Originally Posted by macintoshtoffy
Excuse me but why is it Foxconn's fault that those big names lean on FoxConn to cut corners or else they'll move their production to some other company? how about these companies come out and say to FoxConn that there are minimum standards required to keep the contract if that results in higher costs for us (the organisations paying for assembly services), then so be it - we're happy to absorb those higher costs.
The pressure on Foxconn to cut corners is immense, it isn't just some sort of cabal of evil men sitting around deciding how to screw the worker - it is ultimately the OEM who demands lower and lower and lower costs - something in the end is going to break under the relentless pressure to cut costs.
Foxconn can not simply say "the customer made me do it". Ultimately, each company is responsible for obeying the laws and practices in their country. Unfortunately, the standards are so low in China that Foxconn greatly exceeds the country's standards, yet still has lousy working conditions by OUR standards.
You're also ignoring the fact that Apple is one of the few customers who DOES demand better working conditions. A few months ago when the last set of problems came up (underage employees), it was reported that Apple was the only US customer to audit the working conditions and to apply stricter rules to Foxconn.
Originally Posted by lowededwookie
Damn... Americans really need to look up communism and socialism before they use these terms.
America's ideas about Communism and Socialism are misguided at best and it's all because of the Cold War.
Capitalism is NOT better than Communism and Socialism and coming from an old Socialist nation (New Zealand) that is moving towards a Capitalist nation I can assure you Capitalism sucks for EVERYONE.
We used to have a thriving nation that worked hard and played harder now we have a nation of wimps that like to suck back on a latte, get paid for doing nothing, and screw each other over. We used to have a nation where we knew our neighbours and we kept our doors unlocked now our homes look like prisons and we look at our neighbours with suspicion.
Thanks America for bringing Capitalism to our nation. You've clearly made it a great place to live... NOT.
Seems to me that you're confused about the difference between capitalism and communism. Blaming laziness and crime on capitalism indicates an incredible lack of understanding of society and how it works.
Throughout history, evidence is very, very clear that some level of capitalism has been the driving force for improvement in conditions for everyone. The problem isn't whether capitalism is better than communism (that has been well proven - there are NO successful communist countries. Even China's success has grown in step with their movement toward capitalism). The problem is defining the limits. There are not a lot of people who would argue that completely unfettered capitalism makes any more sense than unfettered communism. Finding the right balance is difficult, but it is very clear from history that some element of capitalism is critical for the long term success of an economy.
Originally Posted by lowededwookie
The problem with this sentiment is that it puts the blame for costs of devices on the workers. What people fail to realise is that the prices could be relatively the same by producing in the same country.
No customs duties, no import tax, no cost of shipping, full control over sensitive designs, full control over employees.
Saying that paying employees more to work in the States will increase the cost of the devices is ridiculous and insulting to workers. In fact it would have a better impact on the economy. But people are too retarded to see this fact because the world is run by small minded accountants and people looking for quick profits rather than longer term profits which will actually pay off with bigger dividends.
You clearly don't have any concept of business costs. I've been involved with a number of businesses that have sourced products from China and other Asian countries (some eastern European countries, as well, and in one case an African country). The savings on the product are immense - even when you factor in duties, shipping, etc. Arguing that business executives aren't bright enough to consider shipping costs and import duties is just plain insulting. You're also ignoring all the other legal and environmental costs to doing business in the US. Obviously, the executives are able to consider the costs - and they have almost universally decided to outsource.
The problem is not one of bad business decisions. As a whole, successful companies make more good decisions than bad ones and when EVERYONE is outsourcing, it's unlikely to be a bad business decision. Rather, the problem is a societal one. We have workplace standards in the U.S. (and in Europe, as well) that do not apply to the rest of the world. We expect manufacturers to meet OSHA and EPA standards. We have regulations on how many hours employees can work. We have millions of attorneys suing everyone in sight for every broken fingernail that occurs in the workplace - or even the THREAT of a broken fingernail. None of those costs apply to Asian countries. So, by our societal decisions, we have stacked the deck and made it nearly obligatory to buy manufactured goods from third world and developing countries.
The fix is not for companies to address the problem (although individual countries can help by choosing to stay here if the economics are only marginally better for outsourcing their products). I have personally been involved in discussions where we could have saved money by outsourcing, but chose not to do so because the savings weren't enough to justify the risk. But more importantly, we need to make decisions AS A SOCIETY to address the problems. We could, for example, require imported products to be manufactured under conditions that would be legal here. We SHOULD HAVE forced China to let their currency float back in the 90's when they didn't have a noose around our necks (our failure to do that is probably one of the worst governmental decisions EVER made). We could insist on floating currency exchange rates even today, but it would be expensive.
Ultimately, though, businesses must do the best they can within the constraints that they face. You can't expect a business to override the mistakes their government makes.
Originally Posted by Avidfcp
How can you say that? Apple used to make their products here and minium wage hasn't changed that much for decades. Some polititians argue raising it will send jobs over seas, news flash, things have been made in foreign countries for years.
Well, I remember minimum wage of about $1.65 when I started working, so it has changed quite a bit, but that's not the point.
In the 80's and 90's, a computer cost $4,000. Today it costs $400. A Sony walkman cost $100. You can now buy an MP3 player for $20 or 30. And that's not even factoring in 20 years of inflation.
We suffer from the Walmartization of America (the rest of the world suffers, as well, but we seem to have it the worst). We expect prices to drop constantly and we are driven relentlessly toward the lowest cost product. At one time, it was fairly easy to sell a premium product based on the features or style. It has become horrendously difficult to do so (which makes Apple's success even more impressive).
Originally Posted by digitalclips
True but I think the reasoning behind the suggestion was to bring manufacturing back the US. History shows what happens when a country loses all its manufacturing base, look at the UK! Once a power house of manufacturing. They rely on invisible earnings today from what I can tell, although they do a pretty good job of it. Their ship building, for example, was lost in great part because the could not compete with the Japanese whose Government heavily subsidized their own yards. No doubt there were many other reasons, but sadly the UK lost out. It would seem a sensible and noble objective to me to bring back lost manufacturing or at least create new modern versions with new technologies here in the US. This is not my area of expertise by any stretch of the imagination so I am happy to be educated on the subject.
There is some truth to that, but the problem is that your proposed solution involves individual businesses. Even the largest companies can not fix the problem by themselves (even ignoring that the largest companies - like Walmart - are doing everything they can to drive us toward a 'price is everything' mentality). The problems must be addressed at a societal level and we have not had a government in place since the 60's that understands these issues.