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Tim Cook calls assault on Apple's ethics in China "patently false and offensive" - Page 2

post #41 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Right. The Chinese shoot people in the open streets for voicing their views. A better idea, would be not to do business in those places, and make the playing field fair through US intervention.

Kent State, Waco, etc. don't justify boycotting American firms any more than similar incidents in China justify boycotting Chinese firms.
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post #42 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

More than you, I suspect.

Have you seen The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs? I have.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/c...viewed_.3.html

It's a brilliant 2-hour show that retells first-hand accounts of what happens in the factories where the iPhone is produced, in even more vivid detail than the damning NY Times article.

A first-hand account by one person which, when fact-checked by "This American Life" revealed that some of his observations did not comport with the facts. The creator of that show also did not observe and report on working conditions for farmers in South China.

I certainly hope for improvements in working conditions at Foxconn, but you must remember that China is dragging itself into the 21st century from the 19th. It won't be pretty.
post #43 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Of course the unions became corrupt and problems arose from that as well.

Boy, if that isn't a blanket and untrue statement. Unions got corrupted in mafia heavy areas such as Chicago and New York. They're not all corrupt. Considering that the unions were met with armed Pinkerton guards at the gate, bashing their heads in, shooting and killing many of them, I can see why SOME of them partnered up with corrupt figures...FOR THEIR OWN PROTECTION!
post #44 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Back in the early part of the 20th century workers in the US were mistreated until they formed unions. Of course the unions became corrupt and problems arose from that as well. But the workers got better treatment. Maybe what the workers need in these factories is a union. Probably won't happen any ways.


This exactly what people do not understand, it was so bad in the US that union had to form and the US has a very bad history on this front. Problem is Union served their purpose and are no longer needed, the US has a whole class of people who know they probably would not have a job without a union including the people running the unions.

I not sure why people can not negotiate for themselves, and in the US you have lots of choose where to work, if more people left crap jobs then those companies would go out of business. Union in some regard less bad companies continue because they force everyone to the same minimum levels. Because Union do not like good work to be rewarded and bad work to be eliminated.

However, in china they appear to be smart enough to no let the conditions degrade to the point we people would try and form a union, also there is so many people in china willing to work if someone complains there is at least 2 or 3 people right behind them willing to do the work for the money.

This is why the US shut down immigration in the 1920, too many people coming here who were more than willing to work and for far less and willing to put up with more to earn a wage.
post #45 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Unions have never been anything other than a protection racket, sucking union dues from the workers, so that the mafia fat-cats who run the unions can live high on the hog.

Believe what you want, but my father worked in road construction in the 1950s (pre-unionization) and told me that he was actually losing money by going to work before unions. He'd have to travel to remote places, the employer wouldn't pay for the hotel rooms or meals. And on rainy days, he didn't make a dime.

He tried to ask for them to pay room and board, but the company would intentionally hire the biggest guy to be worksite foreman so that he could intimidate the other guys when they asked for raises or other benefits. That's why unions were needed for negotiation.

Now, you can say, why didn't he just get another job? Well, running heavy equipment was the only thing he was skilled in, and he only had education up to grade 8 because he grew up on a farm where they needed him to work in the field, so there weren't a whole lot of other options.
 
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post #46 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Right. The Chinese shoot people in the open streets for voicing their views. A better idea, would be not to do business in those places, and make the playing field fair through US intervention.

Yes, by pulling production out of china those workers could all go get high-paying white collar jobs instead and greatly increase their standard of living. /sarcasm

All that would do to the Chinese is force them back to villages and farms where they would struggle. I'm not saying that Apple shouldn't try to help Chinese workers, but it is a very complicated situation and people only get half the information. For example, people hear that employees work long days with no overtime. But it is generally not the case that they a being required to work long hours, they want to work those hours.

The savings rate in china is approximately 50%. So even though they are only making a few hundred dollars a month they can live on half that and are trying to secure their future. How are all of you doing with your retirement on all the money you are making, seeing that the savings rate in the US has been declining steadily for years?
post #47 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

More than you, I suspect.

Have you seen The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs? I have.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/c...viewed_.3.html

It's a brilliant 2-hour show that retells first-hand accounts of what happens in the factories where the iPhone is produced, in even more vivid detail than the damning NY Times article.

I think you missed the point.

Your first comment showed quite clearly that you know relatively little about what's going on in the Chinese labour market and how Apple fits into the picture.

You've watched a documentary and been swayed by it. That's not a credential.
post #48 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Rubbish. Working conditions in US factories were improving at a faster rate in the late 19th century and very early 20th century before the legalization of unions. The introduction of unions in the US put the brakes on and dramatically slowed down the rate of improvement in factory working conditions. The unions were corrupt and controlled by the mafia before the first strike. Unions have never been anything other than a protection racket, sucking union dues from the workers, so that the mafia fat-cats who run the unions can live high on the hog. The last thing Chinese workers need is US-style labor unions.

This statement is about 80% fantasy. You are using hyperbole to make a point and doing great damage to the facts in the process.
post #49 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

What else would he say?

the same stock response that every apple fanboy uses?

"DELL, HP, SAMSUNG are all just as bad!!"

except, those are never ever linked directly with any criticism, or specific reports of incidents. only apple is, at apple only facilities. which is kinda odd, don't you think.

that's not to say the great work in safety that apple are doing isn't a good thing, but sadly, to have to invest so heavily in work to remedy a problem is not only an admission of guilt, it's a PR nightmare.. which is why Tim is having to get involved.

still, and improvement is an improvement. keep it up guys.
post #50 of 181
Admire, Jealous, Hate is what some of the Apple competitors feel now. As some of them got to the Hate stage, they starting saying stupid things.

In case some of ultra conservative people wonders, Chinese are humans too. What is Communism? Communism = Labor rights. Communism = Unionize political system. Communism = China. Why do people in American thinks that China would allow slavery in its factories. NYT please don't print stupid front page editorial any more.

I am an Apple investor and I am proud of Apple. Apple is the pride of America. I thank all the hard working employees working for Apple. You are great and you make great products!
post #51 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think you missed the point.

Your first comment showed quite clearly that you know relatively little about what's going on in the Chinese labour market and how Apple fits into the picture.

You've watched a documentary and been swayed by it. That's not a credential.

For some people watching one documentary makes them an expert... especially when it fits with their current line of thinking.
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post #52 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Responding to a report by the New York Times that castigated Apple over an alleged permissiveness and indifference for workers' conditions among the suppliers it contract with in China, its chief executive Tim Cook rebutted the accusations in an email expressing "any suggestion that we dont care is patently false and offensive to us."

Actions speak louder than words.
post #53 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlink View Post

Slaves built the pyramids
Slaves picked cotton in the South
Slaves make all these fancy gadgets we love so much?

Grow up.

you're an idiot to compare this to slavery.
post #54 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Very Apple and very Jobs-like, which is why I saved it for the last word in my list.


The letter was very likely written by the same flak who used to write Steve's stuff, so I find it unsurprising that it sounds similar to official corporate statements from the past.
post #55 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post

you're an idiot to compare this to slavery.

Not directly.

... but there is no denying that anyone who doesn't use cheap Chinese labour is at a disadvantage with competitors and, iirc, having an unfair labour advantage was one of the reasons for the US Civil War.

So, indirectly, slavery and cheap Chinese labour have something in common.
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post #56 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

What else would he say?

I read your question as "Of course he's going to lie." And that angers me (about him, not you.) I expected more from Mr. Cook. The accusations are well-documented; they are not a single source's opinion but are from widespread eyewitness accounts. AND THERE ARE PICTURES AND VIDEO.

Tim, lying is not going to help you here. You may have the $100billion warchest to fall back on but it doesn't give you the moral high ground. Not by any means. And your reality distortion field is much weaker than your predecessor's. Apple employees may slurp your Kool-Aid but we're not going to. Clean up your act!!
post #57 of 181
Here's a naive idea, maybe being a democracy should have been one of the the primary and essential requirements in joining 'level playing field' organisations like the WTO and UN.

A communist country which gets to choose which parts of capitalism it likes as well as which parts of communism it likes will always have an 'unfair' advantage on a 'level playing field' against democratic countries where governments can be held accountable and be forced to uphold standards set by and demanded by the voting power of its citizens.

You'd hope the WTO and the UN would have realised this but they most likely prioritised 'cheap' and business interests over human interests, just like the rest of us do on a daily basis without even realising or thinking much about it.

For all the shitty things China does, you could argue that they do a much better job of protecting their national interests than most other countries in the world. (often at great expense to its citizens individual rights, which makes you wonder who exactly their national interests are serving)

At the same time, the sheer number of people in China who need to be fed and housed is mind boggling and hard for most of us in the western world to even properly comprehend and properly understand let alone devise a better system to manage such a huge population.

I do think Apple is being unfairly targeted when most other companies are doing the same, worse or less to address the problems but I'm glad the stories are being written simply so more of us might think and question the world we live in and want to live in.

The response from Tim was very eloquent, well written, straightforward and very Jobsian in the way that it addressed concerns without providing any more details than Apple deemed absolutely necessary,
It is almost perfect Apple PR and much better than just responding with;

"our next factory is going to be awesome"
(awesome of course being open to interpretation)
post #58 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeliu58 View Post

Why do people in American thinks that China would allow slavery in its factories.

Because slavery is VERY profitable. Wake up and follow the money. Just because you don't want there to be slavery doesn't mean there isn't any slavery. Reality doesn't care what you believe; it will continue being what it is until you wake up and be part of the effort to embetter the world.
post #59 of 181
This is easy, and let's leave off the OT issues around trade unions and the one-man show. Those are not important.

What other companies are as proactive as Apple, as high profile as Apple that are pursuing as agressively as Apple the improvement of worker conditions in their supply chains?

Samsung? Sony? Nokia? Microsoft? Dell? HP? Lenovo? Asus? Acer? LG? HTC? Motorola?

The why of the articles, the one-man show, and so forth are easy. Apple is the highest profile tech company, with the highest profitability, the strongly product and services portfolio if you want a Pulitzer (the ultimate goal for the NYT btw) you go after the most widely recognized tagrte you can, which will generate the most views, the most ad dollars and the highest likelihood of being seen as relevant, timely and controversial by the Pulitzer committee.

The actual or composite truth of the matter is much deeper and wider than can be captured in a series of articles by the NYT or any other single news agency. It encomapsses culture, history, government policy, companies in side and outside China, and a myriad of other details including the personal expeirences of millions of China's workers and citizens.

The problem is we don't WANT that level of complexity in discovering what truly is going on. We want a simplist view as captured by the one-man show, or the NYT articles, because we are by and large already saturated with tons of irrelevant information which we struggle to process on a daily and even hourly basis.

You can decry Tim Cook's statement as expected spin control, or take it at face value - the statement of a CEO who truly cares, and acompany that is actually trying to do something about the situation. Depends on your level of cynicism, on your hatred of all things corporate, your desire to filter on what resonates with your world view, and whether you are capable of freely assessing information based on facts on the ground and not assumptions handed to you by an agenda'd source.
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post #60 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

I read your question as "Of course he's going to lie." And that angers me (about him, not you.) I expected more from Mr. Cook. The accusations are well-documented; they are not a single source's opinion but are from widespread eyewitness accounts. AND THERE ARE PICTURES AND VIDEO.

Tim, lying is not going to help you here. You may have the $100billion warchest to fall back on but it doesn't give you the moral high ground. Not by any means. And your reality distortion field is much weaker than your predecessor's. Apple employees may slurp your Kool-Aid but we're not going to. Clean up your act!!

I wouldn't say that Tim is lying because we really don't know how much is going on behind the scenes. There really is only so much Apple can do other than pulling out of China and then using factories (that actually don't exist) in other countries with much higher labour costs.

... and, I'm sure, you can extrapolate the results from there.
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post #61 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Because slavery is VERY profitable. Wake up and follow the money. Just because you don't want there to be slavery doesn't mean there isn't any slavery. Reality doesn't care what you believe; it will continue being what it is until you wake up and be part of the effort to embetter the world.

You seem to believe that the working conditions in China are outright slavery. Best you read up on actual slavery just so that you know the difference.

[... and this isn't to say that I don't believe in constantly improving living conditions around the world.]
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post #62 of 181
Would a CEO openly admit that his company engages in practices that is damaging to the PR of the company? Absolutely not.

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #63 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Because slavery is VERY profitable. Wake up and follow the money. Just because you don't want there to be slavery doesn't mean there isn't any slavery. Reality doesn't care what you believe; it will continue being what it is until you wake up and be part of the effort to embetter the world.

Do you have direct experience working with Chinese factories?
post #64 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

No. I also didn't listen to a "radio show;" I saw it in person. Please tell me which parts were made up, I'd love to know.

Ask the carnival barker doing his tasteless Steve jobs bashing show if he also went to the sewage infested rat holes most of these workers came from before being hired by Foxxcon.
post #65 of 181
If the guy who engraves the 'plus' sign on the volume button of the iPhone 4 gets the flu, Apple will get heat for abusing their workers.

They're under the gun; forever and always.
post #66 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post

No they didn't.

Yeah, let's take the word of a poorly written and VERY boring essay on a lone archaeologist who found what he *thinks* were the workers' living quarters and interpolating finding large amounts of food into believing they weren't slaves but prized workers... despite not finding the right amount of sleeping arrangements, etc. Oh, and he just found it too. Who's to say there's not another site down the road so to speak, buried in history, where the slaves lived? Who's to say what he found wasn't the city for the foremen and leaders?

Why are people so quick to discount what was recorded by eyewitnesses in historical documents simply because they don't wish to subscribe to believing in the holy book that contains them? Obviously we don't know if said slave labor built the pyramids, but ancient Egypt did employ slaves and they weren't always treated the best.
post #67 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

More than you, I suspect.

Have you seen The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs? I have.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/c...viewed_.3.html

It's a brilliant 2-hour show that retells first-hand accounts of what happens in the factories where the iPhone is produced, in even more vivid detail than the damning NY Times article.

Stop the presses, this man watched a documentary.

A DOC.U.MENT.AR.Y.

Case closed.
post #68 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by tru_canuk View Post

Unions were generally formed as a result of a mass strike. Maybe that's what the Chinese workers need to do is form a mass strike, not just Foxconn but all workers who are working in the same or worse conditions. "Force" the government to enact some legislation to ensure better working conditions.

Unions organize (mass) strikes. Strikes do not cause the formation of unions.
post #69 of 181
The sad fact is that Apple will continue to take the heat for China's actions for one simple reason. Mentioning Apple guarantees attention.
Ignore the fact that they're doing far more than any other manufacturer to monitor the workers' conditions, they will continue to be the whipping boy because it guarantees hits.

Pretty simple.
post #70 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Would a CEO openly admit that his company engages in practices that is damaging to the PR of the company? Absolutely not.

Probably not, but neither does the lack of an admission imply, let alone prove, that they are engaging in those practices. Whatever practices those might be.

It appears that Apple is trying to do something about worker conditions there - which is more than any of the other companies appear to be doing. We can argue about whether they should do more, but it seems strange to single out the one company that is demonstrably making some effort.
post #71 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This statement is about 80% fantasy. You are using hyperbole to make a point and doing great damage to the facts in the process.

much more than 80%
post #72 of 181
As much as we would all like this to be a black and white issue, it just isn't. Do working conditions in Chinese factories suck? Yeah, probably. Do those factories churn out millions of Apple products a year? Yes. Do they church out millions of Samsung, Sony, LG, Nokia, HTC, etc. devices a year? Of course. If Foxconn is building devices for several different companies, which company bears the responsibility for forcing them to improve working conditions? And how would Apple go about forcing them to do so (even if we tell them to bear that responsibility)? It's ultimately up to Foxconn what they decide to pay their employees, and it's ultimately up to the Chinese government to determine acceptable working conditions and minimum wages (and of course, deductions) for their citizens. Yelling at Apple to fix an inherently Chinese problem is silly.

Could Apple find another supplier? Sure, but if it's not located in China, they'll likely pay more per unit built, and if it is in China you'll have exactly the same problems rise up in the future. Some people said they're willing to pay more for Apple to move it's manufacturing elsewhere, but it's not just about the per unit cost. It's about the number of units Apple can get in a certain amount of time. If Apple moves to a South American or Eastern European manufacturer, they'll likely be receiving less total units, and given how Apple already has problems keeping up with demand, that doesn't seem like a valid solution. Apple could never bring it's manufacturing lines back to the US, either. Sure, I'd loved to see "Designed and Built by Apple in California" stamped on my next iPhone, but I'm a realist. Imagine the cost of a truly "American made" iPhone.

Apple does have a great opportunity here though. Apple could use part of it's war chest to start it's own Chinese (or wherever) factory. They own the building and the manufacturing equipment and oversee the operations, working conditions, etc. They could then draw up contracts with a Chinese company to supply the labor and a manufacturing quota. This way Apple gets a say over worker conditions in it's OWN factory, while leaving it up to an outside company to do the necessary hiring. Of course, the Chinese government might not even allow this, but it would certainly give Apple a bit more control (which they love) and a bit more good press (which they also love).

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post #73 of 181
Quick show of hands. How many of us have lived and worked in a Chinese factory for more than a few days?

(Raises hand)

Does anyone have any questions?
post #74 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

What else would he say?

What else would you post?
Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
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post #75 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Quick show of hands. How many of us have lived and worked in a Chinese factory for more than a few days?

(Raises hand)

Does anyone have any questions?

Yes. What's your opinion on this?
post #76 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

This is easy, and let's leave off the OT issues around trade unions and the one-man show. Those are not important.

What other companies are as proactive as Apple, as high profile as Apple that are pursuing as agressively as Apple the improvement of worker conditions in their supply chains?

Samsung? Sony? Nokia? Microsoft? Dell? HP? Lenovo? Asus? Acer? LG? HTC? Motorola?


The best possible outcome that I can think of would be for the entire industry to clean up its act, with Apple being a leader in taking the moral high ground.

Apple can (and likely will) turn this mess into a huge win. I hope that in the future, employing humane labor practices becomes as big deal for mega-corporations as being Green currently is.
post #77 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by KA47 View Post

I am happy I cancelled my subscription of NYT.

Yes because when any publication reports a story that doesn't fit your way of thinking or is "inconvenient", it's best to put your head in the sand rather than dealing with the fact that the company we love so much isn't always 100% ethical.

If just 25% of what the Times reported reflects reality, I think that's a big problem for Apple. While I realize that those employees are not strictly Apple's employees, I believe that since Apple consumes so much of the labor force in that factory, Apple has to take a bigger role in insuring decent treatment for those workers. And the way to do that is that Apple should have a senior level manager who is an Apple employee who spends virtually full-time at Foxconn to monitor working conditions. And I don't know whether the Chinese government would allow this, but Apple should obtain partial ownership in Foxconn to give them a stronger hand.

Apple should insure that at the very least:
- Employees are paid for all the hours they work
- That they are paid what they are promised
- That no employee works more than 6 days/ 60 hours
- That the factories are safe (no more aluminum powder incidents).

One of the things the article pointed out is that Apple forces their suppliers to work on such short margins (much like Walmart) that the factories have almost no choice but to shortchange working conditions. Maybe Apple can make a few percentage points less in margin.

The article also raised the issue of suppliers who supply Foxconn. My feeling is that Apple's responsibility should extend only to the factories and vendors who they contract with directly.

Personally, I would gladly pay 25% more for Apple products if I knew that the workers in their factories were treated decently and/or some of those jobs were brought back to the West. My personal opinion (for all manufacturers) is that ideally, products should be made close to the markets that they serve. That way, communities who buy the products can also benefit from the jobs created. I really don't feel very good knowing that the products I love from a company I love are made by people working under poor conditions and earning just a few dollars a day.
post #78 of 181
It is too bad to see the NY Times go the way of Fox News. Giving up integrity to make a quick headline...
post #79 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Yes because when any publication reports a story that doesn't fit your way of thinking or is "inconvenient", it's best to put your head in the sand rather than dealing with the fact that the company we love so much isn't always 100% ethical.

No, it is because of lazy reporting. They are giving a mouthpiece to someone without checking the facts. They didn't even ask for a comment from Apple before publishing.
post #80 of 181
As an avowed fanboy and Apple stock holder, I think it's in my interest to propose a few solutions. Yeah, I know the problem is bigger than this, but how about we start here?

Apple needs to:

1) Increase margins to suppliers by 2% across the board, not to be spent on labor. The manufacturers feel squeezed and this is a good faith gesture.

2) Demand very specific improvements in facilities that directly impact the workers (positively, of course). You know, chairs with backs, better lighting, ergonomic work surfaces, better ventilation, etc. Fund 75% of the improvements, the rest coming from the manufacturers.

3) Double the living space per person in the Apple-associated dormitories (decrease the density by half) and pay for those improvements.

4) Increase the pay for "our" workers by 20%, but do not under any circumstances allow overtime. Ever. (Thats an effective raise while still staying within custom and law in China.)

5) Demand that line workers be rotated every few hours to different jobs to eliminate or at least reduce repetitive motion injuries.

6) Hire American employees to inspect and audit all supplier facilities on a non-scheduled surprise basis. No advance notice. Rotate the inspectors into and out of China randomly to obviate the possibility of payoffs or collusion. (Yes, that requires training on this end.)

7) Reward managers and manufacturers that pass all audits and inspections. Give them incentives to stay "clean".

8) Increase prices on major Apple products by 25 dollars. (It will defray a bit of the cost of these improvements and symbolize the fact that we Apple users are willing to pay a bit more. These improvements wont necessitate anywhere near a 25% price hike if you look at present labor costs and Apples margins.))

9) Last, Apple needs to hold its corporate head high and say, "We're trying. Anybody else on board?"

I know, I know -- a hundred people will jump on me for being naive, but nothing will change until we consumers and fans (and Apple) demand change. We can't change the realities of the market place or the supply chain, no less the fact that America can't hope to ever bring these jobs back. But abuses can be mitigated if we demand it. There are solutions to be had if we "think different." Apple has the money now to make a difference in how business is conducted.

Any other ideas?

And, by the way, everybody -- leave the NYTimes out of it. They are the only ones left that are doing their job anymore, whether it's palatable or not. I say good for them.
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