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American components in Apple's iPhone supply chain graphically detailed

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
A report examining Apple's component supply chain and global manufacturing details the source of the parts, workers and assembly involved in building the company's devices.

iphone china
Source: Finances Online


Alex Hillsberg of Finances Online produced an infographic outlining the source of Apple's iPhone components, right down to the rare earth metals involved in manufacturing high tech parts from its display and speakers to its silicon and vibration motor.

"Most rare earth metals come from China," the report states, noting that 90 percent are mined in Inner Mongolia and China. The graphic also presents Apple's global workforce and depicts why Apple assembles most of its devices in China, emphasizing "fast, not cheep labor," as depicted in an excerpt of the infographic, above.

Hillsberg also draws attention to such rarely reported facts as Foxconn's production of 40 percent of the entire world's consumer electronics, including products from Amazon, Dell, HP Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony.

Many reporters describe Foxconn as being an "Apple factory," particularly when describing suicides and industrial accidents that have occured there, even ones unrelated to the manufacturing of Apple products.

NBC Tim Cook
Source: NBC News


Apple's chief executive Tim Cook has in the past pointed attention to iPhone components made in the United States, stating in a 2012 interview with Brian Williams, "we?ve been working for years on doing more and more in the U.S. Next year, we?re going to do one of our existing Mac lines in the United States," a product he later revealed to be the Mac Pro.

Cook specifically noted Corning's 'Gorilla Glass' face for the iPhone as being manufactured in Kentucky and its A-series SoC processor manufactured at Samsung's Austin, Texas facility.

When asked about the labor costs involved with moving manufacturing back to the United States, Cook replied, "It?s not so much about the price as it is about the skills, etc. Over time, there are skills associated with manufacturing that have left the U.S.,? Cook said.

"The consumer electronics world was really never here," Cook stated. ?It?s not a matter of bringing it back, it?s a matter of starting it here."
post #2 of 61

Where?

Ok I found it.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #3 of 61

There is nothing new or secret being divulged here.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #4 of 61
While the fast labor infographic may be true, it's not as if China always had that advantage. Originally most of that manufacturing capability belonged to the US. That's because most of the engineering expertise was here.
Over the years, as companies were seeking to maximize their profits, they started shipping much of that expertise over to China. At the same time, they lobbied Washington, to bring down the tarrifs for goods manufactured overseas. Over one generation, that manufacturing capability has now shifted over there. This has effectively gutted that same capability in the US.
So to just blurt out that statistic, is a bit disigenuous IMO. They did not acquire that expertise, overnight through the holy spirit. US companies, gave it to them witht the full collaboration of US government.
post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDBA View Post

While the fast labor infographic may be true, it's not as if China always had that advantage. Originally most of that manufacturing capability belonged to the US. That's because most of the engineering expertise was here.
Over the years, as companies were seeking to maximize their profits, they started shipping much of that expertise over to China. At the same time, they lobbied Washington, to bring down the tarrifs for goods manufactured overseas. Over one generation, that manufacturing capability has now shifted over there. This has effectively gutted that same capability in the US.
So to just blurt out that statistic, is a bit disigenuous IMO. They did not acquire that expertise, overnight through the holy spirit. US companies, gave it to them witht the full collaboration of US government.

I think your timetable is a bit wrong. The majority of electronics manufacturers have been overseas for more than 20 years. Most of the products I bought as a young adult were being built in Japan, not the US, and I just turned 60. China might have come later but I would guess the last TV or radio built in the US in any quantity was done in the 70's or at best 80's. Yes, a lot of stuff was designed her but the US has been out of the manufacturing loop for several decades. 

 

Is this good? No, I'd like to see more construction performed in the US but I doubt it will happen because many Americans aren't willing to work the kind of hours necessary doing repetitive work that's required to bring a product to market that doesn't cost a million dollars. Most non-hispanic Americans aren't willing to do farm labor either, which is why they are "imported" into the US where there's plenty of fertile land and water to grow things. 

post #6 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDBA View Post

While the fast labor infographic may be true, it's not as if China always had that advantage. Originally most of that manufacturing capability belonged to the US. That's because most of the engineering expertise was here.
Over the years, as companies were seeking to maximize their profits, they started shipping much of that expertise over to China. At the same time, they lobbied Washington, to bring down the tarrifs for goods manufactured overseas. Over one generation, that manufacturing capability has now shifted over there. This has effectively gutted that same capability in the US.
So to just blurt out that statistic, is a bit disigenuous IMO. They did not acquire that expertise, overnight through the holy spirit. US companies, gave it to them witht the full collaboration of US government.

The "companies were seeking to maximize their profits" meme is biased. Companies didn't simply move manufacturing to China in order to maximize profits but also to lower prices. Marketplace domination could be had by a company producing a same or near-same quality item and lower cost. Maybe you keep some of that extra savings for yourself, but the main thing you're doing is just making sure you're the guy getting the sales to a price-conscious public. Government and companies had a role in things moving to China, but a public that didn't want to buy anything except the lowest price item had a bigger role.

post #7 of 61

I always suspected Apple caught more flack for using Foxconn because they publicly defended Foxconn and said it's not a sweatshop.  For the other companies, it's the elephant in the room that they don't talk about.  To call it an Apple factory would certainly be incorrect, though.


As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.

post #8 of 61

Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
I always suspected Apple caught more flack for using Foxconn because they publicly defended Foxconn and said it's not a sweatshop. 

 

Well… it's not.

 

As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.

 

Yep, you sure know better than him.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #9 of 61
The US economy is on life support because we are a consumer society, not a producer society. The last time the US produced products was no later than the mid 1960's. During WWII, the US had population of 100,000,000 and Detroit was the manufacturing center of the US, GM being called the engine of the war machine.

During the 1960s, the US population was 150,000,000, and we put a man on the moon.

Now at 330,000,000, the US produces sophistry, obesity, diabetes and imbeciles leading both governments and corporate enterprises, with few exceptions.

Manufacturing is done overseas because the population is too stupid to do the jobs. There is no teacher of the 1960s generation who hasn't seen the increasing incompetence of the students they've been trying to instruct. Those left are those pushing paper on the stock market and in other financial industries, creating a wholly vaccous money based economy with nothing propping up the currency except speculation.
post #10 of 61
Quote:
Many reporters describe Foxconn as being an "Apple factory," particularly when describing suicides and industrial accidents that have occured there, even ones unrelated to the manufacturing of Apple products.

 

Including this website! 

post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.

If anyone's full of it -- in your case, it's practically overflowing every single time you post [holds nose] -- it's you.

 

Not only is he 100% right, he's talking about the whole ecosystem, including the component supply chain: he refers to "skills" and the "consumer electronics world" (not your narrow and moronic interpretation of "skilled workers").

post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

I always suspected Apple caught more flack for using Foxconn because they publicly defended Foxconn and said it's not a sweatshop.  For the other companies, it's the elephant in the room that they don't talk about.  To call it an Apple factory would certainly be incorrect, though.


As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.

 

No, he's not "completely full of shit". Price is a factor, but there are thousands of others, which makes manufacturing in China more efficient, practical, flexible, and robust.  Anyone with a shred of knowledge about basic global dynamics, or what it takes to develop and manufacture extremely complex products that sell in the hundreds of millions globally, would be able to admit this. You may need to hire hundreds, or thousands of workers on a moments notice. You may need to switch downstream suppliers, almost all of which are in China, and which provide the components for final manufacturing. All these things are currently impossible to do with anywhere NEAR the same speed and efficiency anywhere else. Apple can manufacture a niche product like the Mac Pro in the US, but the next iPhone? That's a pipe-dream, even if they were willing to raise their prices or cut their margins.  

post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post


As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.

 

Yep, skill labor without the Unions, US Human Resource Departments, US Regulations, US Healthcare, US Tax Laws, and basically just the US getting in the way of doing business. That coupled with increasing lazy workers who are increasing less educated. 

 

Heck, Apple retail employees sue over a bag check and you wonder why anyone wants to do business in China? LOL 

post #14 of 61

If a company intends to continue making products long term, then keeping the same employees and not having to retrain them makes more sense.  They settle down, grow roots and a community, and can participate in making the process better.

 

The main reason "FAST" is brought up, is because Jobs would supposedly make last second changes.  (See graphic below from the same source.)    

 

However, not only does that imply a poor design process, but the graphic is incorrect.  Glass was not a last minute decision... Jobs went to Corning about six months before the iPhone went on sale... and the glass supplier Corning DID come through, using American workers in Kentucky.  (*)

 

 

 

The story about the workers that is probably referred to here, was supposedly that they had to remove the original plastic fronts from a bunch of already produced iPhones and replace it with the glass, but that doesn't make much sense either, if you recall how those sections were glued together.

 

(*)  It's now made mostly overseas, but not back then.

post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

If a company intends to continue making products long term, then keeping the same employees and not having to retrain them makes more sense.  They settle down, grow roots and a community, and can participate in making the process better.

 

The main reason "FAST" is brought up, is because Jobs would supposedly make last second changes.  (See graphic below from the same source.)    

LOL. You really do love to make up bombastic stuff, don't you. 

 

Why don't you name for us one consumer electronics company that does it differently than Apple does.

post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

LOL. You really do love to make up bombastic stuff, don't you. 

Why don't you name for us one consumer electronics company that does it differently than Apple does.
Once again KDarlng telling us where Apple went wrong or poor choices they made. Because apparently he's smarter than Jobs, Cook and the rest of the lot at Apple. 1wink.gif
post #17 of 61
What is this article? Everyone knows Apple is a Chinese produced, suicide driving, child labor prison camp using, toxic waste polluting, tax evading, anti OS choice, unoriginal, beleaguered, greedy company. /s
post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

 

Yep, skill labor without the Unions, US Human Resource Departments, US Regulations, US Healthcare, US Tax Laws, and basically just the US getting in the way of doing business. That coupled with increasing lazy workers who are increasing less educated. 

 

Heck, Apple retail employees sue over a bag check and you wonder why anyone wants to do business in China? LOL 

 

You have a very valid point there.  Also glad to see you didn't resort to ad hominem as others chose to do.  I would agree that government regulations and unions are another big reason why assembly in China is more desirable to a corporation than the US.

post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Well… it's not.

 

Well... it is.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

 

Yep, you sure know better than him.

 

 

Apparently so.

post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

I think your timetable is a bit wrong. The majority of electronics manufacturers have been overseas for more than 20 years. Most of the products I bought as a young adult were being built in Japan, not the US, and I just turned 60. China might have come later but I would guess the last TV or radio built in the US in any quantity was done in the 70's or at best 80's. Yes, a lot of stuff was designed her but the US has been out of the manufacturing loop for several decades. 

Is this good? No, I'd like to see more construction performed in the US but I doubt it will happen because many Americans aren't willing to work the kind of hours necessary doing repetitive work that's required to bring a product to market that doesn't cost a million dollars. Most non-hispanic Americans aren't willing to do farm labor either, which is why they are "imported" into the US where there's plenty of fertile land and water to grow things. 
We're not talking TV's and radios here but computers. Dell was still making computers here in the 90's and so was Apple. The move to China was happening when ans soon after the GATT talks in Seattle and bit later in Quebec City occured. What took place was that import tarrifs were eliminated and thus companies could freely manufacture their goods in Asia and ship them back home for sale. Around the same time, many help desk centers began their move to India. The reason has got nothing to do with lazy Americans but much lowered priced Indians.
post #21 of 61

Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
Well it is. Apparently so.

 

Is there a new competition going around; trolls competing to see who can make the most idiotic and/or wrong comment?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Is there a new competition going around; trolls competing to see who can make the most idiotic and/or wrong comment?

 

No competition here.  I know that I could never compete with you in that department.  You're the undisputed champion of idiotic troll posting.

 

Or you could try adding to a conversation by backing up your opinions instead of your usual one-liners that add nothing.

post #23 of 61

I guess this will not appear at Huffington Post, BBC or Guardian.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

 

Yep, skill labor without the Unions, US Human Resource Departments, US Regulations, US Healthcare, US Tax Laws, and basically just the US getting in the way of doing business. That coupled with increasing lazy workers who are increasing less educated. 

 

Heck, Apple retail employees sue over a bag check and you wonder why anyone wants to do business in China? LOL 

 

 

Ignorant rant.

It was a government bill that build the USA middle class.

The The GI Bill, paid by tax payers.

 

Ireland and Netherlands do have HUGE private debt and running wild deficit, along with a safe heaven for corporations.

 

How many jobs did the big Pharmaceutic and tech companies created in Ireland?

post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

How many jobs did the big Pharmaceutic and tech companies created in Ireland?

 

Maybe not jobs, but I hear the tech companies have a lot of money over in Ireland.  1wink.gif

post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

 

Maybe not jobs, but I hear the tech companies have a lot of money over in Ireland.  1wink.gif

 

That is the point.

Money not invested! = workers do not benefit. The same workers who should have enough money to spend.

 

It is like the production of the iPhone in China, China does not make much from it, beside the jobs it really needs to avoid revolts.

 

In the USA wages remain stagnant, why would corporations invest much?

Workers are drown in debt, and have less money to spend.

So Corporations sit on the money.


Edited by Ochyming - 8/13/13 at 4:54pm
post #26 of 61

Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
No competition here.  I know that I could never compete with you in that department.  You're the undisputed champion of idiotic troll posting.

 

Or you could try adding to a conversation by backing up your opinions instead of your usual one-liners that add nothing.

 

When someone claims a factory is a sweatshop, they'd better have proof of their own if they don't want to look like an idiot. lol.gif

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
Also glad to see you didn't resort to ad hominem as others chose to do.

 

If you don't want to be ad hommed, don't walk around wearing a target on your chest... Droid. 

Your choice, no one else's.

And just once, I wish you'd explain your choice of such a blatantly antagonistic moniker, out of the near-infinite choices available to you, for this site.

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post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

 

If you don't want to be ad hommed, don't walk around wearing a target on your chest... Droid. 

Your choice, no one else's.

And just once, I wish you'd explain your choice of such a blatantly antagonistic moniker, out of the near-infinite choices available to you, for this site.

 

Fair enough about the target thing.  I get baited a lot here because of the name (and it's understandable); rarely do I take the bait.  Getting baited and ad hommed are a little different in my eyes though.  I can take a could ribbing, but out right attacks with no humor attached serve no purpose in my eyes.  At least be clever and light hearted about it, right?  1smile.gif

 

As far as explaining the name, I have done so publicly already. 

post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

 

As far as explaining the name, I have done so publicly already. 

All you've proven is that you have little shame.

post #30 of 61

Sometimes free enterprise runs amok, while other times it promotes competition benefitting consumers. In the case of all electronics manufacturing being sent to China, it actually harms the US economy and the security of the country. Just for a moment imagine that the US could not build a military aircraft without the aid of China.

 

But of course it is not the responsibility of US corporations to maintain operational manufacturing facilities in the US for national security. Outsourcing is a natural outcome of supply and demand economics but it is not necessarily beneficial to the US economy or national security.


Edited by mstone - 8/13/13 at 5:38pm

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post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

I guess this will not appear at Huffington Post, BBC or Guardian.

 

 

 

 

 

Ignorant rant.

It was a government bill that build the USA middle class.

The The GI Bill, paid by tax payers.

 

Ireland and Netherlands do have HUGE private debt and running wild deficit, along with a safe heaven for corporations.

 

How many jobs did the big Pharmaceutic and tech companies created in Ireland?

 

Speaking of ignorant rants. None of what you said had anything to do with what I said, nor the subject within this thread. 

 

Now back to the subject of why hiring in China may be more desirable than the US... 

post #32 of 61
and we still don't have iphone 5S yet... and you can clearly see.. China can assemble all in just 15 days. Can't say the same for America. just sayin!
post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

..."The consumer electronics world was really never here," Cook stated. ?It?s not a matter of bringing it back, it?s a matter of starting it here."

 

AT&T Bell Laboratories licensed the transistor to Sony in the early 1950's, which then introduced consumer electronics to the world. Sony had existed for less than a decade at this point. What Tim Cook was really saying was that 'the consumer electronics production world was really never here', American (teenage) consumers however, allowed the industry to take off. With the advent of the transistor, we will have witnessed in our lifetimes one of the greatest revolutions in human endeavour amidst such as the advent of alloying and the Industrial Revolution.

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post #34 of 61
This was posted today on Huffington post … I think most would agree it kind of supports Tim's comments. Yes, that is an 8th grade test from 1912! Sorry if it is small, you might need to zoom in to read. IMHO multiple choice tests have dumbed down America beyond belief. I doubt many MBA graduates would pass this today!


Edited by digitalclips - 8/13/13 at 7:06pm
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post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

LOL. You really do love to make up bombastic stuff, don't you. 

 

Why don't you name for us one consumer electronics company that does it differently than Apple does.

I'm not sure what you're saying that he made up. What he put about Jobs is true and a lot of people know it.

post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

I always suspected Apple caught more flack for using Foxconn because they publicly defended Foxconn and said it's not a sweatshop.  For the other companies, it's the elephant in the room that they don't talk about.  To call it an Apple factory would certainly be incorrect, though.


As far as manufacturing taking place in China not because of price but because that's where the skilled workers are, Cook is full of shit.


You are full of shit.  They can't just hire hundreds of thousands of people in the US to mfg their mobile devices in a heartbeat.  Where?  Most of the people that would even consider that kind of work are not exactly the most skilled when it comes to mfg tiny little devices.  What part of the country are you talking about?

Most high volume mfg sites for this type of work are typically in Asia.  It's always been that way.

 

Why do you think most of the semiconductor mfg set up fab plants in Asia back in the early 60's before they had automatic lead bonders?  They needed typically women to do that since they had more patience and delicate hands to do lead bonding, which is a VERY tedious job to do 8 hours a day and being able to basically run up to 3 shifts if necessary.  Obviously, land is cheaper in Asia (except large cities like Tokyo, etc.) labor rates are obviously cheaper, but it's a lot to do with lots of people that have the inherent skill set to perform the tedious work required.  Plus they typically have much better work habits than the kids in America that join the workforce.


Where else would you suggest they get hundreds of thousands of people to do the work?  Yeah, they have to also be competitive with the other companies out there.

 

I think you are full of shit.  

 

Foxconn only lets Apple managers into certain places within their plants, and why does Apple get more flack when Foxconn, and the others that do the same work also do work for HP, Dell, and others.  Why do they single out Apple?  Because Apple has always gotten more flack from the media.  It's what jealous people do.  They single out the most successful company to attack them, even if they aren't doing anything wrong.

post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

If a company intends to continue making products long term, then keeping the same employees and not having to retrain them makes more sense.  They settle down, grow roots and a community, and can participate in making the process better.

 

The main reason "FAST" is brought up, is because Jobs would supposedly make last second changes.

 

Settle down? Grow roots? Participate in making the process better? Why yes, that's exactly what Apple does with their designers, engineers and other staff. It's what most companies do. But not all. Does McDonald's (or any fast food chain) really need to keep the person making fries around to "participate in making the process better"? No. In the technology world the assemblers are like workers at McDonalds. If one leaves you can get another one to fill their place. It doesn't sound nice, but it's reality. Everyone has a place from the ditch diggers to the CEO's. CEO's you want to grow roots. Ditch diggers not so much.

 

 

As to FAST, I'm sure that once the engineers have signed off on a product there wouldn't be any hurry to ramp up production and get it to market as soon as possible. /S

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post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post


You are full of shit.

 

Just block him. I gave him a chance but he showed his true colors as a troll and now the only time I hear the toilet flush is when you or someone else quotes him. So block, stop quoting and problem solved.

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post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

 

Settle down? Grow roots? Participate in making the process better? Why yes, that's exactly what Apple does with their designers, engineers and other staff. It's what most companies do. But not all. Does McDonald's (or any fast food chain) really need to keep the person making fries around to "participate in making the process better"? No. In the technology world the assemblers are like workers at McDonalds. If one leaves you can get another one to fill their place. It doesn't sound nice, but it's reality. Everyone has a place from the ditch diggers to the CEO's. CEO's you want to grow roots. Ditch diggers not so much.

 

 

As to FAST, I'm sure that once the engineers have signed off on a product there wouldn't be any hurry to ramp up production and get it to market as soon as possible. /S

 

Exactly.  The jobs at Foxconn are not jobs that require skilled workers.  They're repetitive jobs that don't require a lot of training (one of the reasons you can hire so many in a short amount of time).  Some are so simple that they leave them to the "student interns" to handle.  Cook saying that Americans aren't skilled enough to perform those jobs is not accurate.  Especially if you consider the fact that Americans are accepted by everyone to be skilled enough to do the jobs that require more skill like being a designer or CEO.


Edited by DroidFTW - 8/13/13 at 10:28pm
post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

Your choice, no one else's.

 

What? It's HIS fault that others choose to post insults and attack the individual instead of the viewpoint or argument? That's ridiculous. People choose how they respond. Some people focus on the contents of the post, others on the person offering the opinion.

 

What you're describing sounds a lot like the kid in the schoolyard repeating "Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?"

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