Originally Posted by island hermit
Actually, as another member, who is a statistician, pointed out to me, the law of large numbers will take over at this point.
Only if the suicide rate at Foxconn was well above the national average would it be of any concern. When you are talking about a company that employs over 500,000 employees then you can just deduce that if the number of suicides is the same as or below the national average then it is a normal suicide rate and is to be expected.
I would have hoped that your friend would have told you that in isolation, statistics are meaningless.
By way of an example; shark attacks increase as ice cream sales increase.
At no point have I claimed to be a statistician, nor have I claimed to be a sociologist with any special insight into suicide rates.
However, if you force me to continue to examine the question of suicide then I would assume that work conditions/income/living conditions etc are contributory factors. Based on those assumptions I would expect that people reputed to have better working conditions (etc) to be less likely to commit suicide than those seasonally facing hardship as the result of drought, for example. In such a scenario, given the significantly smaller base of workers with "superior conditions", parity with national rates would imply a serious problem.
Now as I keep having to stress I don't know what the rates are for China or Foxconn employees and thus I stress, yet again, that I do not know if Apples relationship with the Chinese economy had had any effect or not.
Questioning the methodology with which one arrives at an answer does not make the questioner an asshole, nor does it trivialise the hardships endured by the unfortunate friends and family of the suicided. Glibly stating that you don't give a sh!te about them does.
What more do you want me to say? I suspect that the majority of my detractors will only be happy if I say that as a direct consequence of Apple, Foxconn employees are better treated than anyone else in China. That is something I am not willing to do unless presented with compelling evidence.