Originally Posted by Mr. H
Oh dear. Another person who is unable to correctly parse what I say, and instead reads what they think I'm writing, not what I'm actually writing..
No, I believe my reading comprehension is correct in that you "stated" what I put in bold, and yes, I took it literally. Blame the writer not the reader.
Care to take a guestimate at how much percentage-wise Apple has added to their profits due to manufacturing in China?
And as apposed to their competition utilizing the very same labor force?
Has there been a breakdown in the costs that Apple has already born, by literally financing the production of their competitor's devices? Both in R&D and production facilities?
How about the costs for the "100s" of Apple employees already in China keeping an eye on and providing oversight? What's that cost?
What about those other Apple-funded opportunities like advanced education at Foxconn? Who else is doing that?
And while this last question will cause a stir, and is possibly below the line:
what percentage of the current workforce would even be able to touch a high-tech device such as an iPhone or iPad, to see and feel with their own eyes and hands, the future and possibly realizing their dream of actually owning one. Who's to say that more than a few of the hard workers, may actually make just that sacrifice and start developing Apps, using Foxconn and their experience there as a stepping-stone.
You do realize it is just this supposition, that created the American Dream, don't you?
By the way, I agree with most of your post.
And to a degree, I believe your intentions are good, albeit not very well thought out re: Apple coughing up another half a billion, where the majority of that sum "may" never see it's way to the pockets of the workers themselves.
Do you seriously believe that China would allow Apple to see to whom, what and where the actual sum would flow to?
Yes. A building or 2 could be built, but now what about the construction workers and their grievances? Do they also need to be paid Foxconn wages? What do they make now? Are their jobs also not dangerous and full of hard, boring, routine days? Who skimmed 30% of the sum and the material costs to build the buildings?
No, I do not fail to take this into consideration. Stating that Apple "has benefited from the low manufacturing cost" does not equate to me thinking "that Apple's profits have come about to a large extent from 3rd world ie. Cheap labor".
Again, please show where Apple has benefited more than their competition. Until then, I respectfully and fully disagree with that statement.
In fact, I would say they haven't UNFAIRLY benefited in the least. As apposed to the huge line-up of companies before Apple, and currently using Foxconn and the sub-contractors to create Apple-wannabe devices... who's really benefiting here?
Yes, the vast majority of Apple's wealth has been generated due to their innovation; if this was not the case then all other companies using cheap labour for an equivalent amount of time would have accumulated an equivalent amount of wealth. However, one must acknowledge that cheap labour is a contributor to Apple's high margins.
Why again? You make the right conclusion in the first sentence. So why are there no other $100 billion tech companies out there? HINT: "High margins" in your qualifier sentence is what's wrong with the statement as a whole. Because if they could, the competition WOULD have higher margins as well.
So it really comes down to Apple's fault for having "high margins" and hence, should foot the bill... because ya know, "...Apple wouldn't even feel it (sic)".
At what point did I label Apple's profits "obscene"?
Actually you didn't. I said "many people consider" that label. Although I believe that you "were" thinking in the "obscene" line of thought, if your vocabulary includes that definition outside of porn, considering your next quote:
Do you deny that $100 billion is "vast wealth"?
"Vast" by all means. Unheard of, unbelievable, and laughable just a few years ago. Deserved and earned? I would say unequivocally: YES!
I really don't understand how so many people have failed to miss what I have stated over and over again. What I am advocating is Apple contributing towards the improvement of the living quarters of those making Apple products. How is that expecting them to "pay to right all the wrongs, that the entire industry should be expected to bare."?
I don't think the majority of the posters here have a problem with your desire and heartfelt intentions. However, for my sensibilities and pragmatism, you just "framed" it sloppily and with some pretty broad (and dare I say stupid) statements.
Coming from a GM and supposedly real "insider", I would have expected the same troll-like statements from the legendary Slappy or TechStud. I actually had to do a double-take on the poster, and thought possibly the Forum security had been compromised.
There may well be genuine logistical and/or political and/or unintended consequence reasons that in reality would prevent the living quarters of Apple line workers being improved. But I find it rather sad that even as a thought experiment,
people find abhorrent the idea of Apple spending 0.5% of their accumulated wealth on improving the lives of the human beings who make their products
As a "thought experiment": fine. It's as noble as Communism in print. Reality says: it probably won't work and/or pan out as planned. I'm skeptical in the very least, and adhere to, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".
BTW: In one of your justifications, you even alluded to a PR coup of sorts: NO! It would backfire, and I would expect that from amateur "Marketeers" to dredge that canal of sludge, rather than "just do it silently".... which BTW, Apple has/had been doing up until that NYT smear piece.
PS. I, more than most people I know and deal with, consider the "human" and "humane" element in almost every decision I make. Not what's "best", but what's most productive and motivational to actually do the work at hand.
Work is work, but I/we do our best to make it as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. Sadly to say, there is always that 10-15% that will always demand "more", and refuse to see the opportunity through their narrow gaze of what's physically in front of their nose. To those "Refusniks", I normally suggest parting of ways.
The grass can be a greener shade of brown for some people. I provide the "paint and the brushes", but I refuse to create the "painting" for them, and no matter how many buckets of pure mint green I give them, it will always turn out to be "sh*t-brown" in their eyes anyway. Sorry, but I have little patience for that kind of attitude and thinking.
Apple as well as the other companies doing business and investing in China are providing buckets of green, giving a 3rd world population the means to escape their current destiny and shape/create a new one, both socially and politically. Things do take time though.
No I do not prescribe to taking advantage of the situation in the very least until the time comes when things "equal out", but an understanding of previous historical timelines and patience (a Chinese strength) is in order I think. The Chinese government seems to be guiding their people and development quite well actually. They're doing something "better" than America... heck... they darn near own it!
PSS. "Abhorrent" is the Western media Gag-Rag "thought experiment", that some of us older folks fondly referred to as "responsible journalism and reporting" years ago. Sadly, no more can be said than that the profession of Journalism is dead, and has become just a huge splash of dung-brown paint, thrown lazily, unprofessionally and in a trendy and populist fashion, at a dead-tree canvas!
"2-pence Click Whores" should be their new name. Maybe they should unionize. I've heard "bending over" is an occupational hazard and doesn't get paid what it used to!