U.S. senator presses Apple on human rights practices in China

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ryuuken View Post


    This is disturbing.



    I can't believe these apple fanatics are actually defending near slavery in China.



    People in China can't afford expensive Macs so they're sub-human? You can hate the government all you want but the people living there just want to make a living. Your $1000 Mac can feed a family for months and months.



    Apple (among other companies) are barely even paying minimum wage to workers in China so this senator is criticizing them. What's the problem? Oh, can't hurt precious Apple's profit margins now. It's a sin to criticize Apple because Steve Jobs is GOD and Apple is Eden. Those sub-human Chinese workers are better off being enslaved, paying them just cuts into Apple's profits.



    Do you consume any products made in China? If you do, then do you think there might be some hypocrisy involved here?
  • Reply 42 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    ...



    Or, the guy begging on the highway divider, with a child and a cigarette hanging from his mouth... at the end of their "shift' they pack up their signs and stuff into a current-year-model car and drive off.



    *



    The guy has a cigarette and a child hanging from his mouth? That is disgusting.
  • Reply 43 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ryuuken View Post


    This is disturbing.



    I can't believe these apple fanatics are actually defending near slavery in China.



    People in China can't afford expensive Macs so they're sub-human? You can hate the government all you want but the people living there just want to make a living. Your $1000 Mac can feed a family for months and months.



    Apple (among other companies) are barely even paying minimum wage to workers in China so this senator is criticizing them. What's the problem? Oh, can't hurt precious Apple's profit margins now. It's a sin to criticize Apple because Steve Jobs is GOD and Apple is Eden. Those sub-human Chinese workers are better off being enslaved, paying them just cuts into Apple's profits.





    First. I don't believe anyone is defending "near-slavery" or any other unfair or degrading treatment of anyone.



    Second, let's say you are SJ, CEO of Apple-- answerable only to yourself, your fellow human beings, Apple shareholders, Apple consumers.





    What, specifically would you do?



    How do you expect the actions you suggest would affect all the parties involved?





    Take one simple action. Say an unemployed laborer in Detroit worked for $45 per hour. The company paid approximately $90 per hour (direct wages, overhead, benefits, cost of capital, etc.) to employ him.



    Say a Chinese worker makes $45 per week total (no overhead, etc.). So the Chinese worker adds 1/80 of the Detroit worker to the cost of, say, an iPhone.



    Let's assume that an iPhone requires 10 hours of labor through all stages of manufacturing.



    So direct labor for the Chinese is $12 ($45/40 * 10), and direct labor for the Detroit worker is $900 ($90 * 10) for each iPhone.





    What would you do? Raise the wages and benefits of the Chinese worker to the level of the Detroit worker? Half as much? Twice as much?



    Would that help hire the Detroit worker who is out of a job?



    If so, wouldn't the Chinese worker lose his job?



    What would that do to the cost of an iPhone. Apple's profits? AAPL as an investment?



    Would Apple need to layoff employees to compensate for lost sales?



    *
  • Reply 44 of 75
    dhkostadhkosta Posts: 150member
    Asinine. This is how the world works. Sure, it's not fair and everyone isn't dealt the same hand. Even from a standpoint of compassion, cheap wages and poor working conditions are the only ways for some workers to compete. It's nothing like living and working in America, but to those people, it's still living and working. Depriving them of their (albeit less than ideal) jobs doesn't seem like viable "human rights" policy to me.
  • Reply 45 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    First. I don't believe anyone is defending "near-slavery" or any other unfair or degrading treatment of anyone.



    Second, let's say you are SJ, CEO of Apple-- answerable only to yourself, your fellow human beings, Apple shareholders, Apple consumers.





    What, specifically would you do?



    How do you expect the actions you suggest would affect all the parties involved?





    Take one simple action. Say an unemployed laborer in Detroit worked for $45 per hour. The company paid approximately $90 per hour (direct wages, overhead, benefits, cost of capital, etc.) to employ him.



    Say a Chinese worker makes $45 per week total (no overhead, etc.). So the Chinese worker adds 1/80 of the Detroit worker to the cost of, say, an iPhone.



    Let's assume that an iPhone requires 10 hours of labor through all stages of manufacturing.



    So direct labor for the Chinese is $12 ($45/40 * 10), and direct labor for the Detroit worker is $900 ($90 * 10) for each iPhone.





    What would you do? Raise the wages and benefits of the Chinese worker to the level of the Detroit worker? Half as much? Twice as much?



    Would that help hire the Detroit worker who is out of a job?



    If so, wouldn't the Chinese worker lose his job?



    What would that do to the cost of an iPhone. Apple's profits? AAPL as an investment?



    Would Apple need to layoff employees to compensate for lost sales?



    *



    Wonderful!

    This is the kind of argument that you can also use to defend slavery. Would you go that far?



    So, you have to ask yourself: how far can I take this argument before I reach an ethical limit!

    Apple and any other company will believe that making this compromise between ethics and price is what we want.

    But we are the ones who know what we want and we make our decisions.



    My problem is that I need Apple products to do my work. I would be willing to pay more if I could get China-free models. But there is no such option. That's why I am very happy to see a politician step up and voice my concerns. That is what I expect from a politician.



    What else can we, the mac users and fans, do to signal Apple to rethink their production in China? Please, I really want to know!
  • Reply 46 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post


    Durbin is more worried about other countries (China) than he is the state he is supposed to represent -- ILLINOIS.



    Tired of politicians who have misplaced focus. Durbin should instead worry about restoring liberty to Americans & Illinoisans, and let the Communists represent their own people.



    Maybe he's trying to prompt US companies to manufacture their devices in the US, thereby creating jobs for the people in the state he represents?



    Liberty doesn't mean much if you don't have a job and are drowning in debt.
  • Reply 47 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    ...



    What sickens me is standing in line at the supermarket checkout watching someone buy filets, high-priced booze and cigarettes with food stamps.



    ...[/I][/B]



    *



    Alcohol and tobacco products are excluded from eligible purchases. If you observe somebody violating the terms of their assistance and wish to report it, do so here.
  • Reply 48 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CurtisEMayle View Post


    Alcohol and tobacco products are excluded from eligible purchases.



    So...



    They either sell the food stamps for cash



    or



    use the food stamps to pay for the grocery items and cash to pay for booze & cigs



    or



    two or more people split their resources-- one buys groceries with food stamps, the other buys booze & cigs with cash-- then divy up in the parking lot.



    or



    Buy a few items with food stamps and the grocer looks the other way for the booze & cigs-- realizing that the above will happen if he doesn't







    Just because the government says it's illegal, doesn't mean people don't do it.





    When was the last prosecution for misuse of food stamps?



    *
  • Reply 49 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ryuuken View Post


    This is disturbing.



    I can't believe these Walmart fanatics are actually defending near slavery in the United States.



    Walmart employees can't afford expensive Macs so they're sub-human? You can hate the government all you want but the people living there just want to make a living. Your $1000 Mac can feed a family for months and months.



    [B]Walmart[/B ](among other companies) are barely even paying minimum wage to workers in the United Stares so this senator is criticizing them. What's the problem? Oh, can't hurt precious Apple's profit margins now. It's a sin to criticize Walmart is Eden. Those sub-human American workers are better off being enslaved, paying them just cuts into Walmart's profits.



    Corrected this for you.
  • Reply 50 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    So...



    ...



    When was the last prosecution for misuse of food stamps?



    *



    Not one of my areas of expertise. However, if you're interested, you could inquire here.
  • Reply 51 of 75
    iansilviansilv Posts: 283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Do you consume any products made in China? If you do, then do you think there might be some hypocrisy involved here?



    Well put. Why is this guy bugging American companies? why doesn't this guy bug China?
  • Reply 52 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daggermann View Post


    Wonderful!

    This is the kind of argument that you can also use to defend slavery. Would you go that far?



    So, you have to ask yourself: how far can I take this argument before I reach an ethical limit!




    I am sorry if proposing logical questions on how to resolve one simple aspect of a very complex problem frustrates you-- it frustrates me too. I started out with the proposition that I didn't think anyone was proposing "near-slavery" or degrading treatment to anyone.



    What I am trying to suggest is that there are no simple solutions-- each action (positive or negative) can have a rippling effect of unintended consequences.



    What if Apple did both-- upgraded the Chinese laborer to equity with the Detroit laborer and guaranteed employment to both (average price increase of $500 to each iPhone)?



    I suspect that Apple would lose sales to the not-so-altruistic competition. Sooner or later, Apple would lose leverage (to help the underprivileged, and to what end?



    Quote:



    Apple and any other company will believe that making this compromise between ethics and price is what we want.

    But we are the ones who know what we want and we make our decisions.



    My problem is that I need Apple products to do my work. I would be willing to pay more if I could get China-free models. But there is no such option. That's why I am very happy to see a politician step up and voice my concerns. That is what I expect from a politician.






    If Apple goes "China-free" where would that leave the underprivileged "near-slaves" who currently manufacture Apple products?



    Where would that leave Apple vis-a-vis negotiating with China for better treatment of [all] their workers.



    Quote:



    What else can we, the mac users and fans, do to signal Apple to rethink their production in China? Please, I really want to know!



    Therein lies the problem-- what to do?



    Lobbying governments, UN, politicians... Nah! Too much vested interest in their own wealth/power that is justified by maintaining the status quo.



    If you have identified the China worker as one you would like to help, why not look for charities or organizations that further that end. Make sure to investigate how much of your donation goes to the donee!



    If you can't find anything, why not start one yourself. Given a valid solution, I would be happy to donate an amount equal to a percentage of every Apple purchase to help. Tell others! Tell Apple! Tell the entertainment industry/artists!



    You might just get something rolling!



    But, beware of administrators that offer to help for "expenses" and a "cut off the top" ! Thats how you get an effort where 10% or less goes to the needy!



    *
  • Reply 53 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    ...

    If you have identified the China worker as one you would like to help, why not look for charities or organizations that further that end. Make sure to investigate how much of your donation goes to the donee!



    ...



    But, beware of administrators that offer to help for "expenses" and a "cut off the top" ! Thats how you get an effort where 10% or less goes to the needy!



    *



    Good suggestions and here's a site to assist.
  • Reply 54 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post


    In three or four decades, China will be the #1 financial (and likely military) superpower in the world. We need to start somewhere to stop this.



    The US will pass the superpower baton to someone (not necessarily China) in one decade if current trends continue.



    As for the article, you gotta love Uncle Sam's audacity (matched with a classic case of fiddling while Rome burns).

    Perhaps other governments should nose in & tell America how to run things...
  • Reply 55 of 75
    Since when does a US Senator care about anything that happens in China? There is certainly plenty to care about in this country. Elected officials are out of control. I am rather certain his constituents did not place him in office to monitor Apple business practices here or abroad.
  • Reply 56 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daggermann View Post




    ...

    What else can we, the mac users and fans, do to signal Apple to rethink their production in China? Please, I really want to know!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post




    Therein lies the problem-- what to do?



    Lobbying governments, UN, politicians... Nah! Too much vested interest in their own wealth/power that is justified by maintaining the status quo.



    If you have identified the China worker as one you would like to help, why not look for charities or organizations that further that end. Make sure to investigate how much of your donation goes to the donee!



    If you can't find anything, why not start one yourself. Given a valid solution, I would be happy to donate an amount equal to a percentage of every Apple purchase to help. Tell others! Tell Apple! Tell the entertainment industry/artists!



    You might just get something rolling!



    But, beware of administrators that offer to help for "expenses" and a "cut off the top" ! Thats how you get an effort where 10% or less goes to the needy!



    *



    At the risk of quoting myself....



    I have been giving this some more thought!!



    Two big "Ifs"



    1) If you can find an organization (or start one) that addresses the "China worker" problem (or "Detroit worker problem", for that matter) where at least 90% goes to the target donees.



    2) If we can convince Apple that it is a legitimate cause and they will not restrict us.





    I will offer to write and donate an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app that accepts donations and sends the entire amount to the organization.



    If Approved, the app will be distributed free of charge through the app store. The app could accept credit cards, PayPall, Pledges, etc.



    The user could enter a fixed amount or, say the purchase price of an Apple product and a percentage donation-- the app would calculate the dollar amount.



    The app could also show totals of donations (charts) and the amount given to the donees.



    The app could be linked from websites (e.g. the Apple Store) or other iPhone apps (there is a protocol for doing this).



    Dick



    *
  • Reply 57 of 75
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,022member
    As a broad statement of my feelings on the matter, you can use privity of contract to hide behind a lot of things, but when it comes the fellow man, all bets are off.



    I think it is right to inquire behind the deals that first world countries put in place with organisations in developing countries in that respect.



    Governments might not be able penetrate sovereignty to establish 'proper' human rights (big china reference earlier), whatever they are, but they can at least control to some extent their own companies behaviour. In turn, that can bring pressure to bear on goods suppliers. The sooner organisations in first world countries insist (compelled or otherwise) on baseline working conditions, the sooner we'll see them implemented in contract rather than foreign legislation.



    The validity of my view is obviously dependent on whether you feel it is more important to have a cheap gadget than to further the lot of an anonymous group of people in some far flung place.



    It is almost impossible to conduct your life without coming across something made in China, almost to the extent that it would be almost impossible to exist without doing so, so whoever bleated about hypocrisy earlier in the thread is clearly making a strawman argument.
  • Reply 58 of 75
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    Thanks for some sanity.



    It?s interesting when people have knee-jerk reactions against obviously GOOD causes. This cause looks good at first AND second glance, so I don?t get it.



    Interesting... Have you ever read the quotes from this idiot regarding our military or previous Commander in Chief?! This Senator certainly had "knee-jerk reactions against obviously GOOD causes. This cause looks good at first AND second glance, so I don?t get it."
  • Reply 59 of 75
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sirpopealot View Post


    Since when does a US Senator care about anything that happens in China?



    Obviously, when there is a good sound byte involved!
  • Reply 60 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daggermann View Post


    First of all I think the significance of this message lies in the fact that Dick Durbin is not just any Senator. He has the second highest position of the democratic leadership in the senate. This is not some random act, but might signify that there is political momentum behind this. Let's see where this goes.



    I would feel so much better about buying Apple products if they were not made in China! I am happy that they are now environmentally conscious and I think Greenpeace did a great job at pushing Apple in the right direction. The next step is producing products in a way and in a place that is in alignment with our values.



    I love Apple products and I have bought far too many of them without hesitation in the past. These days I am starting to feel different about this and the reason is that I don't want so much of my money going to China.



    My question to you: How do you feel about this and could this become a big movement?



    I look at labels and buy anywhere but china when the opportunity presents itself. The only movement that will matter is people realizing we don't need disposable products we replace every 3 years. This has obvious limitation with technology, but consider buying a desk, you can pay for particle board which will look like hell, loosen, etc. in a few years but you'll save money over buying the all wood American made equivalent which will make its way into your great grand child's house.



    BUT, companies don't make money if you buy infrequently (aka. iPhone without a replaceable battery). If they can do it cheap enough, they can coax us into buying one every couple of years. Cleaning products have caught on, why sweep with a broom you'll have for 10 years when you can buy and throw away a pad every time. Who'll make more, the broom manufacturer or the need a new one every time manufacturer?



    It may change, but in limited form. It took me a decade to realize that an American made guitar stays in tune much longer, the hardware still works and after 5 years of shredding on it, still looks better than the non-american made guitars I have and now relegate to campfire duty (because I don't care if it falls into the fire and burns!). Been the case with every American guitar I have bought to date.
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