#95. Ranting Against Raving

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Apple Uses Chinese Child Labor to Build iPhone

A friend recently tweeted the link to the following article. I’m not sure whether it was merely an observation on his part or if he falls on either side of the issue, but the subsequent thoughts were my initial reaction. This is an issue I can definitely see both sides of, so opposing views are certainly welcome.

Story about Child Labor in China

This is the global economy at work. Living standards won’t increase everywhere overnight, but our grandparents & great-grandparents often began working long hours in their early teens, and $75/week would have been good money. It’s laughable and naive to think you can apply the same fair labor practices of one of the wealthiest nations on earth to developing countries. If everyone in the world is going to be treated exactly the same, we will all end up a lot closer to 70 cents/day than the luxurious “poverty” level in the U.S. that still affords smart phones, big screen TV’s w/ cable & the convenience of fast food. You can survive on beans & rice. You won’t die without running water. And believe it or not the human race survived for thousands of years without air conditioning. Having the discipline to choose needs over wants is what makes a competent adult instead of a petulant child. It’s not cruel to go without some of these things. Wisdom is living within your means and thanking God for the things you do have.

As an entirely much too lengthy side note, the author of this article thinks it’s “disconcerting” that the workers making iPhones and iPads aren’t capable of owning them. Hello!!! These are luxury items even in the United States! There are probably also many workers who help manufacture yachts and Gulfstream jets that don’t own the product they produce. Go figure. So let’s say you buy an iPhone outright with no incentivized carrier plan for $600. (This is pricey, but it’s about the cheapest you can get even with the current available Chinese labor rates.) But if you want all of those laborers, currently making one dollar per day to be able to afford one, the price must inherently go up. So proportionally let’s assume a person should be making well above $30,000 per year to comfortably afford said iPhone. That translates to $15 per hour (vacation and eight hour work day included). Proportionally this would mean paying $9,000 for an iPhone here in the U.S. Obviously no one would own an iPhone then.

To sum up… China is still a developing country. They are going through the same industrialization pains we went through 100 years ago. Time will progress; conditions will improve. Just like us, the workers will begin to demand government imposed regulations, and eventually if China is lucky, they will become just like the United States where sloth, greed and entitlement reign supreme.

What say you? How much are you offended by the work conditions your Apple products are creating? Enough to boycott the gadgets you love, or just enough to spew some self-righteous indignation?

 

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