[CS-FSLUG] Why Apple gadgets can’t be made in the U.S.

Josiah Ritchie josiah at josiahritchie.com
Sun Jan 29 13:56:23 CST 2012

The people who are working those jobs wouldn't have the choice of a factory
job if we didn't have companies going there. Then they would have less
choices which apparently are all worse since they are choosing the factory.
Christians have long been in the business of sending their best and
brightest overseas to strange and foreign places. Is it really so contrary
to Christian principles to send some jobs to these people also?

In any case, slavery is still a term that has traditionally been defined
according to how the person is reimbursed, not the conditions of the work.
I'm not saying the conditions aren't bad. I am saying that as Christians we
should understand what the problem really is and not fall prey to some
negative marketing scheme. Pulling out returns those people to the
situation they are abandoning to take those jobs. Changes to working
conditions are good, but what good comes from calling a sweat shop a slave
house? Truth is of high value and should not be compromised for the
expediency of a cause.

On Jan 29, 2012 10:47 AM, "Marco Tedaldi" <marco.tedaldi at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Josiah
> On 26.01.2012 15:24, Josiah Ritchie wrote:
> > On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 1:10 AM, Marco Tedaldi <marco.tedaldi at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >> Somehow I get the feeling that they regrett, that slavery has been
> >> outlawed in the Western world. As a positive point for producing in Asia
> >> they tell this story: (Free from my mind)
> >> "We had made a mistake and had a last minute change. The make this
> >> change for us, the producer woke up 8000 workers, gave them a little
> >> snack and set them to work..." and "this would not have been possible in
> >> the US".
> >> Thanx god it is not possible there! The times of owning slaves should be
> >> over by now! So basically, apple supports slavery like working
> >> conditions. Great!
> >
> > If you are really interested in the working conditions in Chinese
> > factories, "This American Life" did a very interesting piece on
> > exactly this topic that managed to go directly to the sources from
> > several different directions. It is almost an hour, but extremely well
> > told and worth it:
> >
> http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/454/mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory
> >
> Thanx. I'll take a look at it.
> > Indulge me to rock the boat a bit, but is it really slavery if they
> > choose that work?
> It really depends how "free" this desicion is. And what the alternatives
> are. It is always about the alternatives.
> > I agree that promoting improved working conditions
> > is appropriate, but if these conditions are chosen because their other
> > options are deemed worse and they can leave for those conditions when
> > they desire, then they are meeting obligations they have signed
> > themselves up for.
> Again. I don't know what the alternatives for these people are. But when
> workers choose suicide instead of quitting the job, this tells something.
> > To equate this to slavery is to water down the word
> > when used to describe people who have been taken from their homes
> > against their will or even sold by their own parents into unpaid
> > labor. This does not describe the conditions while working, but the
> > conditions under which one is reimbursed for the work. In fact, during
> > biblical times we have examples of slaves that were very comfortable
> > in their condition of slavery (Joseph before he was sent to jail) and
> > examples of those who were not happy. I'm sure we could find people on
> > this list who are very unsatisfied with the treatment of their boss,
> > but remain because of various reasons that don't outweigh their desire
> > to leave.
> Right. Because the alternative seems less favorable. It always depends
> on the scale.
> > The point is that Foxconn's employees have a choice.
> I'm not really sure there.
> Ok, the do HAVE a choice. But than you can say, that every slave also
> has a choice. He can do what his master wants or he can face the
> consequences. The same is true for foxcon workers. I think, they won't
> be beaten to death if the leave... but I'm quite sure the prospects
> won't be good.
> > There
> > are those in our world who do not have a choice. To redefine this term
> > so loosely is to do a disservice to those in even worse conditions.
> So what is your definition of slavery? Is it slavery when mexicans are
> forced to work in shops 16hr a day to pay off the debt to the people
> that "helped" them cross the border? They had signed up for this as free
> people.
> > Additionally, are we promoting families starving because they can't
> > get jobs that sometimes include being woken up in the middle of the
> > night to work for pay? (This sounds a bit like a sys admin job when a
> > server goes bump in the night, except the sys admin isn't paid extra.)
> >
> The sys admin has generally a bit better working conditions... normally.
> And is the alternative really starving families? Or would the
> alternative be that some exec would have a bit less income? Apple has
> had a record result last year. The record was at least in part a result
> of people that got not the pay they deserved.
> Sure, the company is american and thus good. And the people that have
> not been paid are communists, but does it make it better? (sorry for the
> sarcasm here)
> > Not to defend Foxconn, but they are among the top ranking employers in
> > that country in that market in terms of appropriate care of employees.
> > That isn't to say they are great, but they are hardly the worst and so
> > pointing to them as the hallmark of failure is inaccurate. They have
> > made changes as the result of pressure from the US and others.
> I'm not pointing at foxcon. but I'm pointing at western companies that
> make huge profits out of the miserable working conditions of the people.
> And just as a sidenote: by letting foxcon produce the products instead
> of producing them in factories in the US a lot of know how is transfered
> there (and away from the US). Also, these are several thousand jobs that
> have been outsourced.
> So apple is the big winner
> Several thousand americans don't have a job, they loose
> People in china have to work under really bad conditions, they loose as
> well... (ok, at least they have a job until they kill themselves because
> they cannot handle the pressure anymore).
> > Not to defend Apple, but they are hardly the only one using Foxconn
> > and worse factories to assemble their gadgetry. Really, Apple is one
> > of the few Foxconn customers at least making the appearance of pushing
> > for improvement.
> >
> Yeah. It's true. Quite a big part of the electronic gadgets we use today
> went trough foxcons factories (like Microsoft Mices and other stuff).
> And apple only pushes for better working conditions because they are
> under public pressure. When they outsourced the production to foxcon,
> they knew how foxcon worked. Why did they not push for improvement from
> the beginning?
> > So when I look at all those issues, I'm left to assume that there is
> > something more here than the press is delivering. The spin on the
> > story is high and broad. The targets are very precise. It makes it
> > look like someone is out to smear Apple and Foxconn specifically even
> > though there are weaker targets in both those markets in the areas
> > being attacked.
> Apple has a quite hight profile. It is a company almost everyone knows.
> And apple has had a good name until now. Microsoft for example is
> considered "evil" since a long time, so there is not much to win by
> trying to smear them :-)
> > Our beef needs to be with more than just Foxconn and
> > Apple, but with Chinese working conditions in all of manufacturing of
> > gadget and likely other things and with all companies using Chinese
> > labor at those standards.
> >
> Our beef should be with all these companies that outsourced the labor to
> "optimize" the profit or to be cheaper than the competition.
> Our beef should also be with ourselves for being "cheap" by just looking
> at the price tag and wanting all these gadgets.
> The gadgets would be more expensive and many of us could not afford to
> buy many of these gadgets if not for cheap chinese labor.
> > What's the real story? Are we getting played?
> >
> Sure. We are being played all the time. We believe in people that call
> themselves patriots that only want to "optimize" tax for millionaires.
> We believe the people when they say that the love the country, but on
> the other hand they outsource labor overseas and kill a lot of jobs on
> the way.
> So yes, we are played. And I think everyone here knows, who's behind
> that all and what the solution is. Let's ask jesus, I know, he's not
> playing me!
> blessings
> Marco
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