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View Diary: Apple and Unbridled Capitalism (248 comments)

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  •  Thoughts (3+ / 0-)
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    hmi, lotlizard, joeshwingding

    1. Are these workers worse off than many illegal agricultural workers in America? Working out under a hot sun is no fun either.

    2, With 900,000 workers there seems not to be a shortage of employees willing to work there. (interestingly I did the statistics on suicides at Foxxcon back in 2010 and it turned out the suicide rate for Foxxcon employees was less than the Chinese national rate - the Chinese suicide rate is 220 per 1 million so you would expect 200 suicides a year at Foxxcon to be ""normal"" - we can get confused by large numbers without context).

    3. China is overcrowded, especially in the countryside. There is not enough land for each person to have a reasonable life. The only solutions are fewer people (one-child policy) and moving people to the city (China now has 1/2 of its people in cities - one of the largest migrations in history over the last few years). However in cities people have to do something to live and working in a factory is at least a job.

    4. Working conditions will improve as the supply of young female workers shrinks (due to the one-child policy and also fewer girls). The demographics have the work force starting to shrink. Companies will be forced to add machinery or change working conditions to attract more workers. Already factories have had to move inland from the coast to look for workers.

    5. Multinational companies like Apple  etc. have an unspoken duty to work for better conditions. They are really the only ones with the power. BUT they are also trying to undercut their competitors so it is hard to make them see the importance - finally it is up to consumers to demand companies making their products behave .... but just look at the dollar stores (crap made in far far less regulated Chinese factories) and we see where the ""morals"" of the consumer lie - low prices trump all!

    6. As noted above some of the worst abuses occur in smaller companies/manufacturers. Many of these factories are competing with their neighbors for contracts and are often willing to take almost no profit just to stay open. This of course means no benefits for the workers. The factory competition in China is fearsome.

    7. As wages and working conditions move higher in China, factories will move to Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh etc., perhaps leaving Chinese workers with no jobs(?)

    Solution (?): Stop buying so much stuff! It is the insatiable demand of Western consumers for cheap goods that keeps the whole chain going. But it ain't easy, is it?

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - JFK

    by taonow on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 05:14:32 AM PST

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