Today's Poll: Would you buy a tech gadget even if you knew overseas factory workers were mistreated to make it?
It depends at least in part on what alternatives are available.
Watch how many people will buy the next I phone or product from Apple.
Virtually impossible for anyone to answer this question on a device that wasn't made or didn't contain parts that were made in an environment where the workers weren't mistreated.
Let's face it, It's not new news, we have known for years about the working conditions in other parts of the world, [even here] and we chose not to think about it, and shopped PRICE.
there are varying degrees of mistreatment,and many of these workers don't consider themselves mistreated. Alot of slaves didn't leave their masters After they were freed. Very few of us can truthfully say they don't buy imported goods, Gotta go there's a sale at Walmart
We do now
If afer learning that a gadget was produced by workers who were mistreated by overseas companies that include American companies that employ them, you still go ahead and buy buy the item and go merrily along secure in the idea that at least you saved a couple of dollars, can you still call yourselves "Christians"?
Where were the parts of your computer made, and/or where was it assembled?
My laptop computer was made in Japan by Toshiba, as far as I am aware the parts were made there, the Intel memory was produced here, and assembled there in Japan. If I had been informed before buying it that it was built in an overseas factory that mistreats its employees I would not have bought it. If an American manufactured item is available that is what I buy even if it costs more.
I have an iPhone.
Obviously an enormous amount of the hard goods/electronics we use are produced overseas and working conditions in those factories aren't always great. We should never be so naive as to believe that the food we eat can be 'cruelty free' or the products we buy can always leave us with a clear conscience as to how well the workers who created them were treated.
We can, however, make choices based on the things we know for sure and the situation in the Apple factories has been well documented. I was bothered enough by the reports of Apple's production worker suicides to decide not to purchase Apple products again until they improve factory conditions.
Mistreatment by our standards doesn't mean it is by theirs. I hear people line up around the block for the opportunity to work in those factories in China.
I hope that was was a troll comment, Charlie. Taking advantage of people who are desperately poor and who will do anything for work by packing them like sardines into factories and treating them like slave robots is not OK.
oh, the minions of Jonses now have a collective conscience? must be some Islave app out now...ps - i'm goin to put up my first negative on this post. just to see if i can lol
oh, wow. it worked. i can hate on myself online! wow, i love tech...:/
Exactly! What other choices do they have? It is not our fault as a country how they treat the people that live there. If I can get the quality and price buying US made products that I need/want then I always give the US products first shot.
Chris, I’m not trying to be insensitive to the problems in China but, we can’t put our standards around people who live in a third world country. The standards are much higher here, I wish the world was up to our level but, it’s not. What other choices do those people have and are they better than working in that factory? It’s safe to say that working in that factory is probably one of the better jobs around. If the people of China want to obtain workers rights, they are going to have to fight for them. Would I pay more for an Iphone if it was manufactured here, yes. Should the Chinese workers fight for better conditions, without a doubt. Is that going to make me feel bad about my electronics, not a chance. Maybe it would be in all our best interests if the Chinese workers demanded better conditions.
My problem is that American companies exploit foreign workers in order to skirt American labor laws that made workplaces in this country safe.
I'd also like to clarify that I think there's a difference between 'use' foreign workers and 'exploit' foreign workers. I don't like that American companies take their manufacturing process overseas, but it is certainly their right to do so and, if observed in a vacuum, producing products at a cheaper rate makes good business sense.
I start to have a problem when an American company like Apple allows its overseas operations to devolve into what is, at best, a sharecropping factory and, at worst, slave labor. Particularly when that company then turns around, spends hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing their products to the American consumer class. Apple's practices make me feel dirty as a consumer of their products and I will not purchase another iProduct until I know that the issue has been dealt with.
The problem can be ameliorated by changing tax laws that give breaks to American corporations who movve offshore to take unfair advantage of the labor conditions in those countries. This is an issue of fair and balanced trade conditions, if those corporations have to comply with the same labor standards we have here and provide the same overall conditions for workers jobs and manufacturing will return here or the conditions there will improve. Either way it provides for a level playing field and allows for real compitition and efficiency. Unfortunately, corporations only real loyalty is to profits regardless of the costs to those who actually produces their products or to those who utilize them.
No matter what you believe. You have already and more than likely purchase something that was made by slave labor or mistreated worker. It could be as simple as materials which are used to make parts. Companies purchase parts and materials from the cheapest bidder. Ed pointed out that his laptop was made in Japan by Toshiba. Now, where did the materials or parts come from? Slave camps or mining facilities? Japan has companies in other countries too so, everything may not be product in Japan. Why stop at high tech items? Food harvesting and clothing could be brought into this picture.
My point exactly John, is to hold those companies who sell their products here to the same minimum standards we have here for health and safety to both the people who actually produce the products as well as those who consume the products. The first step is to apply the standards to American corporations who take manufacturing and agriculural production offshore with the most efficient means possible and that is by removing the tax incentives currently in place.
A quick walk around ANY one of our houses would show complicity in this issue. Unless you have sworn off technology altogether, then you are as much a part of the problem as anyone else, and if you have sworn off technology we would not be hearing from you on this forum. Charlie makes a good point about the relativity of working conditions based on societal norms. Doesn't make it right, just makes it the way our differing cultures are.
usa today said some of the computer boards are made in TX, then shipped to China for final assembly. TANGENT - the weekend edition also had a poll results saying Buffalo had the nation's highest % of lottery players at 58%. i'm guessing that entails both scratchers and ball drawn lotteries. i recall hearing that NY spends more on gambling ads than all other states COMBINED. hey, you never know.