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11. Re: Evening Mobilization Feb 9, 2012, 18:41 cappy
 
Bhruic wrote on Feb 9, 2012, 04:25:
There is no such thing as a responsible Apple consumer

By that logic, you might as well say there's no such thing as a responsible electronics user. FoxConn does business (directly or indirectly) with almost the entire computer market. If you own a computer (or cellphone, or tablet, etc), chances are that you have FoxConn components in it.

So anyone who owns any of the above list of items, and is feeling smugly superior about Apple consumers supporting "slave labor", well, you're supporting it yourself.

And unless people want to pay $1000+ for their next Xbox or cellphone, it's very likely that people will continue supporting it, regardless of how their sensibilities are outraged.

Apple and FoxConn are each other's biggest dependents. Cutter explained below the simple logic of why Apple is being "unfairly singled out." This is done all the time. If you're seeking to change, you start with the high-profile ones and the little guys will often follow and fall in line. So you get a ripple effect. You are also piggybacking off the visibility that the high-profile one has.

This is very fundamental and is pretty much how any campaign has been done since humans first began to interact with one another.

It makes about zero sense to pressure 1,000 smaller companies most consumers have never heard of and whose total value is a flea on the hide of Apple. They don't have Apple's leverage, nor its profit margins.

Why do you think Wal-Mart gets singled out for "dead peasant" insurance policies, or gender discrimination, or wages and benefits? Surely Wal-Mart isn't the *only* company in all of America to engage in such things. Of course not - but Wal-Mart is one heckuva big and visible company.

Why is Amazon singled out for working conditions in its warehouses? Surely every single retailer that has warehouses has less than desirable working conditions in those warehouses. But Amazon is very big and very visible.

This is just very fundamental stuff. And it's why Apple is being "singled out."

As far as cellphones costing $1,000... Apple seems to generate some incredible profit margins while selling its iPhones for far less already. And even when cellphones were made in developed countries they were not regularly going for $1,000 - unless you're talking the very first 1980s devices. Granted, phones have often been sold at a discount that's been made up by a contract.

No one is expecting China to *overnight* start paying U.S.-size wages and benefits to employees. So you can ease your mind that's not going to happen in a decade, and probably not two decades. So the $1,000 cellphone fear can be laid to rest.

But incremental gains could be coerced. And frankly, I see a lot of benefit to that all around. If China were to start seeing an actual rising middle class (versus its current system of a small percentage of haves and a huge percentage of have-littles) its government might ease up just a bit. That's certainly one of the reasons why the government probably likes the current system - rewarding a few while the majority have little power. Rising wages and costs in China would also slow the transfer of some production to China, and in some cases even shift a little back to the States (there have been some incidences of this recently where the balance of costs favored domestic production).

No one is arguing totality here. It's about fundamental strategic approaches that have happened across numerous arenas for thousands of years and that achieve ripple effects. It isn't a light switch or a binary solution.
 
 
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