Wow! What a slap in the face. Especially when you consider that Apple thinks seven year olds can do the job.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
maninla
www.kitchensinkradio.podomatic.com
06:42 PM on 01/31/2012
No wonder Republicans haven't been able to stop talking about Steve Jobs since his death...
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
plumnelly
09:07 PM on 01/31/2012
Exactly!
ThatsTheTheWayItIs
religion, ideology, partisanship are delusional
10:13 PM on 01/31/2012
They are talking about him because Apple is now the world's biggest company, and could buy Bank of America with cash. They like success, profits and rising stock prices, that's all that is.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
maninla
www.kitchensinkradio.podomatic.com
11:23 PM on 01/31/2012
So what I'm hearing from you is that worker conditions have no major play (in a good way) in the GOP equation.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
bobWal
06:34 PM on 01/31/2012
Our Nation is too in love with electronic novacaine all this brings to our shores. If everyone had to see a dvd showing how their toys are made perhaps we could turn a few hearts. Too few for sure. We are too close to all these mindless toys to see the cliff ahead. After China who is next to slave for us ?
ThatsTheTheWayItIs
religion, ideology, partisanship are delusional
10:15 PM on 01/31/2012
Willing workers are not slaves. My parents worked in factories, so did their parents. If that's slavery, we did it for your ancestors. If either of your parents went to college, you were born privileged, but most aren't.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
bobWal
03:34 PM on 02/01/2012
I too worked in a pipe factory. Read about the conditions these people work under. Or better yet read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. Its only 100 years old. Not too many U.S. plants have suicide prevention nets to catch those jumping off as China does.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
drumz
The less you know the more you believe.
06:00 PM on 01/31/2012
Great article, thanks, very eye-opening.
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Merseysidefella
euro no, proteccionismo sí
05:59 PM on 01/31/2012
"quasi-communist crony capitalism"
Bain Capitalism
Banana Republic government-business collusion
"maximizing shareholder value" society

The USA was a beacon to the world for 30 years after WW II. Now all the worst vices come from the US. It is also the paradise of euphemism, so all of the above are described as "capitalism" and "the only way to do things".
Take a look at Germany, for a different way of doing things.
All things will pass, and these will, too.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Roy Merritt old car guy
Loves Nostalgia Dragsters
05:52 PM on 01/31/2012
Hey folks there is a Computor maker right here in the good old USA, Lotuspc.net. I am sure that they have componets made overseas but Americans are putting them together. Maybe they will build a Smart phone also.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Sara Williams
09:50 PM on 01/31/2012
Well I can build a computer if I'm given the components, too, but we need somebody to actually make the parts here.
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05:52 PM on 01/31/2012
Great article. I will have to go back to read the two prior ones you did.

These are important facts and perspectives that have to get to the general public. American workers have been told for more than 30 years that we're the "problem" because we cost too much.

No, it turns out that we're not the problem. The problem is individuals in management, their employer companies and politicans here and overseas who will do anything to make a buck, anything to keep a customer happy, anything to stay in office and get more contributions.

It is sickening and it has to stop.

I feel miserable at the thought of what these Chinese workers are told to do, all so that we can have our newest gizmos.
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The Ben Bernanke
AMI (American Monetary Institute)
05:50 PM on 01/31/2012
It's always good to read William K. Black...
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Chris Wundrow
05:46 PM on 01/31/2012
How soon the shiny halo falls from the head of Steve Jobs! But he did nothing more than Wal-Mart and every other American corporation has done--seeking the cheapest labor and products they can find. You can blame Apple and these other corporations all you want, but folks, it takes TWO to dance the damned tango! They probably wouldn't be running all over the Third World looking for pliable slave labor if WE the consurmers didn't demand the cheapest prices possible. American consumers have to take a long, hard look at our greedy selves. We will probably be horrified to find that we, who like to break our collective arm congratulating ourselves for being such nice people, have considerable blood on our hands!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
allwarisbad
06:15 PM on 01/31/2012
$400-600 for an iphone is not cheap ... Apple has never been about cheap ... marketing blitzkrieg is where the money goes, not to those who create the products ...
gbtusa
Sweat is nothing compared to the tears
09:11 PM on 01/31/2012
Apple earned $400,000.00 per US employee last year...they employee 60,000.
ThatsTheTheWayItIs
religion, ideology, partisanship are delusional
10:19 PM on 01/31/2012
I worked at DEC in '73, with first minicomputers. Worked with a $100K machine, the iphone is about 1,000,000x as powerful, never mind graphics, sound, a phone. "Not cheap" based on what, exactly? I don't own one, don't need it. I don't video games either, but they are incredibly powerful and cheap compared to computer graphics. All consumer electronics is cheap now.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
democratsinceiwasborn
It is what it is, or is it?
07:59 PM on 01/31/2012
Agreed, in the words of Pogo, " we have met the enemy, and it is us". It's not only the cheapest prices, but also the greatest returns on our investments. Since the early '80's we have expected returns in the range of 15-20 % annually, which was fine when inflation was 12-15% annually. What we have today is the result of attempting to grow earnings 20% annually. It don't work!!!
05:36 PM on 01/31/2012
"More than half of the suppliers audited by Apple have violated at least one aspect of the code of conduct every year since 2007, according to Apple's reports . . ."

If Apple (or any other company) has a code of conduct for its suppliers but doesn't take appropriate steps to force its suppliers to comply with the code of conduct even when audits reveal the existence of violations, then it appears the code of conduct is mere window dressing designed to convince customers in the US to purchase the company's products even though they are manufactured in sweatshops.
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biscuitdave
My micro-bio is mostly yeast and Acetobacter.
05:25 PM on 01/31/2012
I've been thinking about this for a while, and here's what it's come to. As a long time Apple stock holder, I will be making a formal request to the company that some of the $100 billion in cash holdings be used to improve employee welfare and regionalize manufacturing. Capitalism gives me profits, for which I am grateful, but it also gives me a voice.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
allwarisbad
06:18 PM on 01/31/2012
I think it will be like writing to a Congressman, seriously Apple is the wonder-stock at present, the money-changers are not really bothered about stock-holders are they?
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CMontalvo
stranger in a strange land
07:43 PM on 01/31/2012
Your Apple BOD has an obligation to maximize shareholder wealth. As a shareholder, you can REQUEST that they put other priorities in front of that but unless you are a major shareholder (read: billionaire), your voice won't be heard.

Some states (seven, I think I read) are allowing companies to incorporate as "benefit corporations", giving them the right to assign other objectives ahead of maximizing wealth. Apple ain't one of them, to my knowledge. Normally incorporated corporations who DO subjugate profit to other civic objectives risk shareholder lawsuits.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
becky bradshaw
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth
08:26 PM on 01/31/2012
There can be overlap in agendas. If manufacturing in China becomes a liability, and by all indications, that is now happening, then Apple can make a sound business decision that aligns with the moral decision.
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biscuitdave
My micro-bio is mostly yeast and Acetobacter.
08:39 PM on 01/31/2012
True, true, and I'm no major shareholder. But maximizing return can also be interpreted as a long-term goal. I would submit that efficiencies found through poor working conditions at the Chinese plants are short-term gain, long-term loss due to bad publicity and poor employee buy-in. We don't have to jack up pay to $25/hour and rub everyone's feet at lunchtime; we just need to make sure that conditions meet minimum standards.
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groland
socially left, fiscally right
05:16 PM on 01/31/2012
This is not about skills. Rural Chinese have no more skill than Americans. They are just more desperate and will abandon their families and work 12 hour days for $5. They are like the Okies fleeing the dust bowl and our beloved corporations are taking every advantage of their situation.

I work with many Chinese academics here in the US. Most are sickened by the corruption and greed back in their homeland. Meanwhile, we are transferring decades worth of engineering, research, and development, much of it taxpayer supported, to China and no one is batting an eye.
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CMontalvo
stranger in a strange land
07:47 PM on 01/31/2012
Hmmm...what about the position of Paul Krugman, the progressive hero and Nobel prize-winning economist, regarding cheap labor as being superior to unemployment?

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/1997/03/in_praise_of_cheap_labor.html
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
becky bradshaw
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth
08:32 PM on 01/31/2012
Ironically, in parallel with the export of manufacturing and technology to China, our military intelligence is alerting us that China is a growing security threat.

China's Stealth fighter development is conducted in the same technology complex (Chengdu) used to manufacture the Apple iPad. (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/12/is-this-chinas-first-stealth-fighter/)
05:09 PM on 01/31/2012
I will purchase St. Steve's products right after I start shopping at Walmart.