Friday, January 27, 2012

Why Apple Products Are So Cool!

Because they are made under conditions that would be unlawful for a U.S. maker.  Karl Denninger has a very depressing article at Market-Ticker about the conditions and wages of the workers building your cool Apple toys.  He quotes a former Apple executive to the effect that:
“We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on,” said one former Apple executive who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements. “Why? Because the system works for us. Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”
What amazes me is how many trendy sorts gotta have the latest and greatest Apple products--and yet insist on "fair trade" coffee.


  1. You're presenting this as if there were two choices for people. Either buy electronics from Apple or buy from an outfit that doesn't have connections to abusive labor practices. Truth is, Dell HP Asus, etc... all have the same problem. The comparison to "fair trade" coffee isn't apt. It's either buy the regular coffee or no coffee at all.

  2. Why are you surprised at the trendy sorts like Apple products and "fair trade" coffee? Most of them would rather protect Gaia than people.

    Seriously, though, the conditions in those plants are horrendous, but the fact that people work there rather than in the countryside where most of them came from tells you about the relative conditions.

  3. 1. The original piece was in the NYTimes, replete with attributions to numerous anonymous informants, usually tagged with adjectives hinting at 'high degree of knowledge of this situation'. Much like their expose of Sen McCain in Jan 2008.
    2. Apple neither owns the companies nor the factories.
    3. Dell and Microsoft source their hardware from those factories as well.
    4. David Pogue is probably the only writer at the Times who is conversant with InfoTech.