Ever wonder who is assembling all our gadgets that we are so attatched to?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Forum' started by dillont, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. dillont
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    dillont New Member

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    Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory | This American Life

    Listened to this on my way to and from work today. I reccomend listening to it if you have an hour to spare. This guy interviewed a bunch of workers outside of Foxconn and also posed as an American buisnessman in order to gain access into Foxconn and other factories in the area. Foxconn is a company in China that employs like 450,000 workers and assembles electronics for a lot of companies including, Apple, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Amazon, Dell, HP, Nintendo, Microsoft, and many more. They had nets surrounding the buildings at Foxconn b/c many workers were jumping off the building and killing themselves. He met a number of 12-14 year olds working there. People were working on average 14-16hr days. One guy died while he was there b/c he just finshed a 34 hour shift. No one can talk at all on the lines or they are reprimanded. Many people were being exposed to neurotoxins, other people had their joints disentegrate because they were doing the same motion everyday and never switching tasks. People were being fired for reporting working conditions to the groups that were supposed to protect the workers. The workers were living in dorms at Foxconn which were 12x12 ft cement rooms with around 12 beds in each room. I never thought the working conditions were great in china, but I never realized they were that bad before listening to this. Maybe some of you were already aware of this, but I was pretty shocked. Now am I going to stop using or sell my phone, computer, kindle, tv and xbox 360? Most likely not, but it is pretty depressing and eye opening to know what other people have to go through so we can be entertained and connected.
  2. Nothing5
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    Nothing5 New Member

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    Ira Glass is always worth listing to, thanks for sharing.
  3. SallyC
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    SallyC Well-Known Member

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    The truth behind "free trade."
  4. Zandar
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    Zandar New Member

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    The truth behind Socialism. We need to fix our tax law in the worst way, but free trade didn't cause these working conditions. In fact, it could be argued that these workers might be worse off without free trade (though it's a tough and somewhat circular, conjecture-based argument).
  5. pinoy_92
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    pinoy_92 New Member

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    sad to hear....
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  6. dillont
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    dillont New Member

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    Ya toward the end of piece someone they interviewed brought up the argument that the people in this city were worse off before Foxconn and these other corporations came in and gave them more jobs, despite low wages and sweat shop conditions. Even if that is true, it a pretty weak argument and ****ty way to justify the treatment of people almost like slaves.
  7. LoneWolfArcher
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    LoneWolfArcher Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure you go into your boss' office and demand to be paid less, right?
  8. Einsteindks
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    Einsteindks Member

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    Always suspected China was like this. Yep, they are totally screwing themselves over and don't care knowing about it. China will, in the not too distant future, either colapse as a society or have a very messy revolution. Either way, the land itself will be woefully toxic to habitation. Should be interesting.

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  9. SallyC
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    SallyC Well-Known Member

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    I am not a fan of many things in China, but it can't be ignored that they have made tremendous progress. Why China Does Capitalism Better than the U.S.
    I agree, Einsteindks, that as their middle class rises, they will have more civil unrest, as we have more as a result of ours collapsing.

    However, my "free trade" comment was sarcastic (hence the quotation marks) as there is no way we can compete with them - or many other countries - given the current political & economic climate. And I don't think the politicians really want to. Transnational companies control the political powers in many countries, including the U.S. It's much easier for them to, for example, be "green" by outsourcing their work to China.
  10. Gleason81
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    Gleason81 New Member

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    What are my options for AMERICAN MADE cell phones?

    The recession helped bury the existing manufacturing industry in the United States, but corporations have been abandoning American factories for years. Many iconic American products aren't even made in this country anymore and are assembled and produced by workers in sometimes questionable conditions in places like Taiwan and Indonesia. Here are 40 beloved American products no longer made at home.
    • Huffy: Huffy bicycles were proudly produced in America — along with a U.S. flag image on every bike — until 1999, when falling bicycle prices in the U.S. forced the company to move production to China.
    • Barbie: A wholly American product, Barbie is a pop culture icon all her own. But she — along with the rest of Mattel, Inc. products — is now produced in China, when Mattel's last American factory closed in 2002.
    • Fisher-Price: Americans were reminded that Fisher-Price is now longer made in America when a massive recall took place after Chinese factories were charged with using paint with lead to make toys. Owned by Mattel, Inc., Fisher-Price markets iconic American brands under its own name, including Sesame Street and Disney.
    • Converse: Warmly known as Chuck Taylors, this classic American tennis shoe has featured the same design — with a few updated versions — for decades. Shoes are now made in Indonesia, though.
    • Gap: If you own anything Gap — or from one of its other brands, like Banana Republic, you know that the tag reads Made in China, or other countries. But the San Francisco-based company had to apologize for manufacturing its charitable, anti-hunger FEED bags in China, though they were marketed as being made in the U.S.A.
    • Levi's: Levi Strauss & Co — another San Francisco-based jeans and clothing brand — was involved in a scandal in the early 1990s for manufacturing clothes in slave-like conditions in the Northern Mariana Islands, and in the U.S. by Chinese laborers who worked 12-hour shifts with poor living conditions. The company has cleaned up its act but still makes jeans overseas.
    • Rawlings baseballs: The quintessential American baseball is not made in the U.S. — it's been made in Costa Rica for years. Until 1969, the balls were made in Puerto Rico, but production moved to Haiti that year for cheaper labor. Rawlings moved to Costa Rica in 1986 after Jean-Claude Duvalier's rule in Haiti ended.
    • Etch A Sketch: In 2001, Etch A Sketch's parent company Ohio Art moved to production to China.
    • Black & Decker: Appliance and tool company Black & Decker is based in Maryland but actually makes its products in China.
    • General Motors: GM has started bringing small cars that were made in China to the U.S. to sell.
    • Radio Flyer: Radio Flyer wagons are still popular Christmas and birthday gifts for American kids, but in 2004, the company announced it would be laying off workers when it moved to China.
    • Vending machines: The glowing, humming machine that dispenses your sugary drinks and snacks isn't even made in the country it stuffs day after day.
    • Sardines: The last sardine cannery in the U.S. closed in Maine in 2010.
    • Cell phones: A report from The American Prospect estimated that over 1 billion cell phones were in use in 2009, but none were made in the U.S.
    • Spoons and forks: Other countries certainly use forks and spoons besides America, but earlier this year, a factory — the last in existence in the U.S. — that had dated back to colonial times shut down, meaning those utensils are no longer made here.
    • Boeing products: The iconic airplane company Boeing has had its ups and downs recently, and announced in 2003 that it was using Japanese manufacturers to make many of its parts, including wings.
    • iPad: It's too new to be considered iconic, but the iPad is such an American obsession and invention, it's surprising that it's already being made in China, along with the iPhone.
    • Laptops: Where would American students, businessmen and even housewives be without their laptops? An American staple, laptops aren't even produced here.
    • Nike: Celebrity athletes serve as endorsers for Nike products, but the American sportswear brand chooses to operate in Indonesia and Malaysia.
    • Samsonite: Hardly any luggage is made in America anymore, including the iconic brand Samsonite, which was started in Denver. Forty percent of luggage is now made in India.
    • Dell computers: From Michael Dell's Texas roots to that goofy Dell guy on the commercials, Dell was totally American. Until it moved in 2002 to China.
    • TVs: Americans are obsessed with their TVs, but it is absolutely impossible to buy a TV made in America, unless your friend made it.
    • Light bulbs: Invented by an America, light bulbs aren't made in the U.S.A. anymore.
    • General Electric: Partly founded by Thomas Edison in the 1890s, GE is now a global company that makes many products in China, but is now starting to move some production back to the U.S.
    • Hershey's: The Hershey Candy company is totally American, but in 2008, it moved some production to Monterey, Mexico.
    • Ford Motor Company: A percentage of Ford cars are made in Mexico.
    • Steel: Once an iconic American industry, steel jobs in this country are virtually nonexistent.
    • Ethan Allen: There are three furniture plants left in the U.S., but all the rest have closed and production was moved to Mexico.
    • Railroads: Railroads were once a boon for the economy in this country, but steel and other products used to make them are no longer made in the U.S.
    • Craftsman and Stanley tools: Even though many tools made by these two brands boast that they are Made in the USA, that claim has been questioned by the government. Stanley was even fined by the Federal Trade Commission for branding tools as being made in America, though they fell short of federal guidelines that would allow them to to make that claim.
    • Brach's: The iconic candy brand, founded at the very beginning of the 20th century, was sold to a European company in 1987, but the Chicago brand came back under American ownership by the 90s. In 2001, however, manufacturing all moved to Mexico.
    • Cannondale bikes: Another bike company that used to be made in the U.S. is now manufactured in Taiwan, after a Montreal-based company bought Cannondale.
    • Fender Stratocaster: This legendary guitar was once a favorite of Buddy Holly, but the standard model is now made in Mexico. Premium American-made models are still made in California, but at an extra price.
    • Candyland: As one of the most popular games in the U.S., Candyland now has special editions and online gaming. But the Hasbro-owned game is produced overseas.
    • NBA uniforms: Adidas is the official uniform designer of the NBA and promised to let the uniforms continue to be manufactured in America. But in 2009, the company backed out of its contract, moving production to Thailand.
    • Monopoly: Laborers in East Asia manufacture the board games that hail the golden years of American capitalism and railroad building.
    • G.I. Joe: This Real American Hero's toy isn't even made in the country it's designed to protect. Produced by Hasbro, G.I. Joes are now made in Asia.
    • IBM Personal Computer: This computer appeared in 1981 but isn't even made by IBM anymore. The Chinese company Lenovo bough the PC side of IBM's business in 2004.
    • My Little Pony: My Little Ponies were one of the most popular toys in the 1980s, and are still sold in stores, although they're quite as cute as they once were. A product of Hasbro, these toys are also madden China.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  11. WolfBrother
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    WolfBrother New Member

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    Better the prostitution

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  12. dsprik
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    dsprik New Member

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    The world's economies are so tightly intertwined that if you try to unravel any one small part of it, it weakens (or worse) everything else. No matter how horrible the human labor conditions involved. Note the chocolate children slaves of the Ivory Coast where 40% of the world's cocoa beans come from...

    Slavery in cocoa fields: A horrible
  13. LoneWolfArcher
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    LoneWolfArcher Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that China doesn't DO free trade. Anyone that thinks they engage in free trade is ignorant (not a put down but that just don't know any better) or are purposely being misleading to advance an anti-free trade agenda. There are numerous ways that China is not engaging in free trade, pegging their currency to the dollar being one (and a HUGE one at that).

    So they are cheating better which is why we can't compete. If we started doing some of the things China does our trade partners would be furious.
  14. SallyC
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    SallyC Well-Known Member

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    I can understand why you didn't get the sarcasm in my first post, as maybe using quotes around "free trade" was unclear. But I think my second post clearly stated it was sarcastic and that there's no way we can compete given the current political and economic climate.

    I agree there is no free trade going on, although I think the reasons are more complicated than Chinese policies.
  15. SallyC
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    SallyC Well-Known Member

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    Sadly true. Which is why, as bad as this is, many Chinese are fighting for these jobs. Doesn't make it right, or something we should be complacent about, but it is a fact of life.
  16. SallyC
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    SallyC Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The examples are countless depressing.
  17. LegalAmerican
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    LegalAmerican New Member

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    Funny how everyone drives Toyota, Honda, and Mazda. . . . . And then complain about factory conditions outside the U.S. Maybe if we were supportive of American made? A big reason all these corporations move oversees is because we don't support them and so they go find cheaper labor.

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  18. Kimo91
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    Kimo91 Member

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    Toyota and Honda's are assembled in the US ( some models, like camarys and civics for example) , while most US companies (Ford, Dodge) are assembled in Canada and Mexico. I own a 2011 Kia Sportage that is both manufactured and assembled in the US (Mississippi I believe) and I honestly believe that there are very little "Made in USA" products out there anymore because its cheaper to make overseas and bring it here to either assemble and/or sell. I work for Boeing in final assembly for the 787 Dreamliner and yes its assembled in the US (Everett, WA and here at home in North Charleston, SC) and its a global plane meaning the parts of the airplane are made throughout the world and shipped here to assemble. From my experience yes it is cheaper to do things that way.

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  19. meishkov
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    meishkov New Member

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    It is a very sad topic that aways seems to be thrown in the back of the pack so people don't read or hear about it, and don't know what it's actually doing, so they think it's just a couple grumpy bitter ex-employees trying to screw over their former employer. There's a lot of old mentalitys out there in the minds of people that hold important positions in our country. To them it's just no big deal. Truth is we can't help everybody else while screwing over our own citizens with declining quality of life. If only we really were team America world police. Love the discussions going on in here, valuable insight indeed. Wish I wasn't working so I could read it all tho. Regardless, subscribed!!

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  20. Jungle King 76
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    Jungle King 76 New Member

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    Doesn't bother me.

    Survival of the fittest.

    Dog eat dog.

    Seriously, who cares what happens in China?

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