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

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  • Reply 61 of 75
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    If you read the article, Apple is one of 30 technological companies that being considered--not the only one The issue is far deeper if you consider how much comes from China. If you go to Walmart look at the labels. So much is tied to the "global economy". Manufacturing is going where products can be produced the cheapest.



    At one time the US had the capability to produce all of the electronic components that would go into a computer--now all of the technology comes from outside the US--think about it. Have we lost the ability to develop and produce our own goods. Even Japan and Korea are farming out their manufacturing to China, Viet Nam and Malaysia.



    What the the Senate, Congress and the Executive branch should do is to create incentives to reintroduce the infrastructure where we can again produce all of the components that goes into computers. We need to retrain our labor force into high technology fields. Products produced here may cost more, but I believe that we can compete in the world market.
  • Reply 62 of 75
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,022member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    What the the Senate, Congress and the Executive branch should do is to create incentives to reintroduce the infrastructure where we can again produce all of the components that goes into computers. We need to retrain our labor force into high technology fields. Products produced here may cost more, but I believe that we can compete in the world market.



    But not that much more I would expect given that a significant part of the fabrication and assembly is automated. Dealing with manufacturing byproducts could be a significantly different matter.
  • Reply 63 of 75
    I'd love to see a Made in America line, and would be willing to pay a premium- as long the devices are made in a right-to-work state. Such a line of products, however, would draw attention to the fact that every Apple product is assembled in China.

    I think a big problem with assembling electronic components in the US are environmental concerns. Toxic byproducts are expensive to dispose of in the US, while the Chinese probably just dump them in a field- hence the reason most 'green' products are made in China.
  • Reply 64 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elffir View Post


    Geez, guys. The article says Apple is among 30 companies Durbin is wanting to find out about. He doesn't seem to be targeting Apple in particular. He's doing his job.



    If his job is grandstanding, then yes, he's doing a great job.
  • Reply 65 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post


    The labor cost to manufacture in Asia has risen 20% in the last three years. This is not going to stop. It's a myth that goods would cost that much more if made here (spread by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other pro-corporate entities). Adding 8 to 10% to the cost of an iPad's manufacturing is more accurate. Which would make the price rise maybe fifty bucks.



    Yes, I would pay fifty dollars more to employ Americans and keep cash away from an oppressive communist country.



    China pegs their currency to the dollar (approx. 7 yuan to $1), so it will probably never be cheaper to manufacture something here unless the cost of shipping somehow were to unbalance the equation. The only way the US can once again become dominent in manufacturing is by eliminating the advantage that China has in the form of unlimited cheap labor and by focusing on future forms of manufacturing such as nanofabrication, 3-D printing, and other mechanized forms of mass customization that allow infinite variabilty in the production process.
  • Reply 66 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post


    The article says 30 companies. It's not just Apple. Anyone (which is everyone) that deals with China is dealing in slave labor.



    I wish that Apple would go to Detroit (or somewhere in the U.S.), buy some of the many dead manufacturing plants, and move their manufacturing into the United States. They would be heroes and I believe that they could afford it.



    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.



    Right. It is not a cheap product, nor is Nike etc. So the profit margins are far more important than human rights or there countries employment. A sad state of affairs but hardly only apple. I have often dreamed that some company like apple would move to detroit or wherever and remove the made in china logo and replace with usa. Heck i am not even from the usa and I would be happy to pay for that. Apple of all people could cash on on ethical products, it works with the environmental stuff and not everyone is after the cheapest.
  • Reply 67 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    Taxes, Regulations, Wages, Unions -- wanna' pay $1,500 for a politically correct iPad?



    *



    I don't completely disagree with you, but let's say the government decided to buy iMacs or iPhones or iPads. The USG could say "we'll buy it, but you must build them here in the US". Potentially, the USG could even buy the facility to help level out the costs a bit. (this is already done on military bases where the government provides the physical plant without rent).



    I know this may not be the answer, but at some point our economy will fall down even harder. It really is a House of Cards with very little fundamental manufacturing base from which to operate. We cannot live off of McDonalds and Apple Stores.
  • Reply 68 of 75
    The issue here is Trade and how we do it and its effects upon the USA, China, and the rest of the world. If a product is made outside of the USA and then brought into the USA for sale, that product is imported. There used to be an import duty that was a tax on imported goods. This tax helped to keep products sold in the USA manufactured in the USA. That created good paying jobs, which created a middle class. Now, US companies would rather go to China to make their products because of current trade law. The Free Trade liberal economic theory as it is applied into law has resulted in the world we see today: the USA with an ever widening gap between rich and poor and the evisceratioin of the middle class and exploited labor in other nations doing the work that USA workers should be doing. Apple is doing what most other US corporations are doing. Now that it's legal and profitable to exploit workers in another country and ship their imported goods into the USA tax free, they are doing just that and the US workers be damned and who cares what happens to people far away.



    But what does this speak of so-called corporate responsiblity? We can complain all we want but what really governs how corporations behave is the law. And we need a change of the law to make exploiting foreign labor unprofitable and employing American workers very profitable.



    This isn't about socialism or communism or capitalism. Free Trade has damaged the United States, reduced opportunities there, and for many, many Americans, made life harder.



    And for those of you who like the current system and have the gall to criticize as useless the efforts to mitigate the damage that it does (like food stamps, unemployment benefits, housing assistance, MediCare and MedicAid), what do you say about all the corporate welfare that's been doled out so all those multimillion dollar bonuses could still be payed to executives that are complete failures? Nearly a Trillion dollars of taxpayer money going to those who truly have no real needs, only very great wants. If you prefer this system then enjoy it while you can but don't be surprised when the class war you're waging takes a turn for the worse and if the politicians don't take action to change things for the better then the people, even the American people, the majority of whom are working class or poor, sooner or later will take matters into their own hands.
  • Reply 69 of 75
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    Taxes, Regulations, Wages, Unions -- wanna' pay $1,500 for a politically correct iPad?



    *



    The boat ride isn't free.
  • Reply 70 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post


    The labor cost to manufacture in Asia has risen 20% in the last three years. This is not going to stop. It's a myth that goods would cost that much more if made here (spread by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other pro-corporate entities). Adding 8 to 10% to the cost of an iPad's manufacturing is more accurate. Which would make the price rise maybe fifty bucks.



    Yes, I would pay fifty dollars more to employ Americans and keep cash away from an oppressive communist country.



    you absolutely incorrect in that statement, in my field alone the cost of trained professional is $80-90K in USA and in India the same person is USD$12K and there are living very good and have a 2 bedroom apartment.

    But the original reply to your comment was correct. USA has one of the highest operating costs of any country.



    Please do not mention slave labour because your min wage is nothing to be proud of.
  • Reply 71 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?



    Sorry, but 30 companies of some significance are currently trying to market to and have work being done in China. China has joined the Saudi's in holding a huge amount of US federal debt - Dick isn't going anywhere with this except as window dressing on his re-election attempts. Look at the US's abysmal record on challenges to human rights violations in China (not that we are entitled to direct another country how to manage their own affairs). We have no effective leverage there diplomatically or economically. In fact it is the reverse - China has been going around negotiating huge crude oil purchases which impacts supply to the US - affecting our access to those resources. This is tokenism at its finest - routine political smoke and mirrors.
  • Reply 72 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Well, bully for you. You are both resourceful and successful and I am sure you are just in your pride of your achievements. Your views are clearly shaped by your experiences but not everybody is as fortunate as you in the sense that not everybody (I'd say very few) have the confidence and wherewithal to do what you have done. I think maybe your world view could do with a sprinkling of compassion, but we clearly look at the world from completely different perspectives and will probably never agree, so lets just leave it at that.



    From an ideological pov however, it is rather depressing that we would rather see people suffer the indignities of poverty and worse in order to have a better life for ourselves. You may rationalize it but the fact remains that we knowingly turn a blind eye to huge social and economical injustices. It has happened before by another name.



    pax, while you make a good point you also only see part of the picture. Understandable considering you are part of western affluence. Much of these populations were in deeper poverty before the slave labor standards and corrupt business practices started offering them the ability to have more income than before - that's how this system works. If you are starving, a job that allows you to be merely hungry is preferable to dying of starvation. The usual cycle (as demonstrated consistently) is that the corrupt business owners draft in empoverished workers who are willing to work long hours under appalling circumstances, which are however better than the circumstances in which they originally existed. As they make their small amounts of money they are slowly able to make their circumstances better - the business owners make a lot of money which ends up raising the local economy, and eventually the national economy, and wages rise. As wages rise more money is spent, the economy raises still more until the wages become uncompetitive with other more empoverished countries and the work moves away to those countries. The cycle repeats itself over and over. In the case of China they have such a huge population, much of which is empoverished it take much more to raise the local and national economies to move the work elsewhere. Reality sucks, and you can't feed people on ideology.
  • Reply 73 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    If his job is grandstanding, then yes, he's doing a great job.



    I agree. Senate investigations and hearings are often grandstanding. And that is part of his job.
  • Reply 74 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    While I do agree that a certain level of decency, respect and fair play should exist everywhere I am appalled by some folks believing that the US has a right to play police force to the world. We are not the Kings or Gods. Our way is not THE way. Particularly when our own country has issues. Let's talk about sweatshops in downtown LA that get away with it because half the employees are illegals that can't gripe or they would be discovered. Let's talk about part time employees not getting health insurance, paid time off etc. We are not perfect and yet we presume to police other countries and cultures.



    Let's talk about the tax and other laws these senators and such have passed that make it cheaper to manufacture overseas. How about fighting the issue by improving things so that it is at least a break even to do the work here, keeping the jobs for 'our' citizens.



    What is Mr Durbin doing on that front



    World is a dark place & sometimes we do need to get involved. Guess we should have stayed out of WWII & just let Germans take over the world & continue slaughtering the Jews?



    On Durbin though, he does need to find better things to do with his time. Many of these companies not only have a personal moral standing on humane treatment but also are aware that working with manufacturers that abuse their workers will ultimately hurt their customer base. People don't like buying from companies that contribute to inhumane treatment, but no one can carry the torch against them as well as the Media & the Consumer. Let the public outcry take care of these companies, it's the only voice they actually listen to anyway. I'm sure Steve & all his buddies just sit around & laugh at the stupidity of these meddling Senators.



    Durbin was elected to serve the American public & he needs to stop political grand standing & start actually doing his job! These wackos in Washington are trying to do to much, no wonder nothing ever gets done!



    How about we cut all the useless pork programs that just give our government more right to abuse our liberties fix what's left of this country before it's too late. Fix jobs, quit playing bloody knuckles with the Terrorists, & for crying out loud quit trying to ram a health care bill down our throats that you yourselves have never even read!



    I swear Washington is useless...makes me crazy....
  • Reply 75 of 75
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by masternav View Post


    Sorry, but 30 companies of some significance are currently trying to market to and have work being done in China. China has joined the Saudi's in holding a huge amount of US federal debt - Dick isn't going anywhere with this except as window dressing on his re-election attempts. Look at the US's abysmal record on challenges to human rights violations in China (not that we are entitled to direct another country how to manage their own affairs). We have no effective leverage there diplomatically or economically. In fact it is the reverse - China has been going around negotiating huge crude oil purchases which impacts supply to the US - affecting our access to those resources. This is tokenism at its finest - routine political smoke and mirrors.



    You kind of hit upon the main issue. China has been our biggest creditor in buying our debt. They are gaining a tremendous leverage position. As their economy gets stronger and they increase their military strength and as their own technology advances (thanks to the US, Japan and Korea who are manufacturing electronics in China) there will be a point in time when it will be hammer time and we will be the nail.
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